A New Hope

Day 8–pathetic clowns pretend to govern……

I know that may sound like a good title for a new Star Wars movie….but in this case I am referring to the happenings in out country.  I see occurrences taking place that gives me new hope.  You see I am an aged Hippie, my political interests were born in the age of protest and I must admit that I miss those days somewhat……but there is a bright light……society is moving to the point where protest and dis obedience will be needed to correct the course of events that are shaping up in this country.

There are a few signs developing that could bring about a resurgence of civil unrest….similar to the 60-70’s……..these are the signs as I see them…….

1–antagonism between Congress and Prez….and between Congress and the voter…

2–political corruption…..like Congress voting on issues that benefit them personally and the bribes they take in the form of contributions…..

3–constant wars and the heavy defense spending….

4–a failing economy, especially for the working class and their families……

5–high unemployment

6–natural disasters……and the hesitation to assist………

Just a few of the major issues that could lead to problems if they are not addressed by the national government…….as an aged radical I could at this point dive into a diatribe on Marx or Lenin or Mao….but those days are gone for they were some great theories but very little practical usage without using tactics that are contrary to a democratic nation……

I want to believe that Americans still have the best interests of the country in their hearts….I have my doubts because of what I see happening in the country….now my question is….do Americans have the nuts to bring about real change or will they keep plugging along with their isolated little pockets of pathetic issues that have NOTHING to do with strengthening this country for the days ahead.

The more the powers make change impossible they more it will become inevitable…….and that is why I am here!

Time To Go!

We have heard the crap being slung about the deaths in Libya…….All the posturing by both candidates (I would use their names but why/)…all the outrage, most of which is just campaign BS…..we have heard what the slag holes on talk radio thinks…most of them would not know a Libyan if one was stand next to them…….Egypt has been condemned and a lot of hot air about the Muslim Brotherhood winning the election…but the one thing they have overlooked is that they were ELECTED…..if the right wing blowholes want democracy then they need to support the will of the people….

But I digress…..these same dipsticks have tried to put a jinx on the Libyans because of the attacks……but Libya is doing something about the attacks and the ones that may have committed it…..

(Newser) – Libya is working to drive out more armed groups after protesters’ success against a militia blamed in the death of US ambassador Chris Stevens. Authorities have told “all illegitimate militias” they’ve got two days to “be removed from compounds and hand over their weapons to the national army,” says a defense ministry spokesman. Over the weekend, protesters took over three militia bases; 11 people were killed in the process, the Guardian reports. “What happened was a big mess,” says army commander General Hamad Belkhair. “But it has left the government clearly in control of the streets.”

Some militias are taking heed of the government’s warnings, announcing they’re calling it quits amid the backlash. Those groups include Ansar al-Sharia, blamed in Stevens’ death. But others haven’t given up; Belkhair was kidnapped for six hours on Saturday and finally released safely. Meanwhile, the attack on the US consulate earlier this month has created a roadblock for US intelligence efforts: Some dozen CIA agents and contractors were among those evacuated from Benghazi following the attack, the New York Times reports. “It’s a catastrophic intelligence loss,” says a US official, even as the region grows more volatile. “We got our eyes poked out.”

Of course nothing they, Arab leaders, can do will be enough to silence blowholes and morons….

Stereotyping Is Such BS!

It has been over a week since all the hoopla started in the ME…….I have been listening to all the pundits analyze what is happening in the Middle East as I type……..conservs like Morning Joe are saying flat out that Muslims hate us….libs are begging for understanding……

I will weigh in…..Arabs do NOT hate us, at least when I was in the ME I did not find this….yes, they do appreciate the government and some of their ideas for what is important in the region….but they do NOT hate just because you are an American.  We have all these people fanning the flames by making blanket statements…most of which are LIES!  Yes, there are those groups that preach hatred of the US….but only a small amount of people take them seriously……And yes, some average Arabs will throw rocks at the embassy….but most of that is out of frustration more than hatred.

The problem is that too many Americans will let someone form their opinions for them……not one media pundit is held responsible for the lies they spread….okay someone will fact check them but that is about as far as it goes……and then they allow a war hawk like Dan Senor to spout his crap and NO one challenges him on his “mis-statements”….I would use lies but I want to be kind…

There is the problem….Americans like categorizing people….it is easier than learning the truth…….so because few people know anything about Muslims then they must be the bad guy…..Stereotyping in any form is just plain wrong and LAZY!

