"Obama is Destroying America"
Promoting liberty in New Zealand and beyond
Private employers will be required to post large signs informing workers about their right to form unions under a new rule the Obama administration plans to institute by executive order.I am reminded of a famous quote from V.I. Lenin's Role and Functions of the Trade Unions
The plan received less than the amount of publicity that might have been expected because it was announced the week before Christmas when the main focus of the news was on the legislative battles in Congress.
The National Labor Relations Board plans to issue a rule requiring almost all employers to post notices in employee break rooms or other prominent spots that explain workers' rights to bargain collectively, distribute union literature or engage in other union activity without reprisal.
In the past the NLRB usually made policy on a case-by-case basis during labor-management disputes.
The decision to issue the new order steps up even further the more aggressively pro-labor role the board has played during the Obama administration.
The president first signaled his determination to strengthen the board's role in protecting organizing rights when he made several recess appointments to give the NLRB its first Democratic majority in ten years.
The recess appointments were made because because the presiden't candidates were held up for months over GOP claims that a former AFL-CIO lawyer, Craig Becker, would be too pro-union.
The administration's new rule is opposed by big business which sees it as an attempt to achieve, by executive order, some of what labor and its allies have not been able to achieve on the legislative front. Republican filibusters have blocked passage of the Employee Free Choice Act, which would make it easier to form unions. The EFCA would allow workers to form a union as soon as a majority sign cards expressing their desire to be in a union.
Others who oppose the rule see it as a step in the direction of reversing a long-term decline in union membership. Only 7.2 percent of the natioon's work force is now unionized. Anti-union forces fear that widespread knowledge of union organizing rights will begin to reverse that trend.
The rule will not take effect until late February. From now until then, the NLRB is taking comments.
Just as the very best factory, with the very best motors and first-class machines, will be forced to remain idle if the transmission belts from the motors to the machines are damaged, so our work of socialist construction must meet with inevitable disaster if the trade unions—the transmission belts from the Communist Party to the masses—are badly fitted or function badly.Strengthening unions strengthens socialism. The good Leninists of the Communist Party USA and their friends in the Obama Administration are no doubt acutely aware of this.
China is preparing for conflict 'in every direction', the defence minister said on Wednesday in remarks that threaten to overshadow a visit to Beijing by his US counterpart next month.What does Beijing know that Washington doesn't?
"In the coming five years, our military will push forward preparations for military conflict in every strategic direction," said Liang Guanglie in an interview published by several state-backed newspapers in China. "We may be living in peaceful times, but we can never forget war, never send the horses south or put the bayonets and guns away," Mr Liang added.
China repeatedly says it is planning a "peaceful rise" but the recent pace and scale of its military modernisation has alarmed many of its neighbours in the Asia-Pacific, including Japan which described China's military build-up as a "global concern" this month...
China also announced this month that it was preparing to launch its own aircraft carrier next year in a signal that China is determined to punch its weight as a rising superpower. The news came a year earlier than many US defence analysts had predicted.
China's military is deploying a new anti-ship ballistic missile that can sink U.S. aircraft carriers, a weapon that specialists say gives Beijing new power-projection capabilities that will affect U.S. support for its Pacific allies.Yep, now is the right time to reduce U.S. missile defenses.
Adm. Robert F. Willard, commander of the U.S. Pacific Command, disclosed to a Japanese newspaper on Sunday that the new anti-ship ballistic missile (ASBM) is now in the early stages of deployment after having undergone extensive testing.
"An analogy using a Western term would be 'initial operational capability (IOC),' whereby I think China would perceive that it has an operational capability now, but they continue to develop it," Adm. Willard told the Asahi Shimbun. "I would gauge it as about the equivalent of a U.S. system that has achieved IOC."
The four-star admiral, who has been an outspoken skeptic of China's claims that its large-scale military buildup is peaceful, said the U.S. deployment assessment is based on China's press reports and continued testing.
|"Lula" anoints Dilma Rousseff under the Communist Party of Brazil banner|
Latin America is increasingly turning into a geo-political and international challenge. On the one hand, Venezuela, under the leadership of Hugo Chavez, continues to support the Colombian narco-guerilla group known as the FARC. The FARC protects the activities of drug cartels, and cooperates with terrorist groups such as Hezbollah. On the other hand, a number of Southern Cone countries led by Brazil (and supported by Argentina and Uruguay) did not go as far as Venezuela but have conducted a foreign policy which is detrimental not only to the United States but to the free world, in general.
