The Joe Blow Report 2

Everything Is About Something Different

Posts Tagged ‘Democracy Now

“Democratic Womanism” by Alice Walker

leave a comment »

Alice Walker’s poem, Democratic Womanism” is reproduced here because it is appropriate and important for our times.  When she read it on Democracy Now it touched a nerve.

“Democratic Womanism”

You ask me why I smile
when you tell me you intend
in the coming national elections
to hold your nose
and vote for the lesser of two evils.
There are more than two evils out there,
is one reason I smile.
Another is that our old buddy Nostradamus
comes to mind, with his fearful
400 year old prophecy: that our world
and theirs too
(our “enemies” – lots of kids included there)
will end (by nuclear nakba or holocaust)
in our lifetime. Which makes the idea of elections
and the billions of dollars wasted on them
somewhat fatuous.
A Southerner of Color,
my people held the vote
very dear
while others, for centuries,
merely appeared to play
with it.
One thing I can assure
you of is this:
I will never betray such pure hearts
by voting for evil
even if it were microscopic
which, as you can see in any newscast
no matter the slant,
it is not.
I want something else;
a different system
entirely.
One not seen
on this earth
for thousands of years. If ever.
Democratic Womanism.
Notice how this word has “man” right in the middle of it?
That’s one reason I like it. He is right there, front and center. But he is surrounded.
I want to vote and work for a way of life
that honors the feminine;
a way that acknowledges
the theft of the wisdom
female and dark Mother leadership
might have provided our spaceship
all along.
I am not thinking
of a talking head
kind of gal:
happy to be mixing
it up
with the baddest
bad boys
on the planet
her eyes a slit
her mouth a zipper.
No, I am speaking of true
regime change.
Where women rise
to take their place
en masse
at the helm
of earth’s frail and failing ship;
where each thousand years
of our silence
is examined
with regret,
and the cruel manner in which our values
of compassion and kindness
have been ridiculed
and suppressed
brought to bear on the disaster
of the present time.
The past must be examined closely, I believe, before we can leave
it there.
I am thinking of Democratic, and, perhaps
Socialist, Womanism.
For who else knows so deeply
how to share but Mothers
and Grandmothers? Big sisters
and Aunts?
To love
and adore
both female and male?
Not to mention those in between.
To work at keeping
the entire community
fed, educated
and safe?
Democratic womanism,
Democratic Socialist
Womanism,
would have as its icons
such fierce warriors
for good as
Vandana Shiva
Aung San Suu Kyi,
Wangari Maathai
Harriet Tubman
Yoko Ono
Frida Kahlo
Angela Davis
& Barbara Lee:
With new ones always rising, wherever you look.

You are also on this list, but it is so long (Isis would appear midway) that I must stop or be unable to finish the poem! So just know I’ve stood you in a circle that includes Marian Wright Edelman, Amy Goodman, Sojourner Truth, Gloria Steinem and Mary McLeod Bethune. John Brown, Frederick Douglass, John Lennon and Howard Zinn are there. Happy to be surrounded!

There is no system
There is no system
now in place
that can change
the disastrous course
the Earth is on.
Who can doubt this?
The male leaders
of Earth
appear to have abandoned
their very senses
though most appear
to live now
entirely
in their heads.
They murder humans and other
animals
forests and rivers and mountains
every day
they are in office
and never seem
to notice it.
They eat and drink devastation.
Women of the world,
Women of the world,
Is this devastation Us?
Would we kill whole continents for oil
(or anything else)
rather than limit
the number of consumer offspring we produce
and learn how to make our own fire?
Democratic Womanism.
Democratic Socialist Womanism.
A system of governance
we can dream and imagine and build together. One that recognizes
at least six thousand years
of brutally enforced complicity
in the assassination
of Mother Earth, but foresees six thousand years
ahead of us when we will not submit.
What will we need? A hundred years
at least to plan: (five hundred will be handed us
gladly
when the planet is scared enough)
in which circles of women meet,
organize ourselves, and,
allied with men
brave enough to stand with women,
men brave enough to stand with women,
nurture our planet to a degree of health.
And without apology —-
(impossible to make
a bigger mess than has been made already) -—
devote ourselves, heedless of opposition,
to tirelessly serving and resuscitating Our Mother ship
and with gratitude
for Her care of us
worshipfully commit
to
rehabilitating it.


–Joe

Debt Crisis Flimflam

leave a comment »

Day before yesterday, actually Friday, July 22, 2011, I started out listening to Democracy Now. Halfway through the program I listened to an interview with economist Michael Hudson, Pushing Crisis: GOP Cries Wolf on Debt Ceiling in Order to Impose Radical Pro-Rich Agenda.

What caught my attention was this comment by Amy Goodman:

“Meanwhile, more details have emerged about the massive government bailout of the banking industry. On Thursday, the Government Accountability Office issued an audit of the Federal Reserve’s emergency lending programs. It revealed the Fed provided more than $16 trillion in secret loans to bail out American and foreign banks and businesses.”

