Saturday, October 28, 2006

He's A Soldier Now, You Know


John Brown went off to war to fight on a foreign shore.
His mama sure was proud of him!
He stood straight and tall in his uniform and all.
His mama's face broke out all in a grin.

"Oh son, you look so fine, I'm glad you're a son of mine,
You make me proud to know you hold a gun.
Do what the captain says, lots of medals you will get,
And we'll put them on the wall when you come home."

As that old train pulled out, John's ma began to shout,
Tellin' ev'ryone in the neighborhood:
"That's my son that's about to go, he's a soldier now, you know."
She made well sure her neighbors understood.

She got a letter once in a while and her face broke into a smile
As she showed them to the people from next door.
And she bragged about her son with his uniform and gun,
And these things you called a good old-fashioned war.

Oh! Good old-fashioned war!

Then the letters ceased to come, for a long time they did not come.
They ceased to come for about ten months or more.
Then a letter finally came saying, "Go down and meet the train.
Your son's a-coming home from the war."

She smiled and went right down, she looked everywhere around
But she could not see her soldier son in sight.
But as all the people passed, she saw her son at last,
When she did she could hardly believe her eyes.

Oh his face was all shot up and his hand was all blown off
And he wore a metal brace around his waist.
He whispered kind of slow, in a voice she did not know,
While she couldn't even recognize his face!

Oh! Lord! Not even recognize his face.

"Oh tell me, my darling son, pray tell me what they done.
How is it you come to be this way?"
He tried his best to talk but his mouth could hardly move
And the mother had to turn her face away.

"Don't you remember, Ma, when I went off to war
You thought it was the best thing I could do?
I was on the battleground, you were home . . . acting proud.
You wasn't there standing in my shoes."

"Oh, and I thought when I was there, God, what am I doing here?
I'm a-tryin' to kill somebody or die tryin'.
But the thing that scared me most was when my enemy came close
And I saw that his face looked just like mine."

Oh! Lord! Just like mine!

"And I couldn't help but think, through the thunder rolling and stink,
That I was just a puppet in a play.
And through the roar and smoke, this string is finally broke,
And a cannon ball blew my eyes away."

As he turned away to walk, his Ma was still in shock
At seein' the metal brace that helped him stand.
But as he turned to go, he called his mother close
And he dropped his medals down into her hand.

John Brown, by Bob Dylan

Sunday, October 22, 2006

The Bus Ride Of Your Life


All too often, life is like riding a bus that goes nowhere. But, now there's a bus that goes all the way to the end of the line. If you're a Chinese citizen, and you've committed one of sixty eight different crimes punishable by death, then you will be riding this bus, and you don't get a transfer. You will, however, get a lethal injection, and, possibly, your organs will be harvested. And, this is being labeled as humane, and a step up the evolutionary ladder from the tradition firing squad.

Thank you, but just shoot me rather than strapping me onto a gurney and hauling me into a mobile death bus for a short death ride around the block. Looking like something out of the movie Soylent Green, this monstrosity represents our worst nightmares. To reflect on it is to experience the kind of cognitive dissonance that drives men into the desert, or to the mountains, or on that arduous journey to the corner bar.

Meanwhile, another kind of tough love is being meted out in Gaza, and it's causing internal organs to be cooked,
limbs to be severed, and other various mutilations. The use of this kind of weaponry is unthinkable, and yet, it is being put to use on rock-throwers in order to inflict the very worst kind of punishment. I guess if you start with kids torturing insects with a magnifying glass and project out from there, the psychology of this phenomena becomes apparent. It's cruelty over vindictiveness, and it has no place in a civilized world. But, if you can think of it, someone will build it. The satyrs won't be sated until every river turns red with the blood of those who oppose them. But, it's all just life's rich pageant, isn't it?

This Halloween, if you go trick or treating in the neighborhood of the elites, you might be offered something special. Bon appetit, there's plenty to go around.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Are We Terrorists Yet?

Given the latest declarations, regulations, and threats, it seems that another turn of the screw for bloggers is at hand, and it may be the one that turns us out. It's definately an Orange Alert for those of us at odds with the current power structure.

Michael Chertoff, head of Homeland Security, says that the net is a training ground for terrorists. Does that mean when you read blogs about 9/11 complicity, election fraud, falsely-prosecuted war, and dictatorial power-grabs, you're on the way to becoming a terrorist? If so, then there sure are a lot of us on those slippery slopes. At any rate, it sounds like Mr. Chertoff is unhappy, and is getting ready to do something about it. And, we know that dual-citizen neocons don't often make idle threats.

Investigative reporter Greg Palast narrowly escaped arrest by Homeland Security on terrorist charges when he took an ABC film crew to a FEMA Katrina victim internment camp in Louisiana, situated next to a very toxic Exxon refinery. I guess it's an act of terrorism to let on that such refineries are to be found in that area, thus making them vulnerable to terrorism. Damn, Greg, what were you thinking? Do try to stay out of trouble in the future.

