The Joe Blow Report 2

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Posts Tagged ‘History

Cornel West slams ‘counterfeit’ Obama’s presidency

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Re-printed from RT.

082614_Cornel-West

Published time: August 25, 2014 16:45

Cornel West, activist and professor at Union Theological Seminary, ripped Barack Obama’s “Wall Street presidency,” calling him another neoliberal “counterfeit” after posing as a progressive in his initial campaign for the White House in 2008.

“We ended up with a Wall Street presidency, a drone presidency, a national security presidency,” West told Salon.com’s Thomas Frank.

“The torturers go free. The Wall Street executives go free. The war crimes in the Middle East, especially now in Gaza, the war criminals go free. And yet, you know, he acted as if he was both a progressive and as if he was concerned about the issues of serious injustice and inequality and it turned out that he’s just another neoliberal centrist with a smile and with a nice rhetorical flair.”

Public intellectual West lamented Obama’s failure – or refusal – to attempt a revival of democratic principles at a time of “an empire in decline.”

“Our culture is in increasing decay. Our school systems are in deep trouble. Our political system is dysfunctional. Our leaders are more and more bought off with legalized bribery and normalized corruption in Congress and too much of our civil life. You would think that we needed somebody—a Lincoln-like figure who could revive some democratic spirit and democratic possibility.”

West said at a time of deep need for solutions, for a change of culture in the gilded halls of Washington, Obama was another “opportunist.”

“It’s like you’re looking for John Coltrane and you get Kenny G in brown skin.”

Looking back, West said he believes Obama’s “motus operandi” has always consisted of seeking to placate the powers-that-be and to occupy the “middle ground,” even though he acted the part of a transcendent figure during his campaign 2008, the year that saw the beginning of the Great Recession.

“And so what did he do? Every time you’re headed toward middle ground what do you do? You go straight to the establishment and reassure them that you’re not too radical, and try to convince them that you are very much one of them so you end up with a John Brennan, architect of torture [as CIA Director]. Torturers go free but they’re real patriots so we can let them go free. The rule of law doesn’t mean anything.”

West also chided US Attorney General Eric Holder for his cozy relationship with Wall Street.

“Eric Holder won’t touch the Wall Street executives; they’re his friends. He might charge them some money. They want to celebrate. This money is just a tax write-off for these people. There’s no accountability. No answerability. No responsibility that these people have to take at all.”

Looking back, West said he believes Obama’s “motus operandi” has always consisted of seeking to placate the powers-that-be and to occupy the “middle ground,” even though he acted the part of a transcendent figure during his campaign 2008, the year that saw the beginning of the Great Recession.

“And so what did he do? Every time you’re headed toward middle ground what do you do? You go straight to the establishment and reassure them that you’re not too radical, and try to convince them that you are very much one of them so you end up with a John Brennan, architect of torture [as CIA Director]. Torturers go free but they’re real patriots so we can let them go free. The rule of law doesn’t mean anything.”

West also chided US Attorney General Eric Holder for his cozy relationship with Wall Street.

“Eric Holder won’t touch the Wall Street executives; they’re his friends. He might charge them some money. They want to celebrate. This money is just a tax write-off for these people. There’s no accountability. No answerability. No responsibility that these people have to take at all.”

West said Holder will likely step down by the end of the year, as he is “concerned about his legacy as if he’s somehow been swinging for black folk ever since he’s been in there. That’s a lie. He’s been silent, too. He’s been relatively silent. He’s made a couple of gestures in regards to the New Jim Crow and the prison-industrial complex, but that’s just lately, on his way out. He was there for six years and didn’t do nothing.”

The post-Obama era will be “an America in post-traumatic depression,” West said, and the likely successor in the White House, “neo-liberal opportunist par excellence” Hillary Clinton, will be “much worse.”

“Hillary Clinton is an extension of Obama’s Wall Street presidency, drone presidency, national surveillance, national security presidency. She’d be more hawkish than he is, and yet she’s got that strange smile that somehow titillates liberals and neo-liberals and scares Republicans. But at that point it’s even too hard to contemplate.”

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The Way of the White Man – MacLeod Cartoon

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The Way of the White Man

Rush Limbaugh and Sandra Fluke

So goes “The Way of the White Man’s Rights” – Doesn’t look too good, does it?

A local blogger puts it this way in his latest posting: Nothing About Witchcraft? This is his take on South Carolina Republican’s “rights” to exclude certain types, including “And obviously you can’t be a contraceptive-advocating college student slut!” – His obvious reference to Sandra Fluke.

Here’s a good example of “witchcraft” wizardry at its best.

