The Jaded Prole

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

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Where To From Here?

As the reality of economic disaster sets in, many are pointing fingers and looking for blame. Economist Joseph Stiglitz gets to the meat of it in his article Reversal of Fortune pointing to "special interest pressure, populist politics, bad economics, and sheer incompetence."

The bottom line is that the false ideology of the "free market" has failed miserably. It is corruption in practice and We the People are now beginning to pay the price for the unmitigated plunder of the country and the planet by the corporate ruling class. This has become so obvious that, as noted in an excellent article in Political Affairs Magazine, capitalism itself is being examined and it's future called into question in the mainstream press as Marx inevitably appears increasingly more relevant to our times than the delusional raving of the usual Wall Street sycophants.

While I continue to remain cautiously optimistic about the incoming Obama Administration, his choices of economic counsel are in fact some of the same folks who espoused the "free market" policies that are at the root of the present crisis. I continue to believe that Obama's intentions and agenda are good and that he feels he is tapping the most qualified expertise there is but he would do well to include some progressive minds from outside the inner sanctums of Capital. One of the good things about the Obama transition, though it may be more image that meat, is his interactive website in which he attempts to keep us informed as well as having the mechanism by which we can respond with our ideas and comments. It is important that we do that. We need to demand public works jobs to rebuild a non-fossil fuel national power grid and a national electric rail system because as George Monibot points out, if we don't radically alter our energy use nothing else will matter as the environment spins out of control. We need to push for a National Single-Payer Health system. We also need to demand a dismantling of the so-called "Homeland Security" apparatus and the return to a constitutional republic.

Saturday, November 08, 2008

The Real Willam Ayers Speaks Out

As the refuse of the election season is swept away like used confetti the Republicans left in the fuhrerbunker are in damage control mode. Moderate Repugs are spreading stories further discrediting Sarah Palin to prevent her return as the more reactionary base stews in their own hatred.

The Republicans are in tatters after running the worst campaign in history -- a campaign based on increasingly ridiculous accusations against Obama replete with racism and red-baiting. A big part of this involved every attempt to link Obama first to Black nationalism via the Rev. Wright, then to 60's radicalism via William Ayers, and finally to Palestinians (returning to anti-Muslim prejudices) via Rashid Khalidi. That all of their lies, bigotry and dirty politics failed adds to the victory and repudiation of the right. Still, the slander lives on and has victims so it is good to read what William Ayers has to say. The truth of his wise words again rips apart the lies of the radical right and their two-dimensional version of reality.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

A Moment To Savor

Savoring the Moment

This is a moment
for the blare of horns in the night
for fireworks and guns
shooting the sky
in poor neighborhoods long ignored
by everyone but the police
time for hosannas
and poetry time
for tears and laughter
time to breathe a little easier
with a hope not felt for years.

Let the first glimmer
of a new dawn
illuminate the faces, the
memory of those who didn't
make it here
as the long night recedes
at least a little bit --

Let the nightmare of
Patriot acts and torture cells
of "rendition" and war
be broken
Let Justice roll down
an unstoppable deluge
washing away the
murderers and liars,
the cynical imperialists and
all the parasitic hucksters of misery
leaving in its wake
a new topography on which to build
that tomorrow
we have all dreamt of

It is a great moment to realize that after so long we have a President with intelligence, a visionary and even better, a visionary with the brown skin which has been a stigma in this country for so long. Let this historic sweep be seen as what it is, the repudiation of the fascist/neocon ideology of hate, racism and imperialism, of nationalism, Evangelical repression and fear. Yes We Did!

Before he has the chance to disappoint us let us savor the hope he embodies and the progress he symbolizes. However bad he may be, he will be a great improvement. There is hope for us yet. I drank myself sober last night expecting the worst in time to cry listening to his victory speech. One more time for all of us.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Selection Day

Well, here it is, selection day. We know that the ruling class will choose whomever they feel their investments are safer with but we should pretend our votes really count (and are counted). The more of us that manage to traverse the obstacles the better. Lets show them a public repudiation. I personally expect another stolen election, or at least every attempt to do so. If that happens let's build on the anger and organize a more powerful resistance. If not -- if Obama wins by significant margins, lets remember to keep the pressure on him. As we have touchscreen machines where I live, I voted absentee and I can tall you the lines to do so were long a week ago. A record turnout and mostly pro Obama.

