I found out today that someone whose work amazes and inspires me, recognized my name and said I was funny. I frickin' love that. I cannot reveal who, where, why, or how, not on this blog. But I don't think there's a cooler feeling.
This is a grand idea. I went ahead and sent one.
What bothers me though, is that while I am proud of my brother's service
and have little doubt that he will be a force for good wherever he goes, I also feel that our now-neverending foreign wars have been a mistake. Guantanamo broke so many international laws, we are aggressors and thugs and the Iraq war is an illegal war
that killed the very soldiers which are so valuable. We have held prisoners without having to tell them what they are charged with. This is a total violation of the laws we afford our countrymen, and they are men who were defending their country when we came in and started dropping bombs and yelling about terrorism. Where is the proof that all that violence helped anything? Except for the bank accounts of revolving-door defense-whore politicians whose open agenda to sell us War Stuff is right there on the table? Is that the American dream?
I was looking at the troop responses and they always say "We do it for you." We know and we are grateful, at least, I am grateful for this loyalty and care to one's countrymen. But what kind of care is this if we go into the world and drop bombs on it all the time? Vietnam? Gulf war one? Iraq? Here's my problem...
Iraq war killed 600 thousand civilians....and left two million homeless. Can you imagine if someone came into * _our_* country and did that? Your mothers, fathers, sisters and brothers, innocent children, killed, your homes bombed, your cities devastated, and this is "setting them free?" Is it any wonder they can't wait for us to get the hell out and have said so in front of the world?
We shouldn't be doing that stuff out in the world. And so I am mixed about my feelings about this. I would like to have had an option on that card to read: We adore you and miss you and your service is needed here at home. Please come home. We want and need you here. Our country is the one that needs help right now. Spiritually and on issues of trust. We need to know the answers about 9/11, not just go out and bomb countries to look like badasses. All those people dead, all those children dead, and all our men dead? And no mention of these numbers on TV ever at all? It's scary, there is no news left on TV, it's all about tabloid stuff or Scott Peterson or whatever. It's just bs. The real news is on youtube. Or Comedy Central with John Stewart. That's about it for credible mainstream news resources. If we lose the net neutrality struggle, Tim says, it will be like Rupert Murdoch having control of Youtube. The internet will come to be dominated by private interests who will control content and access.
This is not what we created the internet for...it was an answer to dreams in this country where our lifestyle demands that we live far from each other and drive cars and not get to see other human beings as much as we'd like or as much as may be healthy for us as a society. The internet is here because we desperately needed it and some good men made sure it happened. It has changed our world. We can talk to each other in a way never before known. We can get our truth from indpendent sources, look at who pays their bills and consider that agenda, and then consider who we trust. I trust the smaller noncorporate adventurous journalists ever time, true American heroes like Jason Leopold, who is actually acting in the interest of his society and yet is labeled "lefty." Enron was raping the State of California, which is We the People, and Leopold, the more he learned, the more he pushed Dow Jones Newswires (he ran the LA bureau) to publish stories that told the truth about the crap that was going on at that place. (Which was very cozy with powers that be, Kenny Boy being like glue at W's side all through the campaign, which made the White House palpably uncomfortable when Enron's activities were exposed.)
For his trouble, Leopold got set up on that indictment thing. He thought he had a story, and announced indictments of Carl Rove. Then within hours he was proved wrong. He had multiple sources, and provided them all. One of them denied talking to him, which can happen with journalists who publish controversial stories. Paul Krugman spoke up for Leopold, and Krugman has impressive creds. Someone must have needed to discredit him real bad. Why else trouble with an independent journalist who managed to piss off people half the time anyway? (I like Jason Leopold a lot. He's never pissed me off, but it sounds from his book like he pissed off people because he told on them when they did bad things, things that actually were subversive, and wrong. The people he pissed off are the kind that say everyone has to cheat, and everyone cheats, it's just the way of the world. Their rationale is that it is worse to make a mistake (gasp!) and be caught, than to turn away the temptation to play the system and eff over people you don't know, who've trusted you with their money. To them, the worst part is if they get caught, called out and punished. They don't see that the worst part is if they get away with it, and come to justify it more and more their lives, at the expense of others who they will never see or know, but who are real human beings who could work for several years and not even be able to afford the drapes in their front room.
But people believe the poorest and most helpless, disenfranchised people are the biggest threat to their money. All those weak, stupid people will drag ME down!
