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PARIS, THE NEW NORMAL? — Diana Johnstone files an in-depth report from Paris on the political reaction to the Charlie Hebdo shootings; The Treachery of the Black Political Class: Margaret Kimberley charts the rise and fall of the Congressional Black Caucus; The New Great Game: Pepe Escobar assays the game-changing new alliance between Russia and Turkey; Will the Frackers Go Bust? Joshua Frank reports on how the collapse of global oil prices might spell the end of the fracking frenzy in the Bakken Shale; The Future of the Giraffe: Ecologist Monica Bond reports from Tanzania on the frantic efforts to save one of the world’s most iconic species. Plus: Jeffrey St. Clair on Satire in the Service of Power; Chris Floyd on the Age of Terrorism and Absurdity; Mike Whitney on the Drop Dead Fed; John Wight on the rampant racism of Clint Eastwood’s “American Sniper;” John Walsh on Hillary Clinton and Lee Ballinger on the Gift of Anger.
Obama and Guns

The Conviction Gap

by NORMAN POLLACK

“I don’t think I’ve been on vacation.”

No, Obama, you have been too busy servicing corporate wealth and major banking interests–as well as keeping the US embroiled in war, intervention, and your signature, armed drones for targeted assassination.

How can we expect you to feel sorrow for the deaths of children at home, when you personally through your authorization inflict death on children abroad?

The world has your number, if America doesn’t. There will be no substantial and substantive gun control in your tenure. By echoing Republican themes of mental health, you will sidetrack DIRECT attacks on the issue of gun control.

Shed no more crocodile tears, and please don’t be irritated, as the article points out, when your four years of INACTION are brought up. If you can’t take criticism, and enough has been written to know that you CANNOT, it’s time to stop the fakery and begin to lead America in a small “d” democratic direction. You claim having been busy. True, all on the wrong side of issues concerning peace and justice.

Perhaps if you take up gun control, I mean, not give off pious platitudes, but get down to business, then maybe that would give you a taste for why you were elected, and perhaps then you will also address climate change, oil drilling, civil liberties, job creation, mortgage foreclosures, and a host of things from which you have run away. Get real, scrap the teleprompter, Axelrod, and Rhodes, and say somethiing that shows conviction.

Norman Pollack is a Harvard Ph.D. and the author of “The Populist Response to Industrial America” (Harvard) and “The Just Polity” (Illinois), Guggenheim Fellow, and professor of history emeritus, Michigan State University.