(Newser) – When the first Mideast protests started this week, the storyline went something like this: “Crude anti-Islam film made by Israeli-American and funded by Jews leads to Muslim protests that boil over, causing four American deaths in Libya,” writes Robert Wright at the Atlantic. Already, we’ve learned that the “Israeli-American” identified as Sam Bacile is probably a Coptic Christian named Nakoula Basseley Nakoula. His Innocence of Muslimsfilm wasn’t funded by Jews and it may have had nothing to do with the American deaths: Libya looks more and more like a well-planned terrorist attack, “not spontaneous mob violence.”

The early narrative was embraced because it “fit so nicely into some common stereotypes—about crazy Muslims who get whipped into a death frenzy at the drop of a hat, about the backstage machinations of Jews, and about the natural tension between Muslims and Jews,” says Wright. Expect more misconceptions to fall by the wayside—don’t judge Egyptian leader Mohamed Morsi too quickly, for example, until you remember the minefield of domestic politics he has to navigate. And be wary of “letting simplistic mental templates continue to shape the story.” Read Wright’s full essay here.

Conservs are the worse……since it fits nicely into the bogus narrative they have on the Middle East…..stereotyping is the easiest way to make their case against any group of people…in this case……….The Arabs.  Just keep in mind Europe in the 1930’s when another ethnic group was being stereotyping and demonization.

Pussy Rock

It is common knowledge that I am a dirty old man…..But before I take heat for the title….it is the name of a Russian band…….

Three women who protested against Vladimir Putin in a “punk prayer” on the altar of Russia’s main cathedral went on trial Monday in a case seen as a test of the longtime leader’s treatment of dissent during a new presidential term.

The members of the band Pussy Riot face up to seven years in prison for an unsanctioned performance in February in which they entered Moscow’s Christ the Savior Cathedral, ascended the altar and called on the Virgin Mary to “throw Putin out!”

Maria Alyokhina, 24, Nadezhda Tolokonnikova (see photo below), 22, and Yekaterina Samutsevich, 29, were brought to Moscow’s Khamovniki court for Russia’s highest-profile trial since former oil tycoon Mikhail Khodorkovsky was convicted in 2010.

On Monday, supporters chanted “Girls, we’re with you!” and “Victory!” as the women, each handcuffed by the wrist to a female officer, were led from a white and blue police van into the courthouse through a side entrance. Streets around the court, on a high Moscow River embankment, were closed.

Okay, I love the name but beyond that these women need the support of the music industry…..they need all these overpaid musicians to go to their rescue…..let the world know the injustice being done.  Freedom of speech is not one of those things that the Russian government thinks is a good idea.

Did He Say ‘Armed Revolution’?

Holy moly!  I recall signs back at the height of the Tea Party….like “we came unarmed….this time!” and all the photos and images of the people totting their weapons at the protests and demonstrations.  Back in those days I said that since I am an old fart and remembering my days in the protest movement, just what would have happened if someone had shown up with a gun…..it would have been ugly…….. and not in a good way….

But all the hoopla about this coming election this has been the most bizarre…….

In the “Whitehouse Watchdog” column, editor Ponch McPhee says that America cannot survive four more years under Obama, a “political socialist ideologue” who is “unlike anything world history has ever witnessed or recognized.” McPhee argues that Americans will have no option “but armed revolution should we fail with the power of the vote in November:”
We have before us a challenge to remove an ideologue unlike anything world history has ever witnessed or recognized.
An individual who has come to power within a Nation which yields it’s strength over the entire world.
An elected leader who shuns biblical praise, handicaps economic ability, disrespects the honor of earned military might.
In the coming days and weeks  ~ we the people must come to grasp as a common force, our very soul’s, that our future as a sovereign nation is indeed at risk.
If every single individual that you know, would contact 25 other individuals  ~ we can make a difference that will be heard across the Commonwealth and in Washington.
The ultimate task for the people is to remain vigilant and aware  ~ that the government, their government is out of control, and this moment, this opportunity, must not be forsaken, must not escape us, for we shall not have any coarse but armed revolution should we fail with the power of the vote in November ~ This Republic cannot survive for 4 more years underneath this political socialist ideologue.
What is this country coming to when they allow this sort of talk to continue…….we may not agree on policy but to take up arms against a freely elected person is………TREASON!  What would these ‘conservs’ be saying if some ‘leftist’ made this comment?  But there is a precedent for treason…….think Aaron Burr in 1807 and his arrest for treason.
I will say the the GOP of this area has added a disclaimer that the opinion is of the author solely…..but I am sorry they should either distance themselves completely or stand behind the author….I do not understand how they can claim to support the Constitution and allow this type of thing to go forward……of course I guess it could be justified by quoting Jefferson…I bet if Jefferson were alive today…he would regret making his ‘famous’ tree of liberty statement as much as Jimmy Buffet regrets making the song “Let’s Get Drunk and Screw”.

