Two excellent articles by Ann Jones and Jeremy Scahill in the current Nation Magazine.The truth is becoming all too apparent, even to those who would rather believe in fairy tales. Jeremy Scahill was one of the participants on The Nation Cruise, and seeing and hearing him gives me hope. That's where hope comes from for me. That a young person is so fiercely idealistic and realistic at the same time: in fact, the younger people were all like that. The older ones, like Jim Hightower and Calvin Trillin, were more to the wise and ironic side, but the young ones were passionate. I must mention Chris Hayes and Melissa Harris-Perry (formerly Lacewell) as also outstanding in their commitment to social change.
Don't be looking for hope in all the wrong places!
Going to be working this weekend on my Nation Cruise summary and photos. Things are moving so fast!
If you've got an hour, take a look at this video that Prof. Z posted of a lecture by journalist Robert Fisk. He explains the way America's military has changed its ideology. No longer citizen soldiers, these men and women have morphed into warriors. The citizen soldier loves peace, but the warrior loves war. And that is why we are in a state of perpetual warfare. I admire Fisk above all other journalists. He has lived for 30 years in the Arab world and knows the people, unlike most of us who don't know the first thing about Arabs.
It's all back room deals buying off legislators. Brandon has a good clip from Democracy Now about the shambles that Arizona has become as a result of demographic shifts, an economy based solely on growth without any manufacturing base, and a state government in collapse due to the slimy activities of corporations operating in secret to influence and buy off State legislators.
The most egregious example of criminal behavior in the State House is the new Immigration Law. Kat Brady sends a link to the NPR expose of this operation. The sole motivation for passing this law, if I may be permitted to sound Marxist here, was monstrous capitalist greed. Note the role of Corrections Corporation of America.
When you're talking "Wake up America," I say, Americans who pay no attention to the way they are getting played for fools by covert corporate operators like these are the ones who need to wake up.
Oh, brother. Harry Reid is practically a Neanderthal (not meaning any disrespect to extinct Hominids in general) but if they elect Sharon Angle they will have truly earned the contempt of all thinking humans.
Coming up in a couple of weeks is downtown Hilo's Black and White Night. Dressing up in black and white clothing is the only requirement to attend, and only if you feel like it, I suppose, or happen to have black and white garments. I think I can find something. This was Montreal native Louise D's inspiration originally, and Hilo native Alice Moon and artist Keena Kam are working hard to make this the best Black and White Night yet.
The area where we had our demo for Abercrombie is the site of Shinmachi, the Japanese town that was swept away in the 1946 tsumami and again in 1960. It is now a spacious park with the statue of King Kamehameha in it. Tsunami are the reason that Hilo remains small and the downtown within the danger zone "quaint." At any time, a huge tsunami could hit low-lying areas here. So it's best to keep things simple and not overbuild.
We are expecting visitors from Portland to call today. Too bad the weather has changed to stormy and rainy and promises to remain so until Saturday. But in the realm of life's problems, that's a small one. We can visit the Tsunami Museum.
About 80 women turned out to wave signs along the Bayfront at rush hour. This sign waving custom is unique to Hawaii, as far as I know. Judging by the shakas and horn honking, it looks good for Neil Abercrombie. We each got a t-shirt and a frozen yogurt. Some stuff! The news people were there, so maybe some better photos tomorrow.
I'm working on this prison reform project and feeling overwhelmed at the prospects that any kind of justice will ever happen for Hawaiians caught up in the system. The big problem, as I see it, and the worry that has me up at 5 a.m., is the amount of covert activity going on as the same old people decide what is going to happen to us all from behind their wall of secrecy. The prison thing is only a part of this. In fact, I have been having dreams about walls that extend all the way to the horizon, blocking out the way forward. I do know that people are working for reform in very daunting circumstances everywhere, and that gives me some hope, but it is so difficult to prevail against groups of powerful people, especially when they never, ever, tell the truth about what they are really up to. But I do know, after being on the The Nation Magazine Cruise, that individual voices still mean something and that groups of people working together can create positive change even in the face of the huge forces massed against them. I've got to believe that!
More: Reading the work of activists and watching video clips of them makes me realize that what I have written above is more or less what they all say. And here I thought that was my very own idea!