Thursday, June 25, 2009

I tremble with shame in the face of their bravery

I see the moment we are witnessing as a civil rights movement rather than a push to topple the regime. If Rosa Park was the American "mother of the civil rights movement," the young woman who was killed point blank in the course of a demonstration, Neda Agha-Soltan, might very well emerge as its Iranian granddaughter.

If I am correct in this reading, we should not expect an imminent collapse of the regime. These young Iranians are not out in the streets seeking to topple the regime for they lack any military wherewithal to do so, and they are alien to any militant ideology that may push them in that direction.

It seems to me that these brave young men and women have picked up their hand-held cameras to shoot those shaky shots, looking in their streets and alleys for their Martin Luther King. They are well aware of Mir Hossein Moussavi's flaws, past and present. But like the color of green, the very figure of Moussavi has become, it seems to me, a collective construction of their desires for a peaceful, nonviolent attainment of civil and women's rights. They are facing an army of firearms and fanaticism with chanting poetry and waving their green bandannas. I thought my generation had courage to take up arms against tyranny. Now I tremble with shame in the face of their bravery.

From "Looking for Their Martin Luther King Jr." by Hamid Dabashi

Thursday, January 08, 2009

Heart, Henry.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Caroline Kennedy: "No Drama" Before "No Drama" Was Cool

I relish the idea of Caroline in the Senate. This guy really sums up the rationale behind it. (hat tip to Dangerblond) I particularly like this bit about the differences between the Kennedy and Clinton camps of the party.

I'm not saying that these superficial contradictions make for anything hypocritical: to the contrary, the critics of a possible appointment of Attorney Kennedy to the US Senate are essentially correct in perceiving that something much bigger than symbolism would occur through it. The Kennedy and Clinton tendencies in the Democratic Party have embodied two distinct magnetic poles each trying to pull the party in different directions for the past 16 years, and before that between Kennedy and Carter tendencies.

This was very much at play with Senator and Attorney Kennedy's endorsement of Obama early in the primaries, and intentionally signaled as such. The Kennedy organization was not happy - many of us were not - with the change in direction that the Clinton administration brought to the party, toward a blatant acquiescence to corporate interests, away from the New Deal and the Great Society. And while both families have had their share of public personal scandal, for the Kennedys that hasn't bled much at all into the political or policy realms: we just have never seen Ted Kennedy, for example, go to Malaysia and collect $200,000 for a speech from a corporate power broker, lavishing his benefactor's company with praise, as occurred yesterday with Bill Clinton, now getting a few last international paydays in before his ethics agreement with the Obama administration kicks in to prevent future such embarrassments.

Now, don't get me wrong, I love me some Brother Bill, but Tio Teddy has always been a political hero of mine. His very subtle, quiet, unobtrusive way of pushing progressive causes for the last 46 years is what I think public service is about. Don't worry about getting credit, worry about getting it passed. Results rather than personal aggrandizement, country before self, just like his brother asked. I'm positive the daughter will continue the brothers' work.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Crazy as a Road Lizard

Oh, were to start! I had some ideas (rants) rolling around my quilled little noggin. Things like taken bets on whether or not the Dem's would fuck up this campaign...voters with their heads up their asses... Things that make George Washington cry...why God doesn't like you... But well, Today's announcement from McCain (which now shall be refered to as "A Postcard from Camp Clueless").....

What the HELL was he thinking? McCain has showed himself to clueless on some issues recently, but this is clueless in a Regan at the end of his second term clueless! - You know, when the astrologer was running the joint.


I am gobsmacked. And not in a good way. It is hypocrasy overload! You crucify someone about lack of political experience, you say that they are all image and no substance.... You use these as one of your major weapons. Then, you turn around and select one as your running mate - the person who will be one heart beat away from the presidency, who is younger, with less experience, and who is a former Beauty Queen. Ummmmm, hellloooooooooooooo!

And yeah, I am going to harp on that Beauty Queen thing. I know, I know.... I gave up stereo-types for Lent a couple of year okay. If they are trying to attract some of the old school feminist who were Hillary supporters ... well, does the word "kryptonite" ring a bell? The beauty pagent system represents everything that feminism is against - primarily the objectification of women. The idea that the worth of women is decided by how closely she matches some societal idea of beauty. Or did they think more mature women (and lets get real about it - there was a generational split) voted for Hillary just because she was a women. If so, they just didn't get it - not a all. It wasn't about gender, it was about issues. And there are some women women in the Republican party with some serious political chops.... What about them? It's like when the starter wife gets kicked to the curb for the trophy wife........... ( insert your own comment here)

I do understand - to a degree - what they might have hoped to accomplish with the choice of Palin. Her appeal to conservatives (pro-life, pro-capital punishmen (ie; "pro-death"),anti-same sex unions) will be undeniable. (I'm sure the hunting and NRA membership will help with some people). Also, her age could be seen as plus in connecting with younger voters.

