Dec. 31, 2014 By Jack Jodell.
It has been a long and eventful year. After a six decades-long absence, an American Embassy will soon open again in Cuba. This is generally receiving wide approval, although certain young political crybabies like the far-right Tea Party darling Marco Rubio complain about it bitterly. Like most Teabaggers, though, Rubio is far from pragmatic and prefers to sit all alone in bitterness and isolation. Who cares about that spoiled little yuppie anyway? THIS blogger sure doesn’t!
Speaking of the Tea Party, they helped engineer a disastrous Republican takeover of the US Senate in those godawful midterm elections of last November. Now Sen. Ron Johnson of WI will end up as Committee chair for the committee which oversees the Postal Service. Johnson wants to privatize that institution and favors bankruptcy and massive layoffs there rather than having it continue as a government-run institution. Let that be a lesson to every lazy Democratic or progressive voter who failed to vote in November: that is exactly the kind of non-leadership we get when reactionary, government-hating Tea Party Republicans take over! Likewise, We Progressives must do all we can to prevent these government-hating yahoos from granting President Obama fast track privileges to saddle us with a very horrible passage 0f the dreaded Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade arrangement! We must also fight the construction of the dreaded Keystone XL Pipeline, as well as fight all efforts to privatize the US Postal Service and to to protect it from insolvency! Because so many progressive voters stayed home and didn’t vote in the election, the reactionary Republicans gained a lot of power they are NOT entitled to! We must now dig in our heels and resist them every step of the way for the next two years, or all the great benefits we have fought for since the 1930s will be done away with. It’s high time we put up our dukes and began to defend our ground, for the next two years will definitely not be easy!
Thankfully, though, not all is doom and gloom for the progressive cause. The President DID come out strongly in favor of net neutrality, so at least in that area we can rest a little easier. Gasoline prices are down tremendously as I write, and I hope this temporary respite won’t slow our drive to implement new, affordable, renewable energy sources!
Another bright spot on the horizon is a trend I have been detecting recently toward favoring smaller, locally-owned businesses and away from big box retailers like Wal-Mart, Target, and the like. I just saw a remarkable film on FREE SPEECH TV called “The Apple Pushers.” It focused on the struggles of many New York street vendors, who, despite all obstacles, were making a go of it on busy New York City sidewalks and street corners. These incredible people, overwhelmingly legal immigrants, put in long hours, day after day, to own their own businesses and pursue their own American Dream. They have been dealing in organic foods and fresh produce, selling affordable, locally-produced and nutritious foodstuffs to their neighbors. They stand in stark contrast to the unhealthy, fast food icons like McDonald’s and Burger King which stand in their midst. Most importantly, the money they make stays in their local community rather than being scooped up into the hands of greedy, uncaring multinational corporations. Go to http://www.applepushers.com for more info. It is good old-fashioned Americana at its very finest. I have also seen this spirit alive in Denver, with the advent of the GrowHaus phenomenon, which offers locals healthy fruits and vegetables, locally-grown, as well as cooking classes and nutritional information at affordable prices. Check out http://www.thegrowhaus.com for more info on this. Even here in Minneapolis, MN, I have seen Hispanic immigrants restore old, decrepit areas of the city, cleaning. painting, repairing, and setting up storefronts. What had once been miles of broken glass, crack alleys, and urban decay has now been transformed into bright, alluring small shops and markets. It is an inspiration to see. I applaud these smaller merchants and entrepreneurs who are unwittingly fostering and renewing the American Way! They are doing far more to enhance and renew their surroundings than Wal-Mart, Target, Monsanto, Wells Fargo, Ctibank, or any other huge, piggish multinational has ever done, or could ever achieve! So it is with a sense of optimism rather than despair that I now look at 2015 and beyond. The forces of greed, oppression, ignorance, and exploitation will always be among us. But, as progressives, it is our duty to fight them, relentlessly, tooth and nail, to ensure that their sordid agenda will remain forever an aberration, rather than becoming a horrid new normal.
So take notice, all you reactionaries who hate progress, practice obstruction, and are afraid of change: I, and millions of others just like me, will never rest until you have been soundly defeated and are rusting on the scrap heap of history, where you belong!