Jack Rabbit's Journal
Hometown: Sacramento Valley, California
Member since: 2001
Number of posts: 41,299
Hometown: Sacramento Valley, California
Member since: 2001
Number of posts: 41,299
I'm opposed to intervention in Syria for basically the reasons you are. Wars have never been fought because some king was so bad in bed that couldn't keep his wife satisfied and she ran off with somebody else and so he went to war to get her back. Modern archeology is uncovering evidence that there was a Trojan War, but it was fought over control of trade routes. The Mycenaeans simply thought the Trojans were an unnecessary middle man by extracting tolls from Mycenaean ships that strayed too close to Troy on their way to the Dardanelles.
What would you have said to Menelaus if you were a the ruler of another Mycenaean city if he came to you with a proposal to go to war over Helen's unfaithfulness? I don't know about you, but I would have said something like, "Get fucked, buddy. I don't care if you've got Agamemnon at your back, that fatheaded brother of yours is too big for his breaches, anyway. If you can't control your wife, that's your problem. If Agamemnon wants to make it his business, that's his choice. I'll keep my army here, thank you, in order to keep that thuggish brother of yours from meddling in my business."
I would have said the same thing to Menelaus if I were the King of Ithaca or a peasant living just outside of Sparta, where Menelaus was King. Poor Helen! She had such poor taste in men. She marries Menelaus and runs away with Paris. What is it about her that she was attracted to such losers?
Now, a typical American of the 21st century spends all day working for the Man, comes home dead on his feet and doesn't want to be bothered with what's being reported on the evening news. Even if it's a real news program that leaves him relatively informed instead of some video fish wrap that tells more than he needs to know about Paris Hilton's driving record or Kim Kardashian's latest whirlwind romance, he'd rather watch Dancing with the Stars or America's Got Talent. Still, he's vaguely informed about what's going on and knows that the CEO of the corporation for which he works is scheming to steal his retirement fund, Bush lied the country into a war against Iraq and that Obama has been less than candid about the NSA spying on us and can't seem to appoint anybody to his economic team who isn't a Wall Street crook (speaking of Wall Street crooks, such a deal they have for the CEO concerning high yield investments of the proceeds he will receive from stealing our hero's retirement fund).
In short, he knows enough not to trust his boss or the government. So, what do you suppose his initial reaction to being told we have to bomb Syria in order to protect Syrian civilians from being murdered by their brutal dictator? "I'm war weary," perhaps? Or maybe, "I'm tired of being lied to by one President or another"?
Don't be so dismissive of this fellow. He's aware his been screwed over again and again and is being screwed over yet again, right now. That's what's different. Like you, I'm old enough to remember the Tonkin Gulf "incident." It took almost four years for most of the population to figure out that the war against Vietnam was justified by a pack of lies and that the rosy reports of progress in winning the hearts and minds of Vietnamese peasants were a pack of lies. In the case of Iraq, this fellow may have been apprehensive about the idea of going to war against Saddam, but in the end he trusted the Man and only regretted trusting him later. This time, he's asking questions even before the Man takes action. That's a good thing, don't you think? The man might get his way and bomb Syria, but he won't be able to do any more. Our hero is waking up. He doesn't want to hear all the hooey about humanitarian intervention or credibility or honor, Most of all, he doesn't want to see his children or grandchildren to fight an imperialist war that will not benefit him or them, but will only benefit his CEO who wants to steal our hero's retirement fund and the Wall Street bankers waiting to swindle the CEO out of that.
Our hero is waking up. This time, it really is morning in America.
Posted by Jack Rabbit | Sat Sep 7, 2013, 03:08 PM (1 replies)
Let me remind people that Obama will not be on any ballot ever again, unless he tries to get his old Senate seat back in Illinois.
There are some in his administration I hope will never be employed by the government ever again. Larry Summers, for example, starting right now. I hope I will never have to vote for Diane Feinstein again. If she runs for re-election in 2018, at the age of 85, I can see myself doing what I did in 1980 -- standing in the voting booth, contemplating whether I should vote for Carter, who I thought had a disastrous record over four years in office, or for John Anderson, who didn't have a snowball's chance in hell of winning (You-Know-Who, the third-rate matinee idol, was out of the question).
OK, we couldn't depend on Obama to do what he at least implicitly and often explicitly promised. All we can do now is protest him in meek and abject ways. It's not much for me to say I won't buy his memoirs, since I haven't bought a book by any former president since The Vantage Point by Lyndon Johnson. I concluded the book was full of self-serving crap. Perusing over copies of other presidential memoirs after that, I came to the same conclusion about each one in succession.
