The Friends of California Libre...

29 June 2005

America: A Firework with an Unlit Fuse

Greetings, friends,
First of all, anyone in LA interested in seeing ATTACK OF THE MUSHROOM PEOPLE? It's today (Wednesday) at 7.30 at the Egyptian. If you're thinking, "Attack of the WHAT?" then read this:

Tonight I saw this hilarious documentary about Patty Hearst and the SLA, done like a rock video with creepy, thumping music and plenty of snide juxtapositions to get across the point that those people were out of this world. It made me proud to be a Berkeley grad, that's for certain, and I take back all the apologies I made for whatever while I was there. This is the first time I've ever gotten a good look at the video of the Hibernia Bank robbery that "Tania" was supposedly brainwashed into spotting for, or heard the tapes she made for her "fascist pig" parents. Sometimes I think I would have been laughing too hard in the Sixties to really get anything out of it; lucky I was only 9 when they caught Patty Hearst and (almost) made her pay for her crimes.

Speaking of urban guerrillas and the "fascist insects", I saw the BUG MAN today! For the majority of you who don't know, there is a guy in Los Angeles who runs a charity distributing ladybirds to homeless people for them to sell; one in particular, the Bug Man, is well-known in my neighborhood because he hangs out in front of the Astro, our local 24-hour coffee shop, mumbling "Bugs, bugs," selling little plastic bubbles full of ladybirds for $1. Anyway, I hadn't seen him in YEARS and assumed he was dead, like all the other homeless I can identify by name, but today there he was in front of the Astro. And yes, I did buy some ladybirds to scatter on my plants. They eat aphids! And they can brighten up your day (keep reading as I darken it).

Yesterday I received my bank statement from the month I was in France, and I must admit, even with the slight devaluation of the euro after the French "non" vote on the Constitution, Europe is EXPENSIVE. For example, just now do I realize how much fuel cost (between $40 and $50 to fill up the 30 litre tank in my roachy Citroen; that's about EIGHT GALLONS!!!), or how about $40 to buy my friends three ONE-WAY tickets from the airport to Paris, or worst of all, almost $40 for a MONOPOLY game! WOW! And I haven't even gotten the bill for the books, which were charged to a different card, but I figure it's over $500. Yikes!

Still, as I kept saying, you get what you pay for. If you want that good ol' European feeling, you have to shell out for it. I never felt cheated, and the important things in life (as Christine pointed out to me, thank you, darlink) are relatively cheap there.

The best things in life, if not stolen at gunpoint hangin' with Patty, are generally gratis:
Grapefruit May Make Women Seem Younger

Anyway, what's up with HERBIE: FULLY LOADED? Are these people serious? Do they not know what really happened in the 70s? Or are they, like many Americans, "fully loaded"? I also wanted to note that, if you need another laugh, my friend Mark Norris is also providing the goods at his blog:
"Fist Biscuit" will be dedicated to the axiom that the truth will set you kinda free.

In the meantime, I pour it on thick and hot for this wild 4 July, where we're going to celebrate all the great accomplishments of our country for the last 229 years. For example, with some help from China and Europe (thanks for the steam engine!), we're definitely progressing nicely in winning "freedom" for all those water molecules frozen at the Poles:
Inuit to File Anti-US Climate Petition
It's Not Just Eskimos in Bikinis: Climate Helter-Skelter in the Lower 48
By Chip Ward
Climate: Doubt Is Lifted
By Louis-Gilles Francoeur
Le Devoir
How Warming Is Changing the Wild Kingdom
By Ker Than
Scientists take note of shifts in animal behavior.

Well, we just put a new entrance by the Los Angeles Zoo, so there's an answer. I wonder if we'll be able to put a new entrance on the Earth:
New US Move to Spoil Climate Accord
By Mark Townsend
The Observer UK
US Pressure Weakens G-8 Climate Plan
By Juliet Eilperin
The Washington Post
Global-warming science assailed.

Like my friends in Savage Republic used to say, THE DANGER IS REAL:
Giant Popsicle Melts, Floods NYC Park

Sure, Mr. Bush and his friends see another quick way to make a buck, even as the world goes to hell in a handbasket, but their pipe dreams don't even have the backing of American businessmen:
Small-Scale Competitors Beat Nuclear Power
Rocky Mountain Institute
Environmental Media Services
Nuclear power's scorned small-scale competitors are walloping it in the marketplace, Rocky Mountain Institute research shows.

