Tag: The Left

Mar 13

We’re not dead, we’re just resting

I’ve often said the left is essentially dead–or moribund (I love the word). Certainly the old left looks dead very much like Polly Parrot in the Dead Parrot sketch.

But there’s something simmering below the surface that those of us who are veterans of the old left can take heart in–massive numbers of people are unhappy and disillusioned. They lack any framework for their disillusion other than things like buying guns but I think we have a chance to step into an opening.

There are two issues only a new revivified left can work with: 1) massive criminality of all the major actors in the political economy; and 2) the lying mainstream media. That’s the only issues we need. We don’t need to talk about the debt or the deficit or “entitlements” or imperialism or any of that. Yes those are issues that are important, more or less, but not as important as the fact our society is run, at the top, by criminals. And it is not that this is hard to determine. The evidence is overwhelming and we don’t even have to go to the assassinations of the sixties or 9/11 or anything like that. No just the simple facts as they are The government and the media allowed massive fraud to occur in both Democratic and Republican administrations.

In 2006 one third of all lending were “liar’s loans” meaning that these loans were deliberately created out of falsified income statements and property appraisals. Washington Mutual, Andrew Cuomo (when he was AG of NY) found out, had created a blacklist of honest appraisers that were never to be used. Regulators, the FBI and many others consistently warned that there would be a financial crisis because of massive fraud going on. I knew it, though I’m hardly that well-connected I just happened to know a Wall Street guy who tole me in 2005 that the whole thing was going to blow in the next few years because Wall Street was creating fraudulent instruments.

In the S & L crisis there were 1000 FBI agents investigating criminals at the top and there were over 1000 convictions even though many particularly high profile suspects got away due to political influence. But in the more recent crisis that was 70 times greater only 120 agents were assigned to mortgage fraud!!!! On the surface this looks like massive criminality and I can assure you that a clear case with loads of evidence beyond anything that I’m indicating here can prove that the basis of our current political economy is naked criminality in almost every sphere, to be sure, but particularly prevalent in the financial industry. I’m also confident that there is no possible counter-argument.

The fact this is so obvious has to automatically indict the mainstream media from Fox News to PBS for covering up and refusing to cover the truth about the financial crisis which, as I said, is stunningly obvious. It will then quickly be seen how corrupt the media is. Not the reporters who do what they can but who have editors that continually and systematically discourage them to pursue stories that might make powerful people look bad (other than celebs, but they are toys of powerful people so they don’t count). When people understand that, for the most part, they are being fed a pile of turds everyday that they then have to pretend to eat–man, no wonder people are stressed and the U.S. leads the world in mental illness.

All we have to do is hammer away at those two issues ONLY and then the unassailable wall around the imperial court will break. We don’t have to talk about income inequality just criminality–not about class-struggle just criminality–not about the environment just criminality. We don’t have to argue with Tea Baggers about anything–just say that crime is a bad thing dontcha think? No argument. Sure a few will say, but it was Acorn that caused the crash, gov’t bureaucrats who wanted to put people in homes–you say sure AND those banks made a lot of money falsifying information, corrupting appraisers, originators. There’s no absence of proof and no possible counter-argument to the central fact that our problem is not Republicans or Democrats or private enterprise of the government our problem is criminal gangs have taken over–over and out.

Sep 11

The 11th Anniversary of the End of the USA

Effectively, the end of the USA occurred on 9/11/01. Two major forces collided that day. The first was a group of oligarchs who wanted to institute authoritarian rule on an unruly and increasingly (form their POV) immoral nation. The second group was the majority of citizens in the American Republic who were basking in the glow of vast technological change that was providing them with an enormous playground full of toys and cheap baubles who had lost practically all interest in the responsibilities of citizenship–who wanted, in short, a blue pill. During the course of the day many reports came in, no one knew what was happening. Buildings collapsed that were designed to withstand plane crashes at near free-fall speed, explosions were heard and recorded before those collapses. Commentators noted that the collapse of WTC 1 and 2 were eerily similar to controlled demolitions. People like me, who knew Washington DC very well, were stunned at the plane crash into the Pentagon knowing that the building was surrounded by anti-aircraft and anti-missile missiles confusion reigned. Then somehow the government let it be known that Al-Qaida was responsible and that was the explanation.

Jan 24

Imagining postcapitalism: an introduction

This diary will argue the necessity of imagining a world after capitalism in this era.  This is so because the left, in America and elsewhere, currently finds itself in a cul-de-sac both of intellectual and of social proportions.  Centrally, I criticize the left for not using its imagination to fight what Antonio Gramsci called the “war of position.”  This will be part of a diary series, “Imagining postcapitalism,” which will be posted here and elsewhere, as the foundation for an online think-tank of sorts.  The “postcapitalism” group on DK4 will be one of a number of foci for this online think-tank.  Other contributors will be encouraged to post diaries as part of this series, to infuse a variety of perspectives into the project.

