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LOCKDOWN, USA: LESSONS FROM THE BOSTON MARATHON MANHUNT
By Henry A. Giroux
May 4th, 2013
(Another version of this post is now available VIA THIS LINK at
Truth-Out.org as of May 6th, 2013   10:00 AM EDT)
A tragedy of errors: nobody knows any more who is who. The smoke of the explosions forms part of the much larger curtain of smoke that prevents all of us from seeing clearly. From revenge to revenge, terrorism obliges us to walk to our graves. I saw a photo, recently published, of graffiti on a wall in NYC: ‘An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind’.
––Eduardo Galeano1
The American public rightfully expressed a collective sigh of relief and a demonstration of prodigious gratitude towards law enforcement authorities when the unprecedented manhunt for the Boston marathon bombers came to an end. The trauma and anxiety felt by the people of Boston and to some degree by the larger society over the gratuitously bloody and morally degenerate attacks on civilians was no doubt heightened given the legacy of 9/11.  

Since the tragic events of that historical moment, the nation has been subjected to “a media spectacle of fear and unreason delivered via TV, news sites and other social media;”2  it has also been engulfed in a nationwide hysteria about Muslims. Moreover, the American public has been schizophrenically immersed within a culture of fear and cruelty punctuated by a law-and-order driven promise for personal safety, certainty, and collective protection that amounted to a Faustian bargain with the devil, one in which Americans traded constitutional rights and numerous civil liberties for the ever expanding presence of a militarized security and surveillance state run by a government that has little regard for human rights or the principles of justice and democracy.3  

The collective expressions of relief, compassion, and adulation were reasonable and appropriate once the threat from the Boston marathon bombers had ended. But such feelings are short-lived in a country that infamously is losing its capacity to question itself, embracing instead a mode of historical amnesia “in which forgetting has become more important than learning.”4  

What is needed in the aftermath of this tragedy is a critical and thoughtful analysis about what the significance of locking down an entire city meant not simply for the present or the future of urban living, but for democracy itself.  Locking down Boston was generally left unquestioned by the mainstream media, though a number of progressive and left intellectuals raised serious questions about the use and implications of the tactic, particularly the abridging civil liberties, squelching dissent, and legitimating the spectacle of the war machine.  

(Continued below the fold.)

For example, Michael Schwalbe argues that he was troubled by what lockdown foreshadows with its connotation of authoritarian control, its expanding use, and its ongoing normalization in American society.  He writes:
When I hear that authorities have locked down a school, a workplace, a transit system, a cell phone network, or a city, the subtext seems unmistakable: We are now in control.  Listen carefully and do as you are told.  What I hear is the warden saying that communication will flow in one direction only, and that silence and obedience are the only options.5
Other critics suggested the lockdown represented a massive overreaction that was symptomatic of a larger social crisis.  Steven Rosenfeld argued that  “beyond lingering questions of whether the government went too far by shutting down an entire city and whether that might encourage future terrorism, a deeper and darker question remains: why is America’s obsession with evil so selective?”6  This was an important point and was largely ignored by most commentators on the tragedy. Implicit in Rosenfeld’s question is why the notion of security and safety are limited to personal security and the fear of attacks by terrorists rather than the rise of a gun culture, the shredding of the safety net for millions of Americans, the imprisonment of one out of every 100 Americans, or the transformation of public schools into adjuncts of the punishing and surveillance state.  

Lockdown as a policy and mode of control misrepresents the notion of security by reducing it to personal safety and thereby mobilizing fears that demand trading civil liberties for increased militarized security. The lockdown that took place in Boston serves as a reminder of how narrow the notion of security has become in that it is almost entirely associated with personal safety but never with the insecurities that derive from poverty, a lack of social provisions, and the incarceration binge. Most importantly, it now serves as a metaphor for how we address problems facing a range of institutions including immigration detention centers, schools, hospitals, public housing, and prisons. Lockdown is the new common sense of militarized society, the zone of unchecked surveillance, policing, and state brutality.

Security in this instance is reduced to issues of law and order and mirrors a Hobbesian free-for-all, a world that “reveres competitiveness and celebrates unrestrained individual responsibility, with an antipathy to anything collective that might impede market forces”—a world in which the Darwinian survival of the fittest  ethos rules and the only values that matter are exchange values.7   In this panopticon-like social order, there is little understanding of society as a public good, of the importance of providing public necessities such as decent housing,  job programs for the unemployed, housing for the poor and homeless, health care for everyone, and universal education for young people.

In a society where  critical analysis and explanation of violent attacks of this nature are  dismissed as terrorist sympathizing, there is a stultifying logic that assumes that contextualizing an event is tantamount to justifying it. This crippling impediment to public dialogue may be why the militarized response to the Boston marathon bombings, infused with the fantasy of the Homeland as a battlefield and the necessity of the paramilitarized surveillance state, was for the most part given a pass in mainstream media.  Of course, there is more at stake here than misplaced priorities and the dark cloud of historical amnesia and anti-intellectualism, there is also the drift of American society into a form of soft authoritarianism in which boots on the ground and the securitization of everyday life now serve either as a source of pride, entertainment, or for many disposable groups, a source of fear.

Yet, in the immediate aftermath of the marathon bombing, shock and collective dislocation left little room to think about the context in which the bombing took place or the implications of a lockdown strategy that hints at the broader danger of exchanging security for freedom.  Any attempt to suggest that the overly militarized response to the bombings was less about protecting people than legitimating the ever expanding reach of military operations to solve domestic problems was either met with disdain or silence in the dominant media.   Even more telling was the politically offensive reaction to such critics and the intensity of a right-wing diatribe that used the Boston marathon bombing as an excuse to further the expansion of the punishing state with its apparatuses of militarization, surveillance, secrecy, and its embrace of lawless states of exception.  Equally repulsive was how the Boston bombing produced an ample amount of nativist paranoia about immigrants and the quest for an “enemy combatant” behind every door.

In the midst of the emotional fervor that followed the bloody Boston marathon bombings,  a number of pundits decried any talk about a possible militarized overreaction to the event and the hint that such tactics pointed to the dangers of a police state.  One critic in a moment of emotive local hysteria referred to such critics as “outrage junkies,” claimed they were “masturbating in public,” and insisted he was washing his hands of what he termed “bad rubbish.”8   This particular line of thought with its discursive infantilism and echoes of nationalistic jingoism ominously hinted that what happened in Boston could only register legitimately as a deeply felt emotional event, one that was desecrated by trying to understand it within a broader historical and political context.  

Another register of bad faith was evident in the comments of right-wing pundits, broadcasting elites, and squeamish liberals who amped up the frenzied media spectacle surrounding the marathon bombing. Many of them suggested, without apology, that the country should be grateful for an increase in invasive searches, the suspension of constitutional rights, the embrace of total surveillance, and the ongoing normalization of the security state and Islamophobia.9  

One frightening offshoot of the Boston marathon bombing was the authoritarian tirade unleashed among a range of government officials that indicated how close dissent is to being treated as a crime and how under siege public space is by the forces of manufactured terrorism.  

For example, Senator Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) used the attacks in an effort to undo immigration reform, no longer concealing his disdain for immigrants, especially Muslims and Mexicans.10  

Senator Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) argued that President Obama should not only deny Tsarnaev his constitutional rights by refusing to read him his Miranda Rights, but also hold him as “an enemy combatant for intelligence gathering purposes.”11  As one commentator pointed out, “This is pretty breathtaking. Graham is suggesting that an American citizen, captured on American soil, should be deprived of basic constitutional rights.”13  Graham is simply arguing what many Americans have experienced since the tragic attack of September 11, 2001.

The boundaries between the military and civilian life have been abolished just as the boundaries between the “innocent and quality, between suspects and non-suspects” have become increasingly blurred.13  The international claim of solidarity, that took place in the aftermath of September 11th, in which a number of countries insisted that “We are all Americans” has given way in American society to the zombie-like notion that “We are all potentially enemy combatants."  There is more at stake here than hyped-up security or the rise of the surveillance state, there is a militarizing logic of war and authoritarianism that can translate into the death of democracy.  

Representative Peter King (R-N.Y.) reasserted his long standing racism by repeatedly arguing that the greatest threat of terrorism faced by the U.S. “is coming from the Muslim community” and that it might be time for state and federal authorities to spy on all Muslims.14   According to King, "Police have to be in the community, they have to build up as many sources as they can, and they have to realize that the threat is coming from the Muslim community and increase surveillance there," adding that "we can't be bound by political correctness."15  King seems to think that dismissing the rhetoric of political correctness provides a rationale for translating into policy his Islamophobia and the national hallucination it feeds.

Of course, King and others are simply channeling the racism of the cartoonish Ann Coulter who actually suggested that all  “unauthorized immigrants in the United States might be terrorists.”16   This nativist paranoia is not new and has a long and disgraceful legacy in American history.

What is new in the current historical moment is how easily nativist paranoia and a culture of cruelty have become normalized and generated an acceptable public lexicon more characteristic of state terrorism and a military state than a “free and open” democracy.  

For instance, New York State Sen. Greg Ball (R), channeling Dick Cheney, took this logic of state terrorism to its inevitable end point, reminding Americans of the degree to which the United States has lost its moral compass, when he sent a message from his Twitter account, suggesting that the authorities torture Dzhokhar Tsarnaev. As Ball put it, “So, scum bag #2 in custody. Who wouldn't use torture on this punk to save more lives?”17   There is more at work here than an evasion of principle, to say nothing of international law. There is an erasure of the very notion of a substantive and democratic polity, and a frightening collective embrace of an authoritarianism that points to the final rasp of democracy in the United States.

Such unconsidered remarks should compel us to examine the state’s use of lockdown procedures within a savage market driven society that sanctions the return of the 19th century debtor’s prisons in which people are jailed—and their lives ruined--for not being able to pay what amounts to trivial fines.18  The culture of punishment and cruelty is also evident in the attempt on the part of some West Virginia Republican Party legislators who are  pushing for a policy that would force low-income school children to work in exchange for free lunches.19  

The flight from ethical responsibility associated with the rise of the punishing state and the politics of the lockdown is also evident in the willingness of police forces around the country to push young children into the criminal justice system.20   More specifically, there is a frightening, even normalized willingness in American life to align politics and everyday life with the forces of militarization, law enforcement officials, and the dictates of the national security state.

The lockdown and ongoing search for those responsible for the Boston marathon bombings was an eminently political event because it amplified the dreadful potential and real consequences of the never-ending war on terror and the anti-democratic processes it has produced at all levels of government along with an increasing diminishment of civil liberties.

