Political Earthquakes Rock Iceland

Will Populist Anger Force New Elections?

In language that, in spirit, occasionally resembles the list of grievances contained in the United States’ Declaration of Independence, a group of Icelanders have been recently circulating a petition rejecting the IMF’s huge, 2.1 billion dollar financial bailout just negotiated. In a stunning move, these Icelanders are now asking the IMF to not turn over any monies to the same politicians and financial geniuses (sic) who got Iceland into this mess to begin with, and to wait until a new group takes power. It’s a radically defiant gesture, a populist one to be sure, but it is also just one of a series of such gestures now rocking this normally placid country.

Yesterday, (Nov. 22) an estimated 7-8000 people (the US equivalent to several million) gathered in what is becoming a weekly mass protest in front of the Althingi, or Parliament. As well, angry citizens stormed the police building in downtown Reykjavik to force the release of one young man held for raising a supermarket chain flag atop the Parliament building. Eggs now regularly adorn the Parliament’s windows and doorways, statues are defaced, and the demands for the government to step down are becoming increasingly forceful. And near-violent as well. Perhaps the best received line in all the speeches yesterday was passionately delivered by Katrín Oddsdottir who said, at Saturday’s gathering said, “If they don’t let us vote, we will find another way of voting-we will carry them out…” In a country this size, this is not a threat to be taken lightly.

The calls for new elections are taking an edgy fervor, with a normally quiet citizenry emboldened each week despite governmental news conferences rejecting early elections, and thin pledges to trim Parliamentarian salaries. The dominant party of the past 60 years, The Independence Party (conservative, neo-liberal) has its reputation in complete tatters. (A recent study projects that, were an election were held today, they would receive a paltry 24%, losing eight representatives in Parliament. In contrast, an election held today would propel the Left-Green Movement into power with 19 members, up from only 9 now. No wonder they don’t want to call early elections.)

The Independence Party’s former leader (and ex-Prime Minister for 12 years) David Oddsson, had been appointed head of the Central Bank of Iceland in 2007 in a sweetheart deal that now has him and a few other politicians (like current Prime Minister, Geir Haarde) facing physical threats in a decidedly uncharacteristic Icelandic display of anger. The largest opposition party, the Social Democratic Alliance (moderately socialist) is fairing a little better, though their once-vaunted standard-bearer Ingibjörg Solrun Gisladottir sits in the coalition partnership with the Independence Party. A mood of barely subdued volcanic tension is felt everywhere and Iceland ’s politicians are in serious trouble.

The one notable exception, Steingrimur J. Sigfusson, the eloquent Left-Green Movement leader, is rising dramatically in the polls. His calls for a new election are becoming so forceful that, despite a constant barrage of anti-new election PR, the ruling coalition is facing almost no support and losing rapidly what little it retains, pushing them towards that very real possibility.

Iceland , sitting literally smack in the middle of two tectonic plates, (ironically the European and North American) is now facing earth-shaking political tremors which may soon herald a completely new configuration in Icelandic politics. Let us hope the political classes on both sides of this divide also take the hint and act rapidly in their countries before they too face similar populist dissatisfaction. For if they don’t, this small North Atlantic island might spawn a tsunami that washes onto both American and European shores and cleans out the political detritus there. One can only hope…

Rev. José M. Tirado is a poet, priest and writer finishing a PhD in psychology while living in Iceland. Read other articles by José.

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  1. JBPM said on November 25th, 2008 at 1:39pm #

    I find it interesting that all US media coverage (such as it is) of the Iceland situation only gives the rough number of protestors (i.e., “hundreds”) without explaining the sizeable percentage of Icelanders that these hundreds equal. The seismic quality of this scenario would be more obvious if those raw numbers were put into perspective. Imagine having 1% of Americans beating down the door of Congress, demanding that the pieces of shit behind the economic collapse resign at the very least.

    I hope that wave washes onto our shores sooner rather than later.

  2. Rev. José M. Tirado said on November 26th, 2008 at 2:36am #

    JB,
    You raise a good point. Imagine is every week 2-4 million…that is MILLION people surrounded Congress demanding a redress of their grievances. Imagine that the numbers were increasing weekly and the people were so discontented that, in numbers unimaginable to us now, no politician could walk anywhere , anytime without being accosted and challenged to explain why there are schools without books, poor people still live on the streets, or why we continnue to need hundreds of billions of dollars to maintain an empire while roads and bridges are failing and people can no longer afford to live. You think those politicians would do something? You bet. And quickly too. That´s what´s happening here. And I wish you guys would make it happen there.
    Best
    José

  3. Don Hawkins said on November 26th, 2008 at 5:46am #

    It’s in the work’s.

  4. Rev. José M. Tirado said on November 26th, 2008 at 7:07am #

    Hi Don,
    You think so? So far I haven´t seen anything too positive in that front but I hope you´re right.
    Best,
    josé

  5. Dogwood said on November 26th, 2008 at 7:21am #

    Please go to november5.org for what’s in the works.

  6. Rev. José M. Tirado said on November 26th, 2008 at 7:53am #

    Did it. OK, I hope this is part of something that begins a process long overdue. And I hope people do take some initiative (and maybe turn off Dancing with the Stars…)

    I would recommend also Tim Wise´s piece in AlterNet to all who frequent DV. He echoes complaints I have made about the “barbiturate Left” and hope to not see repeated again as I saw in the 60s.

    In the US, the next few years will be crucial and if people can organize and stay focused, and be willing to hear people where they are and move from there, in solidarity, then maybe we can effect some change. Events here in Iceland demonstrate the enormous power of the people when determined.
    Best,
    José

  7. Rev. José M. Tirado said on November 26th, 2008 at 7:54am #

    …and united.

  8. JBPM said on November 26th, 2008 at 8:08am #

    Jose,

    Here’s the link for the Alternet story you mentioned: http://www.alternet.org/election08/108746

    And thanks to Dogwood for the November5.org link. I’ve signed up too.

    Bless,
    JBPM

  9. Don Hawkins said on November 26th, 2008 at 8:19am #

    I know so. It’s starting with younger folks with some help from some older folks as well it should.

  10. Max Shields said on November 26th, 2008 at 8:53am #

    Rev. José M. Tirado,

    While we definitely need to mobilize and create an enduring movement, I found Wise’s take a strange caracture of the so-called left. He talks about 20 years ago and meeting up with Stalinist types who like a strange musical genre, etc. Twenty years ago!!!

    It seems he has framed a “left” which sounds like the Hithcock “Torn Curtain” Soviet Union or an old James Bond film – a kind of head in the stand monotoned character. How quaint. The changes – though far from sufficient – post JFK were significant. Call it left, call it progressive, call it a great awakening. It faded not because of the Left, but because the boomers got suckered into the Americkan way of life, for the most part. They stopped being activists citizens. Nothing to do with a “left”.

    Critiquing Obama should not be the focus of a movement. But expect the blogosphere to have much of that. It has become part of the culture – for better or worse. But it has nothing to do with 20 years ago. And twenty years ago, Stalin was clearly not consider the “hero” the American left.

