Friday, October 30, 2009

CAJA Redux?

Some may have noticed the Community Action for Justice in the Americas link on this blog. I was a board member for three years at least? but we fizzled and died last Spring when energy dropped and ideological splits could not be reconciled. I was part of a faction that insisted on an open anti-capitalist stance while others were satisfied staying within the capitalist/ parlimentary paradigm. From trade agreements, to Plan Colombia, to Coca Cola, School of the Americas, to critiques of "neoliberalism", writing letters to Congressmen is mental masturbation and unsatisfying.

Now some of the "old gaurd" wishes to pick up where we left off, using the same "progressive non-profit" model. I went to their "kick-off" and, hoping to be helpful by being honest, gave my critique of liberal "struggle". The word anti-capitalist sucked a lot of air out of the mostly empty room (seven attendees) One of the new board hopefuls described his work with the World Bank as a case in point, how giving title to indigenous peoples allowed them to " save their land from loggers". This is straight out of the Hernando De Soto/ Thomas "flat earth' Friedman, Thatcher ,Milton Friedman play book, "ownership will open access to credit markets and end poverty". Ask the 1.2 million Peruvians who were given title if it helped "end poverty". Ask those in the slums and favelas of the world what McNamaras World Bank program of "titles" did for them. ( or read Mike Davis' Planet of Slums). Market discipline and valuations along with private property as the neoliberal guarantor of liberty and freedom is a capitalist conceit and when it is imposed on indigenous cultures it is always about exploitation and profit. As another example of liberal largess, most (not all) of these "micro-credit" programs are usurious and create what J.Elyachar calls a "market of dispossession".

I wished them good luck and picked up my copy of the Missoula Independent which has a feature on Celebrating Conservatism, a local (Hamilton) group which has grown to 500. The organizer stands in front of a huge banner of the US flag witha cross in the middle ( In God We Trust , in Jesus We're Saved) and packs a sidearm. Those attending are dressed in camo and NRA jackets and lots of them are packing as well as they listen to John Mc Manus, Pres. of the John Birch Society on one night or ex-Arizona sheriff Richard Mack the next week. The all-white group wants their liberty back, they want their constitution and their country back, states rights and above all else, property rights.

This is where the CAJA guy finds common ground with von Hayeck, von Mises, Ayn Rand, the Freidmans and Celebrating Conservatism. Only through private property and the competitive market can individual rights ,democracy and development exist. "...without the diffused power and initiative associated with these institutions it is difficult to imagine a society in which freedom may be effectively preserved." "Diffused power"? Freedom to slave your life away?

Here is a quote from a conservative in attendence: " I've had to come out of retirement to get a little part-time job. My husband is sick; our income is down.It's all on the backs of ordinary working people ..." She blames her woes on the government, on the gays, on the immigrants, on the athiests, anyone or anything other than the market system. I'll be attending the meeting next Tuesday.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Nostalgia

I was missing Donald Rumsfeld till Joe Lieberman showed up, promising to scuttle Obamas health reform. Et tu Judas? Could one invent any greater example of what a cesspool "representative" politics has become? Oh..um...Ollie North is now advising the Republican Party on Afghanistan policy? No wait..thats real. Beakerkin must have been too busy with all his Venezuelan refugees. Farce ,tragedy, who gives a rats ass? Is Jumpin Joe ready to be Mitt Romneys VP in 012? Rudy waitin in the wings?

I also miss Condi Rice. Where do these people go? I know Tom Delay is Dancing With the Stars. I wonder if Bill and Bob Gates are related? I turned on "Public Television" which is now supported by Chevron, Monsanto, Wells Fargo, Toyota, Boeing, Met Life and others. I'd prefer sitting through an hour of chop-o-matic and hair removal ads than the slick, fuzzy, we're-helping-to-save-the-earth bullshit of mega corporations. Where is Larry Craig? James Baker , George Shultz?

