Friday, September 02, 2011


If you look up “gall” on the online dictionary you find it defined as: (a) bile, (b something bitter to endure, and (c) brazen boldness coupled with impudent assurance and insolence. This latter meaning seems to me, if multiplied by at least a hundred, to be a perfect description of Republican criticism of President Obama for not having created more jobs and lacking in leadership.

Remember that immediately after Obama became President one of the “leaders” of the Republicans, “Radio Fats” (aka Rush Limbaugh) announced publicly on his widely followed show they wanted him to fail, and repeated this several times. Also remember Republicans also announced almost immediately they would be a party of “no.” They have been and have blocked every attempt Obama has made to create jobs. Furthermore, in the some nine or so months they have controlled the House of Representatives they have produced not a single bill designed to create jobs. And don’t forget they have also announced their number one goal would be to deny Obama a second term. In short, they have done everything they possibly can to bring this about, going so far as to vote against proposals they themselves originated, for no reason other than the fact that Obama decided to embrace them. They have brought our country to its knees through these efforts, prevented any positive developments, and potentially will bring on even worse conditions, and now they have the gall to criticize Obama for not creating jobs or being a successful leader. What is worse, it seems that no one ever challenges them when they make these outrageous claims, it’s as if they have had nothing to do with bringing this disaster upon us. And because they control the MSM they have apparently managed to convince many Americans that is really is Obama’s fault. While there are many things one might criticize Obama for, personally I have quite a few, and while he does appear to have “caved” in to their demands far too easily, castigating him for not creating jobs is decidedly unfair under the circumstances. I cannot justify his militarism (continuing the stupid “war” in Afghanistan, going into Libya and etc.). I hate the fact he has not investigated and prosecuted the Bush/Cheney bunch for their obvious war crimes, I think his support of nuclear energy and the tar sands pipeline is disgraceful, and his recent caving on the clean air issue is disgusting. For me his continuing support of Israel as they commit war crimes against the Palestinians, and continue to steal Palestinian land and water, is even more disgusting. I would not continue to support him, and would not vote for him again, except for the fact that any one of the Republican candidates would be even worse, even unthinkable. I wish for a strong third party Progressive candidate but, alas, one will probably not materialize.

On the subject of jobs I fear there is no satisfactory solution possible as long as we continue to promote our capitalistic system. I have heard one person claim there are 14 million unemployed, someone else claimed 18 million, and I have even heard one estimate to be 25 million. Even if the first figure is correct I see no way Obama, or anyone else, will be able to create that many jobs given our current economic system which creates jobs only out of necessity, the necessity being to make more profits. Businesses and corporations do not create jobs out of the goodness of their hearts or patriotic duty, they create jobs only when they see an opportunity to make more money. In the current world of technology and cheap overseas labor there is little necessity for them to hire more people. Indeed, just today I saw somewhere where someone actually said we now have essentially an economy that doesn’t even require laborers! I believe this is largely true. Thus while it is no doubt possible to create some jobs, even the million or two Obama seems to be going for, and while this effort is commendable and has to be supported, it is unfortunately far short of solving the problem of unemployment. We have a large surplus population for which there are no jobs and probably will never be short of drastic changes in our society and culture, changes that will be resisted to the bitter end by Republicans and their supporters. Even some form of quasi-socialism will be unacceptable to those who apparently believe the unemployed should just starve and the poor must go without medical care. There are steps that can be taken to somewhat alleviate the situation, such as shorter work hours or work weeks, longer vacations, better wages so fewer family members have to work (as used to be the case), and, as some countries have done, providing at least some form of minimum support for all. As I recall even as unlikely a person as the late President Nixon had a plan for some form of financial aid for all but of course it went nowhere (I’m not sure how seriously he pursued it). Without some form of socialism (if you insist on calling it that) as found now in some Scandinavian countries I see little hope for the future with respect to this modern day problem.

You might notice that people, many people, are becoming increasingly angry and bitter over the failure of our leaders to resolve any of these isssues, unions, such as they still exist, are beginning to strike, people are taking to the streets and trying to recall Governors and others who have attacked their rights to organize, and the rhetoric is becoming more and more ugly. Even some of the wealthiest individuals in the U.S. and France have now suggested they should pay more. I would like to believe this is merely because they are altruistic or patriotic citizens who sincerely want to help others, but I think it is also likely they are wise enough to know and fear the consequences of continuing the present system of such obscene inequality. It is not much to ask of the ultra-wealthy to give up a bit more of their wealth, but when they refuse even that, and some even suggest giving the rich and corporations even further breaks, it is not merely an invitation to revolt but also a virtual commandment. “Let them eat cake” didn’t work once before and it’s not going to work now, but it appears that many of our “leaders” are just as divorced from reality as was Marie Antoinette (although apparently pretty “bubble-headed” she didn’t really say this).

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