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Monday, January 16, 2017

JAKE'S WORD: The Accidental President 

As always. Right on the mark.

While Democrats and some Republicans rant and rage and cannot seem to come to terms with reality (nothing new there), the rest of the U.S. has accepted the outcome of the election and tries to find some reason to be optimistic.

We tell ourselves that he has thrown the stagnant and unresponsive political establishment into disarray. Can this be a bad thing?

We hope that Trump’s narcissism will at least occasionally intersect with the interests of the American people.

But it is indeed a crapshoot. We will see. But we will have to see it, if we are to see it clearly, outside the domain of the media establishment that created this monstrosity.

The facts will be there plain enough - in the policies, in the executive actions, in the appointments.

Perhaps the two parties will reconstruct themselves into actual representatives of the the people and sponsor candidates for the presidency in four years that are both qualified and connected to our concerns.

Considering the abject blindness that has given us the accidental president, all of this may be wishful thinking.

Very soon we shall see where this strange and impulsive experiment leads.

Thank you for your words, your wisdom and your concern. You are a true citizen.


RANDOM'S RESPONSE:

I thank you for your analysis. It appears neither of us have a great deal of confidence in the coming presidency. They say god works in mysterious ways; maybe random fluctuations in the political sphere will in the end produce some benefit to humankind. We can never know. I suspect the president-elect won't last too long. The game is afoot and the stench of betrayal surrounds this pretender. My hypothesis is the Russians had the goods on FBI Director Comey. My hope is it all comes to light. I suspect that Putin was the player in this drama and Trump was merely a piece on the board -- albeit a King....

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Saturday, January 07, 2017

DARK DAY DEMOCRACY: THE ACCIDENTAL PRESIDENT 

JAZZMAN CHRONICLES: DISSEMINATE FREELY.

By Jack Random


The rage has subsided, the streets of protest have calmed and the process of accepting a cataclysmic event is well under way. Donald J. Trump will become our next president. We must now accept that the impossible – or what we considered impossible – has happened. An arrogant, bombastic overlord of the business world, wearing the mask of a populist, has stumbled into the White House and will awaken on January 21st the most powerful man on earth.

No one can read the mind of a megalomaniac but I suspect the Donald never actually intended to become president. He wanted to boost his brand and quite possibly launch a cable television network that would rival Fox News [1]. His is an accidental presidency and he now faces a critical choice: He can either be president, a responsibility only he believes he is qualified to undertake, or he can delegate the presidency as his Republican predecessor George W. Bush did. Given the makeup of his cabinet-in-waiting I don’t know which is more daunting.

We who oppose this president also face a choice: We can assume the role of resistance, opposing everything this man says and tweets in his midnight ravings, or we can wait and see what he actually does.

I fully understand the instinct to blanket resistance. I opposed Trump the candidate as much for who he is as for what he proposed. I opposed a candidate who played the white supremacy card to sweep the South in the Republican primaries. To those who say it was only politics I would argue that a candidate cannot play the racist card without harboring racist views. Even his fondness for Russian Czar-President Vladimir Putin may have been calculated to appeal to the white supremacist community [2].

I opposed a candidate who never failed to paint whole communities, races and religions, with the broad brush of bigoted stereotypes. I opposed a candidate who held facts in contempt and disseminated fake news like it was manna from the gods instead of false propaganda from rightwing media and Russian sponsored web trolls. I opposed a candidate who was caught on tape admitting to serial sexual abuse of women.

Because he so frequently discarded facts and promoted mythology, I did not believe him even when his policies seemed in harmony with my own – most prominently, trade policy.

When all is said and done, I was stunned, enraged and ultimately impressed. The team of Donald J. Trump ran a perfect, Machiavellian insurgency campaign. They parlayed a thirty percent base into a forty-six percent block that swept through the rust belt with a promise of resurgent industrial jobs. They masterfully exploited the anti-democratic flaws of the Electoral College. They took a billionaire elitist and portrayed him as a champion of the working class.