This is money the Federal Reserve simply printed then used. If you ever wondered why the dollar doesn’t buy as much as it used to, well – there’s your answer. The more they print the less valuable the dollar becomes. Remember, this is printed money on top of all the other bailout money and wars.

Read the complete interview. He details exactly what is going on with the current “crisis,” the so-called debt war between President Obama and the Republicans – what Obama is REALLY doing and what America and the World can expect. Here’s a taste:

“What’s happening across the world is an attempt by the financial sector to really make its move and say this is their opportunity for a power grab. And they’re creating this artificial crisis as an opportunity to carve up the public domain and to give themselves enough money. They’re taking the money and running, because they know that unemployment is going up. The game is over. They know that. And the only question is, how much can they take, how fast?”

Later that morning is picked up the Times-Standard newspaper and read, this masterful piece of invective written by eight brilliant and undaunted people: Progress or protest? We need to work together to move forward.” Their solution for “working together” will take your breath away. The implementation of the flimflam betrayal Michael Hudson explains is demonstrated locally by these eight individual and their class warfare. Classic sheep in wolves clothing.

To conclude, that afternoon I listened to Barack Obama as he spoke to the White House Press Core as he tried to explain why the talks on the debt crisis broke down. Of course, he accepted NO responsibility for what happened. Later, I listened to Speaker of the House John Boehner explain his conduct. He, however, said something rather interesting. He said Obama would say one thing to the public, but when he was in direct talks did something altogether different, putting Boehner in a difficult position. Since under those conditions he couldn’t negotiate in good-faith he had to accept the reality and act accordingly. Based upon my own life’s experience, I’d say John Boehner is the one most likely speaking the truth.

Amazingly, what Michael Hudson talked about earlier that morning was playing out right before my eyes. There’s a crisis alright, but not the one they want everybody to believe we’re facing.

If Michael Hudson has it right, and I’m inclined to believe he does, then this flimflam is about the Rich Elite’s finalizing their looting. They’re really only just fighting over the scraps.
[Source]

–Joe

The Awakening – As Defined by Mildred Aristide

leave a comment »

[UPDATE Below: Article by Juan Cole]

One of the best definitions I’ve heard to date was expressed by Mildred Aristide in her interview with Amy Goodman March 22, 2011. You can hear the complete interview on Democracy Now website. Of interest was how Haiti was comparing to what was sweeping across North Africa and how that related to the Haitian people’s struggle for legitimacy as a free people. Here is what she said:

AMY GOODMAN: So, two U.S-backed coups, 1991 and 2004, and now the U.S.—well, President Obama calling President Zuma to say, “Do not fly the Aristides home to Haiti.”

MILDRED ARISTIDE: I think—again, I think it’s—it’s an inability, maybe, by the American political process to understand the kind of relation that Titide has with the Haitian people, and it doesn’t fit within the kind of policy frameworks that perhaps they have of—and so, it’s an unwillingness to see beyond that. I’ll attribute it to that. And, you know, in the meanwhile—

AMY GOODMAN: Explain a little more what you mean.

MILDRED ARISTIDE: Well, I think that—I think that the United States and a lot of those western European countries see politics a certain way, and I think that they have no right to impose that on other peoples. And, you know, if I’m rattling, I’ll rattle, I’ll continue.

But I attended, just the week before we left South Africa, at UNISA—there is a very, very important African lawyer, economist and really a profound thinker from Uganda, Professor Dani Nabudere. And he—and I had met him when I first came to South Africa, and he spoke at UNISA just the week before we left. And he was talking about what was happening now in Egypt and what happened in Tunisia and talking about the people’s revolutions, he said. And one of things that he said, and it really struck me, and I wrote a note in my notebook, he said that, for him, in his perception, is that the people—and I think it was in response to a question. They were saying, you know, “What’s the next step in terms of organizing this resistance that has been happening in Tunisia and in Egypt, for example?” And he said, for him, what was evolving—and he described it as an evolution in what the people are demanding and are requesting of the state—it’s beyond “We want a democratically elected government.” It’s beyond “We want a transparent government. We want elections every four years.” It’s a demand for a new kind of relationship with the state, a human relationship with the state. And it’s a humification—and I think he even used that—or rendering the state as a human being and saying, “We want a state that understands us, that feels us, that has a heart.” And he used terms that one would use between two people. And he said, “That’s what the people are demanding.” So it goes beyond electoral democracy. It goes beyond notions of transparency, which are on paper. And that’s what the people are demanding. [Emphasis added]

And I thought—I said, “You know, that’s what Haitians have been asserting for a long time. It’s a changed notion of state.” And so, I think that that’s one of the elements that led to, you know, the repeated elections of Lavalas. So, it’s not—and that falls outside the rubric or the framework of what the U.S. sees as what is electoral democracy and what qualifies as electoral democracy. So I found a lot of resonance in his explanation of this new kind of human relationship with the state.

