Thursday, May 22, 2008
The American ‘right wing’, ‘conservative’ mentality has gone global and wherever it is found it is ugly, mean, and evil. A ‘New World Order’ of corporate robber barons, privileged elites and US militarists is international in scope, respecting no borders, no peoples, no local authorities. Not only progressives in America must resist, but good people all over the world.
Recently, the ‘Roma’, otherwise known as ‘Gypsies’, have become as pressing an issue in Rome as were the ‘homeless’ made that way by the policies of Ronald Reagan in the US. The ability of rapacious wealth to blame its victims knows no national boundaries. It is tragically universal.
The current Roman response is a typical ‘conservative’, authoritarian knee jerk which exacerbates the problem. It doesn’t address causes; it simply shifts responsibility and, ultimately, location. A people denied jobs based on prejudice can hardly be blamed for being poor. During Ronald Reagan’s depression of some 2 years (the worst since the Great Depression) jobless people found themselves living in squalid tents under freeway overpasses in Houston, TX! Like the Roman establishment now, GOP poohbahs and Ronald Reagan himself blamed the victims of his fiscal incompetence. Reagan called them ‘mentally ill’. Right wings everywhere will always blame immigrants though it is most often ‘establishment’ governments themselves to blame –NOT the victims. In this case, how many ‘tent cities’ would simply disappear overnight if residents had jobs? Denying them jobs and shelter is stupid, non-productive, and makes matters worse.The ‘immigrant’ issue in the mouths of Reagan, Bush and other icons of the rapacious right wing should be enough to incite riots and revolution. The real ‘immigrants’ in America are, in fact, the so-called European settlers from whom Bush et al descended. Bush is not merely a ‘new’ (and phony) Texan, his crime family is, historically speaking, newly arrived on the North American continent. Predating these ‘immigrants’ was a diverse Native American population of some 900,000 speaking 300 languages, exhibiting almost as many cultures. These people are my people of whom I am descended! They are my ancestors! They crossed a great land bridge from Asia to get here and we were here for thousands of years before a ‘white man’ ever set eyes upon the continent. I’ve often think how lucky I am to be here at all. My ancestors were very nearly wiped out by subsequent, ‘white’ immigration, broken treaties, the relatively recent ‘Trail of Tears‘.
In 1830 the Congress of the United States passed the “Indian Removal Act.” Although many Americans were against the act, most notably Tennessee Congresssman Davy Crockett, it passed anyway. President Jackson quickly signed the bill into law. The Cherokees attempted to fight removal legally by challenging the removal laws in the Supreme Court and by establishing an independent Cherokee Nation. At first the court seemed to rule against the Indians. In Cherokee Nation v. Georgia, the Court refused to hear a case extending Georgia’s laws on the Cherokee because, it was alleged, the Cherokee did not represent a sovereign nation. In 1832, the US Supreme Court ruled in favor of the Cherokee on the same issue in Worcester v. Georgia. In this case Chief Justice John Marshall ruled that the Cherokee Nation was sovereign, making the removal laws invalid. The Cherokee would have to agree to removal in a treaty. The treaty then would have to be ratified by the Senate.–Trail of Tears
But Andrew (0l’ Hickory) Jackson set a dangerous precedent which must continue to inspire the likes of George W. Bush. Jackson ignored the decision of the high court and ordered the forcible removal of the Cherokee from their homes and a forced march to Oklahoma. Many died along the way. A handful –my ancestors –escaped! My ancestors defied a lawless ‘President’ and survived! This tragedy is not adequately taught in the public schools. It was not until Howard Zinn [See: A People’s History of the United States] confronted this history forthrightly that the plight of the Arawaks –a tribe that was wiped out entirely by Cristoforo Colomb (Columbus) –became widely known. For more than one hundred years, the US approached each tribe as an independent nation. But, in 1786, the US government established its first Native American reservation. It was President James Monroe, in his second inaugural address of 1821, who spoke of US policy as ‘flattering their pride’. It was because the rightful owners of the land had been ‘flattered’, then, that the US government proceeded upon a policy of genocide and ethnic cleansing for which it has yet to pay! Perhaps it is the source of US arrogance and false pride that it has gotten away with a crime that not even Hitler’s Third Reich got away with: genocide! A society that denies an entire class jobs and then blames that class for not having jobs or money is a crooked, sick society! It doesn’t get any more stupid than that. I grew up among fundies who told me that Israel was “God’s chosen” country and in the next breath denounced the Jews who killed “Christ”. I am still amazed at the human capacity for compartmentalization, as if some parts of the brain never communicate with other parts. In fact, acts of genocide are genocide whether they are perpetrated by Hitler against the Jews or by Jews against the Palestinian or by the American government against the Native American, the Negro, or those of Hispanic descent. I have a solution to the Palestinian ‘problem’. Give them back THEIR land!
On behalf of the Cherokee, I say to Bush: give us back our land as you have brought upon it utter disgrace, ignominy, and ultimate ruin! I also have a solution for George W. Bush: lock him up forever for the seemingly innumerable counts of mass murder that he has committed. Dissolve, perhaps destroy, a government that is no longer legitimate, no longer accountable to the people, a government that was described by Jefferson in the Declaration of Independence.
Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government …–Thomas Jefferson, Declaration of Independence
Che Guevara had just this situation in mind, justifying revolution when it was government itself that broke the peace with the people [See: Guerilla Warfare, Che Guevara]. The US government is, in fact, owned outright by a handful of huge corporations who would have you believe the utterly absurd notion that they are, in fact, ‘people’! Corporations are ‘people’ only by legal abstraction, linguistic legerdemain, and the brute economic force that manages to get such bullshit made law by the ass kissers in Congress! Throughout Anglo/American history, high treason consists of a government ‘waging war upon its own people’, precisely the condition achieved by George W. Bush now. It is a state of war in which his ‘base’, a tiny elite of rich military/industrialists gained control of the Washington apparatus and now wages war upon the people, their rights, their properties, and their persons.
WASHINGTON — The Pentagon is moving forward with plans to build a new, 40-acre detention complex on the main American military base in Afghanistan, officials said, in a stark acknowledgment that the United States is likely to continue to hold prisoners overseas for years to come.The proposed detention center would replace the cavernous, makeshift American prison on the Bagram military base north of Kabul, which is now typically packed with about 630 prisoners, compared with the 270 held at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba.Until now, the Bush administration had signaled that it intended to scale back American involvement in detention operations in Afghanistan. It had planned to transfer a large majority of the prisoners to Afghan custody, in an American-financed, high-security prison outside Kabul to be guarded by Afghan soldiers. —US Planning Big New Prison in Afghanistan, New York Times
I propose an iron clad addendum to the Geneva accords: a prohibition of the practice of outsourcing warfare. It should be banned and signatory nations should be encouraged to codify penalties to include death for violations thereof. Blackwater, a worst offender for example, is nothing more than Murder, Inc. By contracting to murderers, the ‘state’ sanctions murder and presumes to make it legal. It is not sufficient in a world ruled by Bush that ‘state’ sanctioned murder is denounced. It must be made unlawful and punishable by death. ‘State’s –in the face of world wide revulsion and/or revolution must be compelled to abide by the principle of ‘Due Process of Law’, that powers exercised by ‘states’ derive ONLY from the people who are sovereign. These ‘immigrants’ to the new world wage war upon and, in some cases, imprisoned a Native American population. Having assumed only recently control of a continent, the Bush administration proposes to build an ugly, fascist wall along the Rio Grande, the border between Mexico and Texas. But this is not the end of American problems. GOP policies create poverty by enriching only the upper one percent of the population while impoverishing everyone else. It’s not a local problem; it’s world wide. Eventually, idiots and ideologues will have killed the goose that lays golden eggs. Bush, meanwhile, can be depended upon to to round up and imprison in FEMA camps all those who fall out of the ever diminishing bottom quintile consisting of the newly impoverished as well as the newly immigrated. The camps have been built. The trains are ready. The sub-contractors represent America’s last viable industry: the construction and maintence of concentration camps.
The following is an ‘extra’, a nod to a man’s whose entire life seemed dedicated to thinking ‘outside the box’, shaking up conservative orthodoxy, wage war on war, stupidity and ideology —Bertrand Russell.
Russell’s social activism stretches back at least as far as1910, when he published his Anti-Suffragist Anxieties,and to 1916, when he was convicted and fined in connection with anti-war protests during World War I. Following his conviction, he was also dismissed from his post at Trinity College, Cambridge. Two years later, he was convicted a second time. The result was six months in prison. Russell also ran unsuccessfully for Parliament (in 1907, 1922, and 1923) and, together with his second wife, founded and operated an experimental school during the late 1920s and early 1930s.Although he became the third Earl Russell upon the death of his brother in 1931, Russell’s radicalism continued to make him a controversial figure well through middle-age. While teaching in the United States in the late 1930s, he was offered a teaching appointment at City College, New York. The appointment was revoked following a large number of public protests and a 1940 judicial decision which found him morally unfit to teach at the College.In 1954 he delivered his famous “Man’s Peril” broadcast on the BBC, condemning the Bikini H-bomb tests. A year later, together with Albert Einstein, he released the Russell-Einstein Manifesto calling for the curtailment of nuclear weapons. In 1957 he was a prime organizer of the first Pugwash Conference, which brought together a large number of scientists concerned about the nuclear issue. He became the founding president of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament in 1958 and was once again imprisoned, this time in connection with anti-nuclear protests in 1961. The media coverage surrounding his conviction only served to enhance Russell’s reputation and to further inspire the many idealistic youths who were sympathetic to his anti-war and anti-nuclear protests.During these controversial years Russell also wrote many of the books that brought him to the attention of popular audiences. These include his Principles of Social Reconstruction (1916), A Free Man’s Worship (1923), On Education (1926), Why I Am Not a Christian (1927), Marriage and Morals (1929), The Conquest of Happiness (1930), The Scientific Outlook (1931), and Power: A New Social Analysis (1938).Upon being awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1950, Russell used his acceptance speech to emphasize, once again, themes related to his social activism.
- Bush: Law in the Land of Mannon
- Jonathan Gurwitz: Republicans are in trouble and they don’t know why
- Roy Orbison – Cyring (with Rita Hayworth, Edward Hopper)
- Kant and Hume on Morality