But Oakland is, today, much worse than it was when Huey and the boys emerged from city college to organize a defense against the police in the ghetto west of downtown. The difference is tolerance. Tolerating the violence, tolerating the schools that cannot even safely incarcerate their victims/students, much less teach them anything meaningful. No new community revolt is on the horizon because everyone has gotten used to the continuing stress and threat as part of urban life.
Nationally, we are suffering from the same deterioration of outrage over the Iraq war. It has now been going on for half a decade, and we are so used to the daily drivel that passes for war coverage that we don’t even talk about the tactical situation in Mosul and Dyalla versus the intra Shiia struggle for control of Basra. Our dollar is weakening, inflation looms, baseball players take hormones, and global warming triggers huge blizzards in China, Europe and Indiana. All of which combine with the latest Britney Spears details to drive the war off the front page or after the second commercial break on the six o’clock nets.
Politically the election is increasingly focused on petty policy differences between Clinton and Obama while the war drags on with little mention. John McCain admits that he must convince the American people we are winning the battle of the Euphrates if he expects to win, but Hillary and Barrack continue to argue over their past voting record and their taking of big bucks from special interests in the campaign.
In what was originally seen as a half empty gesture to appease the anti-war left in their own party the Senate leadership allowed Russ Fiengold to bring his bill calling for a cut-off of war funding 129 days following passage.
The expectation was that the Republicans would declare a filibuster, as they have for a record 63 times last year, the cloture vote would fail to find the 60 votes needed and the measure would be tabled, while the Senate moved on to other issues such as the FISA law immunity for phone companies and the banning of abortion in Indianhealth clinics.
Not so fast! The GOP members voted to proceed with 30 hours of debate on cutting off Iraq funds, arguing that the so called "surge" is working and now is no time to surrender and retreat. The maneuver caught the Democrats flat footed, but they went ahead and inserted the debate into the schedule for last Wednesday morning.
Russ Fiengold, the sponsor, took the floor in the Senate chamber and detailed the failures of our Iraqi policy, the misdirection of our anti-terror assets from Afghanistan and bin Laden, the near destruction of our military preparedness and the incredible cost in dollars and home front program spending the war has wrought.
Nobody listened. He was nearly alone in the chamber. Obama, McCain and Hillary were out of town chasing the presidential bunny rabbit. Other solons had hearings or were on the phone fundraising and so failed to come to the floor. After all, it was just one more litany of complaints on the war. It isn’t going to pass anyway, so why waste time?
Orwell posits a state of permanent, on going war, somewhere over there, as a background for the police state society he predicted in "1984."
After a while nobody noticed.
“Travus T. Hipp” is a 40-year veteran radio commentator with six stations in California carrying his daily version of the news and opinions. "The Poor Hippy’s Paul Harvey,” Travus is a member of the Nevada Broadcasters Hall of Fame, but unemployable in the Silver State due to his eclectic political views.