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Health Care & Environment
11.20 Dead fish to power cruise ships [using dead fish to ultimately kill more fish, animals and plants but at a slower rate]
11.20 Indonesia: dead whale had 1,000 pieces of plastic in stomach [We have to stop killing everything!!!]
11.18 Air pollution levels ‘forcing families to move out of cities’ [like from desertification, lack of drinkable water and rising oceans, there will also be pollution-caused immigration until humans fix things]
11.17 Policies of China, Russia and Canada threaten 5C climate change, study finds [Climate catastrophe is increasingly likely without worldwide organization, funding and commitment to winning THE WAR AGAINST GLOBAL WARMING.]
11.16 How pesticide bans can prevent tens of thousands of suicides a year [how many thousands more die early from eating pesticide-laced food?]
11.15 The Earth is in a death spiral. It will take radical action to save us [fossil fuel burning, un-recyclable plastic production/use and methane gas release must cease ASAP.]
11.15 The long read: The plastic backlash: what's behind our sudden rage – and will it make a difference? [the world wants to throw-up...]
11.15 Claws out: crab fishermen sue 30 oil firms over climate change [workers are waking-up...]
News Media Matters
US Politics, Policy & 'Culture'
11.20 New York City subway and bus services have entered 'death spiral', experts say [death spirals are the end-thing nowadays]
11.19 Last Week Tonight with John Oliver 11/18/2018 (HBO) [29:26 video]
11.19 Trump Says He Was 'Fully Briefed' and Also 'Not Briefed Yet' But Either Way Saudi Crown Prince 'Absolutely' Not Involved Because Trump Knows 'Everything That Went On' Without Listening to Tape of Khashoggi Murder
11.19 'We Need New Leaders, Period': Progressive Newcomers Urge Democrats to Embrace Bold Agenda or Face Primary Challenges [Current Democrat leaders are highly compromised by corporate donations]
11.18 Trump says Pelosi deserves speakership, offers Republican votes [An affirmation of Pelosi's unsuitability]
11.18 Khanna to Pelosi: Don't Just Create Green New Deal Select Committee, Make Ocasio-Cortez Its Chair [Will Pelosi earnestly change, or end her career in disgrace?]
11.18 Chuck Schumer, Feckless Hack [Neoliberal Democrats must go!]
11.18 What the State of the VA Tells Us About Trump’s War on Welfare [Privatizing often results in outright fraud and higher costs by private prisons, privatized health insurance and health care, privatized public schools and online "colleges" like Trump University]
11.20 'He may not rewrite immigration laws': Trump's asylum ban blocked by federal judge [Has anyone thought about putting razor-wire around the White House?]
11.14 The Guardian view on Yemen’s misery: the west is complicit [WAR CRIMES]
Economics, Crony Capitalism
11.19 Bankrupt Sears wants to give executives $19 million in bonuses [blatantly immoral and sick to richly reward those who led the company into the bankruptcy]
11.18 Big Pharma Bankrolled Pro-Trump Group As Trump Pushed Pharma Tax Cut [Corruption Central!]
International & Futurism
11.18 France demands UK climate pledge in return for Brexit trade deal [Excellent!]
11.17 Thousands gather to block London bridges in climate rebellion [We're losing WWIII because the enemy is invisible while we're like frogs slowly cooking. We aren't informed enough to be alarmed, but must get organized and motivated to fight back. We need a War Plan to ruthlessly pursue the fight of our lives!]
"Over the Rainbow"
Wednesday, 20 May 2009
Today, international bankers are looting world economies with the aim of turning them into Guatemala - subjugated, unempowered, enslaved, and impoverished like in Orwell's classic dystopian novel - "Nineteen Eighty-Four."
This writer just completed a six-part series on Ellen Brown's remarkable 2007 book titled “Web of Debt.” This article follows from it by picking up on the theme she struck, using L. Frank Baum's "The Wonderful Wizard of Oz" as a combination parable, monetary allegory, and political manifesto for change at a time it's most needed.
Published in 1900 as an American fairytale, it became a popular staple, later made into the classic 1939 film staring Judy Garland, the 1975 award-winning Broadway musical, The Wiz, featuring the first-ever all-black cast, followed by a hit film on the stage production.
As Brown explained, who would have thought this "charming tale....was drawn from that most obscure and tedious of subjects, banking and finance," and (in the wrong hands) the chokehold they have on societies. Who understood that it was "all about people power, manifesting your dreams, (and) finding what you wanted in your own backyard." Who also could have imagined that "the real-life folk heros who inspired (Baum's) plot may have had the answer to" today's global economic crisis.
Brown began by quoting Hans Schicht in a 2005 editorial headlined "The Death of Banking and Macro Politics" in which he stated:
Schicht continued saying:
Today, international bankers are looting world economies with the aim of turning them into Guatemala - subjugated, unempowered, enslaved, and impoverished like in Orwell's classic dystopian novel - "Nineteen Eighty-Four." He warned that:
In "The Wonderful Wizard of Oz," Baum struck a different theme even though he claimed to have written it "solely to pleasure the children." Some scholars, however, see another purpose, allegorically portrayed in his characters:
Like the early 20th century Populists, Brown explained that "Dorothy and her troop discovered that they had the power to solve their own problems and achieve their own dreams." The Wizard of Oz embodies "the American dream (and) national spirit" potential to realize it.
