What Obama Has Wrought

Submitted by Glen Ford on Wed, 09/05/2012 - 13:13
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by BAR executive editor Glen Ford

The meticulously scripted spectacles of the two corporate party conventions are very poor backdrops for clear thinking – but luckily, the ordeals are almost over. What remains after the tents are folded, are the crimes of this administration and its predecessor: both horrifically evil in their own ways. History will mark Obama as the more effective evil, mainly because of the lack of opposition.

 

What Obama Has Wrought

by BAR executive editor Glen Ford

The Obama’s are a global capital-loving couple, two cynical lawyers on hire to the wealthiest and the ghastliest.”

Most people don’t want to be a perceived as party-poopers – which is why the principled folks that have protested the evil antics of the corporate, imperial parties, in Tampa and Charlotte, are so much to be admired. Frankly, who wants to be the one to point out, in the middle of the festivities, that Michelle Obama was just a Chicago Daley machine hack lawyer who was rewarded with a quarter million dollar a year job of neutralizing community complaints against the omnivorous University of Chicago Hospitals? She resigned from her $50,000 seat on the board of directors of Tree-House Foods, a major Wal-Mart supplier, early in her husband’s presidential campaign. But, once in the White House, the First Lady quickly returned to flaking for Wal-Mart, praising the anti-union “death star” behemoth’s inner city groceries offensive as part of her White House healthy foods booster duties.

She also serves on the board of the Chicago Council on Global Affairs, the corporate foreign policy outfit to which her husband dutifully reported, each year, in his pucker-up to the presidency. The Obamas are a global capital-loving couple, two cynical lawyers on hire to the wealthiest and the ghastliest. They are no nicer or nastier than the Romneys and the Ryans, although the man of the house bombs babies and keeps a kill list. Yet, former “green jobs” czar Van Jones, a convention night chatterer on CNN who was fired by Obama for no good reason, chokes up when he speaks of the Black family that fronts for America – a huge act of national camouflage.

It is as useless to anchor a serious political discussion to this year’s Democratic and Republican convention speeches, as to plan the liberation of humanity during Mardi Gras. Truth is no more welcome at the former than sobriety is at the latter. So, forget the conventions and their multi-layered lies. Here are a few highlights of what Barack Obama has inflicted on the nation and the world:

Preventive Detention

George Bush could not have pulled off such an evisceration of the Bill of Rights, if only because the Democrats and an aroused street would not have allowed it. Bush knew better than to mount a full-court legislative assault on habeas corpus, and instead simply asserted that preventive detention is inherent in the powers of the presidency during times of war. It was left to Obama to pass actual legislation nullifying domestic rule of law – with no serious Democratic opposition.

Redefining War

Obama “led from behind” a 7-month Euro-American air and proxy ground war against the sovereign nation of Libya, culminating in the murder, after many attempts, of the nation’s leader. The president informed Congress that the military operation was not subject to the War Powers Act, because it had not been a “war” at all, since no Americans were known to have been killed. The doctrine was thus established – again, with little Democratic opposition – that wars are defined by the extent of U.S. casualties, no matter how many thousands of foreigners are slaughtered.

War Without Borders

Obama’s drone war policies, greatly expanded from that inherited from Bush, have vastly undermined accepted standards of international law. This president reserves the right to strike against non-state targets anywhere in the world, with whatever technical means at his disposal, without regard to the imminence of threat to the United States. The doctrine constitutes an ongoing war against peace – the highest of all crimes, now an everyday practice of the U.S.

The Merger of Banks and State

The Obama administration, with the Federal Reserve functioning as a component of the executive branch, has funneled at least $16 trillion to domestic and international banking institutions, much of it through a virtually “free money” policy that could well become permanent. This ongoing “rescue” of finance capital is unprecedented in sheer scope and in the blurring of lines between Wall Street and the State. The routine transfer of multi-billions in securities and debts and assets of all kinds between the U.S. Treasury, the Federal Reserve and corporate accounts, has created de facto structures of governance that may be described as institutional forms of fascism.

These are world-shaking works of Obama-ism. Even Obama’s “lesser” crimes are astounding: his early calls for austerity and entitlement-axing (two weeks before his inauguration) and determined pursuit of a Grand Accommodation with the GOP (a $4 trillion deal that the Republicans rejected, in the summer of 2011) reveal a politician intent on ushering in a smoother, more rational corporate hegemony over a thoroughly pacified civil society. Part and parcel of that pacification is the de-professionalization of teaching – an ambition far beyond de-unionization.

Of course, Obama begins with the delegitimization of Black struggle, as in his 2004 Democratic Convention speech (”…there is no Black America…only the United States of America.”) To the extent that the nation’s most progressive, anti-war constituency can be neutralized, all of Obama’s corporate and military goals become more doable. The key to understanding America has always been race. With Obama, the corporate rulers have found the key that fits their needs at a time of (terminal) crisis. He is the more effective evil.

BAR executive editor Glen Ford can be contacted at Glen.Ford@BlackAgendaReport.com.

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53 comments

The DNC standard for Presidential candidates and wives

Submitted by Richtown on Mon, 10/01/2012 - 12:08.

The DNC has obviously adopted the following standard for their candidates applying for the position of POTUS; two lawyers with one being a former legal representative for Wal Mart, you remember your time in Littlerock don't you Hillary ? What happen to all those lawyer jokes we use to hear ? Considering that a majority of the members of Congress hold law degrees, not an official requirement for the office, I suppose another law has been passed that makes this activity a hanging offense in this country. Considering the afore mention severe penalty for using questionable speech toward those in the legal profession, here's what may be my final act of defiance; What do you call 100 lawyers at the bottom of the ocean ? Answer: A good start ! 

Mr.Ford has struck a nerve this time....

Submitted by morongobill on Wed, 09/12/2012 - 14:33.

And I enter into evidence a certain commentor who brought the teabaggers into the discussion as my evidence. This individual also misrepresented Mr. Ford's writings and positions in other ways as well. There are always lively discussions here with the posts but rarely, if ever, direct attacks upon the writer's integrity or person.

I don't believe that it is any coincidence that Mr. Ford, Mr. Dixon, and others have made what I feel are quite damning attacks on the Obama administration during the time of the conventions, and commentors now coming around and attacking them on this website. I also would make a suggestion to the site operators to keep a close eye on their visitor logs, as other attacks such as the ones that periodically happen over at Chris Floyd's site, might happen here.

I happen to believe that those in power of either political persuasion have crossed over the Rubicon, and are not above taking measures to deal with dissent, whether it is via crushing street protests or by launching cyber attacks upon their adversaries.

Forewarned is forearmed, I think. Perhaps I am over-reacting, maybe, but speaking truth to power is not without risks, and it might be wise to watchout for incoming fire.

Clinton at the Democratic convention: Rhetoric vs. reality

Submitted by Cynical Negro on Mon, 09/10/2012 - 23:35.

With regard to foreign policy, Clinton, like most speakers at the convention, had almost nothing to say, except to praise Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton for demonstrating that “democracy does not have to be a blood sport” but can be “an honorable enterprise that advances the public interest.”

This was said of a president who, according to published reports, holds weekly meetings to personally select individuals, including US citizens, to be targeted for assassination.

Secretary of State Clinton did not attend the convention, as she is currently in Asia pursuing Washington’s unending efforts to diplomatically isolate and militarily surround China.

