Tag Archives: liberals

Occupiers vow to shut down Obama reelection headquarters

One of the primary features of the Occupy Wall Street (OWS) movement that made it so successful (or according to some commentators, ineffective) is its decentralized and leaderless nature. This is apparent in the different focuses of the many occupations that dot the country.

In Occupy Des Moines, the focus is on the imperial presidency, with activists setting up camp in front of Obama’s reelection offices:

Occupy Des Moines activists on Saturday vowed to shut down President Barack Obama’s campaign offices and set up a camp outside they plan to maintain around the clock.

“We have every intention to keep this place closed down until we are satisfied,” said Frank Cordaro, an activist and founder of the Catholic Worker group in Des Moines.

A handful of activists went to Obama’s nondescript office in a downtown strip mall after larger rallies to mark the three-month anniversary of the Occupy Wall Street movement in New York. They had hoped to read a statement demanding Obama cut military spending by half and “dismantle our U.S. military empire … so we can create jobs, balance the budget, meet our peoples’ needs here and help the human community to heal our dying planet.”

That these activists are realizing that President Barack Obama is part of that offensive 1 percent is brilliant.

What happened to the tea party movement ought to serve as a warning to the OWS movement of the inherent dangers of co-option. It is safe to safe at this point, with establishment figureheads like Newt Gingrich and Mitt Romney aligning themselves with the tea party movement, that the tea party movement is dead. It is my hope that this tragedy does not happen with OWS.

The co-option of the OWS by partisan forces is a danger that befalls the movement if occupiers are not vigilant. I have warned several times on this blog (and on television on RT International) that co-option is an ever-present danger. Significant progress cannot be made by a protest movement if it is rendered ineffectual by becoming a mere arm of the establishment: an arm subject to its control and whims.

Britain unites with smaller countries to block Obama administration’s bid to legalize civilian-maiming cluster bombs

President Barack Obama sends his diplomats to defeat this existential threat to the United States:

A coalition of countries including Britain on Friday defeated an attempt by the US, Russia, China and Israel to get an international agreement approving the continued use of cluster bombs. The weapons, which have been used in Iraq, Afghanistan and Lebanon scatter “bomblets” over a wide area, maiming and killing civilians, notably children, long after they have been dropped and are banned under a 2008 convention which was adopted by the UK and in more than 100 countries.

But war is brutal, right?

The unexploded bomblets have the appearance of yellow drink containers and are attractive, often picked up by children who mistake them for toys. However, the consequences are lethal, often resulting in maiming or even fatalities.

What is a war without limbless children anyway?

How effective are these munitions? “98 percent of victims of cluster bombs over the past three decades have been civilians, a third of them children.”

Do not allow partisan Democrats to co-opt #OccupyWallStreet by calling it progressive. The movement is anti-authoritarian, anti-corporatism.

Just as the Republican Party destroyed the Tea Party from within, the Democratic Party will destroy the Occupy Movement.

I am a libertarian and I will protest in solidarity of the anti-authoritarian, anti-corporatist, antiwar voices in the the Occupy Movement.

Resist all urge to be called “progressive.” After all, government collusion with corporations is the root of the evil facing this country. To be progressive is to accept that government is a cause for good. It is not.

“Do not give in to evil, but proceed ever more boldly against it.”

Occupy every street, occupy every city, occupy every school.

Occupy every mind, occupy every heart, occupy every spirit.

I am the 99%.

ADDENDUM: The corporate media’s label of “progressive” is meant to be divisive. It alienates libertarians and conservatives who are sick and tired of corporatism. Any corporatism whether they be from the Left or the Right.

The corporate media and the Democratic Party and the unions are attempting to turn it into the Left’s version of the Tea Party. It is not. The label is an attempt by the corporate media and the establishment to divide the movement between party lines. This is not an anti-Republican or anti-Democratic, but anti-government, anti-bankers, anti-corporatist.

The attempt to label the movement is an attempt to divide it is an attempt to weaken it.

United we stand, divided we fall.

The 99% is not just the half that voted for Barack Obama. The 99% is not just the half that vote Democratic Party. The 99% is the young, the old, the Republicans, the Democrats, the independents, the libertarian, the progressive, the conservative, all victims of corporate greed and government collusion.

If we are divided, then all hope for real change is lost.

Ron Paul and liberals’ moral dilemma

A self-labeled liberal at Reddit watched last night’s GOP debate (read my recap and thoughts) in Iowa and he found himself convinced that he might vote for Ron Paul over Barack Obama.

Many of the other responders reminded him than Paul is against a lot of things that progressives hold dear. Obama, they reminded him, is a progressive; Paul’s views regarding Social Security, welfare, and abortion are too extreme.

Myself, I asked him a fair question:

Can you look at yourself in the mirror and honestly say that the fat chance that Ron Paul would single-handedly gut Social Security and all of entitlement spending is morally equivalent to Ron Paul unilaterally stopping the murder of hundreds of thousands of innocent people who are victims of all our wars?