The script has become familiar and includes the authorized use of state sponsored torture, the unchecked power of the president to conduct targeted assassinations, the use of warrantless searches, extraordinary renditions, secret courts, and the continuing monitoring of targeted citizens.21  

Another consequence of the war on terror and the increasing use of military drone strikes in Yemen and Pakistan is that many innocent children and adults are being killed and, as Noam Chomsky points, such attacks are terrorizing villagers, turning them into enemies of the United States-something that years of jihadi propaganda had failed to accomplish…. There was no direct way to prevent the Boston murders. There are some easy ways to prevent likely future ones: by not inciting them.”22  

Since 9/11 we have witnessed the rise of a national-security-surveillance state and the expansion of a lockdown mode of existence in a range of institutions that extend from schools and airports to the space of the city itself.  The meaning of lockdown in this context has to be understood in broader terms as the use of military solutions to problems for which such approaches are not only unnecessary but further produce authoritarian and anti-democratic policies and practices.  

Under such circumstances, not only have civil liberties been violated in the name of national security, but the promise of national security has given rise to policies which are punitive, steeped in the logic of revenge, and support the rise of a punishing state whose echoes of authoritarianism are often lost in the moral comas that accompany the country’s infatuation with war and the militarization of everyday life.

Glenn Greenwald, a columnist for The Guardian, succinctly insists that Boston marathon bombings is a political event because it “connects to larger questions about our culture and because it was infused with all kinds of political messages about Muslims, about radicalism, about what the proper role of the police and the military are in the United States.”23  

While there has been some criticism over what was perceived as the unnecessary imposition of a lockdown in Boston, and especially Watertown, what has been missed in many of these arguments is that the U.S. is already in lockdown mode, which has been intensifying since 9/11.  A number of critics have raised questions about the abridgement of civil rights and the specter of excessive policing after the marathon bombing as one-off events, but few have discussed the continuity and expansion of the logic of lockdown predating September 11 which can be traced back to the massive incarceration of disproportionate numbers of people of color beginning in the early 1970s.24  

This history has been addressed by Christian Parenti, Tom Englehardt, Angela Davis, Michelle Alexander, and others and need not be repeated here, but what does need to be addressed is how the concept and tactic of the lockdown has moved far beyond the walls of the prison and now shapes a whole range of institutions, making clear how the United States has moved into a lockdown mode that is consistent with the precepts of an authoritarian state. While the Boston lockdown was more of a request for the public to stay inside, it displayed all of the attributes of martial law, especially in Watertown where house-to-house searches took on the appearance of treating the residents as feared criminals.

Lockdown cannot be understood outside of the manufactured war on terrorism and the view, aptly expressed by Lindsey Graham, that the Boston marathon bombing “is Exhibit A of why the homeland is the battlefield.”25  

Graham’s comments embrace the dangerous correlate that everyone is a possible enemy combatant and that domestic militarization and its embrace of perpetual war is a perfectly legitimate practice, however messy it might be when measured against democratic principles, human rights, and the most basic precepts of constitutional law.  Lockdown as a concept and strategy gains its meaning and legitimacy under specific historical conditions informed by particular modes of ideology, governance, and policies.

At a time when the United States has embraced a number of anti-democratic practices extending from state torture to the ruthless militarized logic of a Darwinian politics of cruelty and disposability, the symbolic nature of the lockdown is difficult to both ignore and remove from the authoritarian state that increasingly relies on it as a form of policing and disciplinary control.  This becomes all the more obvious by the fact that the lockdown in Boston appears to be a major overreach compared to the response of other countries to terrorist acts. As Michael Cohen, a correspondent for The Guardian, points out:

The actions allegedly committed by the Boston marathon bomber, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev and his brother, Tamerlan, were heinous. Four people dead and more than 100 wounded, some with shredded and amputated limbs. But Londoners, who endured IRA terror for years, might be forgiven for thinking that America over-reacted just a tad to the goings-on in Boston. They're right – and then some. What we saw was a collective freak-out like few that we've seen previously in the United States. It was yet another depressing reminder that more than 11 years after 9/11 Americans still allow themselves to be easily and willingly cowed by the "threat" of terrorism.26
Some would argue that locking down an entire city because a homicidal killer was on the loose can be attributed to how little experience Americans have with daily acts of terrorism, unlike Israel, Baghdad, and other cities which are constantly subject to such attacks. While there is an element of truth to such arguments what is missing from this position is a different and more frightening logic. Americans have become so indifferent to the militarization of everyday life that they barely blink when an entire city, school, prison, or campus is locked down.

In a society in which everyone is treated as a potential enemy combatant, misfit, villain, or criminal “to be penalized, locked up or locked out,” it is not surprising that institutions and policies are constructed that normalize a range of anti-democratic practices.27   These would include everything from invasive body searches by the police and the mass incarceration of people of color to the ongoing surveillance and securitization of schools, workplaces, the social media, Internet, businesses, neighborhoods, and individuals, all of which mimic the tactics of a police state.28  

At a time when prison, poverty, and a culture of cruelty and punishment inform each other and ensnare more and more Americans, the “governing-through-crime” complex moves across America like a fast-spreading virus.29   In its wake, Mississippi school children are handcuffed for not wearing a belt or the wrong color shoes,30  young mothers who cannot pay a traffic ticket are sent to jail;31  and according to Michelle Alexander, "More African American men are in prison or jail, on probation or parole than were enslaved in 1850, before the Civil War began."32

These examples are not merely anecdotal. They point to the alarming degree to which lockdown becomes a central tool and organizing logic in controlling those growing populations now considered disposable and subject to the machinery of social and civil death.  

The racist grammars of state violence that emerged during and in the aftermath of the lockdown of Boston speak to a connection between the violence of disposability that haunts American life and the increasing reliance on the state’s use of force to implement and maintain its structures of inequality, abusive power, and domination.  Within this system of control and domination, matters of moral, social, and political responsibility are silenced in the name of securitization, even as efforts to pass legislation on gun control are routinely displaced by the assertion of individual rights.  

For instance, Americans rightly mourn the victims of the Boston bombings but say nothing about the ongoing killing of hundreds of children in the streets of Chicago largely due to the abundance of high-powered weaponry and the gratuitous celebration of the spectacle of violence in American culture. Nor is there a public outcry and mourning for the tragic deaths of over 200 children killed as a result of drone attacks launched by the Obama administration on Afghanistan and other countries alleged to harbor terrorists.

Evil, when deployed by the American media and its complicit politicians, becomes at once too broad and too narrow, but insistently self-serving.33  Evil is always lurking out there in some objectively defined place, fixed spaces, and territories but never within those who seize upon the category to distance themselves for the crimes they are complicitous with.34  

Accordingly, the rush to lockdown must be understood within a wider military metaphysics, informed by the dictates of an increasingly authoritarian society, the ongoing war on terror, and the establishment of the permanent warfare state, which now moves across and shapes a wide range of sites and institutions.

As a metaphysic, lockdown is an essential mode of governance, ideology, faith, and practice that defines everyone as a soldier, enemy combatant, or a willing client of the security state. Among the most severe implications is that the war on terror actively wages a war on the very possibility of judgment, informed argument and decision, and critical agency itself.  

More specifically, the lockdown mode is hostile to dissent, the questioning of authority, and its disciplinary practices are steeped in a long history of abuse extending from harassing prison inmates, turning schools into prisons, transforming factories into slave labor camps, bullying student protestors, criminalizing social activists, transforming black and brown communities into armed camps, and treating public housing as a war zone.  It is a practice that emerges out of the glorification of war and the appeal to a state of emergency and exception. Moreover, the values and practices it legitimates blur the lines between the wars at home and abroad and the ongoing investment in the culture of war and machineries of death.  

Tom Englehardt has eloquently argued that the National Security Complex, with its “$75 billion  or more budget” continues to accelerate and that “the Pentagon is, by now, a world unto itself, with a staggering budget at a moment when no other power or combination of powers comes near to challenging this country’s might.”35  

Under the guise of the war on terror, the Bush and Obama administrations have “lifted the executive branch right out of the universe of American legality.  They liberated it to do more or less what it wished, as long as ‘war,’ ‘terrorism,’ or ‘security’ could be invoked.  Meanwhile, with their Global War on Terror well launched and promoted as a multigenerational struggle, they made wartime their property for the long run.”36  

The lockdown mode exalts military authority and thrives in a society that “can no longer even expect our public institutions to do anything meaningful to address meaningful problems.”37   One indication of the militarization of American society is the high social status now accorded to the military itself and the transformation of soldiers into uniformly heroic subjects and objects of national reverence. As Michael Hardt and Antonio Negri point out,

What is most remarkable is not the growth in the number of soldiers in the United States but rather their social stature...Military personnel in uniform are given priority boarding on commercial airlines, and it is not uncommon for strangers to stop and thank them for their service. In the United States, rising esteem for the military in uniform corresponds to the growing militarization of the society as a whole. All of this despite repeated revelations of the illegality and immorality of the military's own incarceration systems, from Guantanamo to Abu Ghraib, whose systematic practices border on if not actually constitute torture.38
At the same time, military values no longer operate within the exclusive realm and marginalized space of the armed forces or those governing structures dedicated to defense. On the contrary, the ideas, values and profits emerging from the war sector shape the everyday lives of civilians, creating what Charles Derber and Yale Magrass call a militarized society, which, as they put it,
develops a culture and institutions which program civilians for violence at home as well as abroad. War celebrates the heroism of soldiers who use the same style weapons and ammunition used by the mass shooters at Newtown, Los Angeles or Columbine. A warrior society values its armed forces as heroic protectors of freedom, sending a message that the use of guns [and the organized production of violence are] morally essential.39  
Ulrich Beck is right in arguing that the “Military is to democracy as fire is to water." He writes:
...military values define “the life of a person [as ] worth less than the lump of flesh in which he dwells. If democracy demands the individual’s will, the military demands his subordination. If, in the former case, all power originates from the people, then, in the latter all orders come from above. …Wherever one looks, it is the same: democracy means openness, questioning, power-sharing, transparent decisions. Military is a synonym for secret, command, killing, strictly prohibited. There is no need to recite the rest.40
Military values in America have become one of the few sources of civic pride. This helps to explain a few things.

First, the public’s silence in the face of not only the eradication and suppression of civil liberties,  public values and democratic institutions by the expanding financial elite and military-industrial-complex. Second, and related, the transformations of a number of institutions into militarized spheres more concerned about imposing a punitive authority rather than creating the conditions for the production of an engaged and critical citizenry.  

Lockdown signals the rise of an anti-politics, the rise of a new authoritarianism--an era of liminal drift in which democracy does not merely get thinned out but begins to morph into dangerous forms of militarization that do not support open dialogue, debate, transparency, or public accountability. Since when are SWAT teams viewed as the highest expression of national honor?

Militarism thrives on the mass produced culture of fear and the spectacle of violence.  It abhors dissent and flourishes in an ever expanding web of secrecy. Both Bush and Obama have used the cult of secrecy and the threat of punishment to silence whistleblowers, allow those who have committed torture under the government direction to go free, and refused those who have been “interrogoated” illegally to take their case to the courts. In the age of illegal legalities, the rule of law disappears into a vast abyss of secret memos, personal preferences, classified documents, targeted killings, and secret missions conducted by special operations forces.  

