“He captured Harper’s Ferry with his nineteen men so true.
He frightened old Virginia till she trembled through and through.
They hung him for a traitor, they themselves the traitor crew.
But his soul goes marching on! — Glory, glory, hallelujah…
It wasn’t the Lord who trampled out slavery. It was abolitionist John Brown. The song which roused Union forces as they marched in the Civil War was JOHN BROWN’S BODY. The lyrics were reworked by Julia Ward Howe as “Mine eyes have seen the glory”, rededicated to God, because Osawatomie John Brown was a domestic terrorist don’t you know. Former president George W. Bush may have been drunk as he danced on what most considered a somber occasion, the memorial to the Dallas police killed by modern avenger Micah Johnson, but Dubya, alone among the traitor crew, betrayed the true spirit of mockery that Howe’s makeover propaganda represents. Servicemen give their lives while their rulers converted an appreciation for a true moral example into praise for entrenched higher authority. Today our leaders let fellow unrepentant war criminals bite their thumbs at us fools. The old abolitionist’s unquenched passion should haunt us still, if we weren’t robbed of his memory: “John Brown’s body lies a-mouldering in his grave–“
Barack Obama, Justin Trudeau and Enrique Pena Nieto telling their despairing citizens not to fear free trade –Martin Short couldn’t get a bigger laugh! And I think we’ve got a litmus test for professional integrity. The free trade isn’t cut and dry, principly because it’s too big a lie. The TPP is today’s turbocharged shakedown model and up until just recently the media refused to talk about, and never critically. Trumpish isolationism is a buggaboo by which conservative supporters are being labeled racists protectionist xenophobes. The media can harp on these things and be half right, but the real litmus test for unmasking patronizing condescention is the BREXIT. When amigo leaders, pundits and now counter-culture gadflies on the Comedy Channel are mocking the movement that broke the EU, you can be certain their moral character is being laid bare for you, and it’s rubbish. Now Donald Trump is making statements that the facist media can only pretend are extreme. He wants to withdraw from the TPP and he wants to renegotiate NAFTA. The media have buried Trump’s seven point plan with the spin that he’s likened the TPP to “rape”. Apparently that’s hyperbole, though exactly how unlike rape is it? Don’t say it trivializes sexual violence if you won’t honestly report how free trade, debt, “austerity”, and corporate hegemony ravage democratic economies.
I’m pretty sure PRIVILEGE is voting for a warmongering sociopath to feel good about having a first woman president.
Oh, really, so it’s “privilege” to support Bernie Sanders because he will take votes away from Hillary and thus enable a Trump presidency? Is it privilege to vote for Trump just for the entertainment value of seeing what the blowhard will do? Who is the only candidate with a direct record of mass murder and banksterism? I’ll assert it’s wildly privileged to inaugurate Hillary Clinton, just as you did Barack Obama, for the token victory of a first whatever, at the cost of giving the US regime a public mandate for more war and imperialism. Remember how we used to believe the world didn’t hate us ordinary Americans, just our fraudulently elected president? Now you want to elect the Bush-est of evils. Privilege is knowing the most formidable military in the world will kill untold thousands of darker-skinned others for the sake of your security.
We’re told President Obama’s visit to Hiroshima will the first by a sitting US president. Hiroshima being where America demonstrated its first atomic bomb. Ranked by scale of civilian casualties, Hiroshima has multiple sister cities who could share the honor of being sites of the greatest single day attrocity beneath US bombers. Travelogue wise, if there isn’t a sign saying “Washington slept here” obvously everywhere has a first for American presidents, so what makes Hiroshima newsworthy? Let’s agree as the objective of Oppenheimer’s Manhattan Project, Hiroshima was the most calculated. Nagazaki was the reproductive test serving as reprise for the international stage. Obviously President Obama’s next visit should be to Nagazaki as proof that paying tribute via presidential visitation doesn’t amount to an apology, expression of regret, or even recognition of a lesson learned. The gesture may be a nod to self-reflection but it’s not guilt. What Obama is doing is taking a bow. The imperial pageant of unending curtain calls, for an old show called gunboat diplomacy.
