Today Democracy Now showed images of men in military uniform bundling a G20 protester into a car. Officially, they were not military. Then why were they wearing unmistakably military camouflage-type uniforms? Last week I saw a man in military uniform talking at length to two civilians, in plain view on a busy street. I thought the military were not supposed to walk around in uniform. I guess relaxing the rule is a way of getting us used to the sight. Can’t help being reminded of the early days of Castro’s Cuba, where so many civilians were militiamen, toting rifles, that it was part of the decor: the people’s decor.
I almost forgot to mention the loud noise-making truck used against protesters in Pittsburgh. Does that remind you of one of torture’s latest tools?
Last night I watched a late forties film on TCM. It was instructive. The yarn turned on the efforts of a bright, honest Agricultural Extension Officer to save a motherless family from disaster when the know-it-all father insists on cutting down trees that are all that stand between him and a gigantic mudslide. The instructive part was the backstory: the widowed father called his children to regular “democratic meetings” where decisions were - at times heavy-handedly - made. Inspired by the government sponsoed 4H Club (Head, Heart, Hand, Health), the ten year old daughter wants desperately to raise two lambs on her own, but the father says having her own lambs would mean she doesn’t want to share with the family. In the end he confesses that those “democratic” meetings were his way of hiding the fact that he was afraid to compete.
That was before McCarthy, Watergate, and hopelessly rigid dancer Tom Delay.
In one of those almost daily synchronicities the cry out for recognition. Arundati Roy, that wonderful Indian writer/activist, told Amy Goodman and Anjali Kamat that in the biggest democracy in the world, democracy has become fused to market fundamentalism. Roy’s latest book is entitled: “Field Notes on Democracy” and is about creeping fascism in the land of Gandhi. The government’s latest inspiration is to encourage as many people as possible to leave the countryside for the cities. Could the dream of lowering the percentage of those required to feed the country present the added incentive that people are easier to control in cities? According to Roy, certain Indian states are seeing massive starvation and protests, and hence a growing Maoist influence.
If you have a local TV channel like Philadelphia’s Drexel, you can watch Grit TV with Laura Flanders and videos of events like Bioneers, Trade Union meetings, Latino organizing events and other documentary proof that the frozen American tundra may be melting. As the Siberian tundra melts, methane, more harmful than CO2, is being released into the atmosphere. We’re in a race between greed’s destruction of the planet, and the awakening of its inhabitants to the power of the many through the melting of meticulously crafted inhibitions.