Thursday, March 18, 2010

MARCH, 18, 2003

I wanted to upload onto Youtube a DVD I just had made from a video of a reading I did on March 18th, 2003, of a poem I wrote (and assembled) especially for that reading and finished only hours before.

It was a poem about the impending invasion of Iraq which began the next night. No one knew exactly when it would start so it was a coincidence that this reading the poet Vincent Katz put together at the Paula Cooper Gallery in Manhattan happened to occur on the eve of the war (which also included an introduction by Ramsey Clark and three other poets reading their work, Ann Lauterbach, Anne Waldman and Robert Creeley).

A lot of what I put into the poem shocked audiences when I read it that night and in subsequent readings over the next months and years. People actually got upset and questioned my predictions etc. This was before any documentaries on the war about the costs including the atrocities and torture etc. had been made or books written etc. But it was all already happening in Afghanistan though few seemed to be aware of it.

At any rate, I couldn't get the DVD to upload to Youtube (there's a new class system in some areas of daily life and work these days with techno savvy folks at the top and the rest of us taking up the bottom or thereabouts) so all I can do to commemorate another anniversary of a war that should never have happened is this link to my web site where the poem I read that night in '03 has been posted for years by my friend who runs the site (although I notice in watching the DVD that I think I missed reading a few lines that night). I've been meaning to suggest an alternative poem to put up there, but I'm glad it's there tonight.

32 comments:

JIm said...

Michael,
You really have an extraordinary load of bullshit, anti-Americanism, anti free market entrepreneurialism that I suspect your Grand Father who raised the railroad barrier and your entrepreneurial father and your army brothers would have taken issue with. You are anti-American with your 60/70s radicalism that persists to this day. Your buddy Eskow, now cuts off dissent because the liberal/progressive/communist/anti-American left finds American Constitutional government to big a burden to bear. You, the South Orange socialist can not be far behind.

Robert G. Zuckerman said...

Jim,

You speak of free market entrepreneurialism as if it's some kind of holy of holies and should come with the Right's complete corrupt and bastardized misinterpretation of the Second Amendment as some kind of absolute. You don't own what it is to be "American" sir, and your self righteosness does not become you. You are better than that. You need to take a long walk through many impoverished, racially mixed sections of OUR country, into old age homes, cancer wards, AIDS Hospices, VA Hospitals, School hallways and yards and then into other parts of OUR planet before you can deign to speak with such a tone of authority as you do.

Elisabeth said...

This is a powerful statement, Micheal. You are a soothsayer of sorts. It's scary stuff. And wonderful. I'd have loved to hear and see you read it.

JIm said...

Robert,
All I have to do is take a walk through history. Socialism has never worked accept in convents and monastaries.

Lally said...

Thanks Robert for your always reasonable and thoughtful responses on this blog.
And Elisabeth, hopefully me reading that poem for the first time will be on a new CD that an independent label is putting out that also has some old poetry/music sessions I did with my oldest son, Miles, back in Venice, CA, in the '90s. I post the info here when it's released.
As for Jim, I will leave his comment this time since Robert already addressed it. But if he ever insults the memory of my grandparents, parents and all my siblings and uncles and aunts who were and still are staunch FDR Democrats I will delete his comments and continue to if he persists. The poor man has no idea what the terms he uses means or he wouldn't use them. He is a lemming, which dismays me, because as children he seemed to have a more independent mind, but all he can do is mouth "big lie" propaganda points that have nothing to do with reality, historical or in the present. May God forgive him and keep our country safe from the rightwing fanatacism and hatred that he represents which seems determined to destroy almost all that is good and decent and enlightened about our Constitution and government and way of life.

JIm said...

It is the Obamacrats that are trashing the Constitution by raming through this legislative monstrosity. But what can you expect from a president who just said in the Fox News interview that congressional rules do not matter. The end justifies the means according to the Obamasiah.

Robert G. Zuckerman said...