(crossposted at Orange)

Aug 12

Game On.

Okay then.

Gibbs re-affirms today that this WH is at war with The Left.  He didn’t ‘misspeak’, it wasn’t a faux pas or a moment of frustration. The man is a professional wordsmith, message-crafter and spin master. He meant it, every word. No apologies, no remorse, no walking it back. No shame.

I get it. I get the message loud and clear.

“I don’t think [liberal voters won’t show up],” he said, “because I think what’s at stake in November is too important to do that.”

Oh really?

Watch. my. dust.

Jul 13

Let it Be

I’m moving away from thinking. Not that thinking isn’t useful but, rather, that it tends to take up too much space in my brain and limits my ability to perceive. The problem with out of balance thinking is that it feeds “stories” and makes the ego stronger (I’m right and you’re wrong, or they’re wrong). We need a balance and I find balance by focusing on this moment right now–and that’s the only time I feel truly happy and sane.  

Mar 25

Socialism 2010 – Chicago and Oakland.

SocialismConference.org

Chicago: June 17 – 20

Oakland: July 1 – 4

With the economy in shambles and with wars and occupations continuing, the challenge to change these conditions confronts us all. More than a year ago, millions placed their hopes in Barack Obama and the Democrats to solve these problems. But after months of broken promises and concessions to conservatives, jobs are scarce, the banks are unregulated, and full equality for LGBT people remains elusive.

Jan 15

A Farewell to Arms: Why I Left ‘The Left’

Barack promised change — and sure enough, things changed for the worse



-Joe Bageant

To Hell with the ‘left’! I am finished, done, disillusioned and over it, the divorce papers have been filed and are now finalized and I am not going back. As of this day, I will no longer allow myself to be affiliated or endorse the ‘left’ in any way, shape or form. So long folks, it was real and it was fun but in the end it was unfulfilling and dare I say, a waste of time and effort. Is this overly harsh? Perhaps it is but the break had to be made and it can no longer be put off. I assure you, this was no hasty decision but rather something that has been a slow and agonizing process, a steady drip…drip…drip.., like Chinese water torture and suddenly the mind goes, the spirit breaks and the ugly reality of the situation cannot be denied or disguised. So to all of my good friends on the left I wish you the very best but I am no longer one of you and maybe I never was, it was never dogma to me only a desire for some sort of social fairness and a fair shot but the American left being a shell of it’s former self with labor broken and the DLC corporatists having taken over the Democratic party it has been reduced to shills for the Democrats and squabbling identity groups each with an agenda that prevents any sort of unity necessary for a mass movement for real change. Sucks but that is just the way it has to be.

Jan 04

Vita Ultra Velum

Seven CIA employees were killed and six others injured in a terrorist attack on a base in eastern Afghanistan as the agency steps up its presence in the country alongside thousands more U.S. military forces.

President Barack Obama told Central Intelligence Agency employees yesterday that their colleagues who died Dec. 30 were “patriots who have made great sacrifices for their fellow citizens and for our way of life.”

“In recent years, the CIA has been tested as never before,” Obama, who is on vacation in Hawaii, said in the letter to agency employees.

**Snip**

Dec 22

Support Full Court Press Foundation-Building

I posted an entry on the Mediocre Orange Hype this morning regarding the Full Court Press, or to be more specific, laying the foundations for it.  It’s a rewrite of what was posted over at Closed Left that got me banned again.  So far the results are favorable; more people supported it at last count than not, but I want to make sure the entry makes the rec list.  If it does, more people will vote in the poll, and we’ll have a better idea of how much support there is in the blogosphere for Jeff’s Full Court Press idea.  I mean, if a large enough number of Kos readers are willing to go with Jeff’s idea, then we can certainly get large numbers of other blog readers to go with it.

Dec 17

A Realistic View of the Health Care Blowup

In two separate entries, here and here, Chris Bowers discussed what he feels are the likely consequences if the nightmare bill now in the Senate doesn’t pass.  He’s assumed the worst-case scenarios in every one of them, it seems, and is using them as an excuse to say we shouldn’t kill the health care reform bill in the Senate.

This to me is an utterly defeatist attitude to take.  We shouldn’t fight this because Rahm will run right-wing primary opponents against our people, something he’s already been doing for years and will do no matter what, and that’s why we should give up now?  With all due respect to Mr. Bowers, this is neither realistic or helpful.  I don’t think the people who are telling us we need to pass this bill realize what the public really thinks about health care reform or the likelihood that we will end up with something that will force us to buy unaffordable junk insurance under penalty of increased taxation we can’t afford to pay — all without doing a thing to bring down costs.

I think we have the Democrats by the gonads here, but how many of us really know it?  Every single member of the House is up for reelection next year, as is a third of the Senate.  Why can we not call them up and threaten to withdraw all support — money, votes, and campaign volunteers — if they don’t kill this bill and pass something acceptable, and then follow through on it?