Of course, none of that would have been sufficient without a tone-deaf Democrat who gathered her sense of the people’s mood from pollsters at a Starbuck’s on Fifth Avenue. Hillary Clinton didn’t believe that people were dissatisfied with a healthcare law that failed to fulfill its fundamental purpose: making healthcare affordable. She didn’t bother with a rust belt sweep in the closing weeks because (1) she didn’t believe it was necessary and (2) she couldn’t bring herself to repeat the lie of her opposition to Free Trade – a lie that Bernie Sanders forced her to speak.

Trump stumbled into the presidency on waves of deep discontent and a convergence of circumstance that tipped the election on its head in the waning days of a long and torturous campaign.

If FBI Director James Comey had not issued his eleventh hour reopening of the email investigation, the media firestorm over Trump’s long history of groping and degrading women would have continued unabated. If Hillary Clinton had countered Trump’s march through the rust belt with her own promise of Fair Trade instead of sticking with identity politics, she would have carried the day. If the media had fixated on conflict-of-interest and Russia’s clear attempt to influence our election as they did on the email scandal, we would not be facing the prospects of a Trump presidency.

We are where we are for a multitude of reasons, not the least of which is the wholesale failure of the two-party system to address the fundamental needs of its citizens.

We are stuck with an accidental president who will improvise through the next four years. His God is and always has been the profit motive. You can’t teach an old dog new tricks. He has no ideology to guide him and no principles to constrain him. His policies are late-night sketches on a napkin. Instead, he has his loyal advisors, each of whom has his own agenda and can’t wait for a chance to influence the new chief executive.

The first hint of the accidental nature of his leadership came in the form of an impromptu trip to Indiana where the president-elect negotiated to keep an American industry from exporting jobs. So said the Donald: “I said Carrier will never leave but that was a euphemism. I was talking about Carrier like all the other companies from here on in, because they made the decision."

For the record, a euphemism is a polite term for something unpleasant – like downsizing for mass layoffs or Free Trade for labor exploitation. Maybe the new leader of the free world meant aphorism. Who knows? Whatever he meant, he probably did not mean that he would repeal the nation’s Free Trade policy and replace it with Fair Trade. For the record and for the next president’s enlightenment, Fair Trade requires that our preferred trading partners respect and protect the rights of labor so that our own workers can compete on a level playing field.

Remember: The next president promised the workers of Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin that he would bring back jobs. If he thinks negotiating with every business that proposes opening a plant in Mexico will fill the gap, he is badly mistaken and must be called to task. If he leads the repeal of NAFTA, CAFTA and other Free Trade deals and insists on bringing labor to the table, however unlikely, we must support his efforts. Pending further developments, Mr. Trump deserves some credit for being the first Republican presidential candidate to oppose the bipartisan trade policies that have prevailed since the Clinton administration.

On healthcare, the accidental president has painted himself into a corner before taking the oath of office. He wants to keep the popular components of the ACA (Affordable Care Act) while cutting out the unpopular components (insurance mandate). He hopes to pay for it by opening up interstate competition. Wouldn’t it be strange if that approach actually worked – or even if it works better than the ACA? He is walking a tightrope. Cutting twenty million people from the insurance rolls is untenable. Allowing the insurance companies to keep jacking up the rates is unacceptable. Welcome to the White House, Mr. Trump!

On foreign policy, Mr. Trump promised to be unpredictable and seems destined to fulfill at least that promise. So far he has threatened a preemptive strike on North Korea to prevent deployment of a long-range missile, demanded compensation of some sort from China for our trade imbalance, delivered a promise of unconditional support to the Israeli rightwing for expanding the settlements in violation of international law and proclaimed a new world order headed by Emperor Putin and King Trump.

The president-elect has issued a challenge to the American intelligence community, citing WikiLeaks’ Julian Assange and the bogus weapons of mass destruction claim that laid the groundwork for the Iraq war. It would carry more weight if he appeared motivated to uncover the truth. Instead, he looks like a man who wants to legitimize his election while affirming his affinity for all things Russian.

