Barack Obama as Jim Jones

The Kool-Aid that Kills

It could have been the defining moment of the campaign season. But last weekend’s Iraq Winter Solider Hearings were not only ignored by the corporate press, they were also snubbed by the mainstream candidates including alleged antiwar Democrat, Barack Obama.

None of this should come as much of a surprise if you’ve been watching Obama backpedal over the last few months. Somehow the Democratic frontrunner seems to believe Hillary’s defeat will only come about if he steers clear of a legitimate peace platform, merely paying lip-service to the conflicts in the Middle East instead.

While John McCain pronounces the US will be in Iraq for ten more bloody decades, Hillary and Obama aren’t raising any qualms in their policy papers. In fact, as author Jeremy Scahill has pointed out, Obama’s plan for Iraq not only includes continued funding for the gargantuan US Embassy in Baghdad, the senator also wants to leave at least 40,000 troops to roam about the country and allow mercenary forces like Blackwater to operate above the law indefinitely. Hillary Clinton, of course, seconds Obama’s thirst for more occupation and both senators aren’t the least bit hesitant to leave “all options on the table” in regard to Iran.

Warmongers all of them.

Sadly, many have unwittingly gulped the Kool-Aid this year, swallowing the notion that Barack Obama somehow represents a mild, pragmatic antiwar position. Even’s Justin Raimondo, who usually provides keen insight into our militarized political sleaze, believes Obama may be the real deal.

“Clearly, Obama is the candidate the neoconservatives fear and loathe: the loathing is on account of his antiwar views, at least when it comes to Iraq, and the fear stems from the fact that campaigning against him will be difficult,” Raimondo recently wrote. “Hillary they can handle: she’ll mobilize the troops and weld together the fractured Republican coalition in opposition.”

The Republican establishment certainly deems Obama a serious threat. Not for the reasons Raimondo notes, however. The neocons fear Obama because of his grassroots support, not his “antiwar views”. Simply put: Obama is not antiwar but his following seems to be. At least when it comes to the turmoil in Iraq. But a true antiwar movement should not get behind a candidate that promises to pander to Israel and continue an aggressive policy toward Iran — which includes threatening to murder the poor bastards if they don’t comply with our hypocritical demands.

On the contrary, those who oppose war ought to oppose candidates that support Empire in any of its ugly forms.

The differences between the big three campaigns at this point are only marked by rhetorical persuasions and not on the ground strategy. Iran will be threatened, Israel will be funded, and the war in Iraq will rage on despite it all.

Movements are most effective when they remain independent, refusing to wrangle their pleas in the circus of electoral politics. The tearful testimonies given by our bold veterans during last weekend’s hearings are an indication that dissent is growing, not only among the public, but also among the military. And that’s a good thing. Americans are becoming fed up with perpetual war and the political machinery that enables it.

Without a doubt Barack Obama would love to capitalize on this mounting disgust. But co-opting our efforts won’t end the war, it will simply finish off the movement that is seeking to end it.

Joshua Frank is co-editor of Dissident Voice and author of Left Out! How Liberals Helped Reelect George W. Bush (Common Courage Press, 2005), and along with Jeffrey St. Clair, the editor of Red State Rebels: Tales of Grassroots Resistance in the Heartland, published by AK Press in June 2008. Check out the Red State Rebels site. Read other articles by Joshua.

59 comments on this article so far ...

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  1. mali said on March 19th, 2008 at 5:21am #

    “Wright is like an uncle you love and respect”
    IT’S WAY TOO LATE OBAMA, NO ONE WANTS TO HEAR YOUR LIES AND EXCUSES OR A SPEECH SOMEONE WROTE OR STOLE FOR YOU! YOU HAVE CLAIMED TO BE A MEMBER FOR 20 YEARS, YOU KNOW FULL WELL WHAT THIS RACIST ANTI-AMERICAN PREACHES EACH WEEK, YOU CAN BUY THE DVDS ON THE WEBSITE, and THIS IS A PERFECT EXAMPLE OF HOW YOU’RE RASING YOUR YOUNG DAUGHTERS? YOU ARE MOST CERTINALLY NOT THE LEADER FOR THIS GREAT COUNTRY! No one says Obama can’t attend any church he wants, or practice Muslim religion, he can be as racist as his “not proud of America” wife Michelle, or even the anti- American as Wright and his churches “man of the year award” Farrakhan! The problems he is running to be President for ALL people of the U.S. not just white American haters! He is not fit to be in public service! He should have disowned Wright & Farrakhan before this week or left that church years ago if he didn’t agree with his anti-American, anti white preaching. He is teaching his daughters the same type of anti American racism by attending that church and continuing to support and follow his spiritual advisor Rev Wright! Obama can’t persuade his way out of this one with that extremely lame speech!

    How does Obama consider someone a Mentor and friend for 20 years and not know their hateful racist values and character? Obama said he had no plans to leave the South Side church. Wright is like an uncle you love and respect! he highly respects the opinions of Rev. Wright said Obama, who brings hope to many and agrees with giving the man of year award to the notorious Louis Farrakhan. Nation of Islam Minister who said we are witnessing the phenomenal rise of a man of color in a country that has persecuted us! Obama hasn’t distanced himself from Farraklhan as he wants the media to believe. A number of Jewish and pro-Israel voters have concerns and raised questions about Barack Obama. In case you haven’t followed this ongoing issue, here’s a brief summary of the complaints:Obama has called for engaging Iran. Daniel Ayalon, Israel’s former ambassador to the United States, told the New York Sun he is concerned Obama would want to negotiate with a “Hitler-like” regime. Some of Obama’s policy advisors of various stripes, such as Samantha Power, Robert Malley, and Zbigniew Brzezinski, have come under attack for their views on Israel. World Jewish Congress President Ronald Lauder fears, it’s only a matter of time before the president becomes anti-Israel Howard Friedman, the president of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, said the leading presidential candidate are all interested in continuing close ties with Israel. Obama in traditional muslim garb brought these questions back to the fore Obama is a closet Muslim. Obama hasn’t distanced himself from Farraklhan as he wants the media to believe, Obamas and his church said Farrakhan “epitomized greatness. For Americans, Farrakhan epitomizes racism, particularly in the form of anti-Semitism. Over the years, he has compiled an awesome record of offensive statements, even denigrating the Holocaust by falsely attributing it to Jewish cooperation with Hitler “They helped him get the Third Reich on the road.” His history is a rancid stew of lies. Any praise of Farrakhan heightens the prestige of the leader of the Nation of Islam. His anti-Semitism and particularly his false insistence that Jews have played an inordinate role in victimizing African Americans. Farrakhan’s dream has vilified whites and singled out Jews to blame for crimes large and small. He talks of Jewish conspiracies to set a media line for the whole nation. He has reviled Jews in a manner that brings Hitler to mind. And yet Obama and Rev Wright heaped praise on Farrakhan. He applauds his “depth of analysis when it comes to the racial ills of this nation.” He praised “his integrity and honesty.” He called him “an unforgettable force, a catalyst for change and a religious leader who is sincere about his faith and his purpose.” These words of the black man who touts change and claims to be a uniter of all people? DO NOT VOTE FOR OBAMANATION

  2. McClum said on March 19th, 2008 at 6:08am #


    Who are you and what do you want? There is no simple minded way to extract us from Iraq. Care, planning and strategy must be used to get us out of there. Obama is the one to do it of the 3 candidates we have to choose from.

