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Jack Rabbit

Jack Rabbit's Journal
Jack Rabbit's Journal
September 7, 2013

I don't think you are appreciating the dialectics of public opinion

I'm opposed to intervention in Syria for basically the reasons you are. Wars have never been fought because some king was so bad in bed that couldn't keep his wife satisfied and she ran off with somebody else and so he went to war to get her back. Modern archeology is uncovering evidence that there was a Trojan War, but it was fought over control of trade routes. The Mycenaeans simply thought the Trojans were an unnecessary middle man by extracting tolls from Mycenaean ships that strayed too close to Troy on their way to the Dardanelles.

What would you have said to Menelaus if you were a the ruler of another Mycenaean city if he came to you with a proposal to go to war over Helen's unfaithfulness? I don't know about you, but I would have said something like, "Get fucked, buddy. I don't care if you've got Agamemnon at your back, that fatheaded brother of yours is too big for his breaches, anyway. If you can't control your wife, that's your problem. If Agamemnon wants to make it his business, that's his choice. I'll keep my army here, thank you, in order to keep that thuggish brother of yours from meddling in my business."

I would have said the same thing to Menelaus if I were the King of Ithaca or a peasant living just outside of Sparta, where Menelaus was King. Poor Helen! She had such poor taste in men. She marries Menelaus and runs away with Paris. What is it about her that she was attracted to such losers?

Now, a typical American of the 21st century spends all day working for the Man, comes home dead on his feet and doesn't want to be bothered with what's being reported on the evening news. Even if it's a real news program that leaves him relatively informed instead of some video fish wrap that tells more than he needs to know about Paris Hilton's driving record or Kim Kardashian's latest whirlwind romance, he'd rather watch Dancing with the Stars or America's Got Talent. Still, he's vaguely informed about what's going on and knows that the CEO of the corporation for which he works is scheming to steal his retirement fund, Bush lied the country into a war against Iraq and that Obama has been less than candid about the NSA spying on us and can't seem to appoint anybody to his economic team who isn't a Wall Street crook (speaking of Wall Street crooks, such a deal they have for the CEO concerning high yield investments of the proceeds he will receive from stealing our hero's retirement fund).

In short, he knows enough not to trust his boss or the government. So, what do you suppose his initial reaction to being told we have to bomb Syria in order to protect Syrian civilians from being murdered by their brutal dictator? "I'm war weary," perhaps? Or maybe, "I'm tired of being lied to by one President or another"?

Don't be so dismissive of this fellow. He's aware his been screwed over again and again and is being screwed over yet again, right now. That's what's different. Like you, I'm old enough to remember the Tonkin Gulf "incident." It took almost four years for most of the population to figure out that the war against Vietnam was justified by a pack of lies and that the rosy reports of progress in winning the hearts and minds of Vietnamese peasants were a pack of lies. In the case of Iraq, this fellow may have been apprehensive about the idea of going to war against Saddam, but in the end he trusted the Man and only regretted trusting him later. This time, he's asking questions even before the Man takes action. That's a good thing, don't you think? The man might get his way and bomb Syria, but he won't be able to do any more. Our hero is waking up. He doesn't want to hear all the hooey about humanitarian intervention or credibility or honor, Most of all, he doesn't want to see his children or grandchildren to fight an imperialist war that will not benefit him or them, but will only benefit his CEO who wants to steal our hero's retirement fund and the Wall Street bankers waiting to swindle the CEO out of that.

Our hero is waking up. This time, it really is morning in America.

August 26, 2013

What Is to Be Done?

Let me remind people that Obama will not be on any ballot ever again, unless he tries to get his old Senate seat back in Illinois.

There are some in his administration I hope will never be employed by the government ever again. Larry Summers, for example, starting right now. I hope I will never have to vote for Diane Feinstein again. If she runs for re-election in 2018, at the age of 85, I can see myself doing what I did in 1980 -- standing in the voting booth, contemplating whether I should vote for Carter, who I thought had a disastrous record over four years in office, or for John Anderson, who didn't have a snowball's chance in hell of winning (You-Know-Who, the third-rate matinee idol, was out of the question).

OK, we couldn't depend on Obama to do what he at least implicitly and often explicitly promised. All we can do now is protest him in meek and abject ways. It's not much for me to say I won't buy his memoirs, since I haven't bought a book by any former president since The Vantage Point by Lyndon Johnson. I concluded the book was full of self-serving crap. Perusing over copies of other presidential memoirs after that, I came to the same conclusion about each one in succession.

Let's face it: there is no Republican in Congress, either house, who deserves re-election. There is no Republican governor elected in 2010 who deserves re-election in 2014. It would be ridiculous to believe the party of the Frat Boy and the Big Dick are going to protect our civil liberties because Obama didn't. After all, they're the bastards who violated them in the first place. The party of the Iraq War is not going to end drone strikes -- unless they can send in the Marines and torture any one in an invaded oil rich country who objects to US imperialism. Oh, and the economy? The architects of deregulation at least wouldn't consider Larry Summers for any responsible position, would they? No, but Phil Gramm will be Treasury Secretary again.