Brazil under the government of Jose Inazio Lula Da Silva took advantage of the country's economic growth (which was the cumulative result of years of economic and developmental polices that began before Da Silva took office) to flex its muscles in the regional and international arena.
President Lula Da Silva surprised the world, when despite having a left-wing background plus having been a co-founder along with Fidel Castro of the anti-American Foro de Sao Paulo, appointed conservative figures to his cabinet. That move was aimed at maintaining the continuity of Brazil's economic development which was pretty much based on the strong role and cooperation of the business community. The fact that Lula did not go left on domestic and economic polices led many people in the region and in Washington to believe that Brazil's stand in the international arena would be similar.
Thus, Washington policy makers sought out Brazil as an ally to counteract the growing malicious influence of Venezuelan president, Hugo Chavez. However, they were very disappointed and astonished by the fact that Lula not only failed to play such an expected role but also became an enabler of Chavez's revolutionary and expansionistic agenda.
In Lula's own words, "Chavez has been the best Venezuelan president in 100 years". Likewise, Lula pointed out that the anti-democratic practices employed by the Venezuelan government belong to the realm of Venezuelan sovereignty and not to the domain of universal human rights. Just last week Brazil and its allies in the Southern Cone supported the inclusion of Venezuela in Mercosur, the South American common market, despite Chavez's anti-democratic practices which contradicts the group's clause that conditions membership on the existence of fully democratic institutions.
In addition, Lula helped smuggle the deposed pro-Chavez former president of Honduras back into Tegucigalpa and shelter him there in the Brazilian Embassy. Lula has so far refused to recognize the elected government of Honduran president, Porfirio Lobo. The Brazilian president has also warmed up to the long and discredited die hard autocratic Cuban leader, Fidel Castro and called a Cuban political prisoner who died from a hunger strike a "criminal."
Beyond the region, Brazil joined forces with Turkey a number of months ago to cut a deal with Iran that would not only have not prevented Iran from developing a nuclear bomb but also encouraged it to develop more. Likewise, Brazil voted against sanctions on Iran imposed by the UN National Security Council. Thus, we have discovered that Brazil has had and continues to have its own distinctive foreign policy which requires further scrutiny and analysis...
Along with China, India and Russia, Brazil seeks a multi-polar world where the United States is not the only superpower. According to their thinking, world power is best shared among a number of countries. This scenario is not necessarily a bad one if maximum cooperation is achieved between these different political poles. One might question why the United States, alone, should be involved in every single case of counties that wish to develop nuclear weapons. Why should the U.S. be the only country to care about events in the world while the rest of the world waits for America to deliver a ready-made product? Why should the U.S. be the only country to raise concerns when democracy or human rights are violated while the rest of the nations seek only to satisfy their national interests? Indeed, there is nothing wrong with multi-lateral cooperation.
However, Brazil's international behavior under Lula has been guided by a strong and obsolete dose of anti-Americanism brought directly from Lula's radical left political upbringing. Brazil does not really seek a multi-polar world of cooperation. Lula's notion of multi-polarity is based on his opposition to the power and policies of the U.S. Thus, Brazil has cooperated with Iran‘s agenda of developing nuclear weapons and gave Iranian president, Mahmoud Ahamdinejad, a hero's welcome when the latter visited Brazil. Brazil also recognized the fraudulent elections that gave a victory to Ahmadinejad in June, 2009 with no regard for the violence with which anti-government demonstrations were repressed. This insensitivity is reflected in repeated statements made by Lula according to which Iran "has a right" to a nuclear program.
In this context, it is easy to understand why the Brazilian president was the first to unilaterally recognize the creation of a Palestinian state (with pre-1967 borders) while the U.S was making serious efforts to bring the Israelis and Palestinians together. According to Lula, who was successful in getting the Argentinean and the Uruguayan presidents to go along with this recognition, "it is a step to move forward a stagnant peace process". In fact, Lula was not only giving a free pass to the Palestinians in exchange for nothing but also trying to symbolically show its independence from and opposition to the United States and its ally, Israel.