The Obama White House has, moreover, targeted one head of government after another for overthrow or assassination, with Syria’s Bashar al-Assad currently in Washington’s cross-hairs.

Though Clinton did not mention it, part of Obama’s efforts to maintain continuity with the Bush administration was his selection of Timothy Geithner as treasury secretary.

Geithner, as president of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, had worked closely with Bush’s treasury secretary, Henry Paulson, in overseeing the bank bailout.

Clinton himself had presided over an administration that was slavishly devoted to Wall Street. The manic speculation and soaring stock market of the 1990s were made possible by financial deregulation (including a ban on the regulation of derivatives and the repeal of the 1930s Glass-Steagall Act, moves that were promoted by Clinton’s top economic adviser, Robert Rubin, a former top executive at Goldman Sachs).

The orgy of speculation on Wall Street under Clinton (dubbed “irrational exuberance” by then-Fed Chairman Alan Greenspan) led to the bursting of the dot.com bubble in 2000 and the financial crash of 2008, which set off the greatest world economic crisis since the Great Depression.

Clinton uttered the word “bank” only to claim that “banks are beginning to lend”—a patent falsehood. The handout of unlimited resources by Bush and Obama to Wall Street came with no requirement that the banks use this money to make credit available to individuals and small businesses. Instead, the funds were reinvested in the stock and bond markets and used to speculate in commodities and derivatives, or handed out to executives and big investors.

Clinton reserved particular praise for the restructuring of the auto companies. He claimed that there were 250,000 more auto industry jobs now than when GM and Chrysler were forced into bankruptcy in 2009. In fact, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, only 140,000 motor vehicle and parts jobs have been added since the low point three years ago. In any event, this is only a fraction of the jobs lost since Obama took office.

Neither Clinton nor any other Democrat who came to the stage on Wednesday—including United Auto Workers President Bob King—mentioned that many of the jobs that have been added over the past three years have been at poverty-level wages. Obama’s managed bankruptcy of General Motors and Chrysler was premised on a 50 percent wage cut for new-hires and sharp cuts in benefits for all workers and retirees. This attack has since been carried through the economy as a whole, under the Obama administration’s banner of “insourcing”—i.e., restoring a portion of the lost jobs by lowering the wages of American workers to those that prevail in the cheap labor havens of Asia and Latin America.

Nor did Clinton take note of the fact that 23 million Americans are unemployed or underemployed, and that long-term unemployment remains at record highs.

According to the former president, Obama has taken great strides to address the jobs crisis, but has been stymied by Republicans.

In fact, from the beginning Obama rejected out of hand any government program to put people to work, insisting that job creation be subordinated to the profit interests of the corporations. The “jobs” proposals he has offered consist almost entirely of tax breaks for businesses. Many of the jobs that have been added are low-wage service jobs, while higher paid jobs have been wiped out, according to a recent report from the National Employment Law Project.

The reality is that under Obama, as numerous studies have shown, poverty, hunger and homelessness have worsened and wages have fallen, while the rich and the super-rich have added to their fortunes, leading to a further growth of social inequality. The devastating decline in the economic well-being of the American people was summed up in a bulletin released by the Federal Reserve last June, which reported that the median net worth of US families fell by nearly 40 percent from 2007 to 2010.

Clinton focused particular attention on welfare and health care, defending Obama against the Republicans. In both cases, however, Clinton touted policies that underscore the anti-working class character of the Obama administration.

“Welfare reform” was a key policy initiative of the Clinton administration. The Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Act of 1996 required that individuals on welfare find work after a certain period of time or face termination of benefits. It was a major step in the dismantling of the social safety net in the United States and a significant factor in the huge growth of poverty since the 2008 crisis.

On health care, Clinton responded to Republican attacks on “Obamacare,” opposing any suggestion that it is “a government takeover.” After noting certain regulations on insurance companies used by the administration to sell the reform to the American people, Clinton stressed that the outcome of the legislation would be that “insurance companies—not the government, the insurance companies—will have millions of new customers…”

The fundamental component of Obama’s health care overhaul is the requirement that individuals purchase private insurance or face financial penalties. It will strengthen the domination of these companies over health care, while setting the course for the dismantling of government programs, including Medicare and Medicaid.

The main purpose of Obama’s health care “reform” is to cut costs for corporations and businesses, a fact to which Clinton pointed when he touted a slowdown in the rate of increase in health care costs. Whatever their differences, the Democrats and Republicans share the basic aim of slashing health care costs by reducing care.

Capping off his discussion of domestic policy, Clinton praised Obama’s efforts to address the deficit by offering “a reasonable plan of $4 trillion in debt reduction over a decade” based on a 2.5 to 1 ratio of spending cuts to tax increases.

Clinton’s remarks were hailed by “left” factions of the Democratic Party. The Nation’s John Nichols declared that Clinton “took a rock star turn” in making the case for the reelection of Obama. The speech was “a remarkable performance of a political wunderkind turned senior statesmen,” Nichols wrote.

These comments merely underscore the anti-working class character of the entire political establishment, from the festival of reaction at the Republican National Convention last week to the cynicism and hypocrisy on display at the Democratic National Convention this week.

http://www.wsws.org/articles/2012/sep2012/clin-s07.shtml

Thank you for the breakdown

Submitted by Lady Di on Tue, 09/11/2012 - 10:16.

Thank you for the breakdown of why we should not worship "the Big Dawg" or even call him that.  All I see is a bunch of dogs rolled over on their backs whizzing themselves in deference to some idea of big doggyness.  It's rather revolting.  I am dismayed at John Nichols assessment of Bill Clinton's performance, but not surprised.  It's why I cancelled my subscription to "The Nation" back in 2008.  Before that I didn't know any better and read all those supposed "liberal" magazines like "Mother Jones" and "In These Times".  Fooled me until I met Glen Ford and read Paul Street.  Now I come here for honest and fresh ideas in these times of crisis.  Thanks CN, I look forward to more comments from you.

I would also suggest IanWelsh.net and Left Business Observor. (Doug Henwood is awesome).

Bubba-crats and Nichols

Submitted by sgt_doom on Tue, 09/11/2012 - 18:12.

Thanks, I truly never cared for Nichols, especially the manner he miscalled what happened in Wisconsin:  the same union households (approximately 40%) voted a second time for Gov. Wanker!

It was another dismal showing of the ever-self-destructing business associations which incorrectly refer to themselves as unions.

My description of bubba-crats:

Those who are unaware that Clinton, as governor of Arkansas, killed collective bargaining and helped to make it a right-to-work state.

Those who are unaware that Clinton, as president, helped to offshore even more American jobs than Reagan.

Those who are unaware that Clinton, after leaving the presidency, made over $100 million by lobbying on behalf of the jobs-offshoring industry.

This is the final election, I strongly believe in America --- we are presented with the Anti-Christ, Romney, and his little familiar, Ryan, or Obama, the half-white devil.

Both strongly support the complete privatization of America.

(Meanwhile, the Wall Street-obeying robots keep repeating that mantra:  "Supreme Court choices, Supreme Court choices."

Kinda late in the day for that ......

Frankly Didn't Listen too much to neither Obama nor Raw-Money.

Submitted by Nixakliel on Tue, 09/11/2012 - 01:13.

