Thursday, October 9, 2008

Musings: The Sky is Falling?

My alarm clock today was Koko, flying out of bed, small feet narrowly missing my head, intent to get outside where a chicken was making a particularly blood-curdling cackle.

By the time I indulged her, having had to first write down a dream, brush my teeth and get dressed, the chicken was nowhere to be seen or heard, but another soon came rocketing out of the bushes, running for its life, or so it seemed from its loud and frantic cries, which had Koko tugging sharply on her leash and even roused the neighbor’s cat from his sunbath and sent him off in hot pursuit.

I would have thought that discretion would have more surely guaranteed safety, but instead it was if the chicken was putting itself in greater danger by crying out, “look at me, look at me, I’m in trouble.” It was not unlike the headlines on the neighbor’s morning paper that screamed: Economic Meltdown, followed by bold print announcing the IMF prediction that the world economy will slow dramatically, led by the U.S.

It wasn’t until the fifth paragraph that the story reported:

The IMF's projection was made before the Federal Reserve and other major central banks from around the world slashed interest rates Wednesday in an attempt to prevent a financial crisis from becoming a global economic meltdown.

So we still don’t really know how this whole thing will shake out, but folks are bailing like mad to keep the boat afloat and the fear alarm is ringing madly.

It made me think of a comment that farmer Jerry made the other day about how the baby boomers — and he’s solidly one of ‘em — mistrusted government and the system, and now it’s obvious that they were right. Because they’re the ones who are gonna get screwed as their retirement funds evaporate in this volatile market.

And that got us talking about what lured the once distrustful baby boomers to Wall Street, a place they once viewed as the evil spawn of the industrial-military complex, the dreaded domain of the suits? What got them speculating on real estate, when they once talked about living off land held in common ownership?

The answer, it seems, is the desire for security. Somehow even the free-wheeling, free-loving boomers got caught in that trap, which so often causes people to abandon their best interests and stay in bad marriages, bad jobs, bad investments, fervently holding on to the hope — the myth — that somebody or something’s going to take care of them.

That’s an attitude that folks had better snap out of quick, according to author Naomi Klein [correx: Naomi Wolf], who is now sounding the alarm that the government essentially staged a coup when it sent armed troops to patrol American streets. In a YouTube interview, she makes some pretty compelling arguments about how the nation is sliding into facism.

Among them are the mass arrests of immigrants, which she called practice for large-scale detainments, threatening Congress with martial law if it didn’t pass the bailout bill, the recent arrest of journalists (ahem) and fine print buried in the bailout bill that gives the Prez total authority over $1 billion. And now he has own personal army, as he has sole control over the 3,000 to 4,000 troops now training for domestic operations in America.

In a Democracy Now! interview, Army Col. Michael Boatner claimed the troops won't be used for law enforcement:

The primary purpose of this force is to provide help to people in need in the aftermath of a WMD-like event in the homeland.

And even though the 3rd Infantry, 1st Brigade Combat unit has spent three of the last five years in Iraq in counterinsurgency operations, and will be armed with Tasers and rubber bullets, Col. Boatner assured us they won’t snap in domestic situations:

So, I would say that our soldiers are trustworthy. They can deploy in the homeland, and American citizens can be confident that there will be no abuses.

There’s quite a lot more to the interview, including the fact that every member of the National Governors Association signed a letter that said, “This provision was drafted without consultation or input from governors and represents an unprecedented shift in authority from governors…to the federal government,” so I’d encourage you to read it, and also watch Naomi’s video and make up your own mind about what’s going on in America.

It seems so far away, but let’s not forget that Hawaii is the most heavily militarized of all the states and the only one to have experienced martial law.

I’ll leave you with this olelo noe'au, which was sent to Andre Perez of Oahu when he turned himself in yesterday on a trespassing warrant stemming from the Aug. 7 protest at the Naue burial site:

Eku mai la mamua ka `ino -- said of one who is courageous and stands firm amongst the forces before him.

26 comments:

Katy Rose said...