Lula's foreign policy logic is embedded not just on the fact that Brazil is now a great country and therefore it demands a place in the world. Such policy is also guided by a strong desire to diminish U.S influence; not only in the region but in the world. Lula's policy is amoral and is deprived of any global responsibility. Jorge Castaneda, a former Mexican Foreign Minister, has observed that Brazil is part of a group of countries that oppose "more or less explicitly and more or less actively" notions such as human rights, democracy and non-proliferation. Castaneda pointed out Brazil's foreign policy under Lula is closer to that of authoritarian China (with which Lula has astronomically increased commercial and political relations) than it is to the West.
Lula's logic is of a political not economic nature. Like his fellows on the radical left, he dreams of a world with little American influence and claims a leadership role without offering any ideas that contribute to world peace: such as stability, human rights, opposition to international terrorism and nuclear proliferation ,or, any moral problems that have traditionally been the West's preoccupation. Lula's Brazil represents another version of Third World obsessed and outdated anti-colonialism. Under, a veil of sophistication (made possible due to comparisons with the ruthless and thuggish Hugo Chavez) Lula's Brazil has become a negative force in the region (attracting Argentina and Uruguay, countries now run by two leaders who share Lula's triumphalist attitude).
Well said, Mr Fleischman.Brazil is largely seen by Western countries as an emerging economic power but not necessarily a reliable political player. Under the new Brazilian president, Dilma Rouseff, no change should be expected except for the worse since Ms. Rouseff is a former guerilla and as such is likely to strengthen the policies of her predecessor.
Meanwhile, the U.S and the Western powers should continue to block Brazil's attempts at playing greater roles in international affairs (including its demands to become a permanent member of the UN Security Council) and treat that country with the suspicion it has earned.
On the eve of 3 October – with the strong wave of popular support for the candidacy of Rousseff – the liberal opposition in league with major media outlets has resorted to “dirty war” to try to prevent another people’s victory. They manipulate facts, spread lies against Dilma, carry out a campaign of hate against President Lula to. They seek – any price – the drag the electoral race into a second round of voting.The West needs realize that it has far more enemies than it is willing to admit.
Given this escalation of anti-democratic opposition, PCdoB calls for an intensifcation of the mobilization of the campaign in these final hours of this great and decisive conflict that will define the direction of Brazil...
|Jarvis Tyner campaigning for Obama, Salem Oregon, 2008|
There is a lively discussion in left progressive circles about the response to the tax (and unemployment insurance) extension compromise, and where to go after the midterm election set back. Left and progressive activists and voters have played a very important role in the fight against the extreme right-wing. I think most left people understand that the main danger to democracy and progress is coming from the extreme right, GOP/tea party and their powerful corporate backers.
The Communist Party will not agree with our liberal allies at every turn, but we keep pushing for unity, we keep working to find the tactics that keep a broad labor and people's coalition, that keeps the movement for change going.
In my view, too many people are arguing that the compromise tax bill "is the last straw" and "I'm through with Obama." This view singles out the tax breaks for the rich and largely ignores the concessions the GOP had to make to the working class....
In my opinion, a winning strategy has to be based on the real world; on the facts, not on subjective feelings that we all understandably have at this point. Serious change makers should not let those feelings be the sole guide as to how to move forward. If we want to win more economic and democratic rights for working people, minorities, women, young people, etc., it is self defeating to use this tax compromise difference to "break" with Obama. (I have to add that there are some voices who advocate a "break" that were never "with" the coalition to elect Obama in the first place.)
The stakes for our country and world are too high for any break -- or left/progressive go it alone -- tactics. Theories that promote "the worst things get, the better the opportunity for progressive change" are too simplistic and one dimensional. The problem is more complicated then that.
The economic crisis is deep, and millions of working people are suffering. The facts are that the Republicans policies deepened the crisis yet, they made the greatest gains in the last election.
The times we live in call for a strategy and tactics that will bring victories; victories that can be built on...
Everybody understands that running an election and running a country are different. It is my view that the Obama administration policies and legislative victories have helped tens of millions of working families -- perhaps more then any president in living memory -- considering the short time and the challenges he faced in office. Much more needs to be done but this struggle is a marathon not a sprint.