    There are people, non-academic types who are creating local change. Those who will whine away with some neverending negative stance, will do what they do. They are not part of the change and so what?

    The problem in Amerika is that the power structure is deep and firmly in control. The people who voted for Obama (as it appears Wise did – buyer’s remorse?) could not have thought that Obama meant real progressive change. But they not only voted for him, they now have the gall tp chastise those who didn’t and for the reasons that have been expounded on DV and elsewhere.

    That Wise is part of the problem may be yet another consideration.

    That we must move beyond Obama, is clear.

  11. Deadbeat said on November 26th, 2008 at 10:18am #

    Max Shields writes…

    That Wise is part of the problem may be yet another consideration.

    The full title of Tim Wise’s article is …
    Enough of ‘Barbituate’ Left Cynicism, Obama Is a Victory over White Supremacy

    The problem that may WHITES on the Left has during this election cycle is the enormous support that Barack Obama has with people of color. Because the Left could not address Obama support among Black and Brown people, rather than provide a nuance analysis they spewed out anger and frustration and perched themselves with an “I told you so” attitude.

    Tim Wise has spent the past several decade confronting white supremacy (unfortunately he is not as vocal confronting Zionism). Therefore Wise was a much keener observer of how the Obama campaign was juxtapose as a referendum against white supremacy.

    Glen Ford of Black Commentator critiques of Obama also fell on deaf ears among communities of color because his critique was duplicitous especially since he support Howard Dean in 2004 and because he railed against black voters. However Ford’s critique provided excellent cover for white leftist to use as well.

    Because the white left does not have any real solidarity with people of color they did not have an adequate response to the Obama campaign. Clearly Obama is going to disappoint if not betray his base. This has already started with his crummy appointments. But because of the “holier than thou” stance of many white leftist they will only find themselves ALIENATED from communities of color. This is why a NUANCE stance is vital.

    To say that Wise is part of the problem demonstrates Max’s own ignorance of how to build solidarity with communities of color and his own duplicity since Max has often argued here on DV against Zionism being a major problem and influential in U.S. Foreign Policy and the War on Iraq.

    People like Max are the REAL problem because their ignorance and duplicity retards solidarity with communities of color.

  12. Rev. José M. Tirado said on November 26th, 2008 at 10:48am #

    “Deadbeat”,
    We are ALL part of the problem and the caricatures Tim talks about are found daily here and in other websites of teh putative Left in the US. We need to get past the visions of a socialist republic and meet USAmericans where they are: in bowling alleys, union halls, churches, synagogues, civic organizations and volunteer communities. We need to stop shooting each other and face the enemy: apathy (an historic problem in the US with its dreams of “exceptionalism”) and a rooted system of inequality and moneyed interests. Those who win LOVE hearing us quibble over our Zionist arguments and our sectarian bitterness. I´m all for winning this time around. But we need each other in order to do that.
    Best,
    josé

  13. bozh said on November 26th, 2008 at 11:34am #

    blaming victims as well as perps is not the way to go. the perps of crimes against humans of low and lower classes had instituted slavery, absolute obedience to the ruling class (kings, plutos), serfdom, disinformation, miseducation, etc.
    now, it makes no sense to blame equally a liar w. a tank or a jetfighter and another liar or nonliar w. a spear/rifle.
    working class, massively miseducated by clero-political-military ‘elite’, w. near zero monetary-educational-military-political powers, needs to know that they r ok but have been subjugated, enslaved, enserfed for millennia right to this day.
    but even while now in toto? enserfed, we r now segueing back into slavery since slavery is easier to manage than ‘free’ people (serfs). thnx

  14. Max Shields said on November 26th, 2008 at 12:12pm #

    Brother Deadbeat, get ye to a bowling alley – pronto!

  15. Max Shields said on November 26th, 2008 at 12:44pm #

    The problem, Mr. Deadbeat with you and your “anti-racist” Wise is the simplicity with which you hold court.

    For you and Mr. Wise, race is all that matters. And there is not only a fictional “leftist” that you regularly flog, but it’s a “white leftist” bashing that you and your kindred spirit unleash. How sanctimonious of the two of you…

    And when a man, a black man, like Glen Ford speaks, you manage to funnel him through you sanctimoniousness.

    I see white guilt all over this little diatribe you and Mr. Wise seem to have found. An inverted racism that paints your world with all kinds of sanctimony, never having to face the truth. The convert seeing only the ugliness of the great other (“white lefist”) who will never learn and must always be taught, every Obama myth is a lesson to the “white left” who will never be forgiven their sins of not offering a “left” vision to people of color. Why should “white leftists” be so arrogant as to offer a “left” vision for people of color? Aren’t their plenty of people of color – like those who post regularly on Black Agenda – capable of creating that vision. I would say, MOST DEFINITELY. Some of the most thoughtful posts I’ve seen can be found there. There are plenty of people of color with the right stuff. Solidarity between us all, regardless of color is, I agree, needed. But progressive people of color are not as narrow minded as you and Brother Wise.

    When WILL you come down from that lofty pedistal Mr. Deadbeat…Mr. Wise…and perhaps the Reverend?

  16. Rev. José M. Tirado said on November 26th, 2008 at 1:32pm #

    Well, I don´t know what pedastal you are referring to but I am old enough to not have to defend my Lefty bona fides to a stranger. My point now and always in the past is simple, the chances of bringing about the change you want is in direct proportion to the people who doin´t share your views 100% coming help you. In every great struggle there was never…and if you read books you are welcome to search…never a time when some “vanguard” went and got want they wanted. They were able to cajole, convince, and conspire with those who were at times enemies and those whom they were able to change minds.

    So, when I say we are all part of the problem I neither romanticize some book acquired image of the working masses (I come from a working class family who, until I came along never finished high school) nor do I find that they and those who oppress or take advantage of them are the same. I am suggetsing that until we bridge our own narrow and, as I said existed here on this site, ideologically rigid divides between ourselves and our neighbors, much more so our “enemies”, until then we will win nothing.

    Put in simple terms, you guys there have a chance to do something different and get more than “universal health care” and gay marriage (the 2 things you may get from a BO administration. That´s all.) But the fundamentals of the US economy will not change. So waht you can change are the views of the workers. That is where Tim´s article was very importatn and where “deadbeat” was correct. ANd you can´t change attitudes if you don´t hang out with them. How many here belong to a union, go to church, or a part of a volunteer organization in your communities where people you don´t know or think like you (or look like you) work together? That´s my point. I´m not the elitist here.

    Now Max, the canards about boomers need no repeating. They are spent forces (the canards) that contribute nothing to making change. The power structure in the US is the same now as it was when I was born (1959) and as it was 100 years befoer that. You want something new you have to bring together people. Period. But as I said, there are plenty of people who fit to a “t” the pictures Tim paints. Some have responded to this article. And we have got to get past that kind of thinking if we are going to get a better society and a better system.
    Best,
    josé

  17. Max Shields said on November 26th, 2008 at 1:56pm #

    Rev. José M. Tirado,

    I won’t argue with your last post. I do however find what you’re saying, unintended th0ugh it may be, a twisting of Tim Wise and Deadbeat’s postions which is not about unity but about divisiveness.

