Want to know where you can find Prince Harry on his war cheerleading US tour? Half of it is in Colorado. On Friday he’ll be at a UK Consul-General’s reception at the private Sanctuary Golf Course in Sedalia. Between Denver and Castle Rock, that’s the Castle Pines exit off of I-25. He’s staying overnight in Colorado Springs and leads the opening ceremonies of the Warrior Games at the US Olympic Training Center at Union and Uintah. He concludes his Colorado visit on Sunday at the Air Force Academy on Sunday before flying east for a polo match. How unseemly for American media to be fawning over a British royal, and what a slap in the face for Colorado Springs Tea Partiers, if they weren’t so uniformly stupid, to celebrate a monarch for which they claim so much credit for having expelled. Nathan Hale would have hung a second time and a third and forth presumably to have had the chance to show smug twits like Prince Harry the door. Harry pretends to continue the work of his mother Lady Diana, ridding the world of land mines, yet how much credit does he get when he advocates for their root cause, war?
Mother Jones Magazine sent me an email the other morning, subject: “BREAKING”, first line: “URGENT” so I opened it wondering if it was possibly about more than asking for money, how silly of me. Apparently, Stephen Colbert’s sister stands a chance to beat Republican Sanford in a senate race somewhere, as if that mattered to Mother Jones! Has a Democrat yet delivered anything to cheer about? Like President Obama, they are worse than Republicans because we pretend they are kinder gentler rapists and they’re not even that, they’re doublespeaking rapists whispering sweet nothings, this latest has the last name “Busch.”
I’d tell you I’ve had it up to here with moderate turncoats, but of late I’ve resolved to keep them well underfoot. Take the local fight against FRACKING.
We’ve built a pretty determined group of fractivists in Colorado Springs, with healthy allies statewide, and in the interest of growth began to make alliances with less hardy participants who have unseemly strong opinions considering their otherwise unproven skills, stamina, and motives. Their most common denominator however is that they do not hold firmly oppositional positions to the oil & gas industry; they consider themselves more diplomatic than radical which by their own assumption will prove more successful. Except, no.
It’s the pretext Israel uses whenever it strikes Gaza or Lebanon or European cafes or US ships: the right to defend itself. In fact the right to do it preemptively is how Israel justifies bombing Iran or assassinating Iranian scientists. So where do the rights of others begin? Has not Syria a right to defend her lands and people against this unprovoked attack? Is Israel so cynical to pretend it doesn’t have to declare war on its neighbors because it shares “most belligerent status” with all of them? –even, let’s add, with half its citizens. Of course the US stands with Israel, they share a foreign policy of illegal, preemptive, and/or covert war. No doubt Israel has already calculated that Syria is in no position to retaliate. All Western powers knwo enough to only strike the defenseless. Apparently Israel has grown impatient with the Western-backed attempted overthrow of strongman Assad and fears the astroturf public support will wane before regime change is achieved. Assassination, covert coups, wars of aggression, used to be illegal.
Haven’t we seen this countless times before: a nonprofit buys bigger britches forgetting that there was a reason it wore tight pink shorts, esthetics being the governing factor in neither case. Local Pride organizers may tell you they needed a larger park, but for what? The world’s loudest private barbeque? Over the span of two decades the annual Colorado Springs pride festival became the preeminent outdoor festival, dwarfing Spring Spree and Cinqo de Mayo in attendance and charm. The city even tried to dislodge it with its own “Diversity Fair” in lieu of formally endorsing Pride. And the authentic pride event took place where this traditional homophobic city had to look at it, smack dab in the middle of downtown, at town center, the square block of Acacia Park. This was also convenient for the pride parade which marched to it from blocks away. Convenient because the Springs gay community may fill a park, or a parade, hardly both, with barely enough leftover to be spectators. This year the festival is installing itself into America The Beautiful Park, formerly Confluence Park, formerly the unpaved ramshackle neighborhood in the lee of the coal power plant, adjacent too, as recently profiled in the local newsweekly, a toxic cleanup site. But mostly it’s a park invisible to anyone not going there and nearly inaccessible to them, by virtue of its single entrance and minimal parking. To ameliorate and confound access it’s going to be surrounded by police cruisers, so gay pride will be a guarded closet. Will enough of the gay community turn up to man the booths, trek 1.5 miles to the parade staging ground, and or attend along the parade route? Crowd enough to leave everybody feeling pride? Let’s hope so, this year of victory for gay marriage.