We need leaders in the progressive movement, but we don’t seem to have any.  Not here, not at Kos, not at any of the other blogs, and certainly not in Congress (with the exception of Dennis Kucinich, but most people — even folk on the nominal left — treat him like a clown).  This too is unacceptable.  If we don’t fight this monstrosity now, what will we fight for?  The realistic scenarios are thus:

1.) Progressives roll over and the bill passes.  Rahm Emanuel runs right-wing candidates against progressives in next year’s primaries anyway.  We lose more ground because we’re not fighting and playing hardball, and the public doesn’t support politicians who don’t fight on its behalf.  Worse, there will be no fixing the law later, because Dems will probably be out of power for a good long time after next year and even if they keep it, the excuse will be that they’ve already done reform, so why bother going through another year of hell trying to pass a fix?

2.) The bill passes, but progressives are seen fighting it with everything they have to the bitter end.  The conservative Dems lose their seats, most progressives keep theirs, and therefore have a chance of increasing their numbers going into 2012.

3.) The bill fails, we get to start over from scratch.  This is not the nightmare scenario some people seem to think it is.  As early as February, polls were showing a majority of Americans in favor of single-payer health insurance (Source).  As recently as July, Kaiser polling was showing 58% support (Source), and if you go state by state, you’ll find that support is high (like in Pennsylvania).  Finally, pnhp.org has posted a six-part series showing that 2/3 of Americans really do support single payer or a public plan closer to it.*  So the chances of voters punishing Democrats for failing to pass a massive bailout of the insurance industry are actually quite low.  Chances are, however, quite high for retribution at the ballot box next year if Dems pass the monster as-is.  We have nothing to lose by killing the bill, and a lot to gain.

There really is nothing to be gained by giving in on the health care reform battle.  This close to an election year in which the public is good and angry, and we’re not going to seize the opportunity to force the conservative wing of the party to blink and do as we say?  If we fail to do this, then we really do deserve to be out of power.

So here’s the House Phone Directory and that of the Senate.  Call them up and demand that the insurance bailout dies a horrible flaming screaming death, and passage of something good, or else no money or votes next year.  Not one penny, not one ballot, goes to any Democrat who votes in favor of passing the bill.  We can do this.  We just need the will.

*: Here are the links to the series on single payer support.

http://pnhp.org/blog/2009/12/0…

http://pnhp.org/blog/2009/12/0…

http://pnhp.org/blog/2009/12/0…

http://pnhp.org/blog/2009/12/1…

http://pnhp.org/blog/2009/12/1…

http://pnhp.org/blog/2009/12/1…

Jun 15

A Lesson from Labour? Perhaps.

Original article, titled Statement:”A long time in politics” – Labour after the elections, via Socialist Appeal (UK):

“A week is a long time in politics.” Harold Wilson

The European election results were published last Monday, following on from the local election results of a few days earlier. They showed Labour behind not just the Tories, but even behind UKIP, a lunatic fringe party, on just 15% of the vote. For the first time since 1918, Labour had been beaten by the Tories in Wales. Labour was smashed in its other heartlands, where working class voters just sat at home in disgust, and was completely marginalised elsewhere in the country. Labour came 5th in the South East with just 8.2% of the vote. In Cornwall they came 6th behind the Cornish Nationalist Party, whom presumably even the local folk see as a lost cause.

Jun 13

Time to fight back together

Original article, an open letter, via socialistworker.org.uk:

Here’s the letter, and some thoughts after:

Gordon Brown’s government is in meltdown after the MPs’ expenses scandal and the disastrous Labour vote in last week’s elections.

Labour trailed in behind the Tories and UKIP, with just 15 percent of the overall vote.

This is a shocking result for a party in power, but one that is wholly understandable. Labour’s vote has haemorrhaged during its time in office.

The party has abandoned ordinary people and gone on the offensive against them.

It has handed over billions to the rich and the bankers, yet we are expected to put up with cuts in pensions, services, pay and jobs.

All of this has opened the door to the right.

The Tories, the fascist British National Party and UKIP didn’t do well in last week’s elections because millions of people suddenly decided to vote for them.

They made gains because Labour’s vote collapsed.

We have to come together to fight the Nazis, and to stop the government and the bosses making us pay for the crisis.

But we need something more too.

None of the mainstream parties reflect the views of millions of people in Britain. Most people want to see higher spending on health and education, an end to privatisation, a better deal for pensioners and an end to war.

But who speaks for them in parliament?

There is a desperate need for an alternative. The absence of a credible left group to vote for means that people remain without a choice when it comes to elections.

Many people wonder why the left can’t unite together to provide a stronger, more credible alternative to the pro-war and neoliberal policies of the major parties.

There is real potential for a united left group to make a real impact-not just by winning votes but also in helping to pull people together to build resistance on the ground.

We need to fight to make that potential a reality.

Note:  © Socialist Worker (unless otherwise stated). You may republish if you include an active link to the original.

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