  3. Don Hawkins said on March 19th, 2008 at 6:57am #

    In a false quarrel there is no true valor.

  4. Lloyd Rowsey said on March 19th, 2008 at 7:23am #

    “But a true antiwar movement should not get behind a candidate that promises to pander to Israel and continue an aggressive policy toward Iran –”

    So true, but how “true” an “anti-war movement” is there in these United States, so hopefully defined as it is by internet anonymity?

    And “Movements are most effective when they remain independent, refusing to wrangle their pleas in the circus of electoral politics.”

    So true again, with regard to electoral politics. But there’s more to it, itsn’t there? It’s your choice isn’t it, dear DV editor Joshua Frank, that on today March 19, 2008, another small avalanche of disparate but independently very well-intentioned, and intermittently very well-written, articles show up at Dissident Voice. With yours, naturally, leading the list.

    But what if encouraging all this diversity is exactly the one way McCain can win? Oh, well, there’s always 2010?

  5. hp said on March 19th, 2008 at 7:38am #

    Please don’t crowd, there’s plenty of kool-Aid for everyone.

  6. Lloyd Rowsey said on March 19th, 2008 at 7:56am #

    thanx, hp. i’ll have what you’re having…

  7. rosemarie jackowski said on March 19th, 2008 at 8:08am #

    Too bad that Obama caved in to political pressure and distanced himself from his preacher’s message. Too bad there has been no discussion in the media of the facts that the preacher brought out. Why the silence of the anti-war movement – there is NO anti-war movement in the US. There is only a War Movement and a movement to wage bigger and better wars.
    We can refuse the Kool-Aid and vote for Nader.

  8. Don Hawkins said on March 19th, 2008 at 8:56am #

    Remember the run-up to the Iraq war and as we all know now the neocon’s took the art of the con to new heights. The policy of this administration for the last eight years on climate change and economic policy and energy and on and on has nothing to do with reality but some wacky ideology that could have worked 50 years ago maybe. Now we all see because of just greed what can happen to markets and the economy when business and government in simple terms take the easy way out, not hard choices because that would be to hard. You know golf anyone, tennis or is it time for a vacation again and it’s un american to say anything about that as that’s what we do in America and now you mean to tell me that all this talk we hear form Obama or the other people is just that talk. No hard choices just the same stuff until it is to late. Well gosh darn America do you really think stuck on stupid is the best way to go.

  9. hp said on March 19th, 2008 at 9:02am #

    Lloyd, I’m having prasadam.

  10. Don Hawkins said on March 19th, 2008 at 9:58am #

    Did anybody see John McCain in that little speech about Iran in Iraq yesterday with Joe Lieberman. When I first saw that a funny feeling came over me. In a few minutes I became paranoid and locked all the doors and didn’t answer the phone. Well I got better. Now where I live in South Georgia a very small town we are just simple country folk. I have a small shop and so when people came in I asked them if they saw that clip of those two leaders. Some people didn’t see it but the ones who did used words like scary, weird, strange. Then I new I wasn’t the only one it helped a little. I guess these people think they can tell the Americans anything and they will be believed. Not the country folk I talked to.

  11. Lloyd Rowsey said on March 19th, 2008 at 10:38am #

    God, Jackowski, maybe women do bear pain better than men. I hope Nader will be throwing the kitchen sink and everything else at Iraq, and he’s certainly writing tighter. But if lefties can’t get together, I don’t see any national presidential candidate avoiding Extreme Marginalization.

    How can I dissent from your conclusion that there is no anti-war movement in this country? After IVAW and the media last weekend? But as an Iraq-is-the-Key person, I’m trying to contribute to the campaigns of Cindy Sheehan in San Francisco mainly, with Dennis Kucinich in Cleveland a distant (mileage-wise) second.

  12. D. R. Munro said on March 19th, 2008 at 11:05am #

    It doesn’t matter which candidate you pick, honestly. Close your eyes, aim your gun, and fire blindly – you’re going to end up with the same result anyways.

  13. rosemarie jackowski said on March 19th, 2008 at 11:07am #

    I maintain that there is NO anti-war movement. There is some anti-war speak going on but when did words ever change anything. People are being killed and all we do is talk. Some of us march in circles. Some light candles. None of us is willing to take action that is really meaningful. I believe Ward Churchill calls all of this talking and marching “feel-good politics”.

    I saw the Winter Soldier hearings. I am a member of VFP. I go to meetings. We talk. We rant. We rave – and then we go home. Meanwhile those who say things like ,”The chick was in the way” after he shot and killed a woman get parades in their honor and they are called heroes. Maybe if we at least just made our language a little more accurate and called baby killers, “baby killers” something would change.

    Remember when the General said, “Actually, it’s quite fun to fight them, you know. It’s a hell of a hoot. It’s fun to shoot some people…” Was General James Mathis promoted after he made that statement? Was there an anti-war movement that called for his dismissal. NO !

    I like Cindy and talked with her when she was here. Dennis says the right things but we can’t ignore the fact that he STILL is a member of the Democratic War Party. There is a Socialist running for prez. He is a good guy but most have never heard of him. McKinney is good, but Nader has a better chance of getting enough votes to make an impact and he also has a long history of doing the right thing.

  14. rosemarie jackowski said on March 19th, 2008 at 11:12am #

    D.R.Munro…we should have a national lottery to select the president. That is the only way that one of us normal, average people would ever get to be president. Imagine having a farmer, or factory worker, or truck driver as president – someone who actually knew how the rest of us live.

    Did I really see McCain campaigning in Isreal today? If so, no surprize – can’t ignore the 51st State.

  15. D. R. Munro said on March 19th, 2008 at 11:33am #

    Really, you think Israel is number 51? I would say the UK is 51, perhaps Israel can have 52 or 53, depending on which one Australia wants.

    And yes, the President does not, has not, and will never represent the people.

    This is why I loathe when President Bush (or an politician really) says something along the lines of, “We must go into this country, we must bring democracy here, we must do this, we must do that . . .”

    No George, ‘we’ don’t do anything. You do them.

  16. hp said on March 19th, 2008 at 11:50am #

    The lottery is fine with me.
    It is rather disturbing to even participate in even a semblance of a political movement when you know deep down it doesn’t matter. They flat out stole the last two elections. We know this deep down. We feel it. It hurts. We’re like cows going up that ramp.
    I can hardly bear to hear the names Florida or Ohio anymore..

