by Michael K. Smith
The recent flap over Rush Limbaugh's "slut" remarks once again featured a boycott movement designed to remove an ignorant blowhard from the public air waves, as though punishment of objectionable speech were the proper response to grotesque (election year) propaganda. But if objectionable speech is to be banned rather than debated, why all the liberal fuss when Phil Donahue was removed from the air for opposing the 2003 Iraq invasion? Aren't advertisers entitled to be offended at comments that aid and abet a brutal dictator's continued reign (Saddam Hussein)? Or do liberals have a monopoly on speech codes?
The alleged necessity for Limbaugh's removal is all the damage to "women and girls" from his obnoxious sexist slander. Aside from the principled issue of freedom for the speech that we hate, without which free speech is a fraud and a sham, there is the obvious fact that taking a misogynist off the air has never been demonstrated to do anything to eliminate the relentless sexist imagery and commentary constantly spilling forth from the corporate mass media. Anyone who doubts this need only count the number of female crotch shots we are regularly subjected to in the visual media, not to mention the standard media assumption that women's value resides exclusively in their sexual attractiveness and willingness to go to bed with men. Limbaugh called someone a slut? Big deal. The corporate mass media constantly characterizes all women as secretly desiring to be sluts.
Furthermore, in terms of sheer destruction, "free trade" enthusiasts do far more damage to women and girls than all of Limbaugh's broadcasts put together. These champions of private profiteering at public expense classify the immense labor of mothering children as nothing more than a private hobby, by definition entitled to no public support, while the male-dominated war industry is rewarded with gargantuan public subsidies on the ridiculous pretext that making war enhances the general welfare. Concerned about damage to women and girls? Then ban capitalism.
But we can't even ban capitalism in medicine, which is a pre-requisite to public health, and which every other industrialized country besides the United States realized decades ago. Debate over Obama care (the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act) centers on the governmental tyranny involved in forcing Americans to purchase medical insurance. Meanwhile, of the private tyranny of Health Mafia Organizations that price-gouge the middle class and leave the diseases and injuries associated with poverty largely undiagnosed and untreated, not much is said, and even less done. The message is clear: Profit is sacred, and American lives, expendable. Oh happy day, change is here at last.
The whole Obama care discussion now before the Supreme Court strikes one as a pilot project to develop a Comedy Central show, perhaps to be called, "Three Stooges Squared" (Three squared equals nine; there are nine justices on the Supreme Court - ed.) Allegedly the seat of nearly divine wisdom, the Court long upheld the view that blacks were only three-fifths human, as stated in the U.S. Constitution, and more recently has insisted that the private corporation, a legal abstraction, is more human than biological men and women when it comes to human rights. So incorporate yourself and drive in the carpool lane, since a driver and his founding corporate documents constitute two people under the law.
The "conservatives" on the Court (reactionary jingoists - ed.) are concerned that if Obama care can mandate that Americans purchase medical insurance it may lead to unlimited federal authority and the extinction of personal liberty. During oral arguments Justice Antonin Scalia asked in apparent seriousness what would prevent the federal government from requiring all Americans to buy broccoli.
Naturally, there is no discussion of Constitutional over-reach when it comes to Obama's presumed authority to assassinate Americans with no recourse to due process of law, which Attorney General Eric Holder insists is a presidential prerogative, as long as the president designates his targets as "terrorists" before he kills them, an infinitely elastic category if there ever was one.
In fact, personal liberty is held hostage to corporate power and Israel fanatics in every dimension of contemporary American life, and the problem is not government over-reach, but government abdication of its Constitutional responsibility to promote the general welfare, which only once in a blue moon can be expected to coincide with the profit needs of the planet-spanning conglomerates that virtually own the government, and never with Jewish supremacist politics.
Instead of pointlessly debating a mandate to make Americans buy crappy insurance, the government should simply extend the socialized medicine it gives to every member of Congress to all American citizens. Note that the government doesn't badger Congress members to spend their food money purchasing second rate medical insurance, but rather, extends them high quality socialist care as a permanent entitlement, alongside a more than adequate salary. If this is right for government officials, why isn't it right for the American people?