"The ethos of consumption and individual autonomy, privileging the here and now over the eternal, will conquer the Muslim world as surely as it is conquering East Asia and as surely as it has already conquered what was once known as Christendom. It's the wreckage left in the wake of that conquest that demands our attention."

Andrew J.Bacevich The War we Can't Win

I had a little go-around with Bacevich after a presentation he gave on "the social forces shaping US policy from WWI to the present" failed to include any mention of labor or the left or any tension with capital at any period. His narrative was strictly John Foster Dulles, George Kennan, Art Schlesinger, Henry Kissinger and the Great Game and nothing about how "anti-communism" was used as a force for social control and co-opting labor. But he was clearly aware of the folly of Iraq and unafraid to express it back when it was an unpopular position for "mainstream" academics. His son was killed there.

Now, I realize his "attention" to the "wreckage" is not what my attention looks like but he is once again boldly staking out a courageous and eminently sane stance on Obamas "good war". Then there is Obamas stance on the Goldstone Report, his stance on climate change as expressed in Bangkok, his stance on reparations at the UN conference on racism in Geneva, The G20 position, etc etc.. I prefered Bush's upfront imperialism and exploitation to this backhanded crap.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Moores Capitalism

I saw Moores movie last night and left with a jumble of impressions. Like my last post, he starts with populist outrage, but unfortunately, to my mind, never progressives much beyond it. The critique is bold, courageous even, and I don't want to under value it's possible impact but the analysis is jumbled and disjointed. Just like todays "Left!

A good, union, Catholic, FDR loving populist, he does a good job documenting how productivity and profit gains outstripped wages, how modern life is commodified, how democracy is subverted and how empires collapse but he can never quite figure out if Obama will save us, whether markets can be "humanized" a la Keynsian social democracy or whether private ownership of the means of production is "evil" or something he is willing to compromise on. Like Bernie Saunders is. ( who calls himself a democratic socialist in the film)

The "inspirational" demonstrations come from working cooperatives , strikes, the re-occupation of foreclosed homes, Republic Doors and Windows, and trying to do citizen arrests of Wall Street but was any one of these actually "anti-capitalist" in nature? He is so intent on not being identified as Marxist and so uncritical of statism that one is left wondering just what it is he wishes us to join him in doing at the end of the film. Is there a slogan under which Charlies dad, the gun guy losing his home and the wife of the dead Wal Mart "peasant" will organize around?

I actually watched Sicko for the first time just the night before and found it to be in many ways more "anti-capitaist" than the "Love Story". But again, his camera loves to focus on angry, crying, abused people so that you almost expect Oprah Winfrey to appear with a big check and a hug to solve everything. I also thought The Story Of Stuff had more anti-capitalist potential with its materialist, scientific approach showing the logic of capitalism to be flawed, not mean people that Jesus warned us about.

My other main critique is his treatment of the "precipice" which global capitalism found itself on not so long ago and the so-called "TARP" bail-out. Moore would have us believe it was a made-up crisis designed so Big Wig Financiers could stage a "coup" ( a la Rep. Marcie Kantor, Kucinich, possibly Naomi Klien etc..) I believe the precipice was real, global capitalism was that close to melt-down and the TARP necessary to stave it off. The so-called "coup" or spectaculrization of politics and "democracy" happened long, long ago. Of course the Banks have used TARP to encrich themselves and populist rage is warranted but the REAL critique of capitalism is the very existence of the precipice, the wild gyrations, booms and busts, "creative destruction" and crisis of over-accumulation. Moore somehow missed all that.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

The Audacity of Greed

In a perverse way you can't help but be impressed by these Wall Street cats, I mean, like a patient just hours out of open heart surgery who lights up a cigarette after wolfing down a cheeseburger, these guys display a demonic flair when it comes to risk taking. With renewed vigour they are pushing the next bubble tighter and tighter, partying like it was the Final Hour, ( perhaps they read Lovelock?) mere months after nearly bringing down the global economy!

