The Pardu

The Pardu
Watchful eyes and ears feed the brain, thus nourishing the brain cells.
Showing posts with label The Blue Route. Show all posts
Showing posts with label The Blue Route. Show all posts

Monday, May 18, 2015

TPP Outrage? Koch'd?

Re Post from The Blue Route......And Kudos to Maeby Gever for allowing the Re Post.

Koch Control Over The TPP Outrage

Koch Control TPP Outrage

The Trans Pacific Partnership is a pending international trade agreement that the Obama Administration has been working on since 2010. Now, the TPP has become a lightening rod being used to call out President Obama as some sort of enemy of the working people of America while also being hung like a noose around the neck of the leading 2016 Democratic candidate for President, Secretary Hillary Clinton. Is the TPP the death knell for American working people or is it a pragmatic, smart and better alternative to allowing China to set the future course of international trade? Or is this really a case of Koch control over the TPP outrage?

The present TPP controversy has been pitting Democrats against Democrats, with well-respected and knowledgable experts on both sides of the issue. Robert Reich, the former Secretary of Labor under President Bill Clinton, has suggested that Senator Elizabeth Warren should run for President in 2016. Secretary Reich served in the Ford and the Carter Administrations, and has been a professor on the faculty at the University of California Berkeley Goldman School of Public Policy. Secretary Reich has said that: “The TPP would be a disaster

On the other side and in favor of the TPP is Liberal New York Times columnist on foreign affairs, globalization, and technology, Thomas Friedman, who believes that President Obama is right to push forward this deal. Friedman agrees with the President’s view that if we do not get this deal done, we will regret it in the not too distant future.

The liberal economist, Paul Krugman, has been suspicious of the TPP, not because he opposes trade deals or because of what is contained in the agreement, but because of the identity of who is advocating for the deal, such as the US Chamber of Commerce, which calls into question what Mightbe included in the deal. Krugman is clearly speculating as to the negative effects the TPP might have, refusing to say that the deal would be as bad for labor as Secretary Reich has suggested, while also pointing out the intended benefits for American intellectual property, and asking why the President would spend so much political capital on a deal that Progressives and Labor clearly does not want.

Much has been made about the open feud between the well-respected populist champion of the left, Senator Elizabeth Warren, and the President. Senator Warren has objected to the negotiations being kept secret from Congress. The negotiations and the text of the proposed TPP agreement have been classified by the administration. Senators Elizabeth Warren and Sherrod Brown wrote a letter to the President dated April 25, 2015, urging him to declassify the text of the proposed TPP agreement.

President Obama has pushed back hard against the secrecy argument, pointing out that Congress has received over 1,700 briefings on the subject. And when pressed by Rachel Maddow in an April 22, 2015 interview, Senator Warren said;

It is true that the actual text of the TPP is secret and cannot be view by the public at this time. But summaries of the goals of the TPP can be viewed online by the public.

Perhaps the President answered Paul Krugman in his most recent radio address. Speaking about the TPP, the President said:

“If I didn’t think this was the right thing to do for working families, I wouldn’t be fighting for it.”

In essence, the President is asking us to trust him to have the knowledge, foresight, and commitment to we, the real American people, to make a deal which over time will operate to our benefit. Time and patience might eventually prove him to have been right. Of course, the 20 plus year track record of previous trade deals, such as NAFTA, have been characterized by the labor movement as disastrous for American workers, while economists have a different view. It has been argued that NAFTA actually saved the loss of millions of American jobs and as to the American manufacturing job losses since NAFTA:

“Economists attribute most of those losses to new technologies and Asian competition, not NAFTA”.

The argument from the President, that we should basically trust him and that he would not be doing this if he did not think that it was good for American workers, admittedly is weak. The fact is that the proposed agreement is not secret, as members of Congress who have the proper security clearance,can view the draft text anytime they want.

The full Senate will now be able to consider Fast Track Authority, as the Finance Committee has approved the Fast Track Authority bill by a 20 to 6 margin, with seven Democrats, including noted Liberals Ron Wyden of Oregon and Michael Bennett of Colorado, voting yes. If Fast Track Authority passes, the President would be able to finalize a TPP deal with Congress allowed an up or down vote on the deal, as is, without being able to filibuster or to introduce amendments. The final agreement would have to be made public 60 days before being sent to Congress. Like it or not, this is the legislative process at work.