Let's face it: there is no Republican in Congress, either house, who deserves re-election. There is no Republican governor elected in 2010 who deserves re-election in 2014. It would be ridiculous to believe the party of the Frat Boy and the Big Dick are going to protect our civil liberties because Obama didn't. After all, they're the bastards who violated them in the first place. The party of the Iraq War is not going to end drone strikes -- unless they can send in the Marines and torture any one in an invaded oil rich country who objects to US imperialism. Oh, and the economy? The architects of deregulation at least wouldn't consider Larry Summers for any responsible position, would they? No, but Phil Gramm will be Treasury Secretary again.
Beating the Republicans should be easy, if they didn't pass so many racist voter ID requirements. Apart from that, we also have a slough of Democrats who don't deserve re-election, either. Max Baucus (or is it Bought-kus?), who when the Senate Banking Committee held hearings prior to writing the Affordable Care Act didn't want to hear anything about a public option, certainly deserves no support for making it a weaker bill than it could have been or perhaps needed to be.
I voted for Obama in 2008 because I believed in him. I voted for Obama in 2012 because I wasn't feeling good about America's chances of surviving and knew that it wouldn't survive having a vulture capitalist in the White House. Right now, I am not optimistic that it will survive Obama.
Stop waiting for that man on the white horse to lead us to the promised land. There is no promised land and that man on the white horse is part of the problem. Give him power, and he'll just want more. For him, it's about how much power he can get and how he can keep it, even if he has to betray those who helped him to get it.
Presient Obama is not without his achievements. On the plus side: he ended the war against Iraq; will end the war in Afghanistan, although taking more time to do so than necessary; killed Osama bin Laden, the man responsible for the September 11 attacks; succeeded in getting Congress to pass the Affordable Care Act, although it is much weaker than it could have been; signed the Lilly Ledbetter Act into law; and he made a series of maneuvers that has resulted in giant steps toward the goal of equality for gay and lesbian Americans. While GuantŠnamo remains open, the President wants to close it and has been prevented from doing so by obstinate congressional Republicans who will be judged even more harshly by history than President Obama for what follows.
On the other hand, there is the minus side: Obama has aided and abetted the war criminals from the Bush junta in escaping justice; he has committed war crimes in his own right though the careless use of predator drones against suspected terrorists without regard to collateral damage (i.e., the deaths of noncombatants); he has continued the mass surveillance of private communications of American citizens begun under the Bush junta with only cosmetic "reforms"; he has signed into law a measure that allows him to abrogate any person's right to due process of law; he has punished individuals for exposing war crimes, acts of terror and torture while acting in the official capacity as agents of the United States, while taking no action against or even rewarding those whose crimes were exposed; he has aided and abetted the Wall Street criminals who crashed the world economy not only in escaping justice but in gaining greater power over the lives of common people whose trust they betrayed than they had before; he has sent negotiators to secret meetings aimed at agreeing on the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a trade deal that will end the national sovereignty of any nation foolish enough to sign it and set up a court to levy fines against any signatory nation that fails to bring its laws into compliance with TPP standards in matters concerning consumer safety, labor rights and environmental protection.
It remains to be seen whether the President will push Congress to approve the TPP or to approve himself the Keystone Pipeline, both of which would also count on the minus side.
Obama isn't the one one we were waiting for. We have to take up that mantle ourselves.
A few goals for a mass movement:
Posted by Jack Rabbit | Mon Aug 26, 2013, 07:56 PM (5 replies)
Talking about reforming the surveillance state is simply absurd. The War on Terror was and continues to be as phoney as a three dollar bill. As many have observed, this kind of massive surveillance didn't save any lives in Boston this Spring. That is not what it is about. It is more effectively used as as early warning radar system against popular dissent, something that the government and its corporate masters will need in an era of "free" trade agreements such as the Trans-Pacific Partnership. The threat to democracy and national sovereignty posed by the TPP must be accompanied by wide spread surveillance and control of the population or the "free" trade regime will fail under the weight of mass resistance.
It is in our best interests to make sure that we can resist a world wide corporate totalitarianism. Accordingly, mass surveillance cannot be reformed. These programs must be dismantled.
Posted by Jack Rabbit | Sat Aug 10, 2013, 12:34 PM (3 replies)
What did Darrell Issa know and when did he know it?
Or, perhaps we can substitute John Boehner for Issa's name.