To these eyes, Julian Assange is no less credible than Director of Central Intelligence John Brennan. The CIA did in fact tailor their findings, without regard for objective data analysis, to the political demands of the Bush administration. While Brennan was not in charge at the time, he was in charge when the CIA hacked the computers of the Senate Intelligence Committee in a blatant attempt to alter their findings on torture during the Bush years [3].

Of course, none of this counts until the next president takes the oath and pledges to uphold the laws of the land. We can only hope that he delivers on some campaign promises (repeal NAFTA, CAFTA, block the TPP, rebuild the nation’s crumbling infrastructure and refrain from unnecessary wars) and fails to deliver on others (withdraw from the Iranian nuclear disarmament agreement and the Paris climate change accord, build the wall, bring back the coal industry and deregulate Wall Street).

The one certainty is that we have never had a president like Donald Trump. We know that he has an ego as large the known universe, he loves the camera and he is not bound by what he says on a day-to-day basis. He can love you one day and fire you the next. He can be your best friend and your worst nightmare.

Who knows? Maybe he’ll wake up tomorrow and become the president we want him to be. It’s a crapshoot. They tell me it makes for compelling television (I like a good script myself). It’s like watching a high-speed train trying to stop on a short track. You fear the worst, hope for the best and you can’t take your eyes off it.

Jazz.


1. “Is Donald Trump’s Endgame the Launch of Trump News?” by Sarah Ellison. Vanity Fair, June 16, 2016.

2. “Extremists Turn to a Leader to Protect Western Values” by Alan Feuer and Andrew Higgins. NY Times, December 3, 2016.

3. “The Google Search that Made the CIA Spy on the US Senate” by Jason Leopold. Vice News, August 12, 2015.


JACK RANDOM IS THE AUTHOR OF NOVELS, PLAYS AND POLITICAL ESSAYS, INCLUDING THE JAZZMAN CHRONICLES, VOLUMES I-X, AND WASICHU: THE KILLING SPIRIT. HIS WORKS ARE AVAILABLE AT AMAZON.

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Saturday, November 12, 2016

ELECTION POSTMORTEM DIALOGUE 

JACK RANDOM, JAKE BERRY, CHRIS MANSEL & JIM WIZ.

On Nov 9, 2016, at 2:15 AM, Jack wrote:

Jake:

Well, my friend, it seems we are all living in Alabama now. I look forward to seeing your take on this event.

It's late & I've had a bit to drink.

Peace & Good Morning in the new America!

Jack,

Good to hear from you on this darkest of November evenings. Like everyone else I believed the polls. They are just another example of how the media created this problem then failed to address it as anything more than spectacle. People responded to the spectacle, now we all have to deal with the reality of Donald Trump as President.

I want to hope that the bigoted rhetoric of the campaign was only to bring people into the system. I want to hope that he really does rebuild the infrastructure and put millions of Americans to work at decent wages doing it. I want to hope, but I see no reason to do so.

As someone who has lived in a state largely run by people like hose who so passionately supported Trump, I want to assure you that you can survive, even thrive, in an adversarial environment. Arlo Guthrie once said that if we lived in a perfect world we wouldn’t have anything to write about. It appears we’re going to have a flood of resources from which to draw inspiration.

And hey, pot is legal in California!

It may be a new America, but we’re still part of it, and we will continue to exercise the full freedoms of our birthrights as Americans and our occupations as children of boundless imagination.

Take your rest my brother. Tomorrow, like every other day, we have work to do.

Jack:

I went to breakfast at my usual redneck diner at 6 am, everyone was glum, then to the grocery store and stood in line with half a dozen old farts buying lotto tickets, then to the auto parts store followed by the lumber store. It was not until I got back to my studio where the Uzbekistan woman working for me announced the news. Amazing. I guessed wrong and I have to admit my heart sank for a while and the embarrassment for our [electoral] system has risen to a level that should not exist.

Hope you are well.

