“They Were Wrong”

9 08 2011

“They thought that after thirty years of soaring inequality, in the middle of a recession, they could take away the last little things that gave people hope, the benefits, the jobs, the possibility of higher education, the support structures, and nothing would happen.
They were wrong.”

The real news is that this isn’t just about the conservative anti-government Murdoch-dominated nation across the pond. The real news (and it shouldn’t be news to anyone with half a brain during a half-century on this planet at least) is that although this picture shows the UK going up in smoke, that’s no help or comfort for us in the US.

The real news and the real history and the real science — if not the real ethics and morality and values of any religion, philosophy or culture — all show a very clear picture, that “They” is US.

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66 responses

9 08 2011
Nance Confer

“This is madly insufficient.” — A good description of the reaction from the whodda thunk it straights.

9 08 2011
JJ

Live Wisconsin recall results tonight, for those who aren’t falling for it!

9 08 2011
JJ

The polls closed two minutes ago. They say the turnout is presidential-election level.

9 08 2011
JJ

Ed Schultz: “this is the first big test of the influence Citizens United will have . . .”

10 08 2011
Nance Confer

Two down, many more to go. 🙂

12 08 2011
bpbproadrunner

Its really rather terrifying to think that if people riot here, what sort of mayhem will occur. Unlike the UK, this country has a large contingency of armed citizens. I keep flashing back to those signs at bagger rallies that said, “We came unarmed this time.”

Who was that meant for? Politicians or Citizens who are not in step with the baggers? Or both?

12 08 2011
Nance Confer

It is a frightening thought. I wonder if our “leaders” will stop pushing people to extremes in time to prevent such a disaster.

12 08 2011
JJ

As worried as I was, I hadn’t quite thought of that but Beep’s got a point.

12 08 2011
bpbproadrunner

I bring it up, because right now a lot of groups in the US seem intent on demonizing and blaming other groups for wrongs committed by our government and by corporations. But you know how easy it is to bring a mob to its senses.

13 08 2011
Crimson Wife

“[Riots] are not about poor parenting.”

I beg to differ. Well-brought up people don’t commit arson, assault, or grand larceny when they get angry. They send letters to newspaper editors, write blog posts, put up videos on YouTube, organize boycotts, make a sign and go picket at City Hall, or some other form of non-violent protest. The kind of thuggery seen in London has its origins in the widespread familial dysfunction among the underclass.

13 08 2011
Nance Confer

Until you push them too far. As more and more “well-brought-up” people are pushed out of the middle class into the “underclass,” things could get out of hand. Let’s hope not.

13 08 2011
JJ

I am seeing more clearly lately, that in both the UK and US, a few of those shadowy groups have been working from within to bring down the governments they so despise that they want to take over and rule with an iron fist. When All the President’s Men got caught in the relatively mild politi-criminal scheme we called Watergate, this whole nation knew it for what it was, didn’t legitimize it. We televised Congressional hearings a whole long hot summer, remember Nance? — and we shut it down, put people in prison, drew up articles of impeachment that drove that disgraced president to resign in infamy, repudiated his party, lauded the independent investigative journalism that uncovered it and thereby saved the commonwealth..

It went underground for a generation and when it popped back out disguised as a FOX, we stupidly saw a whole new breed! All the tunnels it networked underground give it access to everything everywhere, unseen and apparently unstoppable.Now it’s all infiltrated and corrupted, the Congress, courts, military and law enforcement, independent investigative journalism, television news to disseminate that journalism in the public interest, the schools and textbooks and teachers that would help us make sense of what’s happening historically, science and research, campaign finance and voting systems, even our very words and cultural context including religion, to ask each other and ourselves what’s happened, what’s so wrong, and to recognize it for what it is and fight it together instead of letting it divide and conquer us.

I laughed at Hillary Clinton with her “vast right-wing conspiracy.” *I* was wrong. I know more now that it’s too late and I’m not laughing. She should have said vast right-wing CRIMINAL conspiracy and the Dems who were solemnly defending that president on sexual grounds should have backed her then, above ground, on all the grounds they then knew to be true but still are apparently afraid to share publicly. How different would things be if in the UK, a few brave journalists and politicians had stood up to Rupert Murdoch’s criminal syndicate years ago? Would we have been at war the past decade if both the US and UK had had government free of those crimes infiltrating as “business as usual?” Have we been losing a savage civil war at home, on every front, seeing major chunks of our society disappear down sinkholes caused by all that insidious tunneling?