Because I don't like being lied to, & the liars expecting you applaud their lies. I personally don't like folk to talk to me like I'm stupid.

But the bits & pieces of Obama's DNC speech I did hear, it sounded like he basically recycled what he said at the 2008 DNC confab. It was like he acted as if he hasn't had 4 yrs as POTUS to even try to do half of the stuff he talked about.  

Case in point- he talked about the Repugs agenda for tax-breaks for the rich, as if it was someone else who signed into law the extension of Bush Jr's tax-breaks for the rich- which he could have let expire as he promised he would do.  

Then there's Too Rich / Too Slick Raw-Money trashing Obama{Rmoney}Care as if he was NOT the MA's Gov who signed basically the same prog into law in the state of  Mass. 

I mean these guys are like the mob-boss in 'Enemy of the State' when Will Smith showed him a tape w a close-up shot of him scheming w some guys he was NOT supposed to be even hanging out w- & the Mob-Boss swears 'That Ain't Me'...

OMG

Submitted by trkelly10 on Mon, 09/10/2012 - 20:05.

The people that write for this site are saying absolutely factitious things.  Don't believe a word they are saying.  Go to whitehouse.gov and listen to press conferences completely open and believe me they attack at every opportunity.  Go listen to democracy now.  Go listen to 10 trillion and counting.  Go listen to President Clinton's speech and see if a single fact checker has come out.  Do not listen to these people because they are some where I can't even describe unless they are being funded by some type of tea part organization and calling themselves something else and filling you with in the harshest terms I have ever heard the president say baloney. lol

trkelly10: you called G. Ford "skinny white guy"

Submitted by sanda_artistNYC on Tue, 09/11/2012 - 09:30.

trkelly - a teachable moment  First comment on BAR after seeing Glen Ford on Democracy Now.  Calls Glen Ford "skinny white guy with long hair" in first comment.  Comments reflect no familiarity with BAR and assumes the readers are "sheeple" (thank you, beverly, for having used that word often).     Fascinating.   Never heard the word, "factitious" but I don't think it's poetic license.  When questioned, goes to insults - usual ploy for many a male when questioned.  a teachable moment -

The Truth quickens... To some

Submitted by DAMU99 on Mon, 09/10/2012 - 20:31.

The Truth quickens... To some the truth is comforting. To others is uncomfortable , and disturbing. The truth causes all kinds of reactions within certain people.  Your comment ,and reaction is telling ....

http://www.forbes.com/sites/erikkain/2012/01/02/president-obama-signed-the-national-defense-authorization-act-now-what/

http://www.presstv.ir/detail/2012/09/10/260840/obamas-drone-attacks-are-war-crimes/

http://www.bankrate.com/finance/news/banks-make-25-billion-mortgage-settlement.aspx

I mean we could go on and,on , but the good thing that happened is that you were quickened by what you saw.. Dig deeper....

This is something that is NEVER discussed amongst the masses

Submitted by jbrown12 on Mon, 09/10/2012 - 19:46.

http://projectcamelotportal.com/interviews-list/written-interviews-and-reports/1169-mind-control-compilation-article-by-mojmir-babacek.htmlhttp://projectcamelotportal.com/interviews-list/written-interviews-and-reports/1169-mind-control-compilation-article-by-mojmir-babacek.html

What I don't understand is....

Submitted by jbrown12 on Mon, 09/10/2012 - 13:36.

I watched the debate between Prof. Dyson and Mr. Ford and while I usually believe Mr. Ford and BAR to be spot on in their overall assessments of the government and Pres. Obama in general, I was shocked and dismayed when Mr. Ford intimated that all those close to him will still be voting for Obama in the upcoming election. WHY, is my question. After years of beating the drum about what a corporatist shill he is, why would you then effectively, give an endorsement of the man. On national tv, no less. It sort of negated all that you have written in the previous years.

IMO You Misunderstood Bro Glen Ford RE voting for Obama...

Submitted by Nixakliel on Tue, 09/18/2012 - 22:49.

He Did NOT endorse Obama- even though Dr Mike Dyson tried to corner him on the issue. He said that he knows that many people close to him [IE: friends & family] & many whom BAR associates w politically, are going to vote for Obama - IMO that was just a plain statement of FACT- NOT an endorsement. He then went on to say that he wanted to make sure that, whether folks vote for Obama or not, they understand what Obama's record really has been these past 4 yrs, & that no one tells lies about his record to delude folk [as compared to all the Obama hype in 2008].  IMO That's NOT an endorsement!

PS: I distinctly remember that Bro Ford was definitely NOT hyped up on / nor hyped Obama-laid in 2008!  Nor is he Now!

Glen Ford

Submitted by trkelly10 on Mon, 09/10/2012 - 13:01.

This is right on course for what is going on in politics.  They actually have the Gaul to call this the black agenda report which you know is being funded by far right tea party type organizations which of course are backed by large corporate entities or wealth.  Pretty funny to see skinny white guy with long hair speaking for an organization with this name.  I will have to say they hide it pretty well but the message is the same.  Anything the president has done is wrong and where he has not acted is wrong.  First of all the wars.  Everyone knew Obama would get us out of these wars that had no goal of ending them and wanted to continue supporting the 100,000 contractors in Iraq at conservatively over 10 times the cost of their military equivalent.  Yes he added troops to get it done but that is how you end a war and he did.  Also Afghanistan will end but we all know they will go back and already have to killing each other again.  He is not even close to being a war monger.  His only fault is much of what is occurring in the middle east is because they know the US actually has a president that really supports democracy and doesn't prefer dealing with dictators.  He values the relationship with Russia and does what he want's not to get a consensus in the united nations for military action because guess who gets to do the dirty work.  Romney wants to add trillions to defense spending.  Even more than they asked for where the president wants to reduce spending.  It should be concerning to everyone because under Romney will need to find a way into another conflict for those lucrative defense contracts to take place.  As far as the drone strikes; don't believe what you hear as to innocent civilians being killed.  This gets those radicals knowing at anytime that there intentions of involvement will end their lives.  As far as health care well another did something about it but it is not good enough so we should of done nothing.  You will hear nothing that for the first time health care costs have not risen by double digits for the first time in 50 years.  I know everyone is concerned about the countries debt.  I would highly recommend watching 10 trillion and counting done by PBS and frontline to get a glimpse of the  reality that it is being dealt with.  Don't be fooled by Glen Ford.  His agenda resembles the republicans but in the closet but of course offers no detail on the issues but just vague negative propaganda.  I have already wasted enough key strokes with him.

please identify the "skinny white guy" you mention

Submitted by sanda_artistNYC on Tue, 09/11/2012 - 08:12.

please do.

Glen Ford

Submitted by trkelly10 on Mon, 09/10/2012 - 13:14.

I forgot to add on health care that now 10's of millions of people now have health care and more in the future.  There has already a billion dollar in refunds given to companies and policy owners because insurance companies are required to spend about 80% of premiums on health care which is a gift since medicare overhead runs at about 3%.

trkelly10:Funny 1st comment; re PS: look at R column

Submitted by sanda_artistNYC on Mon, 09/10/2012 - 15:06.

Almost satire. Re your PS: look over to your right and look at the section on Health Care.  Read some of the many many entries on this BAR website.  Adieu.

