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Brief Impressions At the Still Point 

By David Eide


Impressions on the struggle over Media

What a tiring bore it is to watch the left and the right complain about "corporate media bias." Both have the instincts of communists and fascists to seize the media as a first revolutionary act. The act is initiated by blasting away at the credibility of the mechanism to bring information to people, soften them up, complain and cry like boys who have been spanked a few times.

* * * * * * * *

Instead of asking, "who controls the media," one should ask, "who controls the people's inability to work hard to find out the truth and facts of the matter?"

It's not as if the vault of information and knowledge is locked up somewhere in the Temple of Correct-Politics.

The information and knowledge necessary for intelligent citizens exists at every level of depth necessary. It's there. It has to be discovered.

* * * * * * * *

Statement: The people are lazy, are used to the spoon-feeding they get all their lives and never get the fact that democracy is hard work. Every time they are told this they get pissed off.

* * * * * * * *

The putative break-down of corporate media, if that is happening now, can be a wonderful opening for the good instincts of citizens to end their lethargy induced by the hypnotism of easy livin'. That easy livin' will be transformed into a nightmare unless the people take an exponential leap in character and depth of knowing.

* * * * * * * *

The left has never escaped this criticism: It is a top-down kind of arrogance with a phony proletarian view that solves only one problem and that is the personal power of the progressive leader. The fact I still have more loyalty to it than the right-wing conservatives tells me that my interest in the politics of the day is at an all-time ebb or that I am looking for that more substantial way that will make the left and right irrelevant.

* * * * * * * *

Both the left and right are more fascinated with the manipulation of technology than they are with ideas. That tells me they should not get very much control of the technology.

* * * * * * * *

If I, a normal citizen, want to find out about a subject I can go to more sources than ever before. Any political party or faction that depends on the passivity of the people has committed a secular sin against the spirit of democracy and deserves not a quark of power.

There is always the pessimistic thought that democracy in a big, fat, happy culture tires of itself and so the bad naturally rises up to seize control.

No, we won't go there quite yet.

January 28, 2007

Impressions of the State of The Union

Let us escape from that dank pasture where we see in the gloaming men and women methodically, ritualistically, clubbing a dead horse. He will not rise ladies and gentleman. He is quite dead.

* * * * * * * *

Some brief notes: Hillary better understand she will be followed with cameras for the next year and a half until the convention. A cold smirk will not work.

* * * * * * * *

I noticed the way President Bush slipped-in the specter of "clean, safe nuclear power," into the mix of "alternative energy." Few people want nuclear power, including most of the power companies who have been lied to, defrauded and have watched power plants go off-line with the pitter-patter of rats feet on the control panel. These energy proposals are thrown around every year and nothing happens. Why? The American people do not demand anything, want nothing to do with energy but use it when they want it. The few people who deeply care are known as senators and they hail from all the fossil fuel states like Wyoming, Colorado, Texas, Louisiana, the Dakotas, Montana, and more.

* * * * * * * *

Strange gesture of the night: After the president finished his bit on global warming both he and Vice-President Cheney, as one, picked up their water glasses and did drink thereof.

* * * * * * * *

The Iraqi government is the type one reads about in old history books: A propped up government that lacks credibility even among its leaders. They blow over in the next strong wind.

* * * * * * * *

I would like to know how many of those 92,000 new marine recruits will be coming out of the ivy league schools or young, trust-fund editors of conservative magazines.

Proposal: By Presidential order those who hide away behind their wealth should have it confiscated and distributed to all the courageous men and women who serve.

* * * * * * * *

James Webb is a rising star. Look out Obama and Hillary. The central question is whether the Democrats have what it takes to seize the day. Listening to them of late I have severe doubts. In fact, they are resembling Republicans by focusing on the manipulation of technology and clever sound bites rather than ideas. Ideas will win in '08. The people are ready to move in another direction. They don't want to go back to the 60's. They do not want to praise an Emperor who is stark naked.

* * * * * * * *

The pendular actions of politics is predictable; what happens between the peak and trough of each mighty swing is not.

As I've mentioned, the Kennedy Era and the Reagan Era from which most if not all politics of our time have derived, are gone. A lot of excellent values were created:

  • Environmental husbandry; at least, consciousness of it.
  • Release of African-Americans and women from old social habits and constraints.
  • The startling belief that government is responsible to the people and not the other way around.
  • Innovation and entreprenuership keep a culture vital.
Some new values that may be forming:
  • America as a prudent and wise leader in a world of nations and peoples.
  • Revamping the educational system for the 21st century in anticipation of the competitive struggle with China, India, and others.
  • Changing the fuel system away from oil and coal stretching over the century.
  • Awareness that a rich country has many shadows and can easily throw away what it did not properly earn or which it does not understand. Wealth as a necessary evil, just as government is.

January 23, 2007

Impressions of a run by Hillary

She is the savviest politician and when you stick Bill's head on her neck they are a fearsome, ravenous political animal.

