MLK Jr Memorial

MLK Jr Memorial (Photo credit: alvesfamily)

I should not have been shocked when I learned that George Zimmermans father is a retired judge.  There is a long history of bubbas backhand overlooking the excesses of their progeny.   It is easy for a racist mindset to rationalize the killing of an unarmed kid and then stand behind a law supposed to protect people in their home.

Some people say that George Zimmerman is lucky to have a retired judge for his father.  Talk about some kitchen table legal advice.   I wonder how involved Robert Zimmerman has been with the lack of an investigation.  So far, it looks like this law is being used to stand down expensive investigations when the injustices may be better swept under the blind rug of hypocrisy.  The plan was for this story to go away.  Maybe there is hope for our news media if it can shine a light on what looks like a pile of rats chewing on goobers.

My kids are not African American but as MLK said ‘Injustice anywhere, is a threat to Justice everywhere.’   It sounds like the wild west has gone south and east.  Our children deserve better.

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Hope Springs

March 20, 2012

America... Republicans want the keys back - do...

Winter is over, time to spring into action.  I believe the spring of occupation will provide a sea change in our political discourse.  When the movement awakens from a seasonal hibernation, the nation will move.  An undeniable mass of people is an undeniable force. It will be awesome to see as well, much more fun than the tired old debates and listening to politicians try to outmaneuver each other.

It will go viral this spring.   It has to.  There is no choice but for the occupy movement to become a cottage industry.  The pols will have to get serious very quickly about engaging the issues that the occupy movement is kicking up.

I hope Obama spends time engaging with the Occupiers.   He needs to understand the outcry and speak to it even more.  They will lift him on their shoulders if he does this and carry him right back into the white house.

If the movement rears up as I think it will, the whole paradigm will shift on a dime into our time, the future is now.

United States of Animal Car

Its been nine years and the past is definitely blurry, unless you served.  Not every one served in the theater.

I know I’m way behind.  I finally saw the movie Fair Game, depicting the Valerie Plame and Joe Wilson story.    Holy crap this is a great movie although it depicts a sad reality.  Kudos to Sean Penn and Naomi Watts who were both outstanding in their craft.  I love how the story is shown from the perpective of the family of Ms Plame and Mr Wilson, something I doubt most people considered at the time.  At the time, they were parents of four year old twins and coping with the loss of career, public defamation and desire to shed light on the lies that were leading an angry grieving nation into a war on a country that had nothing to do with 911.

After seeing this film, I am wishing that the real Joe Wilson would enter politics.   He strikes me as a good leader, someone with a conscience.   Also, I wonder if the gender roles had been reversed if the Bush administration would have been so flip as turn on their own agent.

In chess, sometimes it is a good move to lose a pawn to gain the advantage, ultimately Ms Wilson was used as a pawn in the game of going to war that can be played in the white house.   She was robbed of her career, bottomed out, as the ‘fall girl’ for the Bush administration.  There does seem to be a tragic injustice in the end with the family moving to New Mexico to escape DC , while no justice is served to the executive branch out of control.  Scooter Libby, an agent of Cheney, barely served time for his lies and no one else was held to answer for blowing her cover in the press.

In many ways, Valerie Plame was fighting the war on terror before the military even got started.  After the dust clears, it will be units like hers that are left to clean up the mess.  She suffered a huge injustice and paid a high price for putting her duty in front of everything for years.   She is a living hero in my book.  Joe too is a hero for trying to speak the truth to the power that was revving up the engines on a machine that just mows stuff over rightly or wrongly.

Of all the reasons we went to these two wars, it cannot be denied that we waged war on Iraq based on layers of  lies and deception.  Iraq did not have anything to do with 911, yet we were easily led into believing it was so.   At the heart of the reasoning for going to war was the so called weapons program in operation in Iraq.  By the time it was obvious to most informed and reasoning folks, we were embroiled in a second war mostly because it seemed closer to the target.

It is not easy to draw a greater conclusion or gain a moral to the story, but here it is: the GOP in control of our military and intelligence complex will put it to work on expensive and immoral  operations  in order to create a political advantage and/or support their big business cronies.  That’s what happened with Iraq.

Looking at the future, I cannot figure out what the mission in Afghanistan is but to get out.  I think we went there to get Osama but now it’s truly a mission accomplished.

El Rushbo Speweth Over?

March 6, 2012

Rush Limbaugh - Caricature

Rush Limbaugh - (Photo credit: DonkeyHotey)

I was just graduating from college in the Midwest  in 1991 when I remember becoming aware of Rush Limbaugh.    A good friend of mine listened to him regularly and had become quite partisan to the right back in the days when politics were almost like cryptography, the era for me when anything to do with politics was ‘wonky’.   I checked in with El Rushbo then and sampled his offerings and it did not take long before I was thoroughly disgusted by the content that was alternately misogynistic, racially degrading, menacing, self aggrandizing pomposity and never ending foul tasting ?humor?  Further, the ‘news’ and opinion was full of easily debunked mendacity.   Never truly challenged, Rush’s conservative brand of ‘entertainment’ apparently was embraced by a mostly white male audience.   Being a new graduate, I was moving around through out the Midwest as I started my own career and was able to sample various radio markets while looking for work.  Exploring the radio dial across the midwest was a pasttime and I was amazed by the reach Rush had established already and the lack of any true counterpoint to all of his outrageous claims.

Being curious about this new exciting conservatism and whether there was a fair debate available on his broadcast, I personally spent time calling in to his show to present points in contention with his arguments of the day.   It took only two attempts before I realized there would be no fair debate with liberals on his show.  Anyone who made it to the airwaves was cut off as soon as was convenient and then thoroughly excoriated and marginalized.  Most liberals will never get past the call screener filtering callers so Rush doesn’t have to face the ‘unwashed unruly’ masses with inconvenient and embarassing questions.

Rush established a platform and echo chamber in which only right conservative ideas were allowed and no rigorous debate with consensus beyond that of the right wing could form.  He is an architect of the polarized political environment we now find ourselves in where neither side can have a fair discussion with the other.   He allowed and encouraged conservatives to believe they do not have to concede anything in a debate with the left and that they do not even need to engage in a debate at all with counterpoint from the middle and poverty stricken classes.

In turn, conservatives came to worship at the platform he created and maybe even mistook it for a town square of sorts.  Rush became so elevated in their eyes, that there is nothing the the Rushbo can do that could be wrong or indefensible.  Megadittoes became the code word for everything you say is true and we surrender our critical thoughts over to you Rush.

I say Rush deserves to be able to speak his mind freely, as loudly and as noisily as he wishes — on a street corner.  He should be able to go out on the internet and blog all he wants and podcast all he wants even.  I do not think he deserves however, the benefit of the American public’s am or fm radio air waves.  There is nothing in the bill of rights about the freedom to speak on the radio.  We have something in the US called the FCC that settled that years ago.