Donkey Punch

September 23, 2008

CEO murdered by mob of sacked Indian workers

Filed under: Outrage Fatigue, Politics, protest — Tags: , , — t4toby @ 11:13 am

Lalit Kishore Choudhary, 47, the head of the Indian operations of Graziano Transmissioni, an Italian-headquartered manufacturer of car parts, died of severe head wounds on Monday afternoon after being attacked by scores of laid-off employees, police said.

Alright. I’m not saying there is any connection between this story and the fuinancial situation.

Nope, none at all. I would not want to encourage my fellow Americans to put CEO’s heads on spikes.

No sir. Not me.  Wouldn’t be prudent.

September 4, 2008

People Power

Filed under: Politics, Progosphere, protest — Tags: , , — t4toby @ 10:31 am

Rage Against the Machine shows how its done.

h/t Crooks & Liars

June 26, 2008

I guess it’s time to arise from my stupor and write someting down.

Filed under: Outrage Fatigue, Politics, protest — t4toby @ 2:42 pm

Spider Hole picture by Bill Finger

Many thanks to the positive words from my commenters. I have been really down, coming full circle from an anti-establishment Nader supporter in 2000 to believing that the Democrats actually might accomplish something in 2006 back to someone that is actually considering not voting.

I know. How could I? Isn’t Obama the great Black/White Hope? And isn’t not voting for Obama a vote for McCain? And why not vote fro Nader again?

I guess my answer is: Fuck it. Straight up. Fuck. It. I have spent the last couple of years pouring over the blogosphere, learning all I could about where we are today. Let me tell you, it’s not pretty.

The experiment has failed. Even with the amount of time and effort our Constitution’s framers put into designing checks and balances the corporations and moneyed interests run the show. Our Great Hope, Obama, is now shamelessly tacking to the Right in order to shore up his chances of winning. Motherfucker didn’t even bother to show up for the first vote on the FISA bill, and has now switched his ‘Against Immunity’ position to ‘Hey, Whatever Will Get Me More Votes’. We have the most unpopular President in history, and the so called “opposition candidate” has publicly said he will vote for the early X-Mas gift for Incurious George and Big Dick, Telecom Immunity.

As I write this, I have Pandora on, the After the Gold Rush Channel. Neil has spent his life rallying against this bullshit, and now I’m feeling like maybe this is exactly where the powers that be want me to be: Disillusioned and feeling utterly powerless. I just don’t know what to do about all of this. The ‘re-arranging deck chairs on the Titanic’ metaphor seems quite appropos right now.

All empires go through a life span. I don’t have the links right now because I forgot to bookmark them, but I have seen analysis after analysis comparing the United States to the historic Empires and showing that we are on the downward decline towards irrelevance. When big countries pick fights with small countries in order to keep fueling the nationalistic impulses of the people and greed of the rich then the gig is up. Fear for fear’s sake. Keep the people so spun by rising cost of living, the impossibility of health care, the difficulty of the job market and they won’t question our leaders even when we catch them elbow deep in our grandkids’ cookie jars.

Nothing worth having is ever easy. Hard work will set you free. Think in generational terms, not in immediate gratification. Good advice, but how do you work hard when you aren’t sure where the work lies? Do we work tirelessly to get progressives in the government, only to watch them eventually be corrupted by the sweet seduction of power and money? Do we risk being disappeared and work for actual revolution? Withdraw from society and arm ourselves to the teeth? Come up with a scam to get rich quick and retire on a tropical island? Give in and start a porn company to wring some of the last change from our fellow citizens’ pockets? Drink (even more ) heavily? Head to the hills and farm herb?

The last is my first choice, by the way, but I don’t see it working for my children. Plus, right now I think that giving the government a reason to incarcerate me is foolish (or just a paranoid delusion?) I don’t know.

As is human nature, I am comfortable enough to complain, so I do. I really am blessed. I have my health, and my daughters are growing to be amazing and brilliant. A superpower is not bombing my home town. Some paranoid freaks are not building 30 foot walls separating me from my friends and neighbors. We don’t have a President violently pushing his opposition out of the race. We don’t experience ethnic cleansing, or the terror of having to flee our homes in the dead of night for fear of losing life or limb.

I guess things are pretty good. I have completely lost faith in our government, even our form of government, but by all other metrics I am a very lucky human being. I’ll meditate on that for a while and see if I feel like participating in our ‘Democracy’ when I come out on the other side.

October 16, 2007

It’s time to make a choice.

Filed under: 12 Captains, Draft, GWOT, iraq, protest, quagmire, war — t4toby @ 11:07 am

civilwar.jpg

In today’s Washington Post, 12 Army Captains deliver a sober assessment of the war:

What does Iraq look like on the ground?
…Many roads, bridges, schools and hospitals are in deplorable condition. Fewer people have access to drinking water or sewage systems than before the war. And Baghdad is averaging less than eight hours of electricity a day.