At the end of Baum's tale, the Witches are exposed as crude fakes and vanquished. Hope springs eternal as a result. The Tin Man actually has a heart. The Cowardly Lion finds courage. The Tin Woodman is emboldened by a bimetallic tool, a gold ax with a silver blade, and the Scarecrow learns he's intelligent, not stupid. When the Wizard disappears in his hot air balloon, he becomes leader of Oz. The Tin Woodsman rules the West, representing the Populist dream of empowered farmers and workers, and the Lion protects smaller beasts in "a grand old forest."
Thereafter, farm interests achieved national prominence, industrialism moved West, and Bryan commanded only a number of lesser politicians, far short of his hoped for goal.
Baum had dark message as well. As Brown explained: "there are invisible puppeteers pulling the strings of the puppets we see on the stage, in a show that is largely illusion." The Federal Reserve and most central bankers rule world economies by controlling their money, their very lifeblood without which commerce can't function. As long as that continues, Wicked Witch power will prevail.
Baum's "Parable on Populism"
Like Bryan, Baum supported the Free Silver Movement, and like many others at the time distrusted Eastern bankers. As a result, writers like Henry Littlefield described his charming fairytale as a "Parable on Populism."
Born in 1856 in Syracuse, New York, Baum developed an early interest in theater, wrote plays, and in 1887 left for Aberdeen, South Dakota where he edited a local weekly until it failed in 1891. It was a time when Western farmers lived daily with the stark reality of dry, open plains and all the hardships they brought - drought, low prices, manipulated freight rates, and the terrible blizzards of 1886 - 87.
At this time, the Populist Party was founded - as an agrarian People's Party opposing gold, supporting free silver, and seeking government aid without success. As a result, the movement was a desperate attempt for empowerment by the ballot.
In 1891, Baum moved to Chicago where he associated with reform elements. He saw the fallout of the 1893 depression, sided with working class people, consistently voted Democrat, then later marched in "torch-like parades" for William Jennings Bryan in the 1896 election. Yet he wasn't a political activist despite his sympathies with populist causes.
Henry Littlefield believes that "the original Oz book conceals an unsuspected depth....(Although) a children's story, (it) delineated a Midwesterner's vibrant and ironic portrait of (America) as it entered the twentieth century," beset with serious flaws.
Besides writing "solely to pleasure children," Baum delivered a powerful populist allegory. Littlefield wrote:
Lyricist E Y (Yip) Harburg's Anthem of Hope - "Over the Rainbow" from The Wizard of Oz
His son called him "the man who put the rainbow in The Wizard of Oz." Born in New York in 1896, he became a successful electrical contractor, then went bankrupt after Wall Street's 1929 crash. Out of work, George Gershwin's brother Ira introduced him to musician Jay Gorney. In 1932, they wrote "Brother Can You Spare a Dime," an anthem reflecting the plight of the unemployed.
In 1970, Studs Terkel said this about it in his book, "Hard Times:"
In Hollywood, his memorable lyrics included issues of race and class in Finian's Rainbow, "Over the Rainbow" from "The Wizard of Oz," and the special meaning he imparted. He wrote it for Judy Garland, Dorothy in the film, who was about to take a journey, and it began with the working title: "I Want to Get on the Other Side of the Rainbow," then shortened to "Over the Rainbow." It began:
It's about Dorothy taking a journey, wanting to get out and go somewhere. In Kansas, the rainbow was the only color she saw. She wanted to get "over the rainbow (where) skies are blue And the dreams that you dare to dream Really do come true." It continues:
Harburg's son Ernie wrote his biography titled: "Who Put the Rainbow in The Wizard of Oz." Interviewed on Democracy Now, he called the film (and song) an "American artwork because the story, the plot with three characters, the brain, the heart, the courage, and finding a home is a universal story for everybody."
In 1947, the House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC) began investigating Hollywood's motion picture industry for suspected communist sympathizers. "Friendly witnesses" came forward and named 19 people accused of having leftist views. Of those, 10 refused to testify and became known as the "Hollywood Ten," among them authors Ring Lardner Jr. and Dalton Trumbo, noted for his powerful 1938 anti-war novel, "Johnny Got His Gun."
In all, hundreds of actors, directors, producers, screenwriters, musicians, songwriters, and other artists were blacklisted and denied employment for their progressive political beliefs. In 1951, Harburg was one of them. His son called it horrible seeing friends suddenly with no income. There were divorces, ruined lives, suicides, and in some cases people left the country.
Figures like Screen Actors Guild president, Ronald Reagan, and Walt Disney told the HUAC that communists threatened the film industry based on hearsay and the tenor of the times - McCarthyism, coined in 1950 for the demagogic senator, infamous for his politically-motivated witch-hunts until his own his own excesses brought him down.
Once blacklisted, Harburg returned to New York, found work on Broadway, then went back to Hollywood in 1962. In 1981, he passed away at age 84, and in 2005, the US Postal Service honored him with a commemorative stamp. It's taken from Barbara Bordnick's 1978 photographic portrait along with a rainbow and lyric from "Over the Rainbow" - where "dreams that you dare to Dream really do come true."
Also visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com and listen to The Global Research News Hour on RepublicBroadcasting.org Mondays from 11AM to 1PM US Central time for cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on world and national topics. All programs are archived for easy listening.
Mr. Lendman's stories are republished in the Baltimore Chronicle with permission of the author.
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Baltimore News Network, Inc., sponsor of this web site, is a nonprofit organization and does not make political endorsements. The opinions expressed in stories posted on this web site are the authors' own.This story was published on May 20, 2009.
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