Kellia’s World – Recommended Reading

Challenging the assumptions we live by — Because I want to.

Archive for November, 2008

Obama Apologetics: From “lesser evil” to “Give the guy a chance.

Posted by kelliasworld on November 30, 2008

Jerry D. Rose – Editor, The Sun State Activist

During the presidential campaign, any complaints about the lack of a progressive focus in Barack Obama’s stances on public issues were deflected with the observation that those of the Republican ticket were so much worse, so that progressives were morally obligated to vote for the Democratic one as the “lesser of the two evils.”  The response to that argument was repeated by many commentators innumerable times: that if you continue to vote for the lesser evil election cycle after election cycle, you are going to be confronted every time with an “evil” choice, in a Dantean hell kind of perpetual misery.  To little avail did we make these arguments, as the voters trooped to the polls and those who needed to hold their noses as they voted for the Democratic ticket held their noses and participated in the glorious “historic victory” that is still being celebrated.

The other argument, being played in the background of the dominant lesser evil theme, was that Obama’s lack of expressed support for progressive positions was simply a strategic decision to avoid alienating the “center” of American political thinking, without whose support he had no chance of being elected.  In this view, what’s the use of voting for an ideological “purist” (like, say, a Dennis Kucinich or Mike Gravel) whose views were too “far out” to make them “electable?”  So Obama and later his team-mate Biden had to be shrewd enough to seem to be centrist in their views, when their “hearts” were with the left. So “give the guys a chance,” a chance to be elected after which their true progressive colors would be allowed to emerge.

After the election and in the current transition period, that secondary “give the guy a chance” motif has now blossomed into the favorite theme of Obama apologetics.  The main occasion for this change has been the fact that Obama has been busily filling his staff and cabinet appointments, some already made and some others still in the usual “float” stage of names being “prominently mentioned” for appointment to government posts.  There is very clearly a pattern in these announced and anticipated appointments that, as Jerome Grossman for example notes, have not included a single “liberal” amongst them. The announced and floated names are almost entirely “experienced” figures, mostly re-treads from the Clinton administration, with a token Bush holdover in the (still floated) re-appointment of Robert Gates as Secretary of Defense. Ideologically, the appointments focused on domestic policy have been overwhelmingly (maybe exclusively) from the camp of neo-liberal proponents of the Chicago school of economics; while foreign policy-oriented ones have been drawn from the decidedly hawkish figures of presidential administrations from Jimmy Carter to Bush II.  Since folks the likes of “Progressive for Obama” had promised during the campaign to hold Obama’s “feet to the fire” of progressive views, some of them have stoked up a bit of fire to criticize those nominations.

But not yet, apparently, are many Obama apologists ready to participate in the stoking of that fire.  “Give the guy a chance” now becomes their fall-back apologetic position. ”Wait til he’s in office and starts to make some decisions before you start your fire,” they say.  In politics as in marriage, aren’t people entitled to a “honeymoon” before they have to deal with the conflicts likely to pervade any country as any marriage?  We have yet to “celebrate” the historic victory with an historic inauguration on January 20.  Why be a wet blanket on the national euphoria during this transition period? There’ll be time enough for critique after we celebrate yet another “New Deal.”

Like the lesser evil theme, the “give the guy a chance” one has its own minor theme that is vital to supporting the melody.  This is the idea, promoted by Obama himself, who deflects any concern about the ideological character of his appointment choices by saying that these men and women are, after all, only advisers to him and that it is his “vision” as President that will determine his actions in that office: a variation of GW Bush’s definition of himself as the “decider.”  Obama says in effect: “pay no attention to that man behind the curtain,” pay attention only to what I, the Wizard of Oz, am telling you about my marvelous powers to grant the wishes of the heart to every supplicant.  Now I have a really hard time thinking of figures of the stature of Robert Gates, Hillary Clinton and Paul Volcker as simply “techno-crats” whose experience will allow them to carry out the dictates of their President.  If anything, Obama’s “vision” (or lack thereof) is being demonstrated with every one of his personal choices from Biden as running mate to the yet-to-be-announced ones of Gates and Clinton.  Perhaps the kool-aid imagery used to castigate Obama supporters for their lesser-evilism should be replaced, as attention turns to what Obama will actually do in office, to a different imagery of people somehow disposed to  the Wizard’s mandate which can be translated into modern vernacular as “what are you going to believe, what I tell you or your own lying eyes?”