I think it’s time to reckon with the fact that no matter whom we choose, Rush Limbaugh and his Republican Party will do whatever it takes to see them fail.

13 08 2011
Nance Confer

Apparently, we’re going to have to become less reliant on technology if Americans are going to be able to protest anything — http://www.csmonitor.com/USA/Justice/2011/0812/To-defuse-flash-protest-BART-cuts-riders-cell-service.-Is-that-legal

13 08 2011
Nance Confer
13 08 2011
JJ

Nance, did you see this one yet, about those peaceful protests CW advises would be proper and fair for mistreated masses?

A few of America’s most notorious oligarchs – including the Koch and the DeVos (Amway fortune) billionaires – as well as untraceable millions from donors who could as easily be Chinese government-run corporations as giant “American” companies who do most of their business and keep most of their profits outside the US – apparently played big in this election.

I say “apparently” because the Supreme Court has ruled that we no longer have the right to know who is really funding our election commercials, or even our candidates themselves.

13 08 2011
JJ

And after the undermining of America’s news media, did you even know as the UK burns, hundreds of thousands peacefully demonstrate in Israeli streets for fairer “distribution of opportunity and wealth?”

The UK is less civil on both sides of the rioting btw. In one of Murdoch’s UK papers’ polls, one-third of his readers say it’s time the UK police use LIVE AMMUNITION in the streets. Wonder when Murdoch news consumers here will form up volunteer militia to go shoot them down with their personal assault weapons . . .

The other two-thirds say plastic bullets and everybody wants water cannon! Meanwhile less than one in ten of Murdochia think govt cuts have anything to do with the riots. [Doesn’t sound very well-brought-up to me!]

Which accent will US social issues finally be addressed with? German, British, or Israeli?

13 08 2011
JJ

Time for effective weapons to turn on the real criminals!

“We’re in a class war. The rich are getting wealthy at the expense of everyone else, raping and pillaging both the economy and the middle class. . .

[Again, doesn’t sound well-brought-up to me]

The tribal left-right battles are manufactured to make sure the participants don’t notice that. As long as they’re firing at each other, rank and file partisans are guaranteed to shoot past the true architects of our current economic malaise.”

13 08 2011
JJ

Would you have believed even a few years ago, that our military and prisons, schools and universities, transportation and public communication channels all would be so mercenary-outsourced, with formerly proud middle-class and working-class professionals dedicated to serving actual people instead of corporate “persons” — teachers, nurses, postal workers, pilots, researchers, even firefighters and police — made out to be American villains?

13 08 2011
Nance Confer

And once someone is officially poor, they can be treated as a criminal — http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/cifamerica/2011/aug/10/america-poverty-criminalised

13 08 2011
Nance Confer

And which campaign season was it that suddenly made protests something to be hidden, pushed off to the side? Was that after 911? And we all went along. Grumbling but standing in the designated areas. What happens when people refuse to stay behind the fence? The fence that makes them invisible.

13 08 2011
bpbproadrunner

I didn’t laugh at Hillary’s Vast Right Wing Conspiracy. As a one time member of a religious minority, I saw it clearly, because I was not one of *theirs. You have no idea how dangerous those people are. Politics are just the tip of the iceberg. Much of their literature supports nothing less than religio-political-ethnic cleansing. That’s why I laughed at the Death Panel crap. It was nothing but projection. That is what *They would do if *They were in power and their little conspiracy theories really just reflect their own deepest desires to institute a theocracy, only these fools don’t realize it would really be a fascist state run by corporate oligarchy. If they succeed, they will find out soon enough. When the dancing in the street is over and they truly begin to comprehend what they sold and who they sold it to, then things will get real interesting.

I am friends with some of these people and they are really clueless as to *WHAT they are allying themselves with. Many actually believe that they are doing the work ‘O Gawd out there, and cannot conceive that the nothing could be further from the truth.

Their female candidates are just a form of mocking women and the rights we have won. A slap in the face. Walking talking crocks of BS, judas horses meant to lead other women into a fenced in world with fewer rights.

Their little forays into our American military, trying to indoctrinate all our special forces, and academies–naked manipulation disguised as proselytizing. Religion as a lever to undermine the chain of command and nothing more. But we are not supposed to see that or heaven forbid mention it.