Propaganda not facts once again

Submitted by trkelly10 on Mon, 09/10/2012 - 18:00.

You think the corporate owned media and opposition would not have jumped all over President Clinton's speech if the facts were not correct.  You should know the answer compared to Ryans speech which was low hanging fruit.  Again your comments are without detail or supporting facts from any legitimate organization.  The great part is this is just the beginning and when states can expand there Medicare programs with the flexibility to administer and allow premium payment signup for some, the pay back will be tremendous.  It only cuts out the insurance companies which are driving all the negative propaganda because they know people mostly make no effort to find the details of the complaints and of course change no matter what you are trying to accomplish is met with fear but in this case will eventually fade.  Get use to it, we are not going back to the past that is embarrassing for a country like ours to not have medical care for 10's of millions of people when it is not necessary and can be done in a cost effective way.  Our problem is the greed of insurance companies, medical providers, and pharmaceutical companies that are driven by nothing more than the bottom line for stock holders, board of directors, bonuses, and stock options for those eligible.  Health care is not something that should ever be driven by such priorities and must have controls put in place.

trk...10:you changed your mind re "wasting type time"

Submitted by sanda_artistNYC on Mon, 09/10/2012 - 19:54.

 Adieu. 

Thank you, Dr Ford

Submitted by rtimothy on Mon, 09/10/2012 - 12:45.

Thank you for your truth-telling, Dr Ford. I have wrestled with Obama since I voted for him the first time and have not seen much movement from corporate influence, Bush policies or movement in the area of human dignity (e.g., continuation by Obama admin with detaining without trial). I expected more out of a Nobel Peace Prize winner. I cannot vote for Obama and definitely will not vote for Romney.

Thank you and keep up the good work.

Peace,

Tim

WE CAN COMPLAIN UNTIL WE PASS OUT!

Submitted by akechlo on Mon, 09/10/2012 - 10:48.

As long as those voices and representatives who are pretending to speak for or represent the smothered voiceless blacks are financed by the non-black oligarchy,  the  poor black communities will never prevail!

Black oligarchy is the tool used to keep 99.9% blacks poor, unemployed and in jail. You do not have to go any further than learn what is going on with the administration and management of Washington, DC, where poor blacks are kraaled in abject poverty by those they call their own. To these paid for black elites, keeping blacks the underclass poor is their tickets to earning a living!

"kralled"....

Submitted by sanda_artistNYC on Mon, 09/10/2012 - 13:12.

?

How the Ruling Class Thwarts Democracy

Submitted by danton on Mon, 09/10/2012 - 08:47.

Never heard of Glen Ford before seeing him on Democracy Now the other day, which led to this website. Being a 55 year old white male Democracy Now is a prime source of insight into the truth the national media doesn't cover. DVD's from libraries are good too, and here's a good one -- The American Ruling Class with Lewis Lapham, found in a public library in the heart of a black neighborhood I'd never gone to before.

How The Ruling Class Thwarts Democracy

by John Kirby

With the 2008-presidential-election cycle already in full swing, it seems a good time to revisit a perennial question in our country's political life, namely, "Who really rules America?"

So many of us Americans, for so long now, seem to feel as though we no longer have a government "of and by the people." Some would argue that we've never truly had one.

Then who does in fact have the power?

Is it the corporations, the banks, or ultra-rich individuals? Do America's rulers tend to live in a particular region or share an ethnicity? Is it some combination, such as the "Liberal Media" or Eisenhower's "Military-Industrial Complex?"

And where do the president, Congress and the political parties fit into all this?

This past year I finished a film, The American Ruling Class, with Lewis Lapham, the long-time editor of Harper's Magazine, in which we set out to ask many of these questions. More importantly, we wondered how we should respond to the answers.

To spice things up and have some fun along the way we decided to go beyond the standard documentary format. After long deliberation, my producer, Libby Handros, and I hit upon what we think is an interesting new genre: the "dramatic-documentary-musical."

We gave Lewis charge of two real-life Harvard graduates, slightly changed their trajectories (they play Yale men, for instance), and set the three of them on a journey through the fabled "corridors of wealth and power."

Every now and again there's an opportunity for a song — at a Yale garden party, a series of low-wage workplaces, a "Camp Thoreau" for kids, and even at a Pentagon press conference.

Along their journey our two young heroes meet a sampling of people that seemed to us to fulfill a few essential Ruling Class criteria: They've enjoyed careers that span the highest levels of the public and private sectors, and in most cases they belong to organizations that have long been associated with establishment power, such as the Council on Foreign Relations or the Trilateral Commission.

We were pleased and surprised to secure interviews with a dozen people from our extensive list: former Secretary of State James Baker, now running the James Baker Institute for Public Policy at Rice University, New York Times Publisher Arthur Sulzberger Jr., investment banker and former Sen. Bill Bradley, former Secretary of Defense Harold Brown, now a partner and financial analyst at Pincus Warburg, former World Bank Chief Economist and then-Harvard University President Larry Summers, to name a few.

Every one of the men with a "former" in their title now occupies a position in a major law firm, a powerful consulting concern, a private equity bank, or a major university. And some of them regularly travel back to Washington, as James Baker recently did as co-chairman of the Iraq Study Group.

Though our list included both those who consider themselves Democrats and those who identify as Republicans, we noticed little real difference in their general outlook on policy matters. And interestingly, they all made the same claim: There is no such thing as a ruling class in America.

The family backgrounds of our interview subjects varied widely. Significant inherited wealth or a famous political lineage was the exception, not the rule. It began to seem to us as if the only true requirement for ruling-class entrance was the ability to serve the status quo well and faithfully.

The two young graduates also run into an interesting assortment of characters from what might best be termed the "other side of the tracks." They meet Barbara Ehrenreich (author of the book Nickel and Dimed) in a chain restaurant, folk singer Pete Seeger on a country road, the late great Kurt Vonnegut on the steps at a New York soirée, the late great Robert Altman outside of a movie theater, and populist historian and activist Howard Zinn on a tour bus that travels back in time to the founding of the country.

Through all these encounters we try to piece together the nature of power in America, how it replenishes itself, and what its ambitions are.

Former State Department spokesman Hodding Carter tells the story of the selection of Jimmy Carter — no relation — by the Eastern Establishment for the post of president of the United States. "But just banging on the door will not get you entrance into these things," he tells one of the young men. "It's . . . the brights."

By virtue of their school background, the two young men at the center of our story are well positioned to be tapped for admission. In fact, all of the establishment figures we met had attended an Ivy League college.

So by something resembling a meritocratic process, almost anyone white and male (there were very few women and minorities on our list) who can scrape together the loans for tuition can theoretically achieve not just wealth but real influence in the United States.

The question our graduates then must ask themselves is: "Should they?" Should they join the winning side in what the economist Doug Henwood calls in our film a "one-sided class war?" A war whose object seems to be to concentrate more and more money and political power in the hands of fewer and fewer Americans?

And if that wasn't bad enough, should they participate in a domestic economic war the cover for which is the constant preparation for and execution of foreign wars?

Since President McKinley and the Spanish-American War, overseas adventures have been the oligarchy's response to the public's demand for reform. Whether it was Populists or Progressives, rank-and-file Republicans or Democrats leading the charge for domestic change, the major party bosses and their partners on Wall Street have worked together in "collusive harmony," in the words of political historian Walter Karp, to divert the country from its just demands by embroiling them in deadly foreign entanglements.

