Let us be as clear as possible about this: Speaking strictly for myself, I am not—repeat, not—rooting for the new president and his team to fail. Au contraire, I hope that they will be wildly successful on the many fronts where the outgoing president has wrought devastation. From what I've read and heard, the same is true of a multitude of progressive-to-radical commentators with larger audiences than mine.
For more than a year now, much of the lefty commentariat, including yours truly, has been shining a harsh spotlight on the un- and anti-progressive actions and rhetoric of Joseph Robinette Biden and Kamala Devi Harris, who today become our president and vice president. We have expressed our deep skepticism of any utterances or tweets from those two that feel like bones tossed to the political left and center-left.
During the Obama/Biden years, Congressional Republican leaders made it their mission in life to thwart President Obama's agenda, even when he proposed solutions first devised or implemented by Republicans. Unlike them, I have no desire to see Biden/Harris sabotaged at every turn. Just some turns, such as carrying out the perpetual mass slaughter that our capitalist empire has made its stock in trade.
Happy Treason Day!
That's what we saw on roadside marquee in front of a gun shop in Grimes County today. Kayleen and I took a drive up that-a-way on a mission to deliver hundreds of leftover Natural Awakenings magazines to the regional publisher thereof. (As Patrick Henry would say, "If this be Treason, make the Most of it: Buy you a big-ass Gun!")
One of the cool things about history is that we get our choice of which traitors we admire.
Today was a good opportunity to do make the trip to prairie lands; next weekend wouldn't have worked as well, seeing as we'll be shoulders-deep in the Green Party's Presidential Nominating Convention. Being a delegate to this year's convention involves a lot more email than in years past: We don't have a crew handing us a nifty delegate packet in person. Every email gets me a bit more excited, a bit more confused, and a bit more nervous, hoping that the technology will cooperate and allow us to participate.
Think what you will about that sign at the gun shop: Treason is soooo American. If it's true that the leaders of the Confederate States of America were traitors, it's also true of the rebels who "freed" the North American colonies from Great Britain and its chief sponsor the British East India Company. Call me a traitor if the proverbial shoe fits. If speaking out against the triplet evils of racism, capitalism, and imperialism—and against the corporate state that embodies all three—makes me a traitor, I will wear the label proudly. Just make sure that I get a fair trial before you assemble the firing squad.
Nah. It doesn't make me a traitor by the Constitutional definition, because I have not lent aid or comfort to any declared enemies—unless you count monthly Patreon donations to Abby Martin and Eleanor Goldfield.
Do I admire Jefferson Davis, Robert E. Lee, and that whole crowd of former namesakes of public schools? Not particularly: The cause to which they devoted their treason is odious to me. The system against which they were rebelling, industrial capitalism and wage slavery, is just as odious. I can't admire Lee for his reputation as a skilled military strategist because...well, war is a racket, innit?
Do I admire the folks portrayed in the cast of Hamilton, which I joined millions of Americans in watching last night? To a limited degree: While from my 21st-century perspective I can support their desire to escape from the corporate yoke, that whole "I don't like slavery but I'm perfectly willing to keep benefiting from it" posture adopted by the historical Hamilton and Jefferson rubs me wrong. I can still admire their accomplishments that moved humanity forward while disdaining their less noble deeds.
Similarly, I can admire a polished speaker and knowledgeable wonk like Millennial African-Iranian-American Jewish-convert attorney-rabbi Dario Hunter for some political positions he has expressed and winning election to a Rust-Belt-small-city school board. I can like that he represents an alternative to Just Another Old White Dude Presidential Nominee. But that doesn't require me to like the entire Candidate Dario Hunter package.
So about That Convention...
The PNC itself begins at 11 am Central Daylight Time on Saturday 11 July; the current plan calls for the nomination process to end by 7 pm. The whole Detroit 2020 Annual National Meeting (ANM) runs from the 9th through the 12th, including the final discussions of platform amendments and entertainment from YouTube politicomic Ron Placone (whom fans of Jimmy Dore might recognize as the nerdy redheaded sidekick, and whose witty repartée frequently catches Jimmy off-guard and gets him guffawing). In case you haven't seen it, here's Ron's April 2020 interview with Howie Hawkins (52 minutes plus).
Delegates will participate via Zoom and Loomio. Regrettably, I still don't have the coordinates of the Facebook Live feed for non-delegates.
As I have reported, Hawkins has already claimed enough delegates to win the nomination outright, but runner-up Dario Hunter is challenging the allocations of delegates in some states, backed by some Twitter trolls clambering to see Jesse Ventura nominated. I mentioned that GPTX Treasurer Travis Christal has been fuming about the challenge, but not that current co-chair Laura Palmer and multi-term former co-chair katija gruene are adamant that the challenge regarding Texas delegates is a) after the posted deadline for such and b) based on a lack of understanding of the Proportional Approval Voting process.
In intra-GPTX conversations and public Facebook posts, kat has likened Hunter's railing against the GPUS leadership to "COINTELPRO tactics" of "divide and conquer," with the modern variant of tossing identity politics into the mix. Such COINTELPRO-style infiltration would be nothing new to Green Party veterans: been there, been burned by that. Even so, it's always tricky tripping up the infiltrators before their divisive behavior begins, primarily because they are skilled in winning people's confidence. It's what infiltrators do.
Do I think that Hunter is deliberately trying to fragment an already-fractious Green Party? Or do I give him the benefit of the doubt that he perceives unfair treatment and is willing to fight it? Is Hunter a snake in the grass or just naïve? Possibly both? I haven't reached my own verdict yet, but some people I know and trust certainly have, for reasons I'm opting not to explore in detail here.
Speaking strictly for myself, I am both eagerly anticipating and dreading next Saturday's events. Will a pack of Hunter enthusiasts take up valuable convention time and impede the Party's progress? Will the Party leadership allow the challenge to be presented before the first round of voting takes place? If this were not a virtual meeting, would the majority shout them down? Will they figure out a way to shout them down via Zoom?
Note by way of introduction: I am a monthly contributor to the Empire Files Patreon account, currently one of 697 patrons. Not only am I glad to see EF back in production as Edie is (albeit without the budget that working with TeleSur afforded it), but also happy to have helped with its re-emergence.—dbc
Note the DATE on this video, Nov 12, 2018--https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XdhIYWb3XVU
I’m hoping that that means that Abby Martin is back—that is to say, that this isn’t an old Empire Files video that was just now posted.
The aforementioned video is excellent, well worth the time it takes to listen to it.
I place Abby Martin in the same category as Chris Hedges, Noam Chomsky and Robert Wolff, in that they are all true radicals—they uncompromisingly deconstruct capitalism, nationalism and imperialism--something that, as much as I love him, Jimmy Dore doesn’t do.
Jimmy still holds on to the illusion that Bernie Sanders will make a fundamental difference. He won’t. Sanders is a useful tool of the Democratic Party, creating as he does the illusion that there is a left-wing to the Democratic Party. There isn't. Sanders only slows down the fundamental changes that MUST take place...fundamental changes standing between where we are now and a global disaster. (dbc NOTE: As Edie well knows, Dore has recently taken Sanders to task for reversing his long-held position on the possibility of reforming the Democratic Party from within.)
Blogging Sporadically since 2014
Here you will find political campaign-related entries, as well as some about my literature, Houston underground arts, peace & justice, urban cycling, soccer, alt-religion, and other topics.