  17. said on March 19th, 2008 at 12:08pm #

    I have a solution. Some won’t like it, but I don’t care.
    Let’s do away with Constitution and go back to the original Articles of Confederation. There is some merit to that argument … even though being THE big dog on the block will not happen. The stuff pumped into our brains when we were in school about the weakness of the Articles is precisely why it is a better means of organization. Further, I would devolve really large population states into smaller states … the rurales in states like Illinois and New York would be delighted to be shut of the Chicagos and New Yorks … and let those cities function as City States. The so-called district of columbia could either make it as a city state or simply dissolve. Neither would be a bad solution.
    Care to argue? Fine: ten.skrowtentvpnull@rolyagr is where I can be found!

  18. corylus said on March 19th, 2008 at 1:19pm #

    Rosemary, Not so much to dispute your words, or Ward Churchill’s, but to inquire of you and others, “What else is there?”
    “I maintain that there is NO anti-war movement. There is some anti-war speak going on but when did words ever change anything. People are being killed and all we do is talk. Some of us march in circles. Some light candles. None of us is willing to take action that is really meaningful. I believe Ward Churchill calls all of this talking and marching “feel-good politics”.

    You then go on to say you like what Cindy Sheehan has to say, etc. Well, isn’t that also “just talk”? I’ve already been investigated and harassed multiple times, merely for what I’ve written to elected officials, and no, my missives weren’t threats to harm anyone. I can think of lots of direct actions that would, at least, garner some notice as an anti-war movement. I can think of lots of mass actions that might actually have a broad impact on American policy, but the arsenal of liberty has been essentially depleted by a corrupt and fascist political system, including the capitulation of the media to corporate interests. I’m tending to think the complete bankruptcy of capitalism may be the only solution, and yet, even with that, the machinery of war will be the last casualty. Now, on the other hand, if every “peace” activist fulfilled an oath to eliminate one war or corporate criminal….

  19. rosemarie jackowski said on March 19th, 2008 at 1:40pm #

    D R Munroe…I agree that those you list are also “States” therefore all who live there should have a vote in who is the Prez of the United States of the World. Nancy Pelosi and others keep saying that “our” president is the leader of the free world, so it’s only fair that all should have the vote./////I disagree when you say that “we” didn’t do anything. Yes, we did. We voted 98% for the Dem/repub Party last time, and we are about to do it again.

    corylus… You say, “…Now, on the other hand, if every “peace” activist fulfilled an oath to eliminate one war or corporate criminal….”
    Problem solved!

    Actually there are some legal things that could be done. One of the most effective plans out there is for everyone to just do nothing. Instead of marching in the streets – sit down in the streets. Or stay home from school, work, etc. If everyone did that, it would bring about change. The problem is that so many have been pushed into poverty that we are all afraid of losing our jobs etc.

  20. maryb said on March 19th, 2008 at 2:21pm #

    I have just read Hope Change and Pissing in the Wind written by Patrice Greanville and Jason Miller on Cyrano/Tom Paine’s Corner

    Dreadful title but a really excellent article on the ‘choices’ you have in the election which is an illusion of democracy. It is a penetrating analysis of what’s wrong, where you are now and what to do. I’m writing from the 51st state*, the UK, and if it’s any consolation we feel exactly the same. Bliar shuffled off to line his pockets, Brown replaced him as there was no election due until 2010, fascism is creeping in, there is almost total CCTV surveillance, a nanny state, collapsing and inefficient public services etc etc. When it comes to the election, we have no choice either as the three main parties are almost identical and they have many members in Friends of Israel lobby groups which have not been declared illegal by the Committee on Standards inPublic Life. A farce. And then the electorate becomes even more apathetic.

  21. Don Hawkins said on March 19th, 2008 at 3:03pm #

    The fundamentals are good. Space and time, gravity, knowledge. What do you think another moon shot. They say as hard or harder than World War Two. If we try it wouldn’t be boring. What have we got to lose? That round blue planet called Earth. To work must be total focus and I would think a hold on war would be part of that. Very hard at first but the way things are going now it would be a different kind of hard. You know working for something that is real and working together is key and that includes all countries. Do you read DV Obama

  22. Steve DeMarcus said on March 19th, 2008 at 6:31pm #

    As an honorably discharged United States Navy Vet from the early to mid 70s (Vietnam) I am saddened to see such garbage from those that didn’t have (I mean either enlist or serve in the US Army by force of law) to serve unless they wished. I did not have to join the military but felt it my duty during a time of trouble in my own country.

    Those that have not placed themselves into such a situation should not really worry about what real patriots (myself included) did in a national crisis. After September 11, 2001 I tried to see if there was anyway that I could join any branch of the military and help in the fight against these savages that want to kill my own countrymen just because of their beliefs, and was told I was too old. The only other option was to join the Coast Guard Reserve and float around on a lake and possibly hand out tickets for various boating infractions.

    I still love this country and think that it is worth fighting and possibly dying for but in the words of George C Patton you should not die for your country but make the other bastard die for his . Sometimes there is a time to fight for the right things but leaving crappy editorials and blogs about something foreign to you should best be left to those who have been there and DONE THAT thing you rail against…your voice is a silent whisper in the night and will fade as soon as I rest my weary eyes.

  23. truth machine said on March 19th, 2008 at 9:15pm #

    “struggle” is right. Sheesh, people, go out and do something useful instead of spending your whole life whining; Obama did.

  24. Deadbeat said on March 19th, 2008 at 11:00pm #

    This is the same Joshua Frank who drank the Kool Aid from the Ron Paul pitcher. Mr. Frank states the following…

    But a true antiwar movement should not get behind a candidate that promises to pander to Israel and continue an aggressive policy toward Iran — which includes threatening to murder the poor bastards if they don’t comply with our hypocritical demands

    Obviously there are hallucinations in Mr. Frank’s Kool Aid. As Ms. Jackowski aptly points out there is NO anti-war movement in the U.S. This died in 2004 when UFPJ and other “leftist” decided to demobilize the movement and rally around “Anybody but Bush/Safe State/Blame Nader/War for Oil” mantra. There hasn’t been any recovery of that effort and energies since and Frank is too cowardly to examine why.

    The “why” is that Zionism of the left. Zionism of the left is the fear that any such mobilization means having to deal with analysis that zeros in on the main impetus of the war on Iraq. The clear evidence of this has been the spat of “liberal/left” books (such as Naomi Klein’s Shock Doctrine) that came out in the wake of Jimmy Carter book and Mearsheimer & Walt book who purpose is to obfuscate and diverts attention away from Zionism and towards the corporate beneficiaries. They totally ignore the PNAC doctrine.

    In other words the LEFT itself created the vacuum that now is being filled by Obama and the so-called “left” is damn angry that this African American politician has built a popular following. Something that the “left” had within its grasp but allowed it to dissipated because of their fear to honestly confront a racist ideology that grips this country. That is clearly obvious by the ranting of the first poster of this thread.

    Joshua Frank wrote a great book in 2004 about how the Liberals helped to elect George Bush but he has utterly failed in helping to explain how the left has ignored and aided the growth of Zionism in the U.S. Before the “left” criticize Obama they need to take a damn look in the mirror.