Julian Assange is the founder and editor in chief of WikiLeaks. The organization specializes in the unauthorized release of secret government and corporate information considered by many to be illegal hacking, if not criminal espionage. Mr. Assange considers himself a Libertarian, and he has referred to Ron and Rand Paul as:

The strongest supporters of the fight against the U.S. attack on WikiLeaks and on me.”

In an August 2013 interview with the conservative, Assange said that: “The libertarian aspect of the Republican Party is presently the only useful political voice really in the U.S. Congress. It will be the driver that shifts the United States around.”

Many opponents of the TPP rely on documents released by Wikileaks claiming to be the text of the entire agreement, as well as other releases claiming to be selected portions of the agreement. These releases began on November 13, 2013, and they have continued through March 25, 2015. Wikileaks has previously been accused of forging documents, and Wikileaks has previously admitted to publishing false information as a hoax, so as to bring attention to an issue of concern.

Forming an opinion of the TPP based on secret information, that might not be accurate, released by an organization that has no authority to do so, and which has a political agenda that promotes the policies and positions of Senator Rand Paul, the Libertarian ideologue seeking the 2016 GOP presidential nomination, does not seem wise. We will only know if the leaked Wikileaks documents have any basis in reality when and if the final agreement is made public.

Many progressives are pointing to the Koch created Libertarian “think tank,” the Cato Institute, which they say supports the TPP, as reason to oppose the deal. Yes, one must always be leery when a known Koch supporting organization takes a position on any matter, but the claim that the Cato Institute supports the TPP may or may not be true. The Cato Institute has been publishing position papers authored by various writers, since the President announced his intentions to negotiate a trade deal in March 2010, through March, 2015. The Cato Institute position papers seem to be in favor of the principle of free trade, which to them means the removal of regulations and taxes, while decreasing wages and increasing corporate profits. The Cato Institute writings also have the common thread of being critical of President Obama, Democrats and Republicans in Congress for being incapable of obtaining a worthy agreement.

Voices such as the Cato Institute make the false claim that both parties are the same, and only by breaking away from the traditional Democratic and Republican Parties can America be saved. This is not true as the parties are not the same. Yes, both parties are beholden to big money interests, but one party, the Republican Party, has been completely taken over by the billionaires pursuing an agenda that benefits the 1%, and leaves the rest of us out in the cold. While the Cato Institute seeks to offer the Libertarian ideology as a savior, the Libertarians are the Koch Brothers, and they have taken the Republican Party far to the right and there is no sign that they will stop.

Progressives point to the almost gleeful support that the TPP has received from other voices of the conservative world, as reason to be against the deal. The National Review, a virtual conservative bible, is on board with the TPP calling it: “Obama’s best idea”.

On the other side and in favor of the TPP is liberal New York Times columnist on foreign affairs, globalization and technology, Thomas Friedman, who believes that President Obama is right to push forward this deal. Friedman agrees with the President’s view that if we do not get this deal done, we will regret it in the not too distant future.

The mere fact that a traditionally conservative voice such as the National Review supports the TPP, is as insufficient a reason to oppose it as is the mere fact that the traditionally Progressive labor movement has come out against it. Reasonable people should require hard evidence as to this particular matter, and all of the evidence is not yet available. And consider this: is it possible that this time, as far as the TPP is concerned, that both some conservatives, the President, and some liberals might just be right on the value of the TPP?

Yes, the specific draft terms of the TPP which have not yet been finalized, have been classified and cannot yet be released to the public, but the question is why would the President want to do so prior to the passage of Fast Track Authority? If the terms of the deal were to go public before a final deal is made, the partisans on both sides would be able to cherry pick sections that they do not like thus assuring that no deal would be passed in Congress. Further, those unpopular sections would be used to attack any potential 2016 candidate for office who might indicate support for the TPP.

If the President believes in the deal, good deal or not, would he agree to the demand to make it public? No, he should not. And if the President were to make the deal public before getting Fast Track Authority, Congress would then be able to demand changes and to introduce amendments, all of which would be under the control of the Republicans who control both the Senate and the House. This would lead to an agreement that would be even more unacceptable to the people who are already against the deal. The President cannot agree to make the deal public before Fast Track Authority is given, so as to prevent this eventuality.