Tom Englehardt rightly argues that America has become a country wedded to the ethical-stripping fantasy that the rule of law not only still prevails but applies to everyone. He writes:

What it means to be in such a post-legal world -- to know that, no matter what acts a government official commits, he or she will never be brought to court or have a chance of being put in jail -- has yet to fully sink in.  In reality, in the Bush and Obama years, the United States has become a nation not of laws but of legal memos, not of legality but of legalisms -- and you don’t have to be a lawyer to know it.  The result?  Secret armies, secret wars, secret surveillance,  and spreading state secrecy, which meant a government of the bureaucrats about which the American people could know next to nothing.  And it’s all ‘legal.’41
Pervasive secrecy in the age of the lockdown suggests that the United States has more in common with authoritarian regimes than with flourishing democracies. Yet the American people still believe they live in what is touted in the mainstream media and right-wing cultural apparatuses as a country that represents the apogee of freedom and democracy.

As Brian Terrell argues, “prisons and the military, America's dominant institutions, exist not to bring healing to domestic ills or relief from foreign threats but to exacerbate and manipulate them for the profit of the wealthiest few, at great cost and peril for the rest of us”?42  Why aren’t people pouring into the streets of American cities protesting the rise of the prison and military as America’s dominant institutions?

What will it take for the American public to connect the increasing militarization of everyday life to the ways in which the prison-industrial complex destroys lives43 and for-profit corporations have the power to put poor people in jails for being in debt.44  Or for that matter when school authorities punish young children by putting them in seclusion rooms45 while on a larger scale the U.S. government increasingly relies on solitary confinement in detaining immigrants.46  

When will the American people link images of the “shattered bodies, dismembered limbs, severed arteries …and terrified survivors” to the reports of over 200 young children killed in Pakistan, Afghanistan, Yemen, and Somalia as a result of drone attacks launched by faux video gamers sitting in dark rooms in cities thousands of miles away from their targets?47  

In the face of the Boston marathon bombings, the question that haunts the American public is not about our capacity for compassion and solidarity for the victims of this tragedy but how indifferent we are to the conditions that too readily have turned this terrible tragedy into just another exemplary register of the war on terror and a further legitimation for the military-industrial-national security state.

Violence and its handmaidens, militarism and military culture, have become essential threads in the fabric of American life.  We live in a culture in which a lack of imagination is matched by diminishing intellectual visions and a collective refusal to challenge injustices, however blatant and corrosive they may be. For instance, a political system completely corrupted by big money is barely the subject of sustained analysis and public outrage.48  

The mortgaging of the future of many young people to the incessant greed of casino capitalism and the growing disparities in income and wealth does little to diminish the public’s faith in the fraud of the free market.49 The embarrassing judgments of a judicial system that punishes the poor and allows the rich to go free in the face of unimaginable financial crimes boggles the mind.

The challenge facing Americans is not the illusory dream of winning the war on terror but those undemocratic economic, political, and cultural forces that hold sway over American life, intent on destroying civic society and any vestige of agency willing to challenge them.   

Young people, especially those in the Occupy movement, the Quebec protesters, and the student resisters in France, Chile, and Greece seem currently to represent the only hope we have left in the United States and abroad for a display of political and moral courage in which they are willing individually and collectively to oppose the authority of the market and an expanding state of lockown while still raising fundamental questions about the project of democracy and why they have been left out of it.50  

Salman Rushdie has argued that political courage has become ambiguous and that the American public, among others,  has “become suspicious of those who take a stand against the abuses of power or dogma” or even worse, are blamed increasingly for upsetting people given their willingness to stand against and challenge orthodoxy or bigotry.51  Gone, he argues, are the writers and intellectuals who opposed Stalinism, capitalist tyranny, and the various religious and ideological orthodoxies that transform thinking and critically engaged critics into anti-intellectual fundamentalists and political cowards. In short, willing accomplices of the abused of power.

Of course, there are brave counter examples of brave intellectuals and artists all over the world such as Ai Weiwei, Angela Davis, Noam Chomsky, Stuart Hall, Arundhati Roy, and others who do not tie their intellectual capital to the possibility of a summer cruise, the rewards provided to those who are silent in the face of injustices or sell their souls to defense intelligence agencies who offer research funds. Nor do they participate in Fox News-like apparratuses that offer anti-public intellectuals instant celebrity status and substantial reward for demonstrating the pedagogical virtues of keeping the public politically illiterate while making it easier to push the informed and thoughtful to the margins of society.

As Noam Chomsky has pointed out, these are pseudo intellectuals whose most distinguishing feature is not only “acceptance within the system of power and a ready path to privilege, but also the inestimable advantage of freedom from the onerous demands of thought, inquiry, and argument.”52  

American culture powers a massive disimagination machine in which historical memory is hijacked as struggles by the oppressed disappear, the “state as the guardian of the public interest is erased,”53  and the memory of institutions serving the public good evaporates.  

The memories of diverse democratic movements need to be resurrected in order to reimagine a politics capable of reclaiming democratic institutions of governance, culture, and education;  moreover, the educative nature of politics has to be addressed in order to develop both new forms of individual and collective agency and vast social networks that can challenge the global concentration of economic and political power held by a dangerous class of financial and wealthy elites.  

Gayatri Spivak has argued  that “without a strong imagination, there can be no democratic judgment, which can imagine something other than one’s own well-being.”54  

The current historical conjuncture dominated by the discourse and institutions of neoliberalism and militarization present a threat not just to the economy but to the very possibility of imagining an alternative to a machinery of punishment, isolation, and death that now reaches into every aspect of daily life.  

A generalized fear now shapes American society, one that thrives on insecurity, precarity, dread of punishment, and a concern with external threats.  Any struggle that matters will have to imagine and fight for a society in which it becomes possible once again to dream the project of a substantive democracy.

This means, as Ulrich Beck has pointed out looking for politics in new spaces and arenas outside of traditional elections, political parties, and “duly authorized agents.”55  It suggests developing public spaces outside of the regime of casino capitalism and developing a type of counter politics, one engaged in the shaping of society from the bottom up.  

Central to such a challenge is the educational task of inquiring not only how democracy has been lost under the current regime of neoliberal capitalism with its gangster rulers and utter disregard for its production of organized irresponsibility and injustice but also how the project of democracy can be retrieved through the joint power and efforts of workers, young people, educators, minorities, immigrants, and others. At the present historical moment, lockdown culture is being disrupted in many societies.  

A fight for democracy is emerging across the globe led by young people, workers, and others unwilling to live in societies in which lockdown becomes an organizing tool for social control and repression.  

The future of democracy rests precisely with such groups both in the United States and abroad who are willing to create new social movements built on a powerful vision of the promise of democracy and the durable organizations that make it possible.  

Copyright, Truthout. May not be reprinted without permission of the author.

FOOTNOTES

1Eduardo Galeano, “The Theatre of Good and Evil, La Jornada (September 21, 2001), translated by Justin Podur, reprinted on Znet commentary at sysop@zmag.org,

2Andrew O’Hehir, “How Boston exposes America’s dark post-9/11 bargain,” Salon.com (April 20, 2013). Online: http://www.salon.com/...

3Andrew O’Hehir, “How Boston exposes America’s dark post-9/11 bargain,” Salon.com, (April 20, 2013). Online:
http://www.salon.com/...

4Zygmunt Bauman, In Search of Politics (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1999), p. 13.

5Michael Schwalbe, “The Lockdown Society Goes Primetime,” Counterpunch, (April 24, 2013). Online: http://www.counterpunch.org/... see also, Josh Gerstein and Darren Samuelsohn, “Boston lockdown: The new normal?” Politico, (April 20, 2013). Online:  http://www.politico.com/... and Wendy Kaminer, “‘We Don’t Cower in Fear’: Reconsidering the Boston Lockdown,” The Atlantic, (April 21, 2013). Online: http://www.theatlantic.com/...

6Steven Rosenfeld, “America’s Focus on Terrorism Blinds Us To Everyday Violence and Suffering,” Alternet, (April 22, 2013). Online:
http://www.alternet.org/...

7Guy Standing, The Precariat: A Dangerous Class (New York: Bloomsury, 2011), p. 132.

8William Rivers Pitt, “Random Notes From the Police State,” Truthout (April 23, 2013). Online: http://truth-out.org/...

9On the the cost of American  militarism and national security, see Melvin R. Goodman, National Insecurity: the Cost of American Militarism (San Francisco: City Lights, 2013).

10Igor Volsky, “Top Opponent Of Immigration Reform Totally Loses It During
Immigration Hearing,” ThinkProgress (April 22, 2013). Online: http://thinkprogress.org/...

11David A. Graham, “ Shorter Lindsey Graham: Constitution? What Constitution?” The Atlantic (April 19, 2013). Online: http://www.theatlantic.com/...

12Ibid., Graham, “ Shorter Lindsey Graham: Constitution? What Constitution?”

13Ulrich Beck, “The Silence of words and Political Dynamics in the World Risk Society,” Logos 1:4 (Fall 2002), p. 9.

14On the question of racism and the response to the Boston marathon bomging, see David Sirota, “The huge, unanswered questions post-Boston,” Salon, (April 21, 2013). Online: http://www.salon.com/... and Andrew O’Hehir, “How Boston exposes America’s dark post-9/11 bargain,” Salon.com, (April 20, 2013). Online: http://www.salon.com/...

15Adam Serwer, “5 of the Worst Reactions to the Boston Manhunt,” Mother Jones, (April 19, 2013). Online:
http://www.motherjones.com/.... Some critics argued persuasively that the government response to the Boston marathon bombing indicated the degree to which bloated surveillance state failed. See: John Stanton, “US National Security State Fails in Boston,” Dissident Voice, (April 20, 2013). Online: http://dissidentvoice.org/... and Falguni A. Sheth and Robert E. Prasch, “In Boston, our bloated surveillance state didn’t work,” Salon, (April 22, 2013). Online: http://www.salon.com/...

16Ibid., Serwer, “5 of the Worst Reactions to the Boston Manhunt.”

17Katie McDonough, “New York state senator on Boston suspect: “Who wouldn’t use torture on this punk?”,” Salon, (April 20, 2013)
http://www.salon.com/...

18A Report by the American Civil Liberties Union of Ohio,  How Ohio’s Debtors’ Prisons Are Ruining Lives and Costing Communities (Cleveland, Ohio: ACLU, 2013). Online: http://www.acluohio.org/...

19Hannah Groch-Begley, “Fox Asks If Children Should Work For School Meals,” Media Matters, (April 25, 2013). Online:
http://mediamatters.org/...

20See: Annette Fuentes, Lockdown High: When  the Schoolhouse Becomes a Jailhouse (New York: Verso, 2011); Erik Eckholm, “With Police in Schools, More Children in Court,” The New York Times, (April 12, 2013). Online:
http://www.nytimes.com/...