How do you like yer democracy, Iraq?

Iraq’s institutional infrastructure, too, is sorely wanting.
…At the local level, most communities are still controlled by the same autocratic sheiks that ruled under Saddam. There is no reliable postal system. No effective banking system. No registration system to monitor the population and its needs.

The gist of the article is that we either need to get serious, instate a draft, and really try to win, or immediately withdraw.
I have been saying for some time that if this Global War on Terror is the conflict of our generation, then let’s have us a draft. Quit screwing around and ask the American people to actually, you know, sacrifice something.
Why was World War Two won in four years? Because we pulled together and actually fought a war. The whole nation had War on the Mind 24/7. We rationed. We volunteered. We acted like it mattered.

Call me cynical, but I believe we never would have continued down this road to War Profiteer Hell if we had instated a draft. This war seems to be about power and oil, and nothing else. And as these Captains point out, we have made no headway in the last five years.

There is one way we might be able to succeed in Iraq. To continue an operation of this intensity and duration, we would have to abandon our volunteer military for compulsory service. Short of that, our best option is to leave Iraq immediately. A scaled withdrawal will not prevent a civil war, and it will spend more blood and treasure on a losing proposition.

America, it has been five years. It’s time to make a choice.

Ramen.

h/t CHS @ Firedoglake

September 21, 2007

I found the Dem’s spine! (Updated)

Filed under: MoveOn, Politics, Progosphere, Progressive Party, protest, war — t4toby @ 2:08 pm

Its called MoveOn.org.

The new ad starts off:

Congressional Representation, or “Ass Kissing Little Chickenshits”

I’m not kidding. It’s set to run in the Sunday New York Times.

Congressional Dems? Take note. This is the way you push back.

Dood Abides over at Kos has the whole story.

Update: I regret to inform my readers that I am very gullible. Not wingnut gullible, but gullible none the less. I thought this was too good to be true. Apparently, it is.

But wait.

Boston’s at it again!

Filed under: GWOT, Politics, protest, terror — t4toby @ 1:56 pm

Well, well, well. Looks like another day, another circuit board, another Boston flip-out.

This time it involves a student from MIT, a circuit board, and and airport. In fact, the similarity to some recent events is quite striking.

Here’s the case in a nutshell. A college student arrived, via subway, at Boston’s Logan International Airport around 8 in the morning. She had on a black hooded sweatshirt and a circuit board which “had nine flashing lights” plus “Simpson had Play-Doh in her hands”.

So this girl approaches the information booth, lights a flashin’, to ask about an incoming flight. Then all hay breaks loose. A trooper was called, “joined by others with submachine guns”, and the heavy hand of justice is brought out.

“She was immediately told to stop, to raise her hands and not to make any movement, so we could observe all her movements to see if she was trying to trip any type of device…Had she not followed the protocol, we might have used deadly force.”

So this student with a harmless device around her neck, was one step away from being fully ventilated. Did I mention she was a shade of brown?

“She’s lucky to be in a cell as opposed to the morgue.”

And I’m lucky I’m white.

I’m sure the first suicide bomber in the US will not walk up to an Airport information booth to ask about a particular flight with their bomb hanging out like a drunk homeless man with his fly open.

Probably won’t have a name tag that sez: “Allah be praised”

Probably will not show their ‘Terrorist’ credentials at the door.

But what do I know?

True, this may be construed as a bomb hoax.  But that’s just how the Mooninites would want it.

September 20, 2007

Sometimes, you just can’t say it better than someone else.(Updated)

Filed under: Hypocrisy, Outrage Fatigue, Politics, protest, Senate Failure — t4toby @ 8:58 am

dancingfool.jpg

Our esteemed president doing some kind of voodoo mind control dance on the senate.

Take it away, Kargo X:

Senator Jim Webb’s “dwell time” amendment failed yesterday by a vote of 56-44.

…the reason the Webb amendment failed even though it got 56 votes was that Senators agreed by unanimous consent that the amendment should have to get 60 votes to pass, even without a filibuster.

…the question here is not just why anyone would allow it, but why everyone did. A single Senator could have put a stop to this simply by saying, “I object” when the unanimous consent request was made.

…Everyone just politely agreed that 56-44 would be a losing vote for America’s sons and daughters wearing the uniform in Iraq and Afghanistan. And they did it on national television. And America yawned, hit the snooze button, and slept in.

…But hey, since those veto threats are pending, why not just agree to unanimous consent requests in both the House and the Senate that the appropriations bills will require a 2/3 vote to pass? Since they’re going to be vetoed, why not just spare poor President Bush the trouble and the wear and tear on his veto crayon, and agree up front that if a bill doesn’t pass with a veto-proof majority, it shouldn’t be considered passed at all?