Reform movements are an ever-present worry for both parties' bosses, because any successful reform put forward by regular citizens and insurgents in Congress tends to excite the electorate with the possibility of actually controlling their own government. The ruling class well understands that as the engagement of the citizenry waxes, their own power wanes. And it is war and the threat of war that provide the best excuse for not passing social-welfare legislation, and calling anyone who demands it "unpatriotic."

The tactic of imperial expansion as domestic diversion, begun in Cuba and the Philippines a century ago, has achieved its ultimate expression in the "War on Terror" and the over 130 countries where our military presence is felt.

The cost to Americans is not just measured in our thousands of dead and wounded child soldiers, but in the persistent lack of national health care, decent schools, adequate housing, fair wages and a livable environment.

Our dear old republic, the hope of a New World free of aristocracy and injustice, has now fallen so low into the muck of corrupt privilege and imperial pretension that it rivals the excesses of the worst European autocracies. Though we posses powers and riches undreamed of by the Sun King himself, as of the early 21st Century our rulers have done virtually nothing to raise the great mass of Americans out of ignorance and poverty, and much to ensure that they stay there.

In our film, former Secretary of State James Baker tells us that he "doesn't buy this argument that the defense budget takes too large a percentage of our gross national product."

But one might fairly ask: Does the defense budget, 51 percent of discretionary federal spending, take too large a percentage of our national hope and promise?

How will our two young graduates answer this overwhelming question? Will they try to rule the world . . . or save it? Can they do it from the inside, as Walter Cronkite urges? Or does there need to be a "revolt of the guards," as Howard Zinn insists?

The answers our heroes and the rest of their generation provide will have the greatest imaginable consequences for us all.

John Kirby is director and editor of The American Ruling Class.

© 2007 The Providence Journal

"Never heard of Glen Ford

Submitted by sgt_doom on Tue, 09/11/2012 - 18:26.

"Never heard of Glen Ford before seeing him on Democracy Now.."

Geez, I certainly place Mr. Ford in the same category as Michael Parenti, Prof. Michael Hudson, Chris Hedges, etc.

Certainly hope you've at least heard of those people?

I long ago gave up on Lapham and Harper's --- too many planted stories.  I mean, Kevin Phillips article blaming the economic meltdown on the CPI (Consumer Price Index), claiming it wasn't "really anybody's fault" --- and plenty of other clownish stories in that category.

Who runs America is really quite simple:  the Financial-Intelligence-Complex, fully established during World War II, by the Wall Streeters and their lackeys (Rockefeller, Morgan, Mellon, Du Pont, Harriman, and their lackeys such as Frank Wisner, Sr., the Dulles brothers, Lovett, etc., who would then bounce back and forth between the Street and the senior most intelligence directorates --- note the number of similarly upper-crusty names appearing on the roster of the DIA over the past 30 years).

Basically, the global banking cartel, the global capital holders -- who own the banks, oil companies, munitions companies, pharmaceuticals, mining companies, etc.

Just as the Koch brothers are spending money on those astro-turfing firms for this election, so too are Peter G. Peterson (David Rockefeller's protégé), Richard Mellon Scaife and the Du Pont family --- note the similarity of those super-richy names, please.

Sad, yet thrilling to hear the truth on the TV

Submitted by Lady Di on Sun, 09/09/2012 - 10:55.

When people mourn the loss of Howard Zinn and worry over the age of Chomsky, I say, "But we have Glen Ford."  As always, the originality and laser like logic of Glen pierces through the vaporous gaseous toxicity of the conventions and the apologists for this evil administration like Dyson.  Dyson shouldn't be allowed anywhere near young minds.  Not only were his facts screwed up, but his use of sarcasm in a serious debate was a clear indication that he was way over his head in a one on one with Glen.  (Sarcasm is the go to humor of a middling mind.)

I too was shocked when he said that "predatory lending is curtailed."  Huh?  Blatantly not true.  The banks got $16 Trillion in free money while Obama and Blue Dog Dems supported the banks by not passing "cramdown" legislation except for owners of 2nd homes.  My senator Tester voted on the side of the banks.  He also voted against capping usurous interest rates. (It was the Dems in 1980 voted to exempt federal banks from state usury ceilings.  That opened the floodgates and began the plunge into debt by people whose wages had stagnated.)  And voted against curtailing pay day lending.

Yes, and Dyson said that Obama was about the best we could do and that he was the most progressive president we have had since FDR????   The argument has been made recently that mantle might indeed be for Nixon, but not for the Trojan Horses Clinton and Obama.

Dyson knew Glen's facts and ideas were right so he sunk to calling him names and disparaging him with crazy talk like "In the real world, you can't stand on the sidelines flinging mud."   HIs real world is that world Ron Suskind discovered in his book on Bush where a White House insider said that "we make our own reality".  He tried to disparage again with the term "the politics of disgruntlement" or "rhetorical narcissism" for the principled arguments of Glen and others of the real left.  Obviously he was using transference.  He was the mudslinging disgruntled narcissist, not Glen.

Hope to see more of Glen on the TV. 

Ford-Dyson Debate: further comments

Submitted by sgt_doom on Sat, 09/08/2012 - 15:19.

In going over Prof. Dyson's comments, there are two which really stick out above the rest.

(1) Predatory lending was addressed by President Obama.

Clearly, this is a mistaken notion of Dyson's as predatory lending was most certainly never ended by anything Obama did, or has yet to do, especially allowing the banksters immunity from prosecution for those millions of felonies they committed by filing millions of false affidavits (i.e., robo-signing).

(2) Obama is the most progressive president since FDR!

This is such an outlandish statement it boggles the mind!  Neither Clinton (actually both of them) nor Obama/Biden could ever be remotely described as "progressive."

Note to Prof. Dyson:  you, sir, really must read:

Battling Wall Street:  The Kennedy presidency, by Donald Gibson

Thy Will Be Done, by Gerard Colby with Charlotte Dennett

Brothers:  The Hidden History of the Kennedy Years, by David Talbot

There were three really great intellectual battles I've witnessed in my life, highly one-sided, naturally.

When Prof. Ferdinand Lundberg demolished John Kenneth Galbraith (after publication of Lundberg's book, The Rich and the Super-Rich, Galbraith and Prof. Lundberg had an exchange in the NY Times, Galbraith arguing the status quo, and Prof. Lundberg demolishing him with the facts).

When the "radical" attorney, William Kunstler had an impromptu, unscripted debate with William Buckley, Jr. (unscripted debates weren't the norm for Buckley, and he always lost them) on a popular nighttime talk show many years ago in NYC.

And the Ford-Dyson debate, where Glen Ford demolished Prof. Dyson of Georgetown University, which appears to have an unwritten rule for its faculty members concerning never reading legislation, presidential executive orders signed, etc.  (Reminds one of the great W.E. Dubois-Booker T. Washington debate, with the illustrious Mr. Ford in place of Mr. Dubois!)

W.E.B. Dubois was a sucker MC in his early years, in my book.

Submitted by Cynical Negro on Sat, 09/08/2012 - 21:19.

He believed in top down control of the Black masses by a small black oligarchical elite that's controlled by Wall street. He got Garvey locked up and deported. Why do you think they let this man see the insides of an Ivy League institution in the early 1900's? What do you think they were indoctrinating him with IN THE EARLY 1900's?

