Friday, March 30, 2007

Clear the Mind

In a world where up is down and war is peace and nothing is sane, it is nice to step back from the brink of insanity and find a little peace for yourself.

Saturday, March 24, 2007

War: What is it Good For? Privatization!

I need to write about something. I haven't been able to sit down and think. Actually, I have been avoiding it lately. There is so much going on and so little concern, so what is the point? Most of the major blogs bore me in their coverage of the same things over and over while ignoring other things that have been completely overlooked by almost everyone. Nothing seems to be changing. No one seems to care anymore about the fact that we are torturing people. No one cares about the mercenary groups of Blackwater and the like who not only work around the globe but have camps set up in America. No one seems to care that it is looking like we are never leaving Iraq. There was nearly no coverage of the protests on the anniversary of the "war". I understand that politically motivated firings of Attorneys is an issue that needs covering, but is there no room for a mention of other problems here and there?

The Walter Reed seemed to come and go. Seems it was replaced by the new scandal of the week. All the reporting was, of course, on how "incompetence" was to blame for all of this. However, what should have been the focus is that this is exactly what should have been expected. The most important aspect of this story should have been the privatization of Walter Reed and how it fits neatly into a trend that goes back since Bush took office. It is NOT incompetence. Their intention is to privatize everything: the military, social security, schools, etc. They want all of these institutions out of the hands of the government and into the hands of the private sector because then there will be no oversight and regulation of these institutions, and profit reigns over public interest. Think about it. The perfect military would be one that is beholden, not to protecting America, but to protecting the bottom line. Schools, when privatized, will no longer have to treat everyone equally. They can have their god in school (and while we're at it, why not bring back segregation?) Social security of our citizens would be at the whims of corporations. It is the ultimate goal. It is the complete destruction of the new deal that has been a stated goal all along.

And with this, there will be a permanent lower class of Americans. We will be back to no social nets, rampant poverty, etc. But they don't care. The corporations will have thick wallets and the religious right will have their god in school. Fuck everyone else. That is what complete privatization is really about. Helping the few at the expense of the rest.

Right now, we see the test run. Look at Iraq and Afghanistan. We have more mercenary forces working in more theaters of warfare than we have ever had in our history. The plan is to expand on this theme. More mercenaries and less military. If this is achieved, then the war mongers will not be beholden to the American people. We as citizens will not be able to put to a stop unjust wars. We are already seeing this. We have people fighting mini "wars" in over 60 countries around the world. Some of these are with mercenary troops only. Most people think we are only in two countries. Can we really say we have a democracy when we are waging wars in over 60 countries, some classified, and the majority of our country not even know about it? If we do not know that it is going on, there can't be any oversight. That is the point.

When we are told that we are living in a post 911 era, they mean it. Not because things inherently changed after that date, but since that date they have decided that they are going to fundamentally change America. And not for the good. They have found an excuse for permanent war. They have found something even better than the long running cold war: a never ending hot war.

Monday, March 19, 2007

Memphis Anti-War Protest

As you all know, I had to change plans this past weekend and go to Memphis instead of D.C. I was disappointed by this turn of events. However, Friday I was listening to Air America and heard about a local protest that was planned for March 17th. So, I attended that one instead.

Midsouthpeace Protest

This was my first protest and it was relatively small. I would estimate around 200 people attended. It was a little different than I expected. The group that organized it is a religious group and there were several leaders of local churches that attended and spoke. From their website, "The Mid-South Peace and Justice Center is an interfaith, inter-racial organization dedicated to education and advocacy for local and global peace and justice issues."

All in all, it was a great experience. I was a little worried about Marching down Beale Street during a pretty large St. Patrick's day celebration. However, everything turned out fine. We had a lot more cheers and thumbs ups than we had jeers. Actually, I only witnessed two people that had a problem with it. We also received a lot of honks of support from passing cars. I am looking forward to doing it again.

Also, if you are interested, pics and vids from other protests as I come across them:

March on the Pentagon
Protest in Austin

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

On Birth, Death, and Everything in Between

It's spring break and I found that this is a perfect time to start my garden. So, on Saturday, I picked up some plants and seeds and I began digging up my flower bed. It took most of the day, but by dusk, I had a fully functioning herb garden complete with rosemary, basil, cilantro, parsley, and lavender.

The next day, we delved into the main garden. Out back, our yard has been neglected by years of uninterested tenants. Most of the yard is absent of grass, and compact dirt spots have taken it's place. So, with a few tools and a lot of motivation, we took to digging our plot. We began at noon and by 7:00pm we had dug, aerated, and fertilized a spot that ended up being 7' by 10'. We planted our tomatoes, onions, bell peppers, spinach. We then sowed our carrot seeds and watered the garden. We were finished. Now all we have left to do is watch nature do it's thing and marvel at the life we have created. After all, to me there are few things better in life than seeing something I have created flourish.

