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, 16 January 2010 18:00 GFP Columnist - Jack Random

Former Haitian President Jean Bertrand Aristide, exiled in South Africa, attends a news briefing in Johannesburg, January 15, 2010. Aristide, exiled in South Africa, said on Friday he was ready to return to help in the aftermath of an earthquake thought to have killed tens of thousands.“To the people of Haiti we say clearly and with conviction: You will not be forsaken; you will not be forgotten.” - President Barack Obama 14 January 2010.

“We have been living for one year now under this de facto government which is destroying the country. 95% of the people…who were working government jobs have been fired. Children cannot go to school. Students cannot advance in their studies. We are wondering how far this crisis will be allowed to go. All of this is why we are in the streets…demanding the…return of President Jean Bertrand Aristide…immediately. This is the only issue the people are interested in today. Aristide is the one who can save Haiti from all its woes.” - Dread Wilme, Community Leader assassinated in the Cite Soleil Massacre 6 July 2005. Interview “Lakou New York” 4 April 2005.

There are events in the world that should enlighten us even as they fill our hearts with sorrow, that should help us to place relative value on the myriad of problems and issues that concern us from day to day. Hurricane Katrina and the devastation of New Orleans was such an event. The Indian Ocean tsunami was such an event. And the catastrophic quake in Port au Prince is also such an event.

Tuesday, 05 January 2010 18:00 GFP Columnist - Jack Random

U.S. President Barack Obama outlines an initial series of reforms aimed at helping to thwart future attacks like the attempted bombing of a Detroit-bound airliner on Christmas Day, following a security summit at the White House in Washington January 5, 2010.'To the elites ordinary Americans are pretty much parasites. Democratic party… leaders … are members of this elite. They believe what the elites believe and they live within a world whose boundaries are formed by those beliefs. And so, no, there is no ‘change’ you can believe in from this class of Democrats. There is no ‘hope’ of an America which is better for ordinary people.' - Ian Welsh, An Independent Voice.

One year into the presidency of Barack Obama the mood on the left of the political spectrum is anything but celebratory. With every compromise and disappointment the conviction behind the rationalization that he’s not as bad as Bush was or McCain would have been (while undoubtedly true) dissipates. Iraq, Afghanistan, health care reform, job creation, Wall Street reform, government secrecy and accountability, on and on: When will it end?

The question that must eventually be asked has already pushed itself to the front of our minds: Did we elect the wrong president?

Saturday, 26 December 2009 18:00 GFP Columnist - Jack Random

U.S. President Barack Obama (R) and Vice President Joe Biden leave after delivering remarks at the White House in Washington after the Senate passed the health care reform bill December 24, 2009. The U.S. Senate approved Obama's healthcare overhaul on Thursday, backing sweeping changes in the medical insurance market and new coverage for tens of millions of uninsured Americans.The discerning listener will have witnessed a subtle change in the language of healthcare reform. Some weeks ago when no one noticed the sponsors of reform altered the language. It was no longer healthcare reform. It was health insurance reform.

Barring the unexpected what emerges from reconciliation will fall dramatically short of healthcare reform. We will move closer to the mathematics of universal health insurance but no closer to universal healthcare. Most importantly, will move no closer to realizing the basic principle of healthcare as a right of citizenship - indeed a fundamental human right.

No matter how the leaders of this legislation coax it, a health insurance mandate is antithetical to the very concept of a fundamental right. Should I be compelled to pay a fee for the right to free speech, the right to gather in protest and voice my grievance, the right to worship as my conscience demands, the right to information and analysis from whatever sources I choose, the right to form a labor union, the right to representation in a court of law, the right to think and express thoughts in whatever form and manner I choose so long as I do not infringe on the rights of others?

Friday, 18 December 2009 18:00 GFP Columnist - Jack Random

ImageThe president’s once powerful electoral mandate is vanishing like the habitat of the endangered polar bear. The Republicans, only six months ago a corpse awaiting burial, is alive and kicking once again and the once dominant Democrats are now scrambling for cover.

How did it happen, why and can it be turned around?

Forget Joe Lieberman. We’ve seen this act before. He is the recalcitrant child: The more you chastise him, the more he acts out. Forget applying political pressure from the left. He is immune. There is not a Democrat in the land who honestly believes he is a member of their party. His remaining time in the Senate is dedicated to building Republican credentials so that he can transition from electoral politics to a Republican White House. Lieberman should be impeached as a liar and a fraud. He is a calculating hustler who wants nothing more than to go down in history as the man who stood in the way of systemic change. That he has done so at such a critical time will be his enduring shame but Joe wears the mantle of obstructionist with pride.

Sunday, 13 December 2009 18:00 GFP Columnist - Jack Random

President Barack Obama in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, Monday, Dec. 14, 2009.It is a great shame that in America we cannot criticize our nation without being painted in the colors of betrayal and treason by the self-righteous and self-proclaimed defenders of American pride. Yes, even those who only yesterday led the nation to the edge of economic collapse and left our reputation torn and tattered before the eyes of the world retain their hold on power by defining patriotism with unwavering praise and effectively denouncing anyone who does not adhere.

So it is that our president on the occasion of his acceptance of the Nobel Peace Prize assumed the role of head cheerleader – a role better suited to his predecessor than to the candidate who succeeded on the promise of change.

It is a role that seemingly every president must assume yet to have embraced it so soon and on such an ironic occasion is deeply disappointing.

Wednesday, 02 December 2009 18:00 GFP Columnist - Jack Random

Battle of Waterloo'As Commander-in-Chief, I have determined that it is in our vital national interest to send an additional 30,000 U.S. troops to Afghanistan. After 18 months, our troops will begin to come home.'

'Under the banner of … domestic unity and international legitimacy - and only after the Taliban refused to turn over Osama bin Laden - we sent our troops into Afghanistan. Within a matter of months, al Qaeda was scattered and many of its operatives were killed.' - President Barack Obama, West Point, December 1, 2009.

In August 1964 President Lyndon Johnson reported to congress that the North Vietnamese had attacked an American war ship in the Gulf of Tonkin. It was the lie that gave Johnson legal authority to escalate the Vietnam War.


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