Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Kill Your TV Not!

Recently I was following a thread on another blog when someone posted a link to pictures of Amy Winehouse after her latest reason to go to rehab. Now, I'm not a fan of Winehouse, but following her spiral into oblivion has a certain fascination. Much like the need to slow for a car wreck. The thing that interested me was when someone else asked who Winehouse was. When informed that she was the singer of that "rehab song" that was all over the airwaves, the asker replied "I never listen to commercial radio or TV".
I run across this attitude seemingly more often all the time. I am always amazed when I hear someone call into a talk radio show and say "I don't own a television". And of course the prevalence of the Kill Your Television bumper stickers. Now I certainly don't want to force anyone to listen to or view anything they don't wish to, but I'm at a loss to know how you can even start to gage the mood and the prevailing feelings of the majority of Americans who use the airwaves to gain the bulk of their (admittedly limited) knowledge of the world around them.
I don't want to hear about how the MSM is nothing but crap and you can't use it for real information. The fact is most Americans do. If you don't gain a feel for the dis-information that that they are being fed, then you will be just as misinformed as they, are albeit in a different manner. If you care about what is happening in this country, then you should call bull-shit when you see it and that includes calling the media when they are at their worst. Every single person should write their local paper when they print nonsense and call them on it. Imagine what would happen if thousands and thousands of Americans called NBC or CBS or ABC and said "The occupation of Iraq is the most important story you can report on. Why do you spend 30 seconds a day on it and never have any real reporting of what it's really like on the ground?" That kind of pressure would have real effects on what Joe Six Pack sees every day.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

I didn't have much time to watch the talking heads this morning but I did listen to Meet The Press on the radio on the way to work. I caught some of Senator Warner with Timmeh. Most of it was the predictable rethuglican "I'm trying to distance myself from Iraq without saying anything bad about Bush" but one thing he said struck me so much I had to go back and read the transcripts. After telling about how sad chimpy was at Arlington Cemetery he emphasised that the Senate had no desire to override the president. His next line floored me. He stated "—we’re an independent branch of our government, co-equal in many respects with authority and responsibility—". Now I'm no constitutional scholar, but it seems to me that the basic concept of our government was that the three branches of government were wholly equal and that while each had its duties, none was subservient to the other except in specific areas clearly spelled out within the constitution. That a Senator believes that his own house is in some way beneath the executive branch goes a long way in explaining just how we got intotheconstitutional crisis that we are in today. If you woud like to read the quote in situ you can link here.

Friday, August 17, 2007

One Nation.......With Liberty And Justice For All

Well the jury is in and Jose Padilla has been found guilty. Just not for what he was arrested for. The charges put before the court were that he conspired to murder, kidnap and maim. Just who he was planning on murdering or kidnapping or maiming is not quite clear. Americans in general I guess. Oddly enough, I have no idea if Padilla really planned on doing these heinous crimes or not. Neither did the jury that convicted him. The main evidence against him was a job application to join the Taliban, complete with his fingerprints on it. One would think that a man facing up to twenty years in prison would try to put up a defense against such thin evidence but Padilla offered almost no help to his lawyers in fighting these charges. Therein lies the greater crime committed here.

Padilla was arrested in May of 2002 coming back into this country and subsequently charged as an enemy combatant. Under this status he was the first American to be held solely on the basis of anti-terrorism laws without recourse to lawyers or law. He was held in a Navy Brig without access to council for two years. The lack of basic rights was bad enough but the conditions of his imprisonment are more than horrendous. He was kept in a 7 by 10 foot concrete cell with no window. The lights were on 24 hours a day. The cell had a toilet, a concrete slab and a concrete bed with no pillow, mattress or even a sheet. His meals were passed to him through a slot in the door. No radio, no tv, nothing even to read including the Koran. The only people he ever spoke with were his interrogators and when he left this cell he was cuffed, chained, blindfolded, and his ears were covered. There were also accusations that he was given mind altering drugs.

By the time he was given access to legal council his mind was so deranged that he refused to tell them of his interrogation because it was "classified". His lawyers have stated that he was terrified of being found innocent because then he would have to go back to the Brig. If he was found guilty he could go to a regular jail! Of course his jury was never told of any of this.

James Oliphant of the Chicago Tribune writes today that the conviction was a "victory in the Bush administration's campaign against terrorism" and that "The conviction could also help to moderate criticism of the way Padilla was handled by the government." One wonders how this could be until one reads the entire article and realizes that the MSM is mostly skipping over the three and one half years of torture that got them here. Even the Flyover Times (with the banner "Your Progressive Newspaper" over the masthead) buried the story on page seven with nary a mention of impropriety by our government!

The next time someone says to you "I can't understand how the people of Germany allowed Hitler to do all those awful things", think back to Jose Padilla. If you look in the mirror you will see Herr Schmidt or Herr Johannas who voted National Socialist Workers Party because they promised Fatherland security. I titled this post with the end of the Pledge of Allegiance. Perhaps it is time to go back to the roots of this pledge over one hundred years ago. It was originally supposed to be recited with arm outstretched, palm down.

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

I just got a new cell phone this week. Actually it is the same as the old one which I lost. (Very disconcerting. For a week I kept calling it in the vain hope I might hear it ring and find it. Almost like I was lost!) I waited a couple of days because my cell phone guy, Jay, was up in Minneapolis at a wedding.
When I went in I asked him if he was there when the bridge went down. He told me was at the Metrodome for the Twinkies game when it happened. His niece's boyfriend had walked across the adjoining bridge just as it fell and was in a cloud of dust but never knew the bridge fell! One other person at the wedding was literally feet away from being on the bridge when it went down and his daughter was in the car behind him.
I think that people outside of flyover country don,t realize just how close this tragedy was to being hugely worse. I have not spoken with one person since it happened that has not said to me "Oh, I was there a week (day, month, two months) ago." There were literally thousands of people on, around or under that bridge every day. I still can,t believe the death toll wasn't one hundred times what is being projected.

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

I have felt very bi-polar this week. On Saturday night I was reading another blog when word came through that the Congress had passed the FISA court changes. Others on the blog felt that the world (or at least America) had come to an end. I must say I felt very discouraged myself.

Come Sunday, apparently, the world had righted itself as not one of the Sunday talking heads appeared to even have noticed. The only mention was a passing comment as to how the Dems were protecting themselves from bad press.

Sunday night and I'm reading posts from people who are saying they think they want to leave the US.

Monday it had become old news.

I can't help but feeling that this is not a watershed moment, but just another milestone on a slow downward spiral. With just over 500 days left (I hope) of this criminal administration, I can only continue to believe that America will live through this.

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

I just saw the disaster in Minneapolis. I've not been in the area in quite a few years, but I have been over that bridge. I know that the Response Services in the Cities are up to the task and that the medical services are second to none. I can not but think about all the loved ones who are looking and worried about the missing.
There will be plenty of time in the future to determine what caused this disaster, but right away we can look at the horrendous state of the infrastructure of the United States. While the general loss of infrastructure dates back much further than the current administration, the Bush Crime Family has accelerated it immensely. Remember this crowd believes in transferring all public functions to private companies, letting them loot the treasury, and then complaining that Government can't help you. I doubt that this tragedy can be directly linked to Bushco, but prepare yourself for more of these events in the future. Remember real Americans don't rely on government help!