In sadly typical fashion, Jim, you and those like you maliciously distort actual tangible facts, such as what OUR president said. It's like a security guard I met in Western Pennsylvania who said: "I'm not prejudice, but I READ in President Obama's health bill that he wants everyone over 65 to commit suicide." Or the guy in the waiting room of the doctor's office who said "Obama should go back to Saudi Arabia where he was born." I'm afraid that Michael has it right when he says "lemmings." Fox News is anything but news, it is opinion that is very skewed and tainted. You can walk through his-story all you want, but it is just that, a story. You need to get in touch with reality, the reality of hunger, illness, needless suffering caused by the selfrighteousness of ignorance, hatred and greed. The resources and ability exist in this world for there to be no hunger and for all to have health care when needed. Your doctrinaire mentality would deny this and continues to undermine its realization.

Caitlin said...

Thank you Robert for your calm and sane words. If only there were more of you.

JIm said...

Robert,
I do not see much difference between tacitly or explicitly endorsing an unconstitutional technique to avoid complying with requirement that the congress record the yeas and nays. Either way, it is unconstitutional.

“The President seemed to abide by Congressman Chris Van Hollen’s (D-MD) advice to avoid talking about the process. Obama would not directly answer this question, but seemed to tacitly endorse the potentially unconstitutional strategy with his statement that he hoped for a vote “sometime this week.” The President does not seem troubled by the constitutional concerns of the Slaughter Rule strategy. The Wall Street Journal Op Ed agrees with the argument that this controversial procedure is unprecedented because never before has Congress passed a comprehensive reform bill using this tactic. Baier pressed the President: “…

http://blog.heritage.org/2010/03/18/slaughter-rule-not-defended-by-president/

JIm said...

Pelosi said she prayed to St. Joseph to pass the Health Care Bill, that contains federal funding for abortion. That is so special.

JIm said...

The Slaughter Solution and Impeachment

I had not thought of impeachment, but it has a nice ring to it,for violating his oath of office to protect the constitution.

"The Slaughter Solution is a poisoned chalice. By drinking from it, the Democrats would not only commit political suicide. They would guarantee that any bill signed by Mr. Obama is illegitimate, illegal and blatantly unconstitutional. It would be worse than a strategic blunder; it would be a crime - a moral crime against the American people and a direct abrogation of the Constitution and our very democracy.

It would open Mr. Obama, as well as key congressional leaders such as Mrs. Pelosi, to impeachment. The Slaughter Solution would replace the rule of law with arbitrary one-party rule. It violates the entire basis of our constitutional government - meeting the threshold of "high crimes and misdemeanors." If it's enacted, Republicans should campaign for the November elections not only on repealing Obamacare, but on removing Mr. Obama and his gang of leftist thugs from office.

It is time Americans drew a line in the sand. Mr. Obama crosses it at his peril. "

Jeffrey T. Kuhner is a columnist at The Washington Times and president of the Edmund Burke Institute, a Washington think tank. He is the daily host of "The Kuhner Show" on WTNT 570-AM (www.talk570.com) from noon until 3 p.m.

Robert G. Zuckerman said...

So, Jim, should we take it that you are satisfied with the status quo of our health system, and also, that you do not believe that everyone in OUR country is entitled to health care when needed? Jeffrey T. Kuhner, born in Canada, is a noted Conservative and the Edmund Burke Institute is a conservative, right wing think tank - both would be against anything President Obama does or tries, because that's their agenda.
Quoting him doesn't make either of you right, Jim, and I doubt that bantering with you in Michael's blog will change your mind, nor will your citations change mine. I don't wish anything bad on you, but it probably would take you or a loved one badly needing health care and being denied or unable to afford it to suddenly see the merits of health care reform.

JIm said...

Robert,
No one is happy with the current system. That unhappiness and non government, free market solutions was on display at the televised bipartisan meeting with the president last month. Obvious and non tax payer solutions which have been presented many times before were presented again. That included:
1- inter state competition
2- tort reform
3- losening of rules to form groups, thus lowering costs
4-elimination of federal mandates
5-medical vouchers for the poor (tax payer funded)
6-tax deductable medical savings account to be used to purchase insurance and or services
Robert this is just a start. There would be no expansion of government, taxes, deficits, which is a good thing. There would be no rationing of services and shortages of doctors, which is also a good thing. Romney care, which is representative of what federal health care would be like, is a fiscal disaster for MA. Demand for Medical care has exploded, resulting in rationing of care and a shortage of doctors because of the cutting of payments to doctors.
Note Moodys rating agency threaten to lower the AAA rating for the US because of spendin. The passage of another massive entitlement will hasten that day.