And I would—and taking that further, and what Haitians have been saying, especially since the earthquake, in terms of what—you know, this tragic situation that they face and what they were demanding—and I think acknowledging that, you know, the rebuilding—or the building, I should say—could not happen, will not happen, in, as we’ve seen, six months or a year, but it’s a sense of seeing across from you a human face that is understanding, that has a heart, that is empathetic in the most profound sense with what is being experienced, notwithstanding an inability to provide immediate services. And I think that that’s—we’re approaching our destination. And I think that that’s something that Titide has always offered in all of the roles that he’s played—as a priest, as an educator, when he was president, and now as he will return to education and continue to be a person that always [inaudible].

A “new notion of state.” The old notion has nearly destroyed this earth and seriously put in jeopardy the human race. The young people are stepping up and asserting their right to claim life and to inherit this earth. Will the Universe respect their claim?

[UPDATE :: Wednesday, March 23, 2011]

Informed Comment by Juan Cole also speaks about this “Awakening.”  Its the Popular Sovereignty, Stupid. He looks at this phenomena from a more American perspective – probably what this country is trying to impose on these people while their movement is still young and immature. Problem is, the older generation and those that support them are not going away peacefully. Just look at Egypt. Voting, modified Constitution, same kind of American-style Democracy retaining the Old Guard and their corrupt policies. A worthy read.

–Joe

[Source]

Beginning of the End for Social Security

leave a comment »

The following is an excerpt from an interview on Democracy Now Thursday, December 16, 2010 with Representative Rush Holt. Here he explains in simple understandable language how the enemies of the American people finally win the war.

Here’s the link for the complete interview:

REP. RUSH HOLT: But you heard the President say, well, in a compromise, we have to sacrifice some things we care about. I’m not willing to sacrifice Social Security. And I’m concerned that this does real damage, does violence, to the rationale for Social Security. Apart from what it does to the financing of Social Security, which can be made up in future years, it does, I think, irreparable damage to the very idea of Social Security. It puts Social Security on the table as a bargaining chip along with the alternative minimum tax, the debate over whether the Bush tax cuts should end at $250,000 or a million dollars income, and with business expensing and estate tax rate. In other words, it’s just a bargaining chip, it’s just another item. And, you know, ever since 1935, Social Security has had its enemies, but it has withstood those enemies because of really the ingenious, the shrewd rationale that FDR assigned to Social Security. And this undermines that. It makes Social Security just another program, not—it does away with the idea that Treasury funds, that general funds, are not fed in to Social Security to support it. And I think a year or two in the future, the political support for Social Security will just unravel.

QUESTION: […] Obviously, every working American will next year see, for one year, their pay—this is a sizable reduction in what they have to pay out in Social Security taxes. So then, at the end of next year, as you’re beginning a presidential election year, the Obama administration will be forced to having to increase those taxes again or may end up bending to Republican pressures to begin creating private retirement accounts as part of that two percent return, and something that Obama’s own economic adviser, Austan Goolsbee, has often advocated. Do you have any concerns about that? What will happen at the end of this one-year period?

REP. RUSH HOLT: Well, in January 2012, workers—under this proposal, under this scheme, workers would see their take-home pay go down. I’m not sure who wants to be responsible for that. So, this is called a one-year change. And any lost revenue will be replenished from the general fund, and then the tax rates would be restored to the full 6.2 percent in 2012. I’m not so sure. I mean, it—but my point is, even if you lose that revenue for one, two or three years, it could be made up. But the damage done to the idea, the political underpinning of Social Security, will be, I’m afraid, irreparable.

By the time of this posting tax bill will already be signed – the beginning of the end. On Yahoo News: Bill preventing big tax hikes heads to Obama Fri.

[UPDATE]

Obama Signs (Republican) Tax Deal, Hails Bipartisan Effort to Grow Jobs

and calls it “COMPROMISE.” I wonder how he defines surrender.

–Joe

Fiddling While Rome Burns II

leave a comment »

This commentary by Glenn Greenwald today Monday, November 8, 2010, The self-absorption of America’s ruling class seemed appropriate for inclusion in this one-sided discussion on all matter’s important with Eric Kirk et al. It seems that when you traverse some of the ostensibly more important, relevant and timely local blogs ( I offer two examples below) you find the same kinds of (mostly) meaningless dribble as you do in the nation as a whole – certainly in the “Mainstream Media.” Here Greenwald is highlighting what he calls a “perfect exhibit of our self-absorbed political culture.”  This is appropriate to Eric because as he says he made politics “a practice and a study since I was a teenager.”

With a massive unemployment crisis, millions of foreclosures, rampant elite lawlessness and plundering, and pervasive, severe anxiety over America’s decline, this is what the “groups that matter in American politics” are anonymously complaining about:

SoHum Parlance II and Humboldt Herald.

Greenwald concludes by saying:

There, ladies and gentlemen, is the mentality of the “groups that matter in American politics.”  That’s what these people are worried about and focused on.  Some of the anti-Obama grievances cited by Politico are marginally less trivial though still on the level of political process complaints (rhetorical and communication failures on the part of the White House).  But almost all of them are voiced anonymously.  That Wall Street and other financial executives have spent the last year petulantly complaining about how unfairly they are treated — as their wealth continues to boom while the rest of the population suffers — was, in my view, one of the year’s most vivid expressions of the degradation of America’s political culture.  That “the groups that matter” are preoccupied with these sorts of prerogative-denying slights — while Politico gives them front-page anonymity to whine about those grievances — is definitely another.  We have the country we have because of the character of the people who run it. [Emphasis added]

The people who run this country are elected by a voter majority. So, what does that say about the voter?