What we used to call the Left and what was formerly known as the Working Class have no response to such a suicidal orgy, they gawk, stunned, and attend Michael Moores movie. They were used to fighting penny pinching plodders, old school magnates and barons who tried to avoid social unrest. This new breed of wheeler dealers could care less if we fold back into feudalism, and a lecture by Obama on "personal responsibility" is just more hilarity and high jinx. I don't see Bill Cosby lecturing black males on "responsibility" now that their unemployment rate is over 40% and foreclosures have tripled, either.

"What, asks Marx, is the power of the state over private property? The state has only the illusion of being determinant, whereas in fact it is determined; it does in time subdue private and social wills, but only to give substance to the will of private property and to acknowledge its reality as the highest reality of the political state, as the highest moral reality.( Gesamtausgabe,1927 pg.519)"

"For him the only resolution of political alienation and the contradiction between the state and society is within the framework of 'true democracy'.'All other political systems are specific ,definate, particular political forms. In democracy, the formal principle is also the material principle.'
Here he is saying democracy must govern ALL aspects of sociality including production and allocation. Central to the whole system is the point that political emancipation is not synonymous with human emancipation.

"Human emancipation can only be realized by transcending bourgeois society, "which has torn up all genuine bonds between men and replaced them by selfishness, selfish need, and dissolved the world of men into a world of atomized individuals, hostile towards each other."

In other words, Milton Friedmans dream-scape and Wall Streets reality.

Thanks to Ralph Milibrand for quotes from his essay Marx and the State lifted from Democracy and the Capitalist State edited by Graeme Duncan

Monday, October 19, 2009

Supply and Demand

Not even fishing is immune to the forces of the invisible hand. It seems the rarer steelhead ( a sea run rainbow trout) become, the more people wish to pursue them. These amazing anadromous fish used to be the prized quarry of a select and somewhat fanatical breed of hardy fishermen but it seems they have achieved a cult-like status and now Everybody Wants To Get Into The Act!
I was just down on the Gran Ronde in Washington and there were 200 other anglers vying for about five or six good fly runs. The poor fish make it up through the seals and nets and dams and fishermen on the Colombia and Snake and then they have to make it through this mad gauntlet lined up practically shoulder to shoulder. Needless to say, not my cup of tea. The fish are puny compared to what I'm used to catching in British Colombia and hatchery bred to boot. So it goes.

The hatchery issue is interesting in itself because they basically serve as a huge panacea veiling the fact that the natural spawning habitat is being raped. They conveniently and with bureaucratic efficiency provide punky fish for the less discerning angling public. Fish O'Matic! Industrialized production made possible by that evil government everyone in Idaho hates so much. The problem is, these man made fish reproduce with the wild ones , diluting the gene pool and creating a less resilient, less hardy, less adapted-through-eons breed. The National Fish and Wildlife Service is threatening to list the wild fish as endangered and to name stocking as part of the threat. You can probably hear the whining from the sport fishing industry, hotels, sport shops, diners, gas stations,guides etc.. from wherever you live.

Hatcheries are a win win in redneck country, ( sorry yodood, I'm just calling a spade a spade) they allow the corporations to cut the timber, dam the river, make the paper and mine the hills and keep the Chamber of Commerce happy with tourist bucks. All you have to do is be able to look the other way as another magnificent species fades into oblivion.

As for Joe Lunchpail and the perilous nature of his contested identity, let me just show everyone my own Stanley thermos and battered lunch bucket which I drug off to work for twenty five years of hard, physical labor. Packed five days a week with a sandwich, some chips, a few cookies and a piece of fruit, it accompanied me to ranch jobs, to several years of logging ( sawing, running a skidder and mostly setting chokers) and to factories and construction sites from Springfield Mass to Good Grief Idaho.