* * * * * * * *

At some point she will face a three-prong attack from Obama, Al Gore, and Edwards. Gore, especially, would love to undermine her and prevent her from getting to the White House. They fought once before when Bill Clinton was elected and she and Vice-President Gore tussled for who would be Bill's right-hand person. Guess who won?

* * * * * * * *

When I see or hear Hillary she doesn't appear to me to be an executive leader. I sense there is another person inside of her that the public should get to know.

Is she "unelectable?" I don't believe so, especially since the Republicans will be digging out from under Bush.

* * * * * * * *

If elected, the novelty of a female as president will wear out quickly. The people, as always, will look at their own life and ask, "am I better off now....?"

The key for Hillary is if she is able to gain the confidence of the business, military, and intelligence communities.

* * * * * * * *

A woman as head-of-state or a guy whose middle-name is Hussein will have more cultural effect in the middle-east than in America.

I won't vote for her but I think her run for the White House will be a very healthy thing for this society.

I should add that I will not vote for anyone with the last name Clinton, Bush, or Kennedy. If the American people are truly free and savvy; truly dynamic they will pull down these old ruling families and get new blood, new names, new faces in there. Faces of every hue by the way as well of a mixture of genitalia.

* * * * * * * *

On her inaugural day I would expect a rag-muffin band of fundamentalists to march around playing "The World Turned Upside Down," on drums and fife.

I believe the framers, the most important ones in the bunch at any rate, would smile widely if a woman or a black man became President. They lived under social pressures they did not create and could do nothing about. Their sense of justice was acute. They would count it as a necessary, positive thing.

January 20, 2007

Some impressions of President Bush's speech last night:

It appears to me the strategy is in place that puts the full burden of success or failure on Prime Minister Maliki. I wonder if he has figured this out yet. At any rate, since Maliki will not be able to control the factions there will come a time when President Bush will say, "I am extremely disappointed in the actions of Mr. Maliki. If the elected government can't do anything about its own nation, neither can we. We tried. We made an effort and sacrificed mightily on behalf of a people who, in the final analysis, didn't want a country." This will be Bush's political out in a desperate attempt to save the 2008 election.

* * * * * * * *

Some of the statements, tactic-wise, make sense if they had been done at the outset of the conflict. The problem is that so much depends on the support of the Iraqi people and they are more fed up with it than the American people. We never appeared as the "liberators" to the critical mass of people.

* * * * * * * *

Fear has been expressed of a widening conflict if American troops go into Iran or Syria to cut off supply lines. I don't think it will get to that point unless the administration is detached from every level of reality. And we don't put it past them.

* * * * * * * *

One problem I've never heard expressed although I'm sure it's been mentioned before: Time is completely on the side of the insurgents or any group(s) that has an agenda(s) in Iraq. You could "stabilize" the country in three years and not solve the underlying problem leading to the sectarian violence.

It has parallels to Vietnam except that the region is so much more volatile and significant to the United States. We are not a colonial power although we look like it in Iraq.

I'm not all that enthusiastic about the Democrats zeal to cut and run. It may be the lesser of two evils but would initiate a long period of isolationism during which the world would re-configure in dangerous ways.

* * * * * * * *

Condi Rice and George Bush prove that even with a college education a person can be very provincial. Secretary Rice, especially, points out the dangers of having a view of the world completely spelled out in academic books and papers.

* * * * * * * *

The lesson is very clear: A nation can not go into another territory, oust a dictator, and then install a quick government to quell the turmoil. It must become the dictator and be as ruthless as that which it deposed. Had America gone into Iraq, rid it of Hussein, and then imposed a very stringent military state with the troop support necessary there would have been a chance to "grow a democracy," by slowly cultivating certain leaders during the occupation and having a peaceful transition to power.

At any rate, Americans don't want to do that and thank goodness for it. We did it in Japan and Germany after a world war that cost tens of millions of lives and altered history for good. And that was a successful transition.

If the Americans had been an occupying force in the truest sense of the word, the trial and hanging of Hussein would have made more sense. But the fact that the opposing party to Hussein executed him so quickly made things much worse.

* * * * * * * *

We hope, in vain I suppose, that a failure at this level can be accompanied by the self-examination of the American people.

* * * * * * * *

Is it all bleak and black? No, but if the people don't take note of what the government is doing in their name, they will never make leadership accountable and the republic will be lost. The action in Iraq is one we can recover from; in part the American people have started the process by yanking the reins from the right.

* * * * * * * *

You can always tell when things are coming to a head: The political parties position themselves to blame the other party for what is to follow.

* * * * * * * *

One of the most extraordinary moments in recent times has been the emotional display on the part of the President's father when he was introducing his son Jeb. The spontaneous outburst had little to do with Jeb and a great deal to do with the collapse of the Bush legacy with this horrific episode in American history. And not a little bit of the emotion was for a nation that the senior Bush has served with great loyalty and love.

January 11, 2007

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