J:

I encountered a similar response at the local Raley's. Not that I didn't know. I did. We all did. But no one wanted to acknowledge what had happened. We still don't. The people on the streets have broken the silence. I don't know what happens next but I have a sense it ain't good. As Jake says, at least we have food for the creative appetite. Peace be with you brother.
Jack:
It could be that this is the turning point, the kick that finally sends the moderates out? The last man on the skyscraper to jump finally realizes there is a way and he was wrong all the time. Maybe we can realize that the focus needs to be not on the single mindedness of the campaign and realize that what Bernie Sanders grassroots idea was the way to go or like Francis Crick said, "It is the molecule that has the glamour, not the scientists."
Chris
Jack,

Thank you for yet another thoughtful, reasonable response to the debacle in which we live - the American empire. I hope others will read what you have to say and take it into consideration. It is a valuable addition to a conversation that is unfortunately as polarized as the election itself.

Hilary Clinton is a very capable leader, a canny politician and would have brought a wealth of experience to the job. What she apparently could not bring was any new ideas. We were likely to have four more years like the last eight - mostly stalemate. Though Clinton’s version would have been even more acrimonious on both sides. Roughly half of those that chose to vote (which was roughly half of those that could have voted) decided they’d had enough of that particular show and thought they’d give the clown a chance. Unsurprisingly, three days after the election he’s still acting the clown.

It occurred to me today that since 1992 the Democratic candidate has received the most votes in every presidential election except one (2004). More Americans prefer a Democratic president. The problem is that most of them live in the population centers. Obviously people who live in and near cities and those that live in small towns and rural areas have a different idea of what civilization is and how it should be governed.

Now we are left to observe Trump choosing a cabinet. Since no choices have been announced yet I am hopeful that he will choose people that do not have strong loyalties to either political party establishment. If he governed as an independent and forced both parties to restructure according to something closer to a reflection of the actual populace we might at least see some change in the way the work gets done in D.C. If he draws from the usual gang of supply-siders and neo-conservatives no one will gain anything - including the people who voted for him.

As you say, we will survive. Yes. And so will America the empire, unfortunately.

Have you seen the new Adam Curtis documentary, HyperNormalisation? Like his other docs, worth watching: https://youtu.be/-fny99f8amM

See you round the edges,
Jake

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MOURNING IN TRUMPLANDIA: ELECTION POSTMORTEM 

By Jack Random


Everyone who thought they knew anything about politics in America awakened Wednesday morning in an unfamiliar land. Through the rigged system known as the Electoral College, we have elected president a man who promised to build a wall that – if ever built – a future president will promise to tear down. We have elected a man who cynically and skillfully capitalized on bigotry, racism, sexism and fear to navigate his way through the electoral process. We have elected a man who was caught on tape admitting to serial sexual abuse of women. We have elected a man who scorns facts and holds science in contempt. We have elected a man whose understanding of complex issues is reduced to bumper sticker slogans.

It happened. The Cubs won the World Series and Donald J. Trump was elected president of the United States of America. Those who supported him must be accountable for what happens next and those who opposed him must resist his regressive policies. But before we deal with the implications of a Trump presidency, we need to understand how it happened. What follows is my contribution to that conversation. In my estimation, the election of Trump required a perfect storm. These are the factors that made it possible in order of importance.

1. THE COMEY EFFECT.

On Friday, October 28, FBI Director James Comey issued his infamous letter to congress, implying that the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s emails had been reopened. To that point Clinton was comfortably ahead in the polls, the daily news drumbeat was all about the women Trump had groped, and the momentum was all on Clinton’s side. Trump was dead in the water. It hardly matters that on a Sunday, two days before the election, he recanted his story. The damage was done. The Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation inserted himself into a presidential election, reversed the polarity of the race, and attempted to cleanse his hands of the mess. It was an egregious affront to the democratic process. Director Comey should step down.