"In a Democracy Now! interview, Army Col. Michael Boatner claimed the troops won't be used for law enforcement:

'The primary purpose of this force is to provide help to people in need in the aftermath of a WMD-like event in the homeland.'"

As I listened to this interview yesterday, it struck me that the phrase "WMD-like event" is a maddingly vague one, particularly since, in another part of the interview, Col. Boatner referred to the '92 LA uprisings as an incident which warranted martial law.

Larry said...

You know, Joan, Katy, and other readers, lots of folks actually know about the troop deployment. Bloggers have been blogging. Even the governors have complained. Yet it doesn't get attention. It doesn't get stopped.

The militarization of the national conventions went smoothly. Next time will be routine. Reporters will be better off not hanging credentials around their necks, it makes them easy targets. Gads.

Where exactly are the "progressive Democrats", or even a real liberal? I don't expect the right wing to be upset, but no one's home on the left.

There were huge peace protests, yet we went to war. There were protests against the $700 bn bailout, yet our leaders caved to bribes. Most things (like the troop deployment) don't even get a protest.

I suppose when they come for us we'll allow ourselves to be lead away meekly.

Anonymous said...

One can only hope.

Ed Coll said...

Joan I think you meant Naomi Wolf not Naomi Klein that warned people to "snap out of it quick", although Klein in her excellent book, "The Shock Doctrine" (written before the recent economic jitters) had a very similar message.

Leonard Cohen said it best "Your servants, here they have been told, to say it loud to say it bold, it over it ain't going any further. Now the wheels of heaven stop, you feel the devil's riding crop, I have seen the future and it's murder."

Joan said...

Thanks, Ed, both for your Cohen quote and correction on Naomi Wolf, which I have made in the post.

Anonymous said...

The troops had better protect us from the angry mobs that attend McCain/Palin campaign rallies.

Larry said...

Ed, thanks for those Leonard Cohen lines from "The Future." I had forgotten it.

Cohen also wrote that Democracy is coming to the USA.

Over on my own little blog I posted a snippet from today's Democracy Now, revealing, for most people, that the $700 bailout, which is of so much concern, is but a tiny drip.

I think that perhaps its about time that we begin to meet in our communities and create our own new American economics and democracy. The folks at the top aren't going to look after us, it seems. We'll have to do it ourselves.

Joan said...

You're exactly right, Larry. There's plenty of money, it's just a question of how it's being spent, and our Pentagon budget is out of control.

I appreciate the good job you do of keeping us informed on Disappeared News, which I consider a daily must read.

Ed Coll said...

Larry said; "I think that perhaps its about time that we begin to meet in our communities and create our own new American economics and democracy."

Ya think? I thought that's what Public Access TV was supposed to do! Unfortunately PATV abandoned their first-come, first served mission long ago to "build community" (i.e.catering to government and favored non-profit special interests). "Progressive democrats" and "real liberals" defended this practice and in fact still support the sole-sourcing to these corrupt government originated "non-profit" access corporations that censor the individual speaker through institutionalized censorship. Hard to build community when the gatekeepers censor speech. The revolution will not be televised, but rumblings from the "darknet" indicate anarchists (who have had a community building resurgence) are ready to go. Rest assured they will not "be lead away meekly." I agree with Joan that Disappeared News is "must read", but rather as an good example of a false flag operation, to create the illusion that important events are being brought to light, but it is eyes-wide-shut when it comes to coverage of major systemic abuses of power.

Larry said...

Ed, I don't know if my eyes are shut, I try to see what I can, and I try to write about some of it. I don't disagree with you at all, but perhaps Disappeared News is not the place to look for what you are seeking.

Let each of us do what we can and learn from each other. I value your comments and actually hope I can do more one day. For now, this is it.

We have a remarkable community of bloggers (IMHO), and in the future (if there is one) we'll no doubt evolve quite a bit.

Anonymous said...

Where do you think bloggers will be if/when the internet shuts down?

It needs lots of electricity to run, you know, plus tons of tech infrastructure.

Larry said...