  25. D.R. Munro said on March 20th, 2008 at 6:37am #

    Steve DeMarcus, you do understand what September 11 really was, don’t you?

    If the official story is to be believed, it was no more of a terrorist attack than the bombing of Libya, the US-UK sponsored coup in Iran, the stationing of American troops in Saudi Arabia, and a million more examples.

    It was retribution, plain and simple. I find it amazing that people get so worked over 9/11. You can only punch someone in the face so many times until they punch back.

    I also might ask who these “savages” that you refer to are? Savages responsible for coups on Panama, Colombia, Iran? Savages that fund right-wing Latin American terrorists organizations? Savages who train Osama bin Laden and the Mujaheeden? Savages who fund Al-Qaeda in a campaign against the Russians? Savages who sell Saddam Hussein weapons and helicopters so he can drop VX gas on Iranians?

    I bet if you lived in the 1800s, you’d be one of those flag-waving morons making Native Americans march 3,000 miles on foot across the country because God told you so . . . and they were “savages” after all.

    Look in the mirror, take a peak at another savage.

    Anyone who seeks pride in their nation is a weak human, it is as simple as that. Find something to be proud of in yourself, not proud of the place where your parents just so happened to have decided to have sex, in your case – they’d have been better of with a condom, we already have enough murderous thugs.

  26. D.R. Munro said on March 20th, 2008 at 6:38am #


  27. dan e said on March 20th, 2008 at 3:24pm #

    Hey DB!

    Lemme have summa that! How bout a Large, w/ some wipcreme on top?

    Lloyd, hp, gimme soma yrs too!

    Okay, here’s the plan: take some them Cynthia fliers GP designed, copy the text off the front. Get one Cyn’s photos, I got one in B&W, or see if one you like will print b&w; put yr local contack info on the back.

    Find some bookstore or someplace will let some people congregate at a convenient time. Pick a date & run a ream a the flier with the place/time/date.

    Ease out to y nearest basketball court/baptist church/community ctr & pass em out.
    Maybe try Visiting Day at your local County Slam, work the parking lot? Give to people hand2hand, if you put them on windshields they’ll make you take em off.

    Hehe, some people never learn: when I was four got my first serious spanking for throwing lit matches into field a dry grass. Damn near burnt down the whole town. Pony MT:)

    How bout sum that purple kind… wild cherry-grape! O-o-ohh, yeah!

    Thanks again DB/HP/Lloyd! Oz Aot!

  28. John Wilkinson said on March 20th, 2008 at 3:28pm #

    “I’m writing from the 51st state*, the UK”

    maryb, that is not correct, UK is the 52d state. Hawaii is the 51st state. Israel is the first (and only real) state. It is the only state that gets mentioned day in and day out in US Congress, a million times an hour, the only state that really matters to them and the only one these traitors swear true allegiance to.

  29. John Wilkinson said on March 20th, 2008 at 3:47pm #

    “For Americans, Farrakhan epitomizes racism, particularly in the form of anti-Semitism.”

    For this (white) American, Farrakhan and Wright seem to have been engaging in courageous and unpopular truth telling, at least a large fraction of the time. (Now, yes, they also may have profited handsomely from this, in their own circles). As for anti-Semitism, that is what truth telling is often called in this country. It is when one side always gets its interests taken care of, even at the expense of this country’s interests and at the expense of tyrannically oppressed people. But when someone points that out, that is called anti-semitism and is equated with the holocaust.

  30. John Wilkinson said on March 20th, 2008 at 3:58pm #

    “It’s your choice isn’t it, dear DV editor Joshua Frank, that on today March 19, 2008, another small avalanche of disparate but independently very well-intentioned, and intermittently very well-written, articles show up at Dissident Voice.”

    Just a reality check. None of these prolific writers, and none of these “progressive” icons really want any of the problems they talk about or write about, solved. It is obvious from the distortions that are used, falsehoods employed and ideas presented. And egos employed.

    If the problems were solved, then what would they do for a living, what would they put on their resumes? It’s so easy to write about problems, so hard to roll up the sleeves and do the hard work.

    Do you really think Ralph (or Dennis, or any others) would really want to be president? Not in their worst nightmares. No, that would involve hard work. Stirring the muddy waters, selling hope and righteousness pays off much more handsomely per unit of effort expended.

  31. Max Shields said on March 20th, 2008 at 5:16pm #

    John Wilkinson, while you raise an interesting point, it is certainly extreme in its cynicism; or as the old saying goes, the only difference between heaven and hell is a new pair of glasses.

    The reason why I think your point is interesting is because it has very sound evidence in the form of the institutionalization of problems. An example (and there are many) is the “war on drugs”. The problem is firmly institutionalized; there is no solution because thousands would be without a job and the associated life styles that they’ve grown accustomed. And so the problem is kept place as we grow a kind of beaten tolerance. Where would firemen be were there no fires, certainly less egregious, but the point is similar.

    But the problem with politicos, and Nader has gone from galant activist to politico, is that they cannot not keep themselves entirely clean. That is they must consider a broader landscape of faceless abstract masses. But, and here I think is the real issue, the activist retains his/her outsider position, never satisfied and always demanding. There’s no cynicism involved in that even though if a problem could ever be truly solved, the activist will never simply retire. I think Howard Zinn has spoken to this aspect of the activist citizen. The gap between the ideals and the reality are so great that activism should always be a constant tension.

    Problems are tricky things, take “corrective” action, and low and behold a worse problem emerges. Just when we “thought” we “understood” the root cause we find we’ve aggitated the universe and are now condemned to the next round of vicious cycles until we snap out of that. That is life. There is no escaping it until death.

    However, social and economic problems can never be solved, even with the best policy ideas or laws without the involvement of those who are most deeply touched by them. Which is why national politics is a bad joke and why Obama who understands grass-roots organizing and activism has gone the route of Nader and lost what can only be the most effectual means to solving real human social and economic problems.

    The body of evidence over decades is huge on this…and yet we continue to play the presidential game as if it really matters, as if Reagan was really worse than Clinton, or Bush is really worse than his father or …Obama is really different than Hillary or the difference between McCain would really play out differently than with either Dem. Our amnesia and blind spots just don’t allow for the truth, and makes us think there was once a “better” time, that America was really once a better country somewhere back, way way back in time.

    Our biggest problem is that we walk away from how and where problems really get dealt with: human scale, local, community.

  32. dan e said on March 20th, 2008 at 10:50pm #

    well Max, I was with you all the way, great post– until the final para.
    Talk about the Long Slow Curve, then the Fast Break! You got it, you the champ on here, man:)

    You say “human scale, local, community”, because that’s all your suburban mind can deal with. Lemme pull ya coat: that a copout, man, you djaiven.

