LEFT OF DAYTON

November 29, 2008
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President Obama’s Foreign Policy: The Change We Really Want?

November 27, 2008
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After nearly 40 years on the left side of the political spectrum I’ve come to expect disappointment and betrayal from the Democratic party. I am a skeptical member of that party. I want to have “hope”  for a better vision of the world my kids will grow up in.. I was impressed by Obama’s campaign and the outpouring of street level support for him. I was impressed with his speech at 5th Third Field. On the other hand John McCain was anathema, definitely not a good choice for President, so I voted for Obama. I did so knowing full well Obama is not the “democratic messiah”
So what do we do now? How does the amorphous movement of people
Maintain influence with the new President? What is the best path for progressives to follow? The article re posted below is one vision, focused on the critical question of what Obama’s foreign policy is going to look like. It’s long, but well worth the time. Expect more on this important debate.
_____________________________________________________________________________
November 26, 2008 By Joanne Landy jlandy@igc.org
Source: New Politics
Joanne Landy’s ZSpace Page

With the election of Barack Obama, millions in the United States and around the world are hoping for relief from the dangerous arrogance and destructiveness of George Bush’s foreign policy. President Obama is expected to take important positive initiatives — like closing Guantanamo and lifting the rule denying international organizations receiving U.S. aid the right to let women know about abortion. When the inevitable right-wing reaction to these initiatives comes, it will be crucial for us in the peace movement to defend them. On some broader questions, there is a chance that with strong continuing popular pressure — from both within and outside the United States — the pre-election hopes of many Obama supporters can be realized on issues such as an end to the war in Iraq or stepping back from Bush’s attempt to install “missile defense” in Poland and the Czech Republic. (more…)


Obama, Ask the Kremlin about Robert Gates

November 25, 2008
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Nearly 16 years ago, during the last transition from a President Bush to a Democrat, Moscow made an extraordinary gesture to Washington: The Kremlin supplied a summary of its intelligence information about secret U.S.-Iranian contacts in the 1980s.

The report was from a national security committee of the Russian Duma to Rep. Lee Hamilton, who had requested what might be in Moscow’s files as part of a task force investigation into whether the Reagan-Bush campaign in 1980 had interfered with President Jimmy Carter’s bid to free 52 American hostages then held in Iran.

The Russian report arrived late, via the U.S. Embassy in Moscow, showing up on Jan. 11, 1993, but the contents were stunning. The Russians reported that their intelligence revealed that long-rumored meetings between Republicans and Iranians in Europe during Campaign 1980 had indeed occurred. (more…)


The Great Alaskan Turkey Massacree [with apologies to Arlo]

November 24, 2008
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The Great Alaskan Turkey Massacree [with apologies to Arlo]

A conversation with a friend provoked me to think about the Gov. Sara Palin and the Great
Alaskan Turkey  massacrree.
First, note, I am NOT a fan of Ms Palin’s politics. on the other hand I can relate to her in one important way  relevant to her seemingly blissful nonchalance about  turkey ‘s  being slaughtered in full view of the cameras during a recent interview. She’s a hunter, and, while I have not actually hunted in years, I grew up with that mindset.
My dad started taking me along on hunting trips  when I was about  eight, chasing rabbits in the western  Massachusetts  state forest and laurel groves. For a rural kid like me, it was just the way it was, our culture. If you shot it, you ate it, There wasn’t any “sport”  hunting with my Dad. You killed animals in order to eat them, otherwise you left them alone.

Which brings me back to poor disparaged  Sarah, reviled on line and made fun of on YouTube. Bringing up a question that seems to have been lost in the whole brooha, I mean>> where do the snickering masses  think the bird that sits on the Thanksgiving table comes from, anyway!!??. Really. My friend made a point in the conversation  about the author  Rita Rae Brown, who stresses in her writing about  how far away from our natural hunting and gathering roots we have gone in order to be “civilized”.

It is a sad truism that so many of us are utterly  disconnected from how we get our food. It’s all wrapped up and sanitized for us. Nice and neat on the shelf or in the meat case. That dissonance creates the atmosphere where we do not recognize how her nonchalance wasn’t really nonchalance at all. It was just the way it is. You  have to kill turkeys in order to be able to eat them. And, from her rural world perspective[and believe me Alaska IS rural] turkey’s  being killed is a pretty ordinary thing. Although she probably wishes she had stood somewhere else for the interview, I doubt that she turned off any NRA members, part of her natural constituency.