    Using the race card as a sane argument is insane.

    Wise is simply over the top, and you, Jose introduced him into this discussion. Deadbeat has been singing this song for months. He demonizes a so-called left and trumps up racism or whatever to give it some spice.

    There is work before us, but it has nothing to do with going to bowling allies. It has to do with creating a shared vision. It’s not about finding total agreement, it’s about finding important agreement and building on it. It’s about a movement; not divisiveness that pushes off people who note the rightwing power structure behind this president-elect.

    The problem is not a so-called leftist group who have been rightly critizing Obama and the Dems. It’s the so-called progressives who voted for Obama and the Dems as if there is no history here. As if we can just keep playing this charade election after election.

    Change will not come through the ballot. We are denied choices on that front. We must create our choices. A movement that creates it’s leaders who are really the people.

    Stop with the racist divisive talk. Get on with reality. The problem is the power structure on the one hand, and the divisive talk of blaming the very people who want change, on the other. Stop with the self-flagelation; the demonization of those who do not hold power, while the powerful retain and grow in power.

  18. bozh said on November 26th, 2008 at 2:10pm #

    tirado makes some good points.
    i’d like to point out that if usans do not or can’t establish a second party, US will retain a oneparty sytem of governance.
    i believe, no one can or wld dare split uncle sam i two. but once amers obtain a viable second party, the uncle wld be split in two. that wld signify a great victory for working class/ serfs.
    a party cannot be infiltrated or lead by the nose as marches/ gathering cld.
    even if 50mns amers march together to washington, not much wld have been achieved.
    the ruling class wld just make ‘promises’ or if such a march wld become perilous to sam, the ruling class wld simply use water cannons, dogs or even shoot a few people.
    uncle sam had had his beloved america for 400? yrs. he aint gonna give up w.o. a fight.
    what kind? that’s the question.
    as said nothing nor anyone can split uncle. i prefer a socialist party as second party but it cld be party that pushes for health care for all, no more warfare; higher education for all kids who want it.
    that much anyway.
    at present time of our panhuman develoment, all ethnoses, nations, parties demand leadership.
    it is, of course, not a given that uncle wld allow a party he disproves of.
    but it has to be tried. thnx

  19. Garrett said on November 26th, 2008 at 2:19pm #

    “At some point, the left will have to relinquish its love affair with marginalization. We’ll have to stop behaving like those people who have a favorite band they love, and even damn near worship, until that day when the band actually begins to sell a lot of records and gain a measure of popularity, at which point they now suck and have obviously sold out…”

    Tim Wise speaks as if the Democratic Party is that band, which only goes to show that he doesn’t really get it. He doesn’t get that those to whom he is speaking didn’t worship the Democratic Party – or any political party – prior to the Democractic Party victories of recent years.

    I respect Wise’s work on raising awareness about white privilege, but he’s missing the boat on this one.

  20. Rev. José M. Tirado said on November 26th, 2008 at 3:50pm #

    Thanks bozh, we have disagreed on much in the past but I appreciate your comments.

    Max, I brought up Wise because I think he is right about a number of things, namely the extent to which marginaliziation becomes a badge of honor worn by armchair warriors (or Internet warriors) of the USAmerican Left. Deadbeats´ main contention (as I read it), that “the white left does not have any real solidarity with people of color” is I think, fairly accurate there. I can´t speak for his intentions, and I doubt if you or anyone else can. That said, what do we do? Well, you said, “There is work before us, but it has nothing to do with going to bowling allies. It has to do with creating a shared vision”. OK. But how do you get to a shared vision if you don´t meet people with whom you do not have one at present? My take on the effectiveness of the US Left is something like this:
    We want a “reolution” but…
    Can´t talk to Republicans–they are the enemy.
    Can´t talk to Democrats–they are the sell-outs to my enemy.
    Can´t talk to the liberals–they support the Democrats.
    Can´t talk to the conservatives–they support the Republicans.
    Can´t talk to the religious folks–they´re irrational.
    Can´t talk to the Jews–they are mainly Zionists and I support the Palestinaians.
    Can´t talk to the “boomers”–they sold “us” out.
    Can´t talk to the union members–they are irrelevant and too old anyway.
    Can´t talk to hunters–they like guns and are paleolithic.
    Can´t talk to military types–they follow orders given by my enemy.
    Can´t talk to New Agers–they´re weird.
    Can´t talk to Southerners–they´re remnants of slaveholders.
    Can´t talk to Blacks–they have their own thing.
    Can´t talk to Latinos–I don´t speak Spanish…
    So who are “we”? Who will I create that “revolution” with? Oh yeah, the same people I spend hours each day talking the same ideas with and who agree with me.

    That´s not the way to a revolution.

    My point was clear I thought but I´ll repeat it by bringing us back to Iceland.

    Here 84+% of workers are in a union. Plumbers in plumbers unions, lawyers in lawyer unions, teachers in teacher unions, etc. In bars I can hang out with plumbers, lawyers, trash collectors, druggies, punks, civil servants, teachers and just plain old dudes. (And women) They all receive (and this is in the most US like of the Scandinavian countries) 6-8 weeks PAID vacation per year, maternity and paternity leave,and about 10-15% have “summer houses”, second, smaller flats out in the country they use during the 3 months of heavenly weather. No “workers paradise” but they stuck together, and got these things by fighting for them together; now they are in a pickle having allowed their politicians to copy a shitty US example and they are paying the price for it.

    So what do they do? Lawyers and plumbers and teachers and punks are all together egging Parliament and amassing in numbers that, as JBPM mentioned above if recreated in the US would be oh, say 6 million every Saturday. And next Monday the whole country will walk out on their jobs at 3 pm. Andf if the politicians still don´t call new elections, you can bet a general strike will be called. (And for those timid among us, yes, it´s “illegal” here too. So what?)

    Now you don´t think Congress wold move on some legislation you wanted if you had 6 million friends with you? But how will you get there if you don´t meet those people?

    And that is my whole point.

    You have to be willing to stretch, to leave the warm insulation of Web relationships and actually hang out with others and work the fabulous intellect each of you here have on someone who initially DOES NOT agree with you.
    You will fail.
    Many times.
    But you will succeed at others. And the places where you will find people like that who are surprisingly amenable to hearing new ideas so long as you treet them with some respect, are the folks I mentioned in churches, union halls, bowling alleys and other places where 99% of the USAmerican “left” does NOT hang out in.

    (And racism is a reality too.)

    So when you guys (and I note how many men are here and how few women–you might want to also contribute at Stan Goff´s site where he makes an active effort to get the women´s opinions included) get together you will get what you want. It is the the marginalizing, fanatic ideology of the minute that will always keep “us” from winning. I saw it before and I don´t want to see it again.