    But like the acupuncturist said to the guy who wondered why, when he’d complained of chronic migraine, the doc put needles in his toes:
    “body all connected.”-;)

    I know, I know: I’m too rude, I don’t understand what you really meant, who I think I am f crysake. Well man, wanna know the truth, I’m a big fuckup. e-NORMous fuckup, most wd shoot theyseff But I din’t have no gun & now I got these cats… I’m tryna say, aint tryna shuck nobody, I truly am a v. limited individual.

    But I been hearen this same Green Scene crap so long got it comenout my ears. Cliches, cliches on top a cliches. Oh lord how long. however:

    The whole “Green Party” concept is based on faulty assumptions.

    Actually, it’s a European conception, based largely on certain French intellectuals’ mastication of Antonio Gramsci’s Prison Notebooks, which are a meditation on the question: How can a Marxist-Leninist carry on the class struggle in a society completely took over by Fascism?

    But European society is not at the moment enduring one of its periodic bouts with said socio-economic pathology, and was not at the pt the GP mov’t was launched. So: incorrect diagnosis = inappropriate treatment plan = prognosis lousy. Which is what you see happening, both over in Euro & here in USA, plus Central Africa, Mideast, South Asia, Northern South America, round the corner at the Salvation Army…

    “Greenism” is actually a variation of what Marx, and later Lenin, called Reformism, aka “Gradualism”, the notion that this evil capitalist society would be reformed only by winning tiny reforms one after another until the whole thing would be totally transformed.

    Greenism is the Petit Bourgeois Ideology par excellence; thus its appeal is to those who feel squeezed between those Bloodsuckers at the top, and the unwashed & probably Violent rabble below.

    But that’s okay, I understand, I’m not trying to change your mind:) All I’m doing is trying to reinforce existing prejudices in an entertaining way; any impact on your personal consciousness is purely coincidental:)

    So I accept you as you are; I’m willing to work with you, to “coalition” with you, toward strictly defined limited objectives, like getting Cynthia nominated as the GP candidate, or others. However it should be clear on all sides that our priorities are not totally identical, nor are our interests.

    Not that you’re a “bad guy”, far from it. In many respects your intentions are quite laudable… but at other times you become part of the problem, esp. when you start pontificating about how to go about changing this shit. About which topic you don’t know shit, ain’t done you homework, ain’t paid you dues.

    With all due respect, of course:)

    Take it easy,


  33. Jeremy Wells said on March 20th, 2008 at 11:15pm #

    Listen to Nader! Listen to what he is saying about the corporate take over of the Federal Government. The privatization (or corporatization as Nader puts it) of the government is in rreality another word for plunder. The CIA is over 60per cent “outsourced”! Mercenaries guard Cheney and are involved in Iraq with almost
    as many military people as serving in the military.

    The unending attack upon Social Security, public education, public health, etc. is a desperate bid of a declining U.S. capitalism to further increase their wealth, as is the unending attempt to minimize or eliminate taxes upon their wealth.

    Nader is the only one who in the public says anthing about this! No Democratic Party member dares to attack their source of campaign funding (corporate money)..
    Thus neither Obama nor Clinton is in favor of a true universal health plan that eliminates all corporate profiteering from the health system. Thus any plan of Obama or Clinton is doomed to failure if it does pass.

    To finally think “outside” the box (of corporate controlled mass media punditry)
    for clearly written fact based analysis from a socialist perspective try World Socialist Web Site

  34. Max Shields said on March 21st, 2008 at 5:06am #

    dan e “You say “human scale, local, community”, because that’s all your suburban mind can deal with. Lemme pull ya coat: that a copout, man, you djaiven.”

    I don’t live in the burbs. I live in a city and wouldn’t want to live any other place.

    I suggest you take a look at one of the unsung but great economist – Manfred Max-Neef if you want to understand human scale. He’s not talking about some bourgeoisie.

    Curve ball? I don’t think so. My point is that no policy at the national level, no matter how well thought out or well intended can match the intent – and frequently exaserbates the problem. Community action and local activism is based in this understanding of human scale. For christ’s sake there isn’t even a national economy! It’s an aggregate of city and city region economies, or macro phony stuff that has absolutely nothing to do with what happens in people’s lives. San Francisco has a great economy, nice balance of trade and yet the dollar – USD – tells them they are doing poorly. Economies don’t work when you aggregate them. If SF had a local currency like back before 1913, it would be strong.

    As far as community activism and human scale check out Ernesto Cortez. What I’m saying is rooted there – minus the economic stuff.

  35. Lloyd Rowsey said on March 21st, 2008 at 5:40am #


  36. Lloyd Rowsey said on March 21st, 2008 at 5:46am #

    Thank YOU, dan e, and you, Max S. May you both be busy, busy all this best-of-times-worst-of-times year!

  37. Max Shields said on March 21st, 2008 at 6:57am #

    One person’s pontification is another’s expose.

  38. Lloyd Rowsey said on March 21st, 2008 at 8:33am #

    within limits, max.

  39. Don Hawkins said on March 21st, 2008 at 10:19am #

    The real measure of your wealth is how much you’d be worth if you lost all your money. ~Author Unknown

  40. Max Shields said on March 21st, 2008 at 12:37pm #

    Lloyd Rowsey, “within limits, max”

    and what would those be?

  41. Carolyn Kay said on March 21st, 2008 at 2:43pm #

    Obama wasn’t in the Senate when the vote was taken on the Iraq War resolution, and when running for the Senate in 2004 he made conflicting statements, even telling the New York Times at one point, “There’s not that much difference between my position and George Bush’s position at this stage.”,0,3085726.story

    Also in 2004: “When asked about Senators Kerry and Edwards’ votes on the Iraq war, Obama said, ‘I’m not privy to Senate intelligence reports,’ Mr. Obama said. ‘What would I have done? I don’t know. What I know is that from my vantage point the case was not made.'”

    His much-touted 2002 speech wasn’t as anti-war as he’d like you to believe. In the speech, he never said “Do not attack Iraq”, or “If I were in the Senate right now, I’d vote against any resolution that could in any way be construed as giving the President the authority to send troops to Iraq.” That gave him deniability, in case the war went well.

    In 2003, when the war was popular, he took the speech off his website.

    His war funding voting record has been exactly the same as Clinton’s.

    He didn’t make it back to Washington to vote on the Kyl-Lieberman Iran resolution, even though he’d been notified the vote was imminent.

    “[T]hose looking to the Obama campaign as a means of ending American militarism will be sorely disappointed. The Illinois Senator has vowed not to reduce the ballooning US military budget—which consumes an estimated $700 billion annually—but rather to increase it. He has called for the recruitment of another 65,000 soldiers for the Army as well as 27,000 more Marines. He has vowed to put ‘more boots on the ground’ in the ‘war on terror,’ the pretext invented by the Bush administration to justify ‘preemptive war,’ i.e., military aggression aimed at asserting US hegemony over the oil-rich regions of the Middle East and Central Asia.

    “As for Iraq itself, his promises to end the war are belied by his pledge to keep American forces in Iraq to defend ‘US interests’ and conduct ‘counterterrorism operations,’ a formula that would see tens of thousands of US soldiers and Marines continuing to occupy Iraq and repress its population for many years to come.”