21I am drawing from the excellent article by Jonathan Turley, “10 Reasons the U.S. is no longer the land of the free,” The Washington Post (January 13, 2012). Online: http://articles.washingtonpost.com/...

22Noam Chomsky, “Boston and Beyond: Terrorism at Home and Abroad,” In These Times (March 13, 2013). Online: http://readersupportednews.org/...

23Cited in Bill Moyers, “The Boston Manhunt as a ‘Political’ event,” Truthout (April 25, 2013). Online: http://truth-out.org/...

24One of the few who made provided this type of analysis was Michael Schwalbe, “The Lockdown Society Goes Primetime,” Counterpunch, (April 24, 2013). Online: http://www.counterpunch.org/...

25Jennifer Rubin, “Sen. Lindsey Graham: Boston bombing “is Exhibit A of why the homeland is the battlefield” The Washington Post (April 19, 2013). Online: http://www.washingtonpost.com/...

26Michael Cohen, “Why does America lose its head over 'terror' but ignore its daily gun deaths?” The Guardian (April 21, 2013). Online: http://www.guardian.co.uk/...

27Guy Standing, The Precariat: A Dangerous Class (New York: Bloomsury, 2011), p. 132.

28A number of excellent sources take up this issue, see, for example, James Bamford, The Shadow Factory: The NSA from 9/11 to the Eavesdropping on America (New York: Anchor Books, 2009); Zygmunt Baum and David Lyons, Liquid Surveillance: A Conversation  (London: Polity, 2013); Michael Hardt and Antonio Negri, Declaration (New York: Argo Navis Author Services, 2012). Relatedly, see Stephen Graham, Cities Under Siege: The New Military Urbanism (New York: Verso, 2011).

29Jonathan Simon, Governing Through Crime: How the War on Crime Transformed American Democracy and Created a Culture of Fear (New York: Oxford University Press, 2009).

30Nicole Flatow, “Report: Mississippi Children Handcuffed in School For Not Wearing a Belt,” Nation of Change, (January 18, 2013). Online:
http://www.nationofchange.org/... Suzi Parker, “Cops Nab 5-Year- Old for Wearing Wrong Color Shoes to School,” Take Part, (January 18, 2013). Online:
http://www.takepart.com/...

31Alex Kane, “Miss a Traffic Ticket, Go to Jail? The Return of Debtor Prison (Hard Times, USA),” Alternet, (February 3, 2013). Online:
http://www.alternet.org/...

32Cited in Dick Price, “More Black Men Now in Prison System Then Were Enslaved”, LA Progressive, (March 31, 2011) online at:
http://www.zcommunications.org/...

33See, for instance, Robert Scheer, “277 Million Boston Bombings,” Truthdig, (April 23, 2013)
http://www.truthdig.com/...

34Zygmunt Bauman and Leonidas Donskis, Moral Blindness: The Loss of Sensitivity in liquid Modernity (London: Polity, 2013), p. 7.

35Tom Engelhardt, “Washington’s Militarized Mindset,” TomDispatch, (July 5, 2012). Online: http://www.tomdispatch.com/...

36Tom Engelhardt, “The American Lockdown State,” TomDispatch, (February 5, 2013)
http://www.tomdispatch.com/...

37Steven Rosenfeld, “What Is the Cause of Violent and Senseless Massacres in America?” AlterNet, (July 24th, 2012). Online:
http://www.alternet.org/...

38Michael Hardt and Antonio Negri, Declaration (New York: Argo Navis Author Services, 2012), p. 22.

39Charles Derber and Yale Magrass, “When Wars Come Home,” Truthout, (February 19, 2013). Onlike:  http://www.truth-out.org/...

40Ulrich Beck, The Reinvention of Politics (Cambridge: Polity Press, 1999). P. 78.

41Tom Engelhardt, “The American Lockdown State,” TomDispatch, (February 5, 2013)
http://www.tomdispatch.com/...

42Brian Terrell, “Drones, Sanctions, and the Prison Industrial Complex,” Monthly Review Magazine, (April 24, 2013). Online: http://mrzine.monthlyreview.org/...

43See: Mark Karlin, “How the Prison-Industrial Complex Destroys Lives: An Interview with Marc Mauer,” Truthout (April 26, 2013). Online: http://www.truth-out.org/.... There are many excellent resources on the subject, see, for instance, Angela Y. Davis, Abolition Democracy: Beyond Prisons, Torture, and Empire Interviews with Angela Y. Davis (New York: Seven Stories, 2005); Marc Bauer, Race to Incarcerate (New York: New Press, 2006); Anne-marie-Cusac, Cruel and Unusual: The Culture of Punishment in America (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2009) and Michelle Alexander, New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness (New York: New Press, 2012).

44Ethan Bronner, “Poor Land in Jail as Companies Add Huge Fees for Probation,” New York Times (July 2, 2012), p. A1.

45Bill Lichtenstein, “A Terrifying Way to Discipline Children,” New York Times, (September 8, 2012). Online:
http://www.nytimes.com/...

46Ian Urbina and Catherine Rentz, “Immigrants Held in Solitary Cells, Often for Weeks,” New York Times, (March 23, 2013). Online: http://www.nytimes.com/...

47Barry Lando, “The Boston Marathon Bombing, Drones and the Meaning of Cowardice,” Counterpunch, (April 16, 2013). Online:
http://www.counterpunch.org/...

48Joshua Kurlantzick, Democracy in Retreat (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2013) and Hardt and Negri, Declaration.

49Peter Edelman, So Rich, So Poor: Why It’s So Hard to End Poverty in America (New York: The New Press, 2012); Joseph Stiglitz, The Price of Inequality (New York: W.W. Norton, 2012); see also the brilliant article on iequality by Michael Yates, “The Great Inequality,” Monthly Review, (March 1, 2012) http://monthlyreview.org/...

50See, Henry A. Giroux, Youth in Revolt (Boulder: Paradigm, 2013).

51Salman Rushdie, “Wither Moral Courage,” New York Times (April 27, 2013). P. SR5.

52Noam Chomsky, The Culture of Terrorism (Boston: South End Press, 1988), p. 21.

53Pierre Bourdieu, Acts of Resistance (New York: Free Press, 1998), p. 1.

54Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak, “Changing Reflexes: Interview with Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak,” Works and Days, 55/56: Vol. 28, 2010, pp. 1-2.

55Ulrich Beck, Democracy Without Enemies (London: Polity Press, 1998), p. 38.

Via Truth-Out, some background on Dr. Giroux…
Henry A. Giroux

Henry A. Giroux currently holds the Global TV Network Chair Professorship at McMaster University in the English and Cultural Studies Department. His most recent books include: Youth in a Suspect Society (Palgrave, 2009); Politics After Hope: Obama and the Crisis of Youth, Race, and Democracy (Paradigm, 2010); Hearts of Darkness: Torturing Children in the War on Terror (Paradigm, 2010); The Mouse that Roared: Disney and the End of Innocence (co-authored with Grace Pollock, Rowman and Littlefield, 2010); Zombie Politics and Culture in the Age of Casino Capitalism (Peter Lang, 2011); Henry Giroux on Critical Pedagogy (Continuum, 2011). His newest books:   Education and the Crisis of Public Values (Peter Lang) and Twilight of the Social: Resurgent Publics in the Age of Disposability (Paradigm Publishers) will be published in 2012). Giroux is also a member of Truthout's Board of Directors. His website is www.henryagiroux.com.

Here’s more on him from his website
Henry Armand Giroux was born September 18, 1943, in Providence, Rhode Island, the son of Armand and Alice Giroux.

Giroux received his Doctorate from Carnegie-Mellon in 1977. He then became professor of education at Boston University from 1977 to 1983. In 1983 he became professor of education and renowned scholar in residence at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio where he also served as Director at the Center for Education and Cultural Studies. He moved to Penn State University where he took up the Waterbury Chair Professorship at Penn State University from 1992 to May 2004. He also served as the Director of the Waterbury Forum in Education and Cultural Studies. He moved to McMaster University in May 2004, where he currently holds the Global Television Network Chair in English and Cultural Studies.

He currently lives in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada with his wife, Dr. Susan Searls Giroux.

Originally posted to http://www.dailykos.com/user/bobswern on Sun May 05, 2013 at 08:48 PM PDT.

Also republished by Extraterrestrial Anthropologists.

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Comment Preferences

  •  What One Commentator Points Out Is Breathtaking: (24+ / 0-)
    As one commentator pointed out, “This is pretty breathtaking. Graham is suggesting that an American citizen, captured on American soil, should be deprived of basic constitutional rights.”
    Intentionally or otherwise, he's perpetuating the concept that "rights" pertain to "American citizen[s]."
    ...the right of the people peaceably to assemble....

    ...the right of the people to keep and bear arms....

    The right of the people to be secure....

    No person shall be held to answer... nor shall any person be subject....

    In all criminal prosecutions, the accused....

    The character string "citizen" is not found in the Bill of Rights.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Sun May 05, 2013 at 09:07:07 PM PDT

  •  Thanks as usual Bob. (13+ / 0-)
    Why is America’s obsession with evil so selective?
    That's the crux of the problem in my opinion.
  •  I am overwelmed with Dr. Giroux's paper. I've (11+ / 0-)

    read his tuff before and he is a deep thinker.  I will read this until I am satisfied that I have mined the great nuggets of edurcation it offers on this critical subject of democracy and public safety and safety for human beings and this earth.

    Lincoln and this paper should make a interesting juxtaposition, I will be off of work next week and that is my goal along with healing from the goate, a painful disease in my toe and foot, right foot.

  •  our 21st century america in all it's Neo-liberal (8+ / 0-)

    ''glory'' will have the fight of it's life, i'm just not sure if i'll live to see it..........wtf

    ''A conservative is a man with two perfectly good legs who, however, has never learned to walk forward.'' FDR

    by lostinamerica on Sun May 05, 2013 at 09:16:06 PM PDT

  •  Step one: frighten the sheep. (12+ / 0-)

    Threat levels, FBI stings of "terrorists" who wouldn't exist without the FBI to help them, media that sow fear and loathing of Muslims--all create paranoia.  It starts when you're always afraid.  Give in to constant surveillance, of your phone calls, email, financial records: it's all for your own good.

    Step two: corral the sheep.

    Train them to stay in their homes, don't interfere, don't get in the way; not in a neighborhood, but the whole effing city!

    Hey, we won't let the terrorists change our way of life...unless the police tell us to.  It's all for our own good.

    Step three: where are the sheep being led?  

    Answer: where are they always led?