What Now, Syria?

It has been a year since the “Arab spring” caught fire in Syria….now after massive destruction, thousands dead and many many maimed….what will the future bring?

I wrote recently that the US was joining in a multi nation attempt to solve the problem in Syria by arming and equipping the resistance….the problem is NO one knows who they are…..a slight kink in the plan…..but what if it fails?

There have been lots of opinions flying around from Congress from the media and from us bloggers….but what are we really looking at?  Some want the US to go in and attack….others want to try and sanction Syria into submission and then there are those that just could not give a crap……

For those that say we need to act more aggressively…the US has this strategy for taking out what we deem as dictators……..I offer up this analysis from the site StratRisks.com……..

1. The target cannot have nuclear weapons. Strongmen in Pakistan and North Korea by virtue of their nukes are exempt from American reaction (unlike Syria or, at present, Iran) — unless they directly threaten our existence or that of our allies. With the end of the Cold War, many rogue states lost the Soviet nuclear umbrella and are still scrambling to acquire their own nuclear weapons to ensure them deterrence, especially against the United States, which has not yet invaded a nuclear nation.

2. We do not attack large countries. About 30 million or so — roughly the population of Iraq or Afghanistan — is the upper limit. That criterion suggests that we will not ourselves seek regime change in Iran (population: 65 million) through force — a different case from punitive bombing or preemptive air attacks on its nuclear facilities.

3. The target should not directly border either Russia or China. We violated this commandment in Afghanistan, apparently encouraged by the global climate of goodwill toward America after 9/11, the short and mountainous Chinese border, and the fact that China shares our fear of radical Islam. But otherwise, after Vietnam and the Cold War, the former Soviet republics, North Korea, Tibet, and the countries of Southeast Asia will always be off-limits to U.S. intervention.

4. U.N. sanction and U.S. congressional approval, however praised and sometimes sought, seem irrelevant. We obtained neither before bombing Serbia, the former but not the latter in Libya, and the latter but not the former in Iraq. We obtained both for Gulf War I, but neither for Panama or for Grenada.

5. Africa seems exempt. Tens of thousands perished in Congo, Darfur, and Rwanda. Africa has oil. No matter. Somalia is as much Middle Eastern as African, and our intervention there was a particularly half-hearted affair. In Africa, even genocide is not a reason for U.S. military intervention — quite in contrast to Serbia, where NATO finally intervened. Idealism is often as praised as it is subordinated to realist concerns.

6. We often intervene in Central America and the Caribbean — the Dominican Republic, Grenada, Haiti, Panama — but are less likely to do so in South America, where the politics are riskier, the distances greater, and the nations larger and stronger.

7. Intervention is mostly a bipartisan affair. Democrats went into Haiti, Libya, Serbia, and Somalia, Republicans into Afghanistan, Grenada, Panama, Iraq, and Libya. Republicans may have intervened a little more since Vietnam, but then there have been more years of Republican administrations. Anti-war protests are usually aimed at Republicans, rarely at Democrats, who enjoy far more latitude in the use of force.

8. There is no consistent or predictable rationale for invading a country; it can be supposed national interest and/or oil (Iraq, Libya), “humanitarian” considerations (Haiti, Serbia, Somalia), spheres of interest (Grenada, Panama), or simple retaliation (Afghanistan).

9. The insertion of ground troops is necessary to create postwar governments (Afghanistan, Iraq, Serbia, etc.); without them we have little influence (Libya).

10. The target is usually a government rather than gangs, tribes, or terrorists; if it is one of the latter, either we do not go in to remove those in control, whatever the provocation (Lebanon), or we fail when we do (Haiti, Somalia). The verdict on Afghanistan is still out.

