Thursday, December 09, 2010

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Talk about prescience

He was twenty-four years early, but Orwell was spot on.

Do you want to see genius at work?

Check out the pdf. file of Franklin Roosevelt's interlineations on the first draft of his address to Congress on December 8 seeking its declaration of war against Japan. Not just his inclusion of "infamy" in place of "history" in the first sentence--a history-changing alteration--but the revisions of tenor and insertions of urgency throughout.

Amazing skills, both political and oratorical, sixty-nine years ago today.

Monday, December 06, 2010

Letter to the editor

Here's the text of a letter to the editor of the SB NewsPress that I sent today. I'll update this post with the publication date if it's published.

Update: The letter was published on December 9, 2010.

The first amendment to the United States Constitution grants the “right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.” In view of this fundamental right, one wonders why Americans remain silent while their leaders wreck their nation. Our workforce is demolished, ruined by decades of corporate-friendly legislation that has destroyed unions and fostered off-shore profiteering. Our economy is mired in debt, drained by militaristic adventurism and state-sanctioned financial greed. Our fiscal future has been sold to foreign creditors while our assets—homes, savings, pensions—decline in value as money-lenders’ bonuses spiral upward, fed by government largess.

“The opiate of the masses” may, in Karl Marx’s time, have been religion, but in today’s America the opiate is a toxic mix of complacency and insecurity. We are lulled into dormancy by a barrage of flaccid entertainment, and we shrink from protest because we fear loss of our jobs and homes. We are ensnared in a web of avoidance and constant striving, too busy keeping our families fed and housed to resist the steady dismantling of a shared and sound America. We don’t have the energy or inclination to resist because the corporations that feed our leaders and their enablers, the “mainstream media,” keep us distracted and cowed.

So why are there no “bread riots”—not even bake sales—in protest of the continued destruction of the American Dream? Because we’re too busy, too frightened and too conditioned to care.