  •  This frightens me most of all: (13+ / 0-)
    Salman Rushdie has argued that political courage has become ambiguous and that the American public, among others,  has “become suspicious of those who take a stand against the abuses of power or dogma” or even worse, are blamed increasingly for upsetting people given their willingness to stand against and challenge orthodoxy or bigotry.51  

    Gone, he argues, are the writers and intellectuals who opposed Stalinism, capitalist tyranny, and the various religious and ideological orthodoxies that transform thinking and critically engaged critics into anti-intellectual fundamentalists and political cowards. In short, willing accomplices of the abused of power.

    bob...thanks for this. I am thunderstruck by Giroux's work. The thinkers, the men of reason seem to have evaporated from the face of the earth.
  •  Dr. Giroux offers some hope... (10+ / 0-)
    This means, as Ulrich Beck has pointed out looking for politics in new spaces and arenas outside of traditional elections, political parties, and “duly authorized agents.”55  It suggests developing public spaces outside of the regime of casino capitalism and developing a type of counter politics, one engaged in the shaping of society from the bottom up.  .....
    ...how the project of democracy can be retrieved through the joint power and efforts of workers, young people, educators, minorities, immigrants, and others....
    i want to get this started now !

    but how ?

    ''A conservative is a man with two perfectly good legs who, however, has never learned to walk forward.'' FDR

    by lostinamerica on Sun May 05, 2013 at 09:39:54 PM PDT

  •  Wow. (16+ / 0-)

    Thank you Dr. Giroux, and to you bobswern, for posting this.

    I wonder if any of those unquestionably cheering the legions of law enforcement officers marching down the road at the conclusion of this incident might take a second look at how all of this went down, after reading this.

    While I was naturally relieved when all of this ended, the scale of the operation had raised flags in my mind almost immediately. Those who questioned along these lines where often dismissed with "you weren't there, so you don't know what it was like" or, "there were explosives everywhere and no one knew how many more or where they were" types of responses.

    Both true, but the larger implications for civil liberties in the future were barely given a thought, as the post points out.

    Now maybe we'll be able to analyze it better. Or maybe not. Unless a mass awakening by the citizenry occurs, I fear it may be too late.




    Somebody has to do something, and it's just incredibly pathetic that it has to be us.
    ~ Jerry Garcia

    by DeadHead on Sun May 05, 2013 at 09:49:34 PM PDT

  •  now whenever i rant about DoD budget and MIC (12+ / 0-)

    i will think of this...

    In the face of the Boston marathon bombings, the question that haunts the American public is not about our capacity for compassion and solidarity for the victims of this tragedy but how indifferent we are to the conditions that too readily have turned this terrible tragedy into just another exemplary register of the war on terror and a further legitimation for the military-industrial-national security state.
    Violence and its handmaidens, militarism and military culture, have become essential threads in the fabric of American life.  We live in a culture in which a lack of imagination is matched by diminishing intellectual visions and a collective refusal to challenge injustices, however blatant and corrosive they may be. For instance, a political system completely corrupted by big money is barely the subject of sustained analysis and public outrage.48  
    thanks bobswern, so much to digest, it will take me a few readings......

    ''A conservative is a man with two perfectly good legs who, however, has never learned to walk forward.'' FDR

    by lostinamerica on Sun May 05, 2013 at 09:54:39 PM PDT

  •  I see this as a permanent state (8+ / 0-)

    that's only going to get worse. They have no incentive to scale back and too many are profiting from the current state.

    "The human eye is a wonderful device. With a little effort, it can fail to see even the most glaring injustice." Richard K. Morgan

    by sceptical observer on Sun May 05, 2013 at 10:30:15 PM PDT

    •  And it's a self-degenerative/propagating cycle (5+ / 0-)

      The more we see it as a permanent state, the more powerless we perceive ourselves to be.

      This in turn reduces the collective will to push back against this machine, further allowing it to grow stronger and stronger at an ever increasing pace.

      Did we ever have a shot at keeping it reined in? If we did, it seems far past that point.




      Somebody has to do something, and it's just incredibly pathetic that it has to be us.
      ~ Jerry Garcia

      by DeadHead on Sun May 05, 2013 at 10:44:34 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  True, that. (5+ / 0-)
        Did we ever have a shot at keeping it reined in? If we did, it seems far past that point.
        This is not your Herbert Hoover over-reach.

        We have apparently drooed down the rabbit hole -- and there's no going back. That was true the day we invaded Afghanistan and created the terror-fear-based US colony.

        But, there is "getting out." There has always been a better life to be had elsewhere.



        Denial is a drug.

        by Pluto on Sun May 05, 2013 at 11:50:16 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  I'm afraid the summer will be all about war (5+ / 0-)

    The dog is already being wagged.

    Most truths are so naked that people feel sorry for them and cover them up, at least a little bit. --Edward R. Murrow

    by chuckvw on Sun May 05, 2013 at 10:36:50 PM PDT

  •  Fascinating piece. Thanks bobswern. (6+ / 0-)

    Reminds me a great deal of the role that the HR system of punishment plays in this community -- in almost every detail.

    Microcosmically, of course.



    Denial is a drug.

    by Pluto on Sun May 05, 2013 at 10:40:30 PM PDT

    •  You're an incredibly cute extraterrestrial... (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Pluto, DRo, BlueDragon

      ...anthropologist, ya' know!?! I've never seen a picture, but my sensory (skills) aptitude is "off the charts!" (Unfortunately, I don't know if that's off the upper or lower bound of those charts, but it is off the charts.) That's taking the cosmically macro (as opposed to micro) view, of course!

      I was thinking of starting my first "group" here...similar name to yours: the "Extraterrestrial Apologists." (We're just REALLY sorry we ever landed here!)

      "I always thought if you worked hard enough and tried hard enough, things would work out. I was wrong." --Katharine Graham

      by bobswern on Sun May 05, 2013 at 11:10:17 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Give your children a great future outside the US: (6+ / 0-)

    I happened to be reviewing this topic in my expat studies. Sending your children abroad will put them heads and sholders above other American children and give them profound advantages in the 21st century world. There are great middle and high school choices, but these are a few I have looked at for high school graduates:

    The New Global Student: Skip the SAT, Save Thousands on Tuition, and Get a Truly International Education

    Good-bye, Old School. Hello, Bold School!

    In 2005, Maya Frost and her husband sold everything and left their suburban American lifestyle behind in order to have an adventure abroad. The tricky part: they had to shepherd their four teenage daughters through high school and into college. This hilarious and conspiratorial how-to handbook describes the affordable, accessible, and stunningly advantageous options they stumbled upon that any American student can leverage to get an outrageously relevant global education.

    Ready to ditch the drama of the traditional hypercompetitive SAT/AP/GPA path? Meet the bold American students who are catapulting into the global economy at twenty with a red-hot college diploma, sizzling 21st-century skills, a blazing sense of direction–and no debt.

    Packed with myth-busting facts, laughable loopholes, insider insights, astonishing success stories, and poignant tales from the Frost daughters themselves, this inspiring romp is guaranteed to get you cheering.

    ::
    Study Away: The Unauthorized Guide to College Abroad

    Now you can go to the college of your dreams and see the world—without compromising on your education (or your parent's budget). This for students by students guide gives you the inside scoop on colleges and programs around the world, with detailed profiles of the best international schools and independent reporting on what life on campus is really like. And since it covers many full undergraduate degree programs, you can decide for yourself if you’d like to complete your degree abroad or simply go for a semester or two. With this frank and accessible book you'll soon be on your way to studying art history in Paris, public health in Kinshasa, or international business in Hong Kong—whatever your major, the experience of living in a foreign country is increasingly desirable in our globalized world.

    Includes:
    -68 schools around the world that teach in English and offer American-style degrees
    -A description of each campus and its academic reputation
    -Tuition rates and financial aid information
    -Housing options, extracuricular activities, and support services

    ::
    Study Abroad: The Book of Jobe

    A 21-year-old American student has his entire existence turned upside down when he accepts an invitation to Study Abroad in the Netherlands. Instead of starting his senior year in the comfort zone, he must quickly adapt to the ways of Europe, or be left behind. Follow Jobe as he navigates his way through the unknown. Envision life through his words as he meets new friends and challenges during his journeys. Read along as he gradually transforms from a naive American to a seasoned traveler, student, and entrepreneur. Laugh, cry, and experience Europe through a first time student traveler's perspective. Study Abroad is a true, feel good story that is a must read for anyone who loves to travel, live, and learn.

    Enjoy.



    Denial is a drug.

    by Pluto on Sun May 05, 2013 at 11:05:09 PM PDT

  •  Ughh. As a Bostonian I"m tired of "lockdown" (14+ / 0-)

    Boston wasn't "Locked down"

    It was not mandatory. Our Governor ASKED US to stay home. It was a "shelter in place order".

    I am sure if it went on into another day (they ended it before findign the suspect) poeple would have not stayed home.

    I know people who went to work, went out. NO tickets, NO arrests NO punishment.

    For one day, our government asked us ASKED US to stay home. We largely complied out of CIVIC fellow feeling. We wanted to do our part, and we did.

    •  So would there have been consequences (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      truong son traveler, MrJayTee

      if people had decided not to comply?

      I was under the impression it was a bit more than just a polite request. You seem to be saying this was a voluntary compliance.




      Somebody has to do something, and it's just incredibly pathetic that it has to be us.
      ~ Jerry Garcia

      by DeadHead on Sun May 05, 2013 at 11:20:46 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  And... (4+ / 0-)

        Does it even really matter whether it was called a "lockdown" or whether it was a polite request voluntarily complied with by residents, for purposes of this post?

        The point was that it is a step in the wrong direction as far as civil liberties are concerned.

        They have the capability to severely restrict the citizenry on short notice.




        Somebody has to do something, and it's just incredibly pathetic that it has to be us.
        ~ Jerry Garcia

        by DeadHead on Sun May 05, 2013 at 11:29:44 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I would think what it is called doesn't matter (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          WB Reeves, erush1345, jplanner

          so much, but whether it was voluntary or forced or coerced definitely matters as to whether it was a step in the wrong direction. I don't see that the capability was changed by this incident.

          Gondwana has always been at war with Laurasia.

          by AaronInSanDiego on Sun May 05, 2013 at 11:44:21 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  You don't see the capability has changed? (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            BlueDragon, MrJayTee

            Maybe I've been living in a bubble, but I can't recall an operation of this magnitude having occurred prior to this incident.

            So it's more about the fact that the capability hadn't yet been exercised. To have that many LE officers and that much equipment converge on a single general location that quickly is both impressive and somewhat disturbing at the same time.




            Somebody has to do something, and it's just incredibly pathetic that it has to be us.
            ~ Jerry Garcia

            by DeadHead on Mon May 06, 2013 at 01:13:47 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  I'm not saying it's occurred before, but (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              erush1345, jplanner

              if the capability weren't already in place, it wouldn't have happened as quickly as it did. But I'm not sure exactly what capability you're talking about. If you're saying the capability to get people to comply with a shelter in place order is new, I think that's a different capability than involuntarily forcing people to stay locked down. I think the first requires fewer resources and coordination than the second.