    But, as I said, out of all this you will get 2 things from BO, that´s pretty much for sure, a “universal health plan” and gay marriage. I will not dismiss those things but without mass action, you will get no more. If that´s enough for you, OK, cool. If not, my suggestion is to find ways past the main obstacles we all–myself included–have and that is our own comfort zones.
    Best,
    josé

  21. Shabnam said on November 26th, 2008 at 4:35pm #

    We will expose all puppets, black and white, who are following the same policy of war and destruction and attack on humanity. The so called ‘people of color’ must accept the fact that disillusioned people are not going to give a free ride to someone who has deceived his own community by preaching on an empty slogan, C H A N G E, but all his selections and voting habit show otherwise and WORSE. We don’t pay any attention to those who want us be patient with a ‘victim’ of white supremacy to silent his critics. We are united to expose any hypocrite, black or white. People of color must face the facts and realize that the election of Obama in fact has created more divisions amongst ‘progressive’ which is desired by Obama’s master. Obama has been already exposed to people of the middle east region. Reading people’s opinions in different wesites prove this point. Obamas’s action so far has waken people up FAST and have turned them against him. No CREDIBILITY can be earned for the broken system through Obama’s victory over ‘white supremacy.’

    Max Shield is correct when writes:
    “Using the race card as a sane argument is insane.”

  22. Deadbeat said on November 26th, 2008 at 4:56pm #

    Shabnam writes…

    We will expose all puppets, black and white, who are following the same policy of war and destruction and attack on humanity. The so called ‘people of color’ must accept the fact that disillusioned people are not going to give a free ride to someone who has deceived his own community by preaching on an empty slogan, C H A N G E, but all his selections and voting habit show otherwise and WORSE.

    No one is suggesting that Obama gets a free ride. But there is a distinction between the Obama “supporters” and Obama himself. The point is that there is an opportunity or the Left to attract disillusioned Obama supporters especially as Obama now builds a cabinet of former Clintonites. The manner by which the Left can do this is with scolding rhetoric or with nuance and outreach.

    From the stance here it clearly reveals that many would rather throw acid at the very people needed to build a movement. This is why Wise questions the serious of the Left. This is why I spent my time with Solidarity during the Obama campaign. Solidarity clearly understood nuance. The Left IMO needs more humility especially since the Left deliberately crippled itself four years ago and should have understood that the void it help to created got filled by the Obama campaign. Rather than look at the Obama campaign as an opportunity for the Left the Left is once again choosing marginalization rather than outreach and solidarity.

  23. Deadbeat said on November 26th, 2008 at 5:05pm #

    Shabnam writes…

    Max Shield is correct when writes:
    “Using the race card as a sane argument is insane.”

    Can you be more specific about what you mean by “using the race card”? This is not a game of Crazy 8′s or Bid Whist. This is politics. I posted after the election an analysis by Joaquin Bustelo of Marxmail that outlined the demographic breakdown of the Obama vote totals. 95% of Obama’s support came from African American. 87% came from Latinos. Obama did marginally better with whites but he still lost the white vote in the South.

    THEREFORE the Obama vote totals was a referendum on White Supremacy. Perhaps you see this as a game but that was the reality to communities of color.

    The Obama CAMPAIGN inspired many new voters and created a great deal of activism for his campaign. The question you should be asking is whether the LEFT can tap into that energy or will the Left let that activity dissipate?

    That is a hell of a lot more important question than to use the impotent “race card” label and sound off like you are Tucker Carlson, or Max Shields, or some such reactionary.

  24. Garrett said on November 26th, 2008 at 5:08pm #

    Let’s define “The Left.” I’m not a fan of parties/labels (talk about impeding solidarity), but since “The Left” is getting tossed around so much by some, I request a definition.

  25. Shabnam said on November 26th, 2008 at 8:24pm #

    Deadbeat:

    You can not protect Obama from criticism because in your view he has filled the void created by ‘the left.’, therefore, you think it is the left responsibility to set things right by exposing zionism and racism to bring ‘unity.’ I noticed you have refused to expose Obama’s empty slogan, ‘change.’ Obamas’ victory WAS NOT a referendum on white supremacy. Obama’s victory was reflection of people’s frustration and lack of real alternative for a better world. White supremacy does not emphasize on Skin color rather on ‘white culture.’ They have allied themselves with African- American elites, Hindo elites, zionists, Latino elites, Muslim elites so on and so forth.
    American demographic is not the same and contains many foreign born citizen who are professional and independent searching for their own interests, therefore, skin color is not important for them. Obama as a black candidate had advantages among foreign born citizens. His statement that “Palestinian has sufferred a lot” was taken seriously by these communities but later Obama was exposed through series of his speeches, voting habits and empty slogan. These communities voted for Obama because THERE WAS NO ALTERNATIVE, not because they believe Obama deserves their votes. It was a vote AGAINST MCCAIN, a war monger, not for Obama. In the beginning, Obama did not have support of 95% African American either. There was a divide among African American because they consider Clintons as ‘black president.’ They had no confidence in Obama. African- American community aligned themselves with the most pro zionist administration, clinton family. They switched to Obama after Obama’s first victory. Latinos, traditionaly, don’t vote for an African-American candidate and if you remember they supported Hillary not Obama in large numbers in many big cities. Therefore, Obama’s hundred percent support of zionism, proven to be a good strategy. Iranians, Arabs and other people from the Middle East and Central Asia were frustrated but felt they had to stop McCain. Thus, don’t count so much on Obama’s percentages because overall the large gap between McCain and Obama was not the popular vote rather was the delegate vote keeping in mind that republican were hated by large percentage of the population and Bush had less than 23 percent approval rate. Hence, his victory may be is a victory over white supremacy in African- American community, but not in other communities. It is obvious that African American community were looking for a black president. I’m surprised to see ‘socialist’ like Cornel West supports Obama and call him ‘brother.’

    Deadbeat writes:
    “The Obama CAMPAIGN inspired many new voters and created a great deal of activism for his campaign. The question you should be asking is whether the LEFT can tap into that energy or will the Left let that activity dissipate? ”
    Apparetnly you don’t pay attention to what progressive are saying and writing. Obamas’ selection of individuals and his statements so far has proven that ‘the war on terror’ will continue to force communities of NON WHITE culture into submission by force. Obama’s victory has brought division among progressive and has captured 95% of African-American votes including the ‘socialits.’ Why do you think exposing zionism among the left brings unity but exposing Obama, a member, does not do the same thing? American people are not going to rebel against the system now. Thus, the only alternative remains is an alternative party with committed members. American people also have been forced into sumbission by act of consumersim. As long as they have not been exposed to alternative economic arrangements, they continue to choose a familiar option to be on ‘safe’ site, black or white. In addition, phony ‘enemy’ and campaign of lies and deception must be exposed to prevent people contributions to terror and genocide.

  26. Rev. José M. Tirado said on November 27th, 2008 at 2:22am #

    Shabnam,
    What is your point at your 4:35pm comment? How does it fit into this discussion? In what way do you think you are contributing to progressive solidarity (by whatever name) or instead are being a provocateur (I have seen many such and your comments resemble them)?

    The context of this article is the growing instability of the Icelandic government and political situation due to a concerted drive by ordinary citizens demanding an accounting and daily escalating their actions. I have suggested that USAmericans do likewise and have delineated some concerns I have about that possibility and suggestions as to how to attain it. How does this side(show) discussion about Obama relate to the article or relevant comments in the discussion?

