Thursday, May 31, 2007
The Mad Emperor, The Petulant King
This is incredibly disturbing (if not exactly surprising):
They see terrorists as born, not created by history, bearing the mark of Cain, not the mark of circumstance. There is a scarlet “T” written on their foreheads at birth and the only answer is to destroy them. This kind of thinking, of course, relieves the thinker of any responsibility for the presence of the insurgent-terrorist-whatever in our innocent midst.
In this view, we are guilty of nothing: not of supporting any and all policies of Israel against the Palestinians, not of overthrowing governments in the Middle East, Asia and Latin America, nor of bombing some of them into oblivion. The “born terrorist” theory, you see, allows us to remain seeing ourselves as wholly innocent creatures of the torment.
What’s more, there is not much real give in the administration’s policies. True, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and other American diplomats met Memorial Day weekend with the Iranians in Baghdad (a good first move, but limited, since the Iranians have most of the power, due to our incredible stupidity in Iraq). But by all reports, President Bush is more utterly convinced than ever of his righteousness.
Friends of his from Texas were shocked recently to find him nearly wild-eyed, thumping himself on the chest three times while he repeated “I am the president!” He also made it clear he was setting Iraq up so his successor could not get out of “our country’s destiny."
We’re staying there, in our new imperial outpost, our boots on the necks of the Iraqis for decades to come, for their oil is OUR oil, not the damned Chinese, and we’re willing to slaughter uncounted hundreds of thousands to keep our damned SUV’s on the road and sustain our foolish, selfish, unsustainable way of life.
The Democrats will do nothing to stop him, for in the main they agree with him ... America is exceptional, the American Empire must be protected and expanded, and they want the powers he’s amassed for themselves. From what I can see now, from the “leadership” of “both” ***cough*** parties, we will be at war for the rest of my life, though to be honest, we’ve been at war every year of my life so far, and many years, many decades, before that.
Wednesday, May 30, 2007
The War Prayer
As it’s seemingly always been, and seemingly always will be, as the slaughter continues ...
Tuesday, May 29, 2007
Ten Years Ago Today
One decade ago, Jeff Buckley was swallowed by the Mississippi. I still miss that voice, and wonder what might have been, and mourn anew the loss an artist like him in trying times like these.
Sunday, May 27, 2007
Wrapped and Trapped
It’s said that symmetry is one of the qualities that we identify as “beautiful”. Take a spider’s web. Elegant, light yet strong ... beautiful when the light catches the silk, glistening as a soft breeze causes it to wave gently.
Beautiful, yet it is a trap, a glorious device designed to capture, torture and hold until death.
We are trapped by the beautiful stories we tell of ourselves, our tall tales of daring explorers and helpful invasions, a messianic people who spread democracy and freedom. Our history is a web of exaggerations and half-truths and white lies, with just enough truth woven in to give the whole gossamer contrivance strength.
Take Memorial Day ... we talk of rememberance and glorious sacrifice and the triumph of the human spirit. For every story we’ll be shown of an amputee who finds a new direction and peace, though, there are others who struggle, who are abandoned and who can’t find a way to move on. We talk about sacrifice, but look away from the reality of it.
We talk of ourselves as a peaceful people, yet ignore that we’ve been at some variation of war for nearly all of our history. We talk of ourselves as hard-working, yet we won’t face that much of the majority’s wealth was built on the enslavement of human beings and the wholesale theft of a continent. We may make lip-service to these crimes, but far too many of us think that it was overall a “good” thing, an attitude spewed forth from the lips of the Pope not long ago in Brazil. We brought “civilization” to barbarians, after all, with the best intentions and the winds of Manifest Destiny at our backs.
We insist, despite all evidence to the contrary, that we all have a chance to become wealthy and successful based on our hard work and merits. This has seldom been true throughout our history, but many of us support the two political parties that protect those with the most from the mistaken belief that they are working for all of us.
We think of ourselves as an educated people, yet we’ve gutted public education and turned our education system away from education, from inculcating in people how to THINK and to find their best qualities and skills, and toward mere training programs, while saddling our youth with mountains of debt for the privilege of become a well-trained widget for the economic machine.