11. We are adept at removing dictators (Afghanistan, Grenada, Iraq, Libya, Panama, Serbia), but less so at fostering calm in their wake (Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya).

12. The American people usually favor intervention at the outset, but regret it when hundreds of Americans are killed, or violence continues. Those who most assiduously demanded action are most likely to blame the leaders who followed their advice, apparently embarrassed when violence continues and our losses mount.

13. Russia and China almost always oppose our intervention. nations that support our intervention usually do so privately — and publicly only to the degree post facto that it is clear that we succeeded quickly and without much turmoil.

14. The U.N. has far more problems with removing genocidal dictators than with allowing them to perpetuate genocide.

15. No intervention provides much of a model for any other.

So my question is….at what point do you think the US should get involved in the action in Syria?  Do we chance another war to bring democracy to another country?  or do we allow the Syrian people to choose the course that they feel is best for the country and the people?

Afterword:  since I wrote this draft a new situation has arisen….Syria has agreed to a ceasefire……

(Newser) – Bashar al-Assad’s regime has agreed to begin implementing Kofi Annan’s UN- and Arab League-backed peace plan by April 10, and to cease hostilities entirely 48 hours later, diplomats told reporters today. Syrian officials confirmed as much for al-Jazeera, but said the deal would fall through if Annan couldn’t get the opposition to sign on. “A plan wouldn’t be successful unless everybody is committed to it,” one official said.

In a briefing today, Annan urged the Security Council to support the April 10 deadline. But he added that there had been “no progress” in implementing the plan, which calls for the UN to monitor a ceasefire, as soldiers and heavy weaponry are pulled out of cities. US ambassador Susan Rice emerged from the meeting sounding less than reassured. “We have seen promises made and promises broken,” she told the BBC. Past experience “would lead us to be skeptical.”

personally….it is a delaying tactic….Assad wants time to re-group and then push forward……

A Better Protest?

….this whole nomination thingy is just mind numbing…..I have seldom heard such out lies and misinformation in a long time….but that is all a moot point….today I want to talk about protests……

Okay truth is I am an aging hippie and had spent many hours in protests over the years and I watched closely the protest by the Occupy movement…..the marches, the tent cities, the live mic check (brilliant idea), and so on….and I have thought how it could be made more forceful….a way to make one’s point without violence or other such distasteful tactics……

And then out of the dark came a great answer!  As reported om the WaPo……

Three topless Ukrainian protesters were detained Saturday while trying to break into an invitation-only gathering of international CEOs and political leaders to call attention to the needs of the world’s poor. Separately, demonstrators from the Occupy movement marched to the edge of the gathering and engaged in a brief standoff with police.

The activists are from the Ukrainian group Femen, which has staged small, half-naked protests to highlight a range of issues including oppression of political opposition.

What’s the old say?  “A picture is worth a thousand words”!

Photo Gallery: Ukraine's Topless Protesters


Facebook used to block their pages and Ukraine’s secret service has threatened them with violence: With a mix of political protest and eye-catching eroticism, the women’s rights group Femen has inspired fear in Ukrainian authorities with its fight against prostitution and sex tourism.

Okay, I would lying to say that the idea of topless women protesting would not be enjoyable….but besides the obvious, a perfect way to draw attention to the cause….you can bet your butts that photographers were falling all over themselves to get the shots…….and with that the message gets out….and all without violence or breaking windows or spray painting graffiti everywhere….

I will bet that all red blooded men will remember what their cause was and we know why they will remember…..okay I am a pig!

Thoughts On The Arab Spring

I feel I must get all my stuff in before January 2nd, the beginning of the 2012 election circus and I feel that not much more will be important than the unfolding of the GOP circus for a presidential candidate……

I have been listening to all the pundits speak about the Arab Spring and what it all means…….pundits point out that this is an amazing turn of events that has NO precedent….with the possible exception of the Eastern European countries in the late 80’s and early 90’s……I do not want to take anything away from the brave people that are out in the streets demanding a better life…..but this type of insurrection has its history further back than 1989….much further back…like 1848.