Last year, a group of Quaker anti-war demonstrators were classified in a Department of Defense intelligence database as a potential terrorist threat. No surprise there, given all the bomb-throwing, rocket-launching Quakers there are in the world. The DOD now claims that the inclusion was in error, and just a rush to judgement. How many more such errors might we expect in the future? I'd say that Quakers, bloggers, whistleblowers, constitutionalists, activists, muckrakers, malcontents, and other honest people are all in the same camp now. No pun intended, but Halliburton did get a 385 million-dollar contract to build internment camps throughout the U.S. If you do the math, it sounds like enough housing for a million or so people. Unless these are Scared Straight camps for Republicans, I'd say we have reason for concern here.

Meanwhile, an end-around on bloggers in regard to 'net neutrality' is underway. Runaway bandwidth charges from phone and cable companies threaten to pull the rug out from under offending citizen journalists. And, video bloggers are now at risk from a EU directive aimed at bringing the internet under broadcasting regulations, which would severely curtail such activity. The playing field is rapidly changing, and the desire and willingness to bring dissenters to heel is now far beyond the talking stage. They're doing it.

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Lord Of The Lies


I'm beginning to wonder if it isn't time to start hiding our children in caves and abandoned coal mines to keep them from the grips of this decidedly demonic ruling elite. Looking over some of the recent child-related laws passed or on the verge of passing is becoming a surreal experience. A Student Strip Search Bill is now before the Senate, but the timing couldn't be worse. Tom Foley certainly voted for it, but now, no one has to ask why. That it could come to this is incomprehensible, but it's not surprising. It is the year 2006, and we have been torn asunder by the New Romans. No doubt about it, we've seen better times.

In addition to exploiting children for their pedophilic needs, Republicans have been on the march to create a standardized mental illness screening program aimed at diagnosing children. I guess psychiatric drug profits just won't be satisfying enough until every other child is doped up with some soul-numbing, creativity-destroying medication. All the better to make Republicans out of them, I suppose. To thank for this heartless scenario, we have the Rockefellers and their myriad foundations that have railroaded medical research down the narrow path of pharmaceuticals. If you don't believe it, then just try to get a grant to study holistic or alternative medicine. The drug companies are like the Great Wall of China, and you are not to see what is beyond.

Of course, there's the No Child Left Behind law that stealthfully allows military recruiters free reign in public schools. If I had to choose between kids encountering crack dealers or recruiters, it would be an agonizing choice. There's always home schooling, but, hey, who has the time? We can't all be John Lennon. Folks are fighting back, though, and a great many parents and teachers have been up in arms over this intrusion. Recruiters are not particularly welcomed into schools, but they are persistent little bastards, and their tricks make the Scientologists seem like girl scouts selling cookies. These are truly the sirens on the rocks for youngsters who think they're jumping into one big video-game experience with pay and benefits, and haven't been properly mentored to understand what the military has in store for them.

If that isn't bad enough, public schools are starting to resemble high-tech prisons. I.D. tags that allow your child to be electronically tracked are not uncommon. Metal detectors and surveillance cameras are the order of the day. The kind of learning that takes place under these conditions is not what parents should hope for, and the school-shooting phenomena that accounts for it should be examined more closely. All is not what it seems.

The level of manipulation taking place all around us is no less ambitious than that of the Nazis, and, indeed, much of it was imported here at the end of the war. It's difficult to see, or accept, when one is engaged in the day-to-day of just trying to do right by one's family, and that's precisely what makes the elites so smug. What the Nazis did to pull the wool over Germany's head should have been required learning in our schools, but the parallels would have become too obvious. It's tough when we have to find out for ourselves. It's ironic that, on the one hand, we decry the end of innocence for our children, but on the other, we adults are innocent as lambs. As the Irish say, many go out for wool and come back shorn.

Monday, October 02, 2006

Habeas Corpus Is A Corpse

It's a sure sign of the times that we would lose something that has been in existence since the 1300's, and has always served to protect us from the sheer barbarism of arbitrary detainment. I'm not here wondering why, as it has become clear that our elected officials will do anything to keep from having their feet held to the meat grinder. Rep. Mark Foley can tell you all about that. Blackmail is a swell trick for keeping folks in line, and it's a lot less messy than plane crashes. The next time you hear about a legislator suddenly stepping down to "spend more time with the family", you can know that they've been thrown under the bus for not playing along. That plain brown envelope arrives, and they're calling a press conference the very next day.

The pod people will say that you have nothing to fear from the absence of habeas corpus if you aren't doing anything wrong. Defining "wrong" is going to be a tricky matter from here on out, though, and it will certainly be a matter of perspective. If opposing Bush is wrong, then I don't want to be right. But, neither do I relish the thought of being waterboarded, so I'm wondering if it isn't about time to, um, stock up. Top a da woild, Ma. Know what I'm saying? The best thing, of course, is to set sight on a different shore, but not everyone has that opportunity. If you can't take the stand, then it's time to take a stand. The mock in democracy has been thoroughly emphasized, and we are left to try to pick up the pieces. Good luck.