I'm going to do my best to ignore the spin until late tonight when the votes are mostly in. I may go and buy some poster board in preparation for protesting a stolen election tomorrow but otherwise, a good day to stay home and drink it out of my head or go up to a local bar and hang out. Whatever happens, tomorrow will be different. For you collectors of historical and hysterical memorabilia, buy up some of my anti-Bush T-shirts while they last and do your part to feed the presently jobless Prole!

Monday, November 03, 2008

John Dean, Former Nixon Counsel Speaks Out

A once prominent Republican, John Dean speaks out about authoritarian Republicans and the continuing danger they pose to the US and world. He knows up close and through much experience how these slimy bastards operate and lays out their basic traits as well as the traits of their followers. This is an important article as well as an endorsement for Obama. He ends by saying:

"This election should be a slam dunk for Barack Obama, who has run a masterful campaign. It was no small undertaking winning the nomination from Hillary Clinton, and in doing so, he has shown without any doubt (in my mind anyway) that he is not only qualified to be president, but that he might be a once-in-a-lifetime leader who can forever change the nation and the world for the better.

If Obama is rejected on November 4th for another authoritarian conservative like McCain, I must ask if Americans are sufficiently intelligent to competently govern themselves. I can understand authoritarian conservatives voting for McCain, for they know no better. It is well-understood that most everyone votes with his or her heart, not his or her head. Polls show that 81 percent of Americans "feel" (in their hearts and their heads) that our country is going the wrong way. How could anyone with such thoughts and feelings vote for more authoritarian conservatism, which has done so much to take the nation in the wrong direction?

We will all find out on (or about) November 5th."

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Election Scenarios -- What's Next?

As we all wait with baited breath for the final outcome of another divisive election season its time to put it all in perspective.

The only "electable" candidates in our country are pre-chosen as "front-runners" by our elite and then, we get to vote for the electors that will cast the actual votes -- though they are not required to tie their votes to ours. Alternative candidates get very few if any electors and so can't win even if we all voted for them. In short, our electoral system is a joke, a sham, as is our democracy. The ruling elite will select the candidate with whom they feel their investment is safest.

While many comfort themselves with the illusion that Obama, undoubtedly the "lesser of evils" with herald change, how much change can we really expect from someone who has received more than $37 million from lawyers and lobbyists, $21.6 million from the communications and electronics industries, and $16 million from health care interests? He is part of and beholden to the same interests that have had influence all along. The support for "health care interests" all but guarantees we won't see real national health care on his watch.

As Michael Parenti has explained, the real power however lies with the state, those unelected, behind the scenes high level apparatchiks who decide what is possible for our elected officials to do and what isn't.

As this corrupt system implodes due to conflicts with economic, ecological and political reality, it will be up to all of us to build a real alternative on the ground. We can learn much for the Argentine experience. We must come together and build real community support systems that can give our neighbors some semblance of hope and security in the very hard time ahead no matter which corporate candidate is selected and we must do this in earnest ASAP. Thousands of us are already facing homelessness as foreclosures continue and work dries up. You can bet that the same hate-mongering employed by the Repugs in this selection will be used to divert public anger into scapegoating and fascist violence. Without real alternatives that provide material security they will draw support of many desperate people with nowhere to turn.

If this election is stolen like the last two, we should be out in the streets. We can tap that anger to build a stronger movement of resistance which must be the foundation for the on the ground alternatives we must build. If Obama is the next President, we must keep the heat on him to follow through with a break from the policies of the last eight years including an end to the so-called Patriot Act and stop the planned use of troops against US citizens.