Communists say that even though we are not in agreement with the president on many basic issues, he implemented many of his campaign promises. Progressive researchers who track that sort of thing give him pretty good marks.
A significant problem that the president and others had to grapple with was while the Democrats had a majority in both houses of Congress, they did not have a big enough majority in the Senate to stop the filibuster. And on many questions Democratic members of Congress were not united enough to win. It was a fragile coalition to say the least.
The first woman speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, and the progressive Democratic leadership did a heroic job from 2006-2010. They passed 290 pieces of legislation in the House that the U.S. Senate never acted on, everything from a clean energy bill to the DREAM Act.
The right-wing opposition to these bills and Obama policies have been unrelenting, unprincipled, well financed and well organized.In the last section, Tyner reveals just how the Communist Party plans to help Obama with some pressure from below - a major nationwide campaign for government "jobs creation."
In my time, I have never seen a sitting president subjected to such an unrelenting, personal attacks. The level of racism and red-baiting, including violent threats, has been unprecedented.
What does it achieve when some on the left join in with the right wing, proclaiming Obama a liar who had deceived the voters; and worst of all that he was no different than Bush.
Tell that to all those workers who were able to put food on the table and keep their jobs and homes because of legislation proposed and passed by Obama and the Democrats in the Congress.
If it were the case -- i.e. Obama is Bush, etc. -- how do we explain those right-wing billionaires who finance so-called tea party and other anti-Obama movements. To these Bush supporters, Obama was the devil incarnate.
Some on the left saw any compromise with the right as "being too soft" rather then what was often a reflection of the real balance of power between the more lock step Republicans and divided Democrats.
I think Obama could have fought harder on many instances, but I also think when the racism was pouring down like acid rain polluting the atmosphere, and staining the political and moral fabric of the nation, the left was amazingly unresponsive. Too many times I heard people say it was Obama's fault for not fighting back. But the movement could have fought back. Blaming Obama makes it seem that the attacks are acceptable. Is that a principled position? For me, it's a form of capitulation to the extreme right and racism.
It's important to note, if the results had been more positive on November 2, the movement would be discussing taking the political offensive to help working people survive this horrible crisis by creating new, green jobs, ending the wars and attacks on immigrants.
The right-wing racist attack did more than mobilize their base, it also demoralized and demobilized Democratic voters. Some Democratic and progressive voters went from a messianic view of Obama to demonizing him. Neither are the right assessments to make.
For progressives, adopting an anti-Obama strategy is totally self-defeating. How do we distinguish ourselves from Sen. Mitch McConnell's and the Republicans' main goal of bringing down Obama?
2012 has to be part of any strategic and tactical thinking after these midterm elections. The next president will either be Obama or some right wing Republican. That's the reality for now. If the Republicans take control of all three branches of government -- again -- that will put the great majority of people on the defensive in the fight for economic and democratic rights. To not see that is a gross miscalculation of the right danger.
I think the most explosive issue is jobs and related economic crises -- like evictions -- facing working people. This will not be a easy time for the broad left/center coalition that brought the victory in 2006 and 2008.
One thing is clear to me, this fight cannot be won by making Obama the enemy. Those who are looking for a third party candidate on the left certainly have a right to do that, but it's not the path to victory at this stage.
The path to victory is in the critical fight for jobs and related issues. It's clear that the crisis of massive joblessness is not going to be solved in the halls of Congress and the White House alone. We need a united visible movement of the jobless to make it happen.
There needs to be a two year offensive for jobs through public works. In every city, state and town across the country we need to raise the demand.
Martin Luther King holiday weekend is an ideal occasion to kick off what should be a two year campaign all across the country.
King struggled for peace, jobs and freedom. The issue of jobs is not just an economic issue but a moral one, too. It can be linked to other issues including child welfare, poverty, immigrant rights, education, racial and gender equality, military spending and housing crisis.
Such a broad, grassroots movement will give real momentum to and build muti-racial unity for the 2012 elections. Franklin Roosevelt needed social movements to deliver the New Deal, and today, so does Obama.