    It would be redundant to say that many of these comments mirror exactly the critique I (and others) have made regarding the “Left” in the US as marginalizing itself over arcane discussions designed to score polemical points more than unite for concerted action. And the macho posturing, without any input from women readers, is disconcerting, to say the least.

    My 3:50pm comments stand and I am ready to discuss them should anyone wish to, otherwise this latter section of the discussion and my comments here, will be my last.
    Best,
    José

  27. Max Shields said on November 27th, 2008 at 8:38am #

    Rev. José M. Tirado,
    I think Shabnam’s points are clear, on the money, and well within the context of this discussion.

    I would only say that in his response to Deadbeat (which is like beating a dead horse) he has thoroughly provided the ludicrousness of DB’s arguments which seem more half thought through with a primary motiveto provoke.

    Blaming a “left” over and over and over and over, does nothing to advance the discussion and the actions which are imperative. In fact, DB’s arguments are detractors. He uses Obama and African Americans as shields against a real discussion about a way forward. He has no intention of providing a real vision, because a new way forward is not his intention.

    Shabnam, my only minor quarrel with your response to Deadbeat is that there were at least two other choices – McKinney and Nader. Many State ballots had as many as 8 or 9 candidates for POTUS. Obviously they were not at the debates, they were not on the news cycles, they did not have hundreds of millions of marketing dollars to spend on the “campaign”; so in a sense they’re “choices” were limited by a blackout these alternatives. Again, I understand your point.

    We have a lot of work to do. First, is education and reconnecting people every day to the very choices we have or need and how to make those reality.

    Bashing “leftist” is simply an ugly sport. Racism was created by the power elite to separate us, not by the “left”. We are naturally brothers with the same mission and enemy. So, let’s stop playing the “race police” game.

  28. bozh said on November 27th, 2008 at 9:25am #

    shabman, deadbeat, tirado
    it seems to me that the plutos r united. does a color or even nationality play any role in being acccepted and supported by other world plutos.
    perhaps only marginally; ie, a rich black person’s daughter may not be allowed to mary a rich white person’s daughter or vice versa, etc.
    rice and powell r both black; yet behave just like whites. thnx

  29. Don Hawkins said on November 27th, 2008 at 10:04am #

    I just saw a commercial on TV and I will be on the phone as this is too good to pass up. A coin of Obama is now for sale at the incredibly low price of only $9.99 the price was set at $24.99 but this a one time offer. 24K gold. Who set the price? Who cares what a deal I think they have a limit but I am going too see if I can get more. Don’t let the parade pass you buy.

  30. Max Shields said on November 27th, 2008 at 11:40am #

    bozh,
    It is important to understand there are two major organizing principles:
    top down/empire and grass-roots/movement.

    The former rules from the top and leads followers. Coalitions between the leadership of empire models is much easier because they package communications for follower consumption; and they negotiate the alliance at the top, not at the constituency level.

    I think the Deadbeats, et al, would like to see the “left” use the organizaing principles of empire. Doing so completely defeats the purpose of the democratic transformation that is most needed. Using the methods of empire simply replaces one empire with another, regardless the stands on issues.

    This is fundamentally why Parties as we know them cannot produce real change. In order to survive in empire, as it is, an entity follows the rules of empire. So, when the AFL-CIO formed it did so using the empire organizing priniciple. They lead their flock rather than the other way around. By institutionalizing the “workers’ movement” they eliminated the “movement” and created a shell of the energy that created the workers’ movement. This was done to civil rights and other real movements. Those aligned with empire survive.

    We need a real people’s movement which continues to challenge at the local level. If you move beyond the local you enter the realm of top down plutocracy. Creating such a movement is much more challenging than the old tried and true empire model.

    A real movement doesn’t happen because poor people are given an alternative to “vote for”. It is poor people or people of color or progressives who together must make the movement. We must get up off of our asses and make it happen. This is not about spoon feeding. Empire spoon feeds and is happy to keep us watching tv, and drooling over our McDonald’s foodless burgers.

  31. Shabnam said on November 27th, 2008 at 12:42pm #

    Rev. José M. Tirado:
    You are right. My comment did not directly target your article rather it was a response to few comments made earlier including yours.It is interesting, however, to see you not questioning other posts which were not related to your article but choosing to question mine. I don’t mind. In any case, my intention was not to be a provocateur, if I were I appologize. However, my 4:35pm comment was made to express my disagreement with some of the comments made earlier including yours. The post @ 3:50pm reads:
    “Max, I brought up Wise because I think he is right about a number of things, namely the extent to which marginaliziation becomes a badge of honor worn by armchair warriors (or Internet warriors) of the USAmerican Left. Deadbeats´ main contention (as I read it), that “the white left does not have any real solidarity with people of color” is I think, fairly accurate there.”
    What this means? What does a “real solidarity” with people of color mean? Deadbeat has written earlier that Afrian American are loyal to democrats. They have voted for Clinton family more than once. Why? It is true that ‘the left’ has always been mainly under the influence of white middle class and upper middle class not only in the US but in other countries as well, yet this can not be held the only reason for lack of ‘real solidarily’ between white left and people of color.
    People are searching for individual and group interest. Why African-American elite do TRUST white establishment and are willing to help them to expand ‘white culture’ into other communities yet people of color from the lower rank can not compromise to do the same and strike a real solitarity with white left ? As Deadbeat has written, we have to expose those who divide us, black or white. To me Tim Wise is one of them who tries to get support for Obama whose selections and actions promotes mistrust and breaks our solidarity because he represents the status que and worse. Obama has invited those who have supported, terrorism, Hindu extremism, Zionism and expansion of ‘the war on terror.’ He said very little during his campaign and has modified some of his earlier statements to fit his image of ‘empire’. Thus, people have tried to expose him through their articles and other means of communication to help others, including people of color, not to be silent against the new administration and do not give him the support he needs to expand the empire of terror. This is an important process to bring down walls of mistrust to build a real solitarity among disillusioned people for a better world. We know individuals such as
    http://www.zmag.org/znet/viewArticle/19756

    ‘Tim Wise’ and his ‘message’ should not be trusted because it has no contribution except divisiveness to force us into a BOX. The Zionists have many options. Choice of Zmag to target progressives is interesting:
    http://911review.com/denial/imgs/left_gatekeepers.gif

  32. Shabnam said on November 27th, 2008 at 1:35pm #

    Rev. José M. Tirado:

