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The plan at the base of Trumerica is this.  Blame all woes on the other and then feed the 1% and military industrial complex money to solve problems they have no business trying to solve.

Menon summarizes the current administration quite succinctly:

“Trump also seems determined to stay the course on America’s forever wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. Neither he nor his generals show any sign of abandoning the Obama-era strategy of whack-a-mole drone strikes and raids by Special Operations forces against terrorist redoubts around the world (as witness a recent failed special ops raid in Yemen and 24 drone strikes — half of the maximum number that the United States launched against that country in any preceding year). Trump has already deployed 400 Marines as well as Army Rangers to fight ISIS in Raqqa, Syria, and another thousand troops may soon be heading that way.  And General John Nicholson, commander of the US-led military coalition in Afghanistan, has called for “a few thousand” additional troops for that country.

So expect President Trump to dwell obsessively on threats that have a low probability of harming Americans, while offering no effective solutions for the quotidian hardships that actually do make so many citizens feel insecure. Expect, as well, that the more he proves unable to deliver on his economic promises to the working class, the more he’ll harp on the standard threats and engage in sabre rattling, hoping that a continual atmosphere of emergency and vulnerability will disarm critics and divert attention from his failures.  

In the end, count on one thing: voters who were drawn to Trump because they believed he would rein in interventionism abroad and deal with festering problems at home are in for a disappointment.”

Looks like good times ahead, let us hope the American people can keep their eyes on what is actually important as opposed to the crazed side show this administration is putting on tap.

 

[Source:Tom’s Dispatch]

One of the criticisms of the progressive politics is that the Left has no plan to replace the current maldistribution of power with anything better, or even worse, a sickly mirror image the creates oppression with a different face.

People are organizing on the ground and this is what part of the solution looks like.

“The J – K Plan has three fundamental programmatic components that are designed to build a mass base with the political clarity, organizational capacity, and material self-sufficiency to advance core objectives of the plan. The three fundamental programmatic components are:

Building People’s Assemblies
Building a Network of Progressive Political Candidates
Building a broad based Solidarity Economy”

I highly recommend you go to the Malcom X Grassroots Movement page and check out their entire plan.  But here is an excerpt that I found both inspiring and encouraging with regards to the regrowing of fruitful democratic processes.

“MXGM firmly believes that at this stage in the struggle for Black Liberation that the movement must be firmly committed to building and exercising what we have come to regard as “dual power” –  building autonomous power outside of the realm of the state (i.e. the government) in the form of People’s Assemblies and engaging electoral politics on a limited scale with the express intent of building radical voting blocks and electing candidates drawn from the ranks of the Assemblies themselves. As we have learned through our own experiences and our extensive study of the experiences of others that we cannot afford to ignore the power of the state.

First and foremost our engagement with electoral politics is to try to negate the repressive powers of the state and contain the growing influence of trans-national corporations in our communities. From police violence to the divestment of jobs and public resources, there are many challenges facing our communities that require us to leverage every available means of power to save lives and improve conditions.  We also engage electoral politics as a means to create political openings that provide a broader platform for a restoration of the “commons”[2], create more public utilities (i.e. universal health care and comprehensive public transportation), and the democratic transformation of the economy. One strategy without the other is like mounting a defense without an offense or vice versa. Both are critical to advancing authentic, transformative change.

Fundamental to our engagement with electoral politics is the principle that we must build and employ independent political vehicles that are not bound to or controlled by either of the two monopoly parties in theUnited States. We are particularly focused on building an independent political force that challenges the Two Party monopoly and empowers oppressed people and communities throughout the state of Mississippi. In the effort to build on the legacy of independent electoral engagement by Blacks in Mississippi, MXGM’s members are all registered members of the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party (MSFDP) and are starting to work as activists within the party to extend its reach and impact.

It is this combination of building and exercising dual power – building autonomous People’s Assemblies and critical engagement with the state via independent party politics – that are the two fundamental political pillars of the Jackson Plan.”

The springs of hope bubble quietly.  They require, at first, nothing but an acknowledgement that they exist.  Take your first step.

 

sunnyways    It would be nice if our political class would make the effort to look like they give a damn about breaking their promises to the electorate.  Assigning inexperienced junior ministers to such an important issue, combined with a milquetoast online survey  is setting up the entire process for failure.  And of course, surprise of surprises, the process did not work.

Similarly – here take this ironing board, 3 pennies and a stick of gum – now go make the speedboat of your dreams…   If you aren’t MacGuyver, and clearly the political hacks assigned to this half-dug latrine were not, unspectacular results happen.

“In the lead-up to the 2015 election, Trudeau pledged that a Liberal government would ensure a new electoral system was in place for the next federal vote.