I'm sure Palin is a lovely person. But, to be blunt, I don't think 4 years as a city council woman and 6years as mayor of B.F.E. Alaska and nearly 2 years of being governor is adequate experience to be the vice president of an old man with medical issues. I think it was a poor decision that was not adequate thought through. Yes, undoubtably she will draw some of the more conservative Hillary supporters. But that lack of experience thing is going to hurt her. It's going to be off-putting to some, and not just "some of our liberal friends" to have Barracuda Barbie a heart beat away from the oval office.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Milque Toast and the Convention

Incoming Transmission from the hedgehog:
Well, Jimmy is old..... Teddy is old.... However, neither looked fraile - and that is important Jimmy was giddy! I was watching on PBS, and they talked to him not to long after he spoke, and he didn't act old! He was a more dignified version on tom cruise on oprah. It was cute.

And Teddy.... isn't he doing chemo? He looked "medication induced" puffy, instead of alcohol indused puff. But, he was the first person to work up enough emotion to pound his fist on the podium. I am worried though, did you see the way Caroline and Maria kept crying? They bothed look mournful. He wasn't supposed to speak... just show up and wave.... Like that was really going to happen. The idea of government with a Kennedy just doens't seem real to me.

I liked Hillary. She looked radiant, she did not look like a has-been, or someone crushed because they had been thrown over. She didn't look like she was grudginly doing what she had to for "the good of the Party". I think her speech was great, and I think she said 98% of what she needed to. I liked the "was it me or the message" tact to shame some of the stubborn. And the thing is, there isn't a huge gulf of difference between her and Obama. In fact I was torn between the 2, and I still am. Honestly, I would have liked to see her on the ticket..... However, I see a more important role for her...... Like I saidTeddy is old - and we've been reminded that he is mortal.... I don't know how much longer we will have him. I can't really think of anyone, except Hillary, who could carry his standard. I can understand why she wouldnt the runner up (or first loser's) position. I woudln't want to be Lady in Waiting....... If she's not going to be president, I'd rather keep her in the Senate, where she can legislate, and protect us.

I did think Bill tearing up when she came out on stage was real.... I don't think he was play acting for effect. If it was fake, the well done to him.

Anywho, over all, -- speechwise -- They've been okay - what I have seen of it -, but nothing special for the most part. Rather sedate, bland, and ...well... white, for the most part. There have been exceptions: Hillary, Gov. Patrick of Mass., The lady from Alabama who had lost the equal pay case in the Supreme Court, the lady from NC, Teddy of course....I missed most of MIchelle Obama's I'm sorry to say. Oh, the lady's from Alabama and NC, I put on the list because they were not public speakers and did pretty damn well for being stuck out there in front of a couple of thousand people.... The Alabama lady wanted to let rip on a couple of occassions, but she maintained control. But you could see it.

There's been very little passion on stage. Most everything has been carefully homogenenized. It doesn't work for me. I'm disappointed a bit... but not becasue of the same reasons as some of the pundits. Pundits are like academics in a way.... many of them are harping on little ommissions... little facts and details. and you know what, most of that doesn't matter to the average american. We won't remember exactly what you said, be we will remember how we felt when you said it. Did I feel empathy, did you actually seem to care, did you talk down to me, did you give me hope.... did you inspire me.... That's what will last in a person's mind.... If you create a positive perception your opponents can spin it however they want too and you supporters will feel protective of you, They will feel like they are attacked if you are attacked. Kerry's handlers never allowed him to show emotion, it was Gore's downfall too..... It was Bill's strength. I don't know if the DNC has figured that out yet. The American public will not vote for a Vulcan - unless it was Spock or Sarak ;P.

I want old time southern style stumping. I want people banging on the lecture for emphasis. I want regular people up there -- uncoached regular people -- up there telling about how they are from bum-fuck mississippi and they are so poor that they had to make the choice between electricity and feeding their children. I want testimonials from surviving family members telling how their loved one died because they couldn't afford medical treatment. I want teachers there screaming at people about how hard it is to teach when you don't have funding... or books...or equipment...or supplies. I want anger, and frustration! I want heartwretching stories told by people who are sobbing.... not the occassional dainty tear.... I want mascara running, snot dripping crying.

I want people resurrecting the ghost of every dead soilder since before the Revolutionary War, and asking them if the past 8 years was worth the cost of their lives.... I want the fucking ghosts of all the founding fathers there and have them asked "When you all were risking death by rebelling against the King..... was this past eight years what you had in mind?"

I want people whipped into a frenzy! THen and only then, do you bring out those in party who can preach...... Those in the party who can channel all that mess of anger, frustration, and negativity into action. Those people, who like spiritual drill sargents, can break people down and then build them back up. Those people who can make (or atleast give the perception of) an emotional connection and common understanding with those of use who are tired of being throdden on by the jack booted, brown shirted bastards who have been draining the life's blood from us for 8 damn years. There are so few left that can do it.... Bill has it with in to do it. This is his chance at redemption -- on a huge public platform no less. He can do it. He needs to empathise... then admit party mistakes - we in-fought too much, but you do that with family - those that you care the most about, you'll fight the ugliest with - he'll have to humanize the party to the people... Then in the way that parents explain way you are being punished, he'll have to deepen the wounds - to clean the out and have the audience hit rock bottom......

