Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

None of my comrades on the left, or my friends on the right who know me would be shocked that I’m a firearms enthusiast. I own an AK-47 (with an eeeeeeevil 75 round drum magazine) because its fun to shoot, it’s important to learn how, and because I appreciate the craftsmanship and durability of the weapon. Same goes with the Glock 17, whatever caliber-snobs might have to say about the 9mm. Suffice it to say, I very much enjoy guns.

I’m an ardent leftist, an avowed Socialist even, but independently minded enough for the gun control debate to force me into introspection. Lazy political analysis would put me with the right-wing on this issue, and perhaps that may be practically true, but despite (or because of) empty-headed rhetoric from both sides, I’ve realized there’s nothing that gives the American right-wing exclusive ownership over gun rights. The fight to protect gun-rights can and should be cross-partisan.

There is a fundamental problem with accepting a theory of Pre-Packaged Politics; the notion that, because one identifies with a particular party, or space on the political spectrum one must assume a pre-determined set of beliefs based on the conception of others. It’s as lazy of a form of politics as the your-team-my-team substance-free horse race we see every two to four years.

Alex Jones and Ted Nugent make me cringe every time they appear on television to talk about guns; today the worst spokesmen are the usual suspects who make anyone with a .380 in their nightstand sound unhinged. Nonetheless I’m a gun-rights enthusiast for a number of reasons, most of which I’ll spare you by staying with one.

Being on guard against government overreach in the use of force, particularly against it’s own citizens, is at once the most derided and necessary reason to be a gun-rights enthusiast. Leftists (and liberals not completely moist with adoration for the President) who complain of a metastasizing national security and surveillance state should be appreciative of this. Yet, such concerns are laughed at while, as with education, those least experienced with and furthest removed from firearms seek the most control over them.

No, I don’t seriously consider that the United States Army will soon be rolling tanks down the streets of America, or that all service-members would comply with orders to do so. I don’t seriously consider myself evenly matched against an A-10 running a bombing sortie on a protest rally, even with my so-cherished AK-47. We’re nonetheless living in an era of our country’s history in which the president claims absolute power to spy on every aspect of your life, detain anyone he likes indefinitely without charge or trial, kidnap and disappear anyone he likes, assassinate anyone he likes on a whim with no meaningful restrictions. In times as unprecedented as this there is something fundamentally unnerving to watch the president claim and aggressively defend such powers, and still be told with a straight face and steady voice that, in the face of this I must to be disarmed and made totally helpless and defenseless to a government that claims such powers

So sneers like the one’s depicted in this meme fail completely against those who believe as strongly in the Second Amendment as they do equal marriage and women’s rights just as they should fail against those independently minded enough to be able to reconcile the two without distress.

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Obama Voters from 2008 rightfully disillusioned

“…almost four in 10 millennials said that it doesn’t matter who is elected because Washington is broken. A quarter of them said that neither candidate represents their views, and almost three-quarters admitted to not being politically active.”

The 2008 Obama campaign fired up the youth vote by campaigning as a (supposedly) genuine liberal with  fresh, new perspective, but instead governed as the same kind of staid or craven servants to the 1%. Obama, lavishly soothing the wounds of the banksters, expanding imperialist wars, overseeing a metastasizing totalitarian national security and surveillance state (a la NDAA and Espionage act driven war on whistleblowers) that is an expansion of the Bush-era legacy, his giveaway to the health insurance companies on the right-wing Heritage Foundation’s framework for Obamacare, and his bipartisan assault on education and the organized working-class (amongst other betrayals) has demonstrated that he deserves the votes of no one who doesn’t work for Goldman Sachs the Koch brothers, or Michelle Rhee.

In doing so, the greatest sin of this administration was to tell (especially) young voters, by his actions, that their vote truly doesn’t matter; no matter which puppet of the 1% you vote for, you’re choice is still over who will jab the knife in your back the least.

Protip: There are more than two parties to cast a vote for president; to say that voting for them is a throwaway vote is a self-fulfilling prophecy; of course they’ll never win if you never vote for them. What’s amusing about Obama-bots, especially in Texas, is that they say such things about third parties without a trace of irony; the electoral college ensures that voting Democrat in Texas is a throwaway vote too, so vote your conscience and your principles and make history. It’s a damned sight better than voting who’s going to bleed you the slowest.

“Obama is No Pro-Worker President” or: He’s Just Not Into You

“In response, hundreds of janitors in Houston walked off the job last Tuesday, and there have been solidarity strikes in Denver, Minneapolis and a number of other cites…. If Obama wanted to offer a textbook example of a major campaign theme — America’s widening income gap — that would also signal his commitment to helping workers, he could at least release a statement supporting the strikers, yet he and other Democrats seem content to let the janitors fight alone.”