Joe is neither one Man nor is he Everyman but just like Joe Hill , he is everywhere men work for a wage. Sometimes he understands what he is up against and sometimes not, but regardless, he deserves better, deserves the full friuts of his labor without anything skimmed off the top. He can get turned and twisted in a lot of ways, drink too much and read too little, but don't for a minute think I don't know or understand him or am unwilling to buy him a beer or challenge him to a game of pool in any Montana bar.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

CO2 Is Green

In a classic example of how capitalism is literally killing us, television is being bombarded by an ad campaign called Plants Need CO2. Working the modern TV watchers brain, the logic goes something like this: Plants need CO2 . CO2 is good. Those trying to scare you about CO2 are bad. Simple , clean, effective and insane. To Jim Bob Lunchpail, however, this seems to fit in with his vague distrust of all this "global climate change" bullshit and the necessary links are quickly made to gun rights, taxes, Big Government and socialism. Presto.

Going to Source Watch we learn that , SHOCKER, the ads are paid for by CO2 is Green which is a front group for the , get this, Institute for the Study of Earth and Man at Southern Methodist University and whose board chairman is H. Leighton Steward. Lets de-construct this name before moving on. Who starts their name with the first initial? Who prefers "Leighton" over whatever that first initial represents? ( Higby? Hooper?) WTF is up with Leighton? Could Jim Bob and H. Leighton sit down to a "beer summit"? Pabst Blue Ribbon or Heineken?

Any way, of course H. Leighton ( can I just call you H ? ) was formerly the director of Exxon Oil and Gas which now funds the Institute for the Study of Dirt and People along with Shell, Hunt, Lyco and Five States Energy Corp. , all embraced by the quiet, contemplative comfort of Methodist Ministers and their unbelievably boring music. Capitalism actually enlists the sturdy, hard working Methodists in not only their own suicide but the murder of the rest of humanity as well. Goebbels would be impressed, but this is just a coarse, audacious example of what takes place at every level of culture creation and production.

The Yes Men lead the way in creative, effective culture jamming, in resisting the Spectacular vortex of commodified nihilism and cynical manipulation and they have fun doing it. Kesey and the Pranksters tried one variation but ran out of acid. The Diggers found a steadier groove and other agit-prop is out there just waiting to be employed. As soon as I get back from some needed steelhead fishing I'm going to start studying it in depth. Any resources I need?

Monday, October 12, 2009

River Ron

Taking my wife to work this chilly morning I saw a local character we call River Ron walking north across Main Street carrying his worldly possessions on his back and muttering occasionally to himself. This is Montana and we are experiencing record cold for this early date but Ron has endured much much worse, camping as he does year round in very makeshift arrangements. I was invited one near- zero day into his tarp tent which was heated only by candles.He has been in the area for ten years or more and I do not know his backstory, but he prefers this independent life to staying in shelters or on urban streets and manages to survive. He always has a fishing pole in one hand but I don't know if he hunts game.

My wife says over thirty percent of the Head Start children she deals with come from homeless families, a shocking figure to me. Most stay tenuously with friends or family, though some live out of cars or in shelters. Many of her kids have parents in prison. In America there are roughly three million homeless people on any given night and the number is rapidly growing, as are the general assistance and food lines of course. The Missoula City Council recently passed an ordinance banning the sleeping in doorways in the down town area and a coalition is forming to fight it. I wish it were a simple cut and dried issue of injustice but I think there are contingent factors and any protest would need to focus on roots of homelessness and the lack of social services in general.

As talk of escalation in Afghanistan moves front and center, the worn narratives over Viet Nam still haunt the national psyche and highlight the dysfunctional nature of "liberal/ democratic" capitalist imperialism. ( a mouthful, I know) Every time a historical analogy gets brought up, the contested territory of "history" causes paralysis, usually favoring the status quo. From Wilsons "Fourteen Point plan" to "Losing China" to "we could have won in Viet Nam" there is a consistent theme from rightwing revisionists, "The Enemy Within". It goes like this: If only we had listened to those of strong moral character and brave hearts ( exemplifying the "True America Character") instead of weak willed naysayers, we could have prevailed ( in each of these instances). Indeed, it is "the enemy within" which must be defeated before righteousness can prevail. Another chorus to this martial hymn is "Let the Generals decide", for their moral standing and hard headed, clear eyed rationality is above reproach. Talk shows are filled with the square-jawed warriors, fighting and re-fighting each war over and over.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Reply to Mutualism