In any case, Republicans have once again been caught constructing a false story, not to cover up an embarrassing event or criminal intent, but simply to create a false narrative in order to exaggerate the administration's culpability. This ranks up there with burglarizing the headquarters of the loyal opposition, selling arms to hostile nation behind the backs of Congress and the public and leading the nation to war based on a pack of lies as the worst incidents of government malfeasance I can recall.
For the benefit of lurking right wing morons, an incident where the President gets a blow job from an intern in the Oval Office is deliberately omitted. One may find it tacky or disgusting (after all, I did), but it doesn't rise to the level of government malfeasance.
Posted by Jack Rabbit | Fri May 17, 2013, 02:21 PM (37 replies)
I posted this on another thread about 11 pm last night, so I am re-posting it in the hopes more people will see it.
The Grover Cleveland School was new when I attended kindergarten there in 1956. My teacher as Miss Procter. The principal was Mr. Farrerra. I may be misspelling both of those names. I doubt either is with us any more. I had a friend named Ricky Winston. Even though he would be in his early sixties, I know he isn't with us any more, either. He died of a heart seizure when he was only 13. Children shouldn't die so young.
The following year I attended first grade at Cleveland, when my teacher was Mrs. Crawford, a plump, happy and gentle lady. About half way through the year, we moved to another neighborhood in Stockton. I then began attending the El Dorado School, but I'll leave that be today. I want to talk about my memories of Grover Cleveland.
I have a very vivid memory. I can remember having a strawberry cake on my birthday. I even remember being breast fed. I told my mother that once and she didn't believe. Then I told her that she fed me at the kitchen table. Well, that's where she usually fed me.
That kind of memory served me well in many ways. I could memorize whole lists. I could name the US presidents in order with the dates of their terms and the dates of their births and deaths when I was in second grade. That wasn't so hard in those days. I only had to go up to Eisenhower then. It was a cool way to fascinate my friends.
That kind of memory can also be a curse. There are things I remember that I would like to forget. I remember the kid across the street throwing a rock me and hitting a bull's eye, cutting my upper lip. I needed stitches. His name was Kevin Kelly. I can still see him throwing that rock. I can still see Dr. Winnick giving me stitches and how much it hurt and how terrified I was. Kevin Kelly isn't with us any more. He was killed in an auto accident when he was 21. I found out about that when the lady who lived next door to us in Stockton came to visit my parents one day when I was there. I was over thirty, so the news about Kevin was already about ten years old. The lady's name was Gertie. I only have good memories of Gertie and her husband, Freddy. They were always very nice to me.
I didn't like school. I can remember my first day of kindergarten at Grover Cleveland. I learned some new words that day: shrimp, midget, small fry and runt. They were directed at me, the smallest kid in the class. I can still see those kids calling me those names. They didn't mean it in a nice way. I never thought of myself as small until then. After that, it became the single trait that most identified me, and I didn't like it one bit.
I was fascinated with the tile on the floor at Grover Cleveland. It was a kind of marble design, with black and green and yellow playing with each other the way cigarette smoke floated in the air. I remember the playground, and the orchard that was on the other side of a chain link fence. On the east side of the playground was the cafeteria. At least I think it was east. I didn't learn to orient my sense of direction until I was older.
Years later, I was working as a computer programmer in San Francisco. I was 37 when I was walking to the bus stop down town one afternoon after work. I had graduated from San Francisco State University, sat out the recession I graduated into by joining the Army and got married to a young lady I met in Korea. We had two beautiful sons of mixed white and Asian ancestry. I caught the newspaper headline about some maniac shooting up an elementary school and killing a number of children. To my horror I saw that it took place in Stockton, the town were I was born. The school that was the scene of the tragedy was Cleveland Elementary. It took me about a minute to realize that was Grover Cleveland -- this was the first time I heard it called "Cleveland Elementary" -- the school I attended for about a year and a half.
The afternoon wore on and more details came to light. Apparently the gunman was in the orchard behind the school, shooting at children in the playground. I could see it. I wasn't there that day, but could see it. There was no film on television news taken at the school, but I could see it. I knew where everything was and needed to look at no pictures to see it. I could see children walking, or running in a panic on the floor with the black, green and yellow tile. I could see children running from the jungle gym and the monkey bars, which were less than ten feet from the chain link fence that separated the playground from the orchard.
For me, it added a dimension of horror that such a thing happened on ground with which I was familiar.
Days later, more information came to light. The gunman was a racist who was upset with Asian immigrants and thought he'd take it out on their children. When I attended Grover Cleveland, the only Asian Americans in the school were the children of the businessman who owned the Chinese gift shop on Pacific Avenue next door to my dad's photography studio. Now the school was predominately Asian.
