Guess what? Republicans are assholes. As we have all encountered them in our daily lives, this should come as a surprise to no one. However, the media sure does a crappy job of reporting it. It seems to be common knowledge (to reporters, anyway) that liberals are a bunch of long haired hippies who want to have a cookie and milk meeting with Bin Laden and apologize to Saddam, yet no one goes into much detail about how scummy the Republicans really are. Have no fear because today Glenn Greenwald does the job. For the entire history of the senate a bill gets introduced and needs 51 votes to pass. In extreme cases, when someone doesn’t want the bill to even be voted on, they can filibuster (as Chris Dodd did so marvelously a couple days ago) and then the opposing side needs 60 votes to continue on to a vote. Not any more; now the Democrats have decided, “Why put our friends the Republicans through that much trouble” and changed the rules; now a bill needs 60 votes to pass. As Mr. Greenwald points out, the Republicans have used this a record amount of times- that is they’ve been the minority for less than a year and already broken the two-year record. Is this scummyness of the Republicans or extreme weakness from the Democrats ever reported? You tell me.

It’s really astonishing what’s going on in New Orleans; just when it seemed like the poor people couldn’t have much worse of a life, they get dealt another blow when city council members (with a white majority for the first time in a long while) voted to knock down a bunch of public housing. I’m not one for conspiracy theories, but it really looks like they’re taking advantage of a disaster to get all the poor (who happen to be mostly black) people out of New Orleans. Affordable housing is becoming non-existent in a city that used to be flush with cheap apartments. Not to mention the little covered story that FEMA will be taking back their trailers in about a month’s time. Naomi Klein does a much better job than I do of talking about this situation; if you can read her article (and click on the video link) without crying and/or punching a wall, you might not be human. Maybe this is where the revolution will start.

Or, maybe it starts here; the Lakota Indians have succeeded from the United States. When I first saw this headline I thought it was some kind of publicity stunt or weak statement, but it seems that they are serious. The brought a statement of unilateral withdrawal to the state government and also sent them to a bunch of other countries including Venezuela, Bolivia, Ireland, and others. They also plan to sue in order to get back land that they say the US Government illegally took from them over the course of the past couple hundred years. The best part about this whole thing is that the welcome anyone to come live there; they will be making their own drivers licenses and passports and citizens will live tax free as long as they renounce their US citizenship. Someone should start a campaign to get all the poor people from New Orleans set up in this area and spread the word to anyone else who is sick of living under this empire, but still feels like they belong on the land. If I wasn’t in school I would totally pack up all my stuff, renounce my citizenship, and head north today.

It would also be fun to head south to Cuba because things – I believe – are about to get interesting there. No one talks about them too much, but I’ve been wondering almost every day what is going to happen when Fidel finally kicks the bucket. I would say it’s a safe bet that the US will try once again to do what it has failed to do numerous times in the past. When that happens, will Hugo get involved? Will we be safe living in Lakotastan? Or will WWIII start on a small island? One thing is for sure; the empire that the United States is building cannot last forever. While revolutions cannot be planned, nothing can be done without an imagination. We are never taught in school what freedom really means- we are taught that we are free, that people died for our freedoms, that we attack other countries both so they can be free and so we can maintain our freedom. If we each took five minutes each morning (as long as it doesn’t interfere with reading my blog) and imagined what it would be like to be truly free, maybe we as a society wouldn’t be so accepting when we see what little freedom we really have.

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