    You are right. My comment did not directly target your article rather it was a response to few comments made earlier including yours.It is interesting, however, to see you not questioning other posts which were not related to your article but choosing to question mine. I don’t mind. In any case, my intention was not to be a provocateur, if I was I appologize. However, my 4:35pm comment was made to express my disagreement with some of the comments made earlier including yours. The post @ 3:50pm reads:
    “Max, I brought up Wise because I think he is right about a number of things, namely the extent to which marginaliziation becomes a badge of honor worn by armchair warriors (or Internet warriors) of the USAmerican Left. Deadbeats´ main contention (as I read it), that “the white left does not have any real solidarity with people of color” is I think, fairly accurate there.”
    What does it mean? What does a “real solidarity” with people of color mean? Deadbeat has written earlier that Afrian American are loyal to democrats. They have voted for Clinton family more than once. Why? It is true that ‘the left’ has mainly been under the influence of white middle class and upper middle class not only in the US but in other countries as well, yet this can not be held the only reason for lack of ‘real solidarily’ between white left and people of color.
    People are searching for individual and group interest. Why African-American elite do TRUST white establishment and are willing to help them to expand ‘white culture’ into other communities yet people of color from the lower rank can not compromise to do the same and strike a real solitarity with white left ? As Deadbeat has written, we have to expose those who divide us, black or white. To me Tim Wise is one of them who tries to get support for Obama where his selections and actions encourage mistrust and breaks our solidarity because he represents the status que and worse. Obama has invited those who support, terrorism, Hindu extremism, Zionism and expansion of ‘ war on terror.’ He said very little during his campaign and has modified some of his earlier statements to fit his image of ‘empire’. Thus, people try to expose him through their writing and other means of communication to help others, including people of color, not to be silent against the new administration’s plicies and do not give him the support he needs to expand the empire of terror. This is an important process to bring down walls of mistrust to build a real solitarity among disillusioned people for a better world. We know individuals such as ‘Tim Wise’ and his ‘message’ should not be trusted because it does not break the wall of mistrust between us rather it forces us into a BOX by supporting Obama and his vision for the empire, which is hidden in his ‘American leadership’ statement towards ‘world government.’

  33. Max Shields said on November 27th, 2008 at 2:36pm #

    Let us be clear for those Obama apologists, his selection of key posts are not in this to shore up a middle class or to help the poor.

    Their clear allegiance is to the plutocracy, the financial markets, the 1% blood suckers.

    As we hear Obama’s yet to be spoken inaruguaral speech, I’m reminded of the 2000 one from George W. Bush. Pledging his administration would embody, “a new commitment to live out our nation’s promise through civility, courage, compassion, and character” and cahllenged Americans to become engaged in the nation’s civic life. He further pledged that in foreign affairs the United States would “show purpose without arrogance…Civility,” he said, “is not a tactic or a sentiment. It is the determined choice of trust over cynicism, of community over chaos.”

    The words of George W. Bush before his administration to its course stocked with neocons and neoliberals. One can only wonder how far Obama’s language will stray from his speech. We’ve already witnessed much of that lofty language dissipate under the the onslaught of his sponsors.

  34. Rev. José M. Tirado said on November 27th, 2008 at 3:00pm #

    Shabnam,
    OK, I get it. And I thank you for explaining what you meant. It´s helpful.

    I realize now why the sidetrack made me single your post out (since you said you don´t mind!) It´s because this whole Obama stuff has become a crutch to not discuss what are “we” going to do to get what “we” want. Part of my longer post was to try to get such out of people and no one has still respnded to that. No one. Fine. But to keep harping on Wise (who I still agree with, by the way) and “deadbeat” is to fall into the very trap of electoral focusing and elite manipulation you all decry. Look, I am a “man of colr” and as such I am psyched to see a Black man named Barack Obama as POTUS. I felt tremendous joy at the huge change in the US that has occured since I was born (1959). My family were discriminated against and I suffered innumerable slights because my family are dark-skinned Puertoricans. And we suffered class discrimination, as well. So this was a small victory for me and I felt it and enjoyed it. And then I moved on…

    “We” can celebrate the significant advance in the US to allow this to happen (and in my opinion to not recognize the legitimate joy is to reveal what many call a elitist, white privilege) but by no means should “we” stop doing what we should be doing. Organizing. Building bridges. That´s the job of those of us who understand the long term view of history.

    If the bridges between the three of you are so insurmountable and you all write here at DV, what do you think the obstacles will be when you want to expand “our” base and you talk to a soldier, or a Christian, or a union worker, or some apolitical person for whom the incredible knowledge and wit you possess grants you an opening?

    I appreciate the sidetrack and understand your point. I disagree with it however, and still would ask you (all) to consider the other points I mentioned re: the all-male commentaries, the “not talking to…” list, etc. And no, you don´t need to answer me–we all need to answer history. I made a decision many years ago that I needed to look myself in the mirror and say I worked to help people, who are the objects of my concern, not ideology, even mine.

    What I have seen in Iceland is inspiring but they did it by looking at each other (and believe me, they are a tough people with many differences of opinion) and working to overcome those differences. Are you?
    Best,
    José

  35. Max Shields said on November 27th, 2008 at 3:49pm #

    Rev. José M. Tirado,

    The point you continue to miss is that a man of color can be the most cynical of choices when his mission is aligned with the imperial empire.

    To rejoice that the power elite have selected through heavy endorsements a DLC candidate, is the ultimate in cynicism. To rejoice at that is a significant failure in understanding US history, and the imperial empire that has been here since the beginning.

    If this was just a passing fancy, this rejoicing, then, perhaps it could be excused, but my sense is you’re not interested in real change. You are taken in by the illusion of change as it is dressed up by the plutocracy that runs and divides this country and the world.

    It is important to call out this love of illusion for what it is. Yours is not simply a personal “prejudice” made good by a POTUS who happens to be of color. What do you think you have in common with Obama? If you are Puerto Rican, I would suggest almost nothing.

    Let’s face these facts for what they are. African Americans had a instinctual reaction to Obama – this has been the same reaction they’ve had in Chicago. It is a doubtfulness, a sense that he represents, not a black heritage, but an elite one. This is not because he grew up in wealth, after all his heritage is white. His father was barely in his life. It is all that has shaped him, the choices and why he decided this vs that. Has he shown courage over self-interest? If so when?

    It is a distraction, at best, to look at Obama as a triumph over racism or empire, even to a small extent. African Americans have voted Democrat. To feel, as some do, a sense of comfort in the appearance that looks like “them” has nothing to do, ultimately, the direction he has already indicated he will represent. The signs are more than there. He is not an anti-war president, he is not for a fair and just resolve for the Palestinians, he is ready and willing to attack, premptively, any number of weaker nations, and on and on. He is putting a cabinet together who have a long history of supporting the American empire. Their economic policies are to bailout the Plutocracy. It is still “trickle down”. Obama has even indicated that he admired Ronald Reagan.

    He will not doubt through a symbol here (close down Gitmo) and there; but the major decisions will always be to keep the Plutocracy happily in control. This is evident in his personal history – where his action, not his rhetoric – has demonstrated this.

    This and so much more and you have the gall, the superficial gall, to say you think this was a form of justice for the prejudice shown to you as a man of color, a Puerto Rican man of color!?!

  36. bozh said on November 27th, 2008 at 5:20pm #

    i also conclude that regardless how colorful a person is, once that person get’s and wants to maintain/increase it, he’l behave, broadly, same as any other plutocrat.
    rice and powell prove it. as to why proportionally more blacks/hispanics are as poor or some whites, i think we need scientific look into this.
    as i’v said before, nature doesn’t make junk: stupid, ignorant, unworthy people; people do. this is as far i go.
    somebody enlighten us as to what is going on. thnx

  37. Deadbeat said on November 27th, 2008 at 9:05pm #

    rice and powell prove it. as to why proportionally more blacks/hispanics are as poor or some whites, i think we need scientific look into this.