I still remember how to make a gelatin hektograph. When I was in public school there were no Xerox machines, but I managed to get my little newspaper printed and posted everywhere around the building. It was in color, too!

Before the last watt of juice fizzles out, I'll send readers to http://www.officemuseum.com/copy_machines.htm where they can learn how to communicate without Facebook.

Just turn the crank, and get the word out.

Heck, you can even pass out leaflets to those waiting in the soup lines.

Ed Coll said...

Larry wrote, "I don't disagree with you at all.....,"

You must disagree with me just a tad as you advocated for continued sole source funding for the censorious, state originated & controlled "non-profit" PEGs, and even went so far as to create a front group of alleged "community producers" singing the praises of the current PEG access providers as, "free speech advocates."

Larry wrote; "but perhaps Disappeared News is not the place to look for what you are seeking."

... and you would be mistaken. I am not "seeking" but observing and analyzing propaganda esp the techniques used to convince people to work against their own best interest (like how the government PEG proxies can convincing a supposed free speech advocate like yourself to support PEGs monopolistic position as gatekeepers to the marketplace of ideas).

Disappeared News gave me the answer. 1) Provide "special services" to the target (i.e. you) and 2) Create fear in the target of loosing that special service.

No matter how much censorship there is (as long as YOU are not affected) it could be worse (YOU could be affected). Fox news could create a non-profit and control PEG in Hawaii, was I believe, the gist of your position on Disappeared News. Better leave bad enough alone. The same propaganda technique is now being used by the powers that be as an argument against having a con con.

Fortunately the internet has made PEG irrelevant as one can cover an event, produce and distribute information about that event worldwide in a matter of hours.

http://kauainet.wiki.zoho.com/ConConForum.html

Larry said...

PEG providers??? Gee, Ed, you're carrying around a giant chip on your shoulder. I won't go near it here. Except that I'm confused about why you're so passionate about something you later said is irrelevant. But nevermind.

I didn't disagree with what you said about my writing, but now you're in a different place, and so I'll just leave you there with it.

It wouldn't matter what I say anyway, would it?

You'll take your path and I'll take mine, and that's fine with me.

Ed Coll said...

Larry wrote; "It wouldn't matter what I say anyway, would it?"

Of course it would, but I have never heard you say anything beyond "you and I just disagree" (regardless of forum) and then you continue to advocate your position without addressing counter arguments. Although PEG is irrelevant in terms of free speech it is like the living dead in terms of using valuable citizen resources under the guise of promoting free speech, as it claims to be "building community" which you advocated doing in your original post.

Regarding your confusion about my passion; My professional background is in documentary film making, Public Access Television director (KHET), and instructional technology. All that's fine for top down communications, but I am most interested in promoting bottom-up (expanding the floor of the cage) communications as an agent of positive social change. I was at the birth of public access TV (in 1969 with the introduction of the Sony Port-a-pak). I saw the power to transform community through individuals expressing the uncensored diversity of ideas, and I witnessed the death of public access here in Hawaii at the hands of greedy third party interventionists.

It's not that public access doesn't work, but because it represented "the threat of a good idea" it was not allowed to work. Not really all that passionate either, but like Bolivian miner radio public access TV serves as a good historical example of how even a good idea can be subverted by anti-democratic forces that fear loosing their privileged positions.

A historical note on Bolivian Miner Radio:
[During this time, miner's unions in Bolivia were very powerful and considered among the most important and politically advanced of Latin America. In times of peace and democracy, the role of radio stations was very important in connecting the community. In times of political upheaval the union radio stations would become the only trustworthy source of information. As the military took over journals , radio and tv stations in the capital and bigger cities, the only trustworthy information would come from the miner's radio stations. When the army penetrated the mining camps and attacked the stations, they were usually defended to the death by the union workers. "The Courage of the People", a film by Jorge Sanjines, reenacts the attack on one of the mining districts by the army in June 1967.]

So I'm more than willing to discuss the issue in any forum of your choosing, but I'm done here (as your response was a dismissive ad hominem argument). Thanks Joan.

