Say, that's a good question!
FW Council: to Bush, or Not to Bush?
By Stephen C. Webster
That Which Must Be Done: a phrase of typical importance in all of our every day lives. Breathe. Eat. Sleep. Drink. Drive vehicle. Work. Rest. All of these must be done.
What about, “Impeach Bush”?
To Diane Wood and the Tarrant County Green Party, removal of the current Executive, our Resident Rancher himself – and his band of hairy, merry men -- is indeed something that Must Be Done.
Last Thursday night, Diane and members of Code Pink Ft. Worth, along with a troupe of unaffiliated dissidents, put into motion a novel plan: if Congress won't do it, maybe the local city council will! A resolution of impeachment based on the crimes of George W. Bush, Richard Cheney, “et. al.” was drafted, and plans were laid.
Once the speakers were selected, the Peach Wagon seemed to be moving along unfurled. Unfortunately, confusion still ensued.
“Does anyone know how we get on the agenda?” asked Diane to a group of eight at 1919 Hemphill, something of a revolutionists concert venue -slash- free-shop in south-west Ft. Worth. “I think we just have to call. Don't they have a part of the meeting where citizens can speak?”
At the prior Sunday's strategy session, the notion expressed was genuine, and certainly common among the sprawling majority of America: Bush is a generally Bad Dude, and we've pretty much had enough. Spying, lying and too much dying. The message is hard to avoid these days.
After some debate, at least one member was settled on calling ahead to be put on the agenda for Thursday, August 9. The group's previously-announced date, the 7th, was postponed because of “National Night Out”.
It was to be a shot in the dark, and word was put on the wires, through local mailing lists such as DallasRally.com, and chains of friends on MySpace. The publicity got the attention of another local band of rebels, though cut from slightly different cloth than the 40-and-up crowd scheming away at Hemphill.
If you thought John Kerry was a flip-flopper (as though Bush isn't?), you don't know Wobbly. Or, rather, The Wobblies.
The Wobblies, or more formally, Industrial Workers of the World, are one of America's oldest labor unions. They gave English such phrases as, “Get off your soapbox!” (a reference to how they conducted town hall meetings in 1916). Oh, and they want to eradicate capitalism.
Some real, Red and Black Flag stuff.
As legend has it, a Chinese immigrant who ran a restaurant used to give patronage to IWW members, but had a hard time pronouncing the “W”. He called them, “I Wobble Wobble”, and a goofy tag line was born.
On the night of the council meeting, just about everyone was on time. 7 p.m rolled around, and the chambers were full. The Public Record was running.
The conservative-dissenters were already inside, waiting patiently for a chance to speak. Leave it to the Wobblies to fit a stereotype: they actually brought Red and Black flags.
Seven individuals one might describe as “youths” stood grinning, literature, billboards and piercings glistening in the friscalating sunset. Another tall, lanky gentleman of considerable age stood alongside, his head nearly rectangular, framed by wire-rimmed glasses.
He was picking at an open sore on the left side of his face. An item of unknown definition lead this writer to believe it to be a booger, dangling down over his left ear. An odd place for mucus of such origin.
But they were eager, and genuine. They wanted to show support. Solidarity. Or, as one of their signs read, “Eliminate the Office, Not JUST the Executive!”
The only remaining problem was boredom, which quickly set in. Nearly four hours until citizen presentation, the group left to wobble around down town.
Standing on the corner of 6th and Throckmorton, they smiled idly at the scant passers-by, occasionally waiving their signs at cars. Most of the material was impeachment-related. They hoped to bring it in to the council chambers. (They were Refused by the cops.)
A small crowd of black-clad teens, one pushing another in a wheelchair, teetered by with a whoop. “Hell yeah!” gushed the man on wheels. “Bush is a Douche Bag!” His voice petered out around Bag as he coughed for breath.
Another gentleman walked by grinning at the revolutionaries and outstretched his middle finger, pausing to emphasize it in their faces. “Nice ring,” someone said.
An elderly couple approached, warmth and friendliness literally bleeding from their ears. “Are you supporting the impeachment of Bush?” asked a short woman with a bonnet and cane.
“Yes 'mam,” said a heavyset activist with a pink bandanna. “And the unionization of the Working Class!”
“Oh,” muttered the woman's husband in a gruff point. They literally turned heel and walked in the opposite direction.
Maybe they didn't know: Journalist Edward R. Murrow, after standing up against the bully Senator Joeseph McCarthy, was accused of being an IWW member. Hellen Keller (Yes, that Hellen Keller) was one, and Writer Noam Chomfsky pays his dues to this day. So was Rodger Nash Baldwin, founder of the ACLU.
Four and a half hours later, council was finally coming around. Citizens Presentation was to begin any minute now. But with a sudden declaration, the Wobblies wanted to leave.