    There was a “science” and it is called “eugenics”. Bozh there is no “science”. It is simply called White Supremacy and it has been an ongoing struggle for the past 400 years in North America. It is the reason why Obama garnered 95% of the African American vote and 87% of the Latino vote. This is what you need to analyze and understand before solidarity can be built with African Americans and Latinos.

  38. Deadbeat said on November 28th, 2008 at 12:30am #

    Rev. José M. Tirado writes …

    It´s because this whole Obama stuff has become a crutch to not discuss what are “we” going to do to get what “we” want. Part of my longer post was to try to get such out of people and no one has still respnded to that. No one. Fine. But to keep harping on Wise (who I still agree with, by the way) and “deadbeat” is to fall into the very trap of electoral focusing and elite manipulation you all decry.

    The Reverend is asking the question that I have raised during the entire election season. Before asking the question of what “we” are going to do you have to understand where “we” are coming from. The problems as I see it with the Left has been its inability to build solidarity. The Obama campaign exposed many of the contradictions that exist on the Left. The inability of the Left to provide a coherent and cohesive alternative is a major reason for the angst and visceral reaction among leftists to the Obama campaign. It is this visceral reaction and the lack of NUANCED analysis has split the Left and if the Left doesn’t exercise a reasoned response that will only leave it further marginalized and alienated.

    A reasoned response does not mean no criticism of Obama but it does mean coming to terms with the failures of the Left and understanding why the Obama campaign generated so much energy especially among people of color. The importance of this analysis is so that the Left can create strategies so that it can build solidarity with people of color. It is especially important if the Left hopes to increase it ranks.

    I make a distinction however between Shabnam’s response and that of Max Shields whose elitism is a major reason why he will find it difficult to build solidarity with people of color.

    Shabnam’s understandably is angry that people of color would “betray” their moral stance to vote for a Zionist politician like Obama. Obama, in his eyes, is the enemy of his people. The problem however and WHY NUANCE IS IMPORTANT is that Obama the politicians ran against a Republican party that has maintain its power using White Supremacist tactics for the past 30 years. This is what people of color responded to. The problem is that people like Max Shields and many others on the Left (see the review of Petras new book by Kim Petersen) has used their “moral authority” to OBSCURE the nature of U.S. Zionism as yet another form of WHITE SUPREMACY. Such obscurity prevents people of color from confronting Zionism as they do White Supremacy. Such obscurity interferes with the possibility of constructing vital solidarity among Muslims and Arabs with Blacks and Latinos in the U.S.

    To prove my case in point, notice the “pious” outrage from Max Shields toward the Reverand with his following remark…

    This and so much more and you have the gall, the superficial gall, to say you think this was a form of justice for the prejudice shown to you as a man of color, a Puerto Rican man of color!?!

    Max who has often argued that Zionism is NOT an issue in the United States fells that he has the “moral” high ground to scold the Reverend, a man of color, who takes some pride in the Obama victory in the context of the long linage of political inclusion in the United States.

    Yet Max who is white and I’ll assume is Jewish has NO such lineage nor does he demonstrate in his scolding of the Reverend, any affinity of the struggle for political inclusion in the United States. Such a stance demonstrates his lack of NUANCE and his DUPLICITY. His remarks to this man of color clearly illustrates WHY the Left is UNABLE to build up its ranks and why solidarity on the Left is so RETARDED among people of color and especially among the MOST LOYAL voting bloc of the Democratic Party — African Americans.

    Without that understanding and without that analysis you can forget about any REAL and SERIOUS challenge to Barack Obama coming from the Left. And if the Left fails here you can easily foresee that there will be no outlet to corral the energized mass that voted for Obama and without any alternatives those that become disillusioned will stay home and yet another opportunity by the Left will be lost just like it was in 2004.

    IMO the only bright spot I saw in 2008 coming from the Left was Rosa Clemente. She did an excellent job articulating the distinctions between her campaign with Cynthia McKinney and that of Ralph Nader/Matt Gonzales. And while many writers on the Left consistently wrote “Nader/McKinney” as alternative to Obama they glossed over their distinctions. You see ELECTORAL politics did matter on the Left because rather than honestly debate those distinction between Nader and McKinney many on the Left (especially white Leftists) once again tried to obscure those distinctions. Clemente in her appearance on Democracy Now surprised Matt Gonzales, when answering Juan Gonzales, excellent question to draw out those distinctions.

    Clearly if the Green Party is SERIOUS about focusing on issues that are key to communities of color it is possible that the Green Party may be able to position themselves to attract black and brown people over to their side especially when Obama disregards issues vital to communities of color.

    The problem however with the Green Party is that there is still structural problems and as the Reverend himself alluded to in a previous post that easily led to the party to be sabotaged in 2004. If the Green Party can prevent such future sabotaging as well as to seriously build solidarity with communities of color and especially make a serious challenge to Zionism which will be an extremely BOLD move not only will it purge the Trojans on the Left but IMO build the kind of SOLIDARITY that the Left needs to build with communities of color especially as the demographics of the United States move in this direction.

    I appreciate the Reverend asking the question of what the Left needs to do going forward. The answer is simple — build solidarity with communities of color.

  39. Rev. José M. Tirado said on November 28th, 2008 at 2:45am #

    Thank you, “deadbeat.” I appreciate the kind words and articulate defense.

    I agree that the lack of solidarity with communities of color is a huge reason a more powerful “Left” has not emerged in the US. Given that there are many and huge obstacles in place to prevent the emergence of a Left (Taft-Hartley to hinder unionizing, “Zionist” strawmen arguments to keep Jews–historically among the most impassioned defenders of Left ideology of all kinds–from staying with “us”, arrogant and simplistic arguments that serve to increase distrust against Blacks, a distinct lack of understanding about the history and role Latinos play and have played on the Left, etc.) it´s no wonder. But where the rubber meets the road is in the attempts we make–we here–to overcome our own obstacles and work together.

    Do any of you here know each other? Are any of you members of a union? Do any of you here have Black or Latino friends? What is your relationship to women like and are they part of the calculating when you assume you speak for the “Left”? Do you think you can speak for women? Why are there no women here? Does this bother you? In what circumstances do you associate with people who are not well-educated, articulate members of the same Left groups or groupings? Do any of you know who the mayor is in your city and how many times have you taken an issue to her/him that has you so impassioned here? Have any of you worked in soup kitchens, homeless shelters, volunteer groups run buy organizations like churches in order to understand firsthand what these groups do and why? Have any of you attended a church service and witnessed the solidarity between people there and used that solidarity to perhaps get on a speaker´s list to address them with your concerns? Have any of you done more than spend time behind computer screens screaming at each other? Who are all of you? Are you students? Do you have jobs and have you organized a union in your workplace or contacted a progressive union to help you?

    It is the answers to these questions that determine the effectiveness of your “Left” committments.