Dubois's own words:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jFeD_bHDh2o

His personal attacks against Garvey reveals his hatred for Black people, and some of the race pseudo science being taught at the time at these elite universities.

Booker T. was an educator who got thrust into a spotlight he didn't want! He was expected to be the next Fredrick Douglas, he wasn't perfect, and he was a right winger in a certain way with his Do-4-Self message, but i think people promote this irrational hatred of Washington & Garvey because these two men weren't apart of the Wall street backed, pseudo left, black "Greek" organizations and other similar Black freemasonic bourgeoisie circles. Comparing Booker T. to the Wall street agent Obama, and the Detroit hustler Michael Dyson, is a stretch.

"According to the March 21, 1993 edition of the Memphis Commercial Appeal, in 1917, a Lt Col. Ralph Van Deman created the Army’s black spy network, which snitched on [ALL] black organizations, even black churches. The article names Robert Morton of Booker T. Washington’s Tuskegee Institute, and Joel Spingarn, one of the founders of the NAACP, as operatives in the spy network."

http://www.ballerstatus.com/2011/03/03/rap-riots-rodney-how-rodney-king-...

See my comment here:

http://blackagendareport.com/content/black-secularists-and-church

Great people evolve

Submitted by Fanon on Sun, 09/09/2012 - 15:49.

Du Bois disliked Garvey at that time because Garvey was no intellectual.  He thought Garvery was a demagogue.  Thurgood Marshall also did not have very good words to say about Malcolm X; he claimed in an interview, Malcolm was no role model.  This is where the issue of class becomes the point at which the 'compradors' or elites of the oppressing group collaborate with the oppressors.  Du Bois redeemed himself when he later became the foremost intellectual and brain behind Pan-Africanism.  This is where he became the political father of Kwame Nkrumah.  Sadly, the kind of black elites we have today is the thoroughly corrupted ones.  They are so willing to partner with imperialism and unbridled capitalism for material gain.  It is so sickening a feeling when you come to that realization.

Hey, Big up Glen!  You proved in the debate the Professor is a quack who peddles falsehoods.  A typical black intellectual scoundrel!

The Real History of the Democrat Party....

Submitted by Nixakliel on Tue, 09/18/2012 - 23:16.

The Dims have NEVER been a Truly progressive party!

The Democrat party first came to national prominence w the election of that {in}Famous Slave Owning / Injun Killer- Pres Andrew Jackson in 1828! From that point until at least the advent of FDR the Dims were more influenced by Dixie-crats than by liberal / progressives. In fact Dixie-crats were a main-stay force within the Dims until LBJ's era [who himself was a TX Dixie-crat]- when afterwards Tricky Dick Nixon employed his race-tinged 'Southern Strategy' which drew Dixie-crats who were disgruntled over the Civil-Rights & Voting-Rights act, into a new home w the Repugs, solidified further by so-called 'Reagan Democrats'.

This history of Dixie-crats in the Party of Andrew [Slave-Owning / Injun Killin] Jackson is the main reason Blacks faithfully voted for the GOP party of Lincoln for 60yrs till the advent of FDR's 'New Deal' - when the Dims adopted the name Party of FDR. With all due respect to Dr Mike Dyson- The Democrat Party- Has Never Been a progressive party. They at best have been a 'centrist' / moderately 'liberal' party under FDR, JFK & Carter. Since the advent of Slick Willie & now under Obama they are a Pro - Wall St Bankster / Pro Corporate [= anti working-class though backed by Big Union leadership]- 'centrist' party w so-called 'liberal' positions RE: so-called 'Gay'-marriage & abortion.

Obama is a combo of the pro Wall St / pro-Corporate  / Repug triangulating tendencies of Slick Willie intertwined w the pro- Police State policies under the Bushites phony 'War on Terror' paradigm- on the domestic front... - In combo w the war-making / regime-change foreign policy agenda of LBJ, Tricky Dick / Heinz Kissinger & Reagan / [Mr CIA / Skull{Duggery}& Bones] Bush Sr! The fact that Obama seemingly publicly praises Repug Ronnie Reagan far more than FDR &/or JFK should tell Dr Mike Dyson that Obama's not an FDR styled Democrat! 

PS: Interestingly enough the most pro-peace [or at-least non-war making] US Pres in recent memory was Jimmy Carter. Yet Obama has twice shunned him at DNC confabs in 2008 & now in 2012- by refusing to allow the living elder states-man of the Democrat party to speak at Obama's nominating conventions.

I didn't know this

Submitted by Cynical Negro on Sat, 09/08/2012 - 10:28.

I was looking for the Ford/Dyson clip, and found out The Nation's Melissa Harris-Perry has a big Mormon family on her mothers side:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Obpi2kVF1VE

Glen Ford vs Michael Eric Dyson

http://www.democracynow.org/seo/2012/9/7/effective_evil_or_progressives_...

Part 1: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3K0iEAWRkT4

Part 3: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tm5o-sBCIbM

Clinton at the Democratic convention:

Submitted by Cynical Negro on Fri, 09/07/2012 - 22:04.

"Rhetoric vs. reality"

By Joseph Kishore

http://www.wsws.org/articles/2012/sep2012/clin-s07.shtml

For a breakdown of the Republican convention, go to:

http://tarpley.net/world-crisis-radio/

A breakdown of the Democratic convention will be posted tomorrow evening Sat. September 8, 2012.

A word on Cornel West. I respect the fact that he was the only visible Black public figure to at least voice some kind of concern about Obama's cabinet appointments, his betrayal on card check, and his opposition to any government spending program/bill to put people to work at living wages & benefits.

Cornel West says he's a member of the Democratic Socialists of America (DSA)

http://www.dsausa.org/dsa.html

Maria Svart- National Director of DSA

www.youtube.com/watch?v=0QQoaN_Q-4o

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Democratic_Socialists_of_America

The DSA is affiliated with the Socialist International, who's current president is former Greek prime minister George Papandreou:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Socialist_International

Papandreou is famous for following the austerity diktats of the European Commission, the European Central Bank, and the International Monetary Fund (troika).

http://socialequality.com/
http://socialequality.com/
http://socialequality.com/

http://www.wsws.org/
http://www.wsws.org/
http://www.wsws.org/

Comparing Tarpley vs Dim Apologist Rob Parry on Romney & Racism

Submitted by Nixakliel on Sun, 09/09/2012 - 02:47.

Dim apologist Rob Parry recently did an article entitled 'Is Romney a Racist' [@ http://consortiumnews.com/2012/08/25/is-mitt-romney-a-racist/  ]. His position basically boiled down to though Romney's no KKK styled racist- yet because he made this statement RE: Obama ['Ann was born in Henry Ford Hospital. I was born in Harper Hospital. No one’s ever asked to see my birth certificate. They know that this is the place that we were born and raised.'], he's appealing to the racist 'Birther' wing of the Repugs. Thus, though Parry did refer to Romney's statement in Jerusalem about Israelis are weathier than Palestinians because Jews have a superior culture- his main argument for Romney's so-called 'genteel' form of racism is based on his Birther-Cert joke about Obama- though he didn't mention Obama by name.