All of these strands form the web we weave for ourselves, but the strongest strands are woven from the shiniest silks ... fear and shame.
Be afraid of the stranger who will kidnap and rape your child. Be afraid of black young men. Be afraid of hippies and green terrorists. Be afraid of muslims, be afraid of tainted food.
Be very, very afraid.
Be ashamed if you stumble ... you must work harder. It’s your fault if you’re sick, if you’re crippled by depression, if you don’t agree with where our country is heading. Be ashamed if you’re not a Christian, be ashamed if you’re poor, be ashamed if you’re pregnant and don’t want to be.
Be very, very ashamed.
This is the web we’ve trapped ourselves within, and if you try to struggle it only seems to get tighter.
The only escape is to shred the web, this deadly warp and woof of self-deception that we take such twisted comfort in. We have to figure out a way to show more people that they ARE trapped in this web. We’re trapped in a worldview that serves us ill, and it’s past time that we try to see our world and our history more clearly.
So this Memorial Day, REMEMBER ... all of it, even the bloody, ugly, uncomfortable parts. That’s the only way to escape, and I fear that time grows short, and many of us face the fate of our fellow citizens in New Orleans, the slow destruction of those imprisoned in our privatized prisons and those detained in our modern-day concentration camps.
Wednesday, May 23, 2007
The Carny Code
You owe them your votes. You know that, right? It’s YOUR fault that they don’t win, that the Supreme Court has become a rubber stamp for big business and misogynist zealots. It’s YOUR fault that this country is horribly off track, that we’re an out-of-control imperialist monster spreading death and destruction all around us. Some of you don’t vote, some of you voted Nader, some of you don’t nod enthusiastically whenever the media or the Big Box Blahgs tell you that you need to vote for former Republicans, for militarists and women-hating hacks.
Since you don’t do what you’re supposed to, you owe it to the Carnies in the Democratic Party to continue to take them in, to support them with your contributions and votes. Even when they act as they have over the last really depressing month.
Did you REALLY think the Donklephants would actually work hard to end the war, to stop the spilling of blood and treasure in a country WE destroyed in a criminal war of choice? Well, you need to grow up and embrace compromise.
Failing to muster enough votes to override an ensured veto from President Bush, Democrats have decided to withdraw their bid to include a timetable in the Iraq supplemental appropriations bill.
The decision comes at a time when the Iraqi government is preparing for a two-month vacation, and while civil war and sectarian conflict continue to rock the country. Over the weekend, at least 15 US soldiers and dozens of innocent Iraqi civilians were killed. To date, more than 3,400 US soldiers and hundreds of thousands of Iraqi civilians have been killed in the war since the US invaded the country in March 2003. [...]
House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Maryland) told reporters Tuesday that because President Bush would not support legislation that contained benchmarks, Democrats had no choice but to send the president a bill giving in to the administration’s demands.
“The president has made it very clear he’s not going to sign timelines,” Hoyer said. “We can’t pass timelines over his veto.”
A vote on the more than $100 billion emergency spending bill is expected to take place before the Memorial Day weekend. The bill, in its current form, would fund the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq until September 30. Additionally, Democrats hope to include $20 billion in domestic spending in the final version of the legislation.
The next opportunity Democrats will have to attach timelines and benchmarks to a spending bill over the war will be October 1, when Congress will consider the defense appropriations bill.
Are you tired of the rich getting richer, do you think that unfettered movement of capital and exploitation of workers and resources is destroying the quality of life for vast majorities of people both in this country and especially in the poorer countries that multinational corporations exploit? Did you really expect the “leaders" of the Dempublican party to reverse the selling out to monied lobbyists? How DARE you put them on the spot to ask them do so such an impossible thing?!?!
He told me: “Rangel and [Speaker Nancy] Pelosi are saying, ‘Well, we’re gearing up for the 2008 election. We’ve got to raise a lot of money.’ They’re closer to the Clinton wing of the party, which is the pro-so-called-free-trade wing of the party, the pro-NAFTA, pro-permanent-normal-trade-relations-with-China part of the party. And this is a way of saying to the corporate community—Wall Street, Wal-Mart—that we’re open for business, we want to raise money from you.” In order to compete for campaign money, the logic goes, the Democrats have to cater to big corporate donors.
