In the old Soviet Union, people had “free” elections and were “free” to choose any Communist candidate that had been selected for the election. Most of the people of the Soviet Union understood well that their elections were shams.
Here in the United States, we also have “free” elections and the corporate media narrative is that you need to vote for one of the two candidates that have been selected for you, because if you go outside of that “choice”, the other terrible candidate that you do not want will win the election. You may not particularly like the candidate you plan to vote for, but that candidate is certainly the “lesser evil”. The corporate media has successfully spun that illusion so now many people do not even realize that there are choices outside of the Democrat/Republican duopoly that is strangling our election process.
So exactly how has the media created this illusion? Here are 2 examples:
Peoples’ Exhibit A:
In Maryland, there are 3 candidates that are on the ballot for the office of U.S. Senator. Logically, you would think that the televised debate to inform voters of all their choices that the televised debate of these candidates would therefore include all three candidates. Unfortunately, you would be wrong.
Only the candidates representing the Democrat/Republican duopoly were allowed to appear on stage, censoring the voice of Dr. Margaret Flowers, who is running on the Green Party ticket. This was done despite the fact that both of the candidates clearly said that Dr. Flowers should participate in the debate. (Notice how it was the corporate entities that dictated who appeared and who did not). The Republican candidate Kathy Szeliga, openly suggested that the third podium be opened for Dr. Flowers to participate, yet she was ignored. THIS IS KEY: what does this tell you of the real power structure here?
The YouTube video below will show Dr. Margaret Flowers boldly going on to the stage and challenging the censoring of her voice. (Things start getting interesting around 5:50) Once you have seen this video, what are your thoughts about how “free” our elections really are? Do you like the fact that the corporate media gets to make the decisions of who should be heard and who should not?
Additional information can be found on Dr. Flower’s FaceBook page:
After being ejected from the stage, Dr. Flowers issued a statement:
“We are fighting for our families, and our communities. I will not be silent about this rigged political process and this televised sham debate I was just excluded from.
Shame on Ralph Watkins of League of Women Voters, Andy Green of the Baltimore Sun, Jay Newman of WJZ-13 CBS Baltimore, Ann Cotten of The University of Baltimore, and thanks to Kathy Szeliga, all the brave voices that rose to speak up, and everyone sharing the word on social media.“
People should find it especially troubling that institutes of higher learning, the University Of Baltimore and the College of Public Affairs were engaged in the censorship of a candidate who was on the ballot, but outside of those selected for public consumption. What ethics, morals, and values are they teaching their students and our future leaders? As a student or a parent of a student attending the University of Maryland, I would be very concerned about the leadership of this institution. Should not the very purpose for the existence of the College of Public Affairs be to engage in uncensored free debate of ideas? How can they be a party to the limiting and censoring of ideas? As a student attending these schools, I would certainly be reevaluating my enrollment. This is a purposeful dumbing down of the curriculum and this school could eventually find itself losing its relevancy, much as the public distrust for the corporate media has been steadily and continuously eroding their relevancy.
Additionally, the reputation of the University was further damaged by the fact that the University of Baltimore refused to meet with Dr. Flowers and that it was the University Police that forcefully escorted Dr. Flowers from the debate.
This entire episode illuminates how “our” electoral process has been hijacked by corporate interests and others who serve those interests. The fact that the Maryland League of Women Voters were integrally involved in this silencing saddens the heart. Here is an organization that previously had tremendous integrity, but has over time been co-opted and now serves the power interests.
Peoples’ Exhibit B:
Remember those presidential debates? They only included Clinton and Trump, despite the fact there are two other candidates on the ballots in most states. Gary Johnson of the Libertarian Party and Jill Stein of the Green Party were not part of these debates. Who was it that excluded them?
They were excluded by the Commission on Presidential Debates. So who exactly is this Commission on Presidential Debates?
Most people would be surprised to learn that the Commission on Presidential Debates (CPD) is a private corporation. It is under the joint sponsorship of both the Democratic and Republican political parties in the United States. The Commission’s debates are sponsored by private contributions from foundations and corporations. It becomes easy to understand why such a corporation would want to exclude candidates from other political parties that would question the existing power structure.