Now compare that to Webster Tarpley's article 'Mitt Romney- First Mormon Presisent of the US?' [@ www.globalresearch.ca/mitt-romney-the-first-mormon-president-of-the-united-states/ ]. Tarpely focuses on Romney's Mormonism- which most in the lame-stream media won't touch [Melissia Harris-Perry whose mom is/was a white mormon made note that Romney himself avoids the Mormon issue]. Tarpley talks about the undue influence of what he terms the 'Mormon Mafia' in Biz & Gov't including the FBI & CIA. Tarpley further states: } 'A key feature of Mormonism has historically been an anti-Black racist doctrine, which 'allegedly' ended in 1980. This means Romney was willing to spend more than 3 decades in a blatantly racist church. Because local Mormon churches guaranteed racially segregated congregations, they tended to attract racists. Salt Lake City remains the whitest city in the US, and the top Mormon leaders are all white men. - Romney is running as a businessman, but he is also served for years as a Mormon bishop and also worked as a Mormon missionary in France for 2 years. -  Along with the super-rich Marriott hotel family and the Huntsman chemical fortune, the Romney clan makes up part of an inner elite that control the Mormon Church, which claims 10% of its members’ income, and which owns a minimum of $30 billion in assets... ' {          

Now take that info & couple it w Raw-Money's thinly disguised disdain for poor people which is evident by his Israeli culture is superior to Palestinian's because they're wealthier comment & his earlier declaration while campaigning that 'I'm not that concerned about the poor...'  which IMO 'poor' is code for Black & Brown folk. So we have Dim apologist Rob Parry saying that Romney is kind-a sort-a racist because he alluded to the Birther-Cert hype RE Obama [which IMO basically falls in the same vain as Obama's VP Joe Biden's 'Clean Negro' remark - which NV Dim Sen Harry Reid also made a similar remark RE: Obama]- vs Tarpley's analysis of Romney's position as a Mormon Bishop & missionary even when the LDS Church's 'official' doctrine was blatantly racist- up until 1980.             

Princeton ? ?

Submitted by sgt_doom on Sat, 09/08/2012 - 15:21.

I've always been wary about anyone from Princeton....

???

Submitted by Cynical Negro on Sat, 09/08/2012 - 20:09.

I thought he was moving to James Hal Cone's Union Theological Seminary in the City of New York

Brilliant and masterful debate against Dyson, Mr. Ford

Submitted by sgt_doom on Fri, 09/07/2012 - 14:29.

Mr. Ford completely demolished Prof. Dyson, who seemed only interested in attempting to string as many multi-syllabic words together in one sentence, but never making any sense whatsoever.

Poor and faulty thinking on Dyson's part, although I confess to never caring for either David Bender nor Prof. Dyson, bother political machine hacks who are satisified with the corporate fascist state, as long as a pseudo-dem is ostensibly running it!

The two Wall Street choices this time around, Romney/Ryan and Obama/Biden are unacceptable!

Extraordinary times call for extraordinary people and while we have the most extraordinary socioeconomic political thinker in Mr. Ford, unless he's running for the presidency, I'll be voting for Dr. Jill Stein of the Green Party, the only real democratic candidate I see out there today.

In 1964, the "more effective evil" was Lyndon Johnson, who claimed the opposite of Goldwater during the campaign, then did almost everything Goldwater had promised to do:  wage wars, end the financial transaction tax, etc.  (During Johnson's administration, arms and military aid were shipped to Brazil to aid in the overthrow of their democratically-elected government, the Dominican Republic was occupied by the US military, those 16,792 advisors in Vietnam, which President Kennedy had been planning to withdraw prior to the 1964 reelection campaign (and who were originally sent there by President Eisenhower), under Johnson became over 500,000 troops in Vietnam and a full-fledged land and air war.

When Geo. H.W.Bush couldn't get NAFTA passed, the "more effective evil" was Bill Clinton, who got that job done, much to the detriment of the American workers, and eventually to those in Mexico as well --- along with the immediate privatizing of the Mexican banking system to recapture all that drug money laundering business.

Again, this time around we once again observe the "more effective evil" .....

Listening to Mr. Ford's debate, where he utterly demolished Prof. Dyson was a thing of intellectual beauty.

8:07AM DemNow headlines:Obama's comments drone/targeted killing

Submitted by sanda_artistNYC on Fri, 09/07/2012 - 08:29.

on CNN. See UPDATE below-Glen Ford on DemNow  Obama gives interview with CNN on "criteria for drone atttacks and targeted killing".  It's mentioned in Dem.Now headlines this morning.  Will there be an outcry and where - about this president's policies of kill without jury or charges? UPDATE: 8:18AM Glen Ford on DemocracyNow-debating Michael Eric Dyson re Obama- GFord follows up on "more effective evil". etc.  Excellent Ford.Video of show to be up later www.democracynow.org

Thanks for the Heads Up on DN!'s Glen Ford vs Dyson Debate...

Submitted by Nixakliel on Fri, 09/07/2012 - 12:45.

Eric Mike Dyson is an articulate, slick & fast talking Obama Apologist- who if Bro Glen Ford wasn't firmly rooted in his principled & fact based critique of Obama's first 4 yrs as POTUS, where Obama himself openly stated his intent as a Dim Pres was to make a grand accomodation w hard-line Paul Ryan type Repugs etc- Dyson could certainly fast talk one into going w the Obama flow.

Interestingly enough Dyson kept agreeing w Bro Ford's facts when it came to critiquing Obama... With all his fast slick talking, Dyson's reasons for voting for Obama- like most Dim / Obama apologists, boils down to that too rich / too slick Rmoney & Ryan & those rabid Repugs would be worse!!! Dyson did try to claim Obama{Rmoney}Care as a reason to support Obama. But when Bro Ford explained that it started out in a corp 'right'-wing think tank, & then Repug Bob Dole proposed it when running for Pres in 1996, after which R-Money pushed it thru as Mass State Gov, but it took Obama to roll it out as the US' nation-wide plan after taking Medicare for all off the table from the get-go & sinking the 'Public Option'- Dyson's response effectively- all that's true but since Obama did it it's A-OK [Bro Ford did NOT even get a chance to critique the dubiously legal mandate that forces people by private insurance].

I take particular issue w 2 things Mike Dyson said. 1st} When trying to press Bro Ford on if was he encouraging voters to back Obama or sit it out [he seemed like he thought better trying of accusing Bro Ford of supporting the Repugs & Rmoney], he threw out the stale tired assed Nader stopped Gore from getting into the White-House in 2000 carnard, & speculating how much better the World would have been under a theoretical Gore Presidency [most folks who wet-dream about this fail to mention that Joe Lieberman was Gore's running-mate in 2000]. I'll just make note of it without bothering to explain again why this is blatantly false.

2nd} Dyson made a point of describing Col Khadaffi as a brutal murderous dictator- thus effectively agreeing w last yr's FUK-US NATO's 8 month phony R2P on-slaught on Libya for phony humanitarian reasons. He said this even though he agreed w Bro Ford critique that the assault trashed both international & US constitutional law. This is classic double-talk, going on  about the nuances of liberal hawkish foreign policy. Either you're against US imperialism based on principles- or else you're against it when the Repugs do it, but are for it [or make excuses for it] when the Dims do it. If that's Dyson position RE: FUK-US NATO's assault on Libya, then that's his position RE: US NATO GCC machinations RE: Syria this yr. And if they succeed in over-throwing Assad & send Syria into chaos- next they're going after Iran. Is that where Dyson will draw the line for Obama [certainly he will if Rmoney does it as POTUS]. Guy's like Dyson seem to fail to realize that if they had cried foul in Libya last yr & try to draw the line in Syria, maybe things won't get to the Iranian stage. But if it does at-least they'll have a heck of a lot more credibility than if they wait till Iran to cry foul!

