The Jaded Prole

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

Friday, June 30, 2006

Time to Pull the Plug on Israel

The other day someone asked if I was "anti-Isreal." As a Jew who is horrified and ashamed of Israel, I have to say yes. This wasn't always so but as my eyes opened up to the terrible mistreatment of Palestinians, to the racism that engendered, to the real history of ethnic cleansing on which Israel is based, and to the deveoping reality of Israeli genocidal Apartheid my opinion gradually changed. The latest in a long string of horrors is now happening in Gaza.

We as Americans are ultimately responsible for the crimes perpetrated by Israel. We fund Israel's existance to the degree that makes it, for all intents, our puppet state. We supply it with the helicopter gunships, the giant bulldozers that knock down homes and many of the other weapons. It's time for this to stop. If Israel ever had any legitimacy as a state, that time has long passed.

It's time to pull the plug. Stop the funding and divest from a failed experiment based in guilt and cold war strategy. Should we feel the need to fund anything there, it should be Palestine. Giving the money to Palestine would solve many problems and end much of the animosity that feuls "terrorism" against us. It may begin to assuage our own guilt.

As for the Jews in Israel, if they can't live peaceabley with their neighbors, I think we could find room for many who wish to resettle here. There is plenty of room in the Sonoran desert.
In the meantime ( and a mean time it is) I am gratified that there are in Isreael those who oppose the genocidal policies of it's government.

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Reclaiming the Franchise

After 2 stolen elections we must acknowledge that we have lost the franchise. There is no use pretending to vote and I've considered calling for a popular boycott of national elections until the situation is remedied with a verifiable paper ballot. After all, pretending to vote only legitimizes the fraud while a massive boycott would deny the pretense of legitimacy to the outcome. However, it seems there may be a slight hope for remedying the problem caused by rigged electronic voting.

Congressman Rush Holt has re-introduced a bill, the Voter Confidence and Increased Accessibility Act (H.R. 550) and has an online petition. This bill would:

Mandate a voter-verified paper ballot for every vote cast in every federal election, nationwide; because the voter verified paper record is the only one verified by the voters themselves, rather than by the machines, it will serve as the vote of record in any case of inconsistency with electronic records;

Protect the accessibility requirements of the Help America Vote Act for voters with disabilities;

Require random, unannounced, hand-count audits of actual election results in every state, and in each county, for every Federal election;

Prohibit the use of undisclosed software and wireless and concealed communications devices and internet connections in voting machines;

Provide Federal funding to pay for implementation of voter-verified paper balloting;

Of course we still need a ban on private funding of elections and public funding of any candidate showing reasonable support with no limit on the number or party but any progress is vital and without verifiable tracking of ballots its a moot point.
Sign the petition and call your misrepresentative about this. Short of this I say we sit the sham out.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Give 'em Hell Harry!

In some rare good news, Democrats, led by Harry Reid of Nevada, are vowing to block the Congressional payraise until the minimum wage is raised.

"Congress is going to have earn its raise by putting American workers first: A raise for workers before a raise for Congress," said Senate Democratic leader Harry Reid of Nevada.

This is the kind of thing that we need to see more of if Democrats are to distinguish themselves from the Repug wing of the One Corporate Party!

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Surviving in the Pig State

Our jobs suck and our bosses often try to screw us. Management considers us disposable and will find ways to cover themselves at our expense so they can deny us benefits, workers comp unemployment comp. is a good place for information that might help. Go there and bookmark it.

And speaking of Jobs, Barbara Ehrenreich, in noting the disparity between Congress defeating a raise in the minimum wage while voting themselve one says:

While pondering Congress’s rejection of a minimum wage increase this week, it’s helpful to recall the basic taxonomic distinction between Predators and Pigs. Predators – in this case, those who employ people at unlivable wages – suck the marrow out of their employees, transform eager young women into stress-injured cripples, and virtually orphan the children whose parents are forced to work two or more jobs to support them.

Pigs, on the other hand, sit by wriggling with delight at these cannibalistic proceedings. It’s their job to oink out choruses of praise for the Predators. “Predation is Prosperity!” they proclaim, all the while hoping that some little scraps of flesh will fall their way.