If Americans really want to differentiate which presidential candidate represents change, a good question would be, which will prosecute America’s celebrity war criminals? Who, among them, will jail past leaders guilty of crimes against humanity?
Elect a Democrat to the presidency to ensure progressive Supreme Court nominees. Elect a Democrat to end wars and prosecute war criminals. Elect a Democrat so we can close Guantanamo. After two years President Obama is finally hinting he’ll close Guantanamo (though missing the point, he’ll imprison its inmates elsewhere). The wars are not only ongoing, American troops are quietly mobilizing for a significant upcoming deployment, and Dick Cheney and ilk are still on television being consulted as experts. AND as concerns favorable supreme court justices, Obama has just nominated another moderate, Merrick Garland, who in his stint as appellate judge, defended George W. Bush’s torture and detainment policies in Guantanamo.
Remember all those highschoolers and college students activated for Obama 2008, subsequently thoroughly BURNED OUT by the zero yield of Hope or Change for all their effort? It’s happening again on campuses across the country and yes it’s hard not to celebrate their optimism this time around again, even though they’re backing the same corporate party and same promises that have always corraled leftward idealists for the capitalist slaughterhouse. What tragic irony that their catch phrase is “Feel the Bern” because who is going to be feeling that pun ultimately? I’ll cheer them on because good intentions should always be rewarded, but I’m going to start calling their candidate BURNIE.
YOU’RE WELCOME. The same civic dutyists activated by Obama 2008 are already in the trenches for Bernie, making no apologies, showing no insight about the nowhere they delivered voters the first time around. In effect, the Obama deadheads have found a new phishy bandwagon, and it reeks of the same neoliberal speciousness. Who would have thought an old white guy would be the new hope change candidate? Bernie Sanders is the Democratic Party, itself the good-cop half of the corporate capitalist imperialist machine. Bernie didn’t “win” the Democratic candidate debate, the winner was the Democratic Party, which came off favorably compared to the lunatic GOP. These days the GOP is condemned by whoever is showrunning Election 2016 to play the bogeyman to the lesser of lessers. Cue Bernie Sanders. Though he talks a great game, he’s never walked it. Bernie wants a political revolution, but it’s a counter-revolution in populist clothing.
In light of the unsealed deposition where Bill Cosby admitted to procuring Quaaludes to facilitate raping young women, a reporter asked President Obama if the celebrity’s Freedom Medal could be revoked. There is no mechanism to do so, was Obama’s reply. Not one pundit asked if there wasn’t a precedent to seek a remedy within the justice system or law enforcement or department of corrections. Not all Bill Cosby’s assaults fall beyond the statute of limitation, if even that should apply to rape.
We’re demonizing the Civil War era Confederate Battleflag for defending slavery while the victorious DC regime profits by slavery and protects it still. Team Stars and Stripes opposes amendments to the Trans Pacific Partnership agreement that would prohibit signatory nations from exploiting slave labor. The Rebel flag stood for slavery, the US flag stands for it.
President Obama tells undocumented transgender Jennicet Gutierrezas that the White House is not her house.
So President Obama silenced a heckler by telling her “This is my house”, sorry, um, no. Immigrant and LGBTQ rights activist Jennicet Gutierrezas was vetted by security and was a guest of the president, to engage as a host would hope his guests might. The theme was Gay Pride! According to Obama, an invitation to the White House means you eat his hors d’oeuvres and drink his booze and shut your mouth or be thrown out. I doubt President Obama was saying anything more important than Gutierrezas, who spoke up for the plight of transgender deportees. In fact Obama misspoke. To his First Daughters he can say “you’ll follow my rules when you live in my house”, but to a fellow American it’s not his house but OURS.