People forget that Social Security and Medicare are laws that Congress (not the president) decides whereas our illegal, unconstitutional wars are unilaterally waged by the president.

Ron Paul cannot end Social Security or Medicare alone, but he can and will end the wars.

I am tired of the argument that the potential of someone’s welfare check being cut is more important than immediately stopping the murders occurring everyday in our name.

We wonder why people in the rest of the world hate us. We are selfish; and we hold welfare checks more important than the lives of those we kill.

The tea party must learn to love the downgrade

As pointed out by Angela Thorn, the Democrats (with the help of the Republican establishment beginning with Sen. John McCain’s ridiculous “tea party as hobbits” analogy) have launched a coordinated media-blitz to pin the blame for S&P’s recent downgrade of the country’s credit rating on the tea party.

On a Fox News Sunday show, David Axelrod used the phrase “Tea Party Downgrade” referring to the recent S&P action. John Kerry used the exact same phrase on MSNBC this morning. MoveOn.org blasted out an email using the same phrase in the title.

Apparently, the twenty-two Republican freshmen in the House are to blame for all the debt, deficit, and downgrade! Somehow, in less than a year, they managed to drag the country into the brink of ruin. McCain was wrong; the tea partiers are not just hobbits, but mutants possessing superpowers!

I hold no love for the tea party and while I do recognize that their rise and political power is of consequence, I am not ready to credit them for the federal government’s much-deserved downgrade. To do that is to ignore the role the other 413 House representatives had in the debt ceiling debate (which, according to the approved corporate media narrative, is negligible).

If the Republican and Democratic leadership were serious about compromising, they could have easily ignored the tea party. Instead, they intentionally created this theater and when it was all said and done, colluded with one another to place the blame on their shared enemy: the tea party.

However, the downgrade and the subsequent bipartisan blame game poses a political opportunity for the tea party. The tea party ought to embrace the downgrade and claim credit for it. If anything, the downgrade makes it more costly and more prohibitive to expand the government: a necessary step to constrain the size and scope of government.

The tea party must not only embrace, but learn to love the downgrade.

The self-deluding meme of a ‘weak Obama’

As soon as the debt ceiling deal was announced, progressives from the Left immediately attacked President Barack Obama’s so-called capitulation to the Tea Party, with liberal columnist Paul Krugman calling it “an abject surrender.” This surrender, progressives argue, has weakened Obama and raises questions about his reelection chances.

But here is the problem with this meme of an unwilling, weak-willed (or to quote a friend of mine, “ball-less”) Obama capitulating to the evil Tea Party: it is simply not true. One only has to look past the current political theater being played out to recognize Obama’s gleeful abuse of the enormous power he wields.

As pointed out by Arthur Silber:

When one considers the destructive powers of the weapons at his command, as well as the bloodily murderous enthusiasm with which he uses them, and when one contemplates the enormous powers he enjoys entirely apart from and in addition to those weapons, it will easily be seen that Obama is the single most powerful individual in the entire history of humankind.

Even ignoring the widespread reports that it was the White House that first suggested cuts to Social Security and the ridiculous back-and-forth in the debt ceiling debate, many of Obama’s policies that progressives disagree with have not been provoked or been the result of Republican political machinations.

Was it Republicans that pressured a weak-willed Obama to ignore the law and bomb Libya? Was it the tea party that pressured Obama to wage the White House’s unprecedented crackdown on whistleblowers? Was Obama being “ball-less” when he went after Bradley Manning and WikiLeaks or when his Justice Department decided not to prosecute Bush’s torture criminals? I guesss it was Boehner and Cantor that forced Obama to increase the drone attacks in Pakistan, Yemen, and Somalia. Was Obama being weak and incompetent when he claimed the right to assassinate Americans extra-judicially?

To summarize, Obama’s decidedly anti-progressive policies have been and always been his own.

The belief that Obama is weak is self-delusional. Obama, with the help of a complicit Congress, has greatly expanded the powers of the executive branch and edged that office closer to an imperial presidency. Small government Republicans, progressive Democrats, and the libertarian-leaning faction of the tea party underestimate Obama at their peril. As I have said before, Obama is not just Bush Lite; he is Bush Squared.

UPDATE: Of course, Glenn Greenwald pointed this myth out two days ago.

Principled liberals protest Obama’s illegal wars, but where is the Tea Party?

The ANSWER Coalition held a spirited antiwar rally in front of the White House yesterday, protesting the illegal, unconstitutional Libyan War. It should not come as a surprise that not a word of the rally was mentioned by the corporate media.

It is heartening and extremely encouraging to see that there are principled antiwar activists still active in the Left. However, where is the Tea Party?

We saw the Tea Party turn out in mass protests against Obama’s healthcare scheme and rightly pointed out that the program will not only be too costly, but a massive threat to civil liberties. If only the Tea Party were to apply this same logic to protest the biggest government programs America is undertaking.

With the exception of Sen. Rand Paul, few of the self-proclaimed Tea Party leaders are calling for mass protests against Obama’s unlawful wars. Until they do, the Right’s new-found concern for austerity and its fixation on the debt is just talk.