Butch in Waukegan said...

Jlm: ”All I have to do is take a walk through history.”

I bet you have a chalkboard, just like Glen Beck. You certainly know as much about history as he does. Can you draw as well too?

At any rate, I think you’ve sunk to a new low ~ using a person’s family in an attempt to win a political argument. Really, really cheesy.

JIm said...

Butch,
Glen and his chalk board gets history right most of the time. So do I. If you think Glen and or I am historically incorrect, possibly you will be specific, rather than condem broadly, as you usually do. Specifics can be powerful. Broad condemnation just shows a lack of knowledge.

Butch in Waukegan said...

Talk specifics?

Like, just a week ago, when I called you on your claim that Obama has “quadrupled spending”? You didn’t respond to that specific, did you.

With your off-topic, cut-and-paste comments you’ve become the pub bore. (What the hell does the “Slaughter Solution” have to do with the Iraq invasion?)

Haven’t you noticed everyone moving to the other end of the bar?

JIm said...

Butch,
The deficit in Bush's last year was $400 billion. Obama's deficit is 1.6 trillion. 4 times 400 billion is 1.6 trillion or quadruple. As Mike would say, "Nough said".

Robert G. Zuckerman said...

Jim,

Since you are so detail oriented, include in Bush's deficit the surplus he inherited and subsequently squandered (actually, the money largely went to his war machine cronies and likely back to him, Haliburton, etc.) President Obama's expenditures have been necessary to stem the tide of Bush's wreckage, in much the same way firefighters use more fire to fight wildfires. You and your compadres have benefited from this. Also, just as a point, the dollar has devalued, oil prices up etc, so 400 billion even in Bush days is probably closer to a trillion today. Beck's chalkboard is accurate only to zealots in much the way Mein Kampf is/was.

JIm said...

Robert,
You are absolutely correct that Bush and the
Republican congress was not conservative; thus the rise of the Tea Party. We do not trust Republicans to be true to conservative principles. It is refreshing to see contended primaries between establishment Republicans like McCain and a true conservative like J
D what's his name.

I note the "Mein Kamph" reference yet liberals accuse Tea Parties folks as being over the top.

Butch in Waukegan said...

Here is what Jlm wrote on March 1st :
“Obama proposes to raise taxes and has quadrupled government spending.

Jlm on March 20th, finally defending his earlier assertion:
The deficit in Bush's last year was $400 billion. Obama's deficit is 1.6 trillion. 4 times 400 billion is 1.6 trillion or quadruple. As Mike would say, "Nough said".

[My emphasis.]

At this point one would have to ask is Jlm either:
• ignorant, not knowing the difference between spending (what is paid out) and deficit (money owed, to be paid in the future), or
• dishonest?

It’s a toss up. Jlm does after all tout Glen Beck as an historian. But he might be thinking, after all these weeks, he can slide by with a fib.

I have my opinion.

Robert G. Zuckerman said...

That is what I'm saying - Glen Beck is, in my humble opinion, over the top and dangerous. He preys on fear and ignorance, couched in untruths masquerading as facts.

JIm said...

The quadrupleing is of deficit spending; 400billion to 1.6 trillion. The total US government debt is, I believe in the 10 trillion area. Butch seems to think this a good thing. The ratings agencies disagree. Obamacare will greatly expand this deficit spending and will most likely hasten US government default. To see the fiscal future of the US look at California, New York and Greece. We need fiscally responsible politicians, like governors Christy and Perry of NJ and Texas.

Butch in Waukegan said...

Dick Cheney, November 15, 2002:
“Reagan proved deficits don't matter."

Jlm:
The quadrupleing is of deficit spending; 400billion to 1.6 trillion. The total US government debt is, I believe in the 10 trillion area. Butch seems to think this a good thing. The ratings agencies disagree. Obamacare will greatly expand this deficit spending and will most likely hasten US government default. To see the fiscal future of the US look at California, New York and Greece. We need fiscally responsible politicians, like governors Christy and Perry of NJ and Texas.

So spending did not quadruple. Why then did you say it did? Hmmm.

To loop this around to the topic of this post, Cheney made his comment when the US was ramping up for the Iraq invasion. I guess some deficits are better than others.

