Quiet Storms

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Four score and twenty betrayals ago, when Barack Obama was posturing as a transformational leader, when he was promising government of the people, by the people, and for the people, he spoke of the core values progressives have always believed in as the solution to America’s problems . . .  

That spirit of looking out for one another, that core value that says I am my brothers keeper, I am my sister’s keeper, that spirit is most evident during times of great hardship, but that spirit can’t just be restricted to moments of great catastrophe.  Because as I stand here and look out at the thousands of folks who have gathered here today, I know that there’s some folks who are going through their own quiet storms.

Hurricane Ike had just hit the gulf coast of Texas, Wall Street was about to implode, the foundations of the economy were crumbling, Americans everywhere were losing their jobs, their homes, their last remnants of trust in the government . . .

All across America there are quiet storms taking place.  There are lives of quiet desperation. People who need just a little bit of help.  Now, Americans are a self-reliant people, we’re an independent people.  We don’t like asking somebody else to do what we can do ourselves, but you know what we understand is that every once in awhile, somebody’s going to get knocked down.

Every once in awhile . . .

Yes, and every once in awhile, the sun comes up.  Then, every once in awhile, it goes down again.  

Low income Americans get knocked down every day, middle class Americans get knocked down every day, seniors on fixed incomes get knocked down every day.  Republicans knocked them down for 30 years, and now Barack Obama and that gang of corporate enforcers that used to be the Democratic Party are doing it.  A punch in the face is a punch in the face.  Analyze that, Beltway Republicrats.  When Americans are flat on their back all the time, they don’t give a damn whether the fist that knocked them down was a Republican fist or a Democratic fist.  A corporate fist is a corporate fist.  Whistle past that graveyard, Obamabots.  Have an “ideologue” diary contest, fill that wreck list of yours with “ideologue” ravings and let’s all see who can clap the loudest.


Every time Americans try to get up they get punched to the ground again, by health insurance profiteers, by bankers and predatory lenders, by credit card company and drug company and oil company thugs.  Those profit-addicted junkies in their crack house corporations can call it “free market capitalism” all they want, but that’s not what it is.

It’s a highway of diamonds with nobody on it, it’s a black branch with blood that keeps dripping, it’s a walk through the depths of the deepest dark forest, where the people are many and their hands are all empty, where the pellets of poison are flooding their waters, where the home in the valley meets the damp, dirty prison, where the executioner’s face is always well hidden, where hunger is ugly, where souls are forgotten.

Turn off the network “news”.  Put the petitions away.   Hang up the phone.  Forget about calling Congress.  You don’t need to watch TV to know what the “news” will be, you don’t need to send petitions you know will be ignored, you don’t need to call Congress to know what the answer’s going to be.

Bob Dylan was right 40 years ago, and he’s still right.    

Bob Dylan Quote Pictures, Images and Photos

Those quiet storms Obama talked about before Rahm handed him a club and told him to use it on all the wrong people won’t be quiet storms much longer.  There are too many quiet storms, there’s too much suffering, there are too many consequences piling up, the silence is not going to last, the biggest storm this country’s ever seen is heading our way and there won’t be anything quiet about it.

It would be wise to get ready for that.    

I remember the protesters at the Republican Convention in St. Paul.  I remember their courage.  They were the heart and soul of change we can believe in.  They were the freedom you’ve never had, they were the leaders you’ve never known, they were the answer you’ve never understood.  They were no one, but they were everyone, they were nothing, but they were everything.  They were humanity taking a stand against inhumanity, they were the light on streets of darkness, they were reality in a system of unreality, they were the truth in a nation of lies, they were the promise of healing in a world of pain.  

There will be more of them next time.  At both conventions.  Many more.  Too many for the “free speech zones” to hold, too many for the talking heads to explain away, so many that the whole world will be watching.

Be one of those protesters.  Be one of those Americans.  Be the heart and soul of change you can believe in, be the leader you didn’t know you could be, be the answer you finally hear blowing in the wind.  Be humanity taking a stand against inhumanity, be the light on streets of darkness, be reality in a system of unreality, be the truth in a nation of lies, be the promise of healing in a world of pain.  

This world is going to need healing, because a Storm of Karma is coming.  

The Beltway Republicrats are heading right into it, but they don’t even see it.  I don’t know when it’s going to hit, but I know one thing, when that storm hits full force, it’s going to be much too big for their little boat.  

