Saturday, December 18, 2010

Ketchup As A Vegtable! A Response To Another Beck Diatribe

Note to Readers: My responses to Glenn Beck have gotten loads of hits. So, at risk of pulling my hair out with anger, I have done another. In this one, I focus on how Beck's rants in many cases consist of logic akin to Reagen calling a Ketchup a vegetable.

1. Big Government?

The number one problem in the U.S. is not “Big Government.” The U.S. infant mortality rate and life expectancy are far behind those of Western Europe, Canada, etc. All of those countries have a much larger degree of state intervention into the economy. There is of course “Big Government” in terms of the military spending, the prison industrial complex, and the growing police state apparatus. But in the economic sector, the U.S. has the most naked, free market system in the industrialized world. The problems we are experiencing, much more so than western Europe in term of unemployment, home foreclosures, etc. hardly point toward "Big Government" as being our problem, at least in the financial sector.

2. Out of control spending?

Just what spending does Beck oppose? Does he advocate shutting down the military industrial complex? Does he advocate legalizing drugs and ending the millions spent on incarceration? If not, any talk of spending is outrageous.

Social spending, which Beck opposes so militantly is less than 10% of the government budget. Note that earlier in the broadcast he claims plans to cut the military spending, the biggest chunk of the budget, are "starving the troops."

He clearly has a political agenda other than "debt."

3. Net Neutrality & Revolution

Net Neutrality is advocated by all kinds of people, not just Marxists and Radicals. It has been the policy of the internet since it was created, never questioned until recently, making Beck the "radical" advocating "sweeping change" in opposing it, not its supporters.

Net Neutrality is simply the assurance that all websites on the internet are accessible to all internet users. It prevents private internet providers from determining which websites their clients may or may not use.

4. “They Are Revolutionaries…”

No figures in the Obama administration are open Marxists or advocates of revolution. Van Jones was removed because Glenn Beck dug up that in college he had advocated such a thing, but has never done so since. Shirley Sherrod was fired for a speech she made that was taken out of context.

Obama himself ran for the U.S. Senate, opposing his Democratic Primary Opponent from the Right. Obama's theme has been "bipartisanship" and "cooperation" with the right-wing. Obama has denounced protests, and repeatedly ignored the demands of the left, even within his own party, at every opportunity.

Rahm Emmanuel, a leading figure in the Obama administration, denounced anyone who criticized Obama's weak healthcare plan as "F---ing Retards." This is what the Obama administration thinks of the radical left and revolutionaries. The attitude is hardly one of endearment.

5. Take Over Healthcare, They’ve Done It

No public option for health insurance was created. No seizing of hospitals was carried out either. The hospitals, drug companies, etc. are all still as private as ever. In 2014, we will all be required by law to buy products from these private corporations. The public option was rejected, even though it was merely an introduction of an insurance plan to compete with private ones.

No government control of healthcare has been enacted. No change to healthcare has happened at all, for the most part. The Healthcare "Reform" has strengthened private ownership of healthcare, not weakened it. No government takeover has occurred. No improvements have been made.

6. Take Over Finance, They’ve Done It

No! The banks still remain private, with state money flowing into their hands to ensure that they remain profitable for their private owners. A regulation commission has been formed, staffed by bankers! The banks have been protected, not taken over, seized, or even regulated. Even in instances where the banks have had their stock purchased by the government it is “non-voting stock” or “conservator-ship” making it merely a nationalization of the debts, with no government control or access to profits.

The state has no control of any financial institutions. Even the federal reserve is a private corporation, with no public accountability, staffed and controlled by private bankers.

Where is the government takeover? If anything the private domination of monopolies has merely been cemented.

The private economy is as private as ever. Yet, Beck thinks it is completely socialized. Ketchup is a Vegetable!

7. Control Food Prices

Beck is right that food prices are being manipulated by state intervention. This, again, is ruthless service to the capitalists by the government. Food should naturally be lowering in cost due to unemployment and natural "deflation. In order to prevent that and save the food selling capitalist enterprises, the government has subsidized the corporations in order to keep prices high, making up for their missed profits.

The government is ensuring that the capitalist enterprises don’t lose their profits by keeping prices high. This is not Socialism, this is keeping prices high in food, in effect starving people, to save capitalism.