Larry said...

Bolivian miner radio????

In case you hadn't noticed, Ed, I didn't come here to discuss either radio or TV, especially in Bolivia.

The conversation was about financial crisis, militarization, etc., maybe a little democracy. The warping towards all kinds of other things was your choice, but these are comments on a great article that Joan wrote, not on your obsession with PEG services.

I have no intention of going to Bolivia here. Blog comments have their uses, and I do respect your thinking on PEG access, even if I do not agree, but no, this is neither the time nor place nor subject I came to comment about.

nunya said...

Ed Coll said, "..Better leave bad enough alone. The same propaganda technique is now being used by the powers that be as an argument against having a con con."

Don't get ya... Are you saying it's a bad thing NOT to have a con-con?

Ed Coll said...

Larry wrote; "The conversation was about financial crisis, militarization, etc., maybe a little democracy"

You talked about Democracy Now, troop deployment,and "meet in our communities and create our own new American economics and democracy." Bolivia Miner Radio was about economic justice, democracy, building community and troop deployment. Public Access TV providers constantly talk about "community building." My comments seemed pretty on topic to me.

Nynya wrote; "Are you saying it's a bad thing NOT to have a con-con?"

No I am not saying it's a bad thing NOT to have a con-con, but that does not mean those who oppose a con-con (and those that favor a con-con) are not using propaganda in an attempt to influence people with the opposite viewpoint.

Ed Coll said...

Final Note to Larry,

Your failure to see the connection to Bolivia Miner Radio and the topic of discussion is perhaps why you failed to make the connection between Leonard Cohen and the topic of discussion. Overdrawn at the memory banks and unable to engage in divergent thought processes is like wearing blinders that limit insight. Even the name of Joan's blog "KauaiEclectic" pays tribute to a conceptual approach that does not hold rigidly to a single paradigm or set of assumptions, but instead draws upon multiple theories, styles, or ideas to gain complementary insights into a subject. The reverse is known as being short sighted. I'm off the hand out leaflets to shoreline fishermen explaining the relationship of the Superferry to resource depletion on Kauai. You have a great day!

Anonymous said...

Where exactly are the "progressive Democrats", or even a real liberal? I don't expect the right wing to be upset, but no one's home on the left.

If this thread is any indication, they're where they've always been ever since there was a left...busy cannibalizing themselves. They say "eat the rich" but all they ever do is eat each other.

Anonymous said...

You can't eat the rich their are two few of them.

Anonymous said...

Listen to what Ayers says, and how admirable and desirable it sounds: "Participatory democracy, by contrast, requires free people coming together, voluntarily as equals who are capable of both self-realization and, at the same time, full participation in a shared political and economic life."

Now, in concrete terms, what does he have in mind by this? The Venezuela of Hugo Chavez.

Ed? Larry? Are you guys really on board for that?

Ed Coll said...

Anon wrote that Ayers said, "Participatory democracy, by contrast, requires free people coming together, voluntarily as equals who are capable of both self-realization and, at the same time, full participation in a shared political and economic life."

"Ed? Larry? Are you guys really on board for that?"

Not sure what Ayer's was contrasting his statement with but it sounds good to me. As Col. John Boyd (USAF) the foremost military strategist since Sun Tzu wrote; "Everyone wants to survive and more importantly on their own terms." Ayers' statement seems a reasonable way to allow that to occur. Seems much better than George Bush favoring a dictatorship (as long as he's the dictator). Regarding Hugo, I'll defer to the Venezuelan people that overwhelmingly elected him in an internationally monitored election (unlike the ones we have here in the USA).

nunya said...

Give me a leader like Hugo Chavez...anyday. What's the matter with some of you people? And to think you actually voted for that lobotomized replica of a human, TWICE !

Anonymous said...

I'm not for anyone/anything that will reduce my assets or lifestyle.

No Hugo for me.

I don't play well with others and never share.

Anonymous said...

Hugo to USA:

"Call me someday when you have no class."