With the CPD being privately funded by big money, just whose interests do you believe that the CPD represents? If they were to allow outside political parties to participate in the debates, the illusion that they have spun through their mouthpieces in the corporate media would begin to unravel. People would realize that there are other choices beyond the “lesser evil”.
The sad part is that most people I talk to have not even heard of Gary Johnson or Jill Stein. Despite the fact that Trump and Clinton are the most unpopular candidates in recent history, the campaigns of Johnson and Stein do not get any traction in the corporate media. So exactly how has the corporate media provided the people with unbiased and neutral information?
When was the last time the corporate media news presented you with a contrast and comparison of the candidates’ positions on the issues? When was the last time the corporate media presented you with the voting records of all the candidates on specific issues? When was the last time the corporate media presented you with information on who contributed to the candidates? Corporations and big money do not want you knowing this information about their hired and paid for servants. What we have received from the corporate media is mud slinging, scandals, and basically a horse race mentality of who is ahead and who is behind in corporate run polls. A substantive discussion of the key issues affecting the nation and the planet has been missing. It is the corporate media that is limiting your information and choices, and yet most people still unquestioningly accept the “lesser evil” paradigm constantly repeated by these self-serving entities.
When you look how the how the Supreme Court essentially legalized government corruption through its infamous Citizens United ruling, when you see how big money has flooded the electoral process, when you witness the forceful ejection of a candidate by corporate interests from a televised debate, when you see big money and corporations essentially bidding for government favors, it becomes apparent that we have a corporate state with a government that services its needs.
The corporate media is used as a tool to make sure that the current power structure stays in place. Just look at the revelations by WikiLeaks, (an alternative media site) on how the corporate media was used to favor establishment candidates during the primary elections. Isn’t it interesting that these WikiLeaks documents also did not get much corporate media attention? People are forced to go to alternative media to obtain this information. These leaks will most certainly be used by historians to write about this corrupt 2016 election.
The fact that the corporate media excluded candidates on the ballot from the televised debates should not surprise anyone as it would have disrupted the illusion of having only two choices in the election. As we saw in the debates, the power resided not with the political candidates, but with the corporate interests. What would you expect from such a media when you have a Green Party that accepts no corporate donations.
It is time to break out of the illusion that has been spun by the corporate interests. Take a good hard look at the platforms of Gary Johnson and Jill Stein. You may just find that they represent the values, ethics, and morals that you really believe in. Take a look at the platforms of other candidates further down on the ballot. Do not allow yourself to fall for the “lesser evil” paradigm that has been repeated over and over again. The Democrat/Republican parties are all part of the same Money Party. As long as we keep rewarding them with our votes, what incentive is there for them to change?
In case anyone reading this still thinks their elected officials are representing them, what do you think would happen if you and a lobbyist were waiting to see your elected representative, who would be seen first?
You can expect that the corporate media will keep repeating the refrain that you are throwing your vote away if you vote outside of the duopoly. But try to explain to yourself how you are not throwing your vote away by voting for someone you do not want? Look where generations of voting for the “lesser evil” has brought us.
So I leave you with this parting thought: exactly just how is our electoral system different from that in the old Soviet Union? Both the USSR and the US preselect the candidates offered to the masses and suppress those outside of the power structure.
There is an old saying: “as long as you keep doin’ what you are doin’, you will keep gettin’ what you are gettin’ ”. It is time to End The Illusion.
After a long absence, I have returned to blogging. I believe that this article is probably not what regular visitors to this site would expect to find, but it is a story I wished to have told. You can double-click on any of the images to see the full size version.
I recently surfed the Internet and decided to look up a Jersey Shore motorcycle club called the “Highwaymen”. The reason for this, was that I was a member of that club during the late 60’s and early 70’s and I just wanted to see what posterity would have to say about this organization. I also want to add at this time, that the Highwaymen from the Jersey Shore were not affiliated with other clubs with the Highwaymen name across the nation.