              Gondwana has always been at war with Laurasia.

              by AaronInSanDiego on Mon May 06, 2013 at 01:17:43 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  I stated what capability I was referring to: (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Pluto, BlueDragon, MrJayTee

                The ability to assemble thousands of law enforcement officers, armed vehicles, robots, firepower, etc. for two guys and some explosives.

                The scale, regardless of what restrictions were imposed upon citizens, voluntary or otherwise. is all I'm talking about.

                I'm glad they got the guys, I'm glad additional lives weren't lost. I would've wanted a bunch of cops around me, too, but...

                The question remains for me whether the size of the threat justified the size of the operation, because the militarization of law enforcement, a paranoid increase in surveillance, etc. is disturbing.  

                I suspect we may be talking last each other, for which I will blame myself...west coast insomnia. ;)




                Somebody has to do something, and it's just incredibly pathetic that it has to be us.
                ~ Jerry Garcia

                by DeadHead on Mon May 06, 2013 at 03:46:36 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Perhaps you should (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  erush1345

                  do some research on the way the authorities reacted to the urban rebellions in the 1960's.

                  Nothing human is alien to me.

                  by WB Reeves on Mon May 06, 2013 at 04:10:50 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Not as extremely as they did this past Weds.... (4+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Pluto, BlueDragon, DeadHead, MrJayTee

                    ...in NYC (or as they have to OWS, in general, and they're getting more and more paramilitarized by the day)...

                    May Day Protesters With Sign “It’s Not a Crisis, It’s a Scam,” Cuffed and Jailed by NYPD
                    Pam Martens
                    Walll Street On Parade
                    May 1, 2013

                    If you’ve spent any time at all on this web site, you know that a seven word poster – “It’s Not a Crisis, It’s a Scam” – neatly sums up what myself, Matt Taibbi, Paul Craig Roberts, Yves Smith, Ellen Brown, and Mike Krauss have devoted millions of words attempting to convey to the American public. Barry Ritholtz has also greatly advanced the topic as have many others.

                    Despite the veracity of the poster, a number of protesters from among the May Day marchers in New York City today were cuffed and jailed by the NYPD as they marched behind the sign. The police will not, at this time, give the tally of arrests.  

                    The same group of protesters, calling themselves the Anti-Capitalists, sang out as they marched: “One, two, three, four — I declare a class war; five, six, seven, eight — eat the rich and smash the state...”

                    "I always thought if you worked hard enough and tried hard enough, things would work out. I was wrong." --Katharine Graham

                    by bobswern on Mon May 06, 2013 at 04:37:49 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  And, I could get into much greater detail... (3+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      BlueDragon, DeadHead, MrJayTee

                      ...about THIS, for instance. But I (still) don't/didn't think it was necessary, since this is merely a crosspost in which we're commenting.

                      "I always thought if you worked hard enough and tried hard enough, things would work out. I was wrong." --Katharine Graham

                      by bobswern on Mon May 06, 2013 at 04:41:23 AM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                    •  Huh? (0+ / 0-)

                      Don't you remember Kent State? Jackson?And Birmingham?
                      Jeez,it used to be life threatening to express non-violent civil disobedience-not to say it won't be again if we don't start exercising our rights instead of jacking off on a keyboard.

                      'The tyranny of the ignoramuses is absolute and inescapable' A.Einstein

                    •  Not as "extremely"? (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      jplanner

                      I have to disagree. Declarations of martial law, with curfews enforced by the military, make the Boston experience appear far less extreme.

                      Assertions of this kind, fly in the face of historical precedent and, IMO, wind up undermining the more substantial arguments concerning the expansion of the National Security State.

                       

                      Nothing human is alien to me.

                      by WB Reeves on Mon May 06, 2013 at 12:30:53 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  Just to be clear (0+ / 0-)

                        the mass arrests in NYC, while egregious and likely illegal, are not without precedent either.

                        Nothing human is alien to me.

                        by WB Reeves on Mon May 06, 2013 at 12:37:25 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  Media was a different animal back in the 60's... (1+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          MrJayTee

                          ...again, the focus here is upon the media, and (law enforcement was much more about the respective municipalities and states) the current militarization of the law enforcement community, throughout the country. And, most definitely, actions at Birmingham, Jackson and Kent State were among the most violent our country had witnessed in a generation.

                          But, what did the federal gov't do in response to the intolerable acts of local/state governments back then? How did the media cover it back then? Those protests certainly started to foment change. Although we have a long way to go when it comes to racism and the nation's penchant for jumping from international conflict to international conflict.

                          The difference between then and now is stunning when one looks at the media's and the public's reaction and coverage of how the government infiltrated virtually all groups (whether it was anti-racism or anti-war org's) back in the day, versus how we're looking upon the government's and law enforcement's infiltration of protest groups nowadays. (IMHO, I'd call it quite "matter-of-fact," in terms of most of the public's reaction these days.)

                          What about juxtaposing history and social change for a moment...what would happen now if folks were protesting against racism and wars? What has happened of late when those events (protests against racism and wars and the behavior of the status quo) have occurred? (That IS a rhetorical question.) And, the answer definitely has a great deal to do with how we, as a society, communicate (organize in groups) today; and, how the media behaves now, versus how it did back in the 60's, etc.

                          I would posit that the state actually nips protest in the bud much more now. Why? Because it can, IMHO. (Although, Oakland comes to mind with regard to OWS...but, even that was relatively tame by 1960's standards.)

                          IMHO, I would argue that the state is much more intrusive when it comes to monitoring the activities of its citizens; and, that's very much a double-edged sword...one which the status quo (i.e.: corporations, gov't, etc.) optimizes and contorts to its profit and convenience, as much if not more than using it for "the greater good."

                          Back in the 60's, the FBI would wiretap and otherwise monitor folks. Nowadays, it's all-encompassing. Back in the 60's (and afterwards, when law enforcement's egregious actions were uncovered), the public was outraged when they found out about those types of things. Nowadays, the public buys into that activity, but they are concurrently limiting their right to protest, whether they realize it or not. And, the state capitalizes on that instilled fear; so, a "loop" develops, as it were.

                          The conditioning of the public to accept surveillance by the state carries with it much greater truths than many may like to admit. For starters, with the propagandized fear that accompanies this activity, there's a strengthening of the power of the status quo; and--like all groups that attain greater levels of power--the status quo will, inevitably, abuse their power, as we're obviously seeing that being writ large throughout society, too. And, change becomes far more difficult to accomplish, politically, now even moreso than it was back then.

                          But, I AM rambling...and I have work to do in the real world...

                          "I always thought if you worked hard enough and tried hard enough, things would work out. I was wrong." --Katharine Graham

                          by bobswern on Mon May 06, 2013 at 01:15:29 PM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  Good points (0+ / 0-)

                            but there are some things left out.

                            The media in the sixties was far more centralized and controllable by Government in the sixties than it is today. I don't recall it's attitude towards protest being anywhere as near sympathetic as you apparently do. To the degree that the media "opened up" during the period it was an excruciatingly long and drawn out evolution. One that was driven initially by the the explosive growth in local alternative media via the proliferation of "Underground" newspapers and, latterly, the revelations in the wake of the Watergate scandal. These resulted in a relatively brief period in which dissident views received wider exposure.

                            It's a grim irony that the deregulation and decentralization of the media has resulted in corporatist dominance rather than a democratic proliferation of contending views.

                            As for public reaction to Government repression during the period, again our perceptions differ. I recall no wave of general public outrage prior to Watergate. Quite the contrary. Public opinion was generally hostile to protestors and complacent towards the actions taken against them by Hoover's FBI and local police.

                            The police riot at the Democratic Convention in Chicago was followed by the election of Nixon on a law and order platform. No one was ever called to account for the murder of Black Panther leader Fred Hampton, the killing of students in Orangeburg, SC or even at Kent State Ohio. Again, public attitudes didn't really began to change until Watergate revealed the lawlessness at the highest levels of Government.

                            Your points about the greater technological reach of police and intelligence agencies in the present are well taken. As is the observation about their pre-emptive actions towards dissidence. However, their effectiveness in the latter case is, IMO, as much a result of the failure to develop new and innovative tactics to stymie such moves as anything else.
                                 

                            Nothing human is alien to me.

                            by WB Reeves on Mon May 06, 2013 at 01:53:21 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  I kind of stopped at... (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            tardis10
                            The media in the sixties was far more centralized and controllable by Government in the sixties than it is today...
                            Corporate control/consolidation of the MSM is more intense than it's ever been. By far; and without question. This holds true, even to some extent, throughout the blogosphere. You make some great and otherwise quite valid statements after that; but, even at DKos, there is significant censorship--both by the folks that own the place, and with regard to what topics are encouraged versus discouraged, both by the ownership of the community and by the often-hyperpartisan community, itself.

                            With only a few exceptions, the few credible online entities that are professionally and genuinely critical of our government--outside of the one two major parties in this country--are either marginalized or discredited, for the most part. (We see that status quo effort at marginalizing and discrediting those online communities happening right under our noses, here, sometimes.) Same holds true in the MSM, with an even greater emphasis there on funding/cash. (Smaller amounts of cash go an even longer way to distorting messages/communications online, IMHO. i.e.: there are quite a few bloggers, even here, in discussions about varying topics that simply aren't disclosing their affiliations; and, in more than just a few instances, their--related and quite material subjectivity as it relates to certain topics--income sources.)

                            Nowadays, the middle and lower classes are very much getting thrown under the proverbial bus, just as the anti-racism and anti-war protesters were in the 60's. Make no mistake about it. (Please do NOT misinterpret what I'm saying here, however; as a group, there is no other group that comes close to the levels of historical oppression than the injustices that were--and continue to be to this day--inflicted upon our country's people of color.) But, there's a very strong argument to be made that more deaths are occurring due to society's oppression of its underclasses, right now, than the number of folks that were murdered protesting racism and wars in the 60's. But, that's a story for another time...

                            "I always thought if you worked hard enough and tried hard enough, things would work out. I was wrong." --Katharine Graham

                            by bobswern on Mon May 06, 2013 at 02:22:32 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Corporate control isn't the equivalent of (0+ / 0-)

                            Government control. In the sixties TV became the primary source of news and information and was dominated by three networks which in turn were regulated by the Government through the FCC. There were no cable alternatives.

                            While corporate consolidation of the media is a serious issue in itself, it is entirely separate from the question of government control.

                            Moreover, the greater local ownership of newspapers, TV and Radio stations during the sixties didn't translate into either a wider range of dissident views or sympathy for protest. In most instances, such local media were solidly in the pocket of local business and political elites. What little diversity that did exist was confined by the narrow limits of the so-called post war liberal consensus. This was the sterile reality that led to the explosive, spontaneous growth of the underground press.

                            Frankly, I don't think the affiliations of members of the Dkos, real or imagined, are relevant. If someone  presents a compelling  coherent, fact based argument for a position, their motives for doing so don't come into it. If you can't refute an argument on its merits, you certainly wont succeed in doing so by casting aspersions on the person making it. An argument is either sound or unsound irrespective whether or not the person advancing it is a "paid shill" or a blind ideologue.

