Sunday, October 30, 2011
Why I Won't Vote for Barack Obama
It might be said that the Democratic Party, as it has come to be over the past thirty years, transformed itself into a pseudo kinder, gentler adjunct to the Republican Party. This in fact might have been a major factor in molding the thinking of the President, and Joe Lieberman being his Senate sponsor was a harbinger of the kind of man we have now.
On taking office in January 2009 President Obama inherited a huge mess, there is no doubt of that, and the people who got him there were predisposed to the corporate mindset. He trusted them, evidently and tried to act presidential. I didn't criticize for the first year. Pretty much every president, George W. Bush excepted, deserves at least that. But the snide remarks about the Progressives and the "Left" by his staff and eventually Obama himself began to rankle. The failure to take drastic action on the economy when it was possible, allowing the "Health Care" Industry to have all it wanted on the Health Care Bill and no effort whatsoever made to consider a single-payer system, the throwing money at Wall Street Bankers, huge amounts of money with no accountability tied to it, the disinterest in criminal prosecution of any of these people or the criminals in the previous administration, all of these things began to mount up, and the country began to fall apart.
I am obviously not a mover and a shaker, but what if my vote for Bernie Sanders or whichever candidate with absolutely no chance of winning should be the tipping point enabling a Republican, say Michelle Bachmann or Rick What's-his-name, to be the next president? Would I be OK with that? No, I wouldn't. What about Mitt Romney? Actually, he and Obama are very much alike - both weasels who dress fairly well and whose grammar is clearly a cut above the last guy.
This country is in a lot of trouble. If you think that Obama is having problems in his first term just wait. I don't know why Presidents want a second term anyway. Look what happened to W, and Clinton, Bush One was lucky, and Reagan, Carter-never mind him and Ford- and Nixon, yikes! and Lyndon Johnson. Which is worse, Obama losing next year or winning? If he wins it will be four years of water torture, and nothing good will happen - for him or us.
I'm not counting on anything from the Occupy Wall Street movement. I'd love for there to be a real rocking of the foundations and a new political party to come out of it that spits in the eyes of both Republican Parties, but the odds against this happening are astronomical. Meanwhile, I'm not going to enable Barack Obama or the party that has forgotten where it came from just to get more of the same old same old.
My message is this: President Obama and Democrats, start being Democrats, or just stop being hypocrites and join the Republican Party. This bullshit about voting for you because the Republicans are vile is a cruel sham.
Saturday, December 18, 2010
Winter's Soft Light
Germany is noted for it's numerous overcast winter days. Today was not one of them. The light was amazing. Not brilliant but warm, not harsh but soft and delicate, the sun low in the sky at 4PM, as i waited for the strassenbahn at Altmarkt, a sack of books just gotten at Thalia.
Saturday, May 16, 2009
The Difference Between Eichmann and Dick Cheney
Hannah Arendt wrote the term Banality of Evil. Donald Rumsfeld and Paul Wolfowitz probably personify this concept most completely but Dick Cheney is the one strutting the stage at the moment making the case that what happened was necessary, and that it was for the safety and good of the nation.
Adolph Eichmann was more of a functionary, a faceless bureaucrat that few would have known before his capture and trial in Israel. Although better known, David Addington, John Yoo or Alberto Gonzales and Douglas ("stupidest fucking guy on the planet") Feith are more like Eichmann in the heirarchy of things.Cheney is more like Goebels: unrepenant and arrogantly defending the evil that he engineered and orchestrated.
If we do not bring him down, and everything he represents, the United States of America will be a failed nation.
Tuesday, May 12, 2009
Sergeant John M. Russell Stayed The Course
Sergeant Russell stayed the course in Iraq. He is the legacy that Bush, Cheney and Rumsfeld have bestowed on us. They willed and demanded this war. Their callous ineptitude, lack of foresight and moral indifference set up this scenario. Sergeant Russell is not alone. There are many other soldiers who are mentally and emotionally damaged, especially amongst those who have served multiple combat tours. Some are still in Iraq or Afghanistan. Some are back in the States and we will be a long time enduring the consequences of what was started eight years ago. We need to help the soldiers. They deserve every bit of medical and psychiatric help that is available. They deserve our concern and understanding.
