Is This What Real Change Looks Like?

I cannot join in the jubilation at the election of Obama.  To paraphrase Atticus Finch, I could be overjoyed at the election of a black man but not at the expense of polite fiction and human life. 

The corporate owned media who selected the candidates did a skillful job of putting forward the interests of their owners.  A choice between McCain and either a woman or a black man was ingenious.  Either would have looked like a great “progressive” victory.  Obama’s election is heralded as a great victory.  The Times, mouthpiece of the corporate owners of this country, says it is a “sea change.”  Others claim “morning in America.” 

I hate being unable to join in the general jubilee, but I cannot turn a blind eye to the facts. 

Obama, to the delight of the corporations who fund him and who have made billions of dollars during the Bush regime, has not announced plans to end the illegal occupation of Iraq nor to bring our personnel home.  His plans are to increase defense spending, leave troops in Iraq indefinitely, and expand the war in Afghanistan and Pakistan.

In addition, after being nominated, Obama voted for spying on US citizens and for immunity for the companies who engage in that illegal activity.  He takes a lot of money from the telecom industry.  He also agreed to the rush job Wall Street bailout, passed as the Patriot Act had been, without review in committee and without debate.  He signed on to the biggest transfer of wealth from ordinary tax payers to corporations in history.

And, as for the Patriot Act, instead of fighting to see that attack on Constitutional Rights expire, he voted to extend it.

No, this is not a time for rejoicing and celebrating for me. 

Rather, it is a time for continuing action.   It is, naturally it would be, raining today at two thirty in the afternoon, but whether it stops by five o’clock or not, I shall join with others at Federal Plaza here in New York to call for an end to the occupations and to torture. 

What are you doing to end the slaughter of innocent children, women, and men that is more and more invisible to us who are paying for it?  What are you doing to assure that our rights are restored, and justice and peace are put forward?  

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