So, Sarah, this is undoubtedly  the only time I can imagine giving you and your right wing ideology a pass, but you get one for acknowledging, even if unintentionally,  that you have to kill the bird in order to eat it, and  for that we must be about giving thanks for the bird that gave it’s life for our meal, not just for Thanksgiving the holiday. I think there is a metaphor somewhere in all this about our current economic crises,  even if I’m not quite sure what it is just yet.

Posted on YouTube: The actual 3:10 minute interview…judge for yourself,  is this the future of the Republican party??



THE FOX IN THE CHICKEN COOP/WHITHER THE “BAILOUT”??

November 22, 2008
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Speculation and suspicion about what political position the “most liberal” Senator, now President Elect Barack Obama, will assume once he arrives in office abounds. I understand the need to “hit the ground running”, especially considering the dire circumstances of the economy. At the same time, from this distant post,it starting to look like  the new administration is going to epitomize the line out of the old Who song, Won’t Get Fooled Again…”meet the new boss, same as the old boss…”
Hillary at State, Gates still guarding the coop at Defense. OMG. Really?
One unrepentant hawk, Gates, and saber rattling Hillary.
k, maybe Obama can focus them on HIS vision. Maybe.
With those two  he risks alienating the left even more on policy toward Iraq & Afghanistan.
He wants to stay; she’s never regretted her vote [“thought the prez was going to use diplomacy….]

And for the  Treasury post  we have the president of the New York Fed, Timothy F Geithner, from the District Bank most linked to Wall Street. Partnered with Current Treasury Secretary Paulson and Fed chairman Bernake, Geithner has been one of the architects of the current Bailout fiasco.
How well has THAT worked??? Trying to save the Monopoly Capitalist system before main street totally collapses has proven to be a task beyond the capabilities of our current technicians.

I don’t pretend to have answers but a couple of things seem clear. “saving” the big 3 looks to me like a better bet than giving Billions to banks so they can buy other banks, pay off dividends and golden parachutes and hold half million dollar weekend junkets.

Dayton’s economy is so far down the tank [the view from this post on Main Street] that another blow coming in the form of closing local GM facilities, may be one that it takes years [if ever] to recover from. With some three million direct &  related jobs on the line nationally,  the fallout in cities with GM plants and suppliers will absolutely be devastating.

And oh yes, the “big 3” did it to themselves, anyone with a brain can see that. There are cars in Japan that get 50 miles to the gallon of gas. Detroit, with the help of DEMOCRAT legislators like the recently deposed John Dingell, has resisted higher fuel & emission  standards, further digging itself in the hole as it produced various SUV behemoths that just increased USA dependence on foreign oil.

Maybe some form of nationalization is what we need.
Dump the guys who so very stupidly flew to Washington in separate corporate jets.
Implement a “Manhattan Project”  for cars?
Because giving the fox access to the chicken coop is NOT working

Some pertinent viewpoints:

Honeymoon: Left Cuts Obama Slack for Now

By: Ryan Grim and Glenn Thrush
November 21, 2008 02:41 PM EST
<http://www.politico.com/news/stories/1108/15845.html>
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Dingell Loses to Waxman and Auto Stocks Dive
Call It What It Is: Corruption

By Joshua Holland, AlterNet
Posted on November 21, 2008
AlterNet
<http://www.alternet.org/story/107974/>


This is Change? 20 Hawks, Clintonites and Neocons to Watch for in Obama’s White House

November 20, 2008
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My worst fears about the forthcoming Obama Presidency seem to be coming true. Readers will recall my skepticism during the primaries vis a vis Obama’s rhetoric about the middle east and his willingness to use “bomb” diplomacy in places like Pakistan and Afghanistsan.  I really really hoped that he was going to be a different kind of democrat, that his early anti-war stance was really about “change”, that we were not re-electing the Democratic Leadership Council [DLC]. Reading the article reprinted from the weblog Alternet that is posted below made me very depressed. Is there really a new direction in national politics or is this really just more of the same?

