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Sad but true.  Did you know that
Twenty-nine ports along the West Coast, handling more than half of US waterborne trade, ground to a halt on Thursday?

The International Longshore and Warehouse Union said about 10,000 workers joined the anti-war protest, in part because, the union argues, that big shipping companies are profiting from the war.

Don't expect to see that headline on Google, Yahoo, New York Times, or Washington Post.   Never mind half of US waterborne trade ground to a halt.  Nothing to see here... economy turning around...outrage dimming... candidate diary coming up.

I'll be honest.  I'm embarrassed to learn there were at least 3 other postings about this here and all got hardly any notice.  Is Olbermann right there is a "dimming of outrage" or have we finally become masters of Ars Oblivionalis, the Art of Forgetting?  

Forget the fact that May Day is no longer associated with the American labor movement campaign to establish a 40 hour work week.  Forget it was coopted by the Soviet Union.  Forget it is now only notable as the anniversary of "Mission Accomplished."  Forget we knew that was bullshit at the time.  But let's not forget what a REAL general warned us:

September 23, 2002

In urban warfare...All our advantages at command and control, technology, mobility, all of those things, are, in part, given up, and you are working with corporals and sergeants and young men fighting street to street. It looks like the last 15 minutes of "Saving Private Ryan."

That was General Hoar, in front of the Senate Armed Services Committee.  The man was not mumbling when he said that.  Of course the same media that ignores the complete shut down of American shipping on the West Coast served up this sort of tripe to keep the narrative of "victory" alive:

August 23, 2004
'Iron Fury' pushing insurgents out of Sadr City

"This is the first time we have conducted an operation of this scale here, but it needed to happen and it's paying big dividends.  I think that when this is all over we will get a lot of thumbs up from the civilian population," said Command Sgt. Maj. Donald Battle.

That just makes it all the more difficult to swallow this bitter pill:

April 29, 2008
US troops face intense urban combat

Clashes that broke out last month in Sadr City have intensified since radical Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr reiterated his threat of an all-out war against U.S.-led forces and American troops have found themselves facing some of the most intense urban warfare in years.

No wonder April 2008 was the bloodiest month in terms of US combat deaths since August of 2007.  

Here's where I think it is important to point out where even Keith Olbermann gets it wrong. Contrary to what he may think, there is no "dimming of outrage" on the part of Americans.   There is a white hot burning anger about this.  The pain is almost unbearable.  That's why distractions are so attractive.  It reminds me of the lyrics from the 20-year old Timbuk3 song, "Just Another Movie"

"Presidential elections
are planned distractions
to divert attention
from the action behind the scenes.
Like a game of chess when the house is a mess,
or a petty-money squabble when your marriage is in trouble,
or a football game, when there's rioting in the streets."

Sorry Keith, but you misread the situation if you are just reading the headlines.  Millions of voices calling for change are saying something very clearly and very different: Not.This.Time

Originally posted to 8ackgr0und N015e on Fri May 02, 2008 at 10:51 AM PDT.

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