There is a good deal of talk about torture these days and what it consists of. To send a soldier to a third tour of duty in Iraq is something akin to torture. To fail to create an infrastructure to properly care for soldiers who are put into such misery, stress and agony is criminally irresponsible.
I am highly skeptical that Bush, Cheney or Rumsfeld will ever be held accountable for what they have done but for those of us who care, we can at least remember who they are and what they did every single time another incident like this happens.
We should never forget, and history will, most probably, not let us.
Friday, October 31, 2008
Do The Right Thing
I do believe that there is a certain criterium for acting on what is in the best interests of the country. Democracy is fraught with difficulties and irritating restraints when it comes to getting done what needs to be done. Voters often feel helpless when our country is headed in the wrong direction and we need to remember that our power is limited. The one thing that concentrates the mind of politicians, each and every one, is feeling that their constituents have decided to end their tenure. The most true, singular expression of how to bring about change is: "throw the bastards out."
It doesn't matter which party is in power, if any party stays in power for very long it will become so corrupt and immoral that a change will be needed. That of course is where we are today. American citizens need to throw out any party that fails the majority of Americans as badly as the Republicans have over the past eight years. In fact, the Republicans have been bad for most Americans for the past twenty-eight years. During this time they have held the executive branch of the federal government for twenty years, and the Congress for most of that time (six of the last eight, and such a strong minority of the senate for the past two years that the razor thin majority the Democrats hold at the moment is virtually useless).
This is a major part of the reason why America is such a mess now. And we, the voters are responsible as well. We have been "asleep at the wheel" for most of the past thirty years. The Republicans have proven good at deception and demagogery. They have been masters of controlling the media and snake oil salesmanship. And we have allowed them to have their way. Finally, it seems to have caught up with them.
Americans need to throw the bastards out. They need to give Obama a try and sixty Democratic Senate seats (Lieberman doesn't count. he is worse than worthless) and a whole lot more H of R seats. Otherwise the remaining Republicans will find ways to continue to impede any meaningful change. If we elect Obama and give the Democrats a working majority in Congress we must then watch carefully what happens and raise hell if good decisions aren't made.
If our country isn't moving in a better direction by 2011 we need to get ready to throw the bastards out again. No party deserves the loyalty of American voters unless it truly works in the best interests of at least the majority of it's citizens. If a new Congress doesn't serve us well we need to dump it at the first available opportunity. This is our only recourse. If Americans don't take a passionate interest in what they do and hold them accountable the Democrats will fuck up just as badly as the Republicans have. All of them need to know, they need to live in the knowledge that Americans are paying attention to what they are up to. Eternal vigilance is imperative.
Obama may prove to be a fine president, or maybe not. We must measure his performance. We cannot simply elect him and say, "OK, it's yours, now handle it" and stop paying attention. At the same time we must realize that he will not be able to work miracles. The challenges that he will face will be monumental. However, if he proves disappointing and ineffective, and if Democratic lawmakers prove to be scoundrels, we must be ready and willing to throw the bastards out again.
See you on Tuesday.
Tuesday, June 24, 2008
the end of America as we knew it
it's going away now, that hope, that idea, so beautifully and intelligently conceived and synthesized at the beginning of the nation.
remember it well.
maybe in the future the quaint notion of democracy and the rule of law and the belief that government should serve the people, rather than only the most powerful and ruthless, will once again have a chance to become real.
for now, the Congress is throwing out the Fourth Amendment and habeas corpus. they're doing it willingly, stupidly, for a mess of pottage. the stupidity and venality and ignorance and cowardness of these people once again makes itself apparent. America is broken. it's over. George Bush and Dick Cheney and the Republican Party with the help of far too many "Democrats" did it.
Osama bin Laden couldn't have asked for better.
Saturday, July 14, 2007
the whistle, watery and languid,
then beeps, then motion
a guy sits opposite
he eats no sooner than he sat
an apple and a ham sandwich,
the electric whine ascends
like the air raid sirens.
four russians enter, huffing
with baggage and nice clothes
an aisle of forty years
the green blurs past
Jena receding in the distance
Dieter still wants the Deutschmark back.
the arm opposite
has Escher's impossible triangle
tattooed on it
i have a memory of you
who loves the turquoise blue