Common American highschoolers have eclipsed what used to be the purvue of disgruntled post office workers: GOING POSTAL. Norwegian post-adolescent Anders Breivik could even be said to have “killed it”. So leave it to a mail carrier to set the new trend in making a mess of things to make a point. Retired mailman Doug Hughes thought outside the semi-automatic box to conceive an unconventional package delivery system for his letters to Congress. Hughes piloted a gyrocopter unto the White House grounds as his take on Mister Smith Goes to Washington and we wish him all the best. Hughes has a website The Democracy Club and because he didn’t kill anyone, or because his issue is merely campaign finance reform, the site was not taken down and the media is not calling his material a manifesto. Whoop-whoop whoop-whoop-de-doo. The White House nevertheless sidestepped the topic. When asked what President Obama thought of Hughes’ stunt to call for campaign finance reform, the president was said to remark: “what’s a gyrocopter?”
SORRY FOLKS. If you think President Obama went “Off Script” at tonight’s State of the Union Address, ask yourself why he punctuated “I have no more campaigns to run” with a HANDS-CLASPED PAUSE. In the context of his prepared remarks, that sentence was a lead-in, not a paragraph unto itself. Watch it againt and you’ll see that Obama’s pause was a trap to goad opponents to applaud so that he could “ad-lib” his crowd-pleasing “I know because I won both of them.” Prescripted mishaps are common devices to garner sympathy for embattled performers. Given that White House speechwriters anticipated a hostile reception, you’d think they would otherwise avoid lines that fed the antipathy, especially a throw-away line of exposition. Both setup and punchline added no substance to Obama’s remarks, except to grandstand.
Who is it you warn not to “play with matches”? Not an adult.
The US response to Ebola is “Doctors Without Borders” with a cheaper payroll, serving US imperial needs above all. Okay, the US has been rolling out SOLDIERS WITHOUT BORDERS since Manifest Destiny and the Shores of Tripoli, but President Barack Obama’s initiative to send 3,000 soldiers to fight the Ebola-Zaire virus in West Africa marks the ploy’s most farcical disguise: soldiers-as-peacekeepers-passing-as-doctors. Who knew Specialist 1st Class meant health specialist? If your neighborhood doctor doesn’t accept Medicaid, maybe your local garrison will. Poor President Obama. Most of the national budget goes to the Defense Department, so our federal resources are mostly soldiers! When your only tool is a hammer, every problem looks like a nail. In this case, coffin nails, to contain the stricken people of West Africa. They need epidemiologists, we give them boots on the ground.
We’re AT WAR WITH THE ISLAMIC STATE! ISIS being not merely al-Qaeda in Iraq or Mesopotamia or the Levant, depending on who’s spinning your translation, but terrorists bent on establishing an Islamic State in Iraq and Syria! Someone is going to get an advertising award for the ISIS brand, though it sounds like an episode of Ad Men pitching a concept for Get Smart. What exactly is the West’s objection to an Islamic Califate? We already support the Jewish califate of Israel which has a regular record of far greater atrocities. If Americans are upset by the beheading videos attributed to ISIS it’s because ally Saudi Arabia doesn’t allow its frequent and similarly executed spectacles to be broadcast publically. Well, at least President Obama has abandoned the irrationality of a Global War on Terror, in favor of calling what critics have always known it to be, a War on Islam. When we’re finally candid we can admit we are defending Western imperialism from the forces who oppose usury, exploitation and slavery.
NOOOOOOOOOOO!!! Not another war on Iraq! Not an intervention, not precision bombing, not saving a minority from massacre. If this rescue of Iraqis was about preventing a massacre, the US would be intervening with airstrikes against Israel. Last week President Obama admited that Bush-era CIA interrogation methods were torture. “We tortured some folks,” spoken with the same expectation of impunity as he now launches another illegal war.
Media propagandists can’t conceal the state of the union address for what it was, a pageant of creeps, a pandering freakshow, and a flaunting of the celebration that the American constituancy is peopled by idiots on both sides of the aisle.