Keeping with my push to promote ZNet, I will refer to a piece which does a good job of articulating the radical market-libertarian perspective. This comes from a great series called Re-imagining Society , which is what we all need to be doing, with no time to waste! I think this is interesting because "libertarianism" has really come to the forefront of reactionary American politics, with a lot of popular (and bastardized) variations and incarnations, Ron Pauls being maybe the most noteworthy. I'm surrounded by them here in the Rocky Mountain west, where the theory is used by sagebrush rebels, gun freaks, 9/11 Truthers, Birthers and militia types to rally under.

The contribution by Luciano Lanza to the Reimgining Society project is a well argued and compelling articulation of the mutualist position and I want to point out both some of the strengths and some of the weaknesses in his argument.

In general these market-libertarian positions rely on theoretical underpinnings provided by anarchist thinkers who are convinced that all efforts at "planning" revert to bureaucratic inneficiency at best and totalitarianism at worst. In this view democracy too often morphs into the loss of individual autonomy and freedom. Using both conceptions of pre-capitalist( ancient) markets and the direct historical experience of "socialism" of the last century, mutualists argue that authority, concentrated power and hierarchy cannot be avoided unless free competition replaces planning as an organizing principle.

My own experience in the bazarres of southern Europe and medinas of North Africa would seem to suggest markets could comport with certain "essential" social human characteristics. In this setting the "bargaining process" over consumer goods did contain a certain element of sociality as we leisurely and patiently, often over tea and keef, negotiated over price. There was mutual respect and even solidarity. the nature of the exchange seemed to affect the quality of relations.

The contradiction seems to arise when we leave consumer markets and enter labour markets, where "mutualistic competitiveness" gives way to exploitation. In Marxian terms , it is axiomatic that the value produced by human labour-power exceeds the cost of producing that labour-power with the excess going to the increase of capital. In other words, capitalist relations reduce human capacities to a commodity which, even when it fetches its exchange value in a free competitive market, recieves less than it adds to the value of the product, increasing the accumulation of capital which is then used to further dominate those whose labour it buys. Add to this the alienating and atomizing effects of "commodification" and it is difficult to see how class and conflict are not an automatic result of such a relation.

Mutualists such as Lanza argue that certain "interventions" can "soften the impact" of competition and that the "role" of economic relations within the entire (pluralistic) sphere of relations can be reduced such that solidarity is retained. I would argue that the regression of European social democracies as well as the current experience in Venezuela show that simply changing labour relations ( strong unions, cooperatives, worker owned /managed enterprises) while keeping a profit system and markets ,is not a viable strategy. Competition is less an "essential" human trait than a nurtured one and Participation could replace it as an operating principle.

Unless there is a way ( as yet undeveloped) to separate consumer markets from labour markets , "free" exchange is an oxymoron and humans capacity for free, conscious and creative activity can only be realized through the political, deliberate participatory project of designing and operating a system of planned, democratically realized economic activity.

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Fraudulent?

The problem is not so much that one third of Karzias votes are "fraudulent" ,as Ambassador Kenneth Galbraith insists, it's the other third of the votes that a warlord named Dostum "suggested" his Uzbek minions cast. C'mon, heroin, refugee camps, tribal/ ethnic civil war, who are we kidding? Most of my neighbors, thats who! ( Beak and the other pragmatists would insist they have a firm grasp of what serves their own interests) Why aren't I in the streets trying to explain this, getting arrested, speaking out? Perhaps it's the unbearable loneliness or exhaustion or disturbing groundhog day-like quality of it. Besides, with all this unemployment, sending 40,000 young patriots off to fight in the Hindu Kush might make it easier for me to find a job.