2. OBAMACARE PREMIUMS.

At the end of October a government report revealed that health insurance premiums under Obamacare would rise by an average of 25% in the coming year. The report highlighted what most Americans already knew: That the Affordable Care Act has failed in its most fundamental intent. It failed to make health insurance affordable. The Obama-Clinton response that there are good things about Obamacare, that 20 million people who didn’t have any insurance now do, that insurance companies can no longer disqualify a person with pre-existing conditions, was tone deaf. For years liberal Democrats have lamented that so many people vote against their own financial interest. Well, this issue hit us where we live. We didn’t need a government report to know that the cost of health insurance is out of control. How many of those 20 million people who now have insurance actually want it? We certainly don’t want it at any price. Sure, insurance companies can’t turn you down for a pre-existing condition but what prevents them from jacking up the rates until you bleed? There are in fact many reasons why the Affordable Care Act failed but the most fundamental is this: It retained the health insurance industry. If health care is a right, then Medicare for all is the solution. Bernie Sanders knew this. At one time Hillary Clinton knew it as well. If she didn’t she should now: It cost her the election.

3. TRADE POLICY.

There was a time when Free Trade was the hallmark of Republican economic policy. Bill Clinton changed that equation with the North American Free Trade Act. That act was the beginning of the end of American industry. It marked the beginning of the end of the working middle class and strong union representation. With the Free Trade mandate the Democratic Party ceased to be the party of labor. The new Clinton Democrats needed a new foundation and they looked to Wall Street to supply it. Though he never seemed to understand the premise of Fair Trade, Bernie Sanders understood what NAFTA and CAFTA had done to the workers of America. He understood that the Trans Pacific Partnership represented more of the same and he managed to pull Hillary Clinton to his side of the issue. But once the nomination was secured all talk of trade policy disappeared from the Clinton campaign speech. She was never credible on trade policy. She clearly represented Wall Street. So when Donald Trump went to Wisconsin, Pennsylvania and Michigan with a promise to bring American industry back, the voters were ready to listen. At least someone was willing to talk about it and his name was not Clinton.

4. IDENTITY POLITICS.

It is typical of political parties that they take a winning strategy and work it to its death. The famed Obama coalition that won two close presidential elections was supposed to be good for several more cycles – at least until the Republicans found a way to appeal to minority voters. Barrack Obama, perhaps the best politician we are ever likely to see, could get away with Wall Street sponsorship and the compromised policies that went along with it because he was the first black candidate and he advocated progress on social issues. Hillary Clinton picked up the banner and ran with it. She felt certain she could sidestep her close relationship with the elites of Wall Street because she would be the first woman president and she too would advance social issues.

The Democrats went to the well one too many times and the well went dry. The Black Congressional Caucus lined up to support Clinton and effectively eliminated Bernie Sanders from the competition but they could not get the African American community to show up at the polls in the numbers required for victory. The Hispanic vote was supposed to make up the difference but it too fell short. This time we needed more than the first woman president and social issues. We needed policies that spoke to us where we live. We needed someone committed to Fair Trade and universal healthcare. We needed someone who had a viable plan to bring back the middle class. We needed someone who cared for us more than for the fat cats on Wall Street.

No, Hillary, we really didn’t care about your damned emails. We just wanted someone we could believe in. The electorate did not reject you because you’re a woman. They rejected you because they did not believe you stood with them.

5. A RIGGED SYSTEM.

This one is dripping with irony. As I write these words, Hillary Clinton is winning the popular vote for president of the United States. Al Gore won the popular vote in the pivotal year 2000. Had Gore become president instead of George W. Bush we would certainly have a different nation and worldview today. Maybe Gore would not have brushed aside that daily briefing warning that Osama bin Laden was planning an attack on US soil. Maybe it would have happened anyway. Whatever his response to that terrorist attack, it would almost certainly not have included starting a war in Iraq that predictably became a never-ending clash of civilizations.

How many times can we observe this result and still defend the antiquated Electoral College System? The system is rigged in innumerable ways. It offers endless barriers to third party and independent candidates. It requires vast amounts of money to stage a viable campaign. The media is biased – not in favor of parties or candidates but in favor of the corporate entities that own them. Voter suppression is an accepted political strategy when it should be a crime. Nevertheless, the most obvious and egregious betrayal of our representative democracy is the Electoral College. Had we gone about the business of ending it in 2000, we’d still be counting meaningful votes today.