I haven’t been a loud advocate of gay marriage, not while grievous inequities mount worldwide, and especially as American gays clamor for the right to join the war making not end it. I was also disappointed by pride organizers in San Francisco who declined to name Bradley Manning as honorary grand marshal in response to the brilliant campaign by Bradley supporters: “Parade Marshal not Courts Martial!” What are the chances of that flying here? Last year we marched with a sign saying “I am Bradley Manning” and they took it literally, asking “And?”
MS. SHAKUR (né Joanne Chesimard) insists she did not kill the New Jersey trooper in 1973, that she couldn’t have, she’d been disabled by a police bullet to the back while her hands were raised. Shakur contends she was the victim of a legal lynching and before that a target of the USG’s COINTELPRO. Understanding now that many black activists of that era were deliberately assassinated by law enforcement, might the 17-yr old Shakur have been justified in defending herself? She was certainly justified in escaping her torturers in prison and then gaining political asylum in Cuba. She hasn’t killed a trooper since, so it’s odd then, isn’t it, that Assata Shakur is being added to the FBI’s Most Wanted Terrorist List? She’s the “first woman” because it’s a terrorist-only list. Looking back, some of the best revolutionaries have been women. Retroactively designating enemies of the people is a strange development for President Obama who won’t even revisit the last administration to look for war crimes.
Certainly Assata Shakur speaks against US Capitalism but does she fit the profile of drone-strike eligibility? Apparently so and that’s telling. The intelligence community doesn’t want to stop acts of terror, it’s the ideology that terrorizes them.
Remember the jokes-on-them cautionary tale about admen trying to sell the Chevy NOVA in Latin America, oblivious that “no va” means “doesn’t go?” in Spanish. You’d think Capitalism’s missionaries would know their “freedom” brand has already been unmasked. Translated it means “World Bank Compliant Fascist State” whose media is embed only. How ironic that capitalism in democracy’s clothing is heralding World Press Freedom Day. I suppose Russia and Iran are held as examples where the press isn’t free, although RT and PRESSTV are by far more reliable sources of news than anything in the “free” world. I most appreciated WPFD for the light it brought on its international supporters, bloggers who I might not have immediately known were sock puppets for western tentacles. Here’s someone in Colombia who depends “in great part on international co-operation” to fund her work.
Must we say please? “OBAMA, PENDEJO, POR FAVOR CLOSE GITMO!” When the chants on your march are multilingual, even in Colorado some people need the Spanish translated for them. Do you know what “Obama, Escucha, Estamos en la lucha” means? Is it true, we’re prepared to fight? This is irrelevant bluster from the mouths of SEIU organizers, paid to rally volunteers in spite of the futility, probably only if futility is guaranteed actually. Otherwise they’re Obama supporters, who assure everyone “This is what democracy looks like” and promise victory through electoral politics. Here’s a popular one: “El pueblo, Unido, Jamas sera vencido!” Really? Shout it with conviction all you want, it doesn’t make success inevitable. For English speakers who don’t drink the Koolaid that’s : The people, Kept busy, Run circles til they’re dizzy.
BUMMER. I was thrilled a documentary would tell the world about Tim DeChristopher. You might think his achievement would be more widely know. It’s a testament of the power he’s up against, added to the meager support he has received, that even here I have to explain who he is and what he did. Tired of the futility of outdoor protests to prevent BLM land sales to the extraction industry, Tim DeChristopher attended an auction of particularly dubious legitimacy and successfully thwarted it by posing as a bidder and buying many of the lots. This happened at the close of Bush’s presidency, but Obama’s administration pursued a successful prosecution. DeChristopher has just been released after serving two years in federal prison. The documentary “Bidder 70″ recounts the ordeal in a manner that provides neither encouragement nor inspiration, and leaves me to question how DeChristopher might have been better represented in court, publicized in actions, and celebrated in film. To say Bidder 70 reduces Tim DeChristopher to a number distorts the idiom. No mere number, DeChristopher is the important but solitary number one, among a casualty count always rising. In the sea of ineffectual activism that prompted his improvisational escalation, DeChristopher emerges more singular than when he started, but that’s to judge based on a flawed documentary. Hardly an surprising result.
COLO. SPRINGS- I told the gentleman from Atmel who trolled the city council meeting, this would be my headline: ATMEL KILLS SOLAR IN COLORADO SPRINGS. Prompted by his threat to ship Atmel jobs to Malaysia if a 0.25% utilities rate hike went into effect, the Colorado Springs City Council voted today, inauspiciously the day after Earth Day, to rescind their minuscule subsidy of a community solar farm program. Apparently Atmel is the city’s largest utilities customer, so when Atmel whines, CSU grovels. Actually their rep turns up at every discussion of renewable energy or water restrictions and he’s against everything. Colorado Springs is the coal ash belching, Fountain Creek polluting, burnt foothills, diminished community services, low-tax haven it is today thanks to Atmel and its Tea Party posse.