Sure, I’m willing to “give the guy a chance,” a chance that is to respond to progressive expectations for his administration that are actually the expectations of most of the American people.  That expectation is not that he “rule from the center,” but that he rule from the consensus of the American people that Wall Street and the Pentagon should not be the all-determining institutions of our society.  If Obama appoints mostly bankers and military hawks to his administration, this tells me that his “vision” is really the vision of bankers and hawks, not the vision of the rest of us. I’ve been accused “cynicism” on internet comment strings for this sort of view, but I actually see these views as arising from a “hopelessly” idealistic tendency to think and speak as a “principled progressive.”

Posted in Jerry D. Rose, Obama, Principled Progressive, The Sunshine Activist | Tagged: , | 1 Comment »

Burn the FRN? I’ve got a better idea.

Posted by kelliasworld on November 30, 2008

Some folks in the End-The-Fed movement have come up with a new idea for protest. They want people to make videos of themselves burning a Federal Reserve Note (FRN) as a protest against the debt slavery this currency represents. (FRNs are the paper money you carry).

I agree we need monetary reform. However, as long as we have the rotten system we now have, it is useful to have these FRNs, lots of them, in fact.

So if protesters against the Fed don’t want their FRNs, they should not burn them, but rather, donate them to me. I can use unwanted FRNs to reduce my debts and maybe even invest in a little silver. Give me enough of them and I can share with some other debt slaves I know who are looking to buy their freedom. You have my word that I won’t use them to foment war, run drugs or bailout bankers!

Really, folks, burning FRNs is not as effective as using them against the system. And burning them pollutes the air because of the toxins in the ink.

Support H.R. 2755 to End The Fed!

Posted in End The Fed | Tagged: | Leave a Comment »

End the Fed!

Posted by kelliasworld on November 23, 2008

People in 39 US cities rallied Saturday to End the Fed. Over 100 people gathered in front of the San Francisco Federal Reserve to call for sound, constitutional money. Here’s my report on the rally:

kellia-on-end-the-fed

Posted in America, Cindy Sheehan, Kellia's News Reports | Tagged: , , | 3 Comments »

Open Letter to the Lamest of Ducks on Vets Day

Posted by kelliasworld on November 17, 2008

With Cindy Sheehan’s permission, we reprint this open letter.

Current mood: pissed off

November 11, 2008

George Bush
1600 Pennsylvania Ave
Washington, DC

Dear George,

I am writing this to you on the fifth Veteran’s Day I have mourned the death of my son, Casey Sheehan. Casey was a soldier in the Army. You killed my oldest son with your lies and greed for Empire. Casey never became a Veteran because he came home in one of those pesky flag draped coffins that your mother doesn’t want to bother her “pretty mind” with.

During that other illegal and immoral war that you and your VP, Dick, had the good sense to dodge, your mother never had to go through one second of worry for your safety, did she? You were too busy doing your drugs and going AWOL to bother her “pretty mind” about that. What galls me the most when I think about my brave and honorable son’s needless and untimely death, is that you were so cowardly and worthless when you were his age and you had the nerve to condemn thousands of our children to death or disability with your lies.

George, I have written you letters before. I have demanded your resignation and also promised you that I would work for your impeachment. If you remember, I even started a peace camp of thousands of protesters outside your Crawford ranch and I even tried to get into Congress so I could impeach your criminal hide. You never answer my letters and you have never had the integrity to tell me what “Noble Cause” killed my son. This is the last letter you will receive from me while you are infecting our Oval Office, but it won’t be the last time you hear from me.

George, I guess I could “rest on my laurels” and allow you to slink off into the quiet desperation of leaving the White House as the most detested President in American history, but that is not enough for me: Millions are dead, wounded, displaced and suffering life-long pain because of your actions. You are the number one terrorist in the world today and this country catches, tortures and prosecutes “terrorists” doesn’t it? Haven’t you said so yourself? You have turned the USA into a nation of imperial mobsters and we have the ignominy of being torturers and you do not deserve to retire with any kind of peace or honor.

