smorgasbord of bad things....
(updated at bottom)
I've been seeing so many bad things over the last couple of months and I've been wanting to consider them for some time so some of these are dated. That said, these issues have been knawing at me for some time and it's important to give them ass much daylight as possible so all, uh, 0 readers of this blog, can know about them. Anyway, herewith, some large portions of my head the last couple months:
- If one of the most horrific casualties of the last 6.5 years of Clusterfuck of America isn't Jose Padilla, I don't know who is. It would appear from this transcript of Democracy Now that Jose Padilla has undergone Stockholm Syndrome and was concerned about possible ill effects that his testimony might have on the Bush administration. That is to say, he had been so brainwashed that he had been convinced of the justness of the Bush administration and the persecuting tendencies of an allegedly hostile media and society. I listened to the show and it's frequently heartbreaking, but this one was sad to an even greater extent. Given that Padilla had been held for over 3.5 years without ANY access to anyone. He was kept in extreme isolation, to the extent that he was denied access even to a lawyer for all that time. Reading his lawyer's reflections and thoughts about Padilla's state of mind and his experience in detention, it is truly tragic that a man against whom charges were diminished significantly as the Bush administration attempted to avoid the embarassment of one of its allegedly key victories in the war on turrr amounting to nothing, has of course been most grievously affected by such unjust and finally unjustified treatment. To hear his lawyer reflecting on Padilla's experiences and his state of mind now which seems to have been irreparably harmed by his detention experiences is one of the saddest, and most tragic things I have ever read.
- The recent surge "debate" has also been one of the weirdest things I have ever seen. Really, it's no wonder Americans like movies which are completely incoherent and just a clusterfuck of ill-conceived and irrational premises. I'm not averse to the occasional escapist movie, but it doesn't seem to matter how stupid or ridiculous a movie is, it's described by too many viewers as awesome or kick-ass, or whatever. When I point out the complete severing from reality and physical laws, I see eyes glaze over and/or the old canard, aw shoot, it's just one movie. But yet all these ridiculous movies make a lot of money. My point is Americans seem to have a high tolerance for bullshit. They can claims simultaneously that they are attached to reality while enjoying movies like "Saw" and its sequel, all the Scary Movie movies, "Hostel" (when I've been to Mexico and met Americans who didn't even know what a youth hostel was!!!!! (unthinkable for a young European traveller), and numerous others.
So it's not surprising that they'll tolerate bullshit from Tony Snow about the supposed, well at least not failure, and possibly success, of the surge, regardless of the fact that casualties have actually gotten larger overall in Iraq. Yeah, perhaps they've gotten smaller in Baghdad. That's where most of the surge troops were posted. It's just that the violence migrated to other parts of the country instead.
- Well, on a positive note, I should include some wonderful music videos which I found recently. The first one is an incendiary-seriously, make sure your computer isn't too hot when you play this because this performance might just ignite the battery-performance by the late, great, Stevie Ray Vaughan and Stevie Wonder, back in '86. Stevie Ray had asked to visit Stevie Wonder and Stevie obliged and you get the whole performance, live and uninterrupted. The second one is Stevie Wonder doing "Higher Ground" back in the day, just a live bass, rhythm section, again, make sure you are using your computer in a freezer because the heat of this performance might just set your computer off. And the third one is a bit more Stevie Ray Vaughan, this time at the Montreux Jazz Festival in 1988, tearing through an old favorite, "Willie The Wimp."
- OK, one more hit. Ahmadinejad was in New York today, speaking at the United Nations and Columbia. Of course the media gets its knickers in a twist over "such a controversial" figure being here. And yeah, Ahmadinejad's views on the Holocaust are disgraceful, his view that there are no gay people in Iran is disgraceful. But again, we have helped people like Laurent Kabila, Mobutu Sese Seko; we've supported people like Carlos Menem who went along with the IMF dismantling of the Argentine economy and has been investigated for some time over corruption charges; we've supported people like Fujimori of Chile who is under investigation for financial abuses and human rights violations. And now, Ahmadinejad, who is clearly the other side of the same coin from W, is using official American antagonism toward Iran (it ain't comin' from me-no Iranian ever hurt me) to strengthen support for his leadership. And really, when someone is backed into a corner, is it surprising that their people will stick to their side?.
Still an' all, what has Ahmadinejad done to America yet? They tried to reach an agreement with us in 2003 in order to avoid conflict in the Middle East. Ahmadinejad has claimed that Iran is conducting nuclear development in order to increase their industrial capacity which is well within their rights. They are adhering to IAEA guidelines on the development of nuclear power. So really, there is no problem except Bush being pestered by his right wing and some of the religious fanatics in his group to hit Iran. That's it.
UPDATE: added spaces between links to three music videos.