2013. They are arguably Russian President Vladimir Putin most formidable adversaries, behind the scenes, in popular culture and in the international court of public opinion. The corporate press think Putin did it to rehab his anti-gay stance in advance of the Winter Olympics. The most powerful leader of the free world can’t find a single motive to offer amnesty to his nemisees under house arrest in London and Moscow, or throughout his nation’s vast prison system. At Thanksgiving, President Barack Obama jokes that the power of a US president extended only so far as to be able to offer clemency to Thanksgiving turkeys, so he pardoned two.
Everyone’s in an uproar about the sign language interpreter at the memorial for Nelson Mandela. Apparently he was illiterate, but what about the speeches he was tasked to translate, were they not gibberish? I guess the hearing-impared missed President Obama criticizing the use of prison walls and snipers. They would have suspected an authentic interpretation of Obama admonishing other leaders for not tolerating voices of dissent. Apparently also, critics faulted the imposter for his emotionless delivery: “He also used no facial expression to convey the emotions of the leaders.” So he got that right too.
Must we say please? “OBAMA, PENDEJO, POR FAVOR CLOSE GITMO!” When the chants on your march are multilingual, even in Colorado some people need the Spanish translated for them. Do you know what “Obama, Escucha, Estamos en la lucha” means? Is it true, we’re prepared to fight? This is irrelevant bluster from the mouths of SEIU organizers, paid to rally volunteers in spite of the futility, probably only if futility is guaranteed actually. Otherwise they’re Obama supporters, who assure everyone “This is what democracy looks like” and promise victory through electoral politics. Here’s a popular one: “El pueblo, Unido, Jamas sera vencido!” Really? Shout it with conviction all you want, it doesn’t make success inevitable. For English speakers who don’t drink the Koolaid that’s : The people, Kept busy, Run circles til they’re dizzy.
When was the last time YOUR issue was given the president’s bully-pulpit? Yeah, the outcry for Gun Control is not yours, and this campaign is not for you. President Obama trotted up a Sandy Hook Mourning Mom TM to rally the nation for action, of the usual so that they will not have died in vain variety, although she said only that the children “deserved a vote”, code for, it doesn’t have to pass, meaning this national conversation about societal violence is more kabuki. And how. Strange too how campus shootings are proliferating like pipeline spills, except the media are allowed to show the gun carnage. Before we’re done, it would not surprise me if Sandy Hook victims are compensated like 911 survivors. MNBC has labeled this issue “Massacre Control” as if school shootings have anything on air strikes. “For the children” only applies to ours.
President Barack Obama couldn’t deliver on the campaign inference he’d fill Abraham Lincoln’s shoes, so what do we do? Cut the Great Emancipator down to size. Portray America’s most lionized president as political operator, and distribute copies of the film to all the nation’s schools to cement the revisionist theme. Generations of visitors to DC’s monument will no longer recognize the seated giant, he’ll seem to big.
So, no, the twenty schoolchildren killed at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown Connecticut were not Pakistani. That’s apparently what everyone is so upset about. I’m rather embarrassed how distraught Americans are about the Connecticut school shooting, considering equivalent child-massacres happen daily in Pakistan, victims of US drones, to no public outcry. In Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia, and all the far reaches of our multinational corporate empire, child killing is public policy, far from being a subject of public anguish.
Remember the “Financial Crisis” from out of nowhere when Obama first came to office? Now it’s Bank Heist, the Sequel, branded most assuredly with the assistance of Madison Avenue as a “Fiscal Cliff”, shall we call it FC2? This time instead of extorting a so-called “bank bailout”, the oligarchs want austerity concessions. Having looted the public treasury, they’re after the public wealth we call government’s primary social benefit to which the public thought it was “entitled”. So our herders are crying FISCAL CLIFF hoping to divert the public beast to a real cliff, another Buffalo Jump, in urban terms, a shakedown.