Then there is this to consider. Perhaps President Obama is trying to protect Secretary Clinton. It is true that when Clinton was Secretary of State, and naturally, as part of the administration, she was very supportive referring to the TPP as something that would become the: “Gold standard in trade agreements.”

Then there is the praise that Secretary Clinton heaped upon the TPP in her 2014 book, “Hard Choices,” saying, among other things, that the TPP was,

Important for American workers, who would benefit from competing on a more level playing field.”

Now that Secretary Clinton is not a member of the Administration and not in Congress, she can say she will withhold judgment on the deal until the final text is made public. Once the deal goes public, if it is essentially the same as the deal Clinton was aware of while she was Secretary of State, she would be hard pressed to walk away from her previous endorsement of the TPP. So the President just might be giving cover to Secretary Clinton. We all know that the opponents of Hillary Clinton are attempting to put the noose of a bad TPP deal around the neck of the President, and at the same time the neck of candidate Clinton.

This deal is not yet done. We only assume to know what is in it. Even if it is a done deal, Congress will get to vote it up or down before it becomes effective. Before the deal gets to Congress, there will be at least 60 days for the public to read the actual deal, not the WikiLeaks version of selected portions of the deal. And if members of the public who have read and understand the deal have strong feelings one way or another, by all means they should let their Congressional representatives know where they stand and how they would want them to vote.

If the eventual deal that gets to Congress is voted up, the complaints from the opponents of the actual deal, which are speculative projections of gloom and doom that many will legitimately have, will come. But the objection here seems to be that some people don’t want this President negotiating while others simply do not want any international trade deal at all because of the view that such deals never do work out to benefit American workers.

So for all of you who think that the Libertarian voices and Conservative writers are helping to stop a bad deal for American workers, perhaps it is more likely that these Libertarians and Conservatives are more interested in fomenting fake populist outrage against any deal. Having no deal maintains the status quo on international trade continuing to benefit billionaires while American workers struggle to find decent jobs. Perhaps there is an agenda designed to harm this President, while also impeding the chances of Secretary Hillary Clinton becoming the next President of the United States, by using fake populist TPP Outrage to once again push the Koch agenda further down the throats of Americans. Perhaps the goal is to increase the chances of America being saddled with a President such as Rand Paul come 2017.

Maeby In Space Blue Route

Saturday, October 25, 2014

The Blue Route: Jim Crow's Ugly Fissures Linger

Re-Post from The Blue Route.  

Hat Tip a newer entity in the Progressive Army, while saying hello to well known fighters and battleground friends...from The Pardu.

Progressive ideology is about the human experience, diversity and equality for all. Equality for all is impossible if people do not understand our past and the reality some long for the days of limited life for others via overt discrimination, ugly racism and even more pervasive bigotry.

Eric Wattree fights the battle on a daily basis.  Wattree knows: "If we forget our past, we are doomed to relive it."  His information dissemination is enlightening, cherished and welcomed . 