                            But, there's a very strong argument to be made that more deaths are occurring due to society's oppression of its underclasses, right now, than the number of folks that were murdered protesting racism and wars in the 60's. But, that's a story for another time...
                            Well, that's an argument that I'd be interested in examining. However, I'd advise that if you're referring to the oppression of entire classes of people in the present, the proper comparison would be to the oppression of entire classes in the past, rather than the subcategory of protesters.

                               

                            Nothing human is alien to me.

                            by WB Reeves on Tue May 07, 2013 at 02:42:11 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                    •  yes, they were jailed. But not in Boston (0+ / 0-)

                      you bind togeather things that are not the same.
                      It was a request. I watched my Governor in real time. He said "we request that you stay home, shelter in place".

                      As I said I know plenty of people who went to work or out. No one that I saw online in social media or that I know had any fine, arrest, or even a conversation with police.

                  •  And I suppose after I do that research (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    bobswern, MrJayTee

                    I will feel comforted when imagining those responses reproduced with the swarm of modern technology we've seen in recent incidents.




                    Somebody has to do something, and it's just incredibly pathetic that it has to be us.
                    ~ Jerry Garcia

                    by DeadHead on Mon May 06, 2013 at 11:09:23 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                •  I have nothing against asking questions (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  DeadHead

                  and that's a good one to ask.

                  Gondwana has always been at war with Laurasia.

                  by AaronInSanDiego on Mon May 06, 2013 at 06:52:30 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

          •  definitely a step in the wrong direction (0+ / 0-)

            voluntary or not-forced would have been a step further.

            "The tyranny of the ignoramuses is absolute and inescapable' A.Einstein

        •  I think it matters greatly (0+ / 0-)

          an order that is forced...I'm sure you'd be much more alarmed by that. If people got arrested or fined for being out.

          That seems very different. Think about it. It is much more clear cut.

      •  As jplanner said, (6+ / 0-)

        there were people who did not comply, and didn't incur consequences. If that had been the majority, perhaps a different approach would have been tried, but to say what that would have been would be speculation.

        Gondwana has always been at war with Laurasia.

        by AaronInSanDiego on Sun May 05, 2013 at 11:34:50 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  exactly. If it went on for more than a day (0+ / 0-)

          many wouldn't have stood it.

          Gov  Patrick called it correctly. NOte that he felt it had gone on long enough and lifted the order that evening BEFORE finding the suspect.

          Patrick is a lawer with experience in the Justice Dept. He knew the ramifications. I am sure he weighed this action heavily in his mind.

      •  People DIDN'T comply, and nothing happened (10+ / 0-)

        The only place that could be referred to as "locked down" was the neighborhood in Watertown where the guy was hiding. Single guys in gray hoodies walking in the street in that neighborhood were stopped (2 of them). One other person was stopped - a man walking away from the area, in the middle of the road, also wearing a gray hoodie, trying to flag down cars.

        That's it.

        In Boston, the public transit was closed, so most (but not all) businesses closed. Most people voluntarily stayed home, but those who didn't weren't harassed. My husband works just outside the city and went to work as usual. My brother flew into logan and my other brother drove into the city to pick him up, entirely without incident.

        Don't buy either the media's hype or the CT theories springing up around said hype. A neighborhood with a known, armed lunatic with bombs was shut down until he was found. Everyone who remained indoors elsewhere in the 6 cities nearest Watertown did so voluntarily to, as one person put it, "ensure that the bomber and the police were the only players on the board."

      •  No. (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        erush1345, raines, jplanner

        As a resident of a Boston suburb, albeit not one affected by the shelter-at-home request, and as someone who works on the block of Boylston Street where the first bomb detonated, I'd like to speak to this as well.

        No civil or criminal sanctions were announced for non-compliance.  Nor was there adequate police or military power present to enforce it had it actually been an order and hundreds of thousands of people decided to ignore it en masse.  The bulk of police and military assets were deployed to Watertown to catch the surviving suspect.  There were no armored personnel carriers driving up and down the streets to make sure people stayed in their homes.

        The first time I went into the city after the bombings (the Thursday after), there was a heavy police presence on the MBTA (public transportation).  Military police were even deployed at certain stations.  I intentionally did not bring my backpack to avoid having it searched (though there is hardly anything suspicious about books and soda!)  The next time I went into town (the following Sunday, after Tsarnaev was caught), they were gone.  I did not observe a single police officer or any military personnel anywhere on the T.  In other words, they came, they did their job, and they left.  This stands in stark contrast to New York City, which searched backpacks on its subways for years after 9/11.

        While good reason exists to ask what ways law enforcement could have done its job better and whether or not the amount of force employed amounted to overkill, our reaction must not become an overreaction as well, lest it give way to more conspiracy theories.

        •  The focus of this piece IS about the media... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          MrJayTee

          ...and the militarization of law enforcement throughout the country. The City of Boston shut down its transit system and told everyone to stay at home. Those two things happened. The media referred to it--and definitely portrayed it--as nothing less than a "lockdown." That happened, as well. The perception and the messages emanating from the event, nationally (via the media), along with the politicization of two young guys--who were, clearly, as much motivated by their disaffection from society as they were about their political views--is really what this is about, IMHO. Contrary to that reality, the media contorted this story to fit the political narrative (Islamophobia, foreign terrorism, etc.). And, THAT is the perception of most of U.S. society with regard to the events that transpired in Boston on April 15th, and much that has happened since. Again, per the last lines of the post: Giroux holds the Global Television Network Chair in English and Cultural Studies at Canada's McMaster University.  

          "I always thought if you worked hard enough and tried hard enough, things would work out. I was wrong." --Katharine Graham

          by bobswern on Mon May 06, 2013 at 09:59:56 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Clearly, then... (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            bobswern, jplanner

            ...the local media (as opposed to national and international), as well as those of us who were directly impacted by the bombings need to do more to get the word out to the rest of the world about what actually happened.  We were very much aware that the Tsarnaev brothers were likely motivated by disaffection from society and had no ties to international terrorist organizations within a day or two of the denouement.

            •  I'd say that's spot-on, since it's the other... (0+ / 0-)

              ...way around, outside of the Boston media market, IMHO.

              "I always thought if you worked hard enough and tried hard enough, things would work out. I was wrong." --Katharine Graham

              by bobswern on Mon May 06, 2013 at 12:41:43 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

      •  as far as I know, no consequences (0+ / 0-)

        I know restarants that were open in the city of Boston. My cousin went to work (she lives in a different part of the city than I do) and then texted me after from the restaurant. I live in a house with six appartments at least two were not home.

        I dislike when I make a statement and someone questions with exact same thing I said.

        I do not believe there would have been consequences to going out, because there were not.

        Again all bets off the table IF it had gone on longer than one day.

      •  google "Gov Patrick shelter in place" (0+ / 0-)

        eventually you will find his REQUEST.

        You are under "an impression". You are obviously drawing conclussions from the impression you are under. Go listen to his request.

        They wanted us to stay home. And most people I know talked to wanted to stay home and help the effort.

    •  Yes, I understand...but, the "lockdown" was... (7+ / 0-)

      ...most definitely how the story was portrayed in the MSM, throughout the rest of the country. So, it was a very "teachable moment" for the public, on a national level, so to speak. (See my comment in response to the next new/original comment, below.)

      "I always thought if you worked hard enough and tried hard enough, things would work out. I was wrong." --Katharine Graham

      by bobswern on Sun May 05, 2013 at 11:31:40 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  asdf (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Pluto

        Looks like a "lockdown" but perhaps Homeland Security can think of a better phrase. Valorous Compliance?  .http://www.businessinsider.com/...

        Certainly this past decade+ of fear-mongering around the old Homeland proved quite the nudgel. (not a typo,rather a hat tip to  Cass Sunstein,libertarian paternalists everywhere and wordoids)

        "George RR Martin is not your bitch" ~~ Neil Gaiman

        by tardis10 on Mon May 06, 2013 at 04:40:42 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  didn't feel mandatory here in Boston (0+ / 0-)

          I am here. So are hundreds of my FB friends and their friends. N is high enough (n being the number in a study).

          Plenty of people were out, NONE report any issue or interaction with police.

          Most CHOOSING to stay home. Just like we do when Governor REQUESTS we stay home during snow emergencies.

          We in Boston have that paradyme of staying home during snowstorm, businesses asked to close, people told to stay in...to many of us that is how this felt.

          A request.

          Believe me if it felt otherwise r you'd be hearing it straight from me that it was too much and a violation.

          •  Your point that this (0+ / 0-)

            "didn't feel mandatory" is not lost on me or Giroux. He is quite clear about that in his article. Guess I wasn't clear enough in the comment above.
            So it goes.

            "George RR Martin is not your bitch" ~~ Neil Gaiman

            by tardis10 on Tue May 07, 2013 at 07:55:28 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  so then that's the media's overly dramatic error (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        WB Reeves

        in reporting, rather than what actually occured.

    •  Was public transport (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      DeadHead

      (busses,tube) running at the same rate of frequency as on a regular day? Were public buildings and services open or closed? Schools? Libraries?

      "George RR Martin is not your bitch" ~~ Neil Gaiman

      by tardis10 on Sun May 05, 2013 at 11:47:00 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Me, too (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      raboof, erush1345, jplanner

      People voluntarily stayed home, to keep out of the way. But I live just outside of Boston and my husband drove into work at Brigham and Women's Hospital without incident.  No police stopped him. No road blocks. Nothing.

      There was no public transportation and no school for many, so people just stayed home with their families for a day. Like we do in a blizzard.  

      Yeesh.

      "My mother always taught me they can have their own opinion but that doesn't mean they are right." -- Marcelas Owens

      by Mad Mary on Mon May 06, 2013 at 05:55:07 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  agree-we in Boston had the weather paradyme (0+ / 0-)

        to follow.
        Very often we are Asked to stay home and off the roads and businesses are Asked to close.

        I think Bostonians heard this request the same way but Wanted to be helpful and comply in order to contribute to catching the suspect.

        (the shutting of roads last winter not being the usual)

      •  people want this to fit their own story (0+ / 0-)

        don't seem interested in the nuance of what actually occured or how people in Boston and surrounds who were asked to stay in actually felt.

        IT could be because of how the media covered this. I'd ask that people listen to the Actual citizens who lived through it themselves as a few of us are here.

        But no. Even though I am here a primary witness to events people who are not here and found out from secondary sources, or some of them, think their data is as accurate as ours.

    •  And as another Bostonian-area resident (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      paulitics, erush1345, jplanner

      I'm getting really tired of people that took the "terror police army, tanks in the streets" images, that the mass media ran over and over again, as true of everywhere within the Rt 128 circle. Yes, I wouldn't have wanted to be within the Watertown perimeter; but five miles to the north everything looked perfectly normal except for no buses and a few more police cars on the road than usual.  I spent all of that Friday trying to convince nervous out-of-town friends that things were just Not As Presented.