The problem isn't so much that Manuel Zelaya is held up in the Brazillian embassy, it's that even if he gets his job back the Honduran elite will loot the place and abandon it. And the people don't have oilfields like in Venezuela.

The problem isn't so much that there will be no "public option" in the health reform bill but that Glen Beck has 30,000,000 viewers each night who feel a little better about their lives for the hour they hang on his every word. Or that John Stewarts fans need and get the same catharthic reprieve.

The problem isn't the frozen banks or the melting ice caps, it's not Operation Enduring Freedom or "bad paper" or Supersized Happy Meals, it's not that God is dead or that Oprah gained all that weight back.

The problem is Joe Hill isn't coming back and Quinn the Eskimo isn't showing up either. Jesus has run into unexpected delays and the "blood dimmed tide" is rising fast. Either we organize ourselves or we will have it done for us. To that end I want to make a pitch for ZNet and ZMag, they need some money and support and participation. They are re-building (yet again) the site and it is an amazing resource and could be a fabulous organizing tool.

Monday, October 05, 2009

Silver Bullet

A customer walks into the store and thinks " thank God for the free enterprise system, protected by the blood of patriots, because it creates the actual freedom for me to pick whatever damn product I choose!" Standing before the beer cooler, surveying the wide array of brands, he picks the shiny Coors Silver Bullet. He loves the "taste". But what else does he feel/sense/ think/ intuit? A vague sense of large breasted Dallas Cowboy cheerleaders embracing him, of the roar of huge pickup trucks racing up mountains to sparkling mountain lakes, of exuberant cowboys and cowgirls celebrating all that is great about America and the wide open spaces....

Meanwhile, back at corporate headquarters, Joseph Coors Jr. is busy writing checks to the Heritage Foundation and a dozen other "Think Tanks" and political action committees, non-profits and lobbying firms. He is using the profits he made from selling that little taste of silver freedom to his valuable customer. The foundations and think tanks will hold "seminars" for academics, judges, politicians and administrators to "learn" about issues like land use and development, fighting back against global warming whackos, how taxes hurt Americans , etc.. etc.. The academics will go back and "teach" their students how to do successful marketing and advertising, how to get fabulously rich using derivitive trading and other complex financial instrument manipulation, and how to become teachers themselves so that the ideology can be passed on to yet another generation.

Mr.Coors will also be invited to sit on the Board of Directors of General Electric which owns a large media network which creates their own "news" and opinion for public consumption. Some of those board members ( whose sons and daughters belong to the same Ivy League fraternities and sororities) sit on other Boards, giant insurance or pharamacuetical or defense contractor companies.

After picking up his prescription of Celebrex for his high-blood pressure, our customer/citizen grabs his beer and heads out to his large truck ( on which he is behind with his payments, his hours at the factory having been cut back) He listens to some country-western music on the radio and then switches to Rush Limbaugh, where the cultural messages are amplified and reinforced ( liberal "elites" own and run everything, the beleaguered white male is getting the shaft, etc..). He cracks a Silver Bullet, which reminds him of how long it has been since he had a vacation at the lake and that he needs to pick up some more ammunition before the stores all run out.

"It is a highly unstable theory about the world which has to assume that vast numbers of ordinary people, mentally equipped in much the same way as you or I, can simply be thoroughly and systematically duped into mis-recognizing entirely where their real interests lie."
Stuart Hall from Marxism and the Interpretation of Culture

Then what? Evolutionary psychology? It is in their "interest" to remain ignorant? Not so well "equipped"?

Saturday, October 03, 2009

Agit- prop

Can symbolic representation substitute for "real" action? No. But is it a good adjunct (and lots of fun) ? Me thinks so.

