To have foreseen such times as these at almost any other time in our history would have required an unprecedented feat of imagination. I was seventeen in sixty-nine. I went to Woodstock that year. That was one surreal picnic. For three days in August of 1969 we were the Woodstock Nation. We were the last bastion of peace, love and harmony in the world - or at least it seemed that way at the time. While we got stoned, danced beneath the stars, and loved each other with abandon, elsewhere the world was coming apart at the seams. Vietnam raged half-a-world away and our peers were dying over there, while over here we were living in a police state run by rightwing thugs and gangster politicians, guys like Nixon and Kissinger.
More over the flip...
But instead of our leaders paying for their crimes, we were the ones who paid. We who opposed the criminals in power and we who demonstrated for peace and against war were harassed, jailed, and beaten. Blessed are the peacemakers for they shall have the holy shit kicked out of them - that's the way it went in those days. It wasn't supposed to be like that in America, but it was.
We thought we could prevail against the creeping fascism of the Republican right. We believed that all decent people would eventually see the light and join us. We believed that civil disobedience and an unwavering commitment to Peace, Love, and Understanding would bring our elders around. But it didn't. People laugh at those ideas now.
What's so funny `bout Peace, Love, and Understanding? recorded by Elvis Costello, written by Nick Lowe
For three glorious days there at Woodstock we forgot about the beatings, the oppression, and the bigotry. We forgot about the warmongers, death merchants, and avaricious swine. We shouted along with Country Joe and the Fish at the top of our lungs (we all knew the words).
Gimme an F!
Gimme a U!
Gimme a C!
Gimme a K!
What's that spell ?
What's that spell ?
What's that spell ?
Yeah, come on all of you, big strong men,
Uncle Sam needs your help again.
He's got himself in a terrible jam
Way down yonder in Vietnam
So put down your books and pick up a gun,
We're gonna have a whole lotta fun.
And it's one, two, three,
What are we fighting for ?
Don't ask me, I don't give a damn,
Next stop is Vietnam;
And it's five, six, seven,
Open up the pearly gates,
Well there ain't no time to wonder why,
Whoopee! we're all gonna die.
From The Fish Cheer & I-Feel-Like-I'm-Fixin'-To-Die Rag
So as Country Joe and the Fish continued their brilliant little musical rant on the Nam, we all reveled in the fact that we were together peaceably in great numbers, we weren't in Vietnam (yet), we were ALL against the war, and we were ALL against our renegade government.
For the time that we were at Woodstock we all felt connected and free. We felt like we were part of a society that reflected our values of peace, kindness, tolerance, and love. We felt like we could change the world for the better, that people could be turned away from hatred and violence, and that the warmongers and war profiteers could be dealt with by the sane people.
But after Woodstock, the rightwingers continued to wage their culture war against us, and all that we stood for. They hated our values of tolerance, peace, and social justice because those ideas threatened their wars, and wars make people like them rich. In their panic to defend their ill-gotten wealth, they stooped to levels we wouldn't stoop to, and thereby defeated us. They killed and hounded and spied on us as we went through the whole thing with Nixon and his henchmen, Watergate, Kent State, and evermore needless death and destruction in Vietnam and at home.
The anguish of the Vietnamese people, and of people all over the world, at the needless suffering and horrific human losses became increasingly palpable. We demonstrated, we protested, and we got our asses kicked.
We thought if we could only live through those dark times, that things would have to get better. This was America after all, where freedom and justice were supposed to mean something, where the rule of the people was supposed to be absolute and sacred. We felt that what we were going through was a historical aberration, and that surely after the lessons of the Civil Rights movement, the Free Speech movement, Watergate, and Vietnam we would correct our course and get back on track as a noble society with a government of the people, by the people and for the people - you know, like we'd been taught it was supposed to be.
When the government tried to suppress free speech there was a groundswell of protest. The numbers at the rallies grew dramatically as people began to realize that the only way to deal with a government intent on taking away constitutionally guaranteed freedoms was to resist. The crowds became enormous. People poured into the streets.
Skip ahead to the present. I just THOUGHT those times were weird. I'm here to tell you that Bush makes Nixon look like a Cub Scout. Who could've imagined that a president would come along who was infinitely more dishonest and eaten up with hubris than Tricky Dick himself? All anyone could have predicted back then was that if it DID happen, it would most certainly be a Republican. They were pigs back then and they are pigs to this day. There have been no exceptions, not Reagan, not Bush Sr., not even Ford - all pigs, all driven fundamentally by greed and selfishness.
Isn't it funny how it's always the richest men who hate paying taxes the most? Lord how they howl! God forbid they should have to contribute to the society that made them.
And isn't it funny how the rich and pampered are the most willing to cheat, the most morally corrupt, the greediest of the greedy?
I think they're beneath pitiful - and beneath contempt. This is the same rightwing crowd of half-bright hoodlums that swept Nixon into power, and that now stubbornly back Bush. The same immoral cretins are waging their culture war again. Yes, once again such ideas as peace, tolerance, truth and goodwill toward men are threatening the filthy rich. Only by oppressing those who would have them behave decently can they maintain support for their sorry war profiteering asses. Only by stealing our civil liberties, suppressing our votes, corrupting our government, and using the NSA to spy on us can they stay in power and continue their selfish and evil ways.
You know one difference between now and the sixties is that in the sixties the Democrats were still something of an opposition party, they hadn't sold out yet, at least not entirely. They certainly have now. They've sold out to the same corporate thugs who have always owned the Republicans. That's why you can't tell the difference between them any more. That whole notion of government of the people, by the people, and for the people is these days nothing more than a great way to make Republicans laugh in derision, and Democrats blush in shame.
Corporate America owns our government these days, its plain to see - Republicans and Democrats. I recently read where lobbyists are spending $200 million a month in D.C. to get what they want from our government. It's no wonder that our government doesn't have time for the American people anymore.
They're too busy sucking up to their corporate masters.
Let me ask you one question
Is your money that good
Will it buy you forgiveness
Do you think that it could
I think you will find
When your death takes its toll
All the money you made
Will never buy back your soul
from Masters of War by Bob Dylan
We are now at the most perilous moment in American history since our founding in 1776. Freedom and Democracy have never been under a more serious threat, and that threat is coming from the rightwing of the Republican Party. These bastards must be defeated and their criminal leaders brought to justice. Nothing less than that will do.
Before we can begin to undo the horrendous damage done by our `compassionate conservatives,' we have to keep them from stealing the upcoming elections - and they are hell bent on doing so. Here are some links where you can help fight that good fight:
Verifiedvoting.org is working to ensure that a paper record of every vote through the use of what are called Voter-Verified Paper Records (VVPR). There is just not much time and this is a fight we cannot afford to lose.
Here's a link for taking action on this crucial issue.
Please follow these links, take action, and get involved. It's up to us to save this country.
If we are able to stop the theft of the coming elections and regain Democratic control of the government, and hopefully with our netroots candidates leading the charge, we need to demand the following things from our government (IMHO):
Immediate withdrawal from Iraq and Afghanistan.
Rescind the Bush tax cuts and punish the billionaires by hitting them in the pocket book (sorry Mister Raymond, there's a 90% tax on that 400 mill).
Put our `defense' industry to peaceful purposes.
Denounce and reject the doctrine of preemptive war.
End the war on drugs.
Balance the budget.
Provide universal insurance.
Reform our shameful prisons.
Abolish the Patriot Act and restore our civil rights.
Raise the minimum wage and guarantee a living wage to all citizens.
And seek and attain justice for all - including War Crimes Tribunals for every culpable neo-con in the Bush Administration!
Please feel free to add to my list my fellow Kossacks.