Thursday, August 20, 2009

Media Excises Deep and Murky Context in Pan Am Bomber Story.

Today's 'featured" news story is on the release of a man from Libya by the Scottish Government from a prison where he was sentenced to serve a life sentence.  The man has cancer and is expected to die within 3 months.  We know he was convicted for blowing up a transcontinental flight. 

My problem with how the media is covering this is that story is being presented without context. 

We/the U.S./Reagan blew up some boats off the coast of Libya.  They retaliated and blew up a night club, La Belle Disco,  killing two U.S. service men and a civilian and wounded many dozens of people.  We attempted to assassinate Mumamar Qadaffi in a strike on Qadaffi's home that did not kill him but did kill his infant daughter.  Several Libyans then were then involved in the bombing of the flight that was exploded over Lockerbee, Scotland. 

Read a recount of this tit for tat escalation that helped no one but killed hundreds.  

Reagan chose to engage in Israeli style "diplomacy" -- i.e. assassination of a a country's leader.  The U.S. and most western govenments have chosen not to engage in assassination of leaders as it elevates the person in power to a symbolic level akin to that of a regal status where the person and the government or country are all the same.  

If memory serves me, this was also the  time the French did not allow overflight and an "errant" bomb fell on the lawn of the French embassy in Libya.   This instance of neener, neener, neener with bombs illustrated a level of in your face immaturity that is intensely troubling and frightening beyond words.

This is akin to the problem implicit within the use of drones.  It personalizes war to the level of assassination.   To have to have no contact with the people you kill was a trajectory started with the use of aerial bombings.  But this trend has expanded to the point that no support staff at all has to walk among the people who will be bombed.   This is supremely arrogant.   Our technological capability has evolved to a level where we cannot justify its use and maintain any sense of humanity.  We must do things entirely differently.  

My suggestion, train and disperse an educational militia primarily composed of women into areas of conflict and work with the women of the area to solve base level problems that percolate up through society to create international conflict.  Raging Grannies and CodePink Women and Women in Black would be a good population from which to initially draw for the corps.  

Women, wake up, we have to change all this.  


Monday, August 17, 2009

Huge Turnout at Phoenix Healthcare Rally Outside Obama's VFW Address

As I posted earlier in the day, I was at the demonstration outside the VFW gathering where Obama spoke today. I was also near these kooks who were carrying weapons. A few pieces of information that I haven't seen mentioned in the media reports although the Maddow video above does briefly show the donkey hanging in effigy.

The people carrying the guns were parading their weaponry through the "other" side crowds. The intention of the police and permitters and such were clearly focused on keeping the opposing factions apart on opposite sides of the street. What I've not seen mentioned is how the person carrying the lynched stuffed animal had hateful notes pinned to the stuffed toy, marched directly into the opposing demonstrators and attempted to instigate confrontation and conflict and were quickly (within 5 minutes) joined by the guys with assault weapons. There were very clear provocateurs who were there at the rally to stir up trouble. I should also mention that the guns that were holstered on legs were within a foot or so of small children, in strollers next to their slightly older toddler siblings who were within grab range of the and at the very same level as the weapons.

Talking to people who are active in progressive politics and demonstrations in the Phoenix area I heard from a couple different individuals that these guys often show up, attempt to intimidate and are close supporters of Joe Arpaio. This association between extremely conservative police factions, the self proclaimed minute men and "freepers" in the Phoenix to U.S. Mexican border area is an area of great concern to me. I wrote about it 3 years ago when I was threatened by a "counter" demonstrator outside a military recruitment office -- this man told me that I was a traitor and would have been hanged to death in other times. The the threat and attempted intimidation was clear... not all of these times were necessarily in the past.

A brave soul has been valiantly continuing to stand, often alone, in an anti-recruitment protest at least that occurs at least one a week for years, before and after, the incidents I witnessed 3 years ago. This woman protester (in her late 70s) has been harassed and threatened by an individual from Tucson gun toting, Freeper thugs who "counter protest" at the recruitment center and had to go back to court a second time, from what I understand ( I need to interview her and others who attended the court hearing to cover this significant story that has had absolutely zero attention from "journalists" in the Tucson area) to keep this thuggish person and his threats and legal harassment away from her. It has taken years to even get the courts to acknowledge that there is targeted personal harassment and intimidation of regular citizens - little old ladies in fact - by thugs within the vigilante border guard/Joe Arpaio's posse/cocaine trafficking military recruiters/"Freeper" network. There is systematic assault and intimidation of the exercise of free speech by progressives in the central and southern Arizona region.

The police in Phoenix seemed far more neutral than the police in Tucson have seemed from my experience. I've been called on to private property by Tucson cops who then proceeded to cite me for trespassing. I've had police show up at my home's door and have them inform my terrified daughter they could arrest me any time they chose. Military - police - vigilante - wacko connections should be investigated.

There are radical right groups in AZ who are dangerous. Assault weapons and provocateurs are a dangerous combination. Perhaps you remember Timothy McVey and his Kingman connections?

I think this is enough for now.

Pro Public Healthcare Turnout in Phoenix is HUGE!

It's been a long, long time since I posted here.  Many fires each with many irons. 

I'm writing from the Fair Trade Cafe & Gallery @1020 N. 1st Avenue in Phoenix... just across from the Roosevelt/Central Ave. light rail stop (metro?)   Just checked out of a fairly priced room at the Lexington that we got on  This morning we met up with the Democratic contingent to welcome Obama and publicly, visibly and vocally support public options for healthcare for all.

Compared to some of my past actions this was vanilla.  I am actually a bit perturbed that our President is caving to corporate interest and withdrawing from public options and he is still using drones to kill civilians.   

I carried a black sign that read in pink duct tape letters,  "A.I.G. killed my brother! "  I now feel like I've done a little bit toward the working for justice in health care that my brother Max and I talked about the last time I ever saw him.  He was dying from a recurrent, but slow to metastasize cancer that had been successfully managed for 15 years while my brother worked at a factory.  When he retired his health care coverage situation changed and he could no longer get routine screening to catch the cancer in its earliest stages.  I wanted to stay in Indiana and be with him, but I had driven through just to see him on my way to the Counter-Inaugural that January.  He told me to go and continue working for justice and equality.  It was hard but I left him and went on to D.C. knowing that would be the last time I would ever see him, hug him, or talk with him.  He died two months later in March of 2005.

Saw Arizona Lizzie -- Ms. CODEPINK  .   So proud of her!

Finally today I stood out in public FOR health care for ALL amidst the wacko effigy-lynching, Glock and AR15 carrying right wing nuts. 

Just had a wonderful conversation with Raquel from in the coffee house.  Perhaps we Dems are finally learning to work together.   Wouldn't that be wonderful! 

More later.   These are just initial basic impressions.