Wednesday, December 13, 2006


The first thing I hear on CNN this morning as part of the question whether we have enough troops to increase the numbers on the ground in Iraq, is that there are 400,000 troops IN THE U.S.

I don't know about you, but that doesn't sound very kosher to me.  Why does our government need to station 400,000 troops in its own country?

Is it to deter Americans from camping out in Washington until the government goes, as patriots in other countries around the world have done recently?

Add to this the fact that when Cindy Sheehan and Medea Benjamin tried to take a petition to the Pentagon THEY WERE ARRESTED, Cindy Sheehan being dragged across the ground, and you really do have to wonder.

All this is what Thom Hartman calls the undeclared war on the middle class, in his important new book: "Screwed".

"Screwed" is an excellent primer for anyone who skipped US history in school  - or whose high school program didn't include it.  It rehabilitates the progressive movement, buried by McCarthy. It resuscitates Franklin Roosevelt's New Deal from the "dustbin of history" and explains why we need trade unions and single payer health care, among other things.

Hartman astutely avoids using the expression "the people", which has been associated with socialism and communism.  He uses "We the people" throughout his book, associating it with the "middle class".

Now "We the people" is actually being taken up by sanitized pundits.  I heard a few of them even pronounce the words "working class".

If this continues, even the expression "mob rule" may finally be exposed for what it is: a disincentive for respectable members of the American poor and disenfranchised, in other words "the people", to take to the streets, as thousands have done elsewhere.  Until Americans can do that, they will, no doubt continue to be screwed.

Which is probably why there are 400,000 US troops stationed here at home.

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