The Jaded Prole

A Progressive Worker's Perspective on the political and cultural events of our time.

Sunday, January 29, 2006

Gore Vidal's State of the Union

I always love reading Gore Vidal and This article is worth the read!

And more.

Friday, January 27, 2006

Bush Condemns Violence

George Bush, in a now exercise of hypocrisy, has condemned the use of violence to achieve politial goals. In this case, he has supported Israel's refusal to deal with the elected palestinian Hamas leadership. As if there was anyone else to talk to about peace!

The irony of it all is that, just as the CIA created al Queda, Hamas was a creation of Mossad, Israel's spy organization. They created Hamas to undermine support for the more secular Fatah/PLO. After many attacks, oppression, lockdowns, asassinations, housing demolitions . . . and refusal to deal with the PLO in spite of many overtures toward peace, the Palestinians have democratically elected Hamas leaders.

The U.S., especially under Bush's leadership, has supported an escalation of violence by Israel against the Palestinians as well as it's (and our) refusal to deal with the only legitimate representatives of Palestine. There isn't much hoopla in our corporate press about "Democracy in the Middle-East" when Palestinians exercise their franchise -- which they have done before, only condemnation.

Peace anywhere is based on justice. Peace canot be achieved without communication between legitimate representatives of the opposing parties. Bush and the U.S are the real power there and, based on our economic underwriting of Israel, can dictate the outcome. The real terrorist, the real vortex of violence as a strategy, is Bush.

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Replacing Petrolium

More and more poeple are focusing on our dependence on oil and the problems of supply that entails for the future. Today on NPR I heard a discussion about the need for new thinking from the ecology movement. In that past the focus has been more on condemning technology and emphasizing reduction of enery usage. The speaker was saying that the emphasis needs to be not so much on energy reduction as on creative ways to move away from our fossil feul dependence while maintaining and even advancing a technological society. I think there is much to be said for that view.

Greenland is taking the lead in their developement of hydrogen extracted from seawater. Though a fossil feul, we also have the capacity to produce methane from animal or human waste as well as from decaying plants. This could be used to run generators.

To convert efficiently to other natural sources of energy -- hydrogen, methane, wind, solar and hydroelectric, a requirement, like in Greenland, is public ownership. The resources necessary to replace what we have no with a new and efficient energy grid are so large that it can be done best by government. Many corporate ideologues will be upset by this but history shows that when it comes to energy, public ownership is superior, cheaper and accountable.

Conversion to non-petrolium energy sources is vital and there is no choice in the matter if we are to continue as a modern technological society. Time is running out and we need to begin working in that direction.

Friday, January 20, 2006

Turning on the Light

It has happened gradually, just as it did in Germany, but we are now at the Threshold of Dictatorship where our leader has unlimited powers. Where Privacy is not a recognized right and the government knows that you are here reading this.

Welcome to the new American Empire citizen, Your either goose-stepping with them or your in the underground against 'em. And don't think we can organize and vote the bastards out because the fix is in.

We are at the threshold looking at a dark future but we needn't enter that place like sheep to the slaughter. We need to turn on the light and expose the tyranny before it engulfs us. It will take a massive concerted effort to keep our constitution as more than a quaint relic. As the wingnuts say, democracy isn't free. We have to defend it right here and right now.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Looking to the Future

In continuing to think about the looming crisis of environmental changes that James Lovelock describes and what we can do, I think there are some positive possibilities. It is possible that in the next decade or two the national systems we have in place will collapse. They are based on a disappearing energy resource (oil) and on agriculture and global trade. Between the ending of the petrolium age and the drastic changes in environmental conditions, the economies underpinning the existance of this civilization will collapse. Though this could be a horrible disaster resulting in a return to brutal barbarism and feudalism, there are alternatives.

Nature shows that what survives is that which adapts and we humans have proven to be adaptable. The reality is that we have become globally interdependent. In the new reality of a hotter world, some areas, many areas, will be unlivable due to water shortages and failed agriculture. If we are to avoid wars over resourses, famines and mass death, we will have to move from this system of profit based competition which will collapse at any rate taking many with it, to a global system of humanity based cooperation.