I was elated. The gardens were done and I was now getting excited about going to D.C. this weekend. But, as we had just finished sowing the last seed of life into our garden, we received a call that would bring a dark cloud over it all. My husband's grandfather is in the hospital. He has lung cancer (never smoked) and it has spread. With that, things seemed to crumble. So, now, we are in a different mode. The excitement of new life taking root and new experiences has been replaced with the somberness of a life ending. So, I guess, the cycle of life continues.

Instead of going to D.C. this weekend, we are scrambling to make last minute plans to go to Memphis. There we will say our goodbyes I suppose. This will, more than likely, be the last time we see him. The doctors have said that he has days, weeks, maybe months. But, since they said that, he has had a turn for the worse. No one there is optimistic about the situation.

I will be leaving here on Thursday. You will probably not hear from me from Thursday through Monday of next week. I will more than likely not have access to the internet. I'm sorry I will not be joining my friends in D.C. I hope that we can one day meet. For now though, the unpredictability of life will force us to go our separate ways.

Tuesday, March 6, 2007

To go with my post below

I think this compliments the Joe Klein insanity quite well.

Monday, March 5, 2007

Can you hear that?

We just moved a notch to the right.

Oh, how the kinda-but-not-really left in this country fall for a trap every time. Ole Joe Klein makes up some list about what a "left wing extremist" is and everyone goes bonkers. Not because Joe called people extremists for some relatively non-extreme ideas, but because he "misrepresented" the "left". So, for now on, I am guessing we will see a lot of people distance themselves from the issues that Joe brought up so as not to be pegged an "extremist".

Oh, sure, this country is just fucking peaches right now. (damn, I cussed. I must be an extremist) The government imperialistic? Nah, can't be. Cuz Joe said that if you say that, then you are an extremist. Kinda like if you say that we are winning in Iraq enough times, it will come true.

The US a negative source? Nope, that would be extremist talk. We all know that the US doesn't do ugly stuff like torture, start preemptive wars based on lies, and run secret prisons. And, as a supposed role-model of the world, if we do those things, there will be no negative effect internationally.

The administration purposely lied us into war? Oh my, no. That would be a dangerously radical thought. It's not like there was a memo that said, "fix the intelligence" to get us into war. It's not like there is overwhelming evidence that the decision to go into Iraq was decided a long time before the case to go to war was made (or fabricated).

And don't blame poverty on society. No that would be wrong. It's not like millions of more Americans have slipped into poverty since Bush has taken office. It's not like the gap between the rich and poor keeps widening even further every year. It's not like society tolerates businesses getting richer and richer while cutting more and more jobs and offering less and less benefits.

And don't ever bash the corporations. They are obviously your friends and care deeply about the average person. And, it would be extremist to bash them anyway. It's not like they are making windfall profits while the average person struggles to pay bills. It's not like they have been the number one benefiters of Bush's tax cuts (corporate welfare).

And please don't say anything negative about religious people (unless they are non-Christian, then they are fair game). It is extremist to even vocalize disapproval of even the most egregious acts done in the name of Christianity. It's not like Christians under Bush have pushed for allowing pharmacists to refuse prescriptions to patients. It's not like Christians have tried to undermine science. There are many more things, but to point them out and complain would be extreme of me.

In addition to the fact that Joey boy has created a situation where "left" leaning people will feel the need to distance themselves from valid points, he also sprinkled it with logical fallacies and strawmen statements.

"-believes in a corporate conspiracy that controls the world."

How about believes that under the global society that we live in, corporations have become very powerful entities that have a lot of political influence on the decisions that politicians make. And, politicians rely on corporate money for their campaigns and then owe those corporations something in return? I think that is a better description.

--believes American society is fundamentally unfair (as opposed to having unfair aspects that need improvement).

Strawman or some other logical fallacy. I have witnessed this one first hand. For example, a liberal complains about an aspect of health care that isn't fair and a right winger tells them that they hate America. It has become impossible to rightly complain of any problems in America without being attacked with these kind of strawman arguments.

Yet again, someone has taken valid ideas and valid complaints of the government that we live under and twisted them into something they are not. It is a classic swindle. The intended result is for people to jump ship and distance themselves from valid and very important problems this nation faces. Of course, from what I have seen, it is working.

However, Norbizness, or The Left, has not disappointed and seems to have called Joe on his scam.

Thursday, March 1, 2007

Entertainment News

If you like a good suspense thriller, you have to check out The State Within. This six part mini-series aired on BBC and I was lucky enough to catch a replay of it the other night on BBC America. It is absolutely captivating. You will not be able to stop watching. It makes the suspense thriller mini-series in America look like complete rubbish. If you don't have BBC, I believe that The State Within is on DVD now. In the meantime, check out the trailers on the website.