They don't have the support of the most corrupt of the corrupt oil regimes we've been propping up since the 1940s:
Matt Simmons' Bombshell: The Impending Decline of Saudi Oil Output
By Michael T. Klare

They don't even have the support of the OIL COMPANIES!
'The Boat Is Sinking'
By Aida Edemariam
The Guardian UK
As our appetite for oil hastens climate change, who will speak out for the alternatives? One possible champion is Lord Ron Oxburgh, the distinguished geologist who also happens to be chairman of Shell. He tells Aida Edemariam why the time for complacency is over.

But Republican or Democrat, the great corporations still have a way of flexing their muscle, at the most basic level of survival, that even the Christians can admire from afar:
Industry Aims to Strip Local Control of Food Supply
By Britt Bailey, Environmental Commons, and Brian Tokar, Institute for Social Ecology
New laws being pushed by industry prevent local decisions about plants and seeds.

It's a tough time to be an enemy of "freedom":
Sacre bleu! Waiters fired for being French?

Still, I was glad to see that some of our fellow sentient being on planet Earth got another reprieve from genocide; there's real freedom:
Commission Upholds Ban on Commercial Whaling
The Associated Press

I just don't know how long it will last.
Whale burger on menu at Japanese fast food chain

I'm trying to distract myself with fine dining and individual achievement, as I did in Paris, but even there I find there's discord and "disgruntlement":
Wimbledon referee makes a noise over grunting
Tennis players should be dis-gruntled?

It was Mme. Una who told me that Mlle. Sharapova, in particular, was recorded as moaning louder than an airplane taking off (about 100 db) but that doesn't make me think the less of her.
Tennis glam girl Sharapova back in Japan -- on postage stamps

Seriously, though, there are always reasons to have hope. For example, my favorite poet just got another work published 26 centuries after she sang it:
Lost Sappho love poem published after 2,600 years

My favorite poem by Mme. Sappho, which I once wrote inside a pair of earrings under the influence of high romance, was this:
Without warning
as a whirlwind
swoops on an oak
Love shakes my heart

Anyway, to segue back into the nasty reality, there's the thought that even Sappho might be censored if we wait around long enough, wondering who will draw the line and where it might be.
President Urges Congress to Make Patriot Act Permanent
By Jennifer Loven
The Associated Press
Early Version of New Patriot Act Gives Administration Everything It Asks For, GOP Aides Say
By Mark Sherman
The Associated Press
Senate Gives FBI More Patriot Act Power
The Associated Press

There is a small hope for the future; even Republicans have a limit to how far they can stretch the lie of "freedom":
House Votes to Limit Patriot Act Rules
By Andrew Taylor
The Associated Press

And rightly so; they certainly lied about not using their powers against me and my colleagues:
Law officers seek library patron data - survey

Not that the US is the only uptight scene; man, did what the Canadians finally did with the infamous "baggage handler", Frank, of Penticton:
Vandalized Nude Statue Moved to Winery

But seriously, here in the US we aren't talking about one poem, or a single statue. We're talking about a fundamental destruction of every shred of culture that doesn't meet the new "norm", that doesn't conform to the new idea of "freedom" which we'll be celebrating on this 4 July. We're talking about cleansing even the softest and least controversial (but broadest) public voice for reason in the country:
The Battle for PBS
By Bill Moyers
In These Times
Destroying PBS
By Molly Ivins
Creators Syndicate
Public Broadcasting Targeted by House
By Paul Farhi
The Washington Post
Panel seeks to end CPB's funding within 2 years.
Public Broadcasting Funds May Be Halved
By Matea Gold and Jube Shiver
The Los Angeles Times

Sure, there was a backlash from the "liberals" who believe in the old kind of "freedom":
Outcry Grows over Public TV, Radio
By Matea Gold and Jube Shiver Jr.
The Los Angeles Times

But the wolf is guarding the henhouse:
A Different Reception For Public Broadcasting
By Paul Farhi
The Washington Post

For years this "Save PBS" campaign circulated, becoming an urban legend; but now it's not a joke:

This time, the Christians are coming to get revenge for all the money dumped into science and those other "secular" causes. The PBS cuts are for real, and even if signing petitions and calling Congressmen and Congresswomen "saved" $100 million in cuts, that's just half of the $200 million that was chopped. That's a lot of free speech, friends.