This is Change? 20 Hawks, Clintonites and Neocons to Watch for in Obama’s White House


By Jeremy Scahill, AlterNet
Posted on November 20, 2008, Printed on November 20, 2008
http://www.alternet.org/story/107666/
U.S. policy is not about one individual, and no matter how much faith people place in President-elect Barack Obama, the policies he enacts will be fruit of a tree with many roots. Among them: his personal politics and views, the disastrous realities his administration will inherit, and, of course, unpredictable future crises. But the best immediate indicator of what an Obama administration might look like can be found in the people he surrounds himself with and who he appoints to his Cabinet. And, frankly, when it comes to foreign policy, it is not looking good. (more…)

2008 VOTING IRREGULARITIES IN KETTERING & WEST CARROLTON

November 7, 2008
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A campaign worker for Andi Eveslage, Democrat running in the for state rep in the 37th State district found herself in a confrontation with West Carrollton police  on Election day for passing out literature in front of the poll at the Grace  Lutheran Church, outside the legal limit of 100 ft. from the polling place. The church treasurer, who had been observed earlier tearing up Eveslage’s campaign signs [ a violation of election laws] was the person responsible for calling the police. A West Carrollton police serageant misinterpertd  the law and was authorizing the on site police to make an arrest when intervention by Eveslage via the county election board stopped them.

This was not an isolated incident according to Ms Evelslage, who was running against Republican Peggy Lehner for the seat. At Harry Russel elementary school. also in West Carrollton, the school principal tried to make two volunteers leave the school grounds. It took direct intervention by the candidate and a call from the board of elections to the district superintendent to get an apology and admission of ignorance of the law. Her father, stationed St Charles church in Kettering, was asked by a church person if they were standing outside the 100 YARD zone. The 85 year man calmly told her “no” , but that he was outside the 100 foot limit, where upon he was still told he had to move. He did not, asserting his right to be there under the law. Told that they were going to call the police Mr Eveslage retorted, “go right ahead, I’ll be here waiting for them!”.

The 37th is very Republican, the House seat having been vacated by John Husted  due to term limits. Real live Democrats  appearing at poll places is practically unheard of in this reddest of red districts. The harassment of Ms Eveslage’s campaign workers  is a blatant and illegal form of voter suppression. It is hard to know whether this was a concerted effor by backers of the very conservative Peggy Lehner [known or unknown by her] or just a failure of Board of Election officials to make clear to those volunteering their property as a polling place what the law is concerning what is allowable and what is not and where the boundarties lie for campaign workers. Regardless, it should not have happened and Board of Election officials need to be very forthright in training poll workers and educating property owners  where polling is set up about the law.


IS THE FUTURE REALLY OURS? TWO VIEWS OF BARAK OBAMAS IMPACT

November 6, 2008
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Where have I been? Here it is November and the country I know of as America is a much different [changed] place. For me survival in a tough retail environment became ALL.
The recorded music biz is NOT what once was and realignment became the order of the day, requiring nearly all my energy

We are now faced with a uncertain future led by a man anointed as the next big thing by the American people. Republicans are out, Democrats are in. But what does this really mean? Sara Robinson offers one view, wherein progressives have won an ally who generally shares their view of the world. Larry Pickney, a former Black Panther and a contributor to the Black Commentator, offers a starkly different perspective in his essay More Of The Same, Only Worse .

I find myself somewhat in the middle, or muddle, as it were. I really  want to believe that the future IS going to be better due to  the leadership of this man, Barrack Obama.
I am of the 60’s, a disillusioned Vietnam Vet remembering and recognizing the ongoing collusion of the national [ and state and local] Democrats with conservative and  right wing forces. Yes there has been progress, but at what cost. How any Democrats voted for the Bush tax cuts, for the Iraq War authorization,  for the Patriot Act? The list is long and disgusting.

I am a democrat, small d. That does not mean being blind to reality.
We shall see whether the new shaman can pull it off, whether he can actually mobilize the American people in a new populist & progressive direction. I am waiting with bated breath…

The two articles cited follow:

All good movements turn into organizations turn into businesses turn into rackets.
—Old organizers’ saying

I don’t think any of us expected to get so far so soon.

Back in 2003, when Bush was southern-frying the Dixie Chicks and the Iraq War was propelling millions into the streets and progressive blogs consisted of a small handful of folks writing in their pajamas under esoteric banners like “Eschaton” or “Orcinus” or “Daily Kos,” anybody who suggested that America might someday return to its liberal Enlightenment roots was right up there on the wack-o-meter with those who dreamed that the country might someday abolish private property and adopt socialist utopianism. Nobody serious thought it was remotely possible. Amongst ourselves, we told each other that ousting the conservative juggernaut would probably be the work of a couple of decades. Or maybe even a whole generation. Or maybe it was a fool’s errand that wasn’t even possible at all any more. (more…)


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61 Y/O VIET VET WORKING FROM THE LEFT OF CENTER

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