The.. 111th Congress.. goes down in history as having written more laws affecting more people than any Congress since the Great Society of the 1960s. The legislative achievements include health care reform that gives 32 million Americans coverage, the most sweeping Wall Street reform since the Great Depression, the spending of $1.67 billion to revive the economy, including tax cuts and stimulus to create 3 million jobs, construction of roads and bridges, initial steps towards green energy projects, an end to the ban on gays serving openly in the military, and a massive nuclear arms reduction treaty with Russia.It's time for the America voter to understand.
Polls this week give President Obama an approval rating of 56 percent for his handling of the lame duck Congress, with 41 percent dis-approving.
Observers see a possible weakening of solidarity in the ranks of Republican senators, with a number of them having crossed over on several issues to support President Obama.
Alaska's Republican Sen. Lisa Murkowski backed all four of President Obama's signature initiatives in the lame duck session - repeal of Don't Ask, Don't Tell, the tax cut compromise, the START Treaty and the DREAM Act.
I mention all this because it is criminal for these people claiming to be radical or intellectual to oppose or refuse to support Obama. I hope we don't have to hear about "the lesser of two evils" from people whose foolish mirror worship wd have us elect the worst of two evils.''
For those who claim radical by supporting McKinney or, brain forbid, the Nadir of fake liberalism, we shoud have little sympathy. As much as I have admired Cynthia McKinney, to pose her candidacy as an alternative to Obama is at best empty idealism, at worst nearly as dangerous as when the Nader used the same windy egotism to help elect Bush.''Clearly Amiri Baraka knew a lot more about Barack Obama in 2008, than did most of the millions of voters who elected him.
The people who are supporting McKinney must know that that is an empty gesture. But too often such people are so pocked with self congratulatory idealism, that they care little or understand little about politics (i.e. the gaining maintaining and use of power) but want only to pronounce, to themselves mostly, how progressive or radical or even revolutionary they are.''
Faced with the obvious that McKinney cannot actually do anything by running but put out lines a solid left bloc should put out anyway, their pre-joinder is that Obama will be running as a candidate of an imperialist party, or Imperialism will not let Obama do anything different or progressive…that he will do the same things any democrat would do and that the Democrats are using Obama to draw young people to the Democratic party. Also that there is a sector of the bourgeoisie supports Obama to put a new face on the U.S. as alternative to the Devil face Bush has projected as the American image.''
Some of these things I agree with, but before qualifying that let me say that no amount of solipsistic fist pounding about "radical principles" will change this society as much as the election of Barack Obama will as president of the US. Not to understand this is to have few clues about the history of this country, its people, or the history of the Black struggle in the US. It is also to be completely at odds with the masses of the Afro-American people, let us say with the masses of black and colored people internationally. How people who claim to lead the people but who time after time tail them so badly must be understood. It is because they confuse elitism with class consciousness...''
Even the dumbest things Obama has said re: Cuba and the soft shoe for Israel must be seen as the cost of realpolitik, that is he is not running for president of the NAACP and not to understand that those are the stances that must be taken in the present political context, even though we hold out to support what he said about initiating talks with the Cubans, the Palestinians . After years of Washington stupidity and slavish support for the Miami Gusanos and Israeli imperialism, there is in Obama's raising of talks with the U.S. Bourgeois enemies something that must be understood as the potential path for new initiative. It is the duty of a left progressive radical bloc to be loud and regular in our demands for the changes Obama has alluded to in his campaign. We must take up these issues and push collectively, as a Bloc, or he will be pushed inexorably to the right.''
Obama has addressed the Israeli lobby and the Gusano (anti Cuba) lobby. But where is the Black left and general progressive, radical and revolutionary lobby? That is the real job we need to address. We must bring something to the table. It is time for the left to really make some kind of Left Bloc to support Obama...''
"Americans don't want to hear about socialism yet, but that's exactly what's happening".
|John Key shaking Wen Jibao's bloody little claw|
Prime Minister John Key assured Chinese premier Wen Jiabao no ministers would meet the Dalai Lama - despite a pre-election commitment to hold a meeting with the exiled Tibetan spiritual leader, cables between Wellington and Washington show.Imagine if Key had told the Chinese thugs to "piss off" and to keep their bloody little claws off New Zealand's affairs. Now there would be a man worth respecting.