[Source – MacLeod Cartoons]

–Joe

Redefining Patriotism

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Howard Zinn

Howard Zinn

The Joe Blow Report 2 disclosure says, “Joe Blows self-evident observations on Truth, God’s gift of equality, unalienable Rights and Justice before Peace.” These words are taken from the Declaration of Independence. Most Americans don’t have a clue as to what these words mean for them and their neighbor. Howard Zinn on “War and Social Justice” says:

“When the government does bad things, the most patriotic thing you can do is to criticize the government, because that’s the Declaration of Independence. That’s our basic democratic charter.”

The Dictionary definition of “charter” is: “A document, issued by a sovereign or state, outlining the conditions under which a corporation, colony, city, or other corporate body is organized, and defining its rights and privileges.”

The Declaration of Independence is the document upon which the American people established their legitimate right to exist as a commonwealth nation. Our continued  right to exist depends wholly on the American people’s absolute compliance and enforcement of that Charter. History however reveals that the American people have forfeited their legitimacy and Howard Zinn outlines some of the “mindset” that is responsible when he continues to discuss the rights and obligations of each citizen of these United States as compared to their government:

Here are some of the elements of the mindset that stand in the way, in the way for Obama, in the way for the Democratic Party, in the way for many Americans, in the way for us. One of the elements in our mindset is the idea, somehow, that the United States is exceptional. In the world of social science, in, you know, that discipline called social science, there’s actually a phrase for it. It’s called American exceptionalism. And what it means is the idea that the United States is unique in the world, you know, that we are different, that we—not just different, we’re better. Right? We are better than other people. You know, our society is better than other societies. This is a very dangerous thing to think. When you become so arrogant that you think you are better and different than other countries in the world, then that gives you a carte blanche to do nasty things. You can do nasty things, because you’re better. You’re justified in doing those things, because, yeah, you’re—we’re different. So we have to divest ourselves of the idea that, you know, we are somehow better and, you know, we are the “City on the Hill,” which is what the first governor of Massachusetts, John Winthrop, said.

*****

Exceptionalism is one part of the mindset we have to get rid of. We have to see ourselves honestly for what we are. We’re an empire like other empires. We’re as aggressive and brutal and violent as the Belgians were in the Congo, as the British were in India, and all these other empires. Yeah, we’re just like them. We have to face it. And when you face that, you sober up a little, and then you don’t think you can just go all over the world and say, “Ah, we’re doing this for liberty and democracy,” because then, if you know your history, you know how many times that was said. “Oh, we’re going into the Philippines to bring civilization and Christianity to the Filipinos.” “We’re going to bring civilization to the Mexicans,” etc., etc. No. You’ll understand that. Yeah, that’s one element in this mindset.

The second element of the American mindset is:

But when you start criticizing, when you start making an honest assessment of what we have done in the world, they say you’re being unpatriotic. Well, you have to—that’s another part of the mindset you have to get rid of, because if you don’t, then you think you have to wear a flag in your lapel or you think you have to always have American flags around you, and you have to show, by your love for all this meaningless paraphernalia, that you are patriotic. Well, that’s, you know—oh, there, too, an honest presidential candidate would not be afraid to say, “You know, patriotism is not a matter of wearing a flag in your lapel, not a matter of this or not—patriotism is not supporting the government. Patriotism is supporting the principles that the government is supposed to stand for.” You know, so we need to redefine these things which we have come—which have been thrown at us and which we’ve imbibed without thinking, not thinking, “Oh, what really is patriotism?” If we start really thinking about what it is, then we will reject these cries that you’re not patriotic, and we’ll say, “Patriotism is not supporting the government.” When the government does bad things, the most patriotic thing you can do is to criticize the government, because that’s the Declaration of Independence. That’s our basic democratic charter. The Declaration of Independence says governments are set up by the people to—they’re artificial creations. They’re set up to ensure certain rights, the equal right to life, liberty, pursuit of happiness. So when governments become destructive of those ends, the Declaration said, “it is the Right of the People to alter or abolish” the government. That’s our basic democratic charter. People have forgotten what it is. It’s OK to alter or abolish the government when the government violates its trust. And then you are being patriotic. I mean, the government violates its trust, the government is being unpatriotic.

You can read his complete speech by following this link.

It is worthy to note, on the subject of police misconduct, that the police, in all  its forms and incarnations works for the “artificial creation,” the “Government.” They do not work for the people or the general public, the home owner, the business owner or the voting public. As a “peace officer” the only “peace” they bring is the peace of the grave to anyone that dare threaten the status quo of their employers. Therefore, when the police, by their very nature become a threat, or in the extreme brutalize the general public (as a matter of policy) the government violates its trust to the people granted by the Declaration of Independence and reaffirmed by the Constitution of the United States.  The citizenry, to maintain their legitimate right to exist as a Nation, State, County or City are not only obligated to abolish said government, they are enforced by law to equally defend and protect themselves and their families.

–Joe

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