Tag: Barack Obama

Oct 10

Go Team, GO!

by fwoan | 5 Comments »
Luther College Photos via flickr
Luther College Photos via flickr

I was raised in a sports family. My childhood bedroom had an entire wall painted with the logo of the family’s favorite college football team, done by my father. I was taken to games for hockey, football, baseball, et al. One summer I remember, I was sent to a tennis camp. The only problem was that I have never had any interest in sports. It kind of made things awkward with my family because they didn’t really understand it (I remember being in the car once with my father in my early teens and being asked if I was gay). In fact I’ve never had much of an interest in team based competition, and the team based politics of American government is one game that still eludes me. Team R versus Team D, locked in perpetual “struggle” while you and I suffer their consequences.

Maybe that metaphor is inappropriate because as we know, D and R aren’t actually struggling against one another but actually working together to advance the reactionary agenda of Wealth. It is however presented to the masses as an eternal soap opera-esque struggle that can only be won if we participate in our own theft  perpetuating this society. The ineffectual defense against team R’s assaults provided by team D is just enough to give many the misconception that someone is watching their back, so they need not actually look at what’s behind them. The cheerleaders of both teams are now working out well rehearsed routines, chanting and flipping, getting the crowds ready for the Superbowl Extravaganza Presidential Election Showdown Deathmatch Tournament.

This team mentality prevents us from recognizing the qualities actually possessed by politicians. A man like Barack Obama, truly a conservative’s wet-dream in all that he does, is reviled by team R because simply because team D are supposedly “tax-and-spend LIEberals.” Members of Team D who are beholden to corporate interests are overlooked or reduced to “bad apples” by their fans because team D is a “party of the people.” The team mentality prevents us from seeing that the team actually sucks because we are distracted by some crumbs this team or that may have tossed us decades ago.

Thankfully, my father never forced me to join a little league team or play any games I didn’t want to. He recognized my apathy, and knew that forced participation would only sow resentment. I am thankful for that. It is not as simple for the political games of our country. Those who recognize the farce are still made to suffer the consequences of the game. My rights as a worker are dismantled, my rights as a “citizen” are eroded, my identity is alienated and confined. I’m told that if I don’t participate in their games, I have no ability to complain. No matter that neither of the teams I can call my own, nor their causes mine. Am I really to be speechless if I prefer neither the team that wants to rob me quickly, nor the one who prefers to steal slowly and slyly?

May 20

Wherein He Demands the Return of Profligate Sons

by fwoan | Comments Off
Cau Napoli via flickr
Cau Napoli via flickr

The Middle-East governments long empowered by the U.S. government in order to maintain a carefully orchestrated status-quo are being clawed at and in several wonderful instances, have been torn down. Obama, now wants to give Tunisia and Egypt a shit-ton of money because they are the “best positioned countries to serve as role models for democratic reform in the area.” Since when has the U.S. government felt this way and why were they so cozy with the previous regimes? Why then, did Obama alone refuse to call for Mubarak to step down? Why then, did the U.S. government tacitly allow thugs to attack and kill nonviolent protests in Egypt, not to mention using weapons made by the U.S. government (or its industrious contractors)? No, this money is being handed out in order to water-down and dilute revolutionary forces by funding reactionaries that will return the region to a U.S. colony. To think otherwise is intellectually dishonest.
Read more »

Farfahinne via flickr
Farfahinne via flickr

Ugh, the news of Osama bin Laden’s death has brought forth a cavalcade of jingoism I have not seen since… possibly the news of Saddam Hussein’s capture. We are a culture of grave dancers, are we not? Nothing like a little death to those who would challenge us to really get us in good spirits. I am really ashamed of my fellow Americans. As Jack Crow says, so many Americans this week have proved they are nothing more than “moral and emotional infants who grave dance over symbolic murders while they cultivate a studied indifference to the homeless, the destitute, the war ravaged and the oppressed.” America, do you not see that you are playing directly into the hands of murderers and psychopaths when you march to their pied piper’s tune? You are marching to the tune of your own ruin and death.
Read more »