“We're tired. Its late. Whatever.”
They were swayed into staying by an anarchist photographer who reeked of rice wine and body odor. He suggested the Wobs, as a gesture of support to the conservative-looking speakers, stand in a straight line in the back of the room, heads down and fists raised. The group's perceived leader, Will Schnack, grinned wildly at the idea.
Inside the council chambers, their execution wasn't quite as flawless as the idea. The third speaker, a multi-tour Iraq veteran who fears (with some justification) that Bush has laid the groundwork for domestic Martial Law, stood before the council and held his head down, hands shaking so violently his paper seemed to be blowing in a wind.
The pink-bandana'd Wobbily rose from his front-row seat and crossed his arms as the man finished his comments. The audience, or at least the present supporters, applauded the speech, but when they fell silent and one man was still standing, council got fidgety.
An officer sitting five seats down drew close and motioned him down. “What, I can't stand here?” asked the activist (who later recanted his name from The Record).
The cop's eyes narrowed and he lurched forward quick, grasping the large Wob's right arm and forcing him into his seat. “Down!” he blurted, drawing a look of shock.
The speeches went on, nonetheless. Seven individuals spoke in favor of the council adopting their homespun impeachment resolution. Upon its passage, the vote and opinions of those present would be entered into the Congressional record as a petition to the Speaker of the House. “Hey, it happened in San Francisco!”
The council wasn't having any of it. After two speeches, the Mayor began to explain why he was going to lump all those speaking out against Bush into one group and dismiss the rest of their time to speak. Diane, one hand meekly poked in the air, asked him to allow the presentation to move on, explaining that everyone would approach the impeachment issue from different angles.
In spite of the statement, all the speakers hit the same topics in the same way. The war is a lie, illegal spying, use of poisonous depleted uranium in Iraq, mangling the national guard, erosion of civil liberties, secret torture sites and – a favorite – the issuance of executive orders that could effectively allow Bush to declare himself a dictator in the event of a national emergency.
That's what they said, anyway. Sort-of reads like a grocery list. “Bread, milk, eggs, CIA Black Sites, Reichstag Fire ...”
Their concerns were dismissed without so much as a batted eye by the Ft. Worth Council. Nearing midnight at that point, the activists, socialist revolutionaries and heroic ex-soldier left unfulfilled, but still determined.
As it turns out, the leadership of Ft. Worth, Texas, home to six major corporations that have bottom lines based on the continued violence in Iraq – including Consolidated Robots, recently purchased by the Halliburton corporation for a cool $25 Billion to create the most terrifying modes of techno-death known to man – aren't so much for taking down the Rough Rider who juiced up their wealthy constituents in the first place.
Outside the municipal building, a few “Industrial Workers” were still wobbling around near the door. “Man, I should have got arrested!” said Pinky, rubbing his elbow. “That would have been a great show of, like, Solidarity.”
The Ecuadorians suffered a variety of ailments immediately following the spraying, including intestinal pain and vomiting, diarrhea, headaches, dizziness, numbness, burning eyes and skin, blurred vision, difficulty in breathing and rashes, according to the study, which is to be published in the journal Genetics and Molecular Biology.
But the extensive damage to DNA found in the randomly selected individuals may activate the development of cancer or other developmental effects resulting in miscarriages, according to lead researcher César Paz y Miño, head of human molecular genetics at the Catholic University of Ecuador.
In general, everyone has some level of DNA damage due to exposure to ultraviolet radiation, air pollution, toxic chemicals and other factors. However, none of the 24 randomly selected individuals used tobacco, alcohol or nonprescription drugs, nor did they use other herbicides or pesticides that could have caused the extensive DNA damage observed, Mr. Paz y Miño told Tierramérica.
The concentration levels of Roundup were measured at more than 20 times the maximum recommended rate and may be the reason behind the adverse effect on the exposed individuals, he said. The effect was classified as “genotoxic,” which means it is capable of causing genetic mutation.
So, while we're arresting and killing our own citizens for making poor moral choices, we're also in the midst of a chemical warfare campaign against our neighbors.
In far-flung parts of our great land — admittedly, the more foreign parts, like California and Vermont — there is a homegrown movement afoot to (Warning: if you read the following words, Homeland Security officers may show up on your doorstep) impeach the Shrub. The grassroots types aren’t the only ones with this thought, of course: At least one book has been written about it, and conversation about the idea is all over the web. Action on the topic, however, has not been all over Congress, so the activists have turned to another venue to make their point: They are asking city councils to pass resolutions endorsing the removal of both George W. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney. About 85 cities have passed it, including Detroit, Santa Cruz, and Woodstock. In alphabetical order, Fort Worth would have fit on the list of impeachment-friendly cities somewhere between Ferndale, Mich., and Grafton, Vt.
