Techno RNC Style
Yesterday I saw a video described as a new advertisement attacking Obama. The production quality was so poor I assumed it was a hoax. This morning I found more references to it, meaning the RNC really did create it. Watch the video here.
What target audience could this ad possibly have been created for? The only people who would become alarmed about a Marxist in the Obama campaign would never understand the video, because they would be like 100 years old. Somebody should tell the RNC that the Soviet Union collapsed, and Marxists are like cute pets now.
More after the flip.
I'd also like to know what David Hasselhoff has to do with anything. He was an actor on Knight Rider, and then he had that long gig on Baywatch. Are their flashes of David Hasselhoff supposed to be derogatory? I am genuinely clueless about the RNC's intentions with regard to the German actor. If they are trying to anger Germans with the ad, then I imagine it could be marginally successful. David Hasselhoff is something of a hero in that nation.
If the ad was intended to hurt Obama's campaign and not insult Germans, then I would have to believe that it is a miserable failure. The message is delivered in such a vague fashion that there is little sense to be made out of it. The advertisement could even possibly help the Obama campaign, because it looks like Barry and David and techno loving Germans are having a blast. Again, anybody who would be disturbed by the commercial probably won't understand it at all.
The ad ends with Obama yelling, "I'm on top of the world!" This reference to "Titanic" misses the mark by a mile. They appear to have made Obama into Leonardo DiCaprio. Do they really want voters to think about Leo when they see Obama? Doesn't John McCain have a hard enough time looking good in comparison to Barry? Yeah, the McCain campaign needs everyone to associate Barack Obama with Jack Dawson, the heroic young man who froze to death so that his love could live.
Parody? Way to waste the dollars RNC, but keep this sort of ad coming, I say. The ad is far more entertaining than McCain on the best of days.
The Devil Went Down to Georgia
In this instance Barack Obama plays the unlikely role of Charlie Daniels, and John McCain could very well be the fiddle playing devil who just can't win the bet. That's right, the Obama campaign smelled something on the breeze down in Georgia, and decided to make it a battleground. Jeanne Cummings at Politico detailed some of the reasoning and expenses as related to the campaign in that southern state.
McCain talking mouthpiece Tucker Bounds said he can't understand Obama's strategy, but normal people like myself see it quite clearly. Barack destroyed Hillary in Georgia's Democratic Primary. McCain narrowly took second place among his competitors there, losing to Mike Huckabee and barely defeating Mitt Romney. Clearly John "The Human Glowworm" McCain didn't even appeal to Republican voters in the Peach State. The Obama campaign doesn't have to turn the state blue. All they have to do is get more voters to show up one time, this November. A less than enthusiastic voter base for John McCain could amount to an Obama win, regardless of state politics.
The McCain campaign seems to take a win there for granted. The condescending way John McCain has treated the Obama campaign all along amounts to drastic overconfidence, and that can be seen quite clearly when it comes to Georgia. The Republican candidate apparently believes that it is his God given right to win in all southern states because he's white. While he may win Georgia in the end, the lesson to be learned here is that Obama refuses to make it easy. If the Obama campaign exploits every weakness they perceive in their opponent's strategy, then the gap between the two candidates will widen, whether it be because of Georgia or Florida or Arizona.
Take Tasers From The Police
When University of Florida journalism student Andrew Meyer was tasered at a John Kerry event, the incident showed the brutality of tasers. It also demonstrated how members of the law enforcement community increasingly turn to the use of tasers when normal physical restraint would work just as well. At the time I considered the event an anomaly, and merely an isolated example of shoddy police work. I no longer have the luxury of believing that.
In March of 2008, Walter E. Haake Jr. died from being tasered. He had suffered a head injury prior to the incident. He was tasered for not exiting his vehicle, although the police had his keys and he was not acting in an aggressive fashion. The justification for police actions amounted to, "He didn't obey us."
Earlier this year, on January 17, Baron Pikes was murdered by taser in Winnfield, Louisiana. Pikes fought with Scott Nugent, who was a police officer at the time. Nugent continued tasering Pikes long after the man sawmill worker was handcuffed and under control. Justice for the family of the murdered man has yet to come, and probably never will.
In Ozark, Missouri, Mace Hutchinson fell off a 30 foot overpass and broke his back. When police officers arrived on the scene the badly injured sixteen year old could not stand up. Police claimed he said something about killing cops, and that's why they tasered him 19 times. Evidently a sixteen year old boy with a broken back was too much of a man for Ozark police to handle. The only mystery of the story is how the young man survived. It's no mystery why the police really did this thing: they are sadistic cowards.
The list of fatalities goes on and on. The last story mentioned 300 reported taser deaths in one year, but they probably meant the 337 confirmed taser deaths since 1999. The author inaccurately states that the list of people tasered to death does not exist anywhere else. The Department of Justice has the list, they just don't publicize it. Amnesty International has discussed the increasing number of fatalities, and the exact number of deaths, on a number of occasions. The number of deaths is common knowledge to people who care, but the general public is kept in the dark about it. After all, the mainstream media barely even covers Iraq now.
According to one Amnesty International report, the data and conclusions of which are echoed in nearly every study on tasers, the weapon is far from the non-lethal solution it was intended to be. Not only does it present far greater health risks than stated in the lead-up to law enforcement use, but the use of the weapon is often completely unwarranted. Women and children have been electrocuted with the devices, but we all know how dangerous women and children are.
This needs to stop. Our nation's not so subtle slide toward a police state needs to be reversed. Any form of oppression, especially American proto-fascism, has no place in our democracy. The right-wing's love of violence need not become our rule for the future. Everyone should know just how much danger they are in when dealing with the police. Police need only to dislike a person to put them on a stretcher. I say take the tasers away from the police. Please make it a personal issue to enact legislation banning the weapons. I know that I will.
Brutality in New Orleans: Intro
The time available to your author has grown short today. This story deserves an enormous amount of time and attention. Therefore, this introduction serves notice of a multi-part series of articles. Only a small portion of the story will be presented each day. The subject matter is too vast for one piece, and too disturbing for this writer to delve into overly deeply in one sitting.
Activists protesting the forced permanent displacement of the poor residents of New Orleans have faced insanely overblown criminal charges and police brutality rising from their passionate defense of public housing. Bill Weinberg brought the story to my attention today, and it's a story I am not soon to forget or let die. Mr. Weinberg has presented the details in a highly professional and educated fashion. I will not seek to imitate his piece or steal from it. Instead I will elucidate some forms of police brutality and corruption which were a staple of New Orleans law enforcement for years, and which have only gotten worse since Hurricane Katrina.
While the floodwaters of Katrina rose, the prisoners in the Orleans Parish Prison were abandoned by the Sheriff's Department and left locked in their cells. The were left without lights, fresh air, food or water. The flood waters rose to chest level on the first floor. Even the inmates who managed to escape from their cells could not get out of the building. They broke windows to breathe fresh air, and hung burning fabric out the window in an attempt to be rescued. As Human Rights Watch reported:
"The water started rising, it was getting to here," said Earrand Kelly, an inmate from Templeman III, as he pointed at his neck. "We was calling down to the guys in the cells under us, talking to them every couple of minutes. They were crying, they were scared. The one that I was cool with, he was saying ‘I'm scared. I feel like I'm about to drown.' He was crying."
The poor residents of New Orleans, and South Louisiana as a whole, have always been treated as sub-human by the established power structure, both at the state and federal level. The story needs to be told again and again, so that nobody forgets, ever.
End of Intro