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Exceprts from Anti-War Speech: “Get Your Populist Rage On”


Excerpts from a freezing speech I gave in in Iowa City (IC) right before the Radical Cheerleaders rocked the IC Ped Mall at a "Funk the War[s]" rally last Saturday afternoon:

…We need to situate the new administration in the world of power as it is, not the world of power as so many us wish it to be….

…A lot of us are starting to figure out that Status QuObama was hired by the corporate and military establishment to (among other things) put us all to sleep on the left. Its about time. Its like this guy Scott Horton said on Antiwar.com a few weeks back: "those who bought into the slogans ‘Hope’ and ‘Change’ last fall should have read the fine print. We were warned."

…The message from the new Washington regime and from the dominant corporate media that sold it to us is very clear. Our instructions are to calm down. Stand down. Chill out. Be cool. We are supposed to understand that our anger is dangerous and dysfunctional. Our "populist rage" is making things worse. If you want decent and democratic policies like single payer national health insurance, union organizing rights, public control of the financial system, the removal of Wall Street perpetrators, the prosecution of war crimes, the slashing of the bloated Pentagon budget, a real peace dividend……if you want all these things and are ready to fight for them beyond the supervision of your corporate and political masters, then you are a suitable case for psychiatric treatment .You are threat to civilized decency. You are too "emotional" and too "angry." You are not being "helpful." You need to be quiet so that the new supposedly non-ideological system-coordinators — so that unmitigated corporate assholes like Lawrence Summers and Timothy Geithner — can "get things done."

You are the Jack Nicholson character in One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest. You need Nurse Ratchet to give you a tranquilizer and schedule you for a nice corporate-neoliberal Obama Lobotomy – an Obotomy.

Just ask some of these know-it-all fake-progressive whipped-dog liberals around here in Iowa City. They’ll lecture you to death about it, justifying their own stupidity and laziness and co-optation and cowardice along the way…

Tell them to keep that power-worshipping bullshit over in the faculty lounge. Tell them you will not be tranquilized, mesmerized. and Obotomized. Tell them you are not cool with fauxBama’s determination to sustain a $ 1 trillion dollar-a-year Pentagon budget that maintains more than 760 bases located across more than 130 countries, an empire that account for half the military spending in the world – all in the name of something they call "defense."

….Sorry, I am not kosher, I am not down, and I am not cool with the bipartisan Empire spending hundreds of billions of dollars on illegal wars of colonial invasion while more than 40 million Americans live in poverty and while tent cities containing thousands of homeless families are springing up across this country. I am not cool with "my" government funneling trillions of dollars to Wall Street while 50 million Americans lack basic health coverage and while millions of disadvantaged U.S. citizens lack minimally adequate food, clothing, shelter, education, and social respect.

…I am not cool with historic handouts of taxpayer money from Bush and now from Status QuObama to financial tycoons and to so-called "defense" contractors while schools go under-funded, while millions more Americans are foreclosed and pushed into destitution and while workers and unions and the environment go under-protected….

… . Don’t let all these whipped-dog pseudo-liberal upper-middle-class Nurse Ratchet know-it-alls around here get you down. It’s time to get your "populist rage" on. …You must connect your opposition to militarism to your struggle for social justice and economic equality. We don’t have to choose between fighting the wars and fighting for economic justice. Empire and Inequality are two sides of the same coin of oppression at home and abroad.

Fight the rich, not their wars.

Write up (actually not all that bad) in "Barack Obama’s [onetime] favorite newspaper," The Daily Iowan: http://www.dailyiowan.com/2009/03/30/Metro/10765.html

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