These nefarious corporate powers are using religion as a lever to undermine the very foundation of our way of life. It’s sick. But what is truly sickening are the number of people so willing to follow these false prophets who are clearly the high priests of Mammon [to use their own words and symbolism]

13 08 2011
bpbproadrunner

And I disagree. Anyone will riot. It’s just a matter of finding their breaking point. For poor people it will be starvation and other deprivations. For the wealthier it might be the redistribution of their wealth. For the spiritual or religious, it may be an attempt to control their thoughts and beliefs.

13 08 2011
bpbproadrunner

And [sorry for the triple post] the press is not your friend. Even those press agencies you think of as left leaning or *not faux news are not really here for you or me. They are only as liberal as their corporate supporters. Period. I watched for months as our so-called free press ignored what was happening in the Gulf of Mexico after the BP disaster. The internet itself was being manipulated–I know, I spent hours doing research, having great difficulties finding stories, or even connecting with local news stations in the Gulf area. Prior to that, it was the peace marches here in the states when shrub was still the president. No coverage. The press ignored them for the most part. You couldn’t even find it online unless you knew specifically to look at the Daily Cos or had access to Current TV or Democracy Now. Instead our press CHOOSES to focus on groups like the Westboro Baptist Church, on Baggers with Guns, on Bachman’s antics when she was still only a legislator all those months ago with her shiny new tinfoil birther hat. I have seen similar incidents transpire locally. The press decides what *we need to know. And as often as not that supports some agenda that is in opposition to the will of the people. That is why blogging is so important, why it’s dangerous, that is why there are many pieces of legislation out that are attempts to control blogging and social media.

13 08 2011
Nance Confer

Their female candidates are just a form of mocking women and the rights we have won. A slap in the face. Walking talking crocks of BS, judas horses meant to lead other women into a fenced in world with fewer rights.

***************

Did you hear Bachmann’s BS answer about whether she would be submissive to her husband if she were elected Pres? It was suddenly all about mutual respect. Riiiight.

What is/was this called when black people lead other black people to oppression? Can’t think of the correct name for it. Not Uncle Tom. . . hmmm. . .

Nance

13 08 2011
Nance Confer

They are only as liberal as their corporate supporters. Period

*********

Which is not very.

The left is where sane Republicans used to be, if you go by most newscasts now.

Nance

13 08 2011
Nance Confer

http://www.rawstory.com/rawreplay/2011/08/texas-raids-fund-for-poor-to-keep-taxes-low/

OTOH, maybe the poor will all have heat stroke and be unable to riot.

Nance

13 08 2011
JJ

CW, did you read the article? The first comment here, in which Nance pulled out the quote, ““This is madly insufficient.” was in respect to decrying violence and then resting your case.

13 08 2011
JJ

Speaking of lawbreaker pols who want to take over government by being anti-government (and getting away with as if it were just politics):

Issues of Coordination, Collusion

In 2004, Texas Republicans successfully secured a ballot position for the Texas Green Party’s presidential candidate Ralph Nader in an effort to bleed votes from the Democratic candidate Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.). An subsequent investigation into that effort found that both Carney and Make Us Great Again’s Toomey were intimately involved in the Green Party ballot scheme.

The Federal Election Commission (FEC) determined that Carney’s efforts to secure the ballot place for the Green Party violated campaign finance law and stated that Carney “knowingly and willfully” broke the law. Prosecutors, however, did not pursue charges.

13 08 2011
Nance Confer

But we’ll prosecute any rioters within an inch of their life.

13 08 2011
JJ

Or just shoot now and prosecute what we don’t hit later.

Nance, those campaign operatives were not well-brought up, harumph! 😉

13 08 2011
Crimson Wife

Considering the mayhem that “flash mobs” have caused in Philadelphia and other cities (see here for an example, I’m glad BART officials were pro-active in shutting down the cell network that they own & operate last week. My DH rides BART every day and I had to drive to the city to pick him up because we were afraid the protestors would disrupt service.

13 08 2011
JJ

I don’t get the parent rights-libertarian and the law-and-order authoritarian in the same value system, driving the same politics — how do you reconcile it, seriously?

13 08 2011
JJ

It’s pretty tough to be anti-government except when you want it to make YOUR life better, by controlling all those other guys!

14 08 2011
bpbproadrunner

Disrupting communications of civilians in an attempt to anticipate laws that haven’t been broken is a violation of our civil rights. Deciding who can use telephone lines, who can access internet sites, etc., is a direct attempt to prevent freedom of association and peaceful assembly under the guise of “riot prevention.”