MacArthur points out that the agreements with the four small countries are not key. The big money, he says, lies with China. This is where Hillary Clinton comes in. She served on the Wal-Mart board of directors for six years when her husband was the governor of Arkansas (where Wal-Mart is based). Wal-Mart, MacArthur says, “depends on dedicated factories in China, where you cannot form a labor union. Wildcat strikes are met with violence. You get your head busted or you get thrown in jail.”
The corporate Democrats and their Republican allies are promising labor and environmental protections. But 13 years after NAFTA passed, with President Clinton orchestrating pork-barrel payouts to buy the vote, promised safeguards have proved unenforceable: Workers, especially in Mexico, earn low wages with little or no security, while companies crush union-organizing efforts and pollute with impunity. As jobs move to Mexico, China and other low-wage havens, the U.S. is the loser. Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, knows it all too well: “We see that kind of job loss in the thousands ... devastates communities. It hurts the local business owner, the drugstore, the grocery store, the neighborhood restaurant. It hurts communities. It hurts schools. It hurts police forces. It hurts fire departments.”
So you think it’s a bad idea for families to be torn asunder, for worker’s wages to be depressed by a repackaged Bracero Program? Well, don’t expect anything from Reid, Pelosi, Hoyer and the rest ... their patrons in industry like cheap labor and programs that keep profits high while also stoking envy and hatred from stressed-out American workers:
It is interesting to see the how the media and the more hysterical anti-immigrant demagogues are claiming this bill offers “amnesty” to 12 million undocumented immigrants, the simple fact is, the Senate bill is not an amnesty. The comprehensive reform bill is simply another smoke and mirrors ploy, in which millions of undocumented immigrants would face various conditions making it a difficult “path” to earned citizenship, such as passing background checks, paying fines, and “getting in line.” Under the proposed legislation, in order for the undocumented workers to qualify for this new “path” to citizenship, they would have to apply for a four-year renewable temporary “Z” visa, which would mean they would have to cough up $5,000 in fees and penalties and pay an additional $1,500 processing fee for each person applying for a Z visa. Even though this visa can be renewable indefinitely, the bill does not mention if the $5,000 a one-time penalty or that they would continue coughing up that amount each time they were to renew their visa. Once this is done, the visa holder can then be qualified to converted their visa to permanent residency if the head of household applies within 8 years and RETURNS to their home country to collect the visa at a consulate. However, they must remain there for 6 to 8 months before they can begin their “path” to citizenship. This would also include paying another $4,000 fine along with a $3,500 visa fee. Permanent status would only be granted after the Department of Homeland Security has cleared its backlog of the four million applications by legal immigrants who are waiting for visas to bring relatives into the country. The process can take about eight or plus years to clear. The “legalization” process abounds with provisions described as “triggers,” that would determine if they can stay or not. It would not be surprising to see hundreds of thousands of immigrants be denied legal status and exposed to immediate deportation.
What’s more, our elected leaders, tried to fast track this bill without having a true dialogue. It is clear that both Republicans and Democrats were catering to both conservative and liberal voters, in hopes of winning votes in the upcoming 2008 presidential elections rather than the lives and suffering of the immigrants who do not have a vote. If passed, it would have truly demoralized millions of people and their families into feeling like unwelcome guests, this also goes for the non-brown immigrants. The bill would have put everything just slightly out of reach for them. It will make them feel like they are on some treadmill being told pay a little more and all your dreams will be met just over the horizon. What they don’t realize it is just a carrot dangling on a stick just inches out of their reach, and no matter how far they think they have gone, they are still on the same treadmill and the carrot is still there, still just out of reach. The only ones who benefit for this are the corporation with their cheap labor.
Keep stepping up, folks. Keep throwing your votes away like you throw away the dollars at the rigged carnival games. You OWE them, after all ... you’re not citizens, you’re not really voters. You get to enjoy the “inside baseball” trivia in the endless election horse race on cable and the Blahgs ... you’re practically a campaign strategist, and thus one of them. Since you’re one of them, well, we all know the Carny Code.