8. Van Jones Advocates “Using Race To Take Over the Media…”
– The speech Van Jones is quoted from is an apology for Obama. Van Jones is an apologist for Obama and the Democrats. He is arguing that the “hope and change” Obama promised is being undermined by the right-wing media. He is using Beck and his ilk as a scapegoat for Obama’s failures, not calling for government control of information.

9. AFSCME & Weather Underground
– Students for A Democratic Society was formed in the early 1960s as a youth affiliate of the League for Industrial Democracy. It barred Communists from membership and was closely affiliated with the Socialist Party, Norman Thomas, and Michael Harrington. Walter Reuther of the UAW also had affiliation with the group. The Weather Underground emerged in 1968 as the “Revolutionary Youth Movement” a faction of Maoists who took over the organization, and radicalism replaced the ideology of the original organization.

Figures such as Paul Booth, Todd Gitlin, and others have denounced the SDS that the Weather Underground emerged from as a distortion of the original organization, intended only as a social-democratic reformist group. Figures like Andy Stern and Gerald McEntee have nothing in common with the Weather Underground, and are moderate Social-Democrats at the most, not Communist Revolutionaries.

10. Rules for Radicals “Dedicated to Lucifer”
– Beck is misleading here. The book is not dedicated to “Satan” out of Anti-Christianity, but rather as a tongue in cheek joke about rebellion and “fallen angels.” Alinsky was himself Jewish, and it should be noted that the Jewish tradition “Satan” is an ally of God who tests the loyalty of believers, such as described in the Biblical Book of Job.

11. Jim Wallis “An Admitted Radical” – Jim Wallis is the author of the “God's Politics: Why the Rights is Wrong and the Left Doesn't Get It.” His work has been largely dedicated to attempting to establish a base for liberal politics among Christians. He considers abortion to be immoral, but does not favor outlawing it, for example. He is largely an attempt by the democratic party to react to the strength of Christian Fundamentalism and its links to the Republican Party.

12. George Soros & Socialism
– All the instances described in Beck’s diatribe as the methods Soros uses to overthrow regimes have been used AGAINST THE LEFT. The “Orange Revolution”, the “Velvet Revolution”, the overthrow of Milosevic in Serbia, all were Anti-Communist interventions by the CIA and Western Capitalism against revolutionary and socialist leaders.

Soros has been a key agent of western capitalism in Europe against socialism. How does this mean he is a socialist? The methods used by Soros, in conjunction with the CIA, are currently being used against Hugo Chavez in Venezuela, and Lukaschenko in Belarus. Soros has better Anti-Communist credentials than Ronald Reagen. Beck somehow thinks that the overthrow of Serbia, the last socialist state of former Yugoslavia was plotted by Communists?

It is disgusting that he can take advantage of popular ignorance in such a manner, and come out with such a bizarre distortion.


Beck’s logic is outside of reality. In his mind all of Students for a Democratic Society, even in its early days as a social-democratic reformist group that barred all Communists, shares the ideology of the Weather Underground, and all members of the group still hold that ideology. In Beck's mind, the CIA tool and extreme Anti-Communist George Soros is secretly a Communist, using his anti-Communist regime change tactics to support a Communist revolution in the U.S.

Furthermore, the government sponsoring private corporations at the peoples expense, be they in food, banking, or industry is somehow a government takeover rather than a handout to private owners.

In addition, protecting equal access to internet information is “suppressing free speech.”

In Beck’s mind Left is Right, Up is Down, and reality never enters into the discussion.
Beck classically uses truths, especially relatively unknown truths, and distorts them for his own ends.

If people knew that the CIA was overthrowing governments in Eastern Europe, they would know they were doing it AGAINST THE LEFT.

If people knew what was really in the healthcare bill, they would know it was not “socialized medicine” but a handout to the corporations.

Mr. Beck hopes to make sure that only distorted viewpoints like his can be heard, by convincing people that the internet, a forum to expose his lies, is controlled by people like his sponsors, allowing them to determine what sites we can view.

He does this, of course, in the name of defending “freedom of information”, from the “big government” that would mandate equal access to different websites, infringing on the “rights” of private companies to censor what we see and hear.

When a person is so far from reality, it makes debate with them very difficult. Beck's poison of the political discourse is designed to speak a certain sector of U.S. society who will respond to all contrary information as "Communist Propaganda." It is designed to make right-wing know-nothings believe they are revolutionary.

His recent calls for members of the military to disobey their orders fit right in with this, frighteningly.

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