LOCKDOWN. The term has become ubiquitous, though lifted easily out of context, being self-explanatory. Its predecessor “batten down the hatches” used to be too. Before the advent of recreational sailing it came from a work environment synonymous with incarceration, in the days of debtors prison for penury, before which were slave galleys. As an idiom, batten the hatches still means to fasten things down, brace for difficult weather. “Lockdown” was used this week to describe the city of Boston, as its neighborhood of Watertown was swarmed by militarized police, the residents commanded to “shelter in place”, officers barking at them to stay in your houses, under penalty of being shot, by accident we like to suppose, for their own safety is the implication, or be arrested for obstructing justice. We’ve come to know what lock-down means. It’s a prison term for everyone stuck in their cell, until further notice, sometimes indefinitely. Colorado’s Supermax prison operates in a permanent state of lock-down. Of course in this age of school shootings –another self-defining expression, like “going postal”– lock-downs have become an educational tradition, and isn’t likening schools to prisons forcing an interesting slip into Freudian reality?
It’s probably older than Latin. “De mortuis nil nisi bonum” is a propriety imposed at death, as if to offer the deceased a false comfort that, however fraudulent the pretense of their reputation in life, they can take it with them. Well, most commonly, “Don’t speak ill of the dead” is a reminder not to rehash petty grievances in the face of another’s mortality, death being after all mankind’s mutual adversary. It’s a pact I suppose that’s meant to benefit everyone equally. But the tradition does sort of cement history as written by the victor, where revisionists dare not speak truth to power while that authority is alive.
I saw the adage used in a disturbingly upbeat eulogy for Margaret Thatcher in this week’s New Yorker. Disturbing because it was fair handed enough, but mired like New York City, insulated by the growing wealth and cultural disparity, in the Western master narrative. I find that not speaking ill of the dead is completely irresponsible with historic figures like Margaret Thatcher and Henry Kissinger. If we are prevented from hanging them to hasten their death, we must at the minimum garrotte their memory before it’s set in stone. To beat a dead horse.
We pick up yesterday’s story with Watertown and Boston under lockdown, it’s a prison term go figure, while paramilitary police conduct door to door warrantless searches to find an immigrant teen, college wrestler Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, said to be armed and extremely dangerous, who fled from last night’s firefight with the police which left his older brother Tamerlan alive then dead. The two brothers are said by police to be suspects in the Boston Marathon bombing, said to have killed an MIT campus officer, said to have lobbed grenades during a car chase, yet law enforcement spokesmen are not saying how 19-yr old Dzhokhar escaped the ten minute shootout. Now they’re treating him like Rambo. What, did he leap away wearing a bandolier loaded with pressure cookers? Won’t somebody cry BULLSHIT!?
STREAMING OF CONSCIOUSNESS ON BOSTON MARATHON BOMBING DENOUEMENT: DID YOU KNOW that law enforcement can tell you “If you want to live, turn off your cell phone.”? That was shouted to an AP reporter tonight in Watertown, just before he heard officers shout “Fire in the hole” as they encircled a suspect. So they’re chasing a marathon attendee whose face matches the surveillance video, who they can refer to as a suspect with impunity if he’s dead so they’re about to Dorner his ass (Remember Chris Dorner? Remember Waco? The gov-lit inferno, not the gov-neglected “Waco” redux.) to beyond facial recognition. Boston Marathon Bombing solved.
YES, MORE CSI DIY CROWDSOURCING PHOTO-ANALYSIS! If you could anticipate that criminologists would scrutinize surveillance videos for who left what at the scene, or who behaved oddly after a bomb blast, you could probably plan to evade detection, by, for example, bringing a larger bag to conceal the bag you’re going to drop off.
“Former Pakistani military ruler Pervez Musharraf and his security team pushed past policemen and sped away from a court in the country’s capital on Thursday to avoid arrest after his bail was revoked in a case in which he is accused of treason.” Obviously that’s what a private security team is for. Dethroned Egyptian despot Mubarak proved it takes only a presidential physician to divert an accused mass murderer to a hospital instead of jail. Could such private Praetorian guards be protecting America’s criminal political class from federal law enforcement? We don’t know because we have yet to charge any of them.