    Carolyn Kay

  42. dan e said on March 21st, 2008 at 2:57pm #

    Max my man,

    You liven in a dream world. San Francisco is as much a Colony of the Big KKKombine as is your mind.

    See this is where I get mad, all you petty bourgeois m-fers tryna tell us it’s all an accident, just a coincidence, keep yr nose to yr local grindstone & dont look up. Keep putten on them bandaids, dealing with indiv. cases — just don’t start looking at the root cause of the disease.

    Well you may be geographically in a city but you mind is somewhere the grass is green, birds singen in the trees, highschool is Fri Nite football game & ROTC, what the shrubbery saw, what the dogs discussed, when the boy landed the paper right the edge the porch.

    CONCENTRATION OF WEALTH!!! where you been, man? Dontcha read the WSJ, fer crysache? Like Buddy Hackett said: “Wha part a Unite a State you con fron, Sprit Pee?”
    Okay, you live in a city. Be innersting to know witch, but don’t wanna endanger yr privacy;) If you live in a city, and you actively engage in trying to reform this, reform that, start some Altruistic endeavor/project/initiative — you will soon learn that it’s hard to get v. far sans the OK from somewhere above. You gotta have Clearance.

    Now some kinda enterprises/projects are Non-Controversial. So all you have to worry is not steppen nobodies toes. Like you wanna open a bar, be sure not close t no school, not too close to some other dude’s bar been there 30 yrs, maybe some Citizen raises objections, you go down City Hall, thass what the Councilcritters there for. Just like Cosa Nostra two guys got a contradiction: take it to Il Padrone.

    But other projects are Controversial. You try to — oh, I wrote sthg about this wyle ago. I’ll paste it in somewears. Anyway if you try to present Mazen Qumsiyeh’s Wheels of Justice to yr local Hi School you’ll hear immed. from the Thought Police. Which is controlled from Tel Aviv in coordination with eastern Long Island.

    See man, your Local Police is now controlled by the DHS, the local JTTA, FBI & them. Plus Blackwater: at the Artillery Hillery funraiser we protested & my metronome got famous coastocoast, the Sac Co Sheriff Bomb Squad vans had Blackwater decals on the back doors.

    Your local Real Estate fourflusher is a stooge of the bank down the st; said bank is a subsidery of a big bank hq’d east coast, prolly NYC. BofA was bought out. Everything is a Franchise. Your “city”, unless you mean NYC, is a colonial outpost run by faraway gunsels for the coupon clippers.
    “Local Action” my ass: gimme a brk. How you gonna stop this fukken “war” (sic) by purely local action? people been tryen for five yrs, ain’t happened yet. Wrong approach: try sthg elst.

  43. Lloyd Rowsey said on March 21st, 2008 at 3:31pm #

    in a word, max, circumstances.

  44. Lloyd Rowsey said on March 21st, 2008 at 3:34pm #

    dan e. I replied to max w/o reading yourn. Gimme some time and I hope to be back. If maxman doesn’t shut my mouth first, anyway.

  45. dan e said on March 22nd, 2008 at 9:42am #

    Okay Lloyd, I’ll check bk:) Got a nother salvo for Max but mebbe wait for the necks good fred — I mean th-th-THREAD. (whew)

    BTW, you got some Cymru? Some “pritani”? I got some, pa’s name Jinkin.


  46. Blwme said on March 23rd, 2008 at 12:35am #

    I find it highly amusing how people rant and rave about anonymous posts. The internet is about freedom. Anonymity is a true blessing and doesn’t diminish the quality (or lack thereof) of anyone’s posts. Some of the founders published brilliant documents anonymously. Ben Franklin posed as a woman in some of his writings. It didn’t make a damn bit of difference! The message is what was, and is, important.

  47. Lloyd Rowsey said on March 23rd, 2008 at 6:33am #

    Nice dream, Blwme. And I do not refer to Alan Turing’s famous test for determining whether you are conversing with a computer or a person.

    Max Shields and dan e –

    Presumably you both know your names can be placed in the box at the top of this page reading “Enter Search Terms” and you can click “Search DV” and find a list of all your posts (since August 2007 or so) with those names appended to the text?

    I respect you both because you are both active in community politics. Personally as a book person and not an activist, I’m more familiar with post-Marxism, Gramsci, Fanon, and Eldridge than any “white-minority local organizing” books. And my readings convince me that dan e’s skepticism with regard to getting your rocks off by organizing communities-and to hell with the national scene, is much more realistic on March 23, 2008. But where you stand is based on where you sit. Or more exactly: you two (and we three) have a lot more in common than we have to Dis each other about. I’m relatively dis-interested because I’m presently only an activist to the extent that I can make modest financial contributions to activists I believe in. And I feel a little guilty about that, a feeling I’m working real hard to leave behind.

    Max. I don’t have time to bicker with you about whether your posts are well-considered or sometimes fly off the handle.

    And dan e. Save your salvos for bigger ships. max is one of us, and we got limited ammunition.

    Lloud Rowsey

  48. Lloyd Rowsey said on March 23rd, 2008 at 6:35am #

    Hey. Another searchable name, Lloud Rowsey!! And not toooo inappropriate!

  49. hp said on March 23rd, 2008 at 7:59am #

    Or you can just dump on the poor guy. The one who deserves it because, well, because he’s poor and didn’t go to Harvyard or Princelyton and his heroes are Thoreau and Batman instead of Nash and Einstein.

  50. Lloyd Rowsey said on March 23rd, 2008 at 8:44am #

    gee, hp who you talkin to?

  51. Lloyd Rowsey said on March 23rd, 2008 at 9:12am #

    your idea of a class of people?

  52. Ron Peterson said on March 23rd, 2008 at 9:25am #

    Obama can save the Democrat Party because he is outside of the Party’s establishment.

    Nader doesn’t know how to be a team player and is destroying any possibility of a third party.

    The Green Party has some nuts, but many good people run for office under that party.

    The Libertarian Party is just a mix of people that don’t want to pay taxes, carry concealed weapons, and take drugs.

  53. hp said on March 23rd, 2008 at 3:42pm #

    I plead the 5th.

  54. dan e said on March 23rd, 2008 at 4:38pm #

    ShazZAMM, BBBOOOMMM! Well crash bam ali kazzam! You mean, like C to G?

    Uh, Lloud? yr prolly rt, shld tek it more easier on Max, he ain’t the Main Enemy, in fact is an Important Ally so I shld Observe Diplomatic Decorum & not offend him further. However my sense is he’s a sturdy fellow, not one to get depressed over trollery.

    I myself come from the Ol’ Street Corner school of advocacy proceeding. Like “Don’t Suck, BLOW!”. Move that NRG OUT, don’t be sucken it IN. So say wts on yr mind, if somebody can shoot it down, hey, go for it! If I’m wrong, Pull My Coat! Don’t let me persist in ignernce, lemme know when I stray off the beam!