But, c’mon, do you really think an oil-and-gas baron mayor serving on a conservative city council nestled in a Republican stronghold smack dab in the Bible Belt is going to support impeaching the president and vice president, even after they’ve spat on the Constitution, lied about Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction, snubbed U.S. traditions to start a pre-emptive war, allowed domestic wiretapping and surveillance of Americans without warrants, and ordered indefinite detentions of people without charges or access to attorneys? Still, miracles happen. So a small collection of Green Party members and Code Pink activists descended on council chambers last Thursday, resolution in hand.
Read the rest!
Mr. Atkinson,And to my shock, he actually wrote back! Mr. Atkinson says (bolded words are my emphasis) ...
In response to your published-then-retracted piece "Conquering the Drawbacks of Democracy", I should rather like to add my statements to those you've certainly amassed.
Sir, you either have an incomprehensible sense of irony and the piece was simply "over my head" ... Or, your sense of loyalty to Bush has transcended your sense of loyalty to this nation.
Should the current war leader feel the need to heed your advice and make such a proclamation, you will be surprised at the number of us who are willing to die in defense of our freedom.
Despite current climate and lack of true debate, there are very clear lines drawn in our Constitution that will trigger revolt if crossed. Your column touches on one of 'em.
I'm sorry you've abandoned America in favor of a despotic plot, but it gives me hope that even a far-right venue such as "Family Security Matters" would see fit to withdraw your fascistic, genocidal polemic.
In spite of your disagreement with our nation's bedrock, I'd lay my life on the line for your right to voice such murderous ideas. That's what we're about.
Dear Sir,To which I could not resist responding with zeal ...
Thank you for repeating Voltaire’s stance by supporting my right to express an opinion, alas I fear we are part of a very small, and now irrelevant, minority.
When Julius Caesar crossed the Rubicon he declared war on the existing order, and he succeeded because it was generally believed by enough Ancient Roman citizens that drastic change was necessary for the good of all ancient Romans, and they were prepared to fight for this good. The ensuing civil war was the only way ancient Rome could change from a divided Republic to a united Monarchy, even though the term Monarchy was never used.
The article published, then dropped, along with its author, by Family Security Matters, was aimed at finding a defence against the awful threat of anonymous nuclear attacks upon the USA. A solution must be found to this catastrophic probability if humanity is not to be plunged into a dreadful dark age, and if that solution is to slaughter whole nations, then it must be better than allowing the destruction of humanity. Further, genocide has been a tool used throughout history; nuclear weapons just make it quicker and easier. Certainly the ancient Roman Civilization, which supplied world peace, was founded upon mass murder. And Ancient Roman civilization was destroyed when it failed to maintain this policy of mass slaughter. Nevertheless, whatever the solution, it can never be achieved by a government at the mercy of a cowardly electorate.
Please note that 911 was predicted by Arnold Toynbee in “A Study Of History” published in 1952, where he claimed that Western Civilization was declining, and as EVERY declining civilization became subject to attack by Barbarian War bands, then so would we. Since the USA incinerated Hiroshima and Nagasaki with nuclear weapons in 1945 such arms have become much more refined and widespread, which means they will be used by these war-bands.
Please note that while Toynbee was an astute observer, he was a poor interpreter of his observations, but I have managed to repair his short-comings and extend his claims in my work, freely available on the internet at www.ourcivilisation.com. It allows anyone to understand what a civilization is, and the state of our civilization.
Mr. Atkinson,If our our friendly neighborhood fascist writes back this 'eve or tomorrow, rest assured that I'll be posting it here. After all, it isn't every day one gets to converse with a friend to tyrants.
With all due respect, this civilization which you envision is not a civilization I would be a part of. I am fully aware of our true histories, much hidden from the masses, especially in the system of public education. I know full well that our plains were paved by the blood of natives and European pioneers. Even this majestic civilization was built upon wholesale slaughter, and the first practices of biological warfare ... And much like Rome, we suffer most wounds from within.
However, the civilization -- and indeed, the world -- which you have proposed, is not a world in which I would live. I should rather die a symbol of revolution than submit to a despot who would commit genocide in my name, and the good names of my family and closest friends, to whom human rights are foremost.
Toynbee was not the only one to predict a catastrophe such as 9/11. Interestingly, another modern day prophet predicted the attack down to the week, even citing the model of airplane to be used and the targets to be attacked. That gentleman's name is Alex Jones; reviled by many, feared by few, and loved by the paranoid. I find it remarkable that he knew what was coming more than a month ahead of time, though I have developed a distaste for his demagoguery.
Nevertheless, before pronouncing our Constitutional government over-and-done-with and bowing down to our new Emperor, one should look inward and ask the question: have we been told the truth about 9/11? The answer is, 'Most Certainly Not', and you don't have to be a theorist to determine that many important questions remain unanswered. Aside from the obvious questions of liberty and security, why would anyone wish to cede their freedom to a man incapable of and intolerant to Truth?
