Why aren’t we all in jail?

No doubt you’ve heard the famous (and sadly fictional) story of the time Ralph Waldo Emerson visited Henry David Thoreau in jail. Thoreau, of course, was incarcerated because of an act of civil disobedience arising out of his opposition to the Mexican War. Emerson is supposed to have said to him, “Henry, why are you here?” To which Thoreau replied, “Waldo, why are you not here?”

I thought about this a few days ago while listening to a television discussion of global warming. For at least the thousandth time, I heard people who know what they’re talking about tell me of doom’s approach. And I didn’t doubt them. The science is overwhelming. We’re destroying this planet (or more accurately — we’re destroying our future on this planet and taking a lot of other species down with us), it’s that simple. And in cosmic terms, we’re doing it in the blink of an eye.

And even knowing this, we aren’t doing shit about it.

Here I am, the father of two young boys whose futures are literally being burned away by our stupidity. Yet, I’m doing precious little about it myself.

Why aren’t we all in the streets demanding action? Why aren’t we all engaged in forceful nonviolent civil disobedience?

Why aren’t we all in jail?

*  *  *

A note from the management: I will make no promises. I’ve already broken too many here. I have every intention of bringing the café back to life, but exactly when and in what form remains to be seen. In the meanwhile, I’ll try to get short posts up more often to give regulars a better opportunity to talk among yourselves. It may sound corny, but I’ve been proud of the way you’ve carried on the conversation in my absence.

Steve

10 Responses to “Why aren’t we all in jail?”

  1. Larkrise Says:

    Thanks so much, Steve. It is good to hear from you here. I am curious to hear what you have to say about the DOJ filing an amicus brief for John Yoo. I listened to Jonathan Turley, Law Professor, on Countdown. He was outraged; and said that this was not necessary to protect executive privilege.

    Dear alwayshope,
    I have been downtown to Bayh’s office here in Indy twice this year with petitions and letters. The second time was in very cold weather with Move On. We had some TV coverage. I related my problems with health care coverage. I have marched against the War in Iraq down Meridian St., cane in hand. I have sat at petition tables on the Canal, handed out flyers and spent afternoons in the Broad Ripple office to elect Obama, working on the computer. I have an acquaintance who did go to jail for civil disobedience to protest SOA. My problem is that now I dont know if my heart is in any of this, other than to irritate Evan Bayh. I would do that on general principle, ditto Dick Lugar.
    I am so deeply disheartened by Obama. I’m not getting any younger; and my energy levels are not what they used to be. I genuinely, truly, sincerely want change in this country in order to help those who are prey to the many inequities that exist in this oligarchy. I am willing to work for it; but I am weary. I spend every night signing action alerts, signing petitions, writing emails, doing click donations on Care2, Ecology Fund, Hungry Child/Hungry Children, and the Hungersite and its affiliates. I do this every single night, unless I am ill. Yet, Obama doesnt seem to care about endangered species, or oil spills or even holding cruel people accountable for their actions. I will work to my fullest ability for someone I believe to be moral and decent. I am no longer sure that Barack Obama is that person. Why let your DOJ file an amicus brief for John Yoo? Why allow states to gun down animals that are part of a healthy ecological system? Why promote drilling for oil in environmentally sensitive areas? Why have the same people, who helped cause our economic problems, making inadequate decisions to resolve them? Why tell people who have lost their jobs, who are losing their homes, who have no health insurance, that they must be patient for the economy to become better?!!! You cannot be patient when you can’t feed your family and you are losing your home. You cannot be patient when your wife may have breast cancer and you have no insurance. You cannot be patient when an insurance company refuses to pay for lifesaving treatment. Let Mr. Obama and Congress walk in those shoes, face those anxieties and fears, and be patient!!!!To hell with that kind of rhetoric and thoughtless platitudes. Use executive orders to get things done. That ass Bush certainly did. I am sick of politicians and their bullshit and self-serving games. You and I are both able to discern right from wrong, compassion from indifference and hatefulness, objective data and discussion from distortion of facts and snake oil. If we are able, so are politicians. Yet, few of them do so.This is wrong. This is immoral. This is DESTRUCTIVE to society, to our country, and to our planet. May God have mercy on their souls, because I dont.

  2. concerned Says:

    Welcome Home, Steve!

    I’m not in jail, but I’ve had a DHS (state) investigation – does that count?