Orthodox, unthinking Obama boosters invariably accuse critics-from-the-left of secretly rooting or working for Romney to win. This is silliness; you’d be hard pressed to find any critic from the left who thinks Romney actually deserves to be elected. 

Speaking for myself I’ll vote for any genuine, progressive-left, anti-racist, anti-sexist, anti-homophobia, working-class oriented Democrats (or Leftist Independents, Greens, Reds, etc.) with a demonstrable, substantial track record of being exactly that. 

Vote for whomever you want, but while we’re playing the game of lesser-evilism in which corporate-owned Democratic Party bosses demand everyone from the center-left onward perpetually lower our sights for empty, ultimately meaningless electoral gain, let us at the rank-and-file at least have the dignity not to pretend that Obama actually deserves re-election either.

We can’t keep having a long, slow bleed in which every four years the decision boils down to who sinks the knife into the back of the working-class the deepest; of who sells us out for the lowest price. That’s not a real choice and if unthinking apologists keeps pretending that it is, we’ll all be subjects of the ultra-reactionary GOP free-market fantasyland sooner than they can possibly believe.

Capitalism is an irrational system

“We make a mistake if we think that the top tier of monopoly capital is committed to a robust recovery that would lift all boats, to the reproduction of capitalism on an expanded scale. That fiction is best left in introductory economic textbooks.”

Posted: June 26, 2012 in Uncategorized

In every way, an entry like this demands to be read.

I have been forced to leave Cairo prematurely following a horrific sexual and physical attack in Tahrir Square.

The atmosphere was one of jubilation, excitement, and happiness as I walked, accompanied by two male companions for safety along Kasr El Nil bridge. I had had an awful day, caused by problems in personal relationships, so I was so happy to be in such a wonderful environment, getting such amazing footage. Women, children and fathers smiled, waved, and cheered happily at the camera, calling out the widely used phrase “welcome to Egypt! Welcome!”. Fireworks lit up the sky. It was a moving and captivating experience.

Just as I realised I had reached the end of the bridge, I noticed the crowd became thicker, and decided immediately to turn around to avoid Tahrir Square. My friends and I tried to leave. I tried to put my camera back in my rucksack.

But…

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Some of my liberal comrades will probably enjoy this infographic, but It needs and deserves a riposte.

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Let’s not forget that Obama and the DNC sat on their asses for Wisconsin and let the working-class hang out to dry. Quite frankly, Labor should do the same to the world’s second most enthusiastic capitalist political party. The working-class should forge its own political destiny and actually seek state power instead of squabbling with capitalists over vacation days and pensions. What unions fight for are undoubtedly important, but crude economism misses the forest from the trees and dooms the working class to subservience.

Case in point being that liberal savior-in-chief President Obama now wants to grant to corporations shocking endowments of extraordinary new political powers under the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal. Under this deal minimum wage laws, occupational safety mandates, environmental protections, banking and finance regulations, could all be swept away at the whim and request of multinational corporations if they consider them too “anti-business”. It bears mentioning that Mitt Romney and the US Chamber of Commerce are totally behind Obama in this NAFTA of the Pacific. Two sides of the same coin…

When infographics like this come out, Liberals can choose to allow themselves wowed and distracted by the cynical, calculated overtures about equal marriage rights or immigration reform. These are the political equivalent of shiny jingly keys dangled before liberals after years of inaction or outright capitulation to the right. But we’d be more honest with ourselves if we keep in mind that this guy isn’t really looking out for any of us and there’s very little daylight between the two candidates. Obama will not appoint liberals or leftists to the Court and we all on the left need to disabuse ourselves of that fantasy.

And to the “lesser evil” unthinking, orthodox Democrats, no one left-of-center thinks Romney shouldn’t be elected president; but don’t be so morally bankrupt and intellectually empty as to act as though Obama actually deserves re-election. In any case, anyone who believes Obama is working in the interests of the working-class is a fool or hasn’t been paying attention.

Posted: June 16, 2012 in Uncategorized

Aside from their primary role in the protection of the ruling capitalist-class and suppression of working-class and popular movements to that end, this is a spot on summation of the problems with policing in the United States today.

