The Blue Raccoon

Monday, September 01, 2008

Storm and Stress II
For Labor Day weekend, arrest and detention -- "The world is run by the people who show up."

Even though the Republican Convention in the Twin Cities is getting downscaled due to professed concern for events on the Gulf Coast, individuals who've not committed an illegal act are getting their civil liberties violated. People targeted by law enforcement from a watch list were during Friday-Saturday harassed, detained and arrested -- not because of their getting caught making bad stuff happen, but, theoretically, because they might think about something like civil disobedience.

Yeah, it's morning in America alright. Wake up and smell the official paranoia.

But if we can have preemptive wars, we can preemptive wholesale arrests of people who are sitting in the living rooms of houses who aren't planning to do anything more dangerous than exercise their Constitutional right to assemble.

Gustav is obliterating not just chunks of the Louisiana coast, but any other news, including what of it that might be surrounding the Republican Convention. So far, the only real things that have happened is the hounding of people the Republicans don't like. What little information that contravenes the official meme of the masticated main stream will come out of the InterTubes.

Rich Broderick, writing in the Twin Cities Daily Planet on August 30, concluded with this message of self-empowerment-or-surrender-your-rights:

"Above all we can all step up to the table and acknowledge that our obligations as citizens do not consist solely in voting. We can begin to volunteer to serve on the literally dozens of commissions, boards, and other municipal, county and state organizations currently occupied, by and large, by persons interested in maintaining the status quo. It’s great to rage against the machine. How much better to take over its controls, turn it into an engine of progress and liberation rather than reaction and enslavement.

For Barack Obama is right at least in this: change must come from below, not from some savior descending from on high. As Woody Allen said, the world is run by the people who show up. And it’s high time we all started turning off the television and showing up.

Otherwise, we might as well kiss whatever chance we have of reclaiming the Constitution good-bye."

Glenn Greenwald writes for

"Beyond that, there is a widespread sense that the targets of these raids deserve what they get, even if nothing they've done is remotely illegal. We love to proclaim how much we cherish our "freedoms" in the abstract, but we despise those who actually exercise them. The Constitution, right in the very First Amendment, protects free speech and free assembly precisely because those liberties are central to a healthy republic -- but we've decided that anyone who would actually express truly dissident views or do anything other than sit meekly and quietly in their homes are dirty trouble-makers up to no good, and it's therefore probably for the best if our Government keeps them in check, spies on them, even gets a little rough with them."

For more on these distressing (but not entirely surprising) events go to:

Comments from some YouTubers, and for once, no cursing or attacking each other, at least for these few:

It has not been a left-right issue in decades. BOTH parties are complicit in the abuse of power.The sooner you realize that, the quicker you will not be horribly disappointed come November.There is no difference, they take turns to give illusions
of choice.Learn history to understand how we got to here !

"The means of defense against foreign danger historically have become the instruments of tyranny at home." James Madison


From Afghanistan to our houses ... with machine guns. It's terrifying to think about it and see how fast it went.

After 9/11 goverments started to adopt the belief that EVERYBODY should be under control, because that should increase our safety. Is it a case that the to be intimidated are the best people? Politically aware, critical thinkers. This mechanism is not spontaneous. This is all clearly planned.

I'm italian, living in Amsterdam. Here in Europe the situation is not better.

the fact that the democrats didn't produce a landslide in 2000 and an historic blowout in 2004 was our failure, not a republican victory. both elections were ours to lose. in 2000, the blame was on Donna Brazile and the ultra-left that went with Nader. in 2004, we picked a weak candidate with no ability to respond to attacks.

i have no doubt that there was some vote tampering going on. my point is that it shouldn't have mattered if we had delivered a huge margin of victory.

But Back In Denver...

Billion-eyed audience, in an effort to give you "fair and balanced" bloggage, you should understand that heightened security in Denver for the Democratic convention, that penned up protestors and kept them far away from the Globco Corporate Center, was also the order of the day. But Obama presents a different kind of target, and four yahoos were found who had a cache of weapons, though it wasn't proved they could have commited violence against the candidate even though it seems they wanted to. If this got mentioned, the information slipped by in an off-hand way with the typical flashing of mugshots of the miscreants.

One of this fearsome foursome of fools included a guy going by the name of Tharin Gartrell, who from his photo, looks like he was trying to emulate Vanilla Ice.

The LA Times reported the story (where the image came from), here.

I feel compelled to point out that at Denver, the reactionary nutjobs were planning for lethal action. The crunchy earthy hippies in the Twin Cities may have had a jar of urine. Just sayin'.

A jurassic radical, Tom Hayden, flacking his most recent book, lamented the current state of The Now, and said, among other things -- as quoted in the Huffington Post -- and he points out that if there is protest, and nobody listens, there is no protest:

"Hayden observes that "there is a new social movement on a vast scale" centered right now in the Obama Campaign. "These young people will plant seeds for the next twenty-five years." But they are "small-d" Democrats, Hayden says, and they are environmentalists and idealists. "They don't want a war in :Pakistan!" And "if Obama loses, which I think he might," Hayden says, nevertheless the Democratic Party will have grown bigger. As for Obama, "he is losing. He is gonna lose the electoral college."

Hayden does offer a taste of Obama hope. "He gets one more chance to reboot, re-orient, redeploy." He offers the example of the Obama ad campaign on the McCain houses as a primer on how rebooting works these days. According to Hayden, some young investigators financed by Brave New Films in Los Angeles went to Arizona and filmed all the McCain homes and put the video on Youtube. Although the video went viral, nothing happened politically until a reporter from Politico saw it and then had a chance to ask John McCain himself the now-famous number question. Only then, Hayden reminded us, did the Obama team jump on. "Outsiders triggering situations -- that's the only way to win."

You can read his pronouncements here.

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