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Thursday, 7 June 2007

One fine day ...

There's a fine comparison from America on 'Open Source Blog" quoting passages from Thucydides' Peloponnesian War and how it marked the end of Athenian Civilisation.
'Thus every form of iniquity took root in the Hellenic countries by reason of the troubles.' Thucydides The Peloponnesian War Book 3, 69 - 85, The Civil War at Corcyra.
* * * levarsi un fil di fumo sull'estremo confin del mare. E poi la nave appare. Poi la nave bianca entra nel porto, romba il suo saluto. Vedi? È venuto! I love America in a generalised way and in a more specific way I respect the scholarship I was taught at the Universities of Pennsylvania and Michigan in the 1960s and 1970s. At 9/11, mine and the thoughts of hundreds of thousands were with America. In Bristol, where I was that day, there were English men and women crying in the streets as they spoke on their mobiles to friends in America. I shall continue to sympathise, respect and love the USA because nobody has been more eloquent than American's in criticising and campaigning in legitimate ways against this B.F Pinkerton who's conspired with our unwise Prime Minister in this feckless vicious illegal adventure in the Middle East and its consequences in collateral damage - psychological, spiritual and physical. My relatives who fought in WW2 were among the good guys. These squanderers of the instruments of peacemaking, who never served in war, have made us the bad guys, telling us - the irony of it - that strong leaders must make hard decisions. One day this will pass. One day US power, for which of course, its government must take responsibility, will exercise the statesmanship that sent its bold young men to be bloodied against the beaches of Normandy, who with their allies, saved Europe, produced the Marshall Plan, conducted the prolonged mental battle of the "cold war", who reached the moon, who nurtured democracy in Japan, forced through civil rights against murderous domestic resistance, whose lawyers studiously seek out past sins and aim at their redress (the lynchings of the south and other cruelties today.) One day things will get better for a country which, with all its teaming contradictions, was still a model of learning, culture and civility and hope for law and justice. One fine day...America will come back to us. One fine day we will witness A smoke plume in the distance Far away on the blue horizon And then, a ship upon the ocean And the ship is painted white It sails into the harbour The salute booms, cannons roar He’s returned once more [The animated interpretation of Madame Butterfly by Pjotr Sapegin with its tiny background sounds amid the music of 'One Fine Day', sung by Natalie Choquette, portrays a smiling sexual predator who respects 'homeland' values but trespasses on elementals, wholly incapable of comprehending his complicity in the eviscerated wasteland he so cheerfully invades and abandons. Film plays through Safari but not Firefox on my laptop 20/07/07)]
From my friend in LA. Thank you for the kind meditation. You know, of course, that we here in the US are extremely frustrated over the high-handedness of the imperious baboons who have hijacked our government. Even the Great American Middle is beginning to realize that they have been robbed of their country. Unfortunately, as I once wrote the appeal of fascism is always strong, and we must constantly struggle against the inner coward who seeks a Strong Man's coattails to ride on. The current crew deserves the fate the Spanish government suffered in the last election. The Spanish were at least fortunate in not having a Republican operative controlling the voting machines. The cynicism and dishonesty of these thugs is disgusting, and I appreciate your words of support. They have largely turned the world against us, and turned Israel, once a true egalitarian democracy, into a goon-state puppet and a trial run for right-wing theocracy. They would turn the United States into a mirror of the Muslim theocracies they claim to fight. In truth, the Christian fascists here and the Muslim fascists there have much the same goal - only the labels differ. * * *

I was thinking about the film The Contender, screenplay by Rod Lurie, in which Senator Laine Hanson, nominated to run as Vice-President, is asked to testify in front of the confirmation committee, having been assailed by the information dredged up by Congressman Shelly Runyon. He asks about her religious belief:

Mr. Chairman -- ladies and gentlemen of the committeee. Remarkably enough, it seems that I have some explaining to do. So...let me be absolutely clear. (takes a drink from a glass of water) I stand for a woman's right to choose. I stand for the elimination of the death penalty. I stand for a strong and growing armed forces because we must stomp out genocide on this planet and I believe that that is a cause worth dying for. I stand for seeing every gun taken out of every home. Period. I stand for making the selling of cigarettes to our youth a federal offense. I stand for term limits and campaign reform. And, Mr. Chairman, I stand for the separation of church and state and the reason that I stand for that is the same reason that I believe our forefathers did. It is not there to protect religion from the grasp of government but to protect our government from the grasp of religious fanaticism. I may be an atheist but that does not mean I do not go to church; I do go to church. The church I go to is the one that emancipated the slaves, that gave women the right to vote. It gave us every freedom that we hold dear. My church is this very chapel of democracy that we sit in together and I do not need God to tell me what are my moral absolutes. I need my heart, my brain and this church. (takes another drink from the glass of water)
[Back to the future 13/01/09: I just read on Alternet, David Hilficker's post 'Now I Understand Why They Hate Us' posted January 12, 2009. 'How a middle-class white guy came to accept the evil embedded in American political and military might']

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Simon Baddeley