That, too, brought a personal element to the story. Would this gunman had shot my sons, who were six and nine when this happened, if he had the opportunity?
In the years between growing up and that day, I had argued with many friends and acquaintances about gun rights and the right of everyone to be safe on the streets. To remember somebody I knew in the army who said that the right bear arms was important enough that such incidents were a price we pay for our freedom. At least I knew that man well enough to know that he would not be so crass as to make that argument to the grieving parents of dead schoolchildren.
Posted by Jack Rabbit | Sun Dec 16, 2012, 04:57 PM (12 replies)
So, Rover, you claim that the Obama campaign is guilty of voter suppression because it questioned Romney's character and painted him as a vulture capitalist.
Rover, all the Obama people had to do to accomplish that was play back the video tape of Romney speaking on YouTube.
Mitt the Twit lied with the frequency of your former client, Bush the Frat Boy (who never made a factual statement that contained the word Iraq). While it is true that The Twit was recorded surreptitiously while saying it, no one from the Obama camp twisted his arm to make those remarks about nearly half the American people being lazy moochers who feel entitled to government handouts. That remark was made to an audience of billionaires who feel entitled to taxpayer bailouts. That's also pretty much the message in the post election analysis from your pals on Fox News. Bill O'Reilly even added a racist remark in his take and moaned how white males don't have the influence they used to have. Ah, those were the days, eh, Rover? when state and local governments imposed literacy tests to keep poor people from voting and the Ku Klux Klan lynched any poor blacks who thought out loud about voting. Now you've got crooked state legislators in debt to the bribes large campaign contributions from the Koch brothers to pass voter ID laws, crooked Secretaries of State in Ohio dreaming up creative ways to keep blacks and latinos from voting and crooked Governors in Florida to purge the voter rolls and cut early voting days. Your charge that the Democrats suppressed Republican votes is idiotic. Is irony so lost on you that you can say such a stupid thing over public airwaves and expect intelligent people to believe it?
You know what, Rover? I think Obama would have won a free and fair election by a wider margin than he won with the shit you and the Koch brothers and Jon Husted and Governor Slick Rott tried to pull off. You guys are nothing but a bunch of fascists who hate democracy and send brown shirts to polling places to intimidate voters who aren't white.
As for The Twit's business experience, it was a business that measured success by companies bankrupted and jobs lost rather than making any positive contribution to sustainable growth. I'm not saying that The Twit did anything illegal, just immoral and harmful to working Americans. Bain Capital is the kind of enterprise that no healthy economy can afford. It is the kind of enterprise that can be found praiseworthy only in the sophistry of Ayn Rand where robber barons like The Twit and Jaimie Dimon are Nietzshean ‹bermenschen who have an existential right to treat us peons like shit because they're just better than we are.
Let me give you and Mr. Ryan, whose intellectual growth was stunted when as a teenager he read Atlas Shrugged, the inconvenient truth that robber barons are not better than the peons who make them rich. They need us more than we need them, and nobody needs Bain Captial any more than anybody needed Enron.
The Twit didn't need anyone's help in appearing like a low character born in a high place with few positive achievements to point to in his past. He did that all by himself and you, Rover, have a real talent for finding such people.
Your time is over, Rover. Now go crawl under a stone and write a self-serving work of fiction that you will call your memoirs.
Posted by Jack Rabbit | Sat Nov 10, 2012, 02:15 PM (14 replies)
I, too, have been disappointed with President Obama in many ways, but voting for him (or, if you please, against Romney) was not a difficult decision.
I'll take it this far: I do not believe America will survive a Mitt Romney presidency. That statement is not intended to be hyperbolic. The Republican plan is to "win" the election through voter suppression, cut taxes on the very wealthy and raise them on the very voters they suppressed. Taxation without representation is as much tyranny today when the Republicans do it as it was 240 years ago when King George did it. Private citizens will be expected to give up their rights and government benefits and get nothing in return. The income gap will widen, more middle class workers will slip into poverty and the Wall Street bankers will continue to fleece the public and party like eighteenth century French aristocrats. The deficit will go up and the only solution that will be considered is more austerity. The children of the lower classes, including what is left of the middle class, will be expected to fight and die in pointless and ultimately unwinnable resource wars waged for the benefit of robber barons. That state of affairs can only be maintained with a police state. The hope and dream that was America will be as dead as Thomas Jefferson.