Only by moving to a global system of cooperation can we survive. This will be the challenge of the coming years. Beneath the juggernaut that is our present system of global capitalism and competing nations there already exists the civilization that will relpace it. It can be seen at the World Social Forum as well as in organized world protests for peace and environmental actions. The internet has allowed global communication of people and we constitute a power above and beyond the fragile crust of a brutal ruling class whose power rests on delusion that will crumble due to a changing reality. We have already been called "The Other Superpower" and though we do not have armies, we are a nation without borders and that's what it will take to survive. It is up to us to be prepared to take control of our regional resources and to build that global cooperative from the ashes of what got us here.

Monday, January 16, 2006

It's Later Than You Think

Here on the east coast watching the tide creep in, enjoying the last precious days of relatively nice weather. It seems that we have crossed the point of no return according to James Lovelock, respected developer of the Gaia Theory which sees the Earth as a living entity with regulatory systems. The very systems that have kept our world livable and allowed for the evolution of our complex biosphere will now turn on us and there is little or nothing we can do. We have created what will be a living hell for possibly as long as 100,000 years.

He suggests thinking of how we can adapt ourselves and preserve what we can of civilization, at least on local levels. It's all pretty depressing and puts all of our many problems into perspective. I'm glad I'm not young.

Unless we, in the short term, and for the survival of our species, get rid of our corporate strongmen posing as leaders, we may truly be doomed -- heck, they couldn't even prepare for Katrina and there will be many more Katrinas. We may not be able to modify the effects of global warming (which are accelerating at an alarming rate daily) but we need to prepare our county and society to deal with what is coming and that will take a literal revolution as well as a revolution in thinking. The time for denial has past. The future of our civilization and maybe even of our species will depend on what we do in the present.

In the mean time, I think I'll have a drink. As there is probably little I can do to effect change and I'm living in an area that will no doubt be devastated by hurricanes and rising tides, I might as well savor life as if I only had a short time left to live and make that time worth the living.

Sunday, January 15, 2006

The Wrong King?

America today is the opposite of The Dream. Not simply the dream of racial equality, though progress has been made, but the dream of a nation of economic justice that is not the "main purveyor of violence in the world." Some areas even want a militaristic celebration of MKL day. He would have been appalled. Here is something I wrote a few years ago that still applies:

The Wrong King

It's the wrong King
the wrong president
an evil puppet swindled into power
over the voice of the people
but this is different --

The wrong King
not the Elvis impersonator
on the beach but
much worse --

The wrong King
That familiar face adorning January
eyes set wide
on the promised land of justice
seems an impostor
a pretender to the dream,
a one dimensional doppleganger.

Despite the preacher's and politician's
shallow acknowledgments and
the recognizable visage
this is not the King that called his country
"the number one purveyor of violence in the world"
or that called for a guaranteed annual income.
Not the King that talked of the "triple evils
of racism, economic exploitation, and war"
so popular but unmentionable in these times.
No, the face looks right but
the message is all wrong.
They're confusing Martin with Rodney
"Can't we all get along?"

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Philosphical Conundrum

An interesting irony. Watching the Scalito hearings in the Senate on CSPAN, a repug senator was seeking to discredit the opposition to Alito by showing that a witness the Dems had arranged to speak against Alito (and then cancelled) was an extremeist and how desperate the opposition must be to have considered him. I don't recall the name but apparently this witness had had an op-ed piece in the LA Times comparing our slaughter of animals to the holocaust. So this repug senator goes into detail about how we know that animals (pigs, cows . . .) can feel fear and loneliness and love and how we put them on trucks and take them to be slaughtered in mass. He then asks if our use of them for food justifies this and if it would have justified the holocaust if Jews had been eaten. This is worth considering and the irony doesn't stop with this right-winger making the case against animal slaughter and doing so very effectively.

If one is to make the case that the holocaust is far worse than and not comparable to the organized mass slaughter of cows or pigs, the ONLY basis for this is the assumption that humans are in a different league than other animals -- a relative assumption at best, based on what -- on sentiance maybe? (Though sentiance may be questionable in the case of many.)

If one is to make that assumption, that humans are above animals and that unlike animals, human life is sacred, then one must ask how this repug can support the premeditated slaughter of thousands (maybe hundreds of thousands) of humans by this administration, especially for an agenda at best questionable and at worst, based on a pack of lies.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Another day and more needlessly murdered and maimed by Bush. Here is what war is. There can hardly be a justifiable reason for it and there isn't one for what Bush has done.

The news is focused the nomination of Samuel Alito to the supreme court. An ideologue with a long record of opposing anything related to civil rights and of supporting the filthiest right wing/corporate agendas of our worst leaders. There will be strong oppostion voiced but it is likely that enough opportunist Dumbascraps will support his nomination.