We have had bad presidents before. Franklin Pierce conducted séances in the White House and based policy decisions on Tarot readings. His presidency paved the way for the Civil War. Andrew Johnson did all he could to undermine the emancipation and mitigate the twelfth amendment, sealing the racial divide that persists to this day. Andrew Jackson defied the Supreme Court and relocated the Cherokee nation in what is known as the Trail of Tears. Warren G. Harding gave us the Teapot Dome scandal and a legacy of corruption. Herbert Hoover’s response to an economic crisis gave us the Great Depression. Richard Nixon resigned in disgrace. George W. Bush delegated his presidency to his twisted vice president and left a legacy of global economic collapse and perpetual war in the Middle East.

We survived them all and we will survive Donald J. Trump as well.

Jazz.

JACK RANDOM IS THE AUTHOR OF THE JAZZMAN CHRONICLES, NOVELS AND SHORT STORIES. HIS PUBLISHED WORKS ARE AVAILABLE ON AMAZON. HE HAS POSTED COMMENTARIES ON COUNTERPUNCH, DISSIDENT VOICE AND NUMEROUS OTHER WEBSITES.

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Tuesday, August 23, 2016

MIND OF MANSEL: THE PLAYWRIGHT 

The Playwright

He wonders this morning as he often does if August Strindberg went for a walk in present day America would it inspire him to write a play. Just a day ago he wrote, “How can you trust your enemies when you don’t know yourself?” Often these thoughts were around him but as often than not he thought about Strindberg taking on a role in a world created by Beckett, wandering a wasteland. Maybe it was a wasteland.

In one version Strindberg had the body of a workman and carried a large toolbox with both hands over a mountain. As he walked he recounted the last days of his life in chronological order. “Two weeks before my death, I took it upon myself to arrange every photograph of myself by throwing them off a cliff into a raging sea. Let the beasts of the sea rest them on a shore somewhere and that is how a biographer will find me.”

In another he is paralyzed in a hovel in India. His eyes look about until they meet mine. This being a dream he looks into the camera. He speaks to me with his thoughts. The voice the dream creates is harsh and old. He flashes a set of teeth that is loosening as the dream goes on. I find myself shaking as he speaks. “In the Ganges you will find the words needed for escaping what brought you here. Wipe your hand over the surface like the froth of a warm drink and it will enable you to see through to the bottom. On the bottom is a set of sketches that when arranged describe every dark dream of infancy. If you can break this autobiographical transformation then any room you decide to sleep in thereafter will not close in, but burn.”

He goes for a walk and finds the weather is stormy but accepting. Strindberg would have said of course your death is accepting. He turns from the end of my street and into a wooden area he knows well. I think of the opening shot of Alexander Dovzhenko’s Earth as he looks out at a familiar landscape that has suddenly changed. Moving through the tall grass he sees a giant orchard ahead. He can smell the apples ahead of me. He begins to smile as he approaches them so close that he can almost touch them. His hands become arthritic and he is unable to pick one. He bends down and tries to take a bite but is unable. He looks down and there are thousands at his feet. All around him the tall grass is sprouting apples. He sees Strindberg himself wipe an apple on his sleeve and take a bite as he begins to bleed from his side.

Chris Mansel

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Sunday, July 24, 2016

ELECTION MIMICS NOVEL 

CROW DOG PRESS
Turlock CA


PRESS RELEASE

July 24, 2016


DEBBY WASSERMAN SCHULTZ RESIGNS IN DISGRACE
CAMPAIGN MANIPULATIONS RESEMBLE NOVEL



Does art mimic life or does life mimic art? The recent manipulations of the Democratic and Republican political machines are a reminder that every election campaign is a chess match. Bishops, knights and pawns fall according to the dictates of the players behind the scenes.

Jack Random gives us a glimpse behind the curtains in his latest novel, Pawns to Players: A Match for the White House. It is a contest that mirrors the current presidential campaign in a multitude of ways. Pitting a former Secretary of State against an outspoken billionaire with no political experience, it follows the dirty deals, the spying, the lying and manipulation that are central to every campaign. Behind it all sits two elite masters at a chessboard.

Would you like a glimpse of how it really works? Would you like to know who really wins, who really loses, what’s really at stake and how the players go about their work? Read Jack Random’s Pawns to Players before election time.