Some may say that four more years of President Obama won't be any better, but on that I beg to differ. Perhaps the Wall Street bankers, like the Bush administration war criminals, will continue to go unpunished, but under Obama the social safety net has remained in tact and even expanded somewhat under that which reactionaries derided but is now more universally hailed as Obamacare. Women's rights have been protected under measures such as the Lilly Ledbetter Act. Abortion will remain safe and legal. No Democrat will ever vote to privatize Social Security or voucherize Medicare and few will even think out loud about a national right-to-work bill. When President Obama leaves office after the election of 2016, many problems will remain, especially if the House of Representatives remains under control of racists, misogynists and corporate fascists, but things will not collapse and might even be at least marginally better.
I would be more encouraged if the President ditches his Wall Street friendly economics team and replaces it with people like Robert Reich and Paul Krugman and replaces the feckless Eric Holder with an Attorney General who will prosecute war criminals, robber barons and industrial polluters. However, to paraphrase an unrepentant war criminal, we vote for the candidates we have, not the ones we wish we had.
Posted by Jack Rabbit | Tue Nov 6, 2012, 01:40 PM (0 replies)
They're not going to win one this year.
The following actions will invalidate any Romney "victory":
The United States is a democracy, not a mere republic. Democracy has always been a part of American culture. It is what Tocqueville observed and that to which Walt Whitman wrote praises in robust free verse. To organize attempts to suppress voting in manners like those described above is blatantly anti-American.
We will know the election has been stolen as soon as the networks declare Romney the winner. The moment that happens, we should reach for our pitchforks and light our torches. We allowed a stolen election in 2000 and the nation suffered for eight years under yoke of tyrants who botched the effort to capture Osama bin Laden in order to fight a completely unjustified war against Iraq and opened the treasury to corporate cronies. We cannot allow this to stand again.
Posted by Jack Rabbit | Sun Nov 4, 2012, 01:02 PM (7 replies)
I am not a Mormon. I just poured a cup of coffee, something I won't part with for a shot at paradise. Nevertheless, I have friends who are Mormons and they are mostly good, honest people. There aren't very many Mormons to whom I'd have trouble lending $20 until next payday. I have seen sentiments on these pages to the effect that some DU members would never vote for a Mormon, a sentiment I find narrow minded and not in the progressive spirit.
Like any other religion or ideology, Mormonism is not monolithic. Put a dozen Mormons in the same room together and they will express a dozen different views of the world, even a dozen different ideas of what it is to be a Mormon. That is something to keep in mind when presented with a candidate for public office who is a Mormon.
I am not voting for Mitt Romney. He thinks corporations are people, people who receive government assistance are hopeless moochers and ran a business whose business it was to run other businesses into the ground and outsource their manufacturing to cheaper labor markets. There are many other reasons I'm voting for President Obama and not Mr. Romney. Not among the reasons that I am not voting for Mr. Romney is that he is a Mormon. I wouldn't vote for him if he were a Presbyterian, a Roman Catholic or a Parsee. What church he attends and his relationship to it is neither here nor there.
Posted by Jack Rabbit | Fri Sep 21, 2012, 01:35 PM (4 replies)
Since when does free speech mean that we have to give the one freely speaking a free pass? Mr. Romney certainly wouldn't give the press agent at the Cairo embassy a free pass for his or her remarks.
Yes, I support the right of Rev. Terry Jones and the mysterious Sam Bacile the right to say what they please. I can also exercise my free speech to call Rev. Jones and Mr. Bacile a couple of irresponsible sectarian bigots and right wing morons. I'm not going to suggest that either of them should be locked up in a dungeon or strung up on a lamp post over it, or even participate in demonstrations in front of Mr. Bacile's house. There are idiots and villains in this world worthy or more attention.
Among the idiots or villains more worthy of time is Mr. Romney. For from condemning him from merely exercising his right of free speech, I would encourage him to exercise it more. He can start by freely telling us how he proposes to balance the budget and exactly which deductions he plans to eliminate. Perhaps we will discover that his expertise in government finance is better than his expertise in foreign policy. But I doubt it.
I'm good with Mr. Romney's defense of free speech. I'm not so good with his implication that Rev. Jones and Mr. Bacile should get a free pass expressing hatred of somebody else's religion, or to the billion people or so to adhere to that particular faith. While free speech is an American value, Mr. Romney could have taken the opportunity to remind everybody that sectarian bigotry is not. The omission of such a remark may have all but ended his chances of being president at home and made him an ugly American elsewhere.
All I am doing to show my displeasure with Mr. Romney's remarks yesterday is to urge those considering voting for this irresponsible idiot to please reconsider.
Posted by Jack Rabbit | Thu Sep 13, 2012, 06:42 PM (1 replies)