Fucking immigrants! Welfare Mommas. Lazy drugged-out stupidasses. Sponging off of everyone else. Meanwhile, the masters of the universe lounge high above us in the clouds, in their private jets, worlds away from anywhere they would have to mix with us, the great unwashed 'regular' people who most of us are. One woman I know of gets off her private jet and into her Prius. The weirdness of it makes my head spin. At least Schwarzenegger is honest and drives a monstrous vehicle that hogs the road and guzzles enough gas to insure that we'll be groveling to the Saudis for many years to come. Except when he rides his motorcycle with his kid on the back. That's cool.
But, back to our country and how it represents itself overseas, by our military and by the multinational companies that are made possible by airline flight and electronic data transmission. The military are there for us. These companies are there for profit, and to use land and resources (cheap slave labor without the oversight that would be required in the US). They don't represent us. The military should represent the interests of We The People, not the interests of corporations who want to make money and do a lot of bombing and reconstructing. Halliburton anyone? If the military represents us, they should decide for themselves where a patriot would be right now. Would he be fighting in a foreign land, or would he be fighting to inform himself against the deeply disturbing propoganda that's laid the way for our military to kill people overseas in the name of freedom?
Fuck it, take your oil, all you guys, we'll think of something here. We're creative and ingenious people who will be what keeps our country strong, not the corporate welfare queens draining the life out of our treasury. Or the private banks holding politicians by the gonads while controlling access to cash. Over and over and over througout history, and yet people always feel trust in and believe in the authorities, the aristocracy, the grey men who seem to shake with rage when they have to share power with anyone. Our country is not a kingdom. President Cheney is out of office. The mainstream is polluted and we don't have to swim in that ocean of smarm. There is another America out here, one where people know the founders' intention was that authority should not have a choke-hold over liberty. To have liberty, doesn't one really need to examine the assertions of those in authority? With great care and utmost importance, before going to far lands to rage with machines against someone else's machines? Or do men just like to fight? Because I don't understand it, I confess, and I'm tired of being polite about it. If you are dropping bombs for me, I don't want it. And I don't want anyone to tell me they know more than I do, and that I don't know what's good for me.
I've spent twenty years of my life now trying to understand what's good for me and for the country. I knew nothing going in. I only knew I wasn't comfortable with the fairy-tale Santa-Claus versions of history that have been commodified and sold to us. Why isn't Harriet Tubman recognized and revered as the American hero of the stature she should have? Why aren't the people who fought slavery, and who smuggled slaves through the underground railroad, THOSE were the men fighting for freedom.
OH, freedom for black people~! Who cares! We don't associate with them, they're black for god's sake.
You should care, because we are all people. And as you do unto the least of them, so you do unto me, is what Jesus had to say about it. Not that anyone who quotes Jesus these days quotes that one, or any of the really nice things Jesus had to say. "I come not to bring peace, but a sword!" Just don't forget what Jesus did in the marketplace. The money changers were chased out of the temple with alacrity. It was one of the few times in bible stories that I can remember Jesus really getting outraged. And yet a friend told me Jesus wasn't "really" mad and didn't show any "temper." How does he know? And, that I had to render unto ceasar, blah blah blah. Fuck Ceasar if he's got me bent over staring at the tiles, looking for the soap on a rope in the foot-fungusy shower at the gym. He can bite me. I earn my keep, and then some. Ceasar should start to look at the assholes stealing *my* money is what I say. I don't care if they drive great cars and live in high-rises. They're just pushing papers around all day in that big men's club in the sky on Wall Street. They go home, what's accomplished? More papers got pushed around, more dealings, more maneuverings. More men screaming at the stock exchange and shoving each other like the young turks in Boystown, like young male bodies bumping at the nightclub to the beat of money, money, money. The notches are carved in their battle implements, but where's the added value? I'm not seeing it. I just read "Den of Thieves" again recently and it got me really pissed off, again.
But back to the original subject.
We have to know the truth before making war in other countries. We must. Otherwise we will not be free, no matter how many bombs we drop on people and children and supermarkets and hotels. The truth really is what sets us free and it is the fabric that holds us together. Lies can only drive us apart. Please come home and help us win the peace.