PAWNS TO PLAYERS: A MATCH FOR THE WHITE HOUSE
A NOVEL BY JACK RANDOM
THE CHESS SERIES
328 PAGES; ISBN-10:
PUBLICATION DATE: MAY 2016

Using a complex system of shadows and operators, Solana Rothschild and William Bates translate a chess match to real-world events to determine who will become the next president: Secretary of State Shelby Duran or flamboyant New York billionaire Daniel J. Wynn.

Available at Amazon.com.

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Thursday, April 28, 2016

MAY DAY FROM MALTA 

[Editor's Note: Too often in America we forget the origin and meaning of May Day. Today, as the dream of real change fades with the demise of the Sanders campaign, we would do well to remember International Labor Day.]

MAY DAY 2016

No Gods, No Masters

By Joseph Cachia

“There is really only one 'non-negotiable' demand. And that is; 'power to the working class'.

Each year, as we join millions across the world to celebrate the victories of workers, our own Freedom Day remains still fresh in our minds.

On May Day, we remember that the workers' flag is not red simply by accident or for artistic reasons. As the traditional Labour song goes, “Our life's blood has dyed its every fold”. Not all those who wave the red flag or claim to speak for the working class actually do so while entertaining that feeling.

Of course, the workers have made some gains in this century of struggle.

We live in a globally integrated capitalist society in its highest stage of imperialism, fueling perpetual militarism and warfare. Consequently, we should be aware of the hijacking of our Socialist persuasions by the opportunistic deviation of the 'pseudo-left' factions, whose tendencies do not even deserve the term 'centrist', as these are simply unattested 'anti-Socialist' parties or groups. The 'pseudo-left' denotes political parties, organisations and theoretical blocs which utilise populist slogans and democratic phrases to promote the socioeconomic interests of privileged and affluent strata of the middle class. In other words, the "left" lap dogs of the capitalists. Not unlike the Greek Syriza Party, our Maltese ex-Malta Labour Party has been hijacked and all Socialist principles jettisoned. It is understood to have been converted into a 'pseudo-left' entity under the presumed caption 'Progressive & Liberal Movement'. How would our dear ex-PM Dom Mintoff be turning in his grave!

And is it really the trade unions who shape the future of work? Both the trade unions and the Labour Party have failed the workers miserably! Instead of giving concrete support and calling upon workers to take action, they did absolutely nothing. Our trade unions have become mouthpieces of partisan politics besides the morality crisis reigning in our Maltese politics.

However, the greatest setback for our workers arrived when Malta was tricked into joining the European Union. The European Union does not represent the unity of the European peoples, but rather the dictatorship of the most powerful economic and financial interests over Europe. In reality, the EU is the main instrument for inciting social divisions, fostering national antagonisms and developing authoritarian forms of rule. Since the financial crash of 2008, Brussels has imposed brutal austerity measures, besides enforcing privatisation decrees on Greece, Spain, Portugal, Ireland and other countries, including Malta. It has condemned millions to unemployment and poverty; destroyed education, health and old-age benefits; and left the young generation without a prospect for their future. We must reject all that EU hypocritical fancy talk which finally is translated in to “I dictate”.

The achievement of our rights as citizens and our rights as workers should indeed be celebrated together. Our history has made them inseparable, as well as our destiny. Together we are stronger!

But today, the working class in its millions is not yet in a revolutionary situation. In fact today, it is the capitalists who are on the offensive and the working class that is in the position of the strategic defensive. In striving for our goals we must dispel the idea that change can come from government alone, while our people wait passively for delivery.

“Arise, ye prisoners of starvation.” May Day is the day of the working class, the class that has borne untold sufferings and has nothing, just nothing to lose but its chains.

“When the Industrial Revolution of the nineteenth century brought a rapid increase in wealth, the demand of workers for a fair share of the wealth they were creating was conceded only after riots and strikes.”

