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Happy Birthday, America

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Message John Kusumi
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Some of us who write at political web sites forget that most Americans aren't political wonks and junkies. "How the other half live" is a world of work-a-day stuff, family concerns, and entertainment. They scarcely care how their favorite Senator is doing; instead, they care how their favorite team is doing. Advertising from corporate America puts conspicuous consumption into their faces every day. The ads display the latest and greatest goods and services that (a.) they've gotta get, and (b.) they can't afford. Inflation and the price of gas mean that "all that stuff" in the ads is less and less affordable. There is a "struggling class" which may realize that the system is at war with them -- but, except for complain, what can you do?

To me, this is a boring year in which to watch politics. General Wesley Clark recently seemed to denigrate the war record of John McCain. To use a word from Barack Obama, it was "inartful" for Clark to try and (mis)use the war record of John McCain against him. That was attacking McCain on his strength, and it was also an attack that seemed more ad hominem than policy-related. "Love the sinner and hate the sin" seems to be an attitude that is common among Americans. If we posit that politicians are sinners, and their policies are sins, then I think that it would be more fair to attack a John McCain policy -- and, less fair to attack McCain himself, personally. In fact, "inartful" is a mild euphemism. Barack Obama ought to "reject and denounce" his association with Wesley Clark, who revealed an arrogance and hubris that derives from being inside of a certain bubble, which is out of touch with many ordinary American people.

Yawn. As I say, it is a boring year in which to watch politics. It is easy to argue that all members of Congress are war criminals, and that the debate between Republicans and Democrats is a debate of war criminals arguing with war criminals. Or to return to my thought that politicians are sinners, it's a debate of sinners versus sinners. As usual, a choice between a Republican and a Democrat can only be a selection of "the lesser of two evils." Yawn.

The only way that Barack Obama can get my vote is if he (a.) rejects and denounces his association with Wesley Clark; (b.) embraces and endorses the impeachment of George W. Bush; and (c.) embraces and endorses a new investigation of the 9/11 attacks.

The only way that John McCain can get my vote is if he (a.) rejects and denounces trade deals which enlarge the U.S. trade deficit; (b.) embraces and endorses the impeachment of George W. Bush; and (c.) embraces and endorses a new investigation of the 9/11 attacks. Based on his trade policy, I might nickname him to be "Wrong Way McCain." That is based on his trade policy. So yes, I do have my differences with John McCain, but those are based on policy and not on denigrating his military service. His military service is one of the most honorable and heroic aspects of John McCain.

The only way that the presidential race becomes interesting in my eyes is if Cynthia McKinney, Ralph Nader, and Bob Barr are brought into the picture. Then I would sit up, pay attention, and stop yawning. (A handful of Americans may remember that I once was the teenage independent candidate for the U.S. White House, running against Ronald Reagan and Walter Mondale. I opposed the two party system, and I don't like the whole idea of voting for the lesser of two evils. If we get me going once again, I will remind one and all that the U.S. Constitution says nothing about a two party system. It's not in there; it is entirely an acquired habit of the chattering class.)

At this rate, I would nominate Barack Obama to become an architect, and I think that John McCain is fit for the role of kindly grandfather. As for selecting a U.S. President, I will look more deeply into the platforms of Barr, Nader, and McKinney before I make up my mind as to whom I will vote for in November. I believe in voting on the merits, not simply voting to be on the winning side.

Long before we get to November, we may find the population -- especially truckers -- undertaking a general strike. Right now, over 4 million truckers are on strike in India, and some U.S. groups have called for a shoppers strike to occur this Fourth of July. If you are boycotting shopping for the day, congratulations, I salute you! I also ask you to boycott the Olympics as well as its broadcaster NBC, and sponsors such as Coca Cola, McDonalds, and Visa during the month of August. I am a leading booster of the Olympic boycott movement, so I have activism and actions that I am asking of America.

Can you imagine a month of August in which you always choose Pepsi, Burger King, and MasterCard in place of Coke, McDonalds, and Visa? --I bet that Americans could do that. Pepsi, Burger King, and MasterCard are always there, so they can be favored and used instead of their competition, while that competition supports the Olympics. Other sponsors of the Olympics include General Electric, Johnson and Johnson, Kodak, Lenovo, Panasonic, Samsung, Swatch, Volkswagen, and Adidas. And I must admit that the mere thought of boycotting NBC puts a smile on my face! NBC is owned by General Electric, and GE is a major defense contractor which profits from war. That means that every day in every way, NBC News has a conflict of interest. NBC and GE are both on the list for the Olympics-related boycott, so yes, I am smiling! :)

The Olympics run from August 8 - 24, so that's the prime window for a boycott -- and then, I hear that groups are calling for a September 11 general strike to send another message-via-economics. Will the entire population get uppity in synchronization? We'll see; but, all of these are causes to which I am sympathetic. If you become a boycotter, more power to you! --And, for that matter, I support the boycott of any and all products 'Made in China.' China needs change, too -- that's the reason why there is the movement to boycott the Olympics!

For one more idea, it is time to reject and denounce Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), the Speaker of the House of Representatives. In her place, it is time to embrace and endorse Cindy Sheehan for Congress! If we take the view that all members of Congress are war criminals, then any race with a challenger versus an incumbent offers the refreshing debate of a non-war criminal versus a war criminal. Debates in the Congressional races will be more refreshing than Obama v. McCain, because as U.S. Senators, they are both incumbents, to whom I say "boo hiss" and "grrr."

Am I being too harsh? Are McCain, Obama and Pelosi really war criminals? Well, at least we can say that they are complicit enablers of the true war criminals, who may be George Bush and Dick Cheney. And that's the same that we can say about America's mainstream news media. They are complicit enablers of war criminals, to whom I also say "boo hiss" and "grrr."

Happy Birthday, America!
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The author was once the 18-year-old candidate for U.S. President ('84) and later the founder of the China Support Network, post-Tiananmen Square.
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