–Joe

Fiddling While Rome Burns

leave a comment »

My answer to Eric Kirk at SoHum Parlance II:

[UPDATE Below] [UPDATE II] [UPDATE III :: The self-absorption of America’s ruling class – Fiddling While Rome Burns II above]

Ever hear the anachronism “Nero fiddling while Rome burns”? Well, that’s you in a nutshell.

For me, since you, like so many of your contemporaries have limited ability to engage in a meaningful, and honest way – more invested in vociferously expounding your own opinions – shouting down contrarian confronters, I’ll end this foray with the following observation. A rather knowledgeable individual, Michael Hudson puts another nail in this coffin for me. He spoke on Democracy Now this morning. The link for the complete interview is here. Unless you (not necessarily you Eric, but everyone else that reads this posting) read the complete interview you probably won’t understand how printing money to devalue the dollar is waging war with the world and how the world is fighting back, not to mention what that means to all Americans and their phony dollar supporters. Some pertinent excerpts:

New $600B Fed Stimulus Fuels Fears of US Currency War

The Federal Reserve will pump $600 billion more into the US economy and keep interest rates at historical low levels. The short-term impact of the Fed’s move, known as quantitative easing, has been a jump in stock prices across the globe. Many nations, however, have accused the United States of waging a currency war by devaluing the dollar. *** Hudson: “The object of warfare is to take over a country’s land, raw materials and assets, and grab them,” Hudson says. “In the past, that used to be done militarily by invading them. But today you can do it financially simply by creating credit, which is what the Federal Reserve has done.”

AND:

… Brazil’s president-elect Dilma Rousseff said, quote, “The last time there was a series of competitive devaluations, it ended in World War II.”

China has accused the US of uncontrolled money printing. By devaluing the dollar, the Fed is cheapening the price of US exports and making foreign imports more expensive. In addition, the low interest rates are encouraging US corporations to make massive investments overseas, cheaply buying up foreign real estate, natural resources and stock.

From my perspective, the most important part of his interview preceded what he says below. While you intellectualized and analyze the latest vote, the winners, the losers and what that might mean for everyone and our future, you totally miss what’s really happening to this country. Michael Hudson, at least to serious and honest people, brings that reality into sharp focus in one word: “CORRUPTION.” Obama inherited this war and it wouldn’t surprise me one bit that he was handpicked to continue prosecuting it. He then, to bolster his real base, turns around and uses the same tactic used to get him elected. If the Tea Party hadn’t messed things up, by all accounts, they’d control both the House and Senate, Supreme Court and the White House. At that point this country becomes a one-party dictatorship. Is that what most American’s want? To be told how free they are while being ruled by a dictator? In the meantime, all he does is continue to prop up and protect the fraud, the fraudulent, the corrupt and the universal corruption, with the following consequences:

Hudson:

And what they’re pointing out is that in Europe, in Germany and all of Europe, it’s illegal for the central bank to finance government debt. All of Europe is being subjected to austerity now because of the way in which their constitution is written. So they’re saying, “Wait a minute. When we run a deficit, we have to raise interest rates and impose austerity. And in the United States, they are doing just the opposite. They’re lowering interest rates to buy us out.”

And the interview of Professor Stiglitz (economist Joe Stiglitz) here was quite right. America is doing all of this. The Fed is doing this to cover up the huge fraud that he talks about. He’s right. These people should be in jail, and you shouldn’t bail them out. You’re keeping the debt that was run out by the junk mortgages and the fraudulent lending, you’re keeping that in place, pricing American labor out of the market, and making it impossible for America to earn its way out of debt. So, in Europe, they’re saying, “How can America ever repay these dollar debts that they’re running up?” They can’t repay, and that’s why the euro is going up against America. And that’s why they say, “We want to now talk to the BRIC countries, to China, to the third world, and move into a currency area with them and just isolate the dollar, so they can’t do the kind of financial warfare that they’ve been engaging in. [Emphasis added]

What Obama has done to America and how:

AMY GOODMAN: What is—overall, what do you think President Obama should do, and what do you think he did wrong, since people say it’s the economy that took him down in the elections?

MICHAEL HUDSON: He has always represented Wall Street’s interest. The deal he—his protector in the Senate was Joe Lieberman and part of the Democratic Leadership Council. And during the last presidential campaign, he won because he said he was for change. And Dennis Kucinich kept saying, “Here is the change in the law that I’ve recommended.” He said exactly what he would do. Mr. Obama never said what he would do. And it’s obviously the case that he saw that the public wanted change. If you want to get elected, you say that you’re for change.

