mm128: Attack of the Wal-Mart-istas? – News For Real

September 4, 2007

MUDGE’S Musings

I remain in a perpetual state of astonishment at the depth and breadth of simply fascinating commentary one finds on the web.

Here’s a wonderful entry from a newer member of the blogroll:

newsforreal

Maybe I stayed in the news business for too long after my radiation badge turned red. Maybe I’m suffering from Post-traumatic, Restless News Syndrome, or something. But I have this notion stuck in my head lately. It’s kind of like when I get an annoying tune stuck in my head, this notion pops up and up again, especially after I read the news.

Okay so, at the risk of exposing myself as the nut I have always secretly suspected I would someday be proven to be, here it is – my notion:

How long before before they get it? It can’t be far off. So when will day arrive when America’s once vibrant and hyper-patriotic working class wakes up and realizes they’re at the receiving end of one of the greatest screwings in human history?  And then,  rather than reaching for their car keys to rush off to their second low-paying job of the day, they reach instead for one of their many guns.”

Okay, this is Stephen Pizzo. He seems the real deal, an investigative journalist of the highest caliber, so to speak. We collected an earlier post of his last week, and just haven’t gotten around to working it. This one will do, however.

The man writes like I wish I could (WIWICWLT), and makes connections of disparate facts (purportedly a MUDGE specialty) that I’m frankly jealous of.

So, here’s his thesis:

US Most Armed Country With 90 Guns Per 100 People

A Sobering Census Report: Americans’ Meager Income Gains

Wealth gap widens

The U.S. today – an oligarchy with inequality growing worse

Fortress America
: Gated Communities in the United States
Brookings Institution: Americans are electing to live behind walls with active security mechanisms to prevent intrusion into their private domains

Okay, enough quoting (don’t want to violate any copyrights). Just read this, please:

[Per L-HC’s reformed process, please click the link below for the complete article — but then please come on back!]

News For Real

So, did you get to the punch-line?

Which brings me back to that first story.. the one about how many guns are out there. Who do you figure holds most of those privately owned firearms? I’d wager that 99.9% of them are owned by working stiffs. Ironic, isn’t it? For decades conservative politicians have stroked working class voters into a trance with Second Amendment chants. After all, they insinuated, when the commies came, who will fight them off? Well all those patriotic, semi-automatic toting Joe and Jane Sixpacks out there, of course.

I wonder if those right wingers might be having second thoughts about that strategy? After all, millions of those now-well armed Joe and Jane Sixpack are suddenly struggling with entirely non-commie-generated problems

Problems? A horrifyingly costly and increasingly pointless set of wars in the Middle East. Mortgage defaults. Credit cards maxxed out. Crumbling infrastructure that’s been killing people. Wal-Mart reporting to the investment analysts that “clearly our customers are running out of money…,”

And, Pizzo’s logical conclusion?

In the short term those walls and gates may keep the riffraff at a distance. But I doubt they’ll do much good when those millions of Wallmarters grab the guns they bought dirt-cheap at WallMart and turn into angry Walmartatistas.

Wow!

Pizzo’s thesis is closely reasoned. Impeccable quotations and statistics. Exaggeration? Maybe a little. But…

Is this person paranoid? Of course; but, shouldn’t we all be?

I’m simultaneously glad I found this story, and very disturbed also. Aren’t you?

It’s it for now. Thanks,

–MUDGE

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mm127: Sunni Rule Again in Iraq? – Early Warning

September 4, 2007

MUDGE’S Musings

The always dead-on military analyst, William Arkin of the Washington Post has this to say regarding George III’s sudden visit to Iraq on Monday.

arkinearlywarning
Posted at 08:17 AM ET, 09/ 4/2007

President Bush’s surprise eight-hour visit to Iraq yesterday will be read by many Iraqis, and by many others in the Islamic world, as part of a great conspiracy. The conspiracy’s goal? To create an American-Sunni alliance, restore the Sunni minority to power and suppress the Shiite majority.

No one doubts that the intended audience of Bush’s photo op was Congress and the American public. But, as has been typical of Washington’s initiatives in Iraq from Day One, perceptions of the visit — by the Iraqi people and by our potential adversaries — was ignored.

Interesting isn’t it how the president stayed out of Baghdad, in favor of a Sunni stronghold?

For weeks, the administration and the military have been pointing to Anbar as a success. Local Sunni tribal leaders have broken with al-Qaeda in Iraq, the argument goes, throwing in their lot with the United States. The U.S. has responded by arming and training Sunni militias and freelancers. Oh, if the rest of the country could just follow suit, the United States could leave a safe and stable country. (Put aside for a moment what happened to the Iraqi Army and police force in this process. At this point, the United States is clearly ready to accept progress from whatever quarter it can get it.)

So, the U.S. didn’t have a quarrel with all Sunnis, just the one? What an unsettling symbolic visit for anyone who cares about Iraq’s future as a democracy, and for long-term stability in the region. Read on:

[Per L-HC’s reformed process, please click the link below for the complete article — but then please come on back!]

Sunni Rule Again in Iraq? – Early Warning

And whether we civilians are thinking on it or not, the endgame seems to be war with Iran.

Anyone else find this disturbing?

It’s it for now. Thanks,

–MUDGE