Thursday, October 27, 2011

What Rough Beast is Slouching Towards Damascus?...

"They found Gaddafi in a hole with a gun and luggage, or as it's known here, the middle class." – Bill Maher

"These Republicans, they will not give credit. They gave credit to the rebels, to the British, and to the French. But they would not mention the president. It was like they were on a game show and the password was 'Obama.' They're like the banks; they will not give a black man credit." – Bill Maher, on Qaddafi's death

"I'm guessing our soldiers are happy to be leaving Iraq. It is no fun being in a country where there's crumbling infrastructure and an ignorant population, but they said they're happy to come home anyway." – Bill Maher

I suppose it was a good thing that the body of Moammar Qaddafi was buried in a secret place. The reason given was they didn't want his burial place to become a shrine, or have his body dug up by loyalists and have fetishes made from his body parts... As it is now, in a few years, when the myths have grown to rival the conspiracy theories, we'll have the Qaddafi cultists prowling the desert at night, hoping to pull off a Graham Parsons ceremony. The only thing missing are the joshua trees; maybe the state of California will export some, making part of the Libyan desert into a theme park of sorts... Does the fact that both Osama bin Laden and Moammar Qaddafi were shot and killed instead of captured and put on trial mean that the Western style of judicial system has become as bankrupt as its economic system?

The problem once a dictator who has been in power for a long time passes, is that the people have forgotten how to make decisions for themselves. Can the groups that were the rebels work together to organize and plan a working government? Tunisia's hassle free election on Sunday should give its neighbors inspiration. It remains to be seen if the other Arab countries can put enough pressure on Bashar Assad in Syria, to stop being a vicious jerk, but that whole family may be too delusional to listen to any reality-based suggestions. I can't believe how long the protests have gone on in Syria and Yemen, and what a transformation if those stubborn old men leave peacefully. Because it's been shown that one way or another they will leave, there's a secret spot in the Libyan desert now being reserved just for them...

It's hard to believe that all of the protests throughout the Middle East, and probably the world, was sparked by one man who set himself on fire. When I was a kid, one of the most powerful images I witnessed was when a Vietnamese monk immolated himself in protest to the coming war. Yet, recently there have been nine Tibetan monks and nuns who have immolated themselves to protest the Chinese policies in Tibet, and the Chinese government insistence that they will be making the choices of who the successors are to reincarnating Lamas. I would bet that the Chines government has adopted the Ogden Nash rule on lamas:

The one-L lama,
He's a priest.
The two-L llama,
He's a beast.
And I would bet
A silk pajama
There isn't any
Three-L lllama.

The longer that the Occupy Wall Street protests last in places like Denver and Oakland, the more our police departments look like the Syrian military. The problem is that the occupiers have set themselves up without a graceful exit strategy, without an attainable goal where they can say that they have won, sort of like the US in Afghanistan. Hey, Goldman Sachs posted its first quarter loss, and the business section of the NY Times is full of stories of banks and businesses who are sitting on piles of cash,waiting for god knows what before they start lending and spending again. Maybe they are waiting for the Bat Signal, or Newt Gingrich to hold his breath until he turns blue, but one can't help wonder if these banks aren't in collusion with the Republican Party, willfully withholding helping to stimulate the economy as long as a Black Democrat is in office... Then, sure, I'd surely join in the nearest demonstration, as long as it wasn't in Oakland...

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