But what he’s turned into is the third Bush-Cheney administration. He’s reappointed the worst of the Bush people, like Tim Geithner as the Treasury secretary. He’s kept on the most right-wing of the Clinton people as his economic advisers. He is essentially in Wall Street’s pocket. And that’s not changed at all. And that’s why so many people were so disappointed. They believed that he was going to be for change, and he’s a good speaker, but he had no intention of doing the change at all, as we now see.

And he still has not come out and said that America needs anything except more debt, more bailouts for the banks. People were angry because the banks were bailed out. And now the Republicans will say he didn’t give them enough. They’re angry because he didn’t give Wall Street enough and cut taxes enough on the rich. That’s not why people are angry. They’re angry because he gave money to the rich, the exact opposite.

This Elite Class that controls the phony money (Market Street and the Federal Reserve System among others) is at war with the World. They promise their “worldly” counterparts that cooperate with them, those complicit in this war that sell out their countries and their people, a share in this World Rule and all their ill-gotten gains. The problem for us is that they are not only trying to loot the world, they are at war with the American people and fanatically looting them too. That should tell you how insane they are and how far they are willing to go to control everything and everyone.

If there ever was a One World Government trying to exert itself, this is it.

By the way, this whole process, this “War,” to establish this pseudo ruling class under God, got started before the American Civil War. In fact, some believe it was the consequence of “This War” that got President Abraham Lincoln assassinated. The die was cast when President Woodrow Wilson sold out and went along with setting up the Federal Reserve System in 1913. It took another 68 years before President Ronald Regan was able to re-energize the war and the movement that nearly failed, in large part due the the New Deal and other people-empowering actions. The success of the War was questionable until the coup in 2000 and the incident on 9/11/2001.

So Eric, you might want to rethink your so-called “realistic” and “substantive” approach. What is – IS and no one can change that. Vilifying and trying to disparage the messenger is a tool of these war-mongering would-be Elitists. They think the election results has re-energized and legitimized them in this country and in the world. They are already trying to shout down anyone that calls them on their fraudulent, phony bullshit. They know that the REAL “War” has NOT failed or been lost — yet.
[Source]

[UPDATE :: Saturday, November 6, 2010]

I am posting this statement by Glenn Greenwald is his Salon.com column today because it goes right to the heart to previous discussions with Eric Kirk, the one above and his July 9, 2010, posting: Simi Valley comes to Oakland involving his most recent post about the same subject: Two Year Verdict for BART Station Killing. Here, in this article, excerpt below, Greenwald defends himself from people that make documented statements then violently deny what they said by making the same kinds of personal hyperbolic attacks razed against me for similar types of observations.

With that strategy, the Democratic Party now reaps what it has sown.  Its message and identity are profoundly muddled, incoherent, unclear, uninspiring, and self-negating.  Worse, its policies are mishmashes of inept half-measures that, with a handful of exceptions, produce little good for anyone (other than Wall Street, the Pentagon and other corporate interests).  They are perceived as — and are — beholden to Wall Street, special interests, and the corporations they vowed to confront.  They are without any ability to confront the massive unemployment crisis and financial decline the country faces.  And as a result of all of that, they lay in shambles.  Anyone who can survey all of that and cheer for the strategy which Democrats have been pursuing — let’s build our majorities by relying on GOP-replicating corporatist Blue Dogs — or who thinks that this election loss happened because “Democrats are too liberal,” resides in a world that has very little to do with reality.  And that’s true no matter how many times they repeat the simplistic snippets of exit polls to which they’ve obsessively attached themselves.

Link to the complete article: Lawrence O’Donnell vehemently denies his own words.

[UPDATE II :: Saturday, November 6, 2010]

My comment posted to SoHum Parlance II today at: Two Years for BART Station Killing. This is the complete comment.

Eric, I didn’t come back to this thread, Simi Valley Comes To Oakland because the conversation was, frankly, so damned disgusting and offensive. Consequently, I didn’t see what Ernie Branscomb said about me that really emphasized the insults. Apparently he’d been conferring and, above all else, “siding with” Dave Stancliff and decided to try to get personal with me too. Even so, I’d like you two brilliant individuals, in view of the sentence just handed down, to tell everyone now, how I am exposed as “angry and paranoid” for reading something nonexistent into what you said, enough to need “help”? I certainly thought that, you above all others, would know and understand the difference between the “subject” and the “object.” Those that confuse the two, can’t tell themselves one from the other, what they think from who they are, by definition are “paranoid.” So, I’d like to know who is suffering the “fool” is now?

There is more to this comment Eric, but since it deals mostly with Ernie Branscomb and how you handled his personal attack, I posted it at the end of my general comment at this link: “Fiddling While Rome Burns.”

July 9, 2010 at 1:21 pm
Ernie’s Place
Joe Blow

I am absolutely astounded at the things that you can read into the most generic of statements. I normally don’t suffer fools, and I see Eric has stopped rising to your bait, but you are just way too far out there to ignore any longer. If you are really as paranoid and angry as you seem you should seek help. Nobody said anything about siding with anybody… Got it? It’s simply a situation that could have, and should have been avoided. And many people are going to pay the price for losing control, the cop, the deceased, and the friends and family of both.

