Friday, September 25, 2020

Corporate Media Elected Trump And Apparently Intend For Him To Stay In Office No Matter What Happens Nov 3


I used to write this blog to keep my head from exploding over current events and I have really missed it while running for the US Senate in Maine under ranked choice voting.

Running for federal office is a bully pulpit but also constrains the topics one speaks out about if the intent is to stay on message and reach prospective voters.

So, this is off topic for my campaign. But as a participant in this quasi-democracy I would be remiss not to point out that:

  • Corporate media elevated the current occupant of the White House to prominence and eventually to the highest office in the land by featuring his not-very-attractive face on every outlet they controlled i.e. nearly all of the outlets for several months before election day 2016.


How much is all that free media Donald Trump gets worth? We think we know.
  • This was hardly limited to conservative publications. Even allegedly liberal publications like the New Yorker contained a glut of articles, cover stories, jokes, references and so forth to keep his name constantly in our minds and on our lips. 
  • They are doing it again now in the run-up to election day 2020 but are promoting an even more dangerous idea: that the election does not matter and that he will retain power whether or not it is the will of voters.
  • Since this idea is being universally shared and amplified over corporate media outlets, it's clear that this outcome is desirable to our corporate overlords.
  • The power of propaganda is not so much telling people what to believe, but rather telling people what and what not to pay attention to. As in relentless messaging directing information consumers to "look at this" while pretending that other information is not worthy of being acknowledged.
As I've noted here before, when I was a young history major in the mid 20th century THE essential question was: How could the German people have allowed fascists to take over their government and commit genocide on 6 million mostly Jewish people?

I think we all understand now how fascism, that is, a system where commercial interests entirely control government to their benefit, has taken hold in the USA. We've watched it happen. Some of us have spoken out about it. 
But children still suffer in concentration camps our taxes fund, and white supremacist police are constantly stoking the fires of an incipient civil war -- while the media shore up the mad emperor as Rome burns.

Wednesday, June 24, 2020

Lots Happening On The Lisa For Maine Campaign! #BlackLivesMatter

Dear Friends,
This week has been a busy one as our campaign continues to use social distancing in creative ways to get the word out. Dud Hendrick, Meredith Bruskin and Bruce Gagnon are seen here bannering in Belfast yesterday where they were also interviewed by a reporter for the local paper, Village Soup. It was the 3rd day in a row bannering as a group that also included Rob Shetterly, Starr Gilmartin, Connie Jenkins, Frank Donnelly, and Russell Wray at various times in Ellsworth and Bangor. Big thanks to all these dedicated volunteers!

Meanwhile, I went down to Bath Iron Works early on Monday and Tuesday morning to support the strike called by 87% of members in Machinists S6, the biggest union at BIW. Mark and I hung a large banner on the side of our van and did drive by support of picket lines at both the north and south gates. I livestreamed on Facebook as Mark slowly drove and workers responded with enthusiasm to support expressed from all over the country in the comments on the livestream (now saved as recorded videos here and here).

To undermine the union, BIW has been bringing in non-union laborers as contractors to avoid paying its Maine workers fairly. BIW kept $45 million in state taxes deducted from workers' paychecks under a law we lobbied against in the Maine legislature. Owner General Dynamics can well afford to give the skilled and trained workers at BIW fair compensation, and we continue to call for conversion to a demilitarized Green New Deal building things we need far more than war ships and that economists say would create thousands of additional jobs (see my op-ed in the Bangor Daily News about that here).

Also, please enjoy our new campaign song "Lisa for Mainers" composed by endorser Tom Neilson and performed by Tom and Lynn Waldron in this video on the LfM YouTube channel. 

Our wonderful endorsers are urging support for our campaign within their own networks, including Kathy Kelly at Voices for Creative Nonviolence plus Margaret Flowers, MD who has offered to do a health care educational event with us! I am so grateful for everyone's support. If you haven't signed on as an endorser or asked your networks to consider doing so, you can find the tools to do that here on our website.

Stay tuned for our statement today on the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act before the House of Representatives, which is a good start but does not go nearly far enough. Defunding police to allocate resources known to reduce crime in our communities is a must, as is addressing the need for reparations to the descendants of enslaved Africans. Supporting the demand of Black Lives Matter to dismantle systems of oppression will be a major focus this summer as young people especially have vowed to not give up until their demands are met!

Big props to LfM Volunteer Coordinator Kelly Merrill, also a photojournalist par excellence, who has been covering BLM actions around the state during June.

Be well out there!

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