The Blue Route
The Blue Route

Jim Crow’s Desperate Corruption of The Black Man


Frederick Douglass Portrait
For the past six years we’ve had the opportunity to watch the ravages of cognitive dissonance at work. All their lives conservatives have been basing their self-esteem on the delusion that they were superior because they were born White. Now Barack Obama, and many others, have come along to completely destroy the delusion that has brought them so much comfort over the centuries, and it’s just too much for their racist nature to take. So it’s, LITERALLY, driving them crazy.
They were able to maintain their myth of superiority for so long because an individual’s intelligence is focused on adapting to their environment. So when Africans were taken away from their environment and brought to this strange land, naturally we seemed out of place and clueless – so they laughed at us, calling our disorientation as stupid.
And then, as they began to recognize our true intelligence while we were in bondage, they began to engage in what seems to come so natural to then, and began to do to us as a culture what they’re currently doing to President Obama as an individual – engage in obstructionism, by making it a crime to teach a Black person to read.
Thereafter, their worst fears were confirmed when slaves began to escape and educate themselves. Frederick Douglass was a case in point. In spite of being deprived of the great academies of learn of his time, Frederick Douglass escaped from bondage, educated himself, and went on to become one of the great writers, orators, and brilliant intellectuals of his time. He rubbed shoulders with presidents and kings.
In 1852 – nine years BEFORE the Civil War; back when even “nice” White folks would lynch a Black man if given sufficient cause – when asked what he thought of the nation’s Independence Day celebrations, he came straight from the shoulder, and without any hesitation or equivocation. He said, “Your prayers and hymns, your sermons and thanksgivings, with all your religious parade and solemnity, are, to Him [the slave], mere bombast, fraud, deception, impiety, and hypocrisy – a thin veil to cover up crimes which would disgrace a nation of savages!”
So what we have in Douglass is a handsome, suave, and debonair Black man, living in pre-Civil War America, yet, had the knowledge and intellect to command enough respect to live life the way he saw fit. He counseled the President of the United States, he ‘dated’ who he felt like ‘dating’, Black or White – because, since you are what you think, Douglass considered his brothers and sisters all those who THOUGHT like him – and he faced down a White supremacist society eyeball-to-eyeball without flinchin’ an eyelash, and he had no “posse,” and no “crew.” It was just Douglass, his manhood, his intellect, and the fierce determination in his eye – but obviously, that was enough.

That is the Black man that conservatives fear, and are desperately trying to contain with all of their obstructionism, corruption, and brutality; and that is the Black man that every Black parent should be just as desperately trying to forge in every Black child in America. For, when you look at the intelligence, knowledge, and fierce determination in Douglass’ eyes, you’re looking into eyes that will look upon freedom, justice, and equality.
But we’ve allowed Jim Crow to corrupt our souls, first, through physical bondage during slavery, and later, through his Jim Crow laws that beat down our character, and convinced us that we were less than who we are. He’s managed to turn many of us into clowns, into caricatures of manhood. As a result, far too many of our young Black men are all swagger, and no substance, where Douglass was all substance, and no swagger. That, is what we must strive to return to, because that, is who we truly are.
A true Black man is strong, focused, and resolute like Douglass – not saggin’, swaggerin’, illiterates struttin’ around flaunting fleeting wealth and spewing vulgar nursery rhymes that celebrate the murder of his own, and denigrate the very womb of his culture. No, that’s not manhood – that’s the manipulation of Jim Crow pulling the strings of latter-day Steppin’ Fetchits, stupidly masquerading as virile, while desperately in search of manhood.
But there’s nothing intrinsically wrong with being a rapper – Black people have always gravitated toward the arts. Oscar Brown Jr. and Gil Scott Heron were rappers, but they were rappers because they had something to say. They were educators in the tradition of Frederick Douglass and the ancient griots of West Africa . . .
So rap on young brother, but rap about substance. Carry a message that glorifies our people, that honor our Black women, and that celebrates the strength of character that allowed us to defeat the most severe adversity, an adversity that’s made us more, rather than less. Celebrate your people with dignity, pride, and intelligence. You’re always talkin’ about “bitches” and “hoes” – don’t allow yourself to become a hoe for Jim Crow. The bling ain’t worth it – and Black people, we must stop enriching those who think it is.

Flying Free
As I watched my son, dapper as they come, walk down our walkway and into manhood, what I remember most was the howling winds. I’d seen such winds before, but never like this – my old foe was pulling up trees by the roots,
So I watched, but I watched alone.
As the winds raged on and the mighty palms bowed, a single leaf from our Winter-bare ficus tree
held tough against the ferocious storm. It fought valiantly against the angry gale, as though hanging tough Just to witness the changing of the guard,
So I stood, but I stood alone.
Like that solitary leaf, all my life I’ve fought the ferocious winds, and now they’ve returned, this mighty foe, poised to seize the hopes and dreams of my only son,
So I cringed, but I cringed alone.
Then, posterity glanced back, squared its shoulders, and beat back hopelessness as it
trudged through fields of ivy. Then it spread its wings and rode those howling winds
over yonder mountaintop,
So I wept, but I wept with a crowd . . .