Those who seek the Democratic nomination need to—for their own political futures and, with a thousand times more solemnity and importance, for the individual futures of our troops—denounce this betrayal, vote against it, and, if need be, unseat Majority Leader Reid and Speaker Pelosi if they continue down this path of guilty, fatal acquiescence to the tragically misguided will of a monomaniacal president.
For, ultimately, at this hour, the entire government has failed us.
- Mr. Reid, Mr. Hoyer, and the other Democrats… have failed us.
They negotiated away that which they did not own, but had only been entrusted by us to protect: our collective will as the citizens of this country, that this brazen War of Lies be ended as rapidly and safely as possible.
- Mr. Bush and his government… have failed us.
They have behaved venomously and without dignity—of course.
That is all at which Mr. Bush is gifted.
DO NOT vote for these people. The right took over the Republican Party by staying home and only backing their own candidates, by voting for primary challengers. If you continue to give into the Democrats’ con you’ve got NO right to complain as things get hellishly worse.
Thursday, May 17, 2007
The Somnabulist Stenographers of Corporate America
If you want to know just how rotten things are in Denmark, here is another picture to tack on your wall. The Bush Administration just got another nail put in its coffin with the resignation of Paul Wolfowitz, who was drummed out of the World Bank today because of impropriety. It seems the only people fired from this administration are Republican federal judges.
This latest incident begs many questions but for me the primary one is that the most corrupt regime in recent history in America isn’t portrayed that way by the press in this country. You would think “Corruption" with photos of Bush, Cheney, Rove and the newest addition to the roster would be a regular cover feature on Time, Newsweek and every large publication, the numbers are so staggering.
But it’s not.
That should tell you everything you need to know about how Corporate America, which own the networks, the leading magazines and newspapapers, are playing it out piecemeal but never adding up the columns to show the totals. If they did that it would show how irrefutable the evidence is that our current government is run by the sleaziest crooks in many decades, a group that actually makes the offenses of the Nixon Administration pale in comparison.
Why are we deluged with NBC Dateline’s on sexual predators (most predators are family members or close friends, not strangers but they never bring that up because it’s too disconcerting to the masses) and not news specials on the extreme corruption of our present government? Could it be that no corporations would buy advertisements on a program that exposes the Bush Administration for exactly what it is?
You bet your boots they wouldn’t because they’re in bed with these guys full tilt boogie. And that my friends is our Waterloo.
Tuesday, May 15, 2007
Good Riddance to Bad Trash
Here’s hoping that the bastard, as the last glimmer of consciousness faded with the expiration of his meat sack, had to confront that there was nothing, not even the Eternal Punishment that his hateful, misogynist, homophobic record so richly required him to serve, waiting for him. No vast gathering of happy white people gathered together in some afterlife, no punishment for his hated fags and whores, no judgement, no. No, just nothing there on the “other side” ... though being a grifter he probably knew that already.
Good riddance, you hateful bastard, you fraud, you sower of division and corruption and the exploitation of gullible, frightened people. It’s at times like this that I wish there was some big cosmic bank, some Cosmic Muffin or Hairy Thunderer, or maybe a Spaghetti Monster or Chtulu waiting out there in the multidimensional void to give bastards like you the long, Eternal Punishment you deserve. No Kali plunging a kris into your shriveled heart. No punishment waiting for you, or any of the other various Ayatollas and Cotton Mathers and Fuhrers and Grand Dragons and all of the other exploitive, anti-human bastards who preached hatred and fear. I have to take comfort in the idea that you can’t do any more damage, though there are undoubtably other Elmer Gantrys out there to fleece yet another flock.
