In light of my rant yesterday on the “current state of affairs,” here is part one of a germeane Jello Biafra interview.
Two years ago today Barack Obama was inaugurated as the 44th president of the United States. So, now we are at the halfway point in his prseidential term and having always been a critic of the man, I am long past the point of “I told you so.” Looking back, Election ’08 was the first election where I had a real political consciousness and watching another tyrant slither his way into the White House was pure torment. Admittedly, the election and Obama got everyone energized (including me), but conversely I was not moved by the man’s ubiquitous, but meaningless mantras of “hope” and “change.” Instead I was motivated to combat ignorance, empire building, militarism, and corporate domination- all characteristics of Obama and every other president’s political career. It seems like a few years ago in the Bush era people were semi-united in their repudiation of Bush and everything his administration represented, the public was overwhelmingly against a war they previously had favored, and overall the anti-war movement was much stronger. Then along came Obama and he fucked everything up. People felt Obama was their man and they could relax because every little thing was going to be alright. But, they never stopped to observe his actual policies. During the whole campaign and afterwards I told people that Obama would not provide change unless he was pushed to from the people, but more often than not he would maintain existing conditions and work for the few. This was no secret and in a way you can’t blame him for following through with the polices he campaigned on. He campaigned on hawkish, pro War on Terror (Afghnistan) amongst other high military expenditures and vague time tables for Iraq. It’s weird how when Bush was in office people were far more against the war and then when Obama comes in this anger seems to have dissipated, at least to me. Anti-War activist Cindy Sheehan has noted this decrease as well. My only explanations are Obama’s reign and also the state of the economy. Everyone is focused on their wallets and understanably so. Now, we are halfway through an Obama term in office and the public’s excessive fandom has subsided; it will be interesting to see where the second half of his run will take us and what creatures they have in store for us for the next election- it’s not too far away.
This is a bit old, but I’m using it for Poli Sci debate, so I figured I’d post it here for the hell of it. I like Dennis Kucinich a lot and really admire him for his integrity, but I always hate the way him and others like Ron Paul treat these conflicts as “issues” when they discuss them. Don’t get me wrong, they are extremely rare for their comparitively radical views as Congressmen, but comments such as “I like Obama…” blows my mind. HE’S A WAR CRIMINAL, MASS MURDERER! Perhaps they can’t speak out in that manner because they are public officals. I mean they have the right ideas with the knowledge and evidence to back up their platforms, but it’s as if they treat the president’s policies as poor political moves rather than crimes against humanity. Then again, Kucinich valiantly proposed impeachement of Bush as a War Criminal, so kudos to him. I also dig O’Reilly’s line about Obama being closer to Bill on the War, which is absolutely true. Oboma cheerleaders should take note. If you’re Antiwar and support Obama, then that’s fine for you, but it ain’t my cup of tea. I think y’all better choose a side soon.
I believe this was Howard Zinn’s final written piece; it was written for
The Nation and it regards his usual cynical outlook on our leaders, of course now, Obama.
I’ve been searching hard for a highlight. The only thing that comes close is some of Obama’s rhetoric; I don’t see any kind of a highlight in his actions and policies.
As far as disappointments, I wasn’t terribly disappointed because I didn’t expect that much. I expected him to be a traditional Democratic president. On foreign policy, that’s hardly any different from a Republican–as nationalist, expansionist, imperial and warlike. So in that sense, there’s no expectation and no disappointment. On domestic policy, traditionally Democratic presidents are more reformist, closer to the labor movement, more willing to pass legislation on behalf of ordinary people–and that’s been true of Obama. But Democratic reforms have also been limited, cautious. Obama’s no exception. On healthcare, for example, he starts out with a compromise, and when you start out with a compromise, you end with a compromise of a compromise, which is where we are now.
I thought that in the area of constitutional rights he would be better than he has been. That’s the greatest disappointment, because Obama went to Harvard Law School and is presumably dedicated to constitutional rights. But he becomes president, and he’s not making any significant step away from Bush policies. Sure, he keeps talking about closing Guantánamo, but he still treats the prisoners there as “suspected terrorists.” They have not been tried and have not been found guilty. So when Obama proposes taking people out of Guantánamo and putting them into other prisons, he’s not advancing the cause of constitutional rights very far. And then he’s gone into court arguing for preventive detention, and he’s continued the policy of sending suspects to countries where they very well may be tortured.
I think people are dazzled by Obama’s rhetoric, and that people ought to begin to understand that Obama is going to be a mediocre president–which means, in our time, a dangerous president–unless there is some national movement to push him in a better direction.
