Jack Random

Jack Random is the author of the Jazzman Chronicles (Crow Dog Press) and Ghost Dance Insurrection (Dry Bones Press). See The Chronicles have been posted on the Albion Monitor, Bellaciao, Buzzle, CounterPunch, Dissident Voice, Pacific Free Press and Peace-Earth-Justice. www.jazzmanchronicles.blogspot.com

Tuesday, 12 April 2011 00:00 GFP Columnist - Jack Random
“Do you feel lucky, punk? Well, do you? Go ahead, make my day.” - Harry Callahan, Sudden Impact (1983) - Late Friday night the word came down that congress made a deal with the White House to avert a government shutdown. Too bad. If history teaches us anything it is that the American electorate does not believe in close calls.

In the last hour of the Bush administration, when congress was compelled to hand over billions to Wall Street in order to avoid a global economic meltdown, you would have thought we learned a lesson. We did not. We watched as the government reinstated the same catastrophic policies that placed us at the brink of catastrophic implosion.

We learned nothing. We continue to vent our rage at anyone but the criminal party. We continue to vote for pandering politicians who claim that government is the problem. We continue to support policies that favor the corporate elite.

I am reminded of the man who shot himself in the foot to cure a bunion. Seeing the damage the doctor said: Well, it’s a good thing you didn’t have a headache.
Sunday, 27 March 2011 00:00 GFP Columnist - Jack Random
“It is time to become what American principles and values insist that we must become. It is time to be what our leaders have always claimed that we were: a beacon of justice, human rights and democracy. It is time to fulfill the promise of our forefathers. Our destiny cannot and must not be to dominate the world but rather to improve the lot of human kind.” - The Jazzman Chronicles, Volume One, Principles of Foreign Policy.

I believe in democracy. I believe in the right of the people to self-determination. I believe in civil liberties and fundamental human rights. I believe that unjustified war is the ultimate violation of human rights and, therefore, the use of arms to settle conflicts must be a last option.

I am not a pacifist. I believe there are circumstances that justify war. For a war to be truly justified, these circumstances cannot be defined ad hoc. They cannot be adopted impromptu to fit the circumstance of a crisis. They must be defined as a matter of policy and principle.

Thursday, 17 March 2011 00:00 GFP Columnist - Jack Random
Which of these does not belong? - Democratic revolutions swept across the Middle East from Tunisia to Egypt to Libya and beyond. We didn’t know quite what to make of it. The dictators were our traditional allies while democracy was our legacy.

How could we oppose peaceful demonstrations in the cause of freedom, justice and democracy? When the truth was illustrated on our televisions and I-Pads and cell phones and web sites on a twenty-four-seven basis we could not oppose but neither could we intervene. We had forfeited that option by our sordid history in the region, by the overthrow of a democratic government in Iran and our ongoing wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

We could only give encouraging words and watch the events unfold. We were fortunate that the military finally took charge in Egypt, cutting loose the dictator. We were not so fortunate in Libya where the tyrant retains his brutal hold on power. To the extent that he is doing so with American made weapons, hired thugs and mercenary forces, this should be an end to an indiscriminate weapons trade and private armies dedicated to no one but the profit margin.

Monday, 07 February 2011 00:00 GFP Columnist - Jack Random

“The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will in this crisis shrink from the service of his country but he that stands it now deserves the love and thanks of man and woman.” - Tom Paine, The American Crisis.

That which we knew would happen has happened, is happening and will continue to happen until the tyrant is removed from power and a new government is securely in place.

The crackdown has begun in earnest. The dictator has responded as dictators do when confronted with the defiance of the people. His behavior is as predictable as the laws of physics: Challenge his authority and he will strike back with every weapon and all the force at his disposal.

He has sent his goons, his hit squads, his criminals and hoods into Liberation Square under the thinnest veil of cover with orders to disrupt, destroy and wreak havoc by all means. He has fresh blood on his hands. By so doing the dictator has secured his place in history. It is no longer a story of nuance and complexity, balancing the good that some say he has done in the past against the bad that he has done and is doing now. He is a villain and a criminal that will face justice at the hands of his people or before a tribunal of the International Criminal Court.

Wednesday, 02 February 2011 00:00 GFP Columnist - Jack Random

Nothing frightens the ruling elite more than a fresh new wave of democracy. When the people are empowered to challenge repressive governments on the streets, a challenge to the corporate dominance that shapes world economic policy cannot be far behind.

The events in Tunisia and Egypt with rumors of upheaval in Yemen and Jordan have sent shock waves through the halls of power in every boardroom of every corporate monolith and every war room of their protectorates in government.

Democratic governments are facing a dilemma: How to frame the emergence of a democratic movement in an oppressed nation as a double-edged sword?

All governments have a stake in these affairs and all must feel obliged to hedge their bets. If WikiLeaks is worth its weight in gigabytes we will begin to see a rising tide of government duplicity as the uncertainty of Hosni Mubarak’s reign takes hold.

Monday, 17 January 2011 00:00 GFP Columnist - Jack Random

It is not about blame. We are all to blame and we are none.

It is not about Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, Bill O’Reilly, Michele Bachmann, Ann Coulter or Sarah Palin. They are not the cause of this disease; they are only symptoms.

It is about that part of ourselves we do not wish to see. It is that part of our souls that we keep hidden in the shadows and refuse to acknowledge. It has been with us and within us for thousands of years and it will be within us until the end of time.

It is the killing spirit, the spirit of vengeance, intolerance, greed and hatred. Its antithesis is understanding, empathy, kindness and civility. The one poisons the soul of humanity and the other heals.

So you still think it is a good idea to allow guns at political rallies?


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