DVIDSHUB via flickr
DVIDSHUB via flickr

Rather than see the revolution stagnate into a protracted civil war, the United States and its proxies in the United Nations have decided to usurp the struggles of the Libyan people to ensure a result favorable for the capitalist world order. After watching their puppet dictators failing time and again around the Middle-East, Uncle Sam seems to have decided that if you want something done right, you have to do it yourself. If the people want a revolution, let Sam give them one! Enter Operation Odyssey Dawn (who comes up with the names for this shit?), the latest campaign of death the U.S. government has instigated against humanity.
Read more »

3dom via flickr
3dom via flickr

The unions have been busted. Scott Walker, with the helping hand of the establishment, has stripped public unions of their collective bargaining rights. The rights of unions in this country have been won inch by inch with the blood of thousands of workers, and to see them stripped so easily from us speaks to the traitorous and naive leadership that labor has entrusted with its interests. Nothing should be moving in Wisconsin right now, general strikes should be shutting down everything in the state in order for workers to stand in solidarity with these public unions. We wont see that simply because our labor leaders are just as much a part of the status quo as Walker.
Read more »

Truthout.org via flickr
Truthout.org via flickr

The president (elected on a campaign of “hope” and “change”) has just announced he will resume military tribunals and sign an executive order that provides for indefinite detention of prisoners in Guantanamo Bay (the prison he vowed to close years ago). Like the worker’s rights issues he campaigned on during the election and now ignores in Wisconsin, this is yet another blatant reversal of his stated positions. The prisoners even able to be tried will face the military tribunals, designed to provide anything but justice, and those we can’t try (because we have no evidence and/or tortured them) can look forward to just being thrown back in the hole we’ve put them in and forgotten about. The excuse being they are too “dangerous” to be released anyway.
Read more »

Mar 2

Those Look Like Comfortable Shoes

by fwoan | Comments Off
LordJumper via flickr
LordJumper via flickr

“And understand this: If American workers are being denied their right to organize and collectively bargain when I’m in the White House, I’ll put on a put on a comfortable pair of shoes myself. I’ll walk on that picket line with you as president of the United States.”

Barack Obama, 2007

Could this be any more degrading? I know others have written about this but I think it needs to be spread. The man who has just recently frozen the pay of federal workers for two years is the same man who found it within himself to make this statement without laughing. A pay freeze, a unilateral decision that seems to cut the entire process of collective bargain out of the loop, seems like nothing less than a denial of the rights of working men and women. I want to thank Governor Walker of Wisconsin for giving our country yet another example of how little regard Obama has for those of us without millions (or billions) of dollars and helping to expose another lie of our president’s. At this point in his tenure, I would find it hilarious to see President Obama on a picket line for worker’s rights.
Read more »

Feb 16

And He Says, “I Dare You.” (updated)

by fwoan | 2 Comments »
Truthout.org via flickr
Truthout.org via flickr

2011 is shaping up to be the beginning of a period of revolution and redefinition for the Middle-East. Governments that defined themselves by decades of inhuman cruelty to the most vulnerable of their citizens are seeing those very people rise-up and chasing them out of their palaces. The beginnings of these revolutions are being sparked by rises in food costs, shrinking wages, disgusting conditions, oppression, and a lack of real democracy. With these numerous examples being acted out every day, showing what the desperate masses are capable of, Obama hands down a budget proposal that only furthers strengthens these motivations and will make a desperate people more desperate.
Read more »

Feb 8

It Would Look the Same Here

by fwoan | Comments Off
Takver via flickr
Takver via flickr

Celebrity award shows and Superbowl parties are helping to force the mass uprisings in Egypt from the American consciousness, where even today thousands gather to protest the Mubarak dictatorship. As the popular revolt fades from the news, our government officials are free to drop the facade they wore last week to pretend solidarity with those fighting for a democratic Egypt. Now withdrawing calls for “immediate change” in Egypt, “administration officials warned Monday that a precipitous exit by Mubarak could set back the country’s democratic transition.” The thought process being broadcast now is that removing the dictator, as demanded by the people, might harm the prospects for democracy.
Read more »

http://commons.wikimedia.org/
http://commons.wikimedia.org/

Obama’s state of the union address last night was simply another monologue singing the praises of the “capital of conservatism“ and meant to assure Americans (who even bothered to listen) that the status quo is alright, there are no problems with the system as is. Obama’s ability to speak as an intelligent person may contrast with his predecessor, but the message was the same, as it always is. When the applause is over and the chamber is emptied, America is still left with a system that is failing by design – and in the most painful ways possible.
Read more »