To my dismay, after spending much time searching, there was absolutely nothing about them anywhere on the Internet. It was as if this group, which at that time was such an important part of my life had never existed. While the “footprint” of the group was local, and not as wide as the larger clubs, I feel that to have this memory erased from history would be a loss. Since this group was not written about, there was no record, it stood to reason that this memory would therefore be lost to time. I am sure that there are many people from the shore area that would remember The Highwaymen from many Long Branch and other shore area bars, the social scene, the protests, and from the Windmill on Ocean Ave where we would often assemble before our rides. So I am writing this one article just so the memory is preserved and so that some our interactions with the people of the shore area as well as the other motorcycle clubs of that time are documented.
The Highwaymen started sometime around 1967 with a group of motorcycle riders mostly based in the shore town of Long Branch, New Jersey. I joined the club in mid 1968. Our numbers varied from a low of 6 members to a high of 23. We were a club that liked to ride a lot and we often had runs (rides) to some beautiful sites in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maryland and other surrounding areas where we would often party and camp overnight. (Yes, New Jersey does have some great sites as well as plenty of wonderful camp grounds.) Our parties were always a good time and since we often stayed overnight on our runs, we did not have to worry about getting too wasted. Of course, the cops at that time were much more relaxed about these sort of things than they are now.
This is one of oldest pictures I have of a Highwayman party. This was when our patch was a crown, not the highwayman in flames that replaced it. The older members of the club later placed these patches on the front of their colors and were known as ‘crown members”.
You may notice the amplifier being used for the music is a vacuum tube amplifier (old). We had rented this house out as a temporary club house in Allenhurst, but I guess the landlord didn’t like parties as much as we did and we ultimately had to leave. However, it did serve its purpose for one very cold winter.
One of our favorite locations of the runs we used to take was to visit the Delaware Water Gap on the Pennsylvania-New Jersey border in the northern part of NJ. We found a a farmer’s field right next to small river that during certain times of the year was basically unattended. Here we could camp out, party, and go swimming during hot days. (OK, I admit we were probably trespassing, but I can write about it now because the statute of limitations has probably kicked in almost 4 decades later).
This wonderful location was within easy driving distance to the most scenic areas, best bars and good food places. The main reason I am mentioning this area is because we did not take many group shots or even photos of our activities, and the best pictures I have are from these runs. The image to the left was the very first ride we took to this location when a small group of us were exploring the area. From left to right: Patty, Crash, Rudy, Momo, Spider, Joline, Gypsy, Patty, and kneeling Spike, Mary. The spot was so perfect we resolved to bring others the next time we came.
We had 3 presidents during the life of the club, Gypsy, Bear, and Zee. The picture to the left is Bear, just before he was shipped off by the army. He left for his home in North Carolina before he was finally shipped off to Europe. He was sadly missed and unfortunately never returned after leaving. I actually ended up buying his bike which he is riding in this picture. The military draft played a large role in the changing membership of the club. We lost people to the draft, many returned after serving, and we also had several members in the club from the military who were based in Fort Monmouth. Some of the Ft. Monmouth members I recall included Bitch from Iowa, TC from Missouri, and Satch from Pennsylvania. When Satch left the military and returned to Pennsylvania, he briefly started a chapter of the Highwaymen in West PA.
The next ride we took to “our spot” by the Delaware Water Gap took place about 1 year later. It was a fantastic ride and with a great time swimming, drinking, and just carrying on. In the picture on the left, from left to right: Momo, Rudy, Rasa, Stiff, Crush (with helmet), Spook, Gypsy, Skrinky, Babo, Evil, Muskie and Yank. Yank was drying his underpants on his head so he did not have to wear wet underwear. The picture to the right from left to right: Stiff, Spook, Gypsy, Muskie, Skrinky (with hat), Yank (lying down), Evil, Zee, and Rudy.
As a club we had contact with other clubs in the area including Branded MC, Breed MC, and Pagans MC. We considered Branded MC to be our “sister club” and we had many great parties with them and great meetups at some bars in Atlantic Highlands. The picture to the left is the only picture we have of them and we were meeting to go on a joint run to the Cape May area. We also attended many parties with the Breed MC in Jackson Township, and once in Staten Island. The Highwaymen MC also partied with the South Jersey chapter of the Pagans MC.
We had many of our own great parties and the picture on the right is from one of them. I believe that this was a New Years Eve party. The house location of this was practically right on the beach and the site of other good parties. We had a live band playing that night. We actually had a college fraternity party going on next door, and many of its attendees left that party and ended up at our party. From left to right: Spike, Fast Eddie, Gypsy, Rudy.
