Monday, February 28, 2011

something is happening here

With reports that the Wisconsin police now standing in solidarity with the hundreds of thousands of protesters, I see a stirring of the American Labor movement, that has finally had enough of the Class Warfare that the Koch Corporatists have been successfully waging since the days of the Gipper.

Many have now recognized the Enemy, and let us hope that the decades of successfully manipulation of their emotions, that has resulted in so many millions voting against their self interest may be on shaky ground, similar to that of the Middle East despots who we see falling, one by one.

What we need is a national eloquent spokesman, a Joe-the-Plumber from the Left, who, unlike the repulsive Mr. Wurtzleburger, speaks from honest disillusionment. Too much to hope?

Monday, February 21, 2011

Tunisia, Egypt, Libya, Iran, Morocco....

I guess George Bush's vision of 'Democracy on the March' was right. Once the idea of mass assembly to protest dictators takes hold, given the media spotlight, it's hard to put that genie back in the bottle.

By the way, let's not forget that this entire round of events was triggered (not by George Bush - I was kidding) by one Tunisian who reached the point where he was willing to self-immolate, to prove that he was serious. THAT was the spark, not the Iraq invasion (despite what certain pundits will inevitably assert).

Read up on the Revolutions of 1848 - similar in many ways, although the ultimate outcomes are, as always, impossible to predict and sometimes do not lead where one would like them to go. It's a dangerous time, when folks are riled and the death-count climbs.

I keep wondering when the Saudi people will catch the fever, and just imagine what that will do to oil markets? Oh, if we'd only listened to Jimmy Carter, so many years ago...

Monday, February 14, 2011

one thing leads to another

So we are going to Europe in late May for two weeks in Belgium and France. The bike-and-barge trip covers the area of Belgium that the Germans entered in the first 2 weeks of WWI, so I had to read up on that.

Mention was made there of France's self-confidence about its technological advances, so I had to go back a few years and read about that. Mention was made there that France wanted to make a big splash at the 1889 Fair, to get beyond the shame of the defeat in the Franco-Prussian War, so I had to read about that.

At that point, I expected to have reached the end of my current historical research, but, of course, the Germans were itching for a fight in 1870 over lingering hostility over the territorial ambitions of Louis XIV and Napoleon - does that mean I need to go read about that stuff, too? I don't want to.

Every war seems to be a reaction to bad memories of the prior war, which has bad implications, going forward.

Most interesting factoids that I had not previously known: Both Phil Sheridan and Ambrose Burnside (Union generals in the American Civil War) were in Europe in 1870, 'observing' the Prussian army as it steam-rolled into France. Sheridan had also been in Mexico when it successfully booted out the French, so he already had a bias against the French. He seemed to thing the Prussians were on to something, military-wise.

Wonder what he would have thought about 1914, not to mention 1940.

Wednesday, February 02, 2011

Hosni is really hosed now

Once you piss off Anderson Cooper, it's all over.

Tuesday, February 01, 2011


That was the year that Revolutionary fervor swept Europe. Read all about it, if your history is hazy.

Once the meme gets going, you can't stuff it back into the bottle.

A big difference today is media coverage - it can only serve to increase the speed in which events develop. I believe we are at the beginning of a global wave - every oppressed community is going to be demanding change.

That is, every oppressed community except for Americans, who are too complacent to worry about the assault on the Middle Class, a hopelessly corrupt judiciary (yes, I'm talking about YOU, Clarence, Sam, John, and Antonin), a national Press corp composed of toadies, divas, and idiots, etc. etc.

Two million Egyptians on the move - it's amazing what can be done once you get mad as hell. And all it took was one Tunisian willing to set himself on fire.