Nixakliel:a rare time that we pretty much agree

Submitted by sanda_artistNYC on Fri, 09/07/2012 - 14:09.

(Glad heads up was useful. I don't listen to DemNow regularly since Libya,)  I was interested in Glen Ford's answer to the trick question re are you saying people should vote for Romney,then?  His reply about not telling people how to vote, that relatives, people he knows are voting for Obama and he's saying people should know the truth and vote for who they want, but not vote based on lies. 

The similar trick question was asked by a caller to Bruce Dixon on Hugh Hamilton's "Talk Back", WBAI show a couple of days ago.  The caller asked Bruce Dixon if he was going to vote for Romney or something like that.(Mr.Dixon was  talking about his essay on BAR below, on the 15 similarites between Obama and Romney).  Mr. Dixon's reply was that he was on the GA State Board (I hope I got it right) of the Green Party and he \\was voting for Jill Stein, Green Party Presidential candidate.  And both Ford and Dixon spoke about the need to organize a movement now.

beverly:wikipedia "Rutherford I.called 'conservative A

Submitted by sanda_artistNYC on Thu, 09/06/2012 - 07:23.

Wikipedia says Rutherford Institute has been called "a more conservative ACLU".  Google says the R.I. did the Paula Jones sexual harrassment suit against Bill Clinton (last night's "star" speaker at DNC- I listened to a few minutes here and there...He was vintage Bill and hard to take.).  So why the preference for the Rutherford Institution instead of the phone numbers of the ACLU or Center for Constitutional Rights or National Lawyers Guild?  The 3 groups I list, particularly the CCR and NLG, have good records and ACLU is doing good work now.  Am curious.

Aren't you being naive about the ACLU?

Submitted by epppie on Thu, 09/06/2012 - 17:18.

I have the impression that it's rather shocking how quiescent the ACLU has become in recent years, as the police state closes in under Obama, despite spasms of criticism towards Obama.  'Progressive' institutions think they can retain credibility by occasionally expressing disappointment with Obama, and perhaps even taking up moderate positions of opposition on particular issues.  They shouldn't get away with that.  I don't have the impression that the ACLU is acting like the house (of freedom) is on fire.  Isn't it?  Maybe it was only a shack to begin with, that everyone called a mansion, but it's burning down now...

eppie:I was thinking recent lawsuits and an online site

Submitted by sanda_artistNYC on Fri, 09/07/2012 - 12:41.

I was thinking of recent lawsuits against the government in recent years and a website I just found, this past week that the ACLU has on gov't spying  www.aclu.org/spy-files   Spy Files- American Civil Liberties Union.

    How do you keep current on what the ACLU is doing? Very little in radio news.  I sometimes hear something on WBAI news or Hugh Hamilton or someone else on WBAI has a guest.  (Note: I support www.takebackwbai.org)  I like your line that it does not seem like they are acting like "the house is on fire" - Do you like the National Lawyers Guild?  or CCR Center for Constitutional Rights?

Full agreement on ACLU

Submitted by sgt_doom on Fri, 09/07/2012 - 14:18.

The ACLU has a really spotty record, with little input from the citizenry, just another donations-seeking outfit.

When they had a really top-notch team of attorneys, they kicked the most honest and ethical ones out during the Joe McCarthy period, when the ACLU embraced McCarthyism (I'm actually old enough to remember that -- those attorneys went on to found the National Lawyers Guild!).

Every few years I correspond with the ACLU's head at that time, asking why they've ignored the most important and pivotal cases, and have yet, over a thirty-year period, to receive any valid response --- just a sluff-off reply at best.

Their history is quite spotty, just liek The Nation magazine.

I remember reading about the purge and said "recent" .

Submitted by sanda_artistNYC on Fri, 09/07/2012 - 19:02.

"recent". What are some of the big cases you think they should have taken?

In 1960, when I graduated from a NYS upstate teachers college, at 20, I was politically uneducated in many ways.  I was OK in some areas- I failed the oral exam of theNYC junior high school teachers license exam,social studies, because I said textbooks were bad and I wanted to use source material.  The cynical examiners knew I had a high enough score on the written exam, taken first, so my overall grade was high enough to pass.  I signed the "loyalty oath" without  knowing that professors at City College were being fired for not signing.  I learned.

beverly:thanks.

Submitted by sanda_artistNYC on Thu, 09/06/2012 - 16:47.

Thanks.  It got me to look up (google) the Rutherford Institute and the Chalcedon Foundation, and the critics of.

Yes, yes, yes! Was feeling like Alice in Wonderland

Submitted by sanda_artistNYC on Wed, 09/05/2012 - 14:55.

I listened to Michelle Obama's speech (but boycott the rest) and felt like there was this huge "disconnect" between the words and the deeds.  Glen Ford's blog essay is one reason why I support BAR. 

Two thoughts while reading this very important G.Ford essay- 1) Bush began his drone policy in the last months of his 2nd term.  It was Obama who made it into the program as it is.

(2) The mention of Mardi Gras- I was reminded of seeing my first Mardi Gras in NOLA, 1966.  Had gone there for (first) spouse's community organizing job in the AntiPoverty Program; he was hired to be the partner of a local man.  The work partner of my spouse invited us to a friend from Tulane's apartment balcony on a main French Quarter street, route for parade.  (The guy who had the apartment was an avant garde theater director teaching at Tulane; spouse's partner was a Black poet, playwright with experience as publicist for NAACP Legal Defense Fund before we knew him.)   It was my first Mardi Gras.  We'd moved there just before Hurricane Betsy, summer 1965 and I began my art career. 

    So here comes the parade.  I'm in front, 2nd floor balcony, the 3 guys behind me as they were taller.  The parade in my face is two rows of white cowboy hatted white men dressed in fancy cowboy outfits on fancy horses with fancy silver and leather decorations on the horses.  Walking on the outer edge, on each side of the double row of riders, was a line of torch bearers, one man with torch walking next to a horse (near the edge of the roadway). It was like 4 lines of marchers wide: a man with a lit torch, a horse with rider, another horse with rider, then a man with a torch, going across the roadway.  The torch holders were Black men wearing tattered rags holding torches with flames.  I burst into tears.  It was ugly, bizarre.  I turned around and asked "how did they get any Black man to do that?".  My spouse's  partner said,
"They go to the NOLA jail to recruit men for the torch bearers.  If someone will do it, they are let out of jail." (The NOLA jail was the holding place for people with parking tickets, those arrested for disorderly conduct, etc.  The jail became well know during the flooding in the aftermath of Hurricane Betsy 2005.  At the time of early  news reports of the flooding, I was out for a (st)roll with spouse and called in, from a street pay telephone, to "Grandpa" Al Lewis' show in the call in section, WBAI- I was carrying a small portable radio, and asked "What about the men in the jail?" on the air.  It came out later that they'd been locked in the jail and abandoned as the waters rose. 

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