June 26, 2003
1984 RevisitedDemocracy Now can be a substitute for the evening news. You can log on and see a TV news broadcast on your computer at any hour. But I'm talking about a real information source, honest and speaking to the non-millionaire class. Today Amy Goodman presented a show dedicated to George Orwell's 100th birthday. She played large segments from a reading of 1984. You can listen or watch the programs at the site: democracynow.org. The Orwell reading is amazing. It's fascinating how much it sounds exactly like what the Bush corporate oligarchy is trying to do to us right now. Goodman spliced in quotes from Rumsfeld, Ashcroft, Bush and other fascists, and it hard to escape the conclusion that they modeled their government on the totalitarian state in 1984.
She played a tape of Captain Rumsfeld stomping around in a press conference, speaking in his normal manner of spiteful arrogance, said, "I don't know of anybody -- that I can think of -- who has contended that the Iraqis had nuclear weapons."
Goodman played a clip of George W. Bush painting horrors based on that very allegation. They don't feel the need to even present a supportable lie. Reality can be whatever they want it to be. They have the force, and that is all that matters to them. Power is the only thing they respect. For all their nauseating sanctimoniousness, they are amoral.
The thousands of protestors who greeted Bush in New York were invisible to the media. See TVNewsLies General Musharraf who overthrew the democratically elected president of Pakistan in a bloody military coup changed his name to "President" Musharraf. Now he's an honored guest at the White House. See Working For Change. More trouble for the New York Times' Judith Miller. See the Washington Post. Now the US is attacking inside Syria and Rumsfeld is saying, "borders in real life are not always clear," or something equivalent. The philosophy of Don Rumsfeld. See BBC The New Republic clearly lays out the Bush administration's marketing campaign for the selling of the Iraq war. Lies and all. It's only British reporters who really question the Bush administration. See the Independent. According to Palestinian prime minister Abbas, Bush said it was God who told him to attack Iraq... "God told me to strike at al Qaida and Istruck them, and then he instructed me tostrike at Saddam, which I did, and now I am determined to solve the problem in the Middle East." Oh God. See Haaretz The Daily News is not correcting its Jessica Lynch mistakes. See the Village Voice. Here is the other shoe we have been waiting for for a long time. Bush has declared a man an "enemy combatant," which means he doesn't get due process of the law. The prosecutors say, yeah we could have won the case. Well do it then. Obviously if this precedent is set, it bodes very badly for the future. In this case the defendant may seem to deserve it to some. But once it is done to him it can be done to anyone else. This is very very serious. See the Sun Times.
June 27, 2003
Orwell WeekOrwell's birthday should get at least a week of observance. Here are a couple of good Orwell links:
The Gutenberg Project provides the online text for a number of Orwell pieces, including, 1984, Animal Farm, Keep the Aspidistra Flying, Burmese Days, Homage to Catalonia, Politics and the English Language and The Road to Wigan Pier.
Artists and fascists have a hard time coexisting, says Suneet Chopra in "Artists Against Imperialism" on "ZNet". "Hitler closed down the famous Bauhaus in 1934, claiming it was producing `degenerate art'," Chopra says. "This is what the German dictator thought of artists such as Klee, Kandinsky, Feininger and so many others like them. Artists, of course, had even less respect for the fascists, and many, like George Grosz, actually left Nazi Germany for Britain and the United States. Others died in concentration camps." In the greatest American spirit of independence, Rooftop Films will present The UnAmerican Film Festival on -- when? July 4th. That great day of defiance of illegitimate authority. Rooftop Films says, "Now a year and a half [after 911] we live in changed society, one that is sharply divided. The 4th of July is clearly no longer just another holiday for barbecue, beer and harmless explosions—not in a country where they play 'God Bless America' during the 7th inning stretch at a baseball game and where protesters burn the American flag outside a police seminar. In these charged times, we are all clearly aware that the 4th of July is a day on which to think about what this country stands for, what it means to live here, and what it means to be an American." Bush kisses off the workers. Eight million may lose overtime pay. See CNN.