Greetings from the Land of Enchantment: December 2008

Friday, December 26, 2008

Best Christmas Ever

Well--okay, not the best Christmas ever; but I did get a harmonium AND saw this video from the marines based in Fallujah.

Cut and paste in your browser for proof that irony is on the rise:

blessings to you this holiday season!

Pusher Man

I read an outrageous article today on the Washington Post: the CIA has been using Viagra and other male performance-enhancing drugs to win over the Taliban. Who knew that all we needed to offer them was a hard on? Not food, not schools, not peace. Just one rousing night and they hand over all kinds of evidence: names, locations, etc. Incredible--in the most literal sense of the word--without credibility.

As a woman, I am continually amazed by the singular focus of the common male psyche. Hard to believe so much rides on that 'little piece of meat' as Yogiji would say. (pun not intended)But there it is, once again.

The illegality of handing out prescription drugs is just the cherry on top of the turd pie that is US Diplomacy. Internationally, the US has always been known for pushing its culture out into the wider world, distorting traditional cultures and forever changing the way the world eats, spends family time, travel, etc. But now, to have such an explicit example of 'pushing' the ultimate narcotic--a man's And we criticize Afghanistan for growing poppy.

Good thing irony is making a comeback.

Friday, December 19, 2008


I have to admit that I'm discouraged--and not by this alone. Initially, I decided to respect Obama's decision, to give him the benefit of the doubt. As I've found myself doing repeatedly throughout this transition period. But in the end, I agree with Glenn Greenwald, if the left, liberal, whatever you want to call people who just generally feel like the government shouldn't be messing with individual lives and choices(hey wait! isn't that a conservative principle? Now I'm getting really confused)continue to kowtow to the right's divisive, hate-mongering in the name of 'morality', we've already lost--and will continue losing the 'battle for the minds and hearts of Americans'.

Why is it okay to be a christian and be filled with hate? I grew up in a church like Rick Warren's. I grew up with people who were 'good, kind, decent' people who in the same breath had no qualms about condemning half the world. It is a fundamental flaw in the interpretation and practice of christianity. And in the same way this kind of perverted christianity has been cultivated here, so has islam been twisted around the world. Or perhaps it's just a fundamental flaw of religions in general.

In fact, if you look at the historical record, universal respect for human dignity, tolerance and peace are humanist principles, not religious principles. They have grown within the psyche and collective consciousness of the human race despite religion--not because of it. It's time we 'liberals' claim the right to fight for our principles as vociferously as the 'right' claims theirs. Why is it acceptable to deny science and promulgate ignorance and myth as fact? Why is it acceptable to universally and unapologetically deny an entire class of people their rights based on what they do in the privacy of their own homes? Why are these arguments even accepted as reasonable public discourse? Why isn't it called what it is? Hate-mongering, ignorance, and zealotry.

Choosing Warren feels like pandering. And it doesn't feel too good.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

War Crimes

I'm stunned at the dialogue going on over the past 48 hours since Cheney's public admission of what once garnered a death sentence in this country--the promotion and protection of water boarding as a 'heightened' interrogation technique. It's surreal. And I think it's the most menacing thing that this particular presidency has manifested. It's not that the United States government hasn't been doing heinous things for the hundreds of years we've been around, we have. But it used to be covert. We used to have the 'decency' to cover it up.

The Bush-Cheney legacy will be many things, but the grossest exploitation of their cynicism will be this: We will do what we want and the American people, the world, be damned! His admission on network television that he supported and still supports acts of torture, holding prisoners indefinitely, and going to war without cause should have warranted an arrest--right there on national TV. Instead it's a big F--- You to the incoming presidency and the people of America; because he knows he won't be charged with war crimes, he knows the American people won't demand it, he has successfully lulled us all to sleep--and intends to keep us there.

Over the years, as I look at the movement of social history, politics, and more, I have always held the view that despite appearances, things get better. I don't know anymore. If the leader of supposedly the 'freest' nation on Earth can go on national TV and admit to war crimes, knowing that nothing will be done about it. Well, then they've succeeded beyond their wildest dreams. They don't need to make us into machines or automatons that the sci-fi films warn about; they've just made us into children, good little boys and girls, powerless and clinging to wanting everything to just be 'okay'. It's the same tactic that has been used over and over again against any group that wants to have a voice: women, blacks, Native Americans, you name it. And now it's been done to all of us.

Meanwhile, we only have our own 'war crimes' to take care of: our small minds, our petty desires, our inner anger, our hubris, our greed. A great man once said, be the change you want to see. For my part, I'm having a hard time looking in the mirror lately.