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You are here Editorials Bob Alexander The Persistence of Memory

The Persistence of Memory

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The Elite surround themselves with their peers, minions, and court jesters. Their minions are expendable, the jesters replaceable, and periodically they wage war against their peers. But … The Elite can always agree on this:

They never support anything that would thwart whatever it is they want to do. And they want what all gangsters have always wanted … more.

Yesterday I read the latest at the Brilliant at Breakfast Blog:

The rise and fall of prog-talk radio

She extensively quotes from a column at written by Peter B. Collins.

An Insider's View of the Progressive Talk Radio Devolution

The blogger and Peter B. got some of it right but most of it wrong.


The optimists say the glass is half full. Pessimists say the glass is half empty. I tend to think the glass is half empty and we’re all gonna die.

But I digress …

Our benign (so-far) Fascistic Overlords … benign domestically anyway unless you’re not white … don’t want Progressive Talk Radio. And so there will be no more Progressive Talk Radio. Back in the day Hitler’s, Mussolini’s, and Stalin’s thugs would have physically destroyed the radio stations and done something pretty horrible to the people who ran the stations. This was an effective visual aid for anyone who might have thought about getting into the anti-regime radio business. These days The Elite don’t “disappear” the folks who produce progressive radio to concentration camps or gulags. They just make them disappear from the radio.

You can’t find Mike Malloy, Thom Hartmann, or Stephanie Miller on KPTK in Seattle anymore. Not because their ratings were low but because The Elite won’t allow Progressive Talk Radio to exist in Seattle. Now Seattle has Three, count ‘em Three, sports radio stations and of course there’s always room for Conservative talking points radio.

CBS said they dumped KPTK’s format of Progressive Talk and embraced Sports talk because of low ratings. I say that’s a lie.

“What!!!???” sputters radio executives across the land clutching their pearls and Arbitron ratings books. “Are you saying the hard-wrought data laboriously collected by Arbitron drones aren’t nuggets of the purest gold?


Radio program ratings are estimates based upon a fiction.

Ancient oracles would slice open a bird and root around in the carcass for something to interpret the past, present, and future. If only the fine folks at Arbitron would adapt this more rigorous scientific methodology. Presently I don’t have the time or the will to dissect the mysterious inner workings of an Arbitron ratings book but trust me … it’s junk. The books are cooked. If we really lived in the reality as described by Arbitron, pocket watches would hang limply from the limbs of barren trees.

Progressive Talk is disappearing from the radio because that’s what happens when an open society is transforming itself to a closed society. Just ask Naomi Wolf. Her book, The End of America: Letter of Warning to a Young Patriot, clearly demonstrates this progression by comparing what’s been happening in the U.S. since George W. came into office with other countries that embraced fascism and totalitarianism.

She put together a Fascistic “To-Do” list from the playbook of Mussolini, Hitler, and Stalin.

Invoke an internal and external threat. Before 9-11 nobody had ever heard of al-Qaeda. Now they’re everywhere.

Establish Secret Prisons. Sherwood Ross reported in The Public Record, “Twenty-eight nations have cooperated with the U.S. to detain in their prisons, and sometimes to interrogate and torture, suspects arrested as part of the U.S. “War on Terror.”

Develop a paramilitary force. Blackwater changed their name to Xe Services and since nobody was really sure how to pronounce that they changed their name again to Academi. Academi is currently the largest of the U.S. State Department's three private security contractors.

Surveil ordinary citizens. We’ve been warantlessly wiretapped since before 9-11. That’s right. It turns out that seven months before 9-11 the Bush/Cheney regime instructed the NSA to force American telecommunications companies to spy illegally on Americans.

Infiltrate Citizens’ Groups. From the 2005 edition of Project Censored, “Law Enforcement Agencies Spy on Innocent Citizens.”

Arbitrarily detain and release citizens. This is just one of the many examples Wolf wrote about, “Jan Adams and Rebecca Gordon, American peace activists, tried to check in at the San Francisco airport for a trip to Boston in August 2002. Airport personnel who said that these middle-aged women were on the "master list" called the police and notified the FBI.”

Target key individuals. Bradley Manning and Julian Assange come readily to mind.

Subvert the Rule of Law. From the moment The Supreme Court handed the presidency to George W. Bush the hits just kept on happening. The current president claims he can kill anybody he wants to and the Attorney General of the United States says this extrajudicial process is legal. Some dimbulbs out there probably think extra-judicial is a good thing. Like Extra-Crispy.

Restrict the press. If a lap dog suddenly wants to act like a watchdog … it invariably becomes an unemployed dog. Just ask Dan Rather.

And this is the part of the playbook that pertains to the current state of Progressive Talk Radio. It’s not necessary to fire the guy on the soapbox. That’s too messy and public. If you own the soapbox … you just pull it from under him and give it to somebody else. Preferably to someone who has memorized sports statistics. And another avenue of information is gone.

The Brilliant at Breakfast blogger and Peter B. Collins are correct when they say the Democratic Leadership has never supported Progressive Radio. But why is that surprising? The democratic Party has morphed over the last three decades into The Democratic Party Inc. The oratory has gotten better, Obama’s speeches are breathtaking, but the policies are designed for The Elite. The horrors initiated by the Bush/Cheney regime are all still in place. Obama has refined some of them and made up a few of his own.

If you get all your information from the Nightly News you wouldn’t know anything about the chilling aspects of the National Defense Authorization Act Obama signed into law on New Year’s Eve 2011. As Chris Hedges wrote, “… This is, in essence, extraordinary rendition of U.S. citizens. It empowers the government to ship detainees to the jails of some of the most repressive regimes on earth.”

One by one the lights go out. Technology might make it possible for Progressive Talk to be accessible in other forms.

But for the rest of us driving down a dark road in the middle of the night with nothing but Sports Talk on the radio … we’ll hope we can find our way with only the Persistence of Memory. We will try to remember how things used to be, and hope that will be good enough to get us safely home.

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