For those who feel I should show some respect, or wait a few days out of respect at least for the bastard’s loved ones (as much as it boggles the mind that there could be any), I will only remind you of these words that came out of his contemptuous mouth, while the bodies were still smoldering in gay, free, diverse, gleefully international New York City, that city he used for years as an example of all that was wrong with the world, the better to pick his flocks’ pockets:
JERRY FALWELL: And I agree totally with you that the Lord has protected us so wonderfully these 225 years. And since 1812, this is the first time that we’ve been attacked on our soil and by far the worst results. And I fear, as Donald Rumsfeld, the Secretary of Defense, said yesterday, that this is only the beginning. And with biological warfare available to these monsters—the Husseins, the Bin Ladens, the Arafats—what we saw on Tuesday, as terrible as it is, could be miniscule if, in fact—if, in fact—God continues to lift the curtain and allow the enemies of America to give us probably what we deserve.
PAT ROBERTSON: Jerry, that’s my feeling. I think we’ve just seen the antechamber to terror. We haven’t even begun to see what they can do to the major population.
JERRY FALWELL: The ACLU’s got to take a lot of blame for this.
PAT ROBERTSON: Well yes.
JERRY FALWELL: And, I know that I’ll hear from them for this. But, throwing God out successfully with the help of the federal court system, throwing God out of the public square, out of the schools. The abortionists have got to bear some burden for this because God will not be mocked. And when we destroy 40 million little innocent babies, we make God mad. I really believe that the pagans, and the abortionists, and the feminists, and the gays and the lesbians who are actively trying to make that an alternative lifestyle, the ACLU, People For the American Way—all of them who have tried to secularize America—I point the finger in their face and say “you helped this happen.”
PAT ROBERTSON: Well, I totally concur, and the problem is we have adopted that agenda at the highest levels of our government. And so we’re responsible as a free society for what the top people do. And, the top people, of course, is the court system..
JERRY FALWELL: Pat, did you notice yesterday the ACLU and all the Christ-haters, People For the American Way, NOW, etc. were totally disregarded by the Democrats and the Republicans in both houses of Congress as they went out on the steps and called out on to God in prayer and sang “God Bless America” and said “let the ACLU be hanged”. In other words, when the nation is on its knees, the only normal and natural and spiritual thing to do is what we ought to be doing all the time - calling upon God. ~~~
PAT ROBERTSON: Amen
NYers still grieving, a nation ... A WORLD ... still grieving, and he could find nothing but hate for people that he’d attacked throughout his odious career, and all of us knowing that his eventual apologies were empty words. Yet Paul Weyrich is there on supposedly liberal NPR today, telling us that Jerry was a kind, compassionate man, despite a career built on bigotry and hatred and superstition and fear.
So fuck you, Jerry. Good riddance, you bastard, you descendent of Father Coughlin, you divisive scumbag. I hope it hurt, and I hope that maybe, just maybe, you saw just how full of shit you were in that empty cesspool you called your life.
Sunday, May 13, 2007
Arise then...women of this day!
Arise, all women who have hearts!
Whether your baptism be of water or of tears!
“We will not have questions answered by irrelevant agencies,
Our husbands will not come to us, reeking with carnage,
For caresses and applause.
Our sons shall not be taken from us to unlearn
All that we have been able to teach them of charity, mercy and patience.
We, the women of one country,
Will be too tender of those of another country
To allow our sons to be trained to injure theirs.”
From the bosom of a devastated Earth a voice goes up with
Our own. It says: “Disarm! Disarm!
The sword of murder is not the balance of justice.”
Blood does not wipe out dishonor,
Nor violence indicate possession.
As men have often forsaken the plough and the anvil
At the summons of war,
Let women now leave all that may be left of home
For a great and earnest day of counsel.
Let them meet first, as women, to bewail and commemorate the dead.
Let them solemnly take counsel with each other as to the means
Whereby the great human family can live in peace…
Each bearing after his own time the sacred impress, not of Caesar,
But of God -
In the name of womanhood and humanity, I earnestly ask
That a general congress of women without limit of nationality,
May be appointed and held at someplace deemed most convenient
And the earliest period consistent with its objects,
To promote the alliance of the different nationalities,
The amicable settlement of international questions,
The great and general interests of peace.
Will we never learn?
Mother’s Day for Peace is raising money for:
No More Victims is a non-profit, non-sectarian, humanitarian organization whose mission is to restore the health and well-being of victims of war and to advocate and educate for peace.
