Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Tin Cowboys and Cliven Coming

Pulitzer-winning photo (w/fence post)  by John Filo which
Wikipedia says is likely subject to fair use because of its fame.
I remember the 1960s. Nuclear drills disguised as earthquake drills (earthquakes seeming more credible since we had a 6.5 in my grade-school years); Blank Panthers and cities burning; endless war in Viet Nam; radical leftists blowing up Post Offices; mass marches and demonstrations. Yep, real scary times.

And I was a secret subversive. I put up a good front as a conservative, but I listened to popular music, even Chicago, singing about the coming revolution. I was hoping it would be for the good and the idealism espoused. But I was cautious.

There's a bit of justification in that I was a suburban kid. None of these scares ever came that close to me (except the earthquake). And then there was Kent State. The adults I knew generally sided with or at least excused the National Guard because student protesters were bad. Except Michener's book insists that the four killed were generally not among the agitators, just in the wrong place at the wrong time.

The part I don't understand is why some of the same people who sided with the National Guard at Kent State now side against the BLM law enforcement officers who were trying to enforce trespass law in the face of protesting exhibitions. (At least before the cowboy started pining for Slavery). And the worst the BLM did was to taze a guy behaving in a threatening manner and scare someone off with a well-trained police dog (which the guy kicked). BLM backed down. Not so the trespassing cowboys or the phony Rambo-militia guys until the BLM was gone and gave up. (If only the National Guard had backed down at Kent State! "Four dead in Ohio." -CSN&Y)

There was a video clip I saw (OK, it was on Jon Stewart) in which one of the militia types said they'd been waiting for something like this to happen so they could demonstrate the brutality of the feds and start a general uprising. He said they were going to put their women on the front lines so that when blood began to flow, it would be from the women shot by the feds to be seen around the world. Uh. . . . meet the new boss?

It was good the BLM backed down. We do not need to promote or provoke any martyr complexes - or weird solutions for those unable to relate well to women.

The only thing I can figure is that with our current Democratic President, not really that different from any other Democratic President (right?), they must think that those threats that conservatives were afraid of back in the 60's are now in charge of the country. And they don't like it. Some, like Cowboy Bundy, say they don't even recognized the legitimacy of the United States! Sounds like a bomb-throwing Hippie to me.

Somebody, please explain.

1 comment:

  1. From a Facebook friend:

    I see two lines here. Money is the most important one. People with money see the government as being there to protect them and their interests. They grow confused and angry when it doesn't. Hippies and their communitarian ways, followed closely by the antiwar demonstrations on college campuses, were a threat to the established order (and the money behind it) and had to be suppressed.

    Guard and Reserve units were receiving some riot control training by the late '60's, but neither the troops nor their officers, nor the police, were really well prepared, and they panicked. Kent State was less than two years after the Chicago police riot. And the judicial system in both cases worked for the police and guardsmen and against the hippies, rioters, students, and victims. Protection of the established order remained the common thread.

    The descendants of those hippies, students, etc., are not Bundy and his gang, but the Occupy movement, which was also quickly suppressed. Bundyites are a different thread entirely. They want the government to protect their money, not take it. From those who said "keep government hands off my medicare" to Bundy, we see the people who have something, who are relatively well off, and who are confused by the government's role. They don't understand that the government protects the wealth of the super-rich, not them, and they are confused and angry.

    The other line, which is much closer to the hippies, is the right to be let alone. Of course, Bundy wants to be let alone on public land, not private, and he wants to make money uninhibited by the rights of everyone else to the public lands. So again, even there, it comes down to greed.

    This leads to your closing paragraph. Is Obama like other Dem presidents? Exclude race, but admit that it is a large part of the anti-government and anti-Obama movement, however much the repubs try to cover it over. What you have left is an administration that worked hard to rescue the banking and finance industries, including effectively ending the distinction between the two, and did nothing for their victims. This has been evident to anyone paying attention since the administration came to office. Contrast this to Lyndon Johnson and ask your question again.

    Here's one more common thread that runs from the Chicago riots to today. Police power has steadily expanded, as has the immunity of police and prosecutors. In Chicago, 1968, it was the riot leaders, not the police, who were prosecuted. In Kent State the indictments against the guardsmen were dismissed, and a civil settlement with victims and their families was paid by the state of Ohio, not the guardsmen. As the Supremes keep expanding this immunity, it means that if members of the public prevail in cases of brutality, false arrest, and the like, it will be the public that pays, not the miscreants.

    Look at the strip search case. Obama and Holder argued for the unbridled right of the police to strip search every arrestee. The repubs on the court sided with them over the objections of the dems. A delicious irony here was when the Indian diplomat was arrested for visa fraud and wage and hour violations, and she was strip searched. Why would cops strip search a diplomat with no criminal record for non-violent offenses? Because they can. So, a woman who lied on a visa application so she could bring in a servant whom she would overwork and underpay became the victim in her home country, and diplomatic relations with India were damaged. India is no paragon of civil liberties, but they know enough not to extend their abuses to diplomats.

    Look at the massive and unrestrained violations of civil liberties by the border patrol (if you're not familiar with this I can send you lots of material). Look at the NSA. So I would say yes, Obama is different from other Dem presidents, and not in a good way. The right to be let alone is gone.


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