Jack Random

Jack Random is the author of the Jazzman Chronicles (Crow Dog Press) and Ghost Dance Insurrection (Dry Bones Press). See The Chronicles have been posted on the Albion Monitor, Bellaciao, Buzzle, CounterPunch, Dissident Voice, Pacific Free Press and Peace-Earth-Justice. www.jazzmanchronicles.blogspot.com

Saturday, 08 March 2008 19:00 GFP Columnist - Jack Random

ImageOne of the great wrongs of the current presidential campaign is that Hillary Clinton is being allowed to define the terrain.

With the economy sinking like a torpedoed cruise liner, we leave NAFTA and Free Trade behind because Hillary has decided it is time to discuss thresholds for Commander-in-Chief. Little wonder: Any discussion of the economy that does not begin with trade policy is like debating which brand of aspirin we should purchase for a dying patient. 

Hillary’s duplicity on Free Trade is a well-chronicled record. Husband Bill was of course the Free Trade champion who pushed NAFTA into law. Said the former president at the NAFTA signing ceremony (12/8/93): “We are on the verge of a global economic expansion that is sparked by the fact that the United States, at this critical moment, decided that we would compete, not retreat.”

Friday, 07 March 2008 19:00 GFP Columnist - Jack Random

ImageImagine the smile that curled the lips of Senator Hillary Clinton when, on the eve of the Ohio and Texas primaries, she came across a story from the Canadian press that her opponent had delivered a duplicitous message on NAFTA to the Canadian government: We are going to play some political games with NAFTA but don’t worry, we are not serious.

Clinton knew full well that it was in fact her people that had contacted the conservative, pro NAFTA, pro Free Trade government of Prime Minister Stephen Harper to deliver that same message: We intend to play political games but it is only for show. We will not act. We will not renegotiate NAFTA to include the rights of labor.

Wednesday, 05 March 2008 19:00 GFP Columnist - Jack Random

ImageMany have lamented the long arduous campaign that will eventually lead to a temporary residence at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue for the one who survives. It is a marathon, a grueling test of endurance, strength and resilience, a brutal and relentless assault on the psyche, and a journey through dark and dangerous terrain. 

It is in short an excellent test of character for any man or woman who would be leader of a faltering superpower nation. 

Maybe there was a time when the press was sufficiently independent and vigilant to test a candidate in a more limited campaign – or maybe that is mere myth as well. Maybe a long campaign in 2000 would have been adequate to expose the outright fraud of George W. Bush before he assumed the reigns of power and led the nation over a cliff.

Tuesday, 19 February 2008 19:00 GFP Columnist - Jack Random

ImageThere is a paradoxical truism from the late sixties that has lost none of its value today: If you don’t think you’re a racist, you are one.

Once upon a time in America, from Rhode Island to the California coast, not so very long ago, it was possible to grow up in a pearl white neighborhood with pearl white schools, never having seen a person of color in the flesh.

Once upon a time in America, not long ago at all, a woman’s place was in the home and her place in the home was the kitchen.

Once upon a time in America, not far beyond yesterday, the United States Senate was an all-white male club and members of congress were invariably congressmen.

Tuesday, 05 February 2008 19:00 GFP Columnist - Jack Random

ImageMy mother is getting on in life. She supports Hillary Clinton for president. Her reasoning is simple: The analysts tell her there is little difference in substance between Clinton and Obama and she wants to witness a woman being sworn in as chief executive in her lifetime. 

There is not a kinder, more compassionate or wiser person on the planet than my mother yet I cannot abide conventional wisdom. For when Barack Obama speaks, he speaks to that part of my heart and soul that still believes in an all but forgotten dream. 

It started as just a ripple in the land of Lincoln, tapped a current in rural Iowa, picked up steam in South Carolina and became a wave that swept across the nation and very nearly broke through to the California coast.

The smart money said it would all be over by Super Tuesday but the rail of a man with dark skin, a funny name, a golden voice and ambition as compelling as the dream he inspires, is still standing.

Friday, 01 February 2008 19:00 GFP Columnist - Jack Random

ImageAfter Florida and the most uninspired State of the Union Address in memory, as millions of Americans lose their homes and millions more face the hardships of a struggling economy, as a trillion dollar war becomes a two trillion dollar occupation and the effects of global climate change are felt from the punishing storms of California to the dwindling polar icecaps, the deck of presidential contenders has been reshuffled and the emerging choices are at once bleak and enchanting. 

Barring an unforeseen and unprecedented third party campaign, our next president will be selected from among the four surviving candidates: Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, John McCain or Mitt Romney.

The presidential dreams of Mike Huckabee and Rudy Giuliani are dead and buried. The dream of John Edwards is once again deferred.

Huckabee has demonstrated that the power of the evangelical movement is not yet sufficient to win the White House. It is rather confined to a spoiler roll, an ally of the Republican Party without an alternative. Rudy Giuliani has proven that the nation has finally moved on from September 11, 2001, his only real claim to presidential ambition.


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