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

Sunday, 09 September 2007 14:16 GFP Columnist - Jack Random

ImageJuly 2nd is always an occasion for reflection on the nature of our nation’s founding and the great good fortune of genius among our founders.

Historians will attest that July 2nd is our true Independence Day. It was the day the declaration of independence was adopted by the Continental Congress. Two hundred and thirty one years later, as we observe an assault on our democratic ideals on all fronts – from executive usurpation of monarchical powers to a judicial aristocracy to congressional abdication of war powers – it is fitting that we celebrate not the act of independence but the ceremony.

We have become a nation that embraces the façade of freedom, justice and democracy even as our elected leaders and their judicial appointees betray those core principles at every conceivable turn.

It is fitting that on July 2nd – true Independence Day – our president, without doubt the worst in our nation’s history – announced the commutation of the prison sentence of convicted liar Lewis “Scooter” Libby in an act so brazen and defiant of judicial process that even the president’s staunchest supporters must blush at its implications.

Sunday, 02 September 2007 20:00 GFP Columnist - Jack Random

Image[As vice president Dick Cheney refused to comply with a presidential order requiring routine data collection on the classification of records, Paris Hilton was released from 23 days in the LA county jail...]

“The idea that [the vice president] is ‘not an entity within the executive branch’ and thus exempt from a presidential order is both ludicrous and chilling.” SF Chronicle Editorial, June 26, 2007

We interrupt this fair and balanced discussion of vice president Dick Cheney’s astounding claim of immunity from executive orders on the grounds that he is not in fact a member of the executive branch in order to bring you the pending release of naughty girl Paris Hilton from the LA county jail. 

The people want to know. 

I confess the vice president’s claim is on its face the most absurd assertion to come out of the White House since Franklin Pierce consulted tea leaves before signing the Missouri Compromise on the grounds that an alignment of heavenly bodies in the house of Jupiter promised a peaceful resolution of the slavery problem. Nevertheless, the fact that the vice president felt compelled to make such a claim cries out for an investigation into exactly what he is hiding.

Monday, 13 August 2007 20:00 GFP Columnist - Jack Random

alt210"Have we learned nothing from the history of imperial occupations, all pretending to help the people being occupied?” - Howard Zinn, A Power Government’s Cannot Suppress (City Lights, 2007)

We hold this truth to be self evident that every citizen of every nation has the right to oppose by all means any oppressive force, domestic or foreign, which threatens the security, sovereignty or independence of the state.

The intent of the latest assault on Baghdad is to crush the opposition by killing as many as possible of those who are exercising their sovereign right of citizenship: the right to resist a foreign occupation.

Monday, 30 July 2007 20:00 GFP Columnist - Jack Random

ImageAgainst a backdrop of fresh bloodshed in Iraq, the death of Watergate burglar E. Howard Hunt, the accusation in the opening salvo of the Plamegate case that Vice President Dick Cheney set Scooter Libby up for the fall, with Cheney hovering over one shoulder and Speaker Nancy Pelosi over the other, our beleaguered president proclaimed,“Our state of the union is strong and our cause in the world is right.”

Tragically, the president remains is a state of delusion.

The state of the union is grave and deteriorating and our conduct in the world is the primary cause.

Sweeping through his domestic overtures like a bat out of hell or a frat boy late for a date, the president’s initiatives might have carried some weight if we were not entering the seventh year of the Bush house of horrors. The secret is out: All Bush initiatives on health care, social security, education and energy policy invariably turn out to be thinly veiled attempts to privatize government functions in the name of corporate efficiency – the kind of efficiency so rudely and brutally demonstrated by the rescue and restoration of New Orleans.

Sunday, 01 July 2007 20:00 GFP Columnist - Jack Random

alt“It is…for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us – that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion – that we here highly resolved that these dead shall not have died in vain.” - Abe Lincoln, Gettysburg Address.

When do we finally admit that our soldiers are dying in vain?

The people have come to accept that the Iraq War was from the beginning unnecessary, immoral and painfully misguided. Our nation has not yielded on the contracts that transfer essential control of Iraqi oil to international oil companies. We have not given up or even disavowed the permanent military installations that would keep the Iraqi government under our thumb in perpetuity.

Sunday, 01 July 2007 20:00 GFP Columnist - Jack Random

ImageOn the day Senator Hillary Clinton announced her preliminary candidacy for the office of president, American soldiers in Iraq suffered one of the deadliest days in a war approaching four years. As the death toll rang for 24 Americans, it rang again for 50-65 Iraqis in and around Baghdad.

The president’s plan for “success” in Iraq, featuring an escalation of 21,500 troops and targeting Shiite militias, is already taking a toll in blood. Saturday’s bloodbath was largely viewed as a response to Friday’s arrest of Abdul Hadi al Darraji, an aide to Muqtada al Sadr, the leader of the Mahdi Army. 


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