    Global Warming is indeed a huge problem, and even more so in light of all the deniers out there. A recent poll showed that more of US believe in guardian angels than believe in global warming – I know, right…

    Anyway, when encountering a denier I use this analogy: ‘Go home, lock yourself in your garage, turn on your car and stay in there for 2 hours. After 2 hours open the door to let yourself out – IF YOU STILL ARE ABLE TO DO SO.’ This argument really shuts ‘em down pretty quickly. This kind of carbon poisoning they understand, and when you tell them about the atmosphere holding in the exhaust like the garage door they can get a mental image that seems to have been previously lacking in their mindset.

    Try to generate no carbon emissions – it’s not easy, but with a little revamping you can greatly lower your footprint. Start w/your trash – recycle everything possible & try not to buy things that you must throw away. Compost. Ride a bike as much as possible, or get your city to allow golf carts on the streets. Grow an organic garden, get your meat from a local free-range farmer, and use your own bags @ the grocery. It can be a fun family project – get started today! Oh, and go here if you want a copy of your DHS files: http://www.forensicsciencetechnician.org/?page_id=84

  3. alwayshope Says:

    Good to hear that you’re okay, Steve.
    I like this post. I mentioned in the previous post the Bill Moyers Journal this week was about this very subject, The power of organized money against the power of organized people.
    I completely agree with your sentiment. We haven’t made ourselves clear or done all we could do until we are in jail. I’m so ready to get out there and try to help stop the madness that is consuming us. Big money is blocking healthcare, climate change legislation, banking regulation and any and every kind of reform. We have to paint the bankers as overlords and wall street as racketeers and gamblers. We have to shame, blame and defame their very names. I hope everyone here will read the transcript from Moyers and take some inspiration from those who did defy the powers-that-be and did go to jail for it. The working people need to come together to remind the 1%ers just whose blood and sweat drive and defend this country. I’m ready to stand up, lay down, sit in, march, shout, picket and strike. Hell yes, let’s all go to jail.

  4. Chuck Says:

    So why haven’t anybody from BuzzFlash steped in to help like they’ve done in the past?

  5. alwayshope Says:

    Larkrise
    Clearly, you are making a huge effort for change. I wish we could clone you.
    You make me realize that I can do a lot more.. and I will.
    The fight is really a lop-sided one too which makes it so frustrating. We have to fight Big Oil, Big Pharm, Big Insurance, Big banks and Big Ag. The Republicans have screamed about big government so long and taken so many controls away and diminished each department and agency so that now Big business can strangle small government, with one fistful of money tied behind behind it’s back. You’re right Obama could use his executive power to right the wrongs but there are snags there too. As you know torture still exists, so does Gitmo. I think Obama is as fearful of the ruthlessness of the right as most of the other dems. Hell, there is vitually nothing they could do that would surprise me, they have found new lows and gotten away with…..well…murder.
    Hang in there, Larkrise, you may be weary, but you give much and do much more than most.

    concerned
    I like that sit in your car reply, I may use that next time I run into one of those morons.

  6. alwayshope Says:

    Chuck!
    I forgot to reply to your post old buddy!

    You spelled stepped wrong, hasn’t you?

  7. Chuck Says:

    Yep! spelt it rong.

  8. Larkrise Says:

    I wish Obama had the spunk and courage of HST. Instead, he listens to that creep, Rahm Emmanuel. Emmanuel would sell his granny down the river for a bent nickel. He’s a first class jerk like Larry Summers, who thinks women arent as smart as men. Got his butt kicked real good for that sexist pig opinion. He needs to get it kicked out the door this time for “hating infrastructure jobs.” Millions need jobs. Paul Krugman recommended infrastructure jobs. He was right. Obama and his flunky Summers were wrong.

  9. concerned Says:

    It will be difficult to be green when all of our seeds are owned by Monsanto:

    http://crooksandliars.com/susie-madrak/ap-investigation-shows-monsantos-reac

  10. alwayshope Says:

    concerned
    Yes! I’ve been screaming about Monsanto to my representatives for years now but they don’t even reply. Remeber their recumbinant growth hormones? They introduce synthetic material into our bodies that remains and even grows. The way they destroy small farmers who try to get out from under their control is vicious. What they get away with in developing nations is unconscienable. They are the seed Nazis.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.



BUZZFLASH PROGRESSIVE MARKETPLACE:  BOOKS, MOVIES, AND MUSIC - FOR PROGRESSIVES, BY PROGRESSIVES