November 2008

Raining On Your Parade

November 11, 2008

An opinion piece by guitarist and crank Paul Lacques:

Greetings and salutations, Obama fans. A week has passed since the stunning presidential election. And yes, despite our mistrust of Obama’s stated policies and his entrenchment in the corporate America he so eloquently criticizes–we were moved to tears. Group emotion is hard to resist. But it was way more than that. The crowd at Soldier’s Field in Chicago was a high def ocean of America’s youth and optimism, innocence and joy. It was an irrefutable image of America’s leadership in diverse cultures getting along, becoming friends, spouses, families. Yes, we have progressed. Despite the old school hatred snarling away in the creepy McCain/Palin Defeat Rally in Arizona, it is clear that most Americans have indeed begun to free themselves from the bonds of racial fear and prejudice.

America pulled off something no hipper than thou European nation is likely to do. We elected a member of an oppressed minority to our highest office. The best aspect of America, its pioneering spirit, has been revived. We all felt it. Over to you, France. Top that.And to those who went out and volunteered for the Obama campaign, congratulations. We wish we shared your faith in the audacity of hope.

But we don’t. And we’re going to call early bullshit on this audacity. We have not elected a miracle maker. Yes, he’s cool, and the most muscular intellect since Jefferson. But he’s not Jesus. Far from it, Dude. Far from it.Can America continue its policy of military or covert interference in the affairs of literally every nation on earth, of a $600 billion per year defense budget and an economy based on war, of sheltering our wealthiest from doing and paying even remotely their fair share, of ignoring our national disgrace of homelessness and spiking working class poverty, of paying lip service to the collapse of the oil economy and our ecosphere?

Answers Obama: Yes we can! Yes we can! Si se puede!Read this and weep. It was a great party. Now let’s sweep up and wake up:

Conned Again?By PAUL CRAIG ROBERTS

http://www.counterpunch.orgIf the change President-elect Obama has promised includes a halt to America’s wars of aggression and an end to the rip-off of taxpayers by powerful financial interests, what explains Obama’s choice of foreign and economic policy advisors? Indeed, Obama’s selection of Rahm Emanuel as White House chief of staff is a signal that change ended with Obama’s election. The only thing different about the new administration will be the faces.
Rahm Emanuel is a supporter of Bush’s invasion of Iraq. Emanuel rose to prominence in the Democratic Party as a result of his fundraising connections to AIPAC. A strong supporter of the American Israeli Public Affairs Committee, he comes from a terrorist family. His father was a member of Irgun, a Jewish terrorist organization that used violence to drive the British and Palestinians out of Palestine in order to create the Jewish state. During the 1991 Gulf War, Rahm Emanuel volunteered to serve in the Israel Defense Forces. He was a member of the Freddie Mac board of directors and received $231,655 in directors fees in 2001. According to Wikipedia, “during the time Emanuel spent on the board, Freddie Mac was plagued with scandals involving campaign contributions and accounting irregularities.

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View From Another Wing

November 10, 2008

An opinion piece by bassist Paul Marshall:

Hooray for America! Again, the people have spoken with their vote; again, we look forward to a peaceful transition of power. Some might even call it “change,” but they would have to admit to a certain amount of naïve optimism.The Obama supporters, giddy with victory, happily continued to denigrate and ridicule the defeated Republicans, who chose a different tack. They honorably and gracefully conceded not only the victory, but the historic significance of the event, acknowledging over and over again that the election was in fact a great moment in the history of a great and continually evolving nation.

Prominent conservatives, who disagree with Obama’s stated and implied policies, have nonetheless declared that “he is my president,” and prayed for his success in the office, though those prayers may face a challenge by the ACLU. The audacity of hope is thrilling, while the audacity of prayer is alarming. A racist country no more. Oh sure, there are racists everywhere. And some voted against Obama, and some voted for him, but it was a non-issue for most voters. Amen.

But, oh, discrimination and prejudice is still alive and well in the world. Gays? Well, yes. Mormons? Stereotypes leap to mind. Jews? A Jewish president? Muslim? A Muslim president? Does one of these colors ever bother you?Meanwhile, the country is still run by Democrats and Republicans, and the two-party system is in good health. Libertarians, Greens, Peace And Freedom, and all you others with your crackpot Constitutional, Environmental, Economic ideas can go back to your distant web enclaves and hunker down. But have no fear. We still have the best President money can buy.

Peace In The Valley

November 9, 2008

Topanga twilight Nov 08.jpg

It’s been a glorious week of rains, cool days and nights, mysterious winds that blew all smog from the basins. Topanga Canyon was silent on a Thursday afternoon. No deer, no hawks or owls, no hikers on the trail save solitary us. It’s bone dry, and dead vegetation exposes the bones of the ridges to the horizon. But a breeze of peace strokes our faces as we watch the sunset bring down slowly its curtain. It’s the interregnum. A foul spirit has been purged from our land, and the new era is blank, with limitless room for dreaming, and nothing to dismay. We have been yearning for this for what feels like a lifetime.

It’s a new day in America. An intelligent and sane man will be President for the first time since Jimmy Carter. And the Hawks have a song on a trashy, big-budget vampire show.

Check out “True Blood” on HBO this Sunday evening, November 9. Curious to see how “Hallowed Ground,” the sentimental Hawks song about love, marriage, and Mike Stinson, fits into graphic sex and violence? Us too.