    My article was about Iceland. Its homogeneity makes some aspects of organizing easier here than in the heterogenous US. But in many ways it is also harder given the often “in-family” nature of disagreements between Icelanders. That they overcame these obstacles to be right now–as I type–almost ready to topple their government should be the issue we discuss. Not whether Zionism is an obstacle or how disconnected most USAmericans are (and most sadly among so-called Leftists) to communities of color. People have historically given their lives for others when they are in solidarity with those “others”. And while we can all safely say that the military is an instrument of war and imperialism, it is among the many hued “communities” of soldiers that daily racism is overcome (sexism remains an intractable issue there) The point is when circular firing squads begin, everybody gets shot. “Solidarity” means absolutely nothing if it is only with the few thousand “Leftists” in the US who regualrly spend more time talking to each other than in reaching out to explain to others what it is we bellieve in and why. And when people reject those explanations we don´t go away sulking, calling them stupid or in need of re-education. We get back to work.

    We have much too much work to do and I won´t be led astray by silly attacks against me personally or by attempts to convince me of Zionist power centers and their tight hold over all things. I am not that stupid or disempowered. I would suggest people read Gene Sharp or even Saul Alinsky and start meeting people you would never in this circumstance–or perhaps under any circumstance–meet otherwise. Read MLK, Jr´s “Why We Can´t Wait”. Read Gandhi, Fannie Lou Hamer, Cesar Chavez, anybody, shoot watch “Matewan”, but for Pete´s sake stop assuming you know what solidarity means. Learn from people who organized in the past and how they succeeded (and note how often–and why–they failed) Then make friends and bring together people. That will go a long way towards establishing your own credibility beyond the comments boards of a few Left websites.

    You guys are way too smart to be doing this shit.
    Best,
    José

  40. Max Shields said on November 28th, 2008 at 6:44am #

    Deadbeat I must laugh at your assumption concerning my heritage.

    You come on here with the go around talking trash about a “left” and now you’re hoping by conjuring up my heritage you’ll create an artificial distinction between Shabnam and my positions.

    When all this seems just too much for you to absorb, you bring in Zionism. This is exactly what the power elite have done to fire up the fury of racism. Your one crazy codger, DB. You’ve no clue andyour arguments are based on baiting not on logic or reason or facts.

    My positions are consistent and long running. You’re zionist administration is now in power. Is that not enough for your guys (Rev. Wise, and DB)?

  41. bozh said on November 28th, 2008 at 6:55am #

    deadbeat,
    i wasn’t thinking ab the “ugenics”. but if i had i wld have repudiated as i wld murder.
    perhaps i cld have used the word “study” instead of science regarding why darkies in US r or seem to me to be proportionately poorer than whites. thnx for ur input.

  42. Rev. José M. Tirado said on November 28th, 2008 at 7:04am #

    “darkies”, bozh?
    I think you need a crash course in USAmerican racism and the kinds of things one should–or shouldn´t–say.
    And give it up on the solidarity–you´ll get none with that kind of attirude.
    And Max, my guess is some raw nerve´s been hit. I still would love to hear your (all of you) answers to the questions I posed. Until then, I think this discussion is played and unproductive.
    Best,
    José

  43. bozh said on November 28th, 2008 at 7:37am #

    tirado,
    i can’t touch upon everything u wrote but on just a few uttterances.
    regarding women, i’v said more than once that higher education ought to be available to all kids who want it.
    i never said higher education shld be available only to boys.
    looking dwn on women is widespread. the main causes for this malady is that bothe men and women look dwn on women.
    religion is another factor. the three i know enough of, judaism, christianity, and islam look dwn on women.
    whether it is white, black, olive, red, yellow supremacy, all in various degrees belittle women.
    what intercolor solidarity means, i affirm that it means too much/little for me to delve on.
    regarding euro jews, i say their not semitic. only the semites of africa (except ethiopean ‘blakcs’), jerusalme, and asia may be semitic.
    still, no proof that mizrahic and sephardic folks r indeed jewish.
    since ashkenazim were landless, they latched onto judaism in order to steal pals land.
    zionism, self, is just imperialism. there is no zionism for people that never ever inhabited zion.
    zionism may mean s’mthing to christians. because of that christians have helped to establish by sword “israel”.
    israel is a largely christian ‘creation’ .

    i must admit that i know next to nothing ab political outlook of hispanics and blacks.
    but judging for the fact that nader ran to give them health care, etc.,and they overwhelmingly voted against their own interest, i can’t see who these people solidfy with?

  44. bozh said on November 28th, 2008 at 8:08am #

    is the green party in US socialist to any degree? or is it a melange of rightists, leftists, et al.
    if it is an admixture of various political viwes, it cannot dwell much on ‘politics’.
    i put the word “politics” under single quotes to indicate that it is not elementalistic;ie, existing by self and for self but is connected with miltarism, economy, education, etc.
    once people in any such melange begin to talk ab ‘religion’ or ‘politics’
    that org’n is finished.
    if the green party is indeed a melange, it then cannot dwell even a little on ‘politics’.
    thus has little or nothing to do w. the ‘rift’ among the leftists.
    but even in DV, we can see dissention because people dwell too much on ‘politics’ and not on all? the problems that befall us.
    or we may froever argue ab what ‘socialism’, ‘zionism’, ‘fascism’ r and never reach a concensus.
    instead on dwelling what an ‘ism’ does/says or what an ism’s final goal is.
    eg, we may conclude that the final goal of US imperialism is twopronged: obtainment of the planet and reestablishment of slavery.
    since, obvioulsy, serfs r more difficult to manage than slaves.
    thnx

  45. bozh said on November 28th, 2008 at 8:34am #

    tirado,
    it’s ur assumption that led u to evaluate my use of the word “darkies” as dysphemistic or even racist?
    however, a simple inquiry ab how a person uses any word (words may be (ab)used) wld have enlightened u.
    let’snot ban/bar words; instead, imbue the nobilidity/validity. as person who dug dithches, worked in mines, had only 3 yrs of schooling, etc., i am only slightly ashamed of saying i was dithcdigger.
    and why is it so?
    i suggest, causes for shame of the working class r education, religions, patrician rule, etc.
    it is upper class (lower class agreeing) who have imbued the words “peasant”, “oaf”, “housewife”, “miner”, etc. w. dysphemism, and not me.
    why am i afraid to say, to a person who asks what i did, that i was a ditchdigger?
    because i know that nearly 10o% of people exalt ‘educators’, priests, doctors and look dwn on a person like me.
    does this elucidate who really is at fault ab such discrimination. thnx

  46. bozh said on November 28th, 2008 at 1:05pm #

    in my experience people have been taught both tacitly and explicitly not to care an iota ab structure of governance.
    it is like a three-yr old child who had been told that there is a god. all the child needs to do to be safe and well is to pray to god.
    it’s a beautiful teaching.
    a 5-yr old is taught that US is the greatest country in the world. it’s the best democracy w. best army, police, spy agency, jurisprudence, freest, etc.
    this teaching is repeated trillion of times over one’s lifetime.
    to such a child/adult never ever occurs that the propagators of such teachings r thinking ab the ruling class and its ‘greatness’ and not of the uneducated/poor amers.
    similarly, a child/adult who was told by priests/parents that god wld protect it, were not at all talking ab god but of selves; or their interpretation of what god is/does.
    natch, a believer cannot see this; he/she knows god and will never give it up. thnx