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

Monday, 26 March 2007 20:00 GFP Columnist - Jack Random

altIt comes down to this: The American people have spoken as clearly as an election allows them to speak. Collectively, we have delivered an unqualified message of opposition to the president’s war.

Against all odds, overcoming a legacy of designer districting and the most powerful propaganda machine in modern history, the people spoke with resounding clarity: You will not fight this war in our name.

One would assume that a president who has proclaimed himself democracy’s champion would listen to the voice of his people with all his heart and soul. Tragically, this president has turned a deaf ear. Tragically, the cloth of this presidency is not the cloth of democracy but the tailoring of an emperor. He alone is chosen. He alone hears the voice of heaven. He alone must rule.

When the true history of this president is written, it will tell the tale of a profoundly flawed man, a man bereft of wisdom, a man whose historical ambition was unrivaled but whose knowledge of history was as shallow as a cesspool, a man who listened to the self-proclaimed anointed ones as if they were true prophets but who led a great nation into decline on a foundation of illusions and lies.

Thursday, 01 March 2007 20:00 GFP Columnist - Jack Random

altAlbatross: 1: any of a family of large web-footed seabirds. 2a: something that causes persistent deep concern or anxiety. 2b: something that greatly hinders accomplishment. - Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary, Tenth Edition

The president has delayed his address to the nation on the future of the war in Iraq. As if he has not been commander-in-chief for the last three years and nine months, he requires further consultation with the heady experts in the State Department, the Defense Department and the military brass.

What could they possibly tell him that he should not already know?

Everyone who pushed and propagandized for the war, with the exception of Condoleezza Rice and Dick Cheney, has already jumped ship. The most relieved man in America today is Donald Rumsfeld, the last man to jump from a runaway train.

Thursday, 22 February 2007 20:00 GFP Columnist - Jack Random

altNever has there been a greater disappointment than the over-hyped report of the Iraq Study Group, chaired by James Baker and Lee Hamilton. If not for the leaks and rumors, the disappointment would be palpable. If anything, the report confirms what anyone who has ever suffered through bureaucratic deliberations already knew: If you want nothing to be done, appoint a committee.

Normally, commissions are appointed to bury inconvenient truths like the convoluted circumstance of a presidential assassination or an orchestrated terrorist attack on the three pillars of our society. Expecting the truth from a politically appointed commission recalls Samuel Beckett’s existential masterpiece: Waiting for Godot.

Expecting wisdom from the Baker-Hamilton commission is like looking for the seed of creation in a toilet bowl.

In fairness, the ISG produced a skillful report, skillfully executed to provide political cover to both dominant parties and, should he possess the talent and tact to play along, especially the president.

Wednesday, 31 January 2007 20:00 GFP Columnist - Jack Random

altThe debate on the war in Iraq has taken a disturbing turn. We are no longer discussing the morality of the war and the occupation. Rather, we are engaged in a battle of words, terminology, definitions and semantics.

Words are important. They shape our thoughts and provide a context within which all sides of an issue are interpreted. When the occupying forces insisted on calling a legitimate resistance movement “terrorists” and “Saddam Loyalists” it was designed to distort reality and frame the debate. During the initial stages of the war, from Shock and Awe to the Fallujah massacre and beyond, when major American media outlets bombarded us with slogans such as “The Battle for Iraq” and “The Fight for Iraqi Freedom” it was a naked attempt to sanctify the American cause.

Wednesday, 17 January 2007 20:00 GFP Columnist - Jack Random

altWhen is the president going to start fighting back against the cut-and-run neocons who grabbed him by the ears back in Crawford, Texas, and hurled him into an imperial war of occupation in the Middle East at the first opportunity, no matter how unrelated or irrational?

Richard Perle, Paul Wolfowitz, Kenneth Adelman, Michael Rubin, David Frumm and their media collaborators are cutting and running from the catastrophe in Iraq faster than a Crow scout at the Little Bighorn.

The same anti-government brain banks that initiated the evisceration of public education on a platform of accountability deserve nothing less than to be crucified on their own cross. They spent a year basking in the glow of power, esteem and corporate profits, another year decrying media for not portraying the progress of war, a third year hedging their bets with complaints about strategic planning, and six months scouting scapegoats for the inevitable collapse of their defining project.

Thursday, 04 January 2007 20:00 GFP Columnist - Jack Random

alt“Are you the one?” the hero pleaded. “Did I save the world?”

“I don’t know,” the heroine replied with a sheepish grin. “I’m just a cheerleader.”

For those who are not in tune with television culture, these were the concluding words to Monday night’s episode in the hit series “Heroes.” I tuned in to check it out and, while I am not necessarily hooked, I understood the appeal.

This is the kind of world we wish we were living in.

The modern world is a complex and frightening place. There are so many horrors, threats, injustices and causes: Genocide in Darfur and the Congo, poverty, starvation, brutal oppression in Oaxaca, the sexual slave trade, the devastation of New Orleans, immigration rights, international labor, living wages, civil liberties, abortion, the sanctity of marriage, embryonic stem cell research, racial discrimination, police brutality, freedom of speech, media
responsibility, health and medical care, drug dependency, AIDS.

In an age of instantaneous information, we are inundated with life and death propositions. We are overwhelmed by the volume of human need and the raw, human instinct to care and empathize with the unfortunate.


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