DENVER, COLORADO- Organizers of an annual oil and gas industry conference held at the Grand Hyatt on Monday and Tuesday tried to prevent public interruption of their let’s frack Colorado discussion. They tried to ignore protesters outside. They revoked the admissions passes granted to activists who wanted to attend the open segment of the conference designed for public consumption. They didn’t count on the COLORADO EXTRACTION RESISTANCE to successfully negotiate the heightened security and deliver gas balloons to gas frackers convening in the ballroom.
DENVER, COLORADO- The first Colorado BDS Conference on April 13 held on the Auraria campus in support of Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions against Israel to restore rights to Palestinians, end Israeli Apartheid, and end the occupation of Palestine.
Belligerent pip-squeak Colorado Springs is doing all it can to rouse our nation to attack North Korea. First our ignoble congressman Doug “Tar Baby” Lamborn leaks a Defense Department document that announces North Korea has nuclear capability enough to strike the continental US, which most of the intelligence community denies, then it’s announced that four US cities are being targeted, among them COLORADO SPRINGS, and get this, they point out, it’s marked in the wrong place on the map. North Korea doesn’t even know where Colorado Springs is, these warmongers laugh, as if anyone in the world, least of all North Korea, cared.
When was the last time YOUR issue was given the president’s bully-pulpit? Yeah, the outcry for Gun Control is not yours, and this campaign is not for you. President Obama trotted up a Sandy Hook Mourning Mom TM to rally the nation for action, of the usual so that they will not have died in vain variety, although she said only that the children “deserved a vote”, code for, it doesn’t have to pass, meaning this national conversation about societal violence is more kabuki. And how. Strange too how campus shootings are proliferating like pipeline spills, except the media are allowed to show the gun carnage. Before we’re done, it would not surprise me if Sandy Hook victims are compensated like 911 survivors. MNBC has labeled this issue “Massacre Control” as if school shootings have anything on air strikes. “For the children” only applies to ours.
DENVER, COLORADO- Protesters from AIM, Idle No More, 350 Colorado, Deep Green Resistance, and Occupy lay siege to the Suncor Energey refinery, where what Canadian Tar Sands oil isn’t processed is spilled into Denver’s Sand Creek.
The news headlines should read “Bail denied for couple who kidnapped THEIR OWN CHILDREN.” Let the public wrap its libertarian-leanings around that one. We presume a custody battle has its he-said she-said, the merits of which a family must work out. But the case of the mother and father who reclaimed their own small boys and vainly sought refuge in Cuba, is about a custody battle with grandparents who got court protection for their grandchildren based on judging the parents unfit –because they were attending activist rallies! I know absolutely nothing about the political leanings in question, the parents might have been gun-toting teabags and perhaps in private details irredeemable, but the press certainly isn’t elaborating, and evidence might suggest the contrary. Piloting a small day-sailer 300 miles along the Florida coast then navigating to Cuba is not for simpletons. In essence, the children were confiscated based on political beliefs and now the “kidnappers” face criminal charges for trying to save their own kids.
Was Margaret Thatcher religious? We might take solace that her final breaths were complicated by abject horror of the fate she knew awaited her. She might have been iron willed and resolute, are we going to pretend she was clueless? But justice delayed is justice denied. Thatcher’s karma is pie in the sky, while her destructive legacy was concrete as the sarcophagus that will protect her.
DENVER, COLO.- It’s day three of the 2013 NATIONAL CONFERENCE ON MEDIA REFORM and I haven’t heard one mention of perhaps the media story most pertinent to this gathering: the tar sands oil spill in Mayflower Arkansas that is and isn’t in the headlines. Because the media is being denied access to the story, because the media isn’t making a story of that censorship, and because most relevant to the media reform crowd, the scarce images that are emerging are coming from activist video streamers breaking the law to get the story. I’m especially excited by that development because it renders my exhortations mute, that journalists look with skepticism on the oath of “objectivity” which binds them to the corporate spun narrative. “You can’t be neutral on a moving train” was Howard Zinn’s entreaty. “Neutrality helps the oppressor never the victim” said a Zionist without irony. But when reporting means having to break the law, then wanting to tell the story means becoming an activist.
I use the expression “illegals” in accordance to the AP’s new stylebook, to connote an illegal act, and to poke fun. “The I-word” is no longer acceptable to describe undocumented immigrants, but speaker after speaker at the conference heralded the announcement as if it had not just been explained by the previous. It was apparently “the applause line” of this year’s conference. Too bad, because in a year of unending Obama betrayals, the victory is meager cause for celebration.