All Branscomb did was react by making unsubstantiated accusations and call me names and that is apparently okay with you. “Rising to” what “bait”? You guys made you’re statements that set the subject. NOT ME! I’ve known Ernie Branscomb since we were in school together. He was a meaningless mealy-mouthed jerk then and in 60 plus years degenerated into a real blue-ribbon specimen. As an attorney you should know, that if you’re going to say it you’d better be able to back it up. Otherwise none of this, you or your blogs, is about what you say, but rather about who you think you are. Certainly you know how far you get when you try (or if you ever tried) to push that crap on a Judge. Apparently Ernie Branscomb et. al. are unable to distinguish between discussing or commenting on subject issues and NOT getting or being personal. That condition is an affliction, and by definition, is paranoia. Based upon subsequent conversations, you mostly distinguished yourself above this kind of hyperbole. To “bait” someone is to get personal and NOT talk about the subject issue. I don’t talk to Branscomb, because he is essentially irrelevant. I do, occasionally as with you, make observations about some things you say or write.  You, however, if you thought I was getting personal or trying to “bait” you, all you had to do was say so and you wouldn’t have to worry about me gracing your blog with my “far out” comments and observations.


BRIC is defined in Wikipedia as: BRIC countries: Brazil, Russia, India, and China

 

Sohum Parlance II http://bit.ly/cd9o72

–Joe

Lord Love a Republican

leave a comment »

[UPDATE Below] [UPDATE I :: We Can’t Afford War] [UPDATE II]

War on the Little People

When you’ve lost you job because of the Banks, Wall Street, Obama economy fix and you can’t collect any unemployment benefits and end up homeless and hungry look to your friends, relatives and neighbors that are Republican.

Senate Republicans Block Unemployment Benefits Bill

Senate Republicans have blocked another effort to extend unemployment benefits to millions of jobless workers. Emergency jobless benefits, which provide up to ninety-nine weeks of income support, expired June 2. More than 1.2 million people have already had their checks cut off, but that total is expected soon to rise to two million people.

This is from FireDogLake:

Republicans block unemployment bill

Associated Press:

Stymied by GOP, Democrats at loss on jobs agenda

These Republicans can spend trillions of borrowed dollars on made-up wars, but can’t do anything for the Americans forced to pay for their crass beliefs and looting. [Source]

[UPDATE :: Friday, June 25, 2010]

War on the little people started when? In the process of finding this picture I came across this blog article on Big Dan’s Big Blog posted March 2, 2010, that I think is still appropriate today.

[UPDATE II :: Tuesday, July 20, 2010]

FINALLY!  Senate Democrats set to leap hurdle on extending jobless benefits
Democrats are expected to overcome Republican opposition to the package of new aid for unemployed Americans.

–Joe

Direct Action That Actually Works

leave a comment »

[Update below]

The Declaration Of Independence starts out by saying:

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.” [source]

This Declaration was developed and presented to the other nation states by a group of white men as their moral basis and legal justification for rebelling against their rightful government. They assert that “Governments are instituted among men” by those they govern to “secure” certain “rights.” That because these governments are empowered by these same people to govern, the people, should the Government cause the destruction of these, “ it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish” that Government and institute a new Government.” Some people believe that is what happens every four years in America when they can elect a new President. This is NOT what the Declaration Of Independence was about. It was about the very problem existing most noticeably in the past twenty years, even more striking in the last year, everything stays the same regardless the President or Party governing.

When that group of men secured their new government one of the things they did was provide the means for the governed to address their governing representatives, or so everyone believed. They believe in their rights to peaceful protest and demonstration when all other methods fail to promote necessary changes. Changes may come, but they are mostly slow and laborious and not always what serves the people best. Many people justify this method of redress by the works and words of Mohandas (Mahatma) Gandhi and Martin Luther King. While he did advocate and use non-violence and peaceful resistance he also us non-cooperation considered non-violent activism.

Non-cooperation is extremely effective when properly employed. It requires first, a mindset based upon a strict set of guiding principles and governing rules. This produces and inherent attitude that is self-manifesting of that reality or base way of thinking. When someone says something or advocates a position contrary to your beliefs you immediately resist, object and stop the automatic acceptance of the matter. You simply do not cooperate with their assertions of authority and legitimacy to promote themselves, their opinions, ideas or beliefs. They may have certain rights to those thoughts or beliefs, but they do not have the “unalienable Right” impose them on others. Specially, when they are trying to use those so-called rights to justify getting everyone to go along with their legitimate right to exist.