Terrorists could also use phone lines to commit violent acts. Perhaps we should shut everyone’s phones off and disconnect the internet… “Just in case.”

Definitely before you start disarming the populace.

14 08 2011
Nance Confer

Poor thing, she had to drive to the city. She was inconvenienced. Boo hoo.

Really, when will people understand that that is the point of demonstrations? Getting your point out there, making a scene, disrupting the normal “oh, well, we have to put up with this because that’s just the way things are and we wouldn’t want the nice white lady to be disturbed” scheme of things. All in order to draw attention to and correct an injustice. An injustice greater than throwing a monkey wrench in everyone’s commute.

14 08 2011
JJ

And it’s not just taking over the twitter and the intertubes or preventing ET from phoning home. Think about it — it’s the entire media, every possible way to break it and disrupt it and it’s not just in emergencies, folks! It’s been done as strategy and called “politics.” And it’s the new normal. How quickly we forget Rupert Murdoch’s hacking and bribing and corrupting newspapers and television as mass media journalism (not social media) now spread to two continents when he is from a third! (Talk about “illegal immigrants” bringing down America — he should be the poster child!)

That’s corporate. Then the individual candidates, the actual “human beings” whatever Romney calls them, carry it into governance as they get elected and appointed, until it becomes the norm. No press access for our enemies, those evil socialist Kenyans and therefore no public information for the um, public. Everything is political now and therefore everything is secret campaign intell that the actual human beings just trying to live and work and be responsibly engaged and informed, can’t know.
It wasn’t just the wacko candidates in the last election, the Sharon Angles and that Joe Miller guy who handcuffed and detained a legit journalist using his private thugs (on public school property.) It’s all of them now, including all the “mainstream” candidates in Iowa this week:

Richard Nixon put reporters on his Enemies List, perhaps with good reason. George W. Bush kept the press at at arms length, allowing only a few reporters glancing access.

It was ever thus.

But something new is going on this year. The leading GOP candidates are conducting their campaign with almost NO direct, uncontrolled access to the press (or, in many cases, the public). What’s more — and more noteworthy — the candidates increasingly are taking pride in and bragging about their contempt for reporters and even for the very idea of open campaigning.

Hostile to the public and their press examples: Governor Rick Scott here in Florida, Governor Scott Walker in Wisconsin. Governor Chris Christie bullying a female citizen questioner during a TV interview, sneering that the answer was none of her business! They may not be paranoid Nixonian bullies I guess, but they sure do campaign and then “govern” that way day-to-day.

14 08 2011
JJ

Beep’s latest btw: Is It Misogyny to Ask Bachmann If She Submits to Her Husband?

Noting that the actual question, even though it came from a FOX employee, was more relevant yet — would she submit America to him, if she were vested with the power of the President of the United States? In other words, would we be electing him rather than her, to rule us all as he tells us god commands?

14 08 2011
Nance Confer

Apparently, in her bizarro world, it just means she’s going to respect the hell out of us. And we are supposed to forget how much stranger she sounded just a few months ago, before she had Presidential-campaign-level handlers, forget that this is the toned down version and buy her BS.

And, fwiw, the Fox question is just a distraction from your important question, JJ, along with getting away from the idea that a leader’s cultish beliefs should be kept separate from the governance we let them do.

14 08 2011
Nance Confer

governing? governance doesn’t sound right. . .

14 08 2011
JJ

[I did mean to post this over at the Summer Vacation discussion, but since it deals with technology in our regular human-being lives and whether that can/should be messed with for politics, cross-posting here]

Ooh, now to me THAT’s whole-life-as-vacation learning time! 🙂
Our Plugged-In Summer

“I concocted a scheme. During weekends this summer, I would pursue the opposite of an unplugged vacation: I would check screens whenever I could. Not in the service of work, but in the service of play. I would crowd-source new ideas for car games and YouTube my picnic recipes. I would test the prevailing wisdom that the Internet spoils all the fun. With back-to-school fast approaching, here’s my report. . .”

14 08 2011
bpbproadrunner

They were complaining about the cover of the magazing with Bachman looking all crazy-like with her widened eyes. And my first thought is: “Isn’t that how she always looks?”