George, if Nancy Pelosi and the other complicit Congressional leaders won’t hold you accountable, I will. This nation has a very short memory and we have been assaulted on a daily basis by your arrogance and stupidity and most of America is buying the hype of pre-packaged and aggressively marketed, Hope, but I don’t have the option of burying your deadly legacy like it never happened and moving on. The hole in my heart that used to contain the living and breathing presence of my son will never heal and you are the one who put it there. If you think you are going to live a comfortable life in Dallas, or Paraguay, or wherever, a la Johnson, Nixon, McNamara or Kissinger, you are wrong.

George, this country too hastily moved on from the abomination of Vietnam and we never healed from that horror because we never did the hard work of holding American leaders accountable for crimes against humanity. If history repeats itself, as it tends to do, you won’t be held accountable for your crimes, but I won’t let you forget the faces of my son, Casey and his comrades or the legion of faces of the Afghan and Iraqi dead. Are your dreams haunted by the souls of the people massacred by your hubris?

If I have to buy or erect a billboard near your home and plaster it with the faces of the people you murdered, I will. I will also work with my contacts in the international community to have you indicted for crimes against humanity. I will do whatever it takes to be the thorn in your side as you have been my sorrow. There are many people around the world who thirst for justice and healing who will join me in this noble cause.

This Nation forgot the faces of the 58,000 plus Americans and millions of Vietnamese who were slaughtered for imperial greed, but they won’t forget the faces of the ones you have sacrificed on your altar of deception or the ones who will be sacrificed for the President Elect’s continued War OF Terror. If Obama does not declare a speedy and complete end to the USA’s war of terror on the world, someone should set up camp at his vacation home (which I bet will be nicer than Crawford, TX in August).

On this Veterans Day, I make this pledge to you. Unless we stop the bloody tide of war for profit and US hegemony by seeking justice for your war crimes and crimes against our Constitution, more Casey’s will die and more countries that unfortunately lie in the path of imperial conquest will be decimated.

On this Veteran’s Day, I also send my love and support to the Vets from all wars who live on our streets and are substance abusers because they can’t get help from this hypocritical government. My heart goes out to all Gold Star Mothers who have nothing but a box of medals, a triangular folded flag and memories of a dead child and regrets for a life not lived with him/her. The war machine in collaboration with our government chews people up and rolls on oiled with pain.

George you broke your oath to “faithfully” execute your office and you betrayed the troops that you command due to nothing but election fraud, but I will not break my promise to you.

Cindy Sheehan
Mother of Casey Austin Sheehan
KIA in Sadr City, Baghdad
April 04, 2004


There are a thousand hacking at the branches of evil to one who is striking at the root—
Henry David Thoreau

http://www.CindyforCongress.org

Posted in Cindy Sheehan, George W. Bush | Tagged: , | Leave a Comment »

Anti-Prop 8 rally — San Francisco 11/15/08

Posted by kelliasworld on November 16, 2008

Here is my story that was at the top of the 11/15 KPFA Evening Newscast. I collected a lot of tape that could not be used in the story because of time considerations. Also my colleague Glenn Reeder collected tape at the simultaneous Oakland rally and I have permission to use is a longer work about the protests. These rallies were in two cities among 80 from Boston to San Diego that were held to protest anti-gay measures passed in California, Arizona and Florida on Nov. 4th.

kellia-on-anti-prop-8-rally-111508

Posted in Prop 8 (CA) | Tagged: , , , , | 2 Comments »

Obama and Palin

Posted by kelliasworld on November 12, 2008

WASHINGTON (CNN) — Gov. Sarah Palin said Wednesday that she would be honored to help President-elect Barack Obama in his new administration, even if he did hang around with an “unrepentant domestic terrorist.” http://www.cnn.com/2008/POLITICS/11/12/palin/index.html?eref=rss_latest

O: Gov. Palin, this is Barack Obama…

P: Really? You’re not a radio station out to make fun of me again like those Canadians did?

O: Governor, I assure you, I am the President.

P: Well, what can I do for you, Mr. President?

O: I know we had our differences during the campaign, but I want to work with Republicans as well as Democrats in building a stronger America. I have a job that you are uniquely qualified to do. I hope you’ll consider it.

P: Well, If God wants me to go through that door, I’ll barge right through. What do you have in mind, Mr. President?

O: I know you’re busy with your family and with being Governor. But I am hoping you will take time to keep an eye on the Russians for us. In fact, since you can see Russia from your house, I hope some of your children will be interested in helping you. I want to provide more opportunities for youth to serve their country.

