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Jack Rabbit

Jack Rabbit's Journal
Jack Rabbit's Journal
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.

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