So the Piggery of the Month award goes to those members of the US Congress who voted themselves a “cost of living adjustment” raise of $3300 while refusing to raise the minimum wage from a pathetic $5.15 an hour. As economic commentator Holly Sklar notes, Congressional pay will have increased by $34,900 between 1997 and 2007—an amount that it would take three minimum wage workers one year to earn (or one minimum wage worker three years) – to $171,800 a year, plus luxurious benefits.

From a Congress that has consistently cut taxes for the wealthy, themselves included, while cutting programs that serve the poor and the middle class, the minimum wage vote is not entirely surprising. What merits special notice in this instance is the unctuous rhetoric that arose from the sties as Republicans rushed to explain that by holding down the minimum wage they were actually helping the poor. If we don’t keep wages down, they said, grease dripping from the corners of their mouths, the Predators might find their prey less tasty, and unemployment will rise!

Never mind that there is no empirical evidence for this prediction. Employment didn’t plunge the last time the minimum wage was increased, in 1997, nor has this happened in any of the states – Massachusetts for example – that have raised their own minimum wages in the last few years. I grant you that there might be trouble if the minimum wage were to rise at the same rate as CEO pay. As the Institute for Policy Studies reported in 2005, “If the minimum wage had risen as fast as CEO pay since 1990, the lowest paid workers in the US would be earning $23.03 an hour today, not $5.15 an hour.”

Nor is it true, incidentally, that the minimum wage is paid mostly to teenagers working to support their Abercrombie and Fitch habits. According to economist Heather Boushey at the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities, fewer than one in five minimum wage workers is under the age of 20. In my experience, many of those youthful minimum wage workers are in fact making important contributions, however tiny, to their families’ inadequate incomes.

But maybe the Congressional Republicans are right about something. Maybe the number of jobs should go down as the pay rises – beginning in Congress itself. If you consider the high cost of a typical Congressperson – not only in salary but in botched and pro-Predation policies – you have to ask: Do we really need all those states?

Some states aren’t waiting for Congress. In Arizona, Arkansas, Michigan, Montana, Nevada, and Ohio, coalitions are working to increase the state minimum wage through ballot initiatives.

Otherwise there are the fall Congressional elections to consider, when any number of Pigs may come to comprehend the concept of ham.

Saturday, June 24, 2006

Proud Matriot

Now that I have finished the newest issue of the Blue Collar Review and gotten it in the mail, I may be doing more here.

With July 4th around the corner, I'd like to expound a bit on the concept of Matriotism. Unlike Patriotism which is loyalty to the fatherland (Patria), being a Matriot leaves no one out, it creates no other and by its very existance acknowledges the obsolence of nation states and borders. A Matriot is loyal to mother earth (Matria) and the interconnected web of life of our biosphere. We Matriots know that we are not residents on this planet but part of it. As such, we Matriots place no nation above the other and none above the interests and needs of the whole of the planet and humanity. It should be noted as well that to be loyal to one's self above all else is to be an Idiot, (from idios one's own, private). For those who identify with the concept of Matriotism, I offer the Proud Matriot T-Shirt so you can show your matriotism and spread the much needed concept around.

Do we have an anthem? Of course . . .


Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Oh the Hipocrisy, Oh the Humanity

Oh the Humanity! Their pictures are everywhere, the two young men. Our boys murdered and tortured in unspeakable ways. Two of the many fed on misinformation, stoked with hatred by our government and unleashed on Iraq. The Sunni triangle has been under constant fire and harrasment and not a family is untouched, yet even after Abu Graib, Haditha and Fallujah and in the shadow of another horrific massacre we are be horrified by their barbarism.

Yes, we continue to be horrified by our own and Iraqi losses and the barbarism of our own misleadership. We need to end this occupation NOW and bring the lying, murderous administration in Washington to justice.

Saturday, June 17, 2006

Some Humans Ain't Human

The chimp visits Iraq and the press cheers and carbombs go off like fireworks but it isn't the 4th of July. It isn't liberation or success or anything heroic and our soldiers aren't killing and being killed for our freedom. And the heads on the TV continue to spew horse shit and and the prez -- well as the poet and bard John Prine says, "Some humans ain't Human."

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Demanding a Health Care System for All

OK you workin' stiffs, we owe it to ourselves to work for what most of the world already has. the Conyers-Kucinich Single Payer Bill HR 676 needs your support. And if you happen to be a buisness owner who's stumbled in here by mistake -- single payer health care will save you a lot of dough and headaches.

