Politics: May 2007 Archives
Where is the outrage over Guantanamo, seven months after the election? Why hasn't our political "detainment" camp in Cuba, our festering national disgrace, been shut down yet?
And while I'm on the subject, where is my right to habeas corpus? Where is my right to protection from coercion or torture? Where is my right to privacy? Where is my right to assemble and speak? Where is my country?
Why don't these absolutely fundamental issues even appear to be on the agenda of a newly-ascendant Democratic Congressional caucus?
I'm afraid I may already know the answers to these questions: Its leaders are actually quite content, even happy, with the way things have been arranged by the current regime, since they can now look forward to enjoying the spoils themselves when the Presidency passes to their team twenty months from now.
In 2009 it will become their oil, their war, their empire, their lobby money, their regime, and we may well find that we have only traded one king for another.
If this is a democracy, we're all tyrants - and beasts.
I will probably be repeating this post regularly, since I don't expect things to change soon, if ever.
[image, otherwise unattributed, via salvationinc]
like a bad penny
I cannot hide it any longer: We arrived back from Spain Wednesday afternoon. Our luggage, having decided to extend the holiday for another day, arrived at our door 24 hours later, sadder but a little wiser. Next time there will be no dawn check-ins at a remote airport for a connection to a Transatlantic flight.
I have tons of images from our trip to Spain which I'd like to put up on this site. I'm going to keep putting more up until I get distracted by the next new thing.
Unfortunately I really am very easily diverted. Witness my delight in one of today's biggest news stories and my failure to resist looking back almost four years to three of the entries on this site which dealt with Paul Wolfowitz - in one of his earlier incarnations. Too bad he's never gotten fired for his real failures and crimes: total personal incompetence and state murder on an international scale.
Don Bachardy Gore Vidal 1963 pencil and ink wash
"From George Washington to George Bush makes a monkey out of Darwin. [pause] I'm now a creationist."
And so, punctuating himself with a mischievous smile and a composed chuckle, did Gore Vidal introduce himself before speaking to a group of enthusiastic admirers (many of whom had brought stacks of the great man's books for his signing). The scene was the Borders store on Columbus Circle yesterday afternoon. The iconic, and iconoclastic, Leftist author, historian and "homosexualist" was in town because he was being honored with the first PEN/Borders Literary Service Award during last night's PEN Literary Gala.
Vidal reminisced about the era in America past when, if you had scoundrels in office, "you'd hold and election and you'd get them out." He spoke lovingly of his close relationship, as a boy who loved reading, to his blind Grandfather, the Oklahoma Senator Thomas Pryor Gore, who played an extremely significant role in our federal system as a player in a very different political age. But not completely different, as he indicated when he told us that although the populist, anti-foreign war Senator was an atheist, he had the good sense not to share that fact with his constituents.
Knowing the audience would be interested in his opinion on the subject of the next election, he encouraged us to "Vote for Al Gore," insisting that Gore did win the 2000 election and was only prevented from assuming the office by the Supreme Court. He also dropped a good word for Pelosi and Kucinich.
He told us he never reads at a book signing, since it's enough work just to write them, and he would prefer leaving the reading to others. So he asked for the mind or sense of the audience; what did we want to talk about about? There was a brief hesitation, so I shouted out, "revolution!", which seemed to take him by surprise for a moment. He answered, Revolutions don't usually end well", and went on to look for another subject before I thought to retort with a list of those that did, restructurings all provoked by the impossibility of any moderate alternative.
For someone who dismisses the idea of rebellion so lightly, he fails to offer the rest of us any hope, any alternative. "We have rogues in high office and no one wants to do anything about them", he bellowed. We were very fortunate in our founders, but today "We have no republic".
Answering a question about 9/11, he admitted, "I'm not a conspiracy theorist; I'm a conspiracy analyst." He said that this gang in the White House would never have been able to pull it off; everything they do is screwed up completely. On the other hand, he suggested, it would be possible for them to have just stood aside when they learned it was happening. "I'd like to blame them", Vidal concluded, but he wouldn't go any further.
[Don Bachardy drawing from americanartists]