Thoughts & Stories of Mike Straight #75

    This fuckin’ war. This goddamn fuckin’ war. In some ways I don’t even want to talk about it — acknowledge that the charade exists. But it does - this war to expand the empire. Doublespeak reins supreme, when liberation means conquest and freedom is the word for new imprisonment. We live in scary times, as anyone with dissenting viewpoints is easily labeled a terrorist. More and more power is being seized by the executive branch Emperor Bush - thanks to the patriot act. Yes, it is scary. All I keep thinking about is that this is how it feels to live in an Empire. Wars of aggression and expansion, 1000s of kilometers away, while back here in the heart of the empire, business keeps going on as usual. Today I was at a drug study screening, watching the CNN war coverage blaring on the TV across the room. It felt so surreal, live coverage of the colonial war — yet everyone basically ignored it. Desensitized. That is how the hegemony of power works, teach people that this is life. Right now, this is how life is, and what happens needs to happen and there are no other true solutions. God, this whole country is sick—permanent war. Permanent expansion. It’s bizarre that people can really believe that a small country — way around the world, which has been beaten into poverty for 10 years, may have weapons that threaten the empire. Bizarre.
    I keep wondering of the residents of Rome felt the same way as I do? Are we following their footsteps, are we going to salt the sands of Baghdad as the Roman army did to Carthage? No, I know we won’t do this, instead we will follow the same pattern as Napoleon and other empires — put in place puppet governments whose leaders will live fairly well as long as they respond correctly to the wishes of Washington. The United States acts like an empire, one with little patience for any disagreement. The French leadership has the guts to speak out against American Imperialism, and American leaders demonize their country and culture by burning flags, trying to ban wine, and renaming thin strips of fried potatoes. This all is out of control. Like a bad sci-fi novel. Like we’re living in an Orwell novel that was never published. It is maddening in its absurdity. Our military spending is completely out of control — lasts year’s budget was $281 Billion. Yes, $281 Billion Dollars, more then the next 11 top spending countries combined. $281 Billion, $281 Billion that could have been spent in so many more productive and humane ways. Yet the Emperor, even with all that military money, just cut back benefits for veterans. Make sure to let everyone who is screaming “support the troops” what Bush is doing to the veterans of other imperial wars. It shows just how little the Empire cares for it’s own peasants, workers, and soldiers. 
    So it is hard not to lose hope in times like these, especially when our Empire blows off the demonstrations of millions of people across the planet - but we can’t and we shouldn’t. The only thing we can do is to resist, in any way we can. From talking to our neighbors, to screaming on the street, to scrawling NO WAR, wherever we can. And if you feel beaten, that our actions meant nothing, that is not entirely true. Yes, we did march and still the bombs fell — but it could have been worse. While the war did go on, the Bush regime is carefully watching its actions. Have any of you noticed how the US military is actually “worried” about civilian casualties? If you believe that Bush or the military actually cares about the Iraqi people, then you are more gullible then a Baltimore Punk waiting for a Dystopia show on April Fools day!!! The Bush regime doesn’t’ give a shit if a million Iraqis die, but they are trying to save some face to the rest of the world. If it weren’t for the international outcry against the war, US military would run hog-wild, using every new weapon it hasn’t tested since the last gulf war ten years ago. So keep up the pressure, as it is all we can do.
    Also something that needs to be mobilized against is Patriot act II—more restrictive and evil then the first, it is a weapon of mass restriction on the civil rights of residence of the United States. This act goes so far to even strip citizenship of people who were born in this country.  The powers of search and seizure are increased and even the legal ability to monitor the materials that you check out of a library are included in the act. It is a full-on attack on what civil rights we still have. Learn about this act, for it will effect your life. For a complete listing of what this act entails, check 
   Fuck—so this is what it must have felt like to be a leftist in Germany during the early 1930s!

Other notes — I want to thank Dystopia for playing kick ass sets in both Baltimore and Philadelphia on April 1st. Also if anyone sees Jason Angst, the best traveler/punk tattoo artist in the US, waiting at the Fuel Cafe, can you tell him “April Fools” and that I still love him. Also has anyone noticed how much Dave from MDC looks like “Hannibal Lector” from The Silence of the Lambs? Yea, MDC played down the street last night, and while they were quite good, all I could think of was Hannibal Lector singing “John Wayne was a Nazi”!
Ok it is late, and a space bag floats around downstairs here at “Suddenly Malcolm (is a) Squat” so I am done typing up here  - so sleep and be merry, for tomorrow we will protest. And there really is no place like home when you live in Wild West Philly!