How many times can a politician turn his head, and pretend that he just doesn’t see?

Every time.

That’s how many times . . .

Cross-posted at Wild Wild Left and Firedoglake)  


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  1. Every time.  

    That’s how many times.  

    • Edger on March 10, 2010 at 2:48 pm

    Tom Delayusion now, except for a few, it seems.

  2. these words, words that reveal the truth about those who

    turn their back on their fellow man. For Barack, his White House and nearly all the Democrats who talk the talk yet are paralyzed:

    “Your eyes are filled with dead men’s dirt, your mind is filled with dust”

    To let someone die who needs medical attention because they can’t afford to get it is moral cowardice. If the suffering don’t deserve help, why the hell should the cool dude in the White House get any, as if he put himself out fighting for justice. “I am my brother’s keeper” was clearly said in jest.

    But the biggest joke is your presidency, Mr. Obama.

  3. …of sucking all hope out of the body politic.

    Your essay, Rusty, shows we don’t need the body politic, shows we believe in it at our peril.

    We must do it ourselves, each and every individual.  That makes a collective unity because the righteousness, the correct and moral thing to do is One; and we all know what it is.  

    • Xanthe on March 11, 2010 at 12:23 am

    Ed yelling at Dennis Kucinich and the left wing of the Dem Party – yes yelling at the Left (not the Right, not the Blue Dogs but the “lefties”) after two excruciating stories from mothers re healthcare.  Blame is descending on our heads – on our heads, not Baucus, not the Republicans but us (yes, bloggers were mentioned) – what a phoney – it’s not a perfect bill – he says.  No, it’s a corporate bill which will crush us.

    Okay – now I see who the scapegoat will be in this show – the progressives.

    I have to tune out for awhile – I’m sick.  

    Someone will prolly put this up.  

  4. protest both conventions in the 2012 elections, it could be what I most hope for and fear at the same time — the phenomenon of the mask coming off.

    Most Americans truly do not understand (at least, in my world view — not wanting to be uh aggressive about this) the lengths to which the existing power structure would go to defend and protect itself, should it deem itself under attack.

    We have people saying that unlike other places in the world, the American government is extraordinarily sensitive to mass discontent.  And I would say it is true, which is why the corporate media tries to underplay actual signs of discontent every time, so that people can play their Wii and not feel too worried.  But sensitive can mean both that it feels mass discontent more strongly than others and also is more reactive to it.

    What are they building these machines for?  These machines that can microwave you where you stand?  These machines that deafen you with sound waves?

    It’s like Terminator 3 almost.  One envisions a vast underground cavern wherein sit, covered in zip tie plastic, an army of these machines waiting to unleash sci-fi suppression on a massive scale.  Only unlike Terminator 3, it will be humans doing the driving.  “Our” humans.  Humans in and from our own government.

    One does not build a machine unless one sees a time when its use will be necessary and has the intent to use it at that time.  And it won’t be merely on all the bad dirty fucking hippies — because one also does not invest billions of dollars on cruel crowd control machinery unless one envisions having to use it even on nice people with good haircuts and who have bathed recently.

    If there is mass protest of both party conventions around the time of the 2012 elections, it is both hopeful and terrifying if the existing power structure were to feel sufficiently threatened.  Jane and Joe American do not in any sense even begin to imagine that the machinery and weaponry of mass suppression would ever be used against them.  It is this realization that the government will go to almost any lengths to prevent from gelling, and also their last resort.

    We live in interesting times.

  5. Are you sure?

    You ain’t gonna like it but it’s how I feel.

    I like the fine black rappers who promote 911 truth and NWO subects but there is definitely a nigger in the white house.

    Diversity does not mean checking the correct race box so the NWO has the correct data to oppress everybody.

  6. Bob Dylan was also a transformational, polarizing figure who pissed off traditional, ossifying leftists with some raw electricity, and who took all manner of shit when people discovered he wasn’t the messiah they’d longed for and pinned their inchoate hopes upon. There are no co-writers allowed when someone becomes a comet. And sure, Dylan wrote that lyric 40 years ago, but he wrote this one a mere decade ago: “People are crazy and times are strange/I used to care, but things have changed.”

    • mishima on March 11, 2010 at 4:44 pm

    What has caused the animosity between the two of you? Is it philosophical or is it different personality types. Could either of you show me where this problem started and lets see if it can be worked out.  

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