Saturday, November 8, 2014

Tear Down This Wall

As Western media and politicians celebrate the "fall of the Berlin Wall" with chest thumping and revisionist history, another wall continues to go up in Palestine, the apartheid so-called "separation barrier" between Israel and what is left of Palestinians' land, which as artist Steve Bell points out his painting depicting Israel's apartheid wall, is much more of a barrier that the Berlin Wall was.

In typically dishonest Zionist fashion, the wall, which the International Court of Criminal Justice found to be part of the illegal Israeli settlement and annexation enterprise, along its entire length is built well into Palestinian territory and not on Israeli land, thereby stealing another large chunk of Palestinian land -- 46 percent of the West Bank by some accounts.

The Wall, still under construction, is grotesque, encircling entire Palestinian villages, cutting Palestinians off from their farmland -- which they can no longer even go to -- and separating Palestinians towns from each other. It creates little Palestinian bantustans that are far worse off than South Africa's were.

This is what the US political establishment, even progressive heroes like Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren, supports when it voices its 100 percent support for Israel.

...if the wall went through London - by a UK support group

Former East German apparatchik, former East Berlin resident and now German chancellor Angela Merkel has stepped forth to pronounce that an "irrepressible yearning for freedom" brought down the Berlin Wall.

Wrong, Frau Merkel. It was Michael Gorbachev, who finally gave vent to Easterners' fantasies about the unlimited happiness they'd have if only they had the unlimited material possessions Westerners had. But it was mostly Gorbachev, who opened things up in the Soviet Union, signaled it would be OK for Soviet satellites to break away, and for the wall to come down, and when it did, held back the Soviet troops that occupied East Berlin.

Populism in Minnesota

Hubert H Humphrey
A post at the Troutbirder blog about a new wilderness area in Minnesota -- bought from a state fund created when Minnesota's taxpayers voted to raise their taxes to create a fund for such purposes -- led me on a web surfing excursion into Minnesota's history of populist and progressive politics, which include Hubert H Humphrey, by far my favorite politician when I was growing up. Humphrey's stemwinder speeches at national conventions and while campaigning had a lot to do with inspiring my lifelong passionate interest in politics.

I also came across the web site for the Progressive Populist magazine, which has clear headed analysis of American politics including of last week's election, from a traditional Liberal perspective not under the influence of Neoliberalism, i.e. Reaganomics, as is the national Democratic Party and New Mexico's Democrats. It's what Democrats used to think and should be thinking. I've added Progressive Populist to my blog roll on the right hand side.

Minnesota's politics are still influenced by the Populist wave that swept the Midwest in the late 1800s and lasted into the 1950s and 1960s, when McCarthyism and Cold War hysteria finally allowed the two mainstream parties to stamp it out and co-opt what was left of it -- a process Hubert H Humphrey had a lot to do with, I learned today. That's the worldwide web for you, a source of inspiration, enlightenment, and of disillusionment and irony.

Populism is now often used by the media and by politicians as a perjorative to demonize political opponents for 'pandering to the masses,' the ironic implication being that what's best for the country is what's best for the wealthy. As it played out in Minnesota and other parts of America, however, populism was simply the political expression of the majority who saw that government had come under the control of the railroad tycoons, bankers and Wall Street. It overlapped what was once a strong Socialist Party and socialist movement in the US, but was inspired by and dealt more with local issues. In one form or another Populism still exists in the US. You know it is when Hillary Clinton becomes wary of the people and starts dissing the very Wall Street bankers and tycoons she's in bed with. 

Populism was and is simply the expression of the interests of farmers, laborers, small business owners, skilled tradesmen, craftsmen -- working people -- and was largely fueled by values brought here by immigrants -- Italians, Germans, Spanish, Russians, Jews, etc., and in Minnesota by Swedes, Norwegians and other Scandinavians, who know full well the value of public lands.

Troutbirder and Miss Lily on newly-purchased public lands - Troutbirder blog photo

Note: Minnesota "Democrats" (like US Senators Al Franken and Amy Klobuchar,) still run under the ballot line Democratic-Farmer-Laborer Party, D-FL, which was the 1944 merger of the progressive Farmer-Laborer Party, which had virtually ruled Minnesota for decades, with the Democratic Party, a merger brought about largely by the efforts of Hubert H Humphrey.

No comments:

Post a Comment