…Because that’s the logical extension of what happened yesterday. And the truth is, it makes no less sense.

Go read the whole thing. Infuriating.

Sorry for the lazy cut and paste. I have no time today…

Update:

David Kurtz picks up where Kargo X left off:

Correct me if I’m wrong here. But by my calculation, more U.S. senators (72) voted today to condemn a newspaper ad attacking Gen. Petraeus than voted yesterday (56) to lengthen the time off troops get from the frontlines in Iraq, thereby reducing individual soldiers exposure to actual attacks. Am I missing something, or is that about right?

September 11, 2007

9/11

Filed under: 9/11, Hypocrisy, Outrage Fatigue, Politics, protest — t4toby @ 9:48 am

spooky.jpg

I have recovered from my dark mood yesterday. It is politics. It can drown you if you don’t go up for air enough.

So today is some sort of anniversary? I can hardly elicit strong feelings for today. So we were attacked six years ago. How many times have we attacked other countries with much more devastating results?

How many people die from drowning in the US each year? About 3500.

How many people died in 9/11? 2973.

Okay, that’s not fair, because drownings tend to be accidental, while 9/11 was on purpose, but do you get where I’m going here? I guess a better analogy would be to compare it to Pearl Harbor(ask the PNAC). I remember what day the attack was on , but I suspect this has more to do with the fact that I had an old advent calendar when I was growing up, and we always put the little yellow plastic fighter plane on the seventh. But a day of rememberence? What does that mean?

I feel horrible for all the Americans who lost their lives on September 11. I also feel horrible about the wholesale slaughter of people in Iraq. (And Rwanda, and Palestine, and Israel, and many other terrible places as well.)   Nationalistic fervor is the only thing that sets the 9/11 deaths apart from any other group of 3,000 people. And that fervor has been exploited at every turn.

So forgive me if I don’t feel particularly sad today. Every day is the anniversary of something horrible that politicians have used to their advantage. Let’s find something to be thankful for today, instead of dredging up the murky past.

(I wish I could remember the story behind that picture. I think it is an entire French town in WWI. Bunker Mentality…)

September 10, 2007

My people..

Filed under: Outrage Fatigue, Politics, Progosphere, protest, Radical!, Revolution, Struggle — t4toby @ 1:16 pm

riding-in-the-rain.jpg

I’m feeling discouraged. I have outrage fatigue. I can’t keep track of how broken our system is anymore. I have been worn down.

This is precisely where they want us. If the left, or progosphere, or whatever we are tires out, there will be nothing to ballast the extreme right’s Executive Power Grab.

The rank and file of this country is woefully ignorant. Or is it willfully? The government of this country is either insanely corrupt or criminally negligent. Our system of justice is completely compromised. No longer do I hold the illusion that this country is a country of just laws. No longer do I believe that justice has anything to do with the criminal system in this country. No longer do I have faith in America.

From where I stand, I see a system designed by the people and entities that benefit from the system, to the exclusion of a super-majority of the people. From where I stand I see a legal framework that has been gutted and rewritten to be sure that the money stays at the top and the work stays at the bottom. From where I stand, I see a whole lot of shoulders propping up very few people. From where I stand, I see the choice of oppression or revolution.

If we do nothing, we will blissfully consume and barely make it from paycheck to paycheck, purposefully putting the cognitive dissonance out of our minds, until the cloak of death whisks us off to pay whatever karmic debt we may have accrued.

If we revolt, who’s to say the resulting system will be any better? The Constitution was written with much thought to checks and balances, justice, and fairness. And all it has taken to dismantle that is a group of draft dodging psychopaths with overblown senses of entitlement. Even if we could prevail to dislodge the ruling class and the vampiric corporations from the levers of power, how can we be even reasonably certain that we can do any better?

You feelings, dear readers, would be greatly appreciated.

August 31, 2007

You’ve gotta start somewhere!

Filed under: Advice, Democracy Now, GWOT, iraq, people power, Politics, protest, war — t4toby @ 9:49 am

civilwar.jpg

Here is a place to start.

h/t to Clapso

Check out Clapso’s blog. He is angry, and rightly so. I’m angry too, but I often feel powerless to stop the runaway train that our political structure.

It’s like the Baby Steps. You have to start somewhere small to accomplish something big.

Even the tiniest grains of sand can stop a mighty machine if enough of them get in the works.

I heard this quote attributed to Gandhi, but cannot verify that attribution. This is the plan, the essence of how where going to get out of this mess.

Attrition: 3 : the act of weakening or exhausting by constant harassment, abuse, or attack

(Hanx, Merriam-Webster)

I would define attrition as the act of weakening by tiny but relentless action.

So the Iraq Moratorium seems like a good first step for those of us who are paralyzed with inaction. So if you see people wearing the armbands on the third Friday of the month, say hello to them. Reach out. Alone, we are a voice in the dark. Together…

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