14 08 2011
JJ

I heard Tina Brown (editor) explaining that Bachmann sought the shoot but would only give them a few minutes, with one of their best photographers. So he got several “good” pictures but the others would have been even more criticized, including one with her hands folded in prayer and another (half-profile) they showed, in which I admit, she really did look crazed. I thought this one, honestly, did have a creepy inner light to it that seems out of touch and cultish-Stepford-wife but then I honestly agree with Beep too — she almost always has that look. It’s there.

14 08 2011
JJ

I just listened to her one-on-one with Meet the Press David Gregory btw. That strange eye-shine look was there throughout and it was reflected in all her answers. The submitting question, whether with all her governance through prayer she’d ever appoint and nominate atheists or gays. That look was there the whole time she repeated the nonsensical non-response she’s obediently been told to give. The biggest unanswered question now is, why are we even considering choosing between all-wrong options, like we did on the debt ceiling hostage situation? Why are we spending any time at this very late date, being distracted by Teh Crazy?

15 08 2011
bpbproadrunner

Like Bo from Heaven’s Gate. And I got news for her, I am not buying any matching tennis shoes.

15 08 2011
Crimson Wife

Where in the Constitution does it say that the government has to provide at its own expense free wireless access? Did BART violate free speech before it began offering wireless access in 2009? Of course not. The wireless access is being provided as a courtesy to BART commuters, and officials have every right to stop providing it whenever they deem it prudent for public safety. Their duty is to offer safe transportation to the 340,000 daily BART riders, not to provide free wireless access in its stations 24/7/365.

I’m going to have to spend another 2+ hours and probably $10+ worth of gas to pick my husband up in the city again today because these clowns have another protest planned. I don’t believe in violence, but I can’t say that I would feel terribly sorry if some angry commuters decide enough is enough and go all vigilante on these idiots…

15 08 2011
JJ

Times are tough all over, CW. That’s pretty much the point. People who dismiss others with that attitude long enough and stubbornly enough oughtn’t be surprised imo — yet so often are! — at just how more inconvenient if not dangerous things can get.

15 08 2011
bpbproadrunner

So let me get this straight. If I use a service {that I pay for} on corporate property, said corporation has the right to determine when and with whom or if I can communicate with other citizens [on a whim!] Wow. I can’t wait to see what you will say some other clowns screw up what’s left of Net Neutrality.

You know BART didn’t violate the civil rights of people riding the trains but also those rights of people who work there. It’s one thing if BART wants to cut it’s own land lines. It’s quite another to tamper with a person’s ability to communicate anything, and that includes emergency situations that do require law enforcement or medical attention.

Welcome to the world where the Company Store Owns you and your neighbors think that is perfectly acceptable.

15 08 2011
JJ

Beep, it doesn’t sound corporate to me (except in authoritarian attitude.) I think it’s a legislative creature with public tax monies going into it . . . but I don’t care that much because I don’t think private money is private either, anymore. Corporations all profit because we the people provide the law and order, communities, education etc that make it possible.

15 08 2011
JJ

The only sense in which Willard Milton Romney had a valid point when he said “corporations are people, my friend” is the same sense in which “governments are people” too — and churches are people, schools are people, unions are people etc.

Except only government is intentionally representative of THE people as in “of the people, by the people, for the people.” Yet you notice the TEA partisans and even SCOTUS haven’t been remembering that. Heck, they’re not too sure about the personhood of half the human population! — the half that’s female, never mind gays, immigrants, Muslims, the poor etc etc etc. Or the humanity of the individual duly elected to head our government from 2009 through 2012.

15 08 2011
Nance Confer

The government isn’t allowed to cut off my means of communication in order to stop political speech.

15 08 2011
Nance Confer

And when you were feeling all inconvenienced by the BART protests, did you give a thought to the dead man?

16 08 2011
bpbproadrunner

If they keep doing this, protesters will simply invest in walkie talkies. You can buy them with 30 mi ranges now. Big Whoop. Then law abiding citizens will be without communications and the scary boogeymen of protest will be laughing while they organize.

You know some of us do remember how to protest without twitter or androids.
Funny thing that.

16 08 2011
JJ

Protests are people, my friend!

16 08 2011
JJ

“America’s Age of Austerity May Look a Lot Like London’s”:

Governments of the 1960s and 1970s were quick to respond to their restive populations with renewed investments in the social safety net and in low-skill job programs. . .