The Liberals regularly repeated that promise through their first 15 months in office, but on Wednesday the government announced electoral reform was no longer a priority.”

See?  The gift of unspecularity is graced on the Canadian electorate.

“In the House, Trudeau said reform might produce “an augmentation of extremist voices in the House,” a potential result that is sometimes associated with proportional representation.

The Liberal cabinet is said to have been overwhelmingly opposed to proportional representation, which aims to allot seats in the legislature in proportion to the national popular vote. Ministers, the source says, believed Canada was better served with broader “big tent” parties.

The source added the ministers were concerned that proportional representation could open the door to smaller regional or fringe parties in the House of Commons, including the alt-right, a loosely defined political movement that includes white nationalists and white supremacists.

The spectre of such a party holding the balance of power in Parliament is said to have been raised.”

This excuse is the offspring of what happens when two lame ducks come together in unctuous union.   The alt-right holding the balance of power in Canada?  It would have been more convincing if you has said that if we had PR the ghost of Brian Mulroney (yes, he’s still alive, but ethereal BM is much more scary) would appear in Canadian’s bedroom closets and read his memoirs to them.  Now that is some chilling shit right there.  *shiver*.

Give us a frack’n break Liberals.  :/

“Beyond the government’s lament that no “consensus” on the issue of electoral reform had been achieved, the prime minister’s comments in the House suggested a concern about the risk of moving forward.

“It would be irresponsible for us to do something that harms Canada’s stability,” Trudeau said Wednesday.

“The fact of the matter is that I am not going to do something that is wrong for Canadians just to tick off a box on an electoral platform,” he later added. “That is not the kind of prime minister I will be.”

During question period on Friday, NDP democratic reform critic Nathan Cullen responded to Liberal concerns about fringe or alt-right parties. 

“In their desperate attempt to justify their betrayal on electoral reform, Liberals are reaching for any excuse, however ridiculous or absurd,” Cullen said.”

I see you have no problem in harming the political future of the Liberal Party in Canada.  JT, you just shat the bed of credibilty with your base, the swing voters, and the ABC crowd.  Those poor bright clear eyed liberal youth just experienced why you shouldn’t trust your political leaders.

Maybe now all you young pups can just back the fuck down a bit and take this bitter pill to heart and start to understand the older generation and their cynicism when it comes to politics.

Nah, probably not, Mr.Sunny-Ways won’t stop the reefer train so he’ll still get your vote.  I hear the Ganja dulls the senses – makes you less likely to hear the tortured screams of our Democracy that just got drug out behind the woodshed for a good beating.

“Donald Trump got elected on first-past-the-post with no problem. A fair voting system is the actual antidote to such campaigns like his…. Proportional representation elects more women, more diverse parliaments and forces parties to work together and bring a country like Canada together.”

Cullen alleged that the Liberals abandoned electoral reform “not because it was a threat to Canadian unity, but because it was a threat to the Liberal party.”

Always good to keep one’s political priorities straight.  :/

 

[Source: CBC]

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Where do elite priorities lie?  Follow the coverage.

“Q: Moving on, has the media changed landscape since you wrote ‘Manufacturing Consent’ in 1989? Is the media manufacturing consent now?

A: Well, we didn’t actually say that media is manufacturing consent; we said that -that is what they are trying to do. We discussed the nature of the media. There’s a separate question – to what extent is it effective? And that’s an interesting question, but we didn’t discuss it. They’re still doing it in the same way. In fact, dramatically. Take November 8, two things of critical significance happened on November 8. One of them was massively reported, the other, which was much more important, received no report – that was the Marrakesh Conference of two hundred countries that tried to implement the Paris programmes to try to save the human species from destruction. That’s a lot more important than what happened in the US election. And, in fact, it was undermined by the US election. What happened in Morocco is astounding if you look at it; one country was leading the way to try to save civilization from self-destruction. One country was way behind, trying to lead the way towards self-destruction, the first was China the second was the United States. That is a remarkable spectacle. Did you see a comment on it?

Q: Nothing.”

 

Noam Chomsky interviewed in the Sri-lankan Daily Mirror.

Class based analysis of the system is what is required in order to raise consciousness so the work can be done to change the ground rules that are making a hot mess of things .

“A now-retired colleague of Marxist persuasion once remarked on what he saw as a telling omission on the part of many academics who study inequality. He observed that while everyone agrees that racism and sexism are wrong and should be eradicated, few people make the same argument about class. “Why is it imperative to oppose racism and sexism,” he asked, “and not class?” Between us, it was mostly a rhetorical question. We knew that the answer had to do with academics’ class privilege and need to embrace an ideology of meritocracy to justify that privilege. To call class into question would be to question not just a system of inequality but our own deservingness.

