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Sunday, February 27, 2011

OUR ATTENTION DEFICIT DISORDER



Today's post was written in Los Angeles, California where yesterday I attended  the annual LA Media Reform Summit, titled Just Media (pun intended). It is designed to be a conference to discuss strategies for developing a real alternative media that independent of the echo chamber for the Left and Right  that helps both corporate parties maintain power through promoting the politics of division.  

I was honored with the opportunity to lead a workshop on the role of the media in covering third party candidates for office. The workshop was well attended by a very knowledgeable and engaged audience.


I want to thank Dick Price and Sharon Kyle of LA Progressives and Common Cause, of whose program on Media and Democracy the LA Media Reform Group is an important part.


This blog was inspired by the keynote speech of the conference, delivered by Marty Kaplan, Director of the Norman Lear Center at USC.


The inability of the average American to sort through the staggering amount of information assaulting the senses from TV, radio, the internet and other sources is a clear and present danger to democracy and ultimately, the survival of human civilization. If there were ever a time when we needed to be able to assimilate a variety of critical information as fast as it becomes available, it is at the dawn of the Revolution that is now upon us. The problem is to learn how to locate, absorb and assimilate the most important of that information. It is essential that in our rapidly changing world we acquire this ability to enable us to emerge victorious in the worldwide struggle against fascism.

Once we have learned how to do this, we must teach these skills to our potential allies in order to be effective in becoming a People that will direct the coming change in our collective consciousness toward one in which liberty, equality and freedom are universally accepted. This is the only way to assure our mutual survival. The alternative is to allow a system of authoritarian control by international corporate terrorists working to enslave us in the fascist New World Order they are preparing for the mass of humanity.  

While the dizzying array of problems that we face makes the task seem insurmountable, basic principles of psychology and information technology can make the job manageable for anyone who sees the importance of understanding events in the United States and the world so that we may be in a position to influence our collective destiny.

At the end of the 20th century, the average American was exposed to more information in one week than did Americans in a lifetime at the turn of that century. This problem has been termed information overload. This was the theme of Alvin Toffler’s bestselling book Future Shock in 1970. The situation has grown much worse since then. Today, it is estimated that we are only mentally capable of registering 60% of the information we are barraged with each day from all sources. Of course, most of us do much worse for a variety of reasons, each of which can be addressed through the principles addresses in this essay. The problem we face is not one of excess  information but of a deficit in the attention of most Americans.

The first task in organizing information flow is to prioritize by importance the information to which we are exposed. To achieve maximum efficiency, this requires having a very clear sense of what it is we need to attend to in order to have at hand the information required to accomplish the goals that are most important to us. What each of us determines to be important determines how we divide the limited information processing capability of humans. 

This implies that it is distorted values that have made the US a nation whose politicians are too often elected by the ignorance of good Americans who are unwitting tools of the fascists among us. This is a problem not only of those on the right who have been deluded in believing that fascism is the American way and all too often, the will of God. It is also a problem among the deeply divided left who cannot agree on strategy, tactics or even long term goals.

It is very easy to be distracted by pleasurable entertainments such as sex, drugs and escapist TV, movies and literature. We have too little time to spend in play with family and friends because too many of us work at jobs which have no meaning to our lives. Far too many Americans feel compelled to spend their time on jobs that have no purpose but to provide a means of surviving, if indeed they are lucky enough to have a job If we have worked hard and are lucky, we may be able to earn the means of diverting ourselves with pursuits of our choosing. 

Unfortunately, a critical mass of Americans have become so overwhelmed with the responsibility of taking care of their families in an increasingly inhospitable society. The result is that too many of us retreat to self-imposed isolation. For those of us who see hedonism or survivalism as empty pursuits in a world in which the individual seems to be becoming irrelevant, our priorities are clearly different.