    There usta be a troll on the ol’ IMC Palestine, had unpronounceable handle, usta never say a complete thought or a coherent sentence front to back. But made more sense than anybody them days, incl. yrs T(2002, Beit Lam, then siege of Muktada) . Shot me down cpl times, down in Flames:) But my ack is improved for it so I owe him for taken the trbl.

    Just like I prish8 you exprsng opinion re Max: cd be y have a pt, cd be not much of a one:) Max a Big Boy, don’t need be Rescued?

    Anyway I’m glad t see you ‘n hp keepen Fred alive here; I got this thing I sent to my Lisk that an esteemed acquaintance came bk positive on it. So I’m gonna post it here & see if anybody notices. Like I was layen in bed, had this FLASH, hadda get up, type it down before forget it. Was thenken about Gene Ammons in the Jug all his life, which I got to rambling on in later part — there IS a direct connection but may not be apparent to non-beboppers. Oh yeah, this just the Vocab of me thinken to myself, I’ll get around to doen a translation later I hope:)

    RED TOPopopopopop:
    >I ‘m on your wavelength. There is nothing more to argue about; nothing in doubt requiring dialogue. Indeed, the very act of “sitting down” with criminals amounts to abject surrender.

    >From now on, eternal resistance, no accommodation.

    > Okay, here’s the deal:
    > Green pty might eventually get three/four seats in House; but will take > more, & more stauncher folks w/ a better idee whass rilly hapning, to form a > non-Dim-ocrat Radical Indep. Caucus in Congress. Have to be all Safe Seats.
    > found only in AfrAmercan Cong dists. So need a mov’t strong enough challenge > the Virtual Plantation, all thiz Preachers on the take from AIPAC et al, > addicted they Budgets. All these piecard Labor Leaders addicted to place in > the Machine(s), sweenie-sternie, shalom shalom. NAACP: shalom shalom, gimme > the $$. Been The Oney Game In Town so long most think it’s like the sun > comes up in the morning — but it ain’t. Them day comen to a rapid end, cuz > people is hurten & they MAD.
    > Cyn can talk these people, cd go right in any park basketball ct & start
    > runnen it down: brothers wd lissen. Go outside any Welfare office, ladies > gonna holler Amen, at LAST!
    Ifn she say “Chk out this ol gray dude, he > holden”, they’ll lissen t Yrs Trly & get ther wigs RILLY lit up. (So hep > me Lord Buckley:) er Redd Foxx: “Ann… ann ther OFF! an it’s Vomit, comen > up on e inside… inna Joseph coat silks… an its Birdshit onna rail… > annnd FEE-dull-baum…”
    Oh Its Nice to Be Nice, but sometime Crazy People won’t let you.
    > So we need a big mov’t. We need these Green yuppies, mosly fulla shit, > Dingdong said Prez (no offense intended, pls keep lissnen Max
    we need u, also > this be oppty for u) but know Elections game.
    > It a game, like football, basketball, tonk, chess (anybody like Tonk? I’m a > Tonk badass, wanna try me?:) Gotta know the game. They have a structure, a > network all th country, a infrastructure? But ain’t got the Focus. The > Priorities, as in Richard Priorities. This wear the rassroots come in, keep > em Focussed.
    > And Sisters like Cyn at the top keepen order.
    > Spose we get twenty elected Congress, and the margin btwn the D’s & the GOPs > is 19: we got the Swing Vote. Drive a Hard Bargain: either Cyn’s chair a > House Ways & Means or we vote w/ the Rethuglicans. From a Cmte Chair you can > hold Hearings into everthing, subpeona ever Official in sight. make em > testify, Under Oath. if they jive, Perjury. Not even Fox News can just > ignore a Chair of a Full Cmte of the Congress. TV loves Fire, and > Congressional Hearings.
    > Once we get rollen, why can’t we eleck Cynthia Senator from GA? or maybe > Calif: Funstein getten purty ole:) Senators can Filibuster, be a Big Fly > inna ointment, gum up the works.
    > Screw that Euro GP “Long March through the Institutions”: ain’t accomplisht > shit there & won’t here.
    > We need first a Black-led Party, then a Green, Red, Yellow, Black Brown & > Beige Electoral Vee-hickle! A Bloque truly Popular, a Temario Completo, a > REAL “rainbow coalition” ( w/ a small “r”:) Coalition, United Front, Bloc, > Alliance, whatever.
    > What we need first: all candidates have to distance they self from AIPAC et > all. Accept they gonna be attacted by people claiming they represent Jewish > Community, (sic), be called Auntie C-Mights, caw caw pollywanna Not-see.
    > Gotta denounce Exisstence so called “State of Israel” (sic) Militarized Apartheid > Theocracy now enforcing Military Occupation Gaza & US Congress/Exec > Br.
    Gotta denounce all this Islamaphobia stereotyping.
    > (Man, it crazy! Remin me just like Jim Crow: went DC Bus Depot they had > Sheet Music racks: Coon Songs. Now it on Teevy: A-Rabb Terrississ!
    > Constantly, incessantly, in your ear, in your face.
    > Middle name Hussein? marked forever: Sheesh Martha, a Hairrettick!
    > ———————————————————————————-
    Okay, this where gets Esoterical; the younger/more Suburban folks may want to just skip it, may be over yr head, y cn ketchup later:)______________________________________________________
    > “Raahhpadup-pup-pup-pup, pie dedop “RED TOP!”oppoppoppoppop! …mmm gonna
    > drop gonna drop… “My Sweet little Alice, Rozetta…”
    > lakka a one eye cat peepen inna Sifu Stoa. Row laka Big Weel inna Joja
    > cottin feel. Honey Hush.
    > Now is the Time: do th Hucklebuck, if you cain do it you be outa Luck…
    > [okay, bk to Englisch:]
    > “there is a Tide, in the affairs of men
    > which taken at the flood
    > Leads on to Fortune.”
    > Everthing is everthing, Don’t be hangen back, time decide: Who Am I? another
    > Comadationiss?, or is it Confrontation. Yes?
    > L’Audace! L’Audace! Toujours L’Audace!
    > Pays y $$ & y makes y choice: he who hesitates is lost.
    > & I’m Aoooooottt:)

  55. Lloyd Rowsey said on March 23rd, 2008 at 6:22pm #

    yoo a poetto dan-y, and DV to my knowledge never put-upy thing like this before. tnx good bro. but TWENTY seats? you sure aint talking northern ca where cindy sheehan is running in SF but spent last Wed — as far as ican tell from the media — in Berkeley. 20 seems like a big number but 1) you the man on the ground, and 2) i’m not even clear what timeframe your talkin, lloyd.

  56. dan e said on March 24th, 2008 at 3:42pm #

    yes, timeframe — I’m talken Ought-Twelve, Ought-Zixteen.

    Clarification: Single-Issue politics is a losing game. Pick an issue: have the Dems/fellow Liberals made any progress on it in the last 25 yrs?