The cables from the United States embassy in Wellington reveal that in April last year, Mr Key told the Chinese premier neither he nor his Cabinet would meet the Dalai Lama when he visited New Zealand last December, the Herald on Sunday reported.
That was despite give a pre-election commitment to Friends of Tibet chairman Thuten Kesan that he would meet the exiled leader, and despite Foreign Affairs Minister Murray McCully telling Parliament there was no boycott.
However, a cable from Wellington to Washington quoted Ministry of Foreign Affairs diplomat Grahame Morton as saying: "PM Key had earlier conversed with Premier Wen Jiabao concerning the Dalai Lama's December 4-7 visit to Auckland, saying that neither he nor any of his ministers would meet with the Dalai Lama.
"Morton said the Chinese 'obviously registered' this. Morton added that the PM ... made this decision without any consultation, but others in the Government are still obliged to respect it."
Labour leader Phil Goff told the newspaper he knew Mr Morton and the cable would be a "reliable briefing - and it demonstrates the Key government has not been honest with New Zealanders".
Key is out of the country but McCully rejected "any assertion of a deal being done" over the Dalai Lama.
"That decision was made by the prime minister in consultation with relevant ministers. Representatives of the Chinese Government were informed of that decision in due course," he said.
The U.S. government formally notified Congress on Oct. 20 of a $60 billion arms sale to Saudi Arabia. The package, which includes both combat aircraft and military helicopters, is considerable and will provide the Saudis with even more of some of the most modern fighter jets in the entire region. Militarily, however, Riyadh’s challenge is not a matter of hardware: Saudi Arabia already fields a broad spectrum of some of the highest-end and most modern military equipment in the region. Instead, its challenge is fielding that hardware. With deliveries years away, the new deal will do little to balance the resurgent Iranian regime in the near-term, and prolongs Saudi Arabia’s heavy dependence on U.S. defense support.
The new package, which will reinforce the quality and quantity of Saudi military hardware over the course of the next two decades, will include:
- 84 new-build and more modern variants of the F-15S combat fighter aircraft.
- The upgrade of 70 existing Saudi F-15S to this new standard.
- 70 AH-64 Apache attack helicopters.
- 72 UH-60 Black Hawk utility helicopters.
- 36 AH-6i light attack-reconnaissance helicopters.
- 12 light training helicopters.
- Associated armaments, including air-to-air and air-to-ground ordnance (including 1,000 “bunker-buster” bombs designed to penetrate hardened and deeply buried facilities).
The Idaho congressional delegation received notification Friday that Mountain Home Air Force Base has been chosen as the preferred site to host a training mission for the Royal Saudi Air Force. Placing a training base in the United States is part of a $60 billion arms package the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is purchasing from the U.S., which includes 84 new F-15SA fighter jets and upgrades to the Saudi's current inventory of F-15C fighters.The Saudi government will apparently bear all costs for basing the squadron.The arms sale will doubtless be welcomed by the arms industry in the United States.
Col. Pete Lee, vice commander of the 366th Fighter Wing at Mountain Home Air Force Base described the announcement as "a great opportunity," for the base, the local community and the region.
|October 26, 2003, Helen Clark shakes hands with Chinese President Hu Jintao after signing two market access protocols between NZ and China at the Ruakura Research Centre.|
|Helen Clark, meets with Chinese President, Hu Jintao, at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, May 30, 2005.|
A former New Zealand government courted China and France in an attempt to curb American and Australian influence in the Pacific, according to a leaked diplomatic cable published here Saturday.For a KeyWiki bio of New Zealand's pro-communist former Prime Minister Helen Clark, go here
New Zealand is also said to have formulated its anti-nuclear legislation, which caused a deep rift with Washington, because of a desire to trim its defence budget as well as for publicly stated ideological reasons.
The claims are made in a 2004 cable released by the WikiLeaks website under the heading "What we could not say in the mission programme plan", the Dominion Post newspaper reported.
The cable said New Zealand's Labour Party government led by Helen Clark flirted with China and France in the early 2000s "to curtail US and Australian influence in the region," it said.
During a visit by the Chinese vice-minister for trade, "New Zealand Trade Minister (Jim) Sutton publicly claimed that China was New Zealand's most important and valued trading partner, a claim that left Australian officials here scratching their heads in wonder."