No More Victims works to find medical sponsorships for war-injured Iraqi children and to forge ties between the children, their families and communities in the United States. Founded in September 2002, the organization has brought five children to the United States for treatment to-date. Several more children are waiting.
For more information, please visit their website: http://www.nomorevictims.org
Monday, May 07, 2007
"Pro-American" = ?
Faux News is positively gleeful:
The Bush administration on Monday welcomed the election of French President-elect Nicolas Sarkozy, a pro-American conservative, as an opportunity to strengthen relations with France.
“Pro-American” ... and Fox isn’t the only “news” source I read or heard describe Sarkozy that way ... what exactly does that mean?
Well, embedded in it is the idea that a liberal or leftist is, by definition, anti-American.
Beyond that, he’s a close friend to the Likudist right in Israel. Benjamin Netanyahu writes of his friend:
I don’t think one can expect the French policy to change from one end to the other, but it is clear that it will no longer be characterized by reflexive anti-Israelism – a situation in which Israel is guilty until proven innocent.
I believe that the policy will be much more balanced, and this change will also derive from his attitude toward the United States. This is the first president since World War II who will not be imbued with De Gaulle’s attitude, which saw the US as a competitor, as this is a very refreshing change.
“Anti-Israelism” means, of course, an unwillingness to blandly rubber stamp Israel’s criminal and racist behavior against the Palestinians. There is a weird historical irony in an Israeli leader embracing a French rightist, given the history of the right in that country and their treatment of French jews, but Israel itself has become such a clone of it’s people’s former tormentors that we shouldn’t be surprised. Greedy, racist warmongering beliefs and policies outweigh all else, apparently.
Sadly, he has other things in common with the current behavior of this country. He holds immigrants and dissenters in contempt, and is eager to let loose violent and vicious police tactics on the “scum” that he feels introduce “impurity” into France. (As an aside, what is it about the children of rightist immigrants that so often leads to weird embraces of “purity” and “authority” in their adoptive homelands? We’ve got plenty of them here ... Michelle Malkin, John Yoo and a big chunk of Miami.)
The crowd in the hall where Sarkozy declared victory after the polls closed repeatedly sang the national anthem, La Marseillaise—with its famous xenophobic refrain, “Marchons, marchons! Qu’un sang impur abreuve nos sillons!” (Translation: Let us march, let us march, May impure blood soak the furrows of our fields.) And Sarkozy’s campaign was marked by incessant appeals to racism and the fear of immigrants, symbolized by his adoption of a slogan used by the neo-fascist leader Jean-Marie Le Pen, “France, love it or leave it,” and by his proposal for a new “Ministry of Immigration and National Identity,” which was widely criticized by the left and by anti-racist groups for amalgamating the two concepts and suggesting a fundamental opposition between the two.
Sadly, this too seems to put him uncomfortably close with a sizable segment of US society: racist, anti-immigrant, pro oppressive militarized police. In fact, he’s so rabid in his love of the winger regime running the United States that one wonders how O’Reilly and Limbaugh are going to fill airtime when they can’t make fun of France anymore.
In his victory remarks within minutes after TV declared him the winner, Sarkozy—frequently referred to the in the French press as “Sarko l’americain” for his aggressively Atlanticist views and his sympathy for Bush—promised a cheering audience of supporters that “the American people can count on our friendship” and that the war on terrorism “is of primary importance in the world, it is a fight that will be our fight” under his leadership. In fact, President Bush called Sarkozy within a few minutes after the polls closed to congratulate him, according to a report on France 2 public television.
Which will result in France being:
... something closer to the so-called “Reagan Revolution” in the U.S. that began in 1981 the process of dismantling and destroying the institutional New Deal legacy of Franklin D. Roosevelt. Chirac was a Gaullist, and the political heritage of General Charles De Gaulle, who led France from 1958 to 1969, included a vigorously statist approach to the economy and defense of a wide series of social protection and social safety-net measures that had been instituted by the left’s Popular Front government in the mid-1930s, and which were renewed and extended by post-war governments dominated by the political activists of the Resistance movement to Nazi occupation, who had a conception of government as a guarantor of economic security for all. Sarkozy is of a new generation than his predecessor Chirac and, ideologically, is not a Gaullist—but rather Sarko is in phase with the “Chicago school” of economics led by Milton Friedman.