You may regard me as idyllic, uninformed or misguided by liberal ideologies that allow growth and expression of the individual over the execution of a Greater Good (through any means necessary). Rest assured sir, I regard you, via your writing, as arrogant, deceived, and, at best, uncaring of the human condition.
Your pronunciation and articulation of this Straussian nightmare would make a man like Adolph Hitler blush. Certainly you realize you have advocated nothing less than worldwide genocide. No possible future is worth such bloodshed.
Our condition is a far cry from what you perceive. We have no such choices to make. Your ultimatums of annihilation simply do not exist.
What you fail to take into consideration is the power of ideas other than those you espouse. Your idea has power stripped across its blood-soaked face, aggressive and unfeeling. Ours is less aggressive, but pervasive, and without end.
When we say "Live Free or Die", we fucking mean it. I take comfort in the knowledge that the peoples of the world are fiercely aligned against you and your shrinking band of Imperialists.
Stephen C. Webster
Sir,While I haven't quite yet penned a reply to this letter, I think it might sound something like this ...
It is clear you are uninterested in understanding the subjects you do not hesitate to make judgements about. We are both part of a declining civilization, a subject that Professor Toynbee dedicated his life to understanding because he knew that the history of civilizations was the history of humanity and by understanding civilizations you would understand humanity.
You neither know nor care what a civilization is, why it declines, or why you should be concerned. This means that you are driven not by knowledge but by feelings fuelled by ignorance. Only a lunatic would dare to presume to speak with authority on subjects he does not know or understand.
Please note that a lunatic is someone who recognises right from wrong by his feelings, the same way every beast does. What separates humanity from beasts is the ability to recognise right from wrong independently of our feelings: by use of a moral code. You tell me what moral code you use to understand right from wrong or stand condemned as just another madman.
If standing for the equality and value of human life, international human rights, prevention of preemptive wars, enforcement of the common law against leaders who abuse it and the continued sounding of freedom's clarion call are the traits of "just another madman", you can call me Randle Patrick McMurphy.More to come? We'll see!
But, with all due respect sir, it is not I who has flown over the Cuckoo's Nest.
If you have children or grandchildren, I suggest you look into their eyes and voice aloud your advocacy of genocide in their presence. Should your voice not falter, sir, you can rest assured that it is not I suffering a loss of sanity.
Sir,And my parting words, not likely to be the last in this back-and-forth methinks, fell as such:
Your failure to reveal how you recognise right from wrong - a regular, repeated, daily choice – confirms you are a slave to your feelings and thus irrational.
I will forever hold our conversation close to my heart.Amen and Mahalo. I think I've made a new friend.
It isn't every day one such as myself -- a common, irrational madman, no different from a beast (and thus easy to dismiss, I'm certain) -- is allowed the enlightenment of dictators and tyrants the world over.
Labels: Pat Tillman
"All lame ducks are lame ducks. This one, with Karl Rove now turning out the lights, is the most lame duck we've seen in a long time."An interview with Mr. Slater can be found here.
Anita,To my great shock, I got a personal reply! Not from Anita, but Michelle Baldwin with Fulcrum Publishing. She writes ...
Thank you SO much for requesting to be my friend. Though gestures such as clicking a button on MySpace (or, God Knows, using a program to gather friends for you) may not be much of a personal stretch ... But to receive such a request from you merits a thousand personal responses.
I'm a fan of Hunter's, and an admirer of the woman who managed to love him. I say that with absolute respect. Hunter is the reason I am a career writer. I wear or carry a Gonzo pin wherever I go (on business, anyway), and my profile and blog bear the certainly copyrighted image, mostly as a talisman, to remind me of the path now traveled. I could never hope to imitate; I merely pay reverence.
All of my best wishes go out to you and Juan. I'm almost overjoyed to be your MySpace friend. Namaste and mahalo.
--Stephen C. Webster
Hi Stephen-Of course, I emphatically accepted. I'll let you all know if it is going forward, and where it'll be published. I may have to call in some L.A. contacts for this one.
Just wanted to let you know that I set this page up on Anita's behalf, but that she will be on here, hopefully answering emails. She saw the huge amount of Hunter fans on myspace and wanted to connect with you all and let you know about the book!
In the meantime, I'll give her your message, I know she'll be delighted to read it. Keeping Hunter's legacy alive is so important to her, and you are definitely helping that cause.
We are planning on coming down to Austin for a day or two for signings and an event with the University this fall. When that date is set, would you be interested in interviewing her before the event and helping to get the word out?
Labels: Hunter S. Thompson
Labels: flying saucer
("Gee, Wally ... So, you're telling me that I can have a coversation with my dog if I take a puff of that funny cigarette? Gosh ...")