    Last major positive development I can remember was Roe V. Wade. Am I forgetting sthg important? I may have my timeframes jumbled again; Boland Amendment was positive, so was Ollie North conviction — which typical of all concessions from the capitalists was soon followed by his elevation to Elder Statesman cum Heroic Warrior status, w/his own TV show.
    Anyway, since I started playing Legislative Advocacy games down to the Whorehouse, I mean the State Capitol, it’s been one long retreat. “Advance to the Rear”, MacArthur called it, down the slopes of Frozen Chosen.
    Poetry? Here’s a poetic phrase for you: Elaborate Minuet.

    So screw Singleissue politics, except Singlepayer because I need some new teeth:) I mean they create issues. Use them to disperse our forces, while they concentrate theirs on holding onto the reins of the State Apparatus. Haha — “Write Your Congresscritter!” They keep whole armies of Liberal dummies busybusybusy for centuries of Labor-hours, all writing letters, going to hearings, holding pr. conferences, begging the incumbent m-fers for crumbs. They give the two-headed dog Sweenie-Sternie a scrap just often enough so they can front of for they Rank&File: Look what I brought you from the store! Like they passed a Living Wage ordinance here in Sac cpl yrs bk. Big campaign, SEIU had lawn signs all over town, 500 bodies to pack City Hall cpl times, preachers, teachers, Leaque of Wmn Voters — till finely YAAAY, WE WON! Living wage for some tiny classification of municipal employees, affected maybe a hundred workers, sthg like that.
    Just a big charade, for the piecards & the politicianos to front off. I was gonna outreach to the ‘hood here, see if cd get a crew together to post lawn signs — SEIU rep says, no need, we have a Contractor to do that, they do a good job, put up/take down.
    Hehe: SEIU has a rule for new hired Organizers etc: you can be radical as hell, say anything you want, be a open Comminist, even a Tearerrist Supporter giving Material Support to Children’s Healthcare Clinics in Gaza — just as long as you don’t Stir Up The Membership. Let those sleeping Duespayers lie!
    One other rule: do NOT sign no Initiative Petitions unless they were written & endorsed by the Democratic Party of CA, or at least by the Sac County Central Cmte. I.e., if you support efforts by the GP, P&F, PSL and/or others to raise the min. wage, you are an Enemy of the Working Class, you scab bastard. Same goes for Singlepayer Healthcare: gotta support the bill the Dems are gonna pass in the Legislature, for Arnold to veto whenever he gets to it. Forget that Arnold-proof Initiative: that’s scab stuff.

    Anyway: the GP will never get enough House seats away from the Dems out there in those semirural districts. Be lucky not to have Rethuglicans. I mean enough seats to be a factor. Of course one person can make a certain diff. But not a v. substantial one, and unless in a Safe District, a really safe district, will be out in two yrs.

    Yes Big Protest Rallies/Marches are also valuable means of struggle. Strikes are better, but Demonstrations are fine, I’m all for them. But once pulled off, there is no Payoff.
    Electoral struggle has many of the same benefits as protests/vigils/smallscale CD, in that it’s a way to get The Message out, to educate people, to bring people together so they can interact & deepen each other’s radicalization. But there is one big difference: it is within the realm of the possible that a Candidate will one day be elected to office — and with Office goes a certain measure of Power. Plus access to a lotta resources.
    The thing is, they keep us scurrying from one Vital Issue to another. Everybody is working on their favorite issue, the one they have an Affinity for. Which is fine if all you care about is NIMBY. “Not in Our City”. Meanwhile the War goes on: war on Black Usians, Native Americans, Latino migrantes, on Afghanis, Africans, Pilipinos, Venezuela, Cuba, Arabs, Muslims here and abroad — is it not clear by now that the War is everywhere? And that it is generated, launched & carried out from a Central Headquarters? How you gonna politically attack PNAC in your own backyard? Try protesting at the DHS/JTTP office: they’ll just laugh at you. If they get annoyed they’ll hold you down & pepperspray your ass.
    The current Multi-Prong Offensive of Globalized Capital is just that: Global. Kill one tentacle, another will get you.
    I guess if you don’t have any concerns that transcend your local area, your town, city, water district etc, it makes sense to keep a narrow focus. It also makes senses to urge a narrow focus if you are a Zionist, and you don’t want anybody questioning the Prevailing Mythological Consensus.
    But I disgress:) The pt is that the GP et al are not likely to dislodge any Democrats very soon. Most “radical” districts are the bailiwick of firmly-ensconced Pwogwessive Dumbocrats, with whoom the local GPers usually enjoy a warm “coalition” relationship, stage Fora together, have Labor Day Picnics etc etc.
    However, in districts with Black majorities, a certain restlessness, a certain stirring-about has been observed recently. The Cong. Blk. Caucus has not delivered on its collective promises, and people are getting tired of waiting. However, there is this entity, this Presence, this mechanism in place which is there to “deal with” any dissatisfied customers. Some of us have taken to calling it the Invisible, or the Virtual, or the New Plantation. It consists of phalanxes of totally sold-out House Negros, whose loyalties to the local Democratic Establishment have been secured by unbreakable bonds of $$, even more by the fear of losing revenue streams to witch said H. N.’s has become accustomed, and by Fear period, cuz nobody in iz rt mine messes w/ the Mossad. Self-instilled chronic Stupiditty plays a role also, making it possible for HNs to overlook inconvenient facts & fail to draw the simplest conclusions from that which is obvious to everybody.
    Maybe it’s time to take a break now, see what Max has to say?


  57. Carl Davidson said on March 27th, 2008 at 9:05am #

    This is pitiful, Joshua.

    You’re looking for an anti-imperialist candidate, which Obama never claimed to be. There’s not a majority for that, but that’s not a reason not to vote for one, if there was one.

    Obama is a high-road industrial policy capitalist and a ‘soft power’ multipolar globalist, truth be told, and capable on pulling together a majority this round, rather different from McCain’s unreconstructed neoliberal US hegemonism. You’re smart enough to appreciate the distinction.

    You don’t have to vote for him. Or even endorse him or most of his platform. I don’t, but I know where I stand in this battle, especially given the racist assaults on Obama. Kool-Aid, indeed. Shame on you for picking that up from Hannity. But if you go to the polls to vote for Nader or McKinney or whoever, which is fine, just practice some small ‘d’ democracy and bring scads of antiwar voters under the age of 40 with you. You can talk to them about their illusions along the way; they’ll still figure out what to do. Or if you want to engage the election as a nonpartisan not backing anyone, read my piece on our new blog, indicated here.

  58. Flu-Bird said on April 7th, 2009 at 11:48pm #

    Weere still seeing his ugly mug in every darn liberal left-wing news paper in the world and old FLU-BIRD is ready to ralph up on the carpet im one very ill bird

  59. mary said on April 8th, 2009 at 7:05am #

    Interesting to go back to these prescient words of Joshua Frank from one year back and to the comments thereon. The only part of the Obamadrama that Mr Frank missed out was the Grand Theft of taxpayers’ money by Wall Street and Obama’s repeat bail-outs of the crooks-in-charge but that was some way off then.