“The Cost of a Decline in Unions” by Nicholas Kristof (TIMES, 2/19/15)

February 24, 2015

Kudos to Nicholas Kristof for admitting that he was wrong about seeing unions as impediments to a healthy economy.

He should have added that as unions have declined so has the workingclass. Workers in the USA are being included in the middleclass, even as they are being paid stingy wages.

Greece, Italy and Spain have workers. In the USA, such people as that have dropped off the unemployed roster. If we can’t find jobs for people, why even acknowledge their existence?

A. Garavente

National Jobs For All Coalition (NJFAC)

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” Larry Vs Marco” by David Brooks TIMES, 2/13/15

February 17, 2015

If “Capitalism’s great triumph over socialism has been followed by a series of humbling setbacks since,” wasn’t that victory a Pyrric one?

More to the point: has the economic depression (not “great recession”) really come to an end?

Hiding the workingclass in the vaunted middleclass, of course, does make it difficult to assess its actual condition.

“Moderate conservative David Brooks rarely throws sufficient light on the situation.

A. Garavente

“Congress, Don’t Be Fooled; Obama Still Believes in Unlimited War” by Bruce Ackerman (TIMES, 2/12/15)

February 17, 2015

But Donald Rumsfeld said he didn’t do quagmires!

Can’t Obama get him on the phone?

Are the American people expected to tolerate this quagmire indefinitely?

Has anybody called Dick Cheney? Surely, the former Shadow President–the “take charge guy”– would know?

A. Garavente

“How I Became a Radical” by James Gustave Speth, THE NATION, 2/16/15

February 10, 2015

The question is not how individuals like Speth (or myself, for that matter) become radical. Some variation of this essay could be written by millions of Americans.

The left should organize a political party–call it radical or progressive–that represents the American workingclass, a more significant proportion of the population  than is generally acknowledged. (Everybody claims to be middleclass!)

The workingclass constitutes those people who rely on a wage or a salary for their existence. If properly led, such people would openly favor a higher minimum wage and a shorter work week as two of their immediate needs.

A progressive political party would work 24/7 for the attainment of such reforms. The two-party system is dead in the water.

A. Garavente

National Jobs For All Coalition

“Chiang vs, Mao” by Thomas J. Christensen

February 10, 2015

J.V. Stalin was not a role model for Mao Zedong. On the contrary, Mao had to overcome the control of a group of Stalinist stooges usually referred to as the “Returned Students’ faction.” That struggle took place from 1931 to 1938.

Though Mao never held the title secretary general of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), he did function as one after the short-lived reigns of Wang Ming, Bo Gu and Luo Fu between 1931 and 1938.

His rise to power was possible primarily because he held the reins of power during the Agrarian Revolutionary Civil War (1927-1937), the leading force of a vast peasant uprising.

Though this rebellion reached its apogee by the spring of 1932, it was still a force to be reckoned with in 1934, when its leaders attempted a “strategic shift” (aka: the Long March, 1934-1936).

That’s what Mao was doing when leaders of the CCP apparatus (Liu Shaoqi and Deng Xiaoping) were attempting to proletarianize what had been a peasant resistance.

A. Garavente

National Jobs For All Coalition

“Backing CIA, Cheney Ramps Up Criticism of Senate Report” (TIMES, 12/14/14)

December 18, 2014

The question for historians is: was Dick Chaney a “Shadow President,” the one really holding the reins of the presidency?That’s where the investigation should go.

Is there any record of the many breakfast meetings Bush had to endure with this modern stormtrooper?

A. Garavente

“The Unifying Leader” David Brooks (TIMES, 11/25/14)

December 18, 2014

     Moderate conservative David Brooks is on the loose again, urging us to create a “culture of cooperation.” And we are all to blame, Democrats, Independents, and (what’s that other party?)…oh yeah…Republicans.

As we used to say in Brooklyn: “Tell it to the Marines!”

How do you deal with a prominent Republican who introduced a bill to Congress, then voted against it?

Once again, Brooks sounds like a middle school teacher pleading with close-minded pols intent on sabotaging the democratic process.

A. Garavente

“Hagel Submits Resignation as Defense Chief Under Pressure” (TIMES, 11/24/14)

December 18, 2014

Firing Hagel, a “soft” Secretary of Defense, is the logical conclusion of a very slow removal of our troops from Afghanistan. They could have all been out soon after Obama was re-elected in 2012.

But, as the old adage has it, “those who hesitate are lost.” No wonder so many people are claiming that Obama is a lame duck (though he is president for 25 more months), plenty of time to exercise his executive clout.

If Obama uses the veto to stop the machinations of a reactionary GOP, the Republicans don’t have the votes to override it.

So, he can stop trembling before the Blue Dogs and worrying about electing Hilary Clinton as the next president. Obama’s first priority is to continue fighting for his objectives.

A. Garavente

“In a Shift, Obama Extends U.S. Role in Afghan Combat” (TIMES, 11/22/14)

December 18, 2014

No, the American people have not learned that “It’s harder to end wars than it is to begin them!” The majority of those who bother to vote continue to stumble in the dark.

And our troops continue to wallow in the quagmire Donald Rumsfeld swore would not happen in Afghanistan.

 And the situation in Iraq is coming apart at the seams.

And onetime Republican presidential choice John McCain advocates fighting for a hundred years, “if necessary.”

And the warfare has spread to Syria.

And Democratic presidential candidate Hilary Clinton has a more “muscular foreign policy” than the sitting president.

Question for the GOP patriots: will the 2016 presidential candidate be a senior officer from the armed forces?

A. Garavente

“How to Buy an Election” by Lee Fang (THE NATION, 11/10/14)

November 6, 2014

Maybe I am getting too old (I’ll be 83 on November 30th) to read your publication, but it is losing its interest (and the small type doesn’t help matter very much). Per Cataluna indeed! What percentage of your readers remember the Spanish Civil War?

And after the election results of November 4th, isn’t it obvious that U.S. democracy is getting worse? Elections, as Lee Fang stated, are being purchased. The two-party system stinks out loud!

The workingclass has to be rallied as the 4th major party to do battle with the Democrats, Republicans and Libertarians. That would be the best way to expand the electorate.

Stop the rightward drift. The road to victory is on the left.

A. Garavente