Today, our public officials are more apt to respond in a spirit of moral condemnation than social generosity. On August 11, when British Prime Minister David Cameron went before parliament to address the unrest, he offered only outrage. “It is criminality pure simple,” he said. “We will not allow a culture of fear to exist on our streets.”

It’s a response that strongly resembled the speech given by Michael Nutter, the African-American mayor of Philadelphia, on August 7, in response to a recent spate of street violence there. “If you want to act like an idiot, move. Move out of this city,” he told the congregation at Carmel Baptist Church. “We don’t want you here anymore.”

. . .Our contemporary belt-tightening, however, is also matched by a constriction of society’s moral imagination—an ethical corollary to our fiscal impoverishment. . .Where the riots of the 1960s were a challenge to the prevailing spirit of optimism, today they are of a piece with our cultural pessimism. Our age of austerity is not only a time of low economic growth and high unemployment—it is a time when most people sense that there’s simply not enough to go around.

19 08 2011
JJ

CW! Is this your brother?? He’s sure using your definition of inconvenient and what it justifies . . .

Staffers for Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) called police on Thursday evening to disperse unemployed protesters staging a sit-in at his Kenosha, Wis., office, according to the protesters and police.

19 08 2011
bpbproadrunner

Here is something just for this thread: Science Friday covered the BART story: http://www.sciencefriday.com/program/archives/201108195 Go to the left hand margin and click on listen to hear the recording of the Call- in show that happened today on Science Friday NPR.

20 08 2011
JJ

Good link, thanks. And I just saw this from the Media Citizen blog, by someone whose work I plan to follow: Timothy Karr, campaign director of Free Press and the SavetheInternet.com Coalition. Karr was the executive director of the MediaChannel and Media for Democracy.

BART and the New Era of Censorship

companies often flip the kill switch on their own. Verizon Wireless blocked text messages in 2007 that a reproductive rights group sought to send to its members. The carrier decided that the texts were “controversial and unsavory” and implemented a rule buried deep within the company’s terms of service that gives Verizon the power to cut off mobile communications “without prior notice and for any reason or no reason.”

That Verizon reversed its decision after its censorship was exposed by the New York Times should offer little comfort — neither should the notion that fierce public criticism has sufficiently warned BART against switching off mobile communications in the future.

These incidents reveal a growing pattern of abuse and a great measure of confusion over free speech rights in the tangled realm of new media.

21 08 2011
bpbproadrunner

So not surprised, but thanks for the heads up and the links to these orgs, I plan to check them out.

26 08 2011
JJ

More government-crazed overreach in the name of controlling real people and their human rights to technology?

The controversy has yielded a rare moment of agreement between progressives and Tea Party activists. Odom sharply criticized Chabot in an email to supporters on Thursday, writing, “Just when you think you’ve seen it all… a story breaks about a Republican Congressman (or his staff) instructing police to confiscate cameras from constituents in the audience of a townhall event!

Yep, you read that right, at a public townhall event, in a public venue (high school gym), hosted by a public official and coordinated by public staffers, personal/private cameras and cell phones are now being forcefully removed to keep video footage from hitting YouTube.”

He then directed readers to his blog post on the matter, in which he states, “This is a clear violation of rights and Congressman Chabot should be ashamed of himself. His staff should be rebuked, an apology should be given, and the officer should be punished.”

26 08 2011
JJ

It’s a trend, not one incident folks.

I can’t help flashing back on my public university’s question-asking scandal, five or six police officers instructed by a ranking student government speech host to subdue, suppress and sanitize an audience member he found uppity and wished to erase from the record.

Technology at issue there: both the video cameras that uploaded it to Youtube and the tasers that emboldened (if hot sauce and a cold shower for a smart mouth would have been abuse of authority, why isn’t tasing?)

And that in turn makes me remember Gov. Palin’s estranged brother-in-law tasing her nephew and her vowing revenge for it, not that she objected when the UF police did it, or last year when AK Senate candidate Joe Miller’s paid thugs handcuffed and detained a journalist for daring to ask questions — at a public school venue, of course.Which brings to mind CrackerGate, that other FL public university using all manner of official overreach to force a Catholic student to take communion properly or be expelled and prosecuted! And the hits just keep on coming.

So I went shopping in Dante’s circles of hell . . . I see the Inner Ring of the Seventh Circle has a dedicated place for “violence against God” which is defined as blasphemy, so would that fit the cracker crime better? . . .