The loss of awareness of the interdependence of all of us must be the central concern for those of us seeking to restore democracy in the United States. If we can overcome the corporatist propaganda that uses racism and other forms of scapegoating to divide us, we can again become the melting pot that our founders envisioned. Only by healing the wounds of American society can we become a model for emerging democracies. We will have little influence on whether these states choose theocracy or other forms of despotism until we restore democratic institutions in our own country that can serve as a model to be emulated. 

If we can agree that we must begin to focus on the commonalities which unite us rather than the differences that have been used to divide us, we are well on our way to building the united front that can defeat fascism in the US and the world. This focusing of our attention is the essence of a treatment plan to cure America of the attention deficit disorder that is becoming a pandemic threatening the mental, physical and spiritual health of America and its citizens.

From this framework we can begin to construct a worldview in which the most important problems we must face will become increasingly clear. This enables us to design a battle plan to end fascism in America and thereby defeat it in the world at large. All such plans require the prioritizing of objectives and a corresponding allocation of resources. 

In a war that depends on marshaling a virtual Army of peaceful warriors acting on their own initiative, the development of a consensus on the ultimate objective is critical. That objective should be universal freedom, justice and democracy in the world. The only way to accomplish that is through the democratic process at the local, national and international level.

Each of us constructs a model of reality that is unique to the individual. This is the organizing structure by which we make decisions on how we will act to try to achieve our goals in life. We cannot achieve our individual and collective goals without eradicating the ideas that we should be more loyal to family than neighbor, more respectful of the rich and powerful than each other. 
Most of all, we must erase from our individual and collective consciousness  the idea that any of us can succeed in a world gone mad if we do not tear down the walls that divide us and work together for the greater good of all. As long as we allow injustice to be done to any individual or group, none of us are truly free. The corporate media and our politicians work hard to keep us divided so that we will not unite to destroy the corporate power structure that maintains the privileges of the millionaires in the senate and their corporate Puppetmasters.

It is easy to conclude that the number of problems we are confronting in our efforts to fight fascism are overwhelming.  We have a moral responsibility not to give in to despair. We are the only hope for our children to reap the benefits of the many who have sacrificed so much that they may have a world worth inheriting. 

We also have a debt to repay to those who have given their lives to advance and defend the freedoms we hold dear so that the world may come to know the blessings of democracy.  It is a moral imperative that we find faith that there is a way to unite the Peoples of the United States and all nations into a potent fighting force to peacefully restore democracy to America and to spread the blessings of liberty and justice to all citizens of the Earth.

My opinion is that the critical battle that needs to be fought and won in America is for the abolition of corporate personhood. The fascist coup of the United States government was well underway when the Five Stooges of the Supreme Court gave the keys to the nation to the international corporate terrorists who had been quietly buying it up since the Civil War

The battle between democratic patriots and fascists has swung like the pendulum of a clock over the decades until these five powerful men decided to try and stop it with the long arm of the law that they were sworn to enforce. They do so by misusing the controversial doctrine of judicial review. Thomas Jefferson warned us about the danger to democracy of allowing the doctrine to stand after his cousin John Marshall cleverly usurped this power in Marbury v Madison. 

Now that the Supreme Court has the power, like all fascists the court majority has become drunk with it. They have extended the doctrine of fascism under the delusional idea of "original intent." They apparently believe that the Founders were unanimous in assuming that the purpose of government was to protect the power and privilege of economic aristocrats. Legislating from the bench, these fascist madmen have done everything in their considerable power to ensure that our democratic Republic becomes the plaything of the rich. Ignoring any precedent that conflicts with their deluded ideas, they are not only legislating but rewriting the Constitution in favor of the fascists who put them in power. Only a People united can overrule the Court by Constitutional amendment.

Marbury v Madison arouse when John Adams made dozens of federal court appointments literally in the last hours before leaving the White House. This followed his ignominious defeat by a People aghast at the fascist actions of the Federalist government in passing the Alien and Sedition Act. This law gave the President the Imperial power to imprison aliens and citizens who exercised the first amendment rights in a way that displeased him. He jailed Matthew Lyon, a Republican Congressman and newspaper editor, for publicly criticizing him. This the fuse was lit of the second American Revolution, one that continues to this day between those who fear the power of the mob and those who trust in Mankind’s ability to govern itself.