Then the transformation start..... He lights a candle in the form of a story about the least of us often represents what is best in us.... The candle grows to a warm fuzzy.... He makes you believe that change can happen.... then that you could do it.... And then.... and this is the most important part, he can make you feel that you want to help, and then infuse you with the fire of righteous indignation so that you realize that it is your moral obligation to help. -- This part, I have heard him do..... I know he can. The man can work a podium.

And he had damn well better do it tonight.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Sly Fox

The sly fox
We locked
In the idiot box
The video slots
The Waco Davidian plots
They own YouTube, Myspace
When this ignorant shit gon' stop?
They monopolizing news
Your views
And the channel you choose
Visual cancer
The eye
In the sky
Number five
On the dial
secret agenda
Frequency antenna
Doctor mind bender
Remote control
Your brain holder
Slave culture
Game's over
What's a Fox characteristic?
Slick shit
Pimp the station
Over stimulation
Comcast digital Satan
The Fox has a bushy tail
And Bush tells
Lies and Foxtrots
So I don't know what's real


Watch what you watchin'
Fox keeps feeding us toxins
Stop sleeping
Start thinking
Outside of the box and
Unplug from The Matrix doctrine
But watch what you say Big Brother is watchin'

Watch what you watchin'
Fox keeps feeding us toxins
Stop sleeping
Start thinking
Outside of the box and
Unplug from The Matrix doctrine
But watch what you say Fox 5 is watchin'

[Verse 2:NaS]

The Fear Factor got you all rattled up
O' Reilly
Oh really?
No rally needed
I'll tie you up
Network for child predators, settin' 'em up
Myspace pimps, hoes, and sluts
Ya'll exploit rap culture, then ya'll flip on us
And you own the post, and ya'll shit on us
What is they net worth?
They gon' try to censor my next verse?
Throw 'em off the roof neck first
While I'm clicking my cursor
Reading blogs about the pressure they put on Universal
It gets worse while I'm clicking my mouse
While they kickin' my house
They figured us out
Why a nigga go south
It's either he caught a body, no sleep they watchin'!
I watch CBS
And I See B.S.!
Tryin' to track us down with GPS
Make a nigga wanna invest in PBS


Watch what you watchin'
Fox keeps feeding us toxins
Stop sleeping
Start thinking
Outside of the box and
Unplug from The Matrix doctrine
But watch what you say Big Brother is watchin'

Watch what you watchin'
Fox keeps feeding us toxins
Stop sleeping
Start thinking
Outside of the box and
Unplug from The Matrix doctrine
But watch what you say Fox 5 is watchin'

[Verse 3:NaS]

They say I'm all about murder-murder and kill-kill
But what about Grindhouse and Kill Bill?
What about Cheney and Halliburton? (Halliburton?)
The backdoor deals
On oil fields
How's NaS the most violent person?
Ya'll don't know talent if it hit you
Bringin' up my criminal possession charges with a pistol (pistol)
I use Viacom
As my firearm
And let the lyrics split you
Who do you rely upon?
They shoot shells at Leviathan
I'm dealing with the higher form
F**k if you care how I write a poem?
Only Fox that I love was the red one
Only black man that Fox loves is in jail or a dead one!
Red rum
Political bedlam
Don't let the hype into your eyes and ear drum
Murdoch on Fox
Not 18 with Barracas
And he hate Barack cause
He march with the marchers


I pledge allegiance to the fair and balanced truth.
Not the biased truth
Not the liar's truth
But the highest truth
I will not be deceived
nor will I believe
In the Propaganda
I will not fall for the Okey-Doke
I am tuned-in


Watch, cause they're watching
Watch what you're watching

Better watch, cause they're watching
Watch what you're watching

Misleading ya

Watch what you're watching

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

In the interest of brotherly love, peace, friendship, mutual prosperity, citywide self promotion, political grandstanding and all that

For your reading pleasure:


WHEREAS, it has come to pass that the heavens are shut up and a drought of Biblical proportions has been visited upon the Southern United States, and

WHEREAS, the parched and dry conditions have weighed heavily upon the State of Georgia and sorely afflicted those who inhabit the Great City of Atlanta, and

WHEREAS, the leaders of Georgia have assembled like the Children of Israel in the desert, grumbled among themselves and have begun to cast longing eyes toward the north, coveting their neighbor’s assets, and

WHEREAS, the lack of water has led some misguided souls to seek more potent refreshment or for other reasons has resulted in irrational and outrageous actions seeking to move a long established and peaceful boundary, and

WHEREAS, it is deemed better to light a candle than curse the darkness, and better to offer a cool, wet kiss of friendship rather than face a hot and angry legislator gone mad from thirst, and

Whereas, it is feared that if today they come for our river, tomorrow they might come for our Jack Daniels or George Dickel,

NOW THEREFORE, In the interest of brotherly love, peace, friendship, mutual prosperity, citywide self promotion, political grandstanding and all that

I Ron Littlefield, Mayor of the City of Chattanooga, Tennessee,

Do hereby Proclaim that Wednesday, February 27, 2008 shall be known as

“Give Our Georgia Friends a Drink Day”