Sarko believes in minimal government, a slimmed-down state that interferes as little as possible in the economy, an aggressively laissez-faire approach that is dear to the economic barons of the MEDEF, the French business leaders’ association, whose tycoons were solidly behind Sarkozy’s candidacy. Sarkozy has already promised to, in effect, abolish the ISF (the tax on large fortunes), accord more tax breaks to big business and the upper-middle-classes, and make more cuts in the state-run national health system (declared by a U.N. survey to be the finest in the world in terms of delivery of health services and quality of care.) Sarkozy’s economic program is designed to help the already-privileged classes retain and extend their socio-economic position, to the detriment of the have-nots (the massive pro-Sarkozy vote in the upper-income neighborhoods today confirms that they understood Sarko’s message to them.) And he has promised a major down-sizing of the civil service employed by state agencies.
Sarkozy is a skilled demagogue who, on the stump, tried to give the impression (like Bush’s first presidential campaign did) that he was a “compassionate conservative.” But Sarkozy’s so-called “compassion” is strictly rhetorical—his concrete economic orientation is bound to deepen the gulf between the haves and the have nots, to aggravate what Jacques Chirac—in a famous phrase from his 1995 re-election campaign—had baptized the “social fracture."
Anti-immigrant, pro-Israel, anti-union, anti-student activist, pro-police state, rabidly pro-corporate, anti-worker protections ... can that really be described not only as “pro-American”, but LIKE American?
Take a look around, and with a sinking heart admit to yourself that it does. “Pro-American” now means “far right”, and we have no one to blame but ourselves.
(Thanks to Marisacat for providing a fertile source of links for a lazy blogger too tired to spend an hour searching out the snippets read over the last day or two.)
Thursday, May 03, 2007
The Watchmen Don't Want to Be Watched
It’s going to be a long, hot, ugly summer. The police have been prone to rioting for several years now, at protests in Tacoma and Seattle and the RNC in New York City and in Miami. They have shown that they’re willing to target citizens acting on their convictions, pursuing their rights and responsibilities to raise their voices when they see injustice. Now, more overtly than I can remember, a police riot targeted the press.
One can’t help but suspect that this was deliberate, a message not only to the populace, but to a media that is showing tentative signs of perhaps doing it’s job, to stop. Don’t march. Don’t debate. Don’t videotape. Don’t share information or do your part in a vital and long-needed public debate on the many issues threatening this country. As the war drags on, as the right and the Republicans ramp up their eliminationist language, as redneck terrorists are caught with arsenals and charged with minimal crimes, as other rednecks target women’s health providers, you can feel the tension and the heat rising, heading into our upcoming summers in our cities. As the Democrats show signs of knuckling under again, of reauthorizing the war with their blood money, more and more people will take to the streets. As the police state continues to tear families asunder, whipped into a frenzy by racists like Lou Dobbs and Michelle Malkin and Glen Beck, more people will have no other outlet but to take to the streets. There is no other way, as the Democrats seek to avoid fighting for women, the poor, the immigrants, the workers, the peace loving, for basic decency or the rule of law or the tattered remains of our national fabric.
There will be more people fed up, more people outraged, and perhaps more people willing to take to the streets, and still more people willing to support them and cheer them on.
The police are waiting, shining up their weapons and their shiny helmets and pumping up their self-righteous love of their own authority and violence.
The police are waiting, and they don’t want anybody there to document the next Kent State, the next police riot, the next time a “non-lethal” round hits someone in the eye and kills or maims them.
One can’t help but think that this was a warning shot at the press, a hard slap in their face, and one can’t help but fear that the press will back down, as the Donklephants always back down, as so many of our civil institutions have cowered and quaked and quailed before the rightward militarization of our society.
The Watchmen want to smash the cameras and silence the mics and tear up the notebooks. They want to smash and silence and tear up YOU.
Links to some great pieces on the police riot after the jump.