Marbury was an Adams appointee who sued for his job when President Jefferson declined to honor Adams’ political appointees to the newly established federal courts. These had been created under the Judicial Act of 1801, passed by the Federalist-dominated Congress in lame duck session after Jefferson was elected and before he formally assumed office. Knowing that the Supreme Court could only acquire the power to interpret law in a way to benefit the landed class that put them in power for life, Chief Justice John Marshall wrote the majority opinion that ruled in favor of the defendant, Secretary of State James Madison. 

It was this decision that established the right of the Supreme Court to overrule federal legislation. Legislating is the fundamental right and responsibility only of Congress, as the representatives of the People. This is clearly evident by Article One of the Constitution, the longest and most detailed of the Articles outlining the carefully constructed system of checks and balances in the Constitution. 

Chief Justice Marshall, knowing that finding for the administration would mute criticism of the court for seizing the power to strike down laws passed by Congress, decided that the Judicial Act was unconstitutional. In doing so, judicial review became a fait accompli and the battle between Jefferson and the Democratic Republicans against those Federalists who were trying to undo the gains of the Revolution began. That Revolution will not be completed until the American People seize back the power of their government through peaceful democratic Revolution. If we fail, then the Republic is lost, just as the Republic of Rome was lost when Caesar crossed the Rubicon.

Today we are facing a time when fascist corporate terrorists have crossed the Rubicon and entered the senate, where they have been welcomed with open arms since the Civil War. The Constitution was written in part to keep these fascist interests at a distance from the center of government, yet we have let them in the gates. Their lobbyists have literally surrounded Washington. Our senators have assumed the habits of the Roman senate when a weakened Rome fell to the Vandals, who demanded an end to their enslavement by the wealthy citizens of Rome.

We no longer have to pay tribute to our corporate masters. We only have to pay attention to them and plan together to defeat them. The Roman senate took matters into their own hands when Caesar acquired too much power that they and the People of Rome had ceded to him. It remains to be seen whether there are senators brave enough to challenge the fascist Emperors who are increasingly recognized to have no clothes with which to hide their naked greed. 

As a Soldier For Peace I would never advocate violence against the fascist Puppetmasters of  Congress or their lackeys in the Senate. Instead, we can build a movement to overrule a fascist Supreme Court and pass a Constitutional amendment to abolish corporate personhood. Any senator foolish enough to oppose such an amendment has little chance of being re-elected by an awakened constituency. The People of the United States can seize the reins of their government  only by working together. All governments derive their just power to rule only through the consent of the governed. When corporate rule is ended we will truly establish a government of the People, by the People, and for the People.

There is currently a group of US senators that is considering a variety of Constitutional amendments. It is our job to convince them that they must completely abolish corporate personhood or risk suffering the political equivalent of Caesar’s fate. Donna Edwards took an honest stab at putting a Constitutional check on corporate power when she introduced a Constitutional amendment on the floor of the House on February 2, 2010. The amendment will not do what it proposes to do because it only gives Congress the power to regulate corporate contributions, a power that the Puppets in the senate will have no interest in exercising. 

What is worse, it implicitly recognizes the validity of the fascist doctrine of corporate personhood that until now has existed only in the deluded minds of the Five Stooges of the Supreme Court. These are the fascist plotters Roberts, Scalia, Alito, Thomas and Kennedy who ended all limits on corporate power to buy elections with their decision in Citizens United.

It is time that living American citizens become united to end fascism in America and the world. We must abandon the artificial distinctions imposed by a corporate media and corporate politicians and come together to end economic slavery in the United States by removing the lash of the slave owners seeking to make us peasants in a feudal New World Order. The move to amend the Constitution to abolish corporate personhood is perhaps the one issue that can unite the left and right in common cause.

America, this is only common sense. Now is the time for all good men and women to come to the aid of their country and the suffering Peoples of the world. The worldwide Revolution has already begun. Which side are you on?

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