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, 01 February 2014 00:00 GFP Columnist - Jack Random
The Honorable Ted Cruz
United States Senator for the State of Texas

Dear Senator: 

You have been garnering more than a fair share of attention these days and I was wondering if it might be affecting your psyche.  It takes more than a Texas-sized ego to read Dr. Seuss on the floor of the Senate.  Before this process of self-aggrandizement goes any further you would do well to remember those who came before you. 

Remember the former and sometime governor of Alaska?  She used to be at the forefront of the political forum.  Now you have to google her resume.  Sarah Palin had her moment upon the stage and then was banished to the sidelines of Fox news.  She is you.  The flavor of the day is running stale.

Enjoy your moment but do not be fooled by the hype of your sponsors and friends.  Fame is illusory and vanishes before the paint dries on the Cruz 2016 banner.  Remember Rick Santorum?  He is you.  He had his shot, his time in the spotlight, and he will never be allowed a second run.  Remember Rick “not ready for primetime” Perry?  What plays in San Antonio doesn’t necessarily play in Akron. 

You also may be given a run but in the end you will shuffle on back to Texas where they seem to embrace substandard intellects, intolerance in the name of Biblical morality and a twisted sense of constitutional intent.  Most of all, Texas loves a man who knows he’s right even when he’s dead wrong. 

Jack Random

Wednesday, 01 January 2014 00:00 GFP Columnist - Jack Random
The Honorable John Roberts
Chief Justice of the Supreme Court

Justice Roberts: 

You shocked the Tea Party world when you cast the deciding vote upholding the Affordable Care Act.  Didn’t they get the memo?  Scalia and Thomas may adhere to the antiquated and knee jerk views of the antebellum league but you and Alito are firmly planted in the corporate wing of the party. 

Without a clear corporate interest (insurance corporations and pharmacies on one side; the service industry on the other), the Roberts court could go either way.  By casting the decisive vote you became the most powerful member of your own court, a role that had been held almost exclusively by Anthony Kennedy. 

It will be fascinating to see how you rule on the excesses of the National Security Agency.  Without corporate interests (unless you consider the scope and depth of information gathered by private corporations or the role of contractors in government surveillance) we will soon discover whether or not there exists a constitutional right to privacy.  We will also learn whether or not the libertarian ideal still informs the so-called conservative judicial philosophy.  I have my doubts. 

The Supreme Court is supposed to be the ultimate defender of civil liberties.  At a time when both the executive and legislative branches cower before the gods of security, surprise us all by fulfilling your solemn duty. 

Jack Random

Wednesday, 23 October 2013 15:00 GFP Columnist - Jack Random
…The Jesters Capture the Court - We have sent to Washington a company of court jesters, supplying them with portraits of knights in shining armor in the shape of a handheld mirror, so that when they gaze at themselves they perceive heroes standing strong for all that is good and right.  They have been given a script and they will not wander from it.  They defiantly disbelieve everything the president, the economists and even the corporate wing of their own party says.  They alone represent truth, justice and the American way.  They alone are God’s chosen. 
Can you imagine a less effective spokesperson for a political party than the honorable Speaker of the House, John Boehner?  (If you answered Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid you would get little argument here.)  Can you imagine a less appealing populist than Joe McCarthy look alike, Senator Ted Cruz of Texas, Congressman Louie Gohmert of Texas or Representative Michelle Bachmann of Minnesota?  Where did this band of misfits come from and how can we rid ourselves of them before they can do any more harm? 
Sunday, 30 June 2013 17:04 GFP Columnist - Jack Random
Obama, McCain and Medea Benjamin - There is no shortage of rhetoric in American politics but as for real world consequences it begins to resemble the Bard’s immortal lament:  Sound and fury, signifying nothing. 
President Barack Obama gave what might have been the most significant speech of his second term, proclaiming the eventual end of the Global War on Terror, over a decade long strategic blunder that should never have happened.  Lest we forget, after the terrorist attack of September 11, 2001, the Taliban government of Afghanistan offered to hand over Osama bin Laden and his Al Qaeda conspirators to an impartial, international tribunal, an offer that was summarily dismissed by then President George W. Bush. 
Wednesday, 13 February 2013 14:59 GFP Columnist - Jack Random
For anyone who thought that the Democrats won the last election and, therefore, the government would move in a progressive direction, think again. The Democrats strengthened their hold of the Senate, gained seats in the House and retained the White House but they did nothing to bolster their power in Washington.

The Democrats may have won a clear majority of votes in the 2012 election but the Republicans held on to a double veto of all legislative action. First, having won the critical census-year election of 2010, they devised a system by which a decisive minority could secure a decisive majority in the House of Representatives. Second, when Senate majority leader Harry Reid settled on a handshake deal rather than meaningful filibuster reform, he effectively yielded the majority power of the upper chamber of congress.
Saturday, 19 January 2013 19:03 GFP Columnist - Jack Random
The Under-Reported Stories of 2012 - Another year has passed, another tick on the celestial clock, another moment to reflect on where we’ve been, another crossroad on the endless highway of life on the planet earth. In many ways the past twelve months have been unremarkable, full of sound and fury but signifying nothing.

We have retained a moderate Democratic president. We have elected a congress that remains intractable. We have steadied our course on the path to austerity. Our economy continues to regain its balance at a painfully slow pace. Our workers remain underemployed and underpaid. Our homes remain undervalued and far too many of our people are struggling. Our foreign wars, though winding down, have not yet ended. We have survived catastrophic natural disasters and human-made tragedies.

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