Eric, Jr.
I now stand firm. My conviction of the power of knowledge is the platform upon which my podium rests. I stand firm, strong, and now free. Free of anger. Free of self-delusion. Free of the folly of empty vanity, and free of the pernicious bane of meaningless pride without substance.
I stand free to look upon the eyes of other men, reflecting dignity over sorrow, and accomplishment over pain; I stand with a burning passion, fueled by the very flame that forged ancestral shackles, with a deep sense of pride and a pride that flows deep.
I now stand erect. The steel that once degraded my father, that chained him in bondage to this bitter Earth, now reinforce my character, making me more, rather than less; and the blood and sweat that once drenched his brow, now rage with resolve and a sense of purpose within my burning breast.
I now stand as a new being – neither simply African, nor simply American, but a hybrid forced to transcend the sum of my parts; no longer simply African, since being torn away from the African motherland to suffer and toil in the fields of America, and more than simply American, after being forced to be more than simply American just to survive within the bowels of this prosperous land.
Thus, I stand now armed – armed with the wisdom of deprivation, the courage of my conviction, and a deep conviction of my courage; and fortified – with the confidence of a survivor, the empowerment of knowledge, and a ravishing hunger for greatness.
I now stand the product of love, struggle, and sacrifice; a witness to man’s inhumanity to man, and a monument to the hopes and dreams of a million slaves.
I now stand embraced by my creator, as God now smiles upon my people.
Yes, I Now Stand Firm.
Firm, Black, and Free.

Don’t you think for a moment that you’re jumping up-and-down about Obama’s  incompetence is fooling anybody in America but yourself, as evidenced by the last election. We all know what’s going on – including many White people. You’re in absolute misery, and we’re taking great pleasure in watching your agony, because we know why you’re ACTUALLY screaming. You’re not screaming over Obama’s alleged corruption or incompetence; you’re screaming in agony over having the hell beat out of you with your own bat, and it’s an absolutely exhilarating thing to watch.
Consider this a teaching moment, Professor Henschel, and take special note of the bludgeoning below.  You’re severely out-classed – not because you’re White, but because you’re White and failed to prepare yourself for reality. It’s a new day:
Black Scholarship2 (1)


Sunday, August 17, 2014

Woodstock: On The Day Woodstock Closed.. 45 Years Past

Woodstock 1969: All the Performers, All the Songs

woodstock event poster
This weekend marks the 45th anniversary of Woodstock, known originally as The Woodstock Music and Art Fair 1969.
Much has been written about Woodstock’s place in history. I would like to add a personal note about how Woodstock has influenced me.
I was 12 years old in 1969. No, I was not in attendance at the time. Heck, I didn’t even know it was going on until afterward. Popular music was a big part of my life in ’69, but my access to music was limited to AM Top 40 radio – namely, WHB out of Kansas City. If they didn’t play it on Top 40 radio, I didn’t know about it. This was long before radio stations split the programming formats up according to music genre; Top 40 included almost everything that wasn’t considered country. We didn’t have radio stations that targeted specific audiences like we do today. That is of course, unless you wanted to hear all country music all the time or all talk radio all the time, then AM Top 40 was what you were left with. FM radio, at least in rural areas such as mine, was reserved for local programming.
When we bought pre-recorded music in the late 60′s, we usually picked up the 45-rpm single. The record stores where I purchased them devoted almost all of their space to 45s. There were a few LPs, but they didn’t get the shelve space that 45s got. Sure we bought albums, but we only bought the ones we thought we’d like based on the album cuts that had been released as singles and received play on AM Top 40 radio. This meant most of the albums we owned were greatest hits collections of our favorite Top 40 artists. Now, we were aware that a separate culture existed for album rock, but we didn’t have access to it; if it wasn’t Top 40, we generally didn’t know about it. I did get my first taste of album rock during ’69 when I was able to pick up Beaker Street out of Little Rock – an AM radio program that we could often get late at night in northern Missouri – but this was only a small taste of what was going on outside the world of top 40. In the day, this was called underground music.
When Woodstock came along though, this was when things changed. That first album of highlights from the show, the second album, and the film, all introduced me to a new world of music – popular and talented performers whom I had not heard of and in many cases had not heard at all. It was all phenomenal music that hadn’t been released on 45s, and therefore didn’t play on a top 40 radio station.
We were opened up to a whole new world of music, one that was politically motivated, and that we hadn’t heard before because it wouldn’t have passed the discriminating ear of the Top 40′s censors. Read more after break below