A Lexicon of Disappointment
by NAOMI KLEIN
Click on image for Obama's hypnosis techniques
All is not well in Obamafanland. It’s not clear exactly what accounts for the change of mood. Maybe it was the rancid smell emanating from Treasury’s latest bank bailout. Or the news that the president’s chief economic adviser, Larry Summers, earned millions from the very Wall Street banks and hedge funds he is protecting from reregulation now. Or perhaps it began earlier, with Obama’s silence during Israel’s Gaza attack.
Whatever the last straw, a growing number of Obama enthusiasts are starting to entertain the possibility that their man is not, in fact, going to save the world if we all just hope really hard.
This is a good thing. If the superfan culture that brought Obama to power is going to transform itself into an independent political movement, one fierce enough to produce programs capable of meeting the current crises, we are all going to have to stop hoping and start demanding.
The first stage, however, is to understand fully the awkward in-between space in which many US progressive movements find themselves. To do that, we need a new language, one specific to the Obama moment. Here is a start.
Hopeover. Like a hangover, a hopeover comes from having overindulged in something that felt good at the time but wasn’t really all that healthy, leading to feelings of remorse, even shame. It’s the political equivalent of the crash after a sugar high. Sample sentence: “When I listened to Obama’s economic speech my heart soared. But then, when I tried to tell a friend about his plans for the millions of layoffs and foreclosures, I found myself saying nothing at all. I’ve got a serious hopeover.” Full Story
Americans retain optimism in recession
Americans remain broadly optimistic about their economic prospects in the middle of the most severe recession since World War Two, according to a survey released on Thursday.
The Pew Economic Mobility Project found that despite dismal economic conditions and decades of widening income inequality, Americans still widely believe in the “American Dream”: the idea that success is determined by one’s willingness to work hard, not the circumstances of one’s birth or other external forces.
The nationwide survey of 2,119 adults found that:
* 79 percent said it is still possible to get ahead in the current economy;
* 72 percent said they believed they will personally be better off 10 years from now;
* 74 percent said they were at least somewhat in control of their economic situation, but only 43 percent said that other people were in control;
* 71 percent said personal ambition was a more important determinant of success than external conditions.
But the survey also reflected the worsening economy: only 32 percent rated their own personal circumstances as “excellent” or “good,” down from 52 percent in 2006.
“There is a strong and a uniquely American optimism which is persisting even in the face of these very, very trying times,” said John Morton, the managing director of economic policy at the Pew Charitable Trusts, the nonprofit organization that sponsored the survey, which has a margin of error of 3.4 percentage points.
That optimism is somewhat at odds with the group’s 2008 report, which found that parents’ income is strongly linked to one’s chances to succeed.
Perhaps it’s this speech that fuels false optimism:
Barack Obama Inauguration Speech – Hope Over Fear
Posted in economic collapse, economy, foreclosure, homeless, hunger, job loss, obama, recession, unemployment
Tagged american dream, economic collapse, government, hope, income inequality, obama, recession, WW II
Obama’s ‘War on Terror’
The language is softened and deceptive. The strategy and tactics are not. The “war on terror” continues. Promised change is talk, not policy. Just look at Obama’s “war cabinet,” discussed in an earlier article. It assures:
— the “strongest military on the planet” by outspending all other countries combined;
— continued foreign wars;
— possible new ones in prospect; on February 7, vice-president Joe Biden outlined continuity of the Bush administration’s policy toward Iran, including “preventive” wars under the National Security Strategy; demands also that Iran abandon its legal nuclear program meaning nothing going forward will change;
— permanent occupation of Iraq and Afghanistan is planned;
— a reinvented “Cold War” with Russia; perhaps also with China; “draw(ing) a new ‘iron curtain’ (between these) formidable Eurasian powers” to prevent their alliance from challenging America, according to F. William Engdahl;
— an “absolute” commitment “to eliminating the threat of terrorism (with) the full force of our power;”
— inciting instability for imperial gain, especially in resource-rich parts of the world;
— militarizing America; keeping Bush administration police state laws in force; dealing with a deepening economic crisis by preparing for hard line crackdowns should popular unrest arise; and
— readying for another major false flag attack?
Three times in his final week in office, George Bush warned: “Our enemies are patient and determined to strike again. There’s still an enemy out there that would like to inflict damage on America – Americans. And that’ll be the major threat. The most important job (for) the next president is….to protect the American people from another attack.”
Posted in afghanistan, bush, CIA, iraq, obama, terrorism, violence, war
Tagged afghanistan, bush, china, CIA, enemies, false flag, Guantánamo, hope, iraq, military, nuclear, obama, pearl harbor, russia, terrorism, torture, Tyranny, war