In order to maintain good relations with the locals, as a club we decided that it would be good public relations if we helped the township with its new efforts at recycling. This was one of the first recycling efforts in NJ and our efforts provided the labor needed to keep it running. Once a week we would help in the effort and it was successful at reducing any animosity the local police had towards us.
Upon reflection, I take pleasure in the fact that we helped to launch the recycling movement that would eventually be adopted by most municipalities across the country. Our efforts were recognized by 2 local newspapers, and we were guests of honor at a symposium held at Monmouth College.
After approximately 4-1/2 years in existence, in December 1971 the club decided to disband. We met on a cold night on a deserted beach in Long Branch, and all records, secretary’s notes, logs, rockers, and patches were burned in a bonfire and we had a few final drinks together as a club. Those who were current members in the club kept their colors. It was sad, but it was the right thing to do and it was the right time to do it. I did find it ironic that the police showed up to this final “meeting” and actually wrote down our information for their records, — on the same night that we were disbanding. Over time, many of the former members stayed in the Jersey Shore area, but most left for other areas or states.
As a final postscript: in Spring 2012, several of the members had an informal reunion 4 decades after the club had disbanded. We met at the Brighton Bar in Long Branch, one of our old hangouts which is still is business. It was nice to get together with the brothers we once rode and partied with. From left to right: Yank, Zee, Spook, Skrinky, Woody, and Rudy.
You can click on any image to see it full size.
So there it is. This small group of fun loving riders from the Jersey Shore now have a written record so they will not be forgotten forever, and can be a footnote for the Long Branch Historical Society.
If anyone has additional photos or stories they want to share, please contact me by filling out the form below, your email will never be shared with any outside people or groups:
Often you watch TV and some politician or talking head starts spouting on some subject as if they are an expert in that field. It is easy to be taken in unless you are knowledgeable in that subject. This video is on a subject that affects everyone and after watching it, you will be able to spot a clueless politician or talking head.
The key reason that communities are struggling is the huge burden of interest payments that are flowing to the big banks. Think about this, if you buy a home for say $100,000 dollars, typically you will have paid $250,000 once the loan is paid off. This means the typical loan will incur $150,000 in interest charges.
The same concept applies when a community builds an infrastructure project such as school, road, bridge, sewer or other project. That $1 million dollar school could end up costing taxpayers in the community $2.5 million after interest charges.
So taxpayers are paying more to the financiers of the project than to those who supplied the materials and actually did the labor to build it. Are you OK with them acting as a middleman sucking prosperity from our communities? Any good business model dictates the efficiency of eliminating middlemen.
If we look at cities like Detroit and Philadelphia, hundreds of millions of dollars in interest payments and fees are leaving the city and flowing into the coffers of Wall St. This lost money impoverishes your community while Wall St gets bigger and richer than ever. The video below describes a solution to this problem.
People think that money is safe in the big banks because the FDIC will protect the deposits. This assumption is not based on the facts. This video will show official government documents that describe the plans for confiscating deposits when, (not if) a big bank fails. Individual, as well as public funds from municipal, university, county deposits are at serious risk. YOUR taxpayer money will disappear in the next crisis! Public officials in charge of taxpayer funds need to be aware of the dangers here. The loss of taxpayer funds and the inability to meet payrolls and obligations will certainly prompt a response that will both immediate and forceful.
This video will show how Cyprus was not a one-time event and how the Cyprus confiscation was planned well in advance and how M.F. Global was the blueprint for future confiscations and how a legal precedent was created when these losses were upheld by the legal system.
Ask your public official in charge of finance where they keep YOUR taxpayer money!
Ask them if they have researched the public banking option! Do not accept no for an answer, ask them why. If they say that you do not understand these things, tell them to explain it to you.
After all, this is your money that you worked so hard for, so don’t let the big gamblers from Wall Street use YOUR personal or taxpayer money to cover THEIR losses. These big bankers are money addicts, they have no appreciation of how much work went into making that money. They do not care about you or your money, all they care about is their addiction. Don’t let public officials continue to put your taxpayer money at risk with these gamblers, just because this is how it has been done in the past.