While social scientists certainly haven’t ignored class, the attention we’ve paid to it usually takes one of two forms: using class as a variable to predict the attitudes or behaviors of individuals; or studying the lives of people in certain class categories (e.g., ethnographic studies of working-class communities). Such studies can be useful for showing how people experience and are affected by their class locations. What’s typically missing, however, is analysis of how the class system works—how it is used by those who control the means of production and administration—to generate and maintain the inequalities that shape people’s lives.

Part of the problem is that some of the conceptual language useful for unpacking these matters has been stigmatized. The language exists but using it carries a high risk of being dismissed as an ideologue. To speak of a growing gap between productivity and wages over the last thirty years is acceptable. To speak of wage stagnation as a partial result of declining union membership is okay. To speak of ever more wealth accruing to the richest 1% is now within respectable bounds. But to speak of an increasing rate of expropriation enabled by capitalist victories in the class struggle is to invite trouble. Or invisibility.

This is not just a matter of how class is talked about in academic circles. How we study, talk about, and write about class has wider consequences. Focusing solely on diversity, inclusion, privilege, and mobility means having little to contribute when it comes to challenging capitalist power, advancing working-class interests, or transforming capitalism as a whole. It means, in effect, accepting a soft ringside seat.”

by Michael Schwalbe (writing in Counterpunch).

Dear US citizens who want to move to Canada because of the election,

Recently your country has elected Donald Trump to be your president for the next four years. This concerns a great deal of us up here in Canada (and conversely there are some up here that think it’s a great idea). I’m sure it concerns many of you too. In fact I know it as it is hard to escape this reality. The blogosphere, Facebook, Reddit, and even the coffee room is abuzz with this. #Notmypresident is a thing now. People are talking about impeachment before Trump has served a day in office. I get it, people are upset. However I have a few talking points I would like to convey to you at present.

First off, Canada is not a consolation prize, it is a privilege to live here and one that is very difficult to achieve. Just because you don’t like the outcome of your election doesn’t mean we want you here. Quite frankly, we don’t have room. I mean if we even take half of the people who voted for Clinton then we would double our population. But to be honest, we don’t really want you here. We like being your neighbours, but we don’t really want you to move into our house when your left hand is upset with your right hand.

Second, I think you are needed in the USA. Honestly. I really do. Someone has to undo the damage your Democratic Party has done to its base. What they did to Bernie and his supporters is beyond the pale. Actively working against one candidate and for another when they were supposed to be impartial, gaslighting Bernie’s supporters when they complained, impugning their integrity after Wikileaks proved you worked against them, telling them you could win the election without them and you were better off without them. Give your head a shake. You need to make up with these people and then you need to come up with a way to join together. Otherwise what you are looking at in your home is going to become a very familiar story.

Third, you need to get over the delusion that things were that much better under Obama. Obama also has been bombing the shit out of brown people, more so than Bush ever did. He gave you a shitty healthcare option that only gave the health insurance companies more power when he could have pushed for single payer when the democrats owned the Presidency, the House and the Senate. He never did close Guantanamo nor did he even stop the torture that was happening there. Then there was the incident where that man literally went to Flint, Michigan and drank poisonous water and declared it safe. Sure, harm was very unlikely to come to him from drinking such a little amount however is sure as fuck was and still is, to this day and beyond, to all the residents of Flint whom are still there being forced to deal with what I would describe as Hell. If you think I’m being facetious about Flint, think again. If you were the mother of a small child in Flint and are without means, your options are to knowingly poison  your children and let them die a slow death or to deny them water and let them die a fast death. The icing on this Hell Cake is when the guy who is supposed to be on your side, Obama, the President of the people, comes to Flint, and you get your hopes up that he’s going to fix this mess but then he not only doesn’t but he almost literally stabs you in the back instead. So Trump might be a lot of things but to date I don’t think he’s ever actually perpetuated the poisoning of an entire community.

Fourth, and finally (not because I couldn’t go on, but because this is getting too long to retain the reader’s interest) you have one of the biggest privileges known to man in this word, that being having citizenship in the most powerful country in the world. With that citizenship you can actually get involved in the democratic process and be the change you want to see. Bernie supporters, this goes double for you. You need to double down and get involved in the party you were so motivated  to elect Bernie to just a few months ago. Bernie always said he couldn’t do this alone, that he needed people like him to be elected in all the different offices aside him for him to do the things he wanted to do. This remains true today. And it is now, the “quiet” periods of politics where these shifts really happen. If you want the revolution that Bernie offered then now is the time to go out and make it happen! It certainly won’t happen if you run away to a different country.

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