What will you use to decide whom you vote for? Will it be foreign policy, social issues, or will you just vote along party lines? Glenn Greenwald, in one of the shortest blogs I’ve ever read by him, cites a Peggy Noonan article in which she claims we need an adult for president. I guess it’s pretty hard to argue with that, since none of us want a fourteen-year-old kid running the world, but what are the qualifiers for being considered an adult? Well, according to Noonan, the reason why John Edwards is not an adult – and can therefore never be considered for president – is because a camera caught him fixing his hair before a debate four years ago. I don’t know if she thinks we need a bald president or just someone who doesn’t care about personal grooming, but Greenwald seems to think it goes farther. He says that her wording, “John Edwards is not reasonable. . . . .[W]e can’t have a president who spent two minutes on YouTube staring in a mirror and poofing his hair” implies that she is really referring to his rumored homosexuality. Apparently ‘poofing’ is a British word for gay person. So- he’s gay, Obama is a Black Muslim terrorist, and Clinton is really a man who would let her husband cheat on her and therefore let the crazy Muslims take over the US; thank whatever that the Republicans have some hard-hitting, intelligent, sincere candidates.
Maybe there is hope yet; a bunch of prominent lawyers (1,300 from around the US) have gotten together to sign a petition directed at congress telling them to do their job and investigate the CIA torture tape destruction for real and not just go through the motions. This may not seem like much, but when groups like lawyers start to unite and work together, that’s when things have a great potential to change. When workers see that these upper class people are uniting, then they start to believe and maybe begin to organize themselves. We need the ‘brainy’ section of society – doctors, lawyers, and other intellectuals – to do the planning and writing while the workers put a stop to everything. We walk around thinking that the billionaire corporation owners control everything, which is true, but only because we let it be true. With a snap of the fingers, it could suddenly be the workers who become the lifelines of our society. If the owners suddenly disappeared, things would go on the same or better, but if all the workers decided not to go to work – even for one day – there would be a lot of consequences. Maybe this will lead to something… or maybe this will be the only thing we read about it.
If there is any place in the United States that is ready for change, ready for something to start, it is New Orleans. The protests that have been going on over the planned destruction of the affordable housing are truly amazing. They are all self-organized, have people from all walks of life (from lawyers to homeless people), and the best part is that the police, SWAT teams, and other local law enforcement (keep an eye out for Blackwater) are beginning to get violent which means they know their power is shrinking. The lawyers can do things like draw up proposals and actually get meetings with city officials while the workers can refuse to go to work, refuse to pay taxes, and take all their money out of the local banks. They can all use nonviolence – continue to protest and get sprayed and tasered while the world begins to pay more and more attention, chain themselves to bulldozers, whatever it takes – to win this battle; which could end up being a catalyst for much more. The rest of us should take notice also; as Martin Luther King Jr and this article (without giving credit to MLK) said, “injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” Anyone with money and time should be down there side by side with their brothers and sisters. The rest of us can find out what companies are involved in the destruction of the housing and write them letters and boycott them. We should also be writing the senators and congresspeople listed in the article, and doing whatever else we can to help out our fellow humans.
People tend to get annoyed at me when I go on one of these rants, but I do it because I see how much people don’t care. As I’ve said before, I understand that there are warmongers and evil people and they bother me, but the one’s whose fault 9/12 is going to be are the one’s who know better and still are sitting at home doing nothing. Ray McGovern wrote a brilliant essay in Common Dreams yesterday about a book that was written by someone who saw the Nazi’s slowly come to power in 1930’s Germany (and is now being pushed on US citizens by his daughter). Germany had lost WWI and needed someone to blame; the US had gotten bombed and needed someone to blame. The Nazi’s were able to fully come to power because the Social Democrats laid down and let them; the Neocons are gaining more and more power because the Democrats are lying down and letting them. The comparisons are infinite and just like our German counterparts we sit around and watch our rights slowly being taken away, and all we have to hear is “9/11” or “terrorist” and we shake our heads and go back to whatever it was that we were doing. We still have a chance now as the German’s still had a chance in the 30’s, but pretty soon we’ll be sitting in a war zone wondering how the fuck it got so bad in the greatest country in the world.
Who in the world killed Benazir Bhutto? It could have been the Pakistani government, it could have been carelessness on the part of the Pakistani government, it could have been fundamentalists, it could have been someone who just had a beef with her, or it could have been the CIA. No matter who did it, Pakistan is in trouble; the country was already unstable and now they are in complete and utter disarray. The reason I have been focusing on Pakistan for the past couple months is because I think what’s going on there could be happening here pretty soon. I think the Bush administration was watching to see what happened during the State of Emergency that Musharraf declared in November and now they’re watching to see what happens when elections are called off because of the assassination of the president’s most likely replacement.
Maybe I’m crazy, maybe everything is fine, maybe there’s no reason to be up in arms or out on the streets protesting every day, but what if I’m right? I’d rather err on the side of caution than be sitting in a secret jail cell saying ‘damn, I should have done something more’.