John Boyd

MALTA SOCIALIST PARTY
April 2016
FIGHTING FOR SOMETHING FAR GREATER THAN OUR SELF-INTEREST
Email: mailto:jmcachia@maltanet.netjmcachia@maltanet.net

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Saturday, April 23, 2016

CACHIA: BRITISH CORRUPTION 

Y. A. N. A. (You Are Not Alone!)

By Joseph Cachia

“You do not have to be convicted or even charged of a crime to be able to demonstrate that you've violated a personal conduct policy, which reflect s poorly not only on yourself, but on all of your teammates.”

Roger Goodell (Commissioner National Football League)

Relax, you smooth criminals !
You Are Not Alone !
(with apologies to Yana and Michael Jackson)

Dedicated to all 'Panama Papers' fraudsters.

It’s not £30,000 in Cameron’s offshore account; it’s at least £2 million!
British Prime Minister David Cameron tried to fend off criticism of an offshore trust maintained in the Bahamas, which was inherited from his father, Ian Cameron, in 2010.

However, according to senior British Conservative Party sources, Cameron had at least £2 million in offshore accounts. The money was paid to Cameron, according to the sources, as part of a deal by JR Central, a subsidiary of Japan Railways, to secure a lucrative contract to lay new rails for HS2, the new high-speed British rail system.
In order to ensure that JR Central received the contract for laying the rails for HS2, the firm spread the largesse of its bribes across the British political spectrum in 2015. In addition to Cameron’s £2 million; £1 million to Sir Jeremy Heywood, Britain’s Cabinet Secretary and senior civil servant; £1 million to Nick Clegg, the former leader of the Liberal Democratic Party and Cameron’s deputy prime minister in the ill-fated Tory-Lib Dem coalition that survived until 2015; and £1 million to Ed Miliband, the former leader of the Labour Party.

In addition to the individual pay-offs, it was also reported that JR Central arranged what were described as “bungs” (English slang for “bribes”) to the major political parties. The Conservative Party received £25 million, Labour £10 million, and the Liberal Democrats £10 million. The entire £50 million bribery package was paid through Nomura Bank in Tokyo. (Intrepid Report)

Cameron is facing calls for his resignation as a result of the £30,000 offshore trust in the Bahamas. The real scandal however is that Cameron has siphoned into offshore accounts more than £2 million.
It's no surprise that partners in crime are never lacking – those good friends who get in trouble together or get each other in trouble and laugh about it!

Dear fraudsters, you and your loyal confidants may be able to stick together for some time but definitely not for all the time. Your dominion rests solely on the concealment of your dark dealings and once exposed will bring down the pillars of your empire.

In spite of knowing that corruption hurts everyone and has dire global consequences, trapping millions in to poverty and misery and breeding social, economic and political unrest, back here in Malta giving suspect corrupt politicians a 'standing ovation' beats all reason to understand local politics. Was this a testimonial of the grass-root level of the tentacles of public corruption?

In this regard, the role of honest journalism (if any remains) shoulders the responsibility of keeping the unknowing public informed and continually conscious of the behaviour of its leaders, as otherwise the apathy in the election of their leaders would spell the death knoll of any democracy. Excellent investigative journalism is never out of age! Journalism is just a gun. It's only got one bullet in it, but if you aim right, that's all you need. Aim it right, and you can blow off a pillar of crime. Aim it wrong, and you'll just make a big noise once, and nothing else will happen.
Consequently, because corrupt politicians undermine the public’s confidence in their government, every citizen is victimized by a dishonest member of parliament.

It is true that actually only the crime and the criminal present us the picture of evil, however it's more often the hypocrite that is rotten to the core.

The hardest hitting apprehension is however the realisation that crime and political corruption are always related and relevant. Corruption produces mistrust and mistrust unfortunately translates into apathy, instead of into revolution.

“A shocking crime was committed on the unscrupulous initiative of few individuals with the blessing of more and amid the passive acquiescence of all.”
Tacitus

MALTA SOCIALIST PARTY / P.O. BOX 1 / COSPICUA, MALTA (Europe)
April 2016
FIGHTING FOR SOMETHING FAR GREATER THAN OUR SELF-INTEREST
Email: mailto:jmcachia@maltanet.netjmcachia@maltanet.net
Tel: 99866151

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