Courtesy of Robert Evans, blogger at “Letters to Conservative Parents” and comedy writer at cracked.com

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As a kid, I was raised to believe that the police were my friends. If I was ever in danger, any police officer I would find could be trusted to help me. They were valiant, self-sacrificing men who held the weight of society up on their strong shoulders. Their noble duty was printed on the side of every squad car and on the front of every badge- ‘To Serve and Protect’.

I remember the precise moment when the police turned in my mind from trusted protectors into hazards that must be avoided at all costs. It was in the middle of a cross-country road trip with my girlfriend and our friend Alicia. We pulled into a gas station in Brady, TX at around 2 AM to fill up on fuel and coffee. Three squad cars were parked out front, and six officers were standing around inside taking a break from…

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On “America’s Obsession with Silencing Cornell West”

“There is nothing wrong with voting for Obama, but to give support to a politician and then ask him for nothing is just an inch short of maniacal buffoonery.  It’s interesting that having voted for Obama is not enough; some feel that you must be in love with him.   Protecting politicians like they are members of the family is simply bad politics, and makes you the laughing stock of those who understand how the game is really played. 

Rather than addressing the critiques that Professor West has brought to the table, Obama-ites (those who feel that no one has a right to openly challenge the president’s policies) focus on the fine print of Cornel’s media campaign, the sentence where he mentions the inauguration tickets, thus using that comment to invalidate a long list of legitimate issues Cornel mentions.  This disingenuous way of evaluating Cornel’s words is one of the many parlor tricks used by the African American attack dogs propped up by MSNBC to keep African Americans in line without actually giving them anything:  Why should I convince you to support me by offering you something, when I can discredit alternative viewpoints instead?”

When I read this, I’m thinking of you, Orthodox Democrats. Obama has been a demonstrably terrible president on a wide range of issues and doesn’t deserve the votes of liberals, much less leftists. Being a johnny-come-lately to equal marriage rights does nothing to make up for chronic capitulation to the forces of reaction and to the interests of capitalists who lust for a future best represented by a boot stamping upon a human face until the end of time.

“Lesser evilism”, while emotionally compelling in an effort to get out the vote, is a cop out and degrades whatever principles or intellectual and moral substance there might have ever been to the Democratic party, which was precisely what happened under Clinton. That man’s triangulations, powerfully chronicled in “No One Left to Lie To”, left the Democratic Party a burnt-out husk, a mere shadow of the Republicans that confirmed the fact that our two-party system is just two sides of the same coin.

For these reasons, for what it’s worth, I refused to cast a primary vote for Obama. We still have 5 months to go but by now it’s a pretty sure bet that I won’t be voting for him in November.

Quick update

Posted: January 16, 2012 in Uncategorized

I’ve had to change Internet providers due to what I think have become the unreasonably high service costs of Comcast. When I had to start paying roughly twice per month for Internet and cable TV than when I started their services (the cable TV I didn’t want in the first place and don’t watch enough of to justify the expense), that was enough for me to switch, since Comcast doesn’t allow unbundled internet. Simply put, my updates have been markedly less frequent for this very reason and may yet be so until the 26th of January, though hopefully I’ll be back online sooner. I’ll still be writing offline, however, and hope that anyone out there reading me will still check back in.

Slithering into what I sadly cannot say is a new low for the GOP base, Ron Paul supporters have released the following gem attacking the Republican primary candidate who’s been sucking hind-tit throughout the entire campaign, Jon Huntsman.

Ron Paul, a Republican presidential contender for 2012 has rightfully landed in a big pot of hot water for making flagrantly racist statements in several of his newsletters from decades past. Dr. Paul has denied authorship of the articles in question, however videos have surfaced, like turds in a toilet, where he neither denies authorship, nor disavows those articles but instead speaks of his newsletter with unmistakable pride.

This new video, blatantly depicting Huntsman in a manner suggestive that he is not only sympathetic to, but in the direct employ of the “evil alien yellow hordes” by showing only footage in which he is speaking in Mandarin Chinese. This can’t help but strengthen the perception that Ron Paul and his surrogates are unapologetic racists and by now, this should be of no shock to anyone.

I harbor no illusions that any of this will alienate him from the GOP base, the foundation of which is partially built on elements of racism and xenophobia (see the immigration debate and the poisonous references to Hispanics and foreign “others” as “illegals”). I’m hoping instead that this will be a wake up call to his younger devotees who might think that the Civil Rights movement was actually a good idea and that human life isn’t subordinated to private property rights. We all should come together and flush this relic of know-nothing-nativism and Jim Crow politics to the sewage pipe of the worst in human history.

Either way, I guess it can’t really be surprising that the supporters of cutthroat neoliberalism would dump on the weakest of the lot.