The Debate and the President

Who would have guessed that Obama would be such a colossal, dismal failure in the first Presidential debate of this election?

It’s a little late to try to get back the edge the day after, which the President was trying to do today. I think he’s going to have to come out with some explanation of why he as so bad during the debate. Otherwise, I suspect no one will believe him. I don’t, and I should be one of his natural supporters. But right now, the President is seeming pretty lame.

I’ve never had a high opinion of Obama’s debating or speaking ability. I always felt he was overrated because of his Democratic convention speech in 2004, which was excellent. But without teleprompters, Obama seems unable to put together a coherent sentence. And in the debate, he was submissive, stammering, and completely out of sync.

Posted under America

This post was written by admin on October 4, 2012


Who will watch the watchers?

On May Day in 2007, immigrants and their supporters around the US rallied in major cities to announce their support for immigrant rights. In Los Angeles, police said protesters threw “plastic bottles and other projectiles,” according to Democracy Now! Police decided to clear the park of protesters, and in the process used rubber bullets, tear gas, and batons (cubs).

Many nonviolent, non-resisting participants were assaulted, along with news crews from local TV stations and an observer from the National Lawyers’ Guild. Police Chief William Bratton said (in 2008) he planned to discipline 11 officers and terminate four others. The city this year agreed to pay $13 million to people injured or mistreated in the melee.

Now the district attorney’s office says it can’t prove any police officer broke the law, so no charges will be filed against any officers.

This is not a surprise, since police are rarely punished for violence against non-prominent, and especially non-white, protesters. But the failure to hold police offices to the standards they claim to enforce is a major flaw in our legal system. It leads many to the conclusion that laws are intended to control the general population. Except for that purpose, they seem not to be taken seriously by the authorities.

Posted under America, General, Immigration, Police, Power

This post was written by admin on October 31, 2009

A poem for America’s birthday

Let America be America again
by Langston Hughes

Let America be America again.
Let it be the dream it used to be.
Let it be the pioneer on the plain
Seeking a home where he himself is free.

(America never was America to me.)

Let America be the dream the dreamers dreamed–
Let it be that great strong land of love
Where never kings connive nor tyrants scheme
That any man be crushed by one above.

(It never was America to me.)

O, let my land be a land where Liberty
Is crowned with no false patriotic wreath,
But opportunity is real, and life is free,
Equality is in the air we breathe.

(There’s never been equality for me,
Nor freedom in this “homeland of the free.”)

Say, who are you that mumbles in the dark?
And who are you that draws your veil across the stars?

I am the poor white, fooled and pushed apart,
I am the Negro bearing slavery’s scars.
I am the red man driven from the land,
I am the immigrant clutching the hope I seek–
And finding only the same old stupid plan
Of dog eat dog, of mighty crush the weak.

I am the young man, full of strength and hope,
Tangled in that ancient endless chain
Of profit, power, gain, of grab the land!
Of grab the gold! Of grab the ways of satisfying need!
Of work the men! Of take the pay!
Of owning everything for one’s own greed!

I am the farmer, bondsman to the soil.
I am the worker sold to the machine.
I am the Negro, servant to you all.
I am the people, humble, hungry, mean–
Hungry yet today despite the dream.
Beaten yet today–O, Pioneers!
I am the man who never got ahead,
The poorest worker bartered through the years.

Yet I’m the one who dreamt our basic dream
In the Old World while still a serf of kings,
Who dreamt a dream so strong, so brave, so true,
That even yet its mighty daring sings
In every brick and stone, in every furrow turned
That’s made America the land it has become.
O, I’m the man who sailed those early seas
In search of what I meant to be my home–
For I’m the one who left dark Ireland’s shore,
And Poland’s plain, and England’s grassy lea,
And torn from Black Africa’s strand I came
To build a “homeland of the free.”

The free?

Who said the free? Not me?
Surely not me? The millions on relief today?
The millions shot down when we strike?
The millions who have nothing for our pay?
For all the dreams we’ve dreamed
And all the songs we’ve sung
And all the hopes we’ve held
And all the flags we’ve hung,
The millions who have nothing for our pay–
Except the dream that’s almost dead today.

O, let America be America again–
The land that never has been yet–
And yet must be–the land where every man is free.
The land that’s mine–the poor man’s, Indian’s, Negro’s, ME–
Who made America,
Whose sweat and blood, whose faith and pain,
Whose hand at the foundry, whose plow in the rain,
Must bring back our mighty dream again.

Sure, call me any ugly name you choose–
The steel of freedom does not stain.
From those who live like leeches on the people’s lives,
We must take back our land again,

O, yes,
I say it plain,
America never was America to me,
And yet I swear this oath–
America will be!

Out of the rack and ruin of our gangster death,
The rape and rot of graft, and stealth, and lies,
We, the people, must redeem
The land, the mines, the plants, the rivers.
The mountains and the endless plain–
All, all the stretch of these great green states–
And make America again!

Posted under America, General

This post was written by admin on July 5, 2009