A good example of this is the Nation of Israel that by force of arms self-ordained its existence declaring the right and legal title to certain lands in Palestine owned and occupied by the Palestinian people. Israels illegal occupation of that land has produced one atrocity after another. Whatever legitimacy they and others may claim the Jew had for occupying that land, their self-same existence decries any of those rights. The only reason Israel is still occupying that land is because of the Palestinians overt and passive cooperation with the Jews. They still think there is a “two-state solution” in the offing. That was joke to start with and used to delay and obfuscate all effort to legitimize the Palestinians. Some Palestinians, however, have figured out that “what goes around always comes around.” In 2005 they started to program for “Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions” of Israel. On Passover Day, March 30, 2010, this BDS movement is calling for a uniting day of action. You can learn more about the movement and action day here, at the BDS Campaign. [http://www.bdsmovement.net/]

For more on this same subject there was a good discussion between Omar Barghouti and Rabbi Arthur Waskow here. [http://www.democracynow.org/2010/3/4/bds] Both men were essentially in agreement, just with a different perspective. Ribbi Waskow, the older man, looked at the issue as it was in the past, compared the Omar Barghouti’s present day reality. Personally, it’s been my judgment that the day for reconciling the two peoples with the Jew’s recognizing the Palestinians legitimate right to exist, specially with some sort of worthless two-state solution defined by the Jews and the US for the Palestinians, has long passed.

Another good example of non-cooperation is set out by Johann Hari a columnist for the Independent in London and a contributing writer for Slate. I am always impressed by these rare young people that are inspiring, knowledgeable, articulate and unafraid to speak truth. You can read or watch the complete interview here, “The Real Climategate: Conservation Groups Align with World’s Worst Polluters.” [http://www.democracynow.org/2010/3/9/the_real_climategate_conservation_groups_align]

Here’s the final part of what Johann said about the direct action that works in England:

AMY GOODMAN: Johann Hari, you quote Jim Hansen, the world-renowned climatologist from the NASA Institute—the Goddard Institute for Space Studies of NASA. You start by referring to Sierra Club’s chief climate counsel, David Bookbinder, ridiculing the center’s attempts to make 350 parts per million a legally binding requirement. He said it was a “truly pointless exercise” and headed to “well-deserved bureaucratic oblivion.” And you ask, “Why would the Sierra Club oppose a measure designed to prevent environmental collapse? The Club didn’t respond to my requests for an explanation,” you said. But you went on to say, “Climate scientists are bemused. When asked about this, Hansen said, ‘I find the behavior of most environmental NGOs to be shocking… I [do] not want to listen to their lame excuses for their abominable behavior.’”

Now, could it be that groups don’t have to receive this money, it’s just kind of insider Washington mentality, even if it’s in the rest of the world, like with the health insurance debate, that they accept the premises of the opposition and they don’t want to go outside of a very small range of what they can ask for, they just don’t believe they can get things done?

JOHANN HARI: I think you’re absolutely right. That is part of it. It’s part of a political culture. Jim Hansen, great man, is not alone. Virtually everyone who doesn’t work for these corporate environmental groups, and a lot of people who do, can’t understand this behavior, except as a result of the combination of corruption and exactly what you say, a kind of dysfunctional political culture.

But again, I don’t want to leave your viewers with a downer, because it’s really important they understand, it doesn’t have to be this way. Here in Britain, we’ve had a really good example of how you work very differently on environmental change, and it works. Instead of trying to work within a corrupt system, instead of constantly praising the pathetic efforts of our governments, a huge coalition of people here in Britain took direct action. An organization called Climate Camp, a very loose, democratic organization, began to physically blockade new airports and coal power stations. They said, “We will not let this pass.” They stood in front of coal trains. And when they were arrested, they said they were acting in their own self-defense, and a jury of their peers acquitted them, saying they were right, this is an emergency, we have got to act. (Emphasis mine.)

And it’s had an amazing effect. All new coal power stations in Britain are under very serious political trouble. They probably won’t happen. And airport expansion, that was seen as absolutely dead cert, supported by all the main political parties, is now dead in the water.

The model of compromise compromise, praise the Democrats, say how wonderful they are, even when they’re kicking you in the face, doesn’t work. The model of really directly taking to the streets, the way that change has always happened in America and in all of the world—Martin Luther King did not praise every peripatetic morsel that came from the Democratic Party. He called people to the streets, and they fought for it. And it took a long time.

The Wrong Kind of Green by Johann Hari printed in The Nation magazine. [ http://www.thenation.com/doc/20100322/hari ]

Then there are the local folks training and gearing up:

Klamath: Direct Action!

Tribal members train with Earth First! in Six Rivers National Forest showdown

You can read the complete story as detailed in the North Coast Journal here. The following is an excerpt:

Tree climbs were only one part of the three-day KJC (Klamath Justice Coalition) training camp. There were discussions of the history and effectiveness of non-violent civil disobedience and demonstrations as well as diagrams of many ways to block a log road or a timber sale. One handout was ambitiously titled “198 Methods of Nonviolent Action” and it ranged from 1) Public Speeches to 30) Rude gestures to 173) Nonviolent obstruction. This was a monkey wrench grad school.

The training was attended by members of Hupa, Karuk and Yurok tribes as well as many non-natives from neighboring communities.

As an old logger that worked for years with local Indian loggers and someone that had first-hand dealings with how the Bureau of Indian Affairs worked with local timber companies to divest local tribes of their old growth Redwood timber lands, I have mixed feelings about what they are doing. Personally, it is the young people that continue to impress me with their ingenuity, resourcefulness and courage. Something their predecessors did not show. Nor did mine.

Non-cooperation works! It all starts with yourself and your neighbor.


