Tag: Bob Dylan

Sharp As a Razor Blade

Searching high . . .

Tampa expected 15,000 protesters for the Republican National Convention. So far, the city has seen no more than “a couple thousand,” Tampa Police Chief Jane Castor told reporters this morning.  “There aren’t nearly the number of demonstrators we expected,” Castor said.  One reason could be Hurricane Isaac, which forced some bus companies to cancel planned charters of protesters into Tampa Bay..

Searching low . . .

How little impact are the protests at the Republican convention making?  Well, let’s put it this way, yesterday the Tampa chief of police cancelled a scheduled afternoon press conference because there wasn’t enough to report. The Examiner reported Monday that the crowds were sparse at the protests and they haven’t gotten any larger since then. Reportedly, the largest crowd at any protest was 300 people at one at Ybor City, which is about three miles from the convention center.

Searching everywhere they know . . .

There were several protests Wednesday, but none of them were what city officials had feared.  The largest was sponsored by Planned Parenthood at Julian Lane Park about a mile north of the Tampa Bay Times Forum.  It featured speeches and chants like ” Ho ho, hey hey, Planned Parenthood is here to stay.”

At midday, there was a protest at speech featuring former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.  During the speech when Rice was talking about the compassionate Bush administration, a Code Pink protester, former Army Colonel Ann Wright, stood up and said, “You can’t be compassionate and kill people!” However, no one was arrested and for the most part, everything has been extremely calm.

Asking the cops wherever they go . . .

Riot Control Police

Have you seen dignity?

Like a Blowtorch Burning

Steadily increasing child poverty is exposing the moral bankruptcy of America’s political and economic systems and has ominous implications, for as child poverty increases, it’s igniting a destructive chain reaction of cause and effect, with dire long-term consequences for the stability of American society.  

Jillian Berman, “One In Four Young U.S. Children Living In Poverty” . . .

Children who are poor before age 6 have been shown to experience educational deficits, and health problems, with effects that span the life course.  Elevated rates of child poverty could have dire consequences for the country down the line, for child poverty is a leading indicator of a country’s future, nearly all of the social problems that we worry about are heavily correlated with child poverty.

They don’t realize it now, they probably never will, but through their relentless pursuit of policies that only benefit the top one-percent and punish everyone else, the alleged elites of this psychotic system are ensuring their own destruction.  The deceit traffickers in that cartel of criminals that used to be Congress can keep bulldozing piles of cash to the rich, they can keep building more prisons, they can keep militarizing the police, they can keep expanding surveillance, they can keep criminalizing dissent, but none of that’s going to matter when time runs out, when they have no legitimacy left, when poverty has become so pervasive that nothing can contain the bitterness of tens of millions of people betrayed by their own government.  And then betrayed again.

Week in and week out.

Month after month.

Year after year.  

Subterranean Serfdom Blues


     Bankers in the basement,            

     Mixing up the medicine,

     I’m on the pavement,

     Thinking about the government.

     The pols in the empty suits,

     Acolytes of Abramoff,

     Say we got a deficit,

     Want to get it paid off.

     Look out kid,

     It’s something you did,

     God knows when,

     But you’re a parasite again.

     Better blink away the pepper spray,

     Duck back down the alley way,

     Your job creator master,

     To pay for his disaster,

     Wants ninety dollar bills,

     You only got ten.

     Obama comes fleet foot,

     Asking for our input,

     Talking ’bout transparency,

     Freedom and democracy,

     But taps our phones anyway,

     Get used to it, ’cause many say,

     They must watch us every day,

     Orders from the NSA.

     Look out kid.

     Look out, look out, look out.

When All the Towers Have Fallen Down

Thomas Wolfe . . .

For everywhere, through the immortal dark, across the land, there has been something moving in the night, something stirring in the hearts of the people, and something crying in their blood–where shall we go now, and what shall we do?

The Right is waiting for great destinies in the old, red light of evening, inhaling and exhaling paranoia like smoke from a crack pipe.  Awaiting great destinies like Reagan’s ninth term, like the destruction of the Usurper, like the banning of contraception, like the vaporizing of Iran.  Fascism is stirring in their hearts, white supremacy is crying in their blood, defying reality is their addiction, burning it at the stake is their agenda.

That’s where they’ll go now.  That’s what they’ll do.  

I Want You – Open Thread

The drunken politician leaps

Upon the street where mothers weep

And the saviors who are fast asleep, they wait for you

And I wait for them to interrupt

Me drinkin’ from my broken cup

And ask me to

Open up the gate for you

Original v. Cover — #60 in a Series

wind Pictures, Images and Photos

Tomorrow could have been the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.’s 82nd birthday, had an assassin’s bullet not so cruelly silenced his voice. At a turbulent time when this nation could have easily descended into the flames of a second Civil War, King’s leadership charged his followers, righteously angry and understandably desiring revenge, to adopt a far more measured and difficult course — a course that may well have been the only path leading to the significant, albeit incomplete, civil rights legislation of the mid-1960s.