Having worked in the Middle East years ago, I was proud to see the people rise up against the authoritarian rule…….it all began with a person setting myself on fire to protest living conditions in Tunisia, then on to Algeria, Egypt, Yemen, Bahrain, Libya and finally on to Syria….there seems to be a common thread running through these protests……and no it is not necessarily the want of democracy…….first, there is the authoritarian leader, then it is low wages, high unemployment, food shortages…these were the major points that lead to the massive protests…….

I have mentioned 1848 and protests…how does this fit into the dialog?

In January of 1848 the people of Palermo, Sicily rose up against their leader, Ferdinand II…..this was the first step in an expanding age of protests…..and in the first four months of 1848 there were in the neighborhood of 50 separate uprisings…France, Austria, Prussia, most of the small states in Germany and Italy……like the Arab Spring there is NO single revolutionary movement or leader and they were basically a spontaneous occurrence…. and like the Arab Spring the causes were an authoritarian leader, high unemployment, low wages, food shortages and a desire for equality…..

Remember these people are fighting for their rights….they are not fighting for what the rest of the world perceives as their motives….their ideas of freedom may not be your definition of freedom….and it does not make them WRONG!

Thoughts On The Occupy Movement

First of all, I do NOT want to take away anything from the Occupy movement….they are finally taking to the streets and bring some attention and light to the whole economic imbalance that is this country….

But being an old cynic and opinionated SOB there are a few things I would like to say….all the major revolutions started small……and by revolution I am NOT in any way meaning the bang bang shootum up…..I am speaking about change……. REAL change……

Before I continue, let us look at other revolutions…..first, the American Revolution, which was not a real revolution but a rather violent disagreement between the family members that ended up very messy….to my point….it started rather small……a bunch of guys dressed up and raided a ship with tea and dumped its cargo into the bay in Boston harbor…..small.

Next came the French Revolution, in 1787 there was a terrible harvest and the populace had to spend more of their disposable income on food and the demand for other items fell…….the rise of social antagonism began to rise and electoral demands became commonplace….this was a small beginning and a very simple explanation of the beginnings of the revolution….and we know all too well that it took very little time before it turn violent and deadly for so many…..

Now the Russian Revolution…..I am sure well all think we know what happens…..and that it was the result that lead to the communist taking over the government…..I could write a Russian novel length volume of the revolution (if you have ever read a Russian novel you will understand)…..but let us talk about the beginnings of the revolution….WW1 had taken a heavy toll on the people of Russia and there had been all types of governments in place but none had been much success…..and then in February a protest led by women in protest of bread prices started a whole new round of protests that included workers, soldiers, etc….but the beginning of what we call the Russian Revolution was the march of women hunger marchers….it started small….with a world to win!

More recently, what is being called the “Tunisian Revolution” which started the whole Arab Spring…..it began with a small incident…..

Twenty-six year old Mohamed Bouazizi had been the sole income earner in his extended family of eight. He operated a purportedly unlicensed vegetable cart for seven years in Sidi Bouzid 190 miles (300 km) south of Tunis. On 17 December 2010 a policewoman confiscated his cart and produce. Bouazizi, who had such an event happen to him before, tried to pay the 10-dinar fine (a day’s wages, equivalent to 7USD). In response the policewoman insulted his deceased father. A humiliated Bouazizi then went to the provincial headquarters in an attempt to complain to local municipality officials. He was refused an audience. Without alerting his family, at 11:30 am and within an hour of the initial confrontation, Bouazizi returned to the headquarters, doused himself with a flammable liquid and set himself on fire. Public outrage quickly grew over the incident.  And so it began!

Now to the main point of my post…..the Occupy movement started small, basically a hand full of people protesting Wall Street greed in Zuccotti Park in NYC……it started small and grew into a nationwide and now planet wide protest movement….a difference can be made but not at the expense of the movement…

As an aged long hair hippie, pinko commie I am so proud of the American people that they finally feel empowered enough to take to the streets in demand of justice and equal opportunity….they started small…..it has grown into a worldwide protest against those who exploit and enslave……makes my old heart take flight to know that all my bitching in the past has finally been heard and acted on……

All my years of attempting to educate…..(I was NOT alone, there were countless others)…….have , I hope in some small way, helped the American people to find their courage and their voice……

Remember ALL great seasons of change have started small, with a small group of brave people…..you have NOTHING to fear….but failure!  So, keep your eye on the prize……you have a world to win!