I wonder if any country in the history of the written word has ever had a reliably honest media. I understand that the US probably has more newspapers and magazines committed to honest reporting than most (and maybe all other) countries, but that does not change the fact that the papers sold at newsstands and read by the majority of people are almost all complete bullshit. The fact that the nutty right wing propagandists call the NY Times a liberal rag is proof that we are being fed what the people in charge want us to be fed. Bill Kristol is an example of a batty pundit who has been preaching war for as long as he has been getting published. I saw him on the Daily Show once and after the interview, I was left with the feeling that he is thoroughly insane. He wrote an article before the war saying that the Democrats, France, and the UN will be proven wrong when the US discovers WMD and makes the rest of the Middle East bow down. It has been almost five years since that article and he still has not admitted he was wrong. Instead he continues to squawk that there are WMD and we had the right to go in there and the Middle East is a better and more democratic place because of it. How is he rewarded for being a mouthpiece for the administration? He is very close to getting a job at the NY Times; what a surprise.
As I’ve said before, we can choose what we read and whom we obey; we can put a stop to this entire system simply by ending our obedience. However, in order for something like this to happen it obviously has to be on a very large scale, and the difficulty I’ve been struggling with is how to organize that many people. One possible way is for individuals and small groups to go and commit acts of nonviolent civil disobedience and direct action and hope that people will take notice and follow (even though most of the acts get little to no coverage in the mainstream media). An example of this is John Nirenberg who is currently in the middle of walking from Boston to Washington DC in order to meet with Nancy Pelosi and demand the impeachment of Dick Cheney and George W Bush. Most people would not do this because they would view it as pointless, and that may be right, but what if it isn’t? When Cindy Sheehan camped near Bush’s ranch, people probably told her she was crazy because no one person can make a difference. A few days later some media began to show up which caused more people to join her which lead to more media; and so on and so forth until she became a household name with a few books under her belt. I’m sure most people never even hear of ninety-nine out of one hundred Nirenbergs or Sheehans, but how many people end up getting involved because of that one that we do hear of? If you ask me, it’s worth it and eventually when the numbers start getting big enough, the media has no choice but to report on it.
I have a lot of views about life and the way we should be allowed to live it, but I’m not always very good at expressing myself. Sometimes I go on rants and often times I say things that don’t make too much sense, but I’m getting better. Today I read an essay by David Green that pretty much sums up how I feel. While he doesn’t give any resolutions – and instead just complains for a couple pages – he lays out all his beef with the past seven years of Bush rule, and he does it very simply and thought provokingly. Hopefully there’s a part two to it because it isn’t enough to just point out all the things that are wrong, there have to be solutions offered as well.
Things could get interesting over the Iraq spending bill. Silent until right when he was about to sign the funding bill into law, Bush suddenly decided that he did not like part of the bill and plans to veto it. That’s not the interesting part though, the interesting part concerns something that got less than a paragraph in the liberal rag it appeared in- the fact that Bush is choosing to give the bill a pocket veto. Instead of saying no, which is what a normal veto does, he will choose to ignore the bill for ten days at which point it will become inactive. The difference between this and a normal veto is that this cannot be overruled by a 2/3-majority vote. This only works when Congress is not in session because the bill would become law after ten days. It gets interesting because Congress has been gaveling in and out – holding 1 to 3 minute sessions – for the past week in order to prevent Bush from sneakily assigning recess appointments. After the ten days goes by, the White House will claim that the bill has been vetoed while Congress can claim that the bill has become law. If the Democrats have anything left of their spine, this could get very ugly. For more on what a pocket veto is, check out the source for all information- wikipedia.
The close US ally of Pakistan is quickly falling apart as riots are going on all over the already fragile country. Although things like this (a country supported by the US exploding in violence) should not surprise me anymore, seeing soldiers kill their fellow countrymen always makes me sick. Countries fighting against other countries does not make too much sense to me, but for some reason it’s always less shocking than seeing people kill people that look like them and speak the same language. I wonder what is going through a soldiers mind as he fires indiscriminately into a crowd of his own people who are gathered simply to voice their outrage at the direction their shared country is headed. How does he or she sleep at night with the knowledge that the bullet fired out of his or her gun could have killed a neighbor or grade school friend? My thoughts are with the opposition over there and I hope they continue to take to the streets and demand freedom- eventually the soldiers will tire out and see the inhumanity of it all.