Borrowing from the teachings of Jesus in the New Testament and Mahatma Gandhi in India, Martin Luther King Jr. advocated passive resistance as the only viable path to the freedom that he and his followers sought. King was honored with the Nobel Peace Prize in 1964, and at present, is the only figure in our history whose birthday is designated as a national holiday, since Abraham Lincoln’s and George Washington’s birthdays are no longer celebrated as separate distinct holidays.  

Even the most cowardly can quickly and easily summon hatred, leaning upon it as one would a crutch, as a means to justify all manner of atrocities. King advocated meeting that hatred with love, a powerful but unquantifiable concept as foreign, frightening and unknowable to an oppressor as sunlight to a vampire.

No Sense in Trying to Understand…

Down the Foggy Ruins of Time

Hey, Mr. Tambourine Man, play a song for me.

In the jingle jangle morning I’ll come following you.

Republicans have a Tambourine Man.  His name is Limbaugh.  He’s a psychopath, but that doesn’t bother Republicans, they admire psychopaths.   Democrats have a Tambourine Man.  His name is Obama.   He panders to psychopaths every chance he gets, but that doesn’t bother Democrats, pandering to psychopaths is what they do.  They call it Centrism.

I remember Election Night 2008, I remember the hope so many progressives had that evening, but that evening’s empire of hope has turned into sand, vanished from our hands, left us blindly here to stand but still not sleeping.  Who can sleep?  Who can sleep when war crimes won’t be prosecuted, when Gitmo won’t be closed, when there’ll be no withdrawal from Iraq, when the war in Afghanistan will go on and on and on, when we’re all on a one way trip on Wall Street’s magic swirling ship, when our senses have all been stripped, when our hands can’t feel to grip, when our feet are too numb to step, when there’s nothing left to do but watch the boot heels of Karma grind what’s left of this country into dust.    

My weariness amazes me, I’m branded on my feet.  I have no one to meet, and this ancient empty street’s too dead for dreaming . . .

Independence Hall Pictures, Images and Photos

Independence Hall is just a relic from America’s forgotten past.  Democracy is gone, it’s vanished into the foggy ruins of time.

Now the wintertime is coming

The windows are filled with frost

I went to tell everybody

But I could not get across

Quiet Storms

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.

Original v. Cover — #8 of a Series

This eighth installment of the Original v. Cover series appears one day early this week for perhaps the most compelling of reasons – Martin Luther King, Jr. was born on this day in 1929. Had his life not been tragically ended on April 4, 1968, he could conceivably have celebrated his 81st birthday on this day.  

Martin Luther King Jr Pictures, Images and Photos

Today we celebrate the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s remarkable accomplishments; however, cannot escape wondering what may have been were he still alive today. Although King would most likely be encouraged by the progress that has been achieved since his time, his optimism would no doubt be tempered by an ample measure of concern as well.  

Would he have celebrated the seating of an African-American on the Supreme Court at the behest of a Republican president, no less, on October 18, 1991? Would he have considered his mission to be accomplished with the election of an African-American to the highest office in this land, a term which began slightly less than one year ago on January 20, 2009? Or would his feelings, at best, be mixed?

King would undoubtedly have had much to say about those topics.  And his concerns would without question be shared by many perusing this diary.

If you are truly interested in the meaning of King’s life and what it meant for this country, please consider going to the following wikipedia article, which can be found here. If we choose to listen, we will soon discover that he was not speaking just to the people of that day, but to posterity as well.  His message resonates as much if not more so than it did nearly a half a century ago.

Much will be written and said about the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. during this weekend. Those whose abilities far exceed this writer’s humble talents will bring his memory to life for those who slow down long enough to remember, and in some cases, with a combination of fear and courage, consider the challenges that he sets before us in our own time.

For those in want of a quick refresher, here is one of the many excerpts from King’s August 28, 1963 “I Have a Dream” speech, fittingly delivered at the Lincoln Memorial. Fewer among us may be aware that the content of this speech was toned down in response to the concerns of the then president, John F. Kennedy. Malcolm X was among those critical of this event, referring to it as “the farce on Washington.”  

What Will You Tell Them?

If there’s still enough time, if it’s not too late, if you haven’t given up, if you can find the words, if you haven’t run out of words, if you haven’t been silenced, banned, exiled because too many Obamabots profusely supportive admirers of Barack at GOS and other bizarre locations don’t want to hear the truth, don’t want to deal with it, can’t bear to look at it, won’t acknowledge it because he is their last refuge, their final sanctuary, the only source of hope they have left in this betrayed wreck of a country.            

How many times do they have to see Obama stumble down the side of that Misty Moderate Mountain before these people realize he’s not the Moses of the Democratic Party, before they finally understand he’s not leading us to the Promised Land, he’s just plunging us deeper into the Valley of Centrism Death, where lies and self-delusion reign and the truth is never heard.  It shouldn’t be so hard for them to figure out how this is all going to end if progressives back down again, if we take one for the team again, if we let K Street’s bought and paid for hacks pass this healthcare “reform” atrocity.  

You don’t have to walk and crawl on six crooked highways for the rest of your life to know where we’ve been and where we’re going next, an IQ of 50 and two functioning eyes are all that’s necessary to confirm that those crooked highways are just an endless corporate tollway to nowhere and that it’s our job to keep paying for the trip.  

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