[ADDENDUM :: Tuesday, March 9, 2010]

This is a lesson NOT learned in British Columbia,  The water war – Okanagan logging blockade.

“Instead of trying to work within a corrupt system, instead of constantly praising the pathetic efforts of our governments — The model of compromise compromise, praise the Democrats, say how wonderful they are, even when they’re kicking you in the face, doesn’t work.” -Johann Heri

Notice what Mike Geoghegan is a political commentator for Vancouverite News Service says: “Tolko (a timber company) is not the enemy in this situation, government mismanagement and indifference is. The only thing that will change that is if the politicians in Ottawa and Victoria see that there are actually enough people who care about the issue of safe drinking water to make them resolve this conflict.”

He hasn’t come to terms yet with the fact you can’t do business with a corrupt system.

[Picture source]

–Joe

Filibuster Unconstitutional?

leave a comment »

Ghost Filibuster

Is this a joke? Who says America is a country governed by law? The reality is something else!

America is ruled by the lawless. These guys, from President Obama all the way down to the most junior congressman or woman swore an oath before God and man to “preserve, protect and defend the Constitution.” Instead they gut it.

Is there any wonder why Americans are so totally disillusioned with the current state of governance?

1. Thomas Geoghegan on the Case for Busting the Filibuster – Democracy Now

2. The Unconstitutional Filibuster – Mother Jones

— By Kevin Drum | Mon Jan. 11, 2010 10:32 AM PST

3. Hertzberg on the Constitutionality of the Filibuster 

[Referenced article in The New Yorker magazine]

 Here’s the interview with Thomas Geoghegan on Democracy Now on “the Case for Busting the Filibuster.”

Continue Reading

Propagandizing American Belief’s

leave a comment »

The flim flam of the American people is explained never better by the following interview conducted with Glenn Greewald by Amy Goodwyn on Democracy Now, December 30, 2009. 2009 in Perspective: Glenn Greenwald on the Five Wars US Is Fighting in Muslim Countries. Here are some excerpts I think important.

AMY GOODMAN: Glenn Greenwald, talk about the media coverage of the wars. And also, you wrote an interesting piece about the New York Times coverage of Sami al-Hajj, the Al Jazeera reporter who was held at Guantanamo for about six years and then released without charge.

GLENN GREENWALD: Well, this is what I find actually most interesting and most—and the most significant aspect of all of this, is it’s generally assumed that there is a significant disparity between how we, as Americans or Westerners, perceive of all of these events and how the Muslim world perceives of these events. And that is true. There is a very great disparity. But generally, what we assume is that the reason there’s this great disparity is because we are rational and informed and educated and advanced and, most of all, free, and therefore we know the truth about what’s going on, whereas Muslims live in oppressive and primitive and backwards countries, they are consumed not by rationality but by religious fanaticism, and therefore they have very distorted and partial and propagandized views of the world, and that’s what accounts for this disparity.

Now the reality is exactly the opposite, because all of the things that we were just discussing about the effects of our air strikes in all of these Muslim countries, the fact that we are constantly waging war in an increasing number of their nations, and the fact that we routinely slaughter innocent men, women and children who are the victims of our air strikes, the Muslim—people in the Muslim world in those countries are very well aware of what we do, because the images are reported constantly. They’re informed about what we’re doing. And yet, if you look at American media coverage, it’s virtually never the case that the victims of our actions, of our air strikes and our military assaults, are discussed. Those things are kept from us.

And so, they perceive that we are the aggressors because we are killing civilians, which we’re doing, but Americans are propagandized, that information is basically kept away from their sight, and so they’re unaware of what the actions are. And so, when there’s anger and hostility and hatred in the Muslim world towards the United States, they understand why, but we are confused and bewildered, because the facts about why that is are generally kept from us.

And you mentioned the story of Sami al-Hajj, who was an Al Jazeera reporter, a reporter, a cameraman, who was covering the invasion of Afghanistan by the United States in late 2001, when he was abducted by the United States and shipped to Guantanamo, where he was kept for seven years, obviously without charges of any kind. He was interrogated almost exclusively, not about Osama bin Laden or about terrorism, but about the operations of Al Jazeera. He was clearly a prisoner because he was a journalist that worked for an outlet that the Bush administration perceived as being critical or hostile to its interests. So here was a journalist, a foreign journalist, that we imprisoned for seven years.

And if you go and research on Nexis or other media databases what the discussions were in the mainstream media about that incident, you can find almost nothing. So Americans were not informed that we, as a government, imprisoned journalists without charges. And there are lots of other foreign journalists who have been imprisoned the same way in Iraq and other places. And yet, when you have the case of, say, Roxana Saberi, the Iranian American journalist who was imprisoned in Iran for three months—not for seven years, but for three months—or the two journalists who were just in prison in North Korea, what you have is a media bonanza. And so, it makes it—it gives the appearance that only foreign governments, but not our own, imprison journalists without charges. And this is what accounts for the disparity in perception. It’s that we are being propagandized by our own media. [Emphasis mine]

Read the rest of this entry »

%d bloggers like this: