Audio Commentary #259

June 25, 2013


Submitted to the Detroit Coalition Against Police Brutality on June 23, 2013.

Commentary Transcript:

The iconic statement from the Tale of Two Cities is, ‘This is the best of times and the worst of times.’  The problem that I am having is finding where the best of times stands.  I suppose at least on a personal level, I can’t complain: good health and a skilled law practice.  But we are not faced with personal redemption.  Rather we are faced with collective assault on us.  Some time ago I recommended the book by Ellen Schwartz, Retirement Heist: How Companies Plunder and Profit from the nest eggs of American Workers.  Ed McNeil, a Union leader representing city workers, this morning described how Kevin Orr and the Republican Synderites are plundering Michigan cities and in particular, Detroit – robbing workers of pension rights earned over a lifetime.

Now having devastated private pensions, they are going after pensions of public workers.  And that is the point.  It will never stop – raid the pensions, attack Unions, destroy education for working people.  It will not stop.  Over 3 years ago a comment was made on Fighting for Justice that we know where the Republicans are coming from.  The next week my commentary remarked that apparently not – Progressives have seldom realized the danger of right wing attacks.  Too often Progressives spend much time attacking those closest to them, their very allies.

And there is an ideological reason.  Secretly and sometimes overtly, Progressives believe that the revolutionary movement will grow as objective oppression increases.  They then ignore the true enemies of the working class, often leveling more criticisms against Granholm and Obama than the Republican Synderites or the Scott Walkers, or even the Mitt Romney’s.

Are we in revolutionary times?  Of course not, even though the brutality of austerity and the oppression of the war making machine is at its worse since Vietnam.  In addition, the thieves of Wall Street are stealing trillions.  The ruling elite learned from Vietnam and the civil rights uprisings.  They eliminated the draft, privatized the army, installed mass incarceration and eliminated the 4th Amendment.  In that way, they divided the working class, imposing the tragedies of war on the most oppressed sections of the working class and provided incentives to right wing opportunists within the Black and Latino communities.  They then nurtured and developed the most right wing hatreds of the working class creating the Tea Parties and their hateful compatriots.

These are not revolutionary times. If they were, there would have been a million people at the commemoration of the Martin Luther King, Jr march in Detroit yesterday.  But there are millions of people protesting a Capitalist system that oppresses and impoverishes.  We unite with these struggles, whether they are in Brazil or Greece or wherever they are found.  These are perilous times in America.  For years I have endured listening to working people attack their Unions, and listening to small businessmen bemoaning Union organizing.  I tell workers, you are the Union so make it strong.  If it is not strong, look to yourself.  I often ask – when was the last time you went to a Union meeting?  Now we pay the price.  Ed McNeil, a Union organizer, this morning explained what Kevin Orr is doing to the city.  The Unions are fighting back and all Detroiters must support them.

It is amazing how the Corporate Media can distort the framing of the issue.  What are legacy costs that are used to attack pensions?  They certainly are not the hard work and savings of a life time of work by workers.  Legacy costs are the looting of pensions, busting of Unions, the gifts to the thieves of Wall Street and the enormously high price of unending wars, the fraud of the rating agencies, and the targeting of Detroit by the Bank of America.

John Oliver, the replacement of John Stewart on the Daily Show, in discussion of the invasion of privacy by the NSA stated, ‘We recognize that what is being done is not illegal and that is the problem.”  But in the case of Kevin Orr, the actions of the Republicans Synderites are illegal, unconstitutional and certainly undemocratic.

The saddest part of this scenario is that the Corporate Media has somehow convinced many people that Detroit’s fate is caused by Detroit’s mismanagement, as if the thieves of Wall Street, the rating agencies, the Kevin Orr’s of a different stripe, will only attack Detroit, Flint, and Benton Harbor.  It is only a matter of time before they turn their raiding parties on the rest of the cities of Michigan.  Even Sheila Cockrel supports Kevin Orr and Gary Brown is planning to run for Mayor in 4 years, once the city is fully conquered.

The second saddest part is that Progressives in large numbers are in the outside carping away.  This is a time to put away narrow egotistical complaints and incapacitating anger.  That is why I support Krystal Crittendon for Mayor.  Her program is the only one that targets Kevin Orr’s corruption as the primary problem for this city.  We have been given a gift because of Mike Duggan’s incompetence.  The Unions need to reach out to her.  She has proven she is the only candidate willing to fight against both the person of the financial manager and the concept of the financial manager.  Ed McNeil pointed out this morning that Illich owes the city $200,000,000 in taxes and so does the State Synderites.  Those are battles we must have and she is the only person with a proven record.

I am Spartacus and so are We all!

My CD’s are now available including Volumes 1 – 15.


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