We now have a military budget that is $750 billion per year. Obama increased the Pentagon budget again this year. The Iraq war and occupation will end up costing over $3 trillion. Military spending is growing faster than Social Security. This would be a good place to cut the budget — bring the troops home from Iraq and Afghanistan.

Just like they do when they want to go to war, the ruling elites are spreading fear about the deficit,with the goal to cut programs that actually help people. Jlm is on board with that.

(It’s funny in a sad way that Jlm offers Greece as an example of what could happen to the US, when Greece is the victim of the “magic of the market” administered to them by Goldman Sachs .)

Robert G. Zuckerman said...

Obama didn't cause the current recession, he inherited it and from day one, even though he was elected, Jim, you and your kind have opposed him and done everything in your power to undermine him, based on agenda, on his half African American heritage, his Democratic affiliation, whatever. You guys opposed him from the beginning regardless. So please, cut the crap and all the half (at best) factual citations and tabulations. It's disgusting. You're the ones who caused this, look to your own camp for the blame. Until you do this, till you own up to the mayhem and pure greed and bad intention of the previous administration, you do not have my respect. A man is someone who can admit when he and his team are wrong Jim. Period.

Are you a man?

JIm said...

"So spending did not quadruple. Why then did you say it did? Hmmm." Butch

Deficit spending quadrupled. Butch, it is very strange, how that makes you feel better.

Robert,
I and my kind, people who believe in and support the Constitution as orginally written opposed and will always oppose the progressive/socialist/Marxist currently in office. As the Gipper would say about your racism charge, "There you go again". When logic fails, liberals charge racism, Hitlerism (Mein Kamph) or YOU BIG MEANY. Liberalism seems to cripple the intellect.

Robert G. Zuckerman said...

Jim,

As my body has become more crippled, my intellect has soared, and my tolerance for many things has deepened, except for dogmatic behavior that holds outmoded principle over the real needs of today.

By the way, you haven't factored in that W. actually took us from hefty surplus to minus 400 billion so actually in his time he sunk us well over trillion.

And your walk through history means nothing if you can't open your eyes and walk through the present.

JIm said...

Bush did and the Republican congress supported it and the Republicans were voted out of office. The Democrats have done four times the damage that the Republicans did using deficit spending as a measure. Hopefully the Democrats will be voted out in sufficient numbers and replaced with conservatives to reverse the damage.

JIm said...

March 22 (Bloomberg) -- The bond market is saying that it’s safer to lend to Warren Buffett than Barack Obama.

Two-year notes sold by the billionaire’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc. in February yield 3.5 basis points less than Treasuries of similar maturity, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Procter & Gamble Co., Johnson & Johnson and Lowe’s Cos. debt also traded at lower yields in recent weeks, a situation former Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. chief fixed-income strategist Jack Malvey calls an “exceedingly rare” event in the history of the bond market.

Robert G. Zuckerman said...

Jim,

In our great country, the government governs, and sees to law enforcement and basic social infrastructure, traffic lights, etc. Without our government, our society and country wouldn't exist, we be in chaos. So please, come off this intrusion stuff, next time you need to call the police or and ambulance or send your kid to school. We need our government and I long to live in a country where nobody has to worry about getting basic needed healthcare and not going broke because of it. You'll still be able to go to the supermarket and buy any food you want at any time, you'll still be able to go to the movies, and you'll still be able to go buy your guns and ammo. Come off this intrusion stuff Jim. A generation from now, when Malia or Natasha Obama is president and your family enjoys full health care, when America has regained its status of respect in the world community based on inclusionism (and leading by enlightened example)and not isolationism , your racially mixed grandchildren will be singing a different tune.

JIm said...

The campaign begins today to replace communist/socialist/Marists and supposed moderate Democrats who vote the party line. We need 2/3 of the congress, in the hands of conservative constitutionalists, to overturn an Obama veto. It is a very high goal, but possible. We the Tea Party Folk have the fire in the belly.

Robert G. Zuckerman said...

I don't this your medical insurance will cover you for "fire in the belly," Jim, but I guess it's more important to be Right than healthy.

JIm said...

Don't Cry for Me Argentina (America)
http://directorblue.blogspot.com/2009/11/dont-cry-for-me-america.html

I emailed the musical version to Mike. If you ask real nice, he might forward it. It is a stunning musical and pictoral presentation.