One has to wonder how much it will take to awaken enough of us to root out this lousy scam of a system like a bad tooth. We can do a better, a lot better without a corrupt rip-off militarist corporate dictatorship standing on our throats. Sure as they are listening to your phone conversations, tracing your internet path and checking your mail, their henchmen (and hanchwomen) will read this rant. I don't care. We need to speak and act out. We need to become ungovernable. If enough of us are doing it, others will join. What choice do they leave us but to organize and struggle for something better. That something is working class democracy.

Saturday, January 07, 2006

Shutting the Monster Down

The holiday is yesterday and the horror of cyclical violence and idiotic unnecessary war continue. So do our marches and vigils but to what end when an our commercial media are run the the same cynical corporate junta that doesn't give a damn what we do or what we think and knows the majority of enslaved citizen/consumer/employees are too busy stuffing themselves with fast food and sitcoms to even notice. Cindy Sheehan is right to express exasperation but there aren't yet enough of us to block the streets and those that did would be arrested without much coverage or support. So what is to be done?

I don't know but I think a National Strike is one of the best ideas. Not the kind of pickett walking strike that they can unleash the goons on -- we're mostly too lazy and afraid for that to work anyway though some of that would be OK too. I mean a stay at home strike. A don't buy anything but the absolute necessities strike. A don't go to work strike. A don't buy gas strike. Maybe even a don't pay bills strike. How long would it last? I think a week or two so would get there attention along with the treat of a much longer effort. After that, shut it down and see how long it takes. As Joe Hill said:

If we workers take a notion,
We can stop all speeding trains
Every ship upon the ocean
We can tie with mighty chains
Every wheel in every factory
Every mine and every mill
Mighty armies of all nations
Will at our command stand still

They forget -- we can remind them.

All strikes to be of any use need demands. I can think of a few:

1. Bring all troops home from Iraq and Afghanistan and close all the torture gulags.

2. This administration and all complicit in support of it must step down, including those in power in the media as well as in government.

3 Formation of a special committee to investigate crimes against the nation and against humanity.

4 New elections within 3 months by paper ballot for new leaders with no restrictions for independent candidates and equal on air coverage for all candidates.

Something to think about anyway . . .

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Some Predictions for 2006

A humorous assortment of predictions wherein truth is entwined with irony.

Monday, January 02, 2006

Dignity Restored

He might be an international criminal, a liar, a murderer and a traitor but Bush has
managed to restore some dignity to the office of the president with (or without) his wife's help.

More Lies

Reading the latest in the paper, I see that Bush now says his wiretapping is limited only to calls received from other countries. Previously it was admited that all international calls as well as emails have been monitored. The government has also admitted spying on domestice groups including PETA, the Catholic Workers and the Quakers. In an inadequate defense of thier constantly changing admissions, the Bush cabal uses the excuse that our state of war justifes unlimited powers" to do whatever they feel is necessarry for the defense of the country. Nevermind that the state of war is a sham based on lies.

It's true that there are groups that seek to do violence against us such as the al queda network and lately I've read pundits on the right condemning peace and human rights advocates of being less than realistic in defense of "democracy." but "staying the course," of torturing, of bombing, of occupation . . . is what got us here. There is no way out of a cycle of escalating violence and counterviolence perpetrated by the Bush regime.

Or is there? One might ask, what is the motivation behind those that wish us harm and that organize attacks against us. What could motivate people to sacrifice their lives in acts of violence against us? What have we done to anger people to that point? and what can we do differently?

We can deny them an enemy. Whatever one might think of Gorbachev, he ended a decades old cold war by denying us an enemy. If we changed our blind support of Israel insisting that they dismantle settlements in the West Bank and negotiate a fair deal with Palestine (for continuation of our economic underwriting), if we ceased to interfere in the internal affairs of middle eastern regimes and stopped backing the Saudi regime, if we closed our gulags and opted instead to follow international law, we might find that animosity against us would deminish greatly. We might find ourselves much more popular and secure. Sure there are many whose relatives we've slaughtered. They deserve lifetime compensation and we must pay for what we've destroyed. Still, the price would be less that continuation of our present course.

The time has come for a New Course but, of course it won't happen under our present misleadership. It's time for our own Regime Change

In the mean time, when bush speaks,

I've added this design as a new T-Shirt so we can remind each other to keep anything the chimp says in its proper perspective.