I wish Emma Goldman was president…Yeah, I know that doesn’t make sense for obvious reasons, but still!
New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd wrote on Sunday, September 13 that Wednesday’s (September 9) outburst by South Carolina Republican Congressman Joe Wilson during President Obama’s address to a joint session of Congress was racially motivated. As we told you earlier, Wilson shouted, “you lie,” when the president said his health care plan would not cover illegal immigrants.
Dowd writes: “What I heard was an unspoken word in the air — you lie, boy!… Wilson clearly did not like being lectured and even rebuked by the brainy black president presiding over the majestic chamber.”
Liberal columnists are not alone in suggesting that any opposition to the president is race-driven. Texas Democratic Congresswoman Eddie Bernice Johnson tells the Politico: “As far as African-Americans are concerned, we think most of it is.”
And California Democratic Congressman Mike Honda adds: “There’s a very angry, small group of folks that just didn’t like the fact that Barack Obama won the presidency. With some, I think it is (about race.)”
But White House press secretary Robert Gibbs says to CNN: “I don’t think the president believes that people are upset because of the color of his skin.”
It’s fair to say that *some* criticism is racially motivated. But there are plenty of other reasons why this is happening. It’s more partisan tension than racial.
The more conservative factions in this country don’t care that we’re the only nation without a universal health care system, because “socialism” is still a dirty word in this nation. The GOP has taken advantage of gullible citizens and convinced them that if Obama‘s plan gets passed, he’ll kill all the grandparents. And even before that the Republicans convinced America that Obama has turned this country into a socialist country…even though it was Bush who gave the O.K. to bail out Wall Street a year ago. In these respects and more, it’s fair to say that criticism of our president is more based on his politics than on the color of his skin.
In the simply thrilling Bright Eyes number, ” At the Bottom of Everything,” singer/songwriter, Conor Oberst merrilly declares that the “the whole world’s waking up.” I’d love to agree with ya Conor, man, but the cynical side of me must toss you off the cloud your floating on bud. Don’t get me wrong, musically/artistically, this piece and the entire album will go down in the annals of exceptional entertainment. On an entirely different level, I completely disagree with the aformentioned assumption. Clearly, Oberst is referring to Americans waking up to the sad state of their country under George W. Bush and his hawkish policies. I agree, that within the past few years, we’ve seen an extremely rare political play. Finally, people were pointing fingers at the “bad guy,” as they rightfully should have. There was an entire mood of Anti-Bush! Even my grandparents, fairly moderate-conservative people viewed their comander in chief as a bumbling fool. With this new repudiation of Bush it became extremely palpable for a young, charming, eloquent, black man to rise to the top of an old, now foolish, white man’s empire. But, that’s an entirely different story. As much as I hated everything Bush represnted, I know he’s merely a puppet in a grand scheme of century after century of carnage. If you look closely, the wave of Anti-Bush actually painted the man as a sympathetic character. They say the War in Iraq was a mistake… no my friends it was and is a blatant CRIME against humanity: Ma$$ Murder, as any serious political commentator would inform you. Imagine, if the history books noted Ted Bundy’s and John Wayne Gacy’s crimes as mistakes. That would be an obscenity and neither Bush nor any other public figure should be treated any diffrently. The average American, who may have detested Bush, I seriously doubt will mention these basic flaws in their criticisms. Sure, now citizens and politicians alike are “against” the War in Iraq, but are they truly opposed to all American foreign policy, sadly most aren’t. So, did the world really wake up? Nahh, their (american) dreams turned into nightmares and they hopped out of bed to do some sleep walking. It is the job of the radical (the minority) to snap the conformed (the majority) into reality… by any means necessary.
I think a different perspective on news stories’ll be a big part of my contribution here (though I mean big as in most recognizable- I like keeping it short and sweet). So I’ll start with this whole Henry Gates Cambridge cops Obama deal out in the news. There’s a lot of facts, but I’ll keep it short-Harvard man Gates was arrested for supposedly breaking into his own home even after showing i.d. (which was not an actual i.d., so the cop’s actions are understandable). Obama commented, saying the policeman acted “stupidly”. Now there is anger coming from Cambridge policemen understandably supporting their fellow officer.
Now I’m going to bypass everything stated here for a second and ask a question: Why the fuck was Obama asked about this while addressing healthcare? That is the only thing I can focus on. Instead of attacking Obama- legitimately, for a completely uninformed statement from the president of the United States of America- why is no one wondering why his opinion on some petty little squabble in Cambridge was asked in the first place? Someone should find the guy who asked him and tell him to just stop practicing journalism if he’s gonna ask irrelevant shit to stir up a storm.