Democracy Now had an important segment today (whole show was good actually) on the 40th "anniversary" of the assassination of Fred Hampton.
For more Hampton quotes, see "The Revolutionary Love of Fred Hampton, Sr." A sample:
"Without education, people will accept anything. Without education, what you'll have is neo-colonialism instead of the colonialism like you have now. Without education, people don't know why they're doing what they're doing, you know what I mean? You might get people caught up in an emotionalist movement, might get them because they're poor and they want something and then if they're not educated, they'll want more and before you know it, we'll have Negro imperialism."
In the Democracy Now segment, Bobby Rush is shown eulogizing Hampton. Democracy Now noted that he's currently a congressman, but didn't note that a certain Barack Obama attempted to oust him in 2000. Rush had said of Obama: "He went to Harvard and became an educated fool."
"What do you suppose he was telling the soldiers, that after what they had done they OUGHT to feel bad?"
--Bob Schieffer on Face the Nation about Nidal Hasan
That would be a good start, but perhaps not very likely given that Hasan has now apparently killed so many.
A little over ten years ago Zeynep, whom I would later befriend, was vacationing in her native Turkey. An earthquake hit, killing thousands. For weeks she helped with the rescue efforts, digging for survivors amid the devastation and stench of death.
When she got back to the U.S., she was traumatized, literally smelling the bodies at times. Her doctor recommended she see a post-trauma specialist.
After a time the therapist kept telling her it "wasn't her fault" -- Zeynep kept saying she knew that -- it was an earthquake. This happened over and over. It turned out the therapist worked with alot of Vietnam War veterans and would tell them of their war experiences "It's not your fault". Zeynep would later write:
I pointed out that people who are truly not at fault often know that and do not need to hear it 30 years later. If a man is having crying fits and nightmares three decades after a war, there is a possibility that something really was his fault and that the last thing he needs to hear is "it's not your fault." Maybe he needs to say he was indeed at fault, that he was guilty. Is there a way to redemption without acknowledgment of guilt?
The right and much of the establishment typically derides therapy as engaging in moral relativism. But now you have much of the establishment, Schieffer is but a tiny example, engaging in a massive moral relativism.
Killing is bad -- at home. It's good in Iraq and Afghanistan.
People should not kill. Except when we tell them to.
People should feel bad about killing. Except when we say they shouldn't.
And: We need to look forward when it comes to crimes by U.S. officials. But we must ensure prosecution when it comes to the 9/11 attacks.
This system cannot stand, because it can't stand its self.
As Obama becomes yet another U.S. president not to visit Hiroshima, we come closer to committing ever more violence.
My friend Elisa Salasin (on my suggestion) plugged audio of Truman's claim that Hiroshima was a "military base" into OMD's Enola Gay (Sash remix). She overlaid it with video and stills resulting in the final video:
(About the Sash remix: Enola Gay was name of the U.S. plane that dropped an atom bomb on Hiroshima on Aug. 6, 1945. It was named after Enola Gay Tibbets, the mother of the plane's pilot, Paul Tibbets; Little Boy was the codename of the bomb itself, hence the line "Enola Gay, is mother proud of little boy today?" This song is from OMD (Orchestral Manuvers in the Dark) and remixed by Sash to include audio such as Robert Oppenheimer saying "Now I am become death, destroyer of worlds," quoting the Bhagavad Gita.)
Social change happens in inverse proportion to the speed of the news cycle.
Pacifica's Democracy Now (the most important daily show in the U.S.) had Lt. Dan Choi on this morning.
They played from his speech at the gay rights rally:
But of all those things that are worth fighting for, love is worth fighting for. Love is worth it. Love is worth it. ... We love our country, even when our country refuses to acknowledge our love. But we continue to defend it, and we continue to protect it, because love is worth it. Love is worth it!
If you believe it, say it with me. Love is worth it! Love is worth it! Love is worth it! Love is worth it!
Like so many others, I joined the military because my country beckoned me. "Ask not what your country can do for you, but ask what you can do for your country."
All told he used the word "love" 21 times in the Dem Now segment. (My friend Windy remarks that maybe it's actually who in your country you can do that's the issue.)
It's sad that the hosts of Dem Now didn't (as I should say I suggested) ask him how waging war is consistent with this "love" he is screaming about.
As such, they fail. They fail as representatives of a network founded by pacifists, as liberals dedicated in open inquiry and as journalists capable of asking real questions to their guests.
Presumably if the "left" has its way there will be no one in the military except gays -- we'll have an all-gay army.
Reminds me of an old Bill Murray bit after the Soviets invaded, of all places, Afghanistan:
President Carter has proposed the drafting of women, and everybody's all worked up about it. Personally, I don't see what they're complaining about. Women in the armed forces could be the best thing that ever happened to this country.
Let's say we have a war with Russia and the women fight. If we win, that's OK. And if we lose, we can say to the Russians: "Wow, you beat a bunch of girls. You must be really proud of yourselves. You Russians are real tough guys, yeah." Can you imagine how embarrassed the Russians would be?
The lengthy applause should be an opportunity for quick thinking analysts to debunk and explain what is being said and done during presidential speeches.
As a basis, in 2003, just before the Iraq invasion, the Institute for Public Accuracy (where I work) did this in text form for Bush's State of the Union address. I should note, parenthetically, that this is one of many documents that shows how absured a notion it is for people to claim that we know Bush lied only after the invasion of Iraq; infact, anyone who cared to knew that Bush was lying before the war.
In 2003, it took sleepless days to assemble the crit online. This week, IPA did it in real time with Obama's healthcare -- or sickcare as my friend Jabari Zakiya likes to call it -- speech.
Contemporaneous crits should be done via audio and video by media outlets purporting authentic independence, rather like Colbert's "The Word" segments, or even the comments on Mystery Science Theater or pop-up videos. Entertainment TV has produced alot of things to try to pack more dubious "substance" into less time -- authentic news (as opposed to phony corporate news) needs to go far beyond to get real substance to people in a factual, concise, witty fashion.
In the case of presidential speeches it is made easier since there's the lengthy, vacuous applause providing the air time -- and the White House frequently release partial text shortly before the speeches, giving the analysts a head start.
Mac is the very talented eldest son of my friend Windy. At his first day at a new school today, he noticed the principal being hypocritical and had the gall to point it out. Read the details in his first blog entry.