      Even intelligent people like Giroux apparently believe what they see on the teevee. Sigh.  I'm almost as sick of that as I am of all the tourists wearing "Boston Strong" made-in-China clothing.

       JPlanner is right. It wouldn't have lasted longer than a day.

      The thing about quotes on the internet is you cannot confirm their validity. ~Abraham Lincoln

      by raboof on Mon May 06, 2013 at 06:59:56 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  No, actually this IS very much about the media... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        raboof

        ...and it's impact upon our society as it relates in virtually every way (not the least of which being our politics) and that's a big portion of the subject matter that Giroux covers, academically.

        "I always thought if you worked hard enough and tried hard enough, things would work out. I was wrong." --Katharine Graham

        by bobswern on Mon May 06, 2013 at 07:19:03 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  no tanks. Armored vehicles, just a few (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        raboof

        just in Watertown as far as I know.

        Like a Brinks truck. It was misreported.

  •  This piece seems to be based on a premise (7+ / 0-)

    that I've seen disputed by several residents of the area, and doesn't define the term used in that premise. What is a "lockdown", and is that what actually occurred in Boston?

    Gondwana has always been at war with Laurasia.

    by AaronInSanDiego on Sun May 05, 2013 at 11:15:41 PM PDT

    •  Actually, a couple of points... (7+ / 0-)

      1.) See the comment directly above yours. And...

      2.) As far as the rest of the country was concerned, based upon how the MSM framed it, Boston was "locked down." Since the entire concept of this post is all about the effect it's had upon the country, and is having, upon society as a hole whole, we're talking about the politics of the matter; wherein it served its greater "purpose," nationally--and I'm talking "perception-wise."  As we all know, reality has little bearing upon how a story's reported in the MSM. It's the "spin" that matters these days.

      "I always thought if you worked hard enough and tried hard enough, things would work out. I was wrong." --Katharine Graham

      by bobswern on Sun May 05, 2013 at 11:24:59 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  And, no...my comment was not meant to be... (4+ / 0-)

        ...sarcastic. It was quite sincere.

        "I always thought if you worked hard enough and tried hard enough, things would work out. I was wrong." --Katharine Graham

        by bobswern on Sun May 05, 2013 at 11:25:47 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Well, I admit I didn't pay a lot of attention (3+ / 0-)

        to how the MSM characterized it. But perhaps spin itself, and its influence on us, is the real problem.

        Gondwana has always been at war with Laurasia.

        by AaronInSanDiego on Sun May 05, 2013 at 11:37:21 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  That IS a huge part of what's going on here... (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          jbob, BlueDragon, raboof

          ...in terms of WHAT it reflects within in our society, and how it's "reported" (or, not reported at all) to the masses. The coverage of this event, nationally, was really quite (noticeably) bad, especially in the first 72+/- hours. What I'm getting at is the very definition of "terrorism" (and the intent of terrorists, in general). Frankly, I don't know if it's just me, but the political purposes of the Tsarnaevs were more specified and communicated by the media than by anything the Tsarnaevs wrote or stated, frankly. It was as if the politics and the "terror" behind this act were almost SECOND, in terms of their intent, than those of the actions of two disaffected young people. In fact, I would go as far as to say that it appears that it was their disaffection that caused them to act as they did--based upon what we now know, so far--moreso than their political views, frankly. And, I think there are many that might agree with this observation.

          "I always thought if you worked hard enough and tried hard enough, things would work out. I was wrong." --Katharine Graham

          by bobswern on Mon May 06, 2013 at 05:25:42 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  From Giroux's bio, at the very end of this post... (0+ / 0-)
            ...he currently holds the Global Television Network Chair in English and Cultural Studies...
            (Emphasis is mine.)

            "I always thought if you worked hard enough and tried hard enough, things would work out. I was wrong." --Katharine Graham

            by bobswern on Mon May 06, 2013 at 07:26:04 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  The media coverage was wretched (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            bobswern

            and continues to be wretched.

            I'm not the only one here who wishes that those CNN news trucks at Copley Square would just go home.

            The thing about quotes on the internet is you cannot confirm their validity. ~Abraham Lincoln

            by raboof on Mon May 06, 2013 at 07:33:09 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  If the problem is the message that the "lockdown" (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        raboof

        meme is projecting, how does it make sense to amplify that message by uncritically reiterating the meme?

        Nothing human is alien to me.

        by WB Reeves on Mon May 06, 2013 at 04:16:42 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  You're oversimplifying this; I've discussed... (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          BlueDragon, raboof

          ...this in other comments over the past hour...such as HERE and HERE. And, as I've written about it in many posts in the past. From a very different vantage point, Giroux has been discussing this in great detail, as well. Also, as the HEADLINE of his piece states, it's about "Lessons to be learned..."

          And, realistically, this story IS about the media as much as anything else. And, that may be summed up in one question: How many people reading this story, in general, actually think this act of "terror" was ALMOST as much as about two disaffected immigrants as it was about anything "political"?? (And, that question, and the answers to it bring us back to the media and our society. And, where they've taken these types of activities since 9/11--again, see my comment links, up above.)

          BTW, don't get me wrong. I think our society SHOULD throw the proverbial book at the younger Tsarnaev.

          But, there's a HUGE story about the CONTEXT of this that's extremely worthy of a deeper dive, IMHO...both from Giroux's vantage point, and from my own, in terms of what I discuss in the links above in this comment; and, there are many matters that dovetail with Giroux's sentiments with regard to my own, as well.

          "I always thought if you worked hard enough and tried hard enough, things would work out. I was wrong." --Katharine Graham

          by bobswern on Mon May 06, 2013 at 05:46:23 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Not over simplifying, clarifying (0+ / 0-)

            There is a tendency, when examining these questions, to echo the dominant memes that are being promoted. This is problematic if one seeks to question that framing.

            Nothing human is alien to me.

            by WB Reeves on Mon May 06, 2013 at 12:12:15 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

  •  Thanks, but... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    WB Reeves, bobswern

    This article is written like, and is the length of, an academic paper.  I agree with most of the points raised, but I am worried that the format will limit the amount of eyeballs that see this diary.

    It might be useful if you wrote a shorter diary of the more traditional type for this web site, in which you summarized the main points with illustrative quotes from the article.  

    •  not everything needs to be or should be (0+ / 0-)

      dumbed down

      thank god for bob swern putting this here or i would have missed it and i know giroux's work

      •  I think the ideas in this article (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        WB Reeves

        could be expressed more succinctly, without losing any content of value.  It's a matter of writing style, and I found the article needlessly opaque that way.  Sometimes there is no substitute for declarative sentences that address the point without excess verbiage.  See: Orwell, George--Politics and the English Language.

  •  This was easier fare than (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bobswern, Pluto

    the other pieces I have read of Giroux. It is digested easily I guess because I agree with all of it.

    There are many things in there that I would like to have said myself but refrained because.......well, they aren't popular and draw a lot of fire, even in these parts.

    Thanks for posting it.

  •  Giroux demonstrates the limits of analysis. (0+ / 0-)

    Is there a wider context of pernicious state control over citizens within which the "lockdown" can be inscribed, as theorists like to say?  Do conservatives want to use episodes like this to advance their agenda?  Yes and yes. Does that mean that it's wrong for government to tell people to stay home because there are a couple of mad bombers (and point-blank shooters, let's not forget that) on the loose?  To me that's another question that no amount of meaning-of-everything thinking can help us with.

    You know, I sometimes think if I could see, I'd be kicking a lot of ass. -Stevie Wonder at the Glastonbury Festival, 2010

    by Rich in PA on Mon May 06, 2013 at 04:32:10 AM PDT

    •  Yes, there's a "wider analysis"... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Pluto, BlueDragon

      ...without question, as I noted upthread... HERE and HERE. And, as I've written about it in many posts in the past. From a very different vantage point, Giroux has been discussing this in greater detail for years.

      "I always thought if you worked hard enough and tried hard enough, things would work out. I was wrong." --Katharine Graham

      by bobswern on Mon May 06, 2013 at 04:45:51 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Well, that's the point (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        erush1345

        He's got a hammer, and everything looks like a nail.  Which it is, but I the reality is that you need nails sometimes. So I'm not questioning the analysis, but rather its relevance. Would it really have been better for the government to tell people to go about their business?

        You know, I sometimes think if I could see, I'd be kicking a lot of ass. -Stevie Wonder at the Glastonbury Festival, 2010

        by Rich in PA on Mon May 06, 2013 at 04:54:49 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I didn't say that, and neither is Giroux... (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          tardis10, jbob, BlueDragon

          ...and, this isn't how law enforcement has responded to acts of terror, say, in NYC. It's easy (and, it IS bullshit) to Monday-morning-quarterback this stuff, however. But, there are matters at play in our society--not the least of which being the MSM's handling of this subject--which deserve a further look. Another topic would be: Is it wise to shut down an entire metro area's transit system in response to an act of this nature?

          Please look at some of my most recent comments in this post for more on this, such as HERE and HERE. I've written about this subject in many posts in the past. From a very different vantage point, Giroux has been discussing this in great detail, as well.

          (This is a full crosspost, however. And, I try to do this type of piece without putting any--or very little--of my own commentary into them.)

          "I always thought if you worked hard enough and tried hard enough, things would work out. I was wrong." --Katharine Graham

          by bobswern on Mon May 06, 2013 at 05:17:10 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  There are no "Constitutional rights" other than (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bobswern

    those associated with citizens governing. And even those are actually obligations, which have, over time, been selectively respected. That is, the obligations of citizenship (to vote, to hold office, to serve on juries, to provide material support, to petition for laws, and to enforce the law) have been selectively assigned, even after universal suffrage became the law of the land.
    The human referenced for respect in the amendments to the Constitution are, rather conspicuously, not supported by any meaningful enforcement action. That forcefully extracted evidence cannot be used to convict in a judicial proceeding is not a restraint on the agents of law enforcement who have no interest in judicial proceedings for the indefinitely detained individuals they threaten and treat with disdain.
    Nowhere does the Constitution guarantee respect for human rights. Moreover, the way it is structured, property rights trump human rights from beginning to end. That the people govern is given lip service at best. Involuntary servitude persists both as a punishment for crime and in the demand that males register for the military draft. In no sense of the term are natural persons considered sacrosanct.

    So, the culture of obedience is entirely consistent. If the arc bends towards justice, it definitely isn't there yet. The rule of law is being employed to render the population subservient and compliant. It is an agenda that is entirely consistent. The promotion of human dignity is not a component.

    We organize governments to deliver services and prevent abuse.

    by hannah on Mon May 06, 2013 at 05:38:40 AM PDT

  •  Thanks for posting this (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bobswern

    glad to see Canadian academics are not banned from theorizing about forces in society

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