Sorry for ranting, I hope it doesn't sound that way. If you look on youtube about the world trade center, there is a lot of underground journalism going on now on 9/11. A good one to start with is World Trade Center 7 The Smoking Gun parts one and two. Then go from there and watch some of the other videos. This video by CBS News shows what happened the day before 9/11----Rummy announced 2.3 TRILLION dollars is missing from the Pentagon. This is One Day before 9/11. Did we ever hear about that 2.3 Trillion again? Did we get actual answers about 9/11? How come no one has explained to my satisfaction the matter of WTC 7? This is the only credible journalism going on now and it is not on TV. But you can watch it if you want.
The problem with world trade center building 7, the Solomon Building, is that it was not hit by an airplane and it was not hit by falling derbris like some other buildings were. It was slightly apart from the other buildings and did not fall down with them. Watch the videos of WTC 7 collapsing, they show in the films how it looks just like a controlled demoltion. The official story is the building fell "because of fire." But no steel building has ever before or since collapsed from fire----ever.
Also, BBC reported that the Solomon Building fell 20 minutes before it actually fell. The WTC 7 documentary has the actual news footage of this and it is quite startling and incomprehensible. Who told the anchor that the Solomon building had fallen? Because you can see it right behind the other anchor's head as she stands in the window. But that footage can no longer be accessed from the BBC; seems they have "lost" all video files from that day and that broadcast. Hm?
But people in newsrooms and with access to those videotapes of that day, all across the country, are reporting their findings on Youtube. Millions and millions of people are watching, and commenting, there. One video had thirteen MILLION watchers. Pages and pages of comments and discussion, much of it out-and-out brawling between colorful characters. THIS is my country!!!! I am proud of all those people who decided to do the right thing and try to figure out 9/11 on their own. Because our government isn't doing it. Not a peep about WTC 7. No one on TV is covering it, though all these millions of people are watching. That is scary. Do you really need to know anything more about what news you DON'T get from TV?
Then there were some guys in England assasinated for reasons likely having to do with their protests of the Iraq war. One was an influential professor and another a journalist. But these stories can only be found online, never made it to our shores. TV doesn't have this stuff. They won't touch it, because they're owned by interests that want us to stay at war. The compannies that own them own defense companies. They are invested in our having wars overseas. That is what they want. The government has been their puppet, the corporations and the Federal Reserve (which is private, not federal in any way--it is basically banker guys who have the country by the gonads right now by withdrawing credit, which they have done on a regular basis throughout history) and we've got a country badly in need of civic involvement. But it has to be informed and knowledgable involvement, otherwise it just benefits the people who want the public to get up a blood lust for an unseen enemy, and then send their sons away to be killed. To kill people in far lands who just don't want us in their country----as we would not want them in ours. What part of this is hard to comprehend? Why do people still believe Iraq had something to do with 9/11? Those guys were supposedly Saudi, who crashed these planes. But who remembers that now?
People in power have been lying about international matters, to our countrymen and their public, for a long time. The notion of public service is unidentifiable in the actions of so many of those we trust to represent us. They allow themselves to be the pampered pets of a system without integrity and tell themselves they are still fighting the good fight (and getting paid appropriately for their trouble). If you're not fighting for the truth, I've got news for you, you're not fighting the good fight.
The difference with Obama is best seen when you read his writing (he wrote a great book, The Audacity of Hope, it is a beautiful book about our country and has an amazing vision of this place that actually is hopeful.) He is a man whose entire career has been in public service; a man who has avidly studied history and past Presidents and their writings and their lives. He has also studied this country for as long as he's been alive to do it. His books are full of all kinds of observations from across life's broad spectrum. He is a thinker, and a wise man. He is not getting the support he needs from his party. People have brought guns to demonstrate at his speeches. We are in scary times. The lies are swirling even more hysterically, as people who recognize their waning influence grow furious at the loss of ass-kissing and scrambling to do their bidding. Men like this, who measure their importance by how many people will do their bidding, frighten me. That is the opposite of leadership. It is authoritarian, which was not a goal our Founders had in mind.
Obama seems to be trying to do the best he can admidst terrible criticism. The weirdness of our impossible situation seems to have made him lose a lot of joy, but I'm glad he stands up to them and tells it like it is. I hope they are doing OK. I like that family. How can you not like a family that turns the east wing of the white house into a jazz lounge? (they brought in Stevie Wonder that night, also cool) ;)
Just wind me up, I'll get started. How's December in Christianland? I liked Dallas a lot. Once I found KERA.
We just got a nice rain here and the day after rain, So Cal is breathtaking this time of year and when it rains, it's ridiculous...just gorgeous...