You can still, I think, sign the PBS petition and keep it growing (thanks, Sergei):
Subject: This time, it's for real: Save NPR and PBS
You know that email petition that keeps circulating about how Congress is
slashing funding for NPR and PBS? Well, now it's actually true. (Really.
Check at the bottom if you don't believe me.)
Sign the petition telling Congress to save NPR and PBS:

The Christians, meanwhile, don't rest in their attempt to turn America back to the 17th century, when sinner rotted in the stocks and the Church was the backbone of society. They're going to make you look at monuments to their law, and then they'll make you live by it:
Christian Groups Plan More Monuments
By Alan Cooperman
The Washington Post
Many expect confusion and litigation on ten commandments to continue.
In God We Trust: America's Rising Religious Zealotry
By Andrew Buncombe
The Independent UK

And there's no room for disagreement, because the word of the Lord is the WORD, and just in case there's really no hell they'll make this world a hell:
The New Blacklist
By Doug Ireland
The LA Weekly
Corporate America is bowing to anti-gay Christian groups' boycott demands.

They'll make their ignorance and superstition, flying in the face of every the universe has shown us, the law of the land:
Darwin's Theory Evolves into Culture War
By Lisa Anderson
The Chicago Tribune
Monkey Trial or Kangaroo Court?
By Stan Cox
In three days of testimony in Kansas, witnesses painted a picture of evolutionary biology as a tyrannical discipline that can be salvaged only by admitting the bright light of the supernatural.

And trust me, the most personal rights will be trampled upon by these obese, smiling evangelists, who would impose upon the entire world their vision of Armageddon:
Supreme Court Agrees to Hear Abortion Case
The Associated Press

At least we'll be in good company with the other countries we're propping up:
Colombia: Women Face Prison for Abortion
Human Rights Watch

Not to mention poor Iraq, such a nice country that even deserting the military has become fashionable again:
Navy Judge Finds War Protest Reasonable
By Marjorie Cohn
t r u t h o u t Report

Because when those vets come back, friends, it's going to be like the early 1970s all over again:
Advocates See Veterans of War on Terror Joining the Ranks of the Homeless
By Leo Shane III
Stars and Stripes

But there are plenty more soldiers where they came from:
Pentagon Creating Student Database
By Jonathan Krim
The Washington Post
Recruiting tool for military raises privacy concerns.

Yep, the Christians must be right, with the Lord as our guide, how could we want for anything. No doubt our enemies will be proven wrong, just as the Church predicted they would be proven wrong 1500 years ago:
The Scourge of Militarism: Rome and America
By Chalmers Johnson

NOPE, it's all out war, friends, and they're going to hold out poor, bleeding Jesus like he was made of Kevlar.

Not that our government knows how to go about running a Christian hegemony. I mean, could you pick a bigger asshole, or ram him down the world's throat in a less obvious way?
White House Does Not Rule Out Bolton Recess Appointment

Subtlety has never been a strong point with these goons:
GOP Committee Targets International Red Cross
By Sonni Efron
The Los Angeles Times

AND HERE'S my big warning to my friends across the oceans and over the borders...there is no place, and no amount of "freedom", that you can hide behind. The tyranny of oil and greed is absolute to the bitter end.
Air Force Seeks Bush's Approval for Space Weapons Programs
By Tim Weiner
The New York Times
Weapons in Space
The New York Times Editorial

The only way to fight back, I fear, will look as ridiculous as Patty Hearst with that machine-gun.
Man With Bong Attacks Police Dispatcher - Yahoo! News

And all credit to Mr. Senftner, natch, for the magnet I'd like to put on the back of my giant VW SUV. See y'all when I come back from Santa Cruz next week, and vive le screed!

1 comment :

Anonymous said...

Awesome blog, I hadn't noticed earlier in my searches!
Keep up the great work!

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