Our local IWW branch organized a little street theatre last night that engages this question and caused an interesting debate among our membership. Celebrating the 100 year anniversary of the first (important) free speech fight in the country, which just happened to take place in little Missoula Mt. between Wobblies and City officials, we did a little re-enactment skit for the public on the historic corner. It was well recieved, even by the City Establishment ( we included the actual mayor and some city councillors) and we had some little kids shouting and raising their little fists as the Agitating Wobblies were being led off to "jail". We went through the whole official bureaucratic permitting process of closing off a street with official signs and getting official insurance et.al...resulting in city collaboration in getting an official placque and monument and "Free Speech Corner" designation but also some understandable grumbling from members over the implications of such "collaboration" in principle.

The wierd thing about theatre of course is the partial suspension of reality, the "magical" or even poetic quality of the discourse, in that you are at once both in and out of personal agency, both committing a practical and symbolic act. Were we agitating, with possible real results, or just "performing" and leaving nothing tangible behind? How much of our critique of capitalism "in 1909" was actually having a transformative effect in 2009? Costumes, masks, carnivalesque energy has a magically enervating quality which I think revolutionary activity could greatly benefit from. Not to mention basic fun, which is all too often lacking.

It is also interesting to watch the dynamics of just having an open soap box and bullhorn available ( we did this for an hour before the performance) . Most speakers were our own members, who have become more and more adept at propogandizing (some were real good) and the others came from what could generally be designated as "the left", speaking to a mostly "progressive" crowd gathered in a fairly liberal city. The egalitarian pluralist in me hopes that in time conservatives, even "tea baggers", will feel comfortable grabbing the mike and that those from any and all political perspectives who have never spoke in public will take up the (both public and inter-personal) challenge.

Preaching to the choir is one thing, articulating in front of a mixed public another. Some will try to hog the mike. Some will rant about spaceships or Jewish conspiricies. Some will channel Glen Beck and some Noam Chomsky but this is the tension we have to accept ,even celebrate.It is my belief that eventually some heartfelt,original thinking, discussion and speaking will take place and this, not the internet or voting booths or political science classes, is the foundation upon which the democratic project has to be built.

Thursday, October 01, 2009

Theory Weary

Checking in on "current events" ( as my teachers used to call them) , How About That Max Baucus ? "Co-ops" Max?, really? Could you find a slimier creature under any rock under the Big Sky ? Taking single payer "off the table" before the debate even started was pathetic, but now he has his head stuck so far up the corporate asshole he might as well crawl the rest of the way in, get a long term lease. What we need are "refuseniks" willing to go to jail rather than buy "mandated" insurance. A popular front with Tea Party ass clowns perhaps? We could use our time in jail to de-program the Glen Beck out of them.

As Obamas approval ratings drop the Dow rises, inexorably, on news of global epidemics, earthquakes, expanding wars and unemployment. All great new areas for profit-taking, for squeezing yet more "productivity" from the global workforce. Soldiers are employed, right? Cops all around Ohio and Pennsylvania got some overtime and hazard duty pay defending Pittsburgh from the dreaded (and dred locked ) Black Bloc so they can buy their children Halloween costumes. What will this years favorite be? Dead Michael Jacksons?

This was The First Black Presidents take on anti-globalization demonstrators" : ...having protests about abstractions (such) as global capitalism OR SOMETHING, generally is not going to make much of a difference." I like that "or something". The Community Organizer In Chief thinks people should focus on "concrete, local, immediate issues". But what if they are intrinsically related to GLOBAL CAPITALISM? How "abstract" are old people eating dog food? Anyway, it's off to Copenhagen with Oprah, deliberately provoking Jimmy Carters post-post-racial racists.

Maybe Barack should do something local instead of promoting the Doha round of WTO negotiations or sending troops to maintain the crumbling Empire. I know an actual democratically elected leader in Honduras he could support. ( same hemisphere) And what about that Israeli settlement building he demanded be stopped?

Who do we target? It's easy, The Chamber of Commerce and their Center for Capital Markets. Every town has one, it is the most pervasive, insidious organized cabal in existence. It is capitalist headquarters. The mafia on steroids. And I can't wait for the next call from a fundraiser for the Democrats. I should have voted for Cynthia McKinney. My bad.