Whoa! Check out what’s happening in the Eighth! Flatterers are steeped in excrement, seducers and simonists suffer whippings from demons while marching endlessly and getting the soles of their feet flamed off, and corrupt politicians — now we’re talking! — “are immersed in a lake of boiling pitch, which represents the sticky fingers and dark secrets of their corrupt deals.”

(Literally, right? — Donohue inists Catholicism isn’t symbols and beliefs but actual, physical reality. So the wafer doesn’t represent the Body of Christ, it IS the Body of Christ. Same for the Circles of Hell?)

School’s Out — Of Control!

If police can justifiably taser this kid and drag him out of a political rally for felony baiting and attention-getting with a camera, at the direction of the event’s media controller . . .

Like School, College Can’t Be Trusted Anymore

NYT on UF Student Tasing

That all of that information is freely available on the Web in less than 24 hours after the incident is allowing people to form their own opinions on the incident, and post them online, thus further shaping a key part of any case involving free speech and police brutality: the political aftermath. . .
And comments on the page show much shock and anger at the cops, such as this one from Andrew Such, a student:

The police response here is incredible. I won’t go into him being rude or anything of that because it’s such a useless detail.

Tasering a person armed only with a book and a loud mouth that is pinned on the ground by five officers is unacceptable.

26 08 2011
JJ

One comment about the UF tasing resonated with me then and stays with me now, e.g. when I hear CW define American freedom as primarily her own freedom not to be annoyed or inconvenienced by anyone else’s freedom:

People who think they live in a sort of ‘pinnacle of freedom’ are rallying behind the police and thanking them for their suppression of this kid’s emotional questions because it’s for our own good; the good of a calm, quiet, orderly state. It’s very Orwellian – and to me it seems like the result of a very passive and very effective method of brainwashing.

27 08 2011
JJ

OTOH, here’s something for the rest of the people:

The lesson from the 2011 Arab spring in and other periods of history is that tyrannical and dehumanizing institutions are often more fragile than they appear, and with time, luck, morale, and our ability to seize the moment, damn near anything is possible. We never really know until it happens whether or not we are living in that time when historical variables are creating opportunities for seemingly impossible change. Thus, we must prepare ourselves by battling each day in all our activities to regain individual self-respect, collective self-confidence, determination, courage, and solidarity.

Nance, I was thinking from when we first started with the Thinking Parent project to Snook, the point has been pretty much to be one of those self-respecting and empowering places. 🙂

There are “democracy battlefields” —in our schools, workplace and elsewhere—where such respect and confidence can be regained every day.

Bruce E. Levine is a clinical psychologist and author of “Get Up, Stand Up: Uniting Populists, Energizing the Defeated, and Battling the Corporate Elite” (Chelsea Green, April 2011).

27 08 2011
JJ

My own biggest challenge is this part:

But critical thinking also means the ability to think critically about one’s pessimism—realizing that pessimism can cripple the will and destroy motivation. A critical thinker recognizes how negativism can cause inaction, which results in maintaining the status quo. Antonio Gramsci (1891–1937), an Italian political theorist and Marxist activist who was imprisoned by Mussolini, talked about “pessimism of the intellect, optimism of the will” —a phrase that has inspired many critical thinkers, including Noam Chomsky.

27 08 2011
Nance Confer

Pessimism. Fear. Intimidation. Insecurity. Yep, they keep us all in our place. Do we think that’s all accidental?

27 08 2011
JJ

I mentioned before I’m reading and want to blog “The Help” because it deals with these themes, plus the overarching issue of identity — who we are and how to live. I’m almost halfway through it now, Favorite Daughter has finished it and now also seen the movie, and we’ve both been involved in some fraught discussion with friends here about it as southern women black and white, old and young. Some of us remember those times, most of us as children then and old ladies now. 🙂 But it’s striking how hard to is to match up our perceptions of reality or even to accept that those not matching ours could possibly be just as real to those women as ours are to us. And it’s still REALLY hard to be civil to each other when the conversation gets real . . .

27 08 2011
JJ

Seems to me that’s a lot like hearing corporate buyout quarter-billionaire (Mormon) presidential candidate Willard Romney, joke with unemployed working class folks that he too is unemployed, just like them! Ho ho ho.

Same power of story 60 years later as when I was a child in that system, except now the systemically abused are the majority by far and the careless, condescending and cruel “winners” are a smaller group than nontheists, or even homeschoolers!

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