Well, there’s good news and bad news. First, La Donald has decided he likes show business better than being President so he’s out of the race. His announcement was all very anti-climactic. For a while there, you couldn’t turn on the television or open a paper without La Donald bloviating about some ridiculous topic or another. Hilariously, he ended up being hoist by his own “birther” petard when the President produced his long form birth certificate, (topic over), then at the Washington Press Corps Dinner, Obama stuck a few pins into the Comb-over King and SNL Weekend Update’s Seth Meyers went in for the coup de grace. La Donald was not amused.
A few days later the news came of Osama Bin Laden’s death and La Donald was heard no more. And who says God does not listen to prayers?
Mike Huckabee, another birther, decided God didn’t want him to run. More likely, it was God and Mamon now that he’s one of the well-paid Faux News Fellows.
Meanwhile, Mitt Romney is running around doing his version of I Voted For It Before I Voted Against It, declaring that the Massachusetts health care plan, which apparently is working very well and liked by most people in the state, is o.k. for them, but the nearly identical ObamaCare means the death of the republic and can’t be allowed for other people in other states.
And finally, we now have Newt Gingrich. Really. Newt? Seriously? He wants to be president because, well, he wants to be president. And once people see the wonderfulness of Newt in all his glorious bloviating gas-baggery they too will flock to bask in his breathtaking gloriousness.
Really. Newt. Dear God in Heaven.
Two? Now there’s TWO?
Recent headline announces that there has been a “second rape in less than a week involving Cal Poly students,” both victims “reportedly intoxicated and unconscious during the attack.”
I don’t know why they bother putting these stories on the front page. Clearly when it comes to some students and booze, Nobody Learns Anything. These young women are lucky they didn’t die of alcohol poisoning, and if they don’t end up pregnant or with an STD (or worse) they should consider themselves lucky. The young men, if they get caught, will find out how changed their lives will become, and not for the better. And the whole thing will Wash, Rinse, Repeat. Which is why Mother Calhoun can’t even get worked up over the whole issue.
But two? Really? That goes from Unfortunate Incident to, Aw, Just How Dumb ARE these Girls, Anyway?
Speaking of Dumb
The May 13 Tribune got around to writing about the May 5-6 Regional Water Quality Control Board Ag / Atascadero water pollution issues (reported here on the May 6 entry). If reporter Tonya Strickland attended the meeting, she clearly missed Chairman Young’s dog-whistle message. The City of Atascadero missed it, that’s for sure. The story quotes City Council-woman Roberta Fonzi as saying, “We’re not happy with the way the decision went. Their rules will be very expensive for us, and we don’t see the need for them.”
Hahahahahah. Councilwoman Fonzi doesn’t understand the game she’s now trapped in. When the State Water Board approves the stealth rule changes, the trap will be set.
In my blog report on this topic, I had two words for the dear Aggies and Atascadero: Los Osos.
Both Chairman Young and the Board’s attorney gave the game away but clearly nobody in the room was listening. And the Tribune missed the real story. As usual.
Don’t know if any of you had a chance to watch PBS’s “American Experience” program last night on the Freedom Riders, young black and white college students, many members of CORE (Congress on Racial Equality) who were trained in the principals of non-violence and set out to challenge Jim Crow laws in the south as they applied to interstate travel. In the late 40’s the Supreme Court had ruled that interstate travel could not be subject to segregation, a ruling that was utterly ignored in the south, which meant Whites-Only and Colored-Only bus station facilities throughout the state.
It was this situation the kids set out to challenge by riding on Greyhound and Trailways busses into the 1961 heart of darkness. And dark it was. The KKK-fueled mobs met the kids at their stops. One bus was fire-bombed, the riders nearly burned to death, other bus stations were scenes of riots, the kids severely beaten while local police stood by and/or arrested them (not the men assaulting them) and in the case of Mississippi, betrayed by a “deal” cut by the Feds and the Mississippi Governor, sent them not to city jail, but to prison. All of it documented by some equally brave newsmen.
The two-hour documentary is riveting, the bravery of those young students absolutely breathtaking (Imagine talking back to Birmingham, Alabama’s Commissioner of Public Safety, “Bull” Conner, an out-of-control psychopath who was even feared by the state’s governor. Astonishing.) The footage is often sickening in its accurate portrayal of the hatred and bigotry that was part and parcel of the “southern culture.” (And found in a more polite form outside the south.) And in the willing to face this danger in order to change the world, the documentary echoes events in Egypt’s Tarhir Square: Young kids, fearful, at terrible risk, who still go on, determined to change their world.
For someone born in the ‘70s or later, the documentary would likely look like ancient history that happened on some other planet occupied by ignorant, evil troglodytes. But for me, the film brought back so many memories of how the world was within my lifetime. I remember reading of the Freedom Riders, seeing the shocking images of “Bull” Conner and his police dogs attacking protesters, cringed at the ugly racial stereotypes, the easy use of the N-word, the hatred that usage implied. That was the given reality of the world the film so beautifully depicts; a world where, in many states, black people couldn’t get a cup of coffee in a J.J. Newberry’s, couldn’t use a “white” restroom in a Greyhound bus station, couldn’t even vote, let alone get elected dog catcher. And now, a black man sits in the White House.
Thanks to the young Freedom Riders, thanks to so many extraordinarily brave people willing to risk their lives to make the Constitution a living reality, that world changed utterly. And changed almost beyond recognition within my lifetime.
Which is what made watching the “American Experience” documentary so amazing; as a child and young adult, I lived in one world. Now I live in another world altogether.
That’s how quickly things can change when good people stand up.