Is this "Socialized Medicine"? No, it is nationalized health insurance. Unlike your HMO, you will get to choose your Dr. who will be self employed and any private hospital as well. Yes, we'll pay for it in taxes but it will cost a lot less then we pay now for crappy half-assed coverage and you'll have it even between jobs!
What are you waiting for, endorse this bill and start pressuring your misrepresentative today.

Sunday, June 11, 2006

Another Fallujah?!

Will Ramadi be another Fallujah? We butchered a hundred times more civilians in Fallujah than Zarqari ever did and it looks like we're getting ready to do it again. We have to demand an end to this crime before it happens! We must call out to the international community to intervene and stop this out of control neocon junta from pereptrating mass murder.

Saturday, June 10, 2006

Untwisting the Racist/Zionist Propaganda

In my continuing efforts to untwist the racist/Zionist propaganda in our corporate media, I bring your attention to the New York Times article accusing Hamas of breaking its tuce to attack Israel. This article also goes through the trouble of trying to link Hamas to al-queda. There is no linkage whatsoever and many disagreements between these unrelated organizations. Hamas is far less extreme and concerned with establishing a Palestinian state and defending Palestinians against ethnic cleansing. A more reality based article on the situation can be found here.

The truth has always been that Israel does not want "peace" with Palestine. They want the whole of the area "cleansed" of Palestinians. Because peace implies the presence of Palestinians on some of that land,whenever peace seems like a possibility the Israelis will always undermine it. They do this through acts of aggression and assassination sure to inflame Palestinians. The recent events in Gaza are the latest example of this policy. They had to prevent Hamas from signing an accord for conditional recognition of Israel, without which, the demonization of Palestinians and the "unilateral setting of borders" by Israel could continue on track.

Friday, June 09, 2006

Settin 'em Up & Knockin 'em Down

That's right. While I'll shed no tears over the murder of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, he wouldn't have been such a powerful turd without our help and he's served his purpose. Does his death really change anything in Iraq? No, but it gives the neocons something to crow about. We have our own religious fanatics and they would gladly saw some of our heads off given the chance. Let's make sure they never get that chance.

Good as well to see DeLay go too. I only wish it was Cheney & Bush.
If I'm not as active here at the moment it's bacause I'm in the throes of production on the new Blue Collar Review.

Monday, June 05, 2006

Cindy Sheehan on The Abominations of War

Again Cindy Sheehan speaks for most of us in demanding an end to the monstrous debacle in Iraq and to this murderous administration.

Saturday, June 03, 2006

Taking Responsibility

The Cheny/Bush regime has found that the murders of a family in Ishaqi were not out of order and were done according to protocol. That's that!? I don't think that's acceptable according to our own or international laws but their admission that it was "by the book" is an admission that their policy is one of unmittigated hubris and massive indisriminate brutality.

This madness must end and we can't leave it up to phoney elections or irrational faith in the Democrats to end it. The above link contains the call for a major Demo on October 5th but as I have told the World Can't Wait folks, it isn't enough. Back in April I suggested a plan that would build up to shutting the country down if necessary -- and I think it is necessary, to depose the neocon junta that has hijacked our nation. The alternative -- an expanding reign of terror abroad and a locked-down fundimentalist run dictatorship at home -- is unacceptable.

It's time for us to take responsibility because in fact, we are responsible. It's time to depose King George and the whole rotten mess while we still can and to create a working class democracy to replace the corrupt corporate oligarchy that has grown like a cancer that threatens the entire world. Get your boots on, we've got plenty to do!

Thursday, June 01, 2006


The latest executions style murder of Iraqi civilians in Haditha is not the first. Several months ago I read of a very similar events that happened in Tikrit and Ashaqi. There is much evidence that the growing phenomenon of death squads in Iraq, is part of U.S. policy and investigations of this have been supressed. Though it has been known that many involved in death squad acitivity have been trained by the U.S., no surprise given the leadership role of John Negroponte and his NSA/repug ilk, what has not been stated is that many of these death squads may be made up of our own soldiers as well as government paid mercenaries. It has reached the point that even Iraq's "Vichy" leadership is voicing outrage and demanding its own investigation while Bush blathers meaningless drivle about "being troubled" and "talking to General Pace"."

Though according to the Nuremburg Principles, each soldier is personally responsible for their actions, it is the leadership that bears full responsibility. My finger is pointed directly at this vile administration, and it's media syncophants.