P: That’s a great idea, Mr. President. The family that spies together stays together. And we can see Canada from the other side of the house. Would you like us to watch that as well?

O: Governor, that’s a great idea! Why don’t you do that? And file a report by email once every 3 months. You know the State Department’s web site.

P: Uh, State Department? Yes, I’ll do that! I can even do it more frequently if you’d like.

O: Once a quarter will be fine, if I need more, I’ll let you know.

P: Thank you, Mr. President. It’s an honor to serve. God Bless Alask…I mean God Bless America.

O: Goodbye, Governor. God Bless America.

(Palin hangs up and turns to her husband). Todd, what’s the State Department?

Posted in Obama, Satire | Tagged: , | Leave a Comment »

Rally Against Prop 8 as Part of a National Protest

Posted by kelliasworld on November 12, 2008

Anti-Prop 8 Demonstration

Anti-Prop 8 Demonstration

www.jointheimpact.com

Join the Impact is organizing a nation wide protest to take place in front of city halls all across America against proposition 8 and other anti-gay measures that were passed on Tuesday.

The protest will take place on November 15 at 10:30 a.m. on the front steps of City Hall in San Francisco.

If you cannot attend in San Francisco you can find your protest location here:

http://www.jointheimpact.com/?page_id=2

Demonstrations in East Coast cities will begin at 1:30 p.m.

Posted in Prop 8 (CA) | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »

Obama and Single Payer Health Care

Posted by kelliasworld on November 12, 2008

On November 9, 2008, I did a story on Obama and single payer health care for radio station KPFA-FM Berkeley, CA.

ramares-on-single-payer-110908

Posted in Health Insurance, Obama | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

Keith Olbermann on Gay Marriage

Posted by kelliasworld on November 12, 2008

What he said!

Posted in Prop 8 (CA) | Tagged: , , | 1 Comment »

Open Letter to President-elect Barack Obama Regarding Former 9/11

Posted by kelliasworld on November 10, 2008

Dear President-elect:

Congratulations on your inspiring and momentous victory. Now the great
burden and opportunity of leadership falls upon you and your team,
including the responsibility of choosing someone ideally suited to lead
the way to restore the rule of law and the Constitution in these United
States.

A profile published today in The New York Times
<http://www.nytimes.com/2008/11/08/us/politics/08gorelick.html> reports
that your transition staff may be considering nominating former 9/11
Commission Jamie Gorelick to the post of Attorney-General. I am writing
to urge you in the strongest possible terms not to do so. This
recommendation from your transition team should they put her name
forward must be rejected. She, along with the Commission’s Executive
Director, Philip Zelikow were the two most highly compromised of the
9/11 Commission members; their conflicts of interest should have
disqualified them from being members of the Commission. In fact their
records relative to 9/11 should have made them sworn witnesses in the
investigation itself. Jamie Gorelick was not the right pick for the 9/11
Commission and she is not the right person to fill the position of
Attorney General.

As Deputy AG Jamie Gorelick was instrumental in the extradition to
Jordon of Mohammed Jamal Khalifa, a known terrorist where he was later
freed (see below). Later she wrote the infamous “wall memo” which sought
to make life difficult for FBI investigators probing past terrorist
crimes from counter-intelligence agents seeking to prevent future
attacks. Then as Commissioner she presided over an investigation that
failed to answer over 70% of the questions posed by the 9/11 Family
Steering Committee
<http://www.justicefor911.org/Appendix4_FSCQuestionRatings_111904.php>.
[BTW, This record should also disqualify former 9/11 Commissioner Tim
Roemer who some have said is being considered for Intelligence czar].
Then there is her work with the failed Fannie Mae which “she left just
as it was coming under fire for huge accounting failures,” as Eric
Lightblau wrote this morning for NY Times.

On the basis of her record, as Deputy AG, as 9/11 Commissioner, and with
Fannie Mae, Jamie Gorelick must be, in my view excluded from
consideration for the position of Attorney General or any other high
level position in your administration. No to Jamie Gorelick.

Sincerely,

Kyle F. Hence
http://www.911pressfortruth.com

[Just what we need, a 9/11 cover-up artist who worked for Fannie Mae and left just before its troubles came to light! CHANGE? A change in faces maybe, but the same ol’ boys-and-girls network that got us where we are today–KR].

Posted in 9/11, Obama | Tagged: , , , | 1 Comment »