Sunday, October 30, 2005

Remember the real Rosa

Perhaps like me you were taught that Rosa Parks, dead this week at age 92, was a humble and downtrodden Southern seamstress who unintentionally sparked the entire civil rights movement through the unconscious protest of her tired ole feet after a hard day's work.

This is the myth that whites everywhere seem to be deeply invested in: that the avatar of civil rights herself had no clue to what she was doing; that she was merely a noble victim who didn't know any better, and had nothing more in mind when she started the last great American revolution than relieving the pain in her aching feet. This is a fiction fed by white liberal fear and anxiety and must be corrected.

Let us not let the Rosa Parks myth swallow her whole. I want all of my loyal readers to remember that Rosa herself had been an NAACP leader and civil rights organizer for over a decade on the day of her historic arrest, she did NOT believe in non-violence, and kept guns in her home for self-defense.

I heard this morning on a radio talk show that in later life Ms. Parks became a Black nationalist and a fan and follower of Malcolm X.

So lets get rid of this image of an ignorant, humble, meek and mild, tired old seamstress who had just had enough. Rosa was a true lion, a true fighter on the side of justice, and every bit a self-determining individual with her own personal power.

Here's to the real Rosa Parks and to everyone with the courage to fight the power. The world is diminished without her and today I am sad to see her pass on.

Let's all of us, everywhere, raise our muzzles in a twenty-one gun salute to this American hero.

And it wouldn't hurt to aim in the direction of Washington, D.C. when we do.

Friday, October 28, 2005

Comments and Commerce

I never understood why the Friday of Jesus' death was called "good" Friday. I hope the same isn't said about the day down the road when I die.

But today is a good Friday indeed. With indictments likely to come imminently from special prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald, we may be able to finally add the biggest big daddy of them all outside of POTUS hisself - Karl Rove - to the list of haughty n' naughty dirty-tricks Republicrats who got their public comeuppance.

This list already includes Slots Czar William Bennett, Drug addicted war-on-drugs hypocrite Rush Limbaugh, insider trader Bill Frist, and that nostalgically rapacious swindler of Native American tribes, Jack Abramoff. Of course, it wouldn't be an even partially-complete list without mentioning the truly Machiavellian power-brokering Bugman Tom Delay, who could wallpaper his office with all the letters he has received from the House Ethics Committee over the past two years.

And of course, this group sits in the humble shadow of the biggest cheese of them all, the keeper of the original White House enemies list, Richard M. Nixon.

So, as I say, a good Friday for truth, justice, and the (old) American way.

Now a note on e-commerce: like all bloggers, I like to receive and read your comments. However, I have noticed a trend that smells a lot like Spam: other bloggers making comments like "great blog! Read mine," and when I follow the link it's to an unrelated commercially-oriented blog.

People, this remarkably egalitarian forum will be ruined if all we do is pimp it to make money. So - I value your comments, but only those related to the GTL's posts. I am not interested in attending your karate school, curing your ailments, et cetera. And neither are my loyal readers (I called them both and they agree).

Peace out and watch out for falling presidential advisors!

Thursday, October 27, 2005

The Lyin' in Winter

Folks, I don't have a lot of time this fine, crisp New England morning, but I wanted to observe an observation or two:

I read Paul Begala's TPM Cafe post today on the mood at the White House as the seige ratchets up prior to the indictments likely to come tomorrow. Begala compares the current administration plank-walkers to the Clinton White House during the Ken Starr investigation and observes that, while Clinton surrounded himself with tough-minded and independent thinkers, experts in their fields who were not afraid to offer non-ideological analyses and steer then-POTUS Bill toward a course correction when necessary, young Gee Dubya has taken the opposite course.

All the backbones in the west wing are gone and all that are left are individuals who by their actions define the term "obsequious brown-noser" to a T. Without any reality-based staffers to guide him, Bush rages and rages and blames everyone except himself for all the bad decisions he pretended were coming from him alone.

Consistently throughout his career Shrub has surrounded himself with people who've stroked his ego and who have had the courage and audacity to send him such hard hitting messages as, "You're the best governor ever!... the most brilliant man I've ever met!... you're so KEWL!"

Real strength of character is not seen in old-school cronyism, claiming to be God's candidate, insinuating that your opponents are know-it-all elitists, or claiming to be the salt of the Earth when you are in fact a blue-blooded fortunate son of unimaginable privilege. It comes from the exact kind of choices W didn't make when he should have: "give me the truth, I can take it."

A message to the Drunken Emperor himself, hidden deep in his "no spine zone": seeding your administration with incompetent corporate hacks with the ethics of Simon LeGree may buy you an election, but it may cost you a nation.

Perhaps it serves you right, Junior. Rage all you want against the dying of the Right, but you have no one to blame but your own C-minus self. Now go get drunk and let the grown ups clean up your mess, as you have done so, so many times before.

If it can be cleaned up, that is.

Another sudden observation: Thank God Kerry won. And I know you think that's a Freudian slip, but trust me. He did.

I'm not sure it's nice to be blogging again. I don't know anymore if it's possible to rescue of my beloved country from the forces of darkness and greed. Schadenfreude may taste good at this moment but it has no real nourishment; it is empty calories, not a balanced meal and I don't want to join the long lines at this buffet. Besides, the just desserts, the Nixon moment, if you will, is yet a few years away if it is destined to come at all.

Anyway I love you all and hope you'll keep your powder dry, a watchful eye, 'cause more than ever it's do-or-die.

Bang, the pachyderm is wounded. And angrier than ever.