Beating the Republicans should be easy, if they didn't pass so many racist voter ID requirements. Apart from that, we also have a slough of Democrats who don't deserve re-election, either. Max Baucus (or is it Bought-kus?), who when the Senate Banking Committee held hearings prior to writing the Affordable Care Act didn't want to hear anything about a public option, certainly deserves no support for making it a weaker bill than it could have been or perhaps needed to be.

I voted for Obama in 2008 because I believed in him. I voted for Obama in 2012 because I wasn't feeling good about America's chances of surviving and knew that it wouldn't survive having a vulture capitalist in the White House. Right now, I am not optimistic that it will survive Obama.

Stop waiting for that man on the white horse to lead us to the promised land. There is no promised land and that man on the white horse is part of the problem. Give him power, and he'll just want more. For him, it's about how much power he can get and how he can keep it, even if he has to betray those who helped him to get it.

Presient Obama is not without his achievements. On the plus side: he ended the war against Iraq; will end the war in Afghanistan, although taking more time to do so than necessary; killed Osama bin Laden, the man responsible for the September 11 attacks; succeeded in getting Congress to pass the Affordable Care Act, although it is much weaker than it could have been; signed the Lilly Ledbetter Act into law; and he made a series of maneuvers that has resulted in giant steps toward the goal of equality for gay and lesbian Americans. While Guantánamo remains open, the President wants to close it and has been prevented from doing so by obstinate congressional Republicans who will be judged even more harshly by history than President Obama for what follows.

On the other hand, there is the minus side: Obama has aided and abetted the war criminals from the Bush junta in escaping justice; he has committed war crimes in his own right though the careless use of predator drones against suspected terrorists without regard to collateral damage (i.e., the deaths of noncombatants); he has continued the mass surveillance of private communications of American citizens begun under the Bush junta with only cosmetic "reforms"; he has signed into law a measure that allows him to abrogate any person's right to due process of law; he has punished individuals for exposing war crimes, acts of terror and torture while acting in the official capacity as agents of the United States, while taking no action against or even rewarding those whose crimes were exposed; he has aided and abetted the Wall Street criminals who crashed the world economy not only in escaping justice but in gaining greater power over the lives of common people whose trust they betrayed than they had before; he has sent negotiators to secret meetings aimed at agreeing on the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a trade deal that will end the national sovereignty of any nation foolish enough to sign it and set up a court to levy fines against any signatory nation that fails to bring its laws into compliance with TPP standards in matters concerning consumer safety, labor rights and environmental protection.

It remains to be seen whether the President will push Congress to approve the TPP or to approve himself the Keystone Pipeline, both of which would also count on the minus side.

Obama isn't the one one we were waiting for. We have to take up that mantle ourselves.

A few goals for a mass movement:

  • All American citizens shall have the right to vote once and only once in each election.
  • A corporation is a business created by the state, not a citizen or a human being with any human rights; references to corporate personhood are limited to matters of contract law, torts and the like, and in no way are to be used by any court to grant rights to businesses not explicitly spelled out in its charter or in business law.
  • Corporate proceeds belong to the stockholders and shall not be used to influence public policy or elections; owners of corporations are free to use their own personal money toward these ends.
  • The right of the people, through their elected representatives appointed executives, to regulate business and seize property used in manners deemed harmful to public health or contrary to the maintainace of a democratic form of government shall not be infringed.
  • Free trade agreements that restrict the right of the people to elect representatives for the purpose of legislating for public health, environmental health or workplace safety are null and void.
  • The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized (Alas, this bears repeating).
August 10, 2013

When it comes to domestic surveillance, I'm an abolishionist

Talking about reforming the surveillance state is simply absurd. The War on Terror was and continues to be as phoney as a three dollar bill. As many have observed, this kind of massive surveillance didn't save any lives in Boston this Spring. That is not what it is about. It is more effectively used as as early warning radar system against popular dissent, something that the government and its corporate masters will need in an era of "free" trade agreements such as the Trans-Pacific Partnership. The threat to democracy and national sovereignty posed by the TPP must be accompanied by wide spread surveillance and control of the population or the "free" trade regime will fail under the weight of mass resistance.

It is in our best interests to make sure that we can resist a world wide corporate totalitarianism. Accordingly, mass surveillance cannot be reformed. These programs must be dismantled.

May 17, 2013

The big question in the Benghazi Scandal is now . . .

What did Darrell Issa know and when did he know it?

Or, perhaps we can substitute John Boehner for Issa's name.

In any case, Republicans have once again been caught constructing a false story, not to cover up an embarrassing event or criminal intent, but simply to create a false narrative in order to exaggerate the administration's culpability. This ranks up there with burglarizing the headquarters of the loyal opposition, selling arms to hostile nation behind the backs of Congress and the public and leading the nation to war based on a pack of lies as the worst incidents of government malfeasance I can recall.

For the benefit of lurking right wing morons, an incident where the President gets a blow job from an intern in the Oval Office is deliberately omitted. One may find it tacky or disgusting (after all, I did), but it doesn't rise to the level of government malfeasance.

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Hometown: Sacramento Valley, California
Member since: 2001
Number of posts: 45,984

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