Obama's State Of The Nation, Zinn Dies, Anarchist Bookfair.
- Obama Speech, Zinn Dies & LA Anarchist Bookfair
January 27th, 2010 President Obama gave a darn good speech tonight. It was conservative, conciliatory and yet humorous. The President moved pretty far to the right with his willingness to consider nuclear power and developing off shore oil. He dared the Republicans to join him and threw the ball in their court noting that the Republican insistance on a 60 vote super majority in the Senate was holding up legislation. As far a progressive points he stated that he wanted to end don't ask, don't tell so gays could serve openly in the military.
Other than that he seemed to be pushing fairly conservative plans for jobs, a freeze on the budget in 2011 for all discretionary spending except the military and the mandates social security, medicare, and Veterans benefits. He also stated he would end the tax breaks for people earning over 250,000 a year but not the middle class tax break.
There wasn't much else new, he mentioned that he still wanted health care reform, an energy bill and gave a nod to high speed rail mentioning an event tomorrow in Tampa he was attending. His jobs bill was a paltry $30 billion. He spoke of the nuclear weapon treaty that he is negotiating with the Russians and stated that American combat troops were withdrawing from Iraq this year. He mentioned that the war in Afghanistan is continuing to ramp up and spoke of needing to spend on education and green jobs to compete with China and Europe. Nothing new but at least he seemed to take a positive stance starting out talking about times that test our courage.
On other matters Howard Zinn, the author of "A Peoples History Of The United States" died today in Santa Monica at age 87. He was an icon of the American academic left. I have never read any of his works perhaps I will take time to look into his version of American history.
Today at work I was wrestling with the hassle of having the State coming after me again for back taxes. The taxes I owe are not much, but they assess penalties and interest and that is what kills me. Taxation without representation, I seem to remember there was a revolution around that issue a while back.
As I was scratching my head over that I remembered that there was an Anarchist Book Fair last weekend in Los Angeles. I used to get all excited about those things. I would put on by best anarchist tee shirt and my IWW hat and go to the events planning on meeting people and seeing old comrades. But after the last two times when I would show up, usually finding out at the last minute when a friend in San Francisco or some other part of the country would tell me about it. Once I got to the LA fair I realized that I only recognised 3 or 4 persons who had been around more than a couple of years. Half of them coming from out of the area. Last summer I ran into Gifford from San Francisco, a comrade from the Turkish ICC and I saw Anarchy Jay and Hector from LA. Other than that they were all unknown to me. Weird after living here for 19 years and being active in the anarchist scene here for years, almost everybody at the Anarchist Bookfair or the conference were new to me. The people who had been around had all left town or moved on. Also when I go through the effort to introduce myself and attempt the networking that these events are supposed to promote I never hear from any of these new comrades again.
When I ask someone to let me know when they are doing something and over the years they consistently don't invite me, I eventually get the hint. They are not interested, or they simply change personnel so often that there are not the same people from one 6 month period to another. In any case the Book Fair in San Francisco is where most of my old anarchist friends go, I guess anarchists are like everyone else, you hang out with the same crew you knew when you were young. Such is life. Perhaps I will see you comrades in the Golden Gate Park this year. I hope I have not rambled too much for my professional journalist friends. But I am just a working guy writing about his impressions of daily life.
Tags: Anarchists Hold A Bookfair. Howard Zinn Dies., President Gives A Good Speech