Mere moments ago I joined one of the latest efforts to keep the world 'virtually' safe from the squares out there who would have us all on lockdown in nice little boxes where they can easily monitor our 'progress' (or dissent). It's Ourmedia.org, and from all accounts it is a cool spot on the net. The people who put it together are all net pioneers, and very into keeping the flow of information free, and available, to anyone who wants to use, or build upon it. So, I'm in the mix! Check it out!
Saturday, March 19, 2005
Am in San Francisco for the weekend chasing cool with Dr. Audrey Sprenger, and her flock of young hipsters from the University of Denver. Bill Morgan, friend of Allen Ginsberg, and creator of some wonderful books on the Beats hangouts in NY & SF, is here, as well as Jerry Cimino a.k.a. Prof. Jerry, the Beat Scholar, and we're awaiting the arrival of Mr. Fabulous himself, David Amram as he jets in from the East coast just to hang out with us. There's all sorts of crazy talk about what we're doing from a walking tour of North Beach (part of the course), to jazz to a memorial for the late Philip Lamantia, the great surrealist poet to hanging out with more Beat legends. More later friends. Onward ho!
Friday, March 11, 2005
First though, on the 1 year anniversary of the Madrid train bombings, my heart, and good wishes, go out to the people of Spain for their terrible loss of life, and limb, on that tragic Spring day. I mourn, celebrate, and look to the future with them.
And now it's time for a 30 second rant:
I am sooooooo sick and tired of hearing the utter crap that is getting repeated at nearly every turn in America today: "We are spreading Democracy across the world." Democracy across the world? What about Democracy here at home? America gets hit by terrorists, and one of the first things that happens (for our safety - yeah right!) is the limiting of our democratic freedoms through the Patriot Act, a bill rushed thru Congress, and passed into law with little to no debate on it's necessity, or possible effectiveness. Then came the Department of Homeland Security, their color-coded threat levels, and daily press briefings. To this day, politicians, and neocon mouthpieces continue to stare into CNN's cameras fanning the flames of paranoia with their constant reiteration that "they" are out to get us, "they" are lurking around every corner, and we must not hesitate to respond. Thus we must give up our freedoms in order to save them. Huh? Sounds like George Orwell's "NewSpeak"*, doesn't it? Meanwhile, a tragedy of similar proportions happens in Spain on March 11, 2004. What happens there? Do the Spanish people get a Spanish patriot act, and a huge, new beauracracy scrutinizing them? Does a wave of hysterical predictions repeated endlessly in the mass media get foisted on the people of Spain? Are there mass arrests of innocent, law-abiding, persons in a crackdown that ultimately puts people on edge for little, or no reason? The answer in a word:
In fact, the Spanish People responded to the attacks of March 11 by first tending to their wounded, and dead, and second, by demanding the truth from the government about what they knew, and who they were investigating. Here's how the Spanish government responded:
The conservative government of Spanish Prime Minister Jose Maria Aznar immediately blamed the Basque separatist group ETA for the train bombings. National elections were three days away, and Prime Minister Aznar's government strongly opposed the group. But a day before the elections, a videotape was found near a Madrid Mosque. It announced that al-Qaida had attacked the trains to punish Spain for sending troops to Iraq. - Jeffrey Young, Voice of America March 11, 2005
Here's how the Spanish people responded in their National election 3 days later:
The combination of Spanish public opposition to the war in Iraq and the perception that the government had manipulated public opinion led to Prime Minister Aznar's defeat. - Jeffrey Young, Voice of America March 11, 2005
There you have it America. The definition of accountability demonstrated for all the world to see. You don't tell the truth, you intentionally mislead the people, and you lose your job, you don't pass go, you don't collect 200+ million dollars. Jose Aznar's government fell like a house of cards in a hurricane because they did just that, and the first thing the new government did was change the foreign policy, and pull all the Spanish troops out of Iraq. Of course there were, and are, people on the right in Spain who disagreed with this course of action, but it appears the vast majority of Spaniards were all for it.
Quote: I have seen the promised land...and I know we as a people we will get there one day. **
I only hope, for us here in America, the sake of Humanity, and our planet, that it's sooner than later.
End of rant.
*From "1984" by George Orwell
** Martin Luther King, Jr.