jazzoLOG: Ilona Carlson And Tom DeLay    
 Ilona Carlson And Tom DeLay17 comments
picture5 Apr 2006 @ 10:01, by Richard Carlson

Man is the matter of the cosmos, contemplating itself.

---Carl Sagan

Who looks outside, dreams; who looks inside, awakes.

---Carl Gustav Jung

I never look at the masses as my responsibility; I look at the individual. I can only love one person at a time---just one, one, one. So you begin. I began---I picked up one person. Maybe if I didn't pick up that one person, I wouldn't have picked up forty-two thousand.... The same thing goes for you, the same thing in your family, the same thing in your church, your community. Just begin---one, one, one.

---Mother Teresa

AFP/PIERRE ANDRIEU
Après leur succès du 4 avril, les syndicats se réunissent mercredi 5 avril pour fixer une ligne commune pour les futures négociations sur le CPE.

I feel as if I'm in a unique position this morning. Essentially I'm trying to get all the information I can on 2 stories of concern, strangely related. Of major interest to me is what's going on in France. Our daughter is completing her high school freshman year in Pau, a short distance west of Toulouse. She is a bit young to be doing this, but she is in the care of a family that is there under the auspices of Ohio University. Now in her 3rd week, and 2nd week of classes, she has made adjustments very well and seems (on the telephone) to be having a wonderful time.

I talked with her last evening (her time), and again yesterday she and her friend found most of their classes were not in session, as the teachers were participating in demonstrations downtown. Despite US State Department warnings [link] , which I made sure they knew about, they went to the rallies both this week and last. Ilona says the "parades" have been happy, peaceful and impressive. She told me yesterday's march appeared larger than last Tuesday's, when the unions claimed 40,000 people participated in Pau...which number is half the population.

Here's a little background to this kind of situation that I learned. High school particularly is conducted rather like college here in the States. In fact, that's even the name they use for it there. Students have a schedule of classes and they show up for those...but otherwise they don't have homerooms or study halls and all that. If you don't have a class, you can go home or downtown or to a library or whatever you want. Classes are held most days from 8:30 until almost 5:00, with a lunch break of about an hour and a half. Wednesday is a half day. There are no substitute teachers in France, so if the teacher isn't there you leave.

There is a long and honored history of civic participation of French educators. It is to be expected if there is some kind of question being put to the government in public demonstration, the teachers will be there. Last Monday it even was announced at the school that probably there would be no classes the next day. This time there was no announcement, and it was up to the discretion of the teacher whether any class would occur or not. Ilona went to math and the teacher was there, so they had class.

At the demonstrations themselves, the young people are seeing a range of political expression and a quality of participation they've only heard about. Despite the kind of news coverage some media sources think satisifies the market, the reality Ilona sees is that diversity of opinion is understood and welcome. She remarked yesterday all she has to compare this with is unfavorable, namely the heckling she endured from the sidelines at a John Kerry rally. As far as I'm concerned, as an American social studies teacher for some years, I couldn't ask for a more wonderful education in representative government for this young lady.

Please notice that in these weeks of demonstrations---and the negotiations that follow each one---the government slowly and methodically is accommodating to the will of the people. Yes, a referendum eventually may be held on this issue, and indeed on the continued operation of this government entirely. These political figures are held in account by the outcry of the population. This is understood and accepted as how things are done in France. There are "hooligans" who appear AFTER the rallies and overturn cars and things...just as there are in the States. Over here, this is the kind of thing that grabs headlines...if any.

The other story I'm watching...and indeed it's hard to avoid it...is the cheerful resignation of Tom DeLay. He sees it as an important opportunity for career change. The Hammer will be working in the private sector entirely now for the continued success of the Republican Party. After all, to whom can Jack Abramoff's clients turn these days?

Progressives really are dancing with glee this morning, and some brilliant writing is happening. Most stirring to me was William Rivers Pitt's essay, entitled He's Gone, for TruthOut yesterday afternoon [link] . Teachers should read it aloud to their classes. Neverthless DeLay is leaving on his own, still calling his shots. No one has forced him, not even outraged public opinion, to do anything at all, except sit for his photograph at the indictment. I remember a Bill Moyers' NOW feature on DeLay in June of 2004, which exposed the man's funding chicanery. Moyers showed us Abramoff's casino deals in November of the same year. [link] I saw no news items elsewhere following up these stories.

And my unique position this morning is I'm looking at a republican form of government in operation in 2 different countries. In one, a people rise up to question a bill that calls into question the issue of just cause for dismissal from a job. In the other, my own, the people sit, apparently docile and mute, as issue after critical issue is paraded before them. Are Americans just too stunned or bloated to react to anything...except a sale or a new TV show? Here's a report about the Ohio Secretary of State's investment in Diebold voting machine stock. The man, having shaken off demands for legitimate recount of 2004 Presidential election results, is running for Governor. [link] Here's a report from students who spent Spring Break still trying to clear Katrina debris in New Orleans. [link] Where's the United States I studied about in my social studies classes?


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17 comments

5 Apr 2006 @ 16:44 by Quinty @68.226.88.25 : Democracy there and here

What percentage of the French go out and vote? It's probably far larger than here, where only 50 percent or so actually take the trouble to vote. Yes, that the French will take to the streets when their rights are endangered is inspiring. I also like how, in some European towns (especially Spanish), if a hate crime occurs a large number of town's people will march in protest. Here in the US at times one thinks the average citizen is immured in a deep passivity: as if it were all a passing show and we can't stir ourselves away from our televisions long enough to go outdoors. But then there's not that much community out there, not compared to Europe. Every town there has its promenade, cafes, and market places: the closest thing being, here, the mall where old people sit and young people gather. As someone recently remarked if Bush calls off the elections in 2008 a majority of Americans would probably say "ho hum" and look at the box scores in the sports section of the newspaper. Although, certainly, that wouldn't be true of all of us.  



5 Apr 2006 @ 19:42 by jazzolog : William Rivers Pitt: He's Gone

He's Gone
By William Rivers Pitt
t r u t h o u t | Perspective

Tuesday 04 April 2006

Rat in a drain ditch,
Caught on a limb,
You know better
But I know him.
Like I told you,
What I said,
Steal your face
Right off your head.

Now he's gone, gone,
Lord he's gone, he's gone.
Like a steam locomotive,
Rollin' down the track
He's gone, gone,
Nothing's gonna bring him back.
He's gone.

- The Grateful Dead, "He's Gone"
Stone the crows. Tom DeLay is checking out.

"I'm going to announce tomorrow that I'm not running for reelection and that I'm going to leave Congress," said DeLay on Monday. "I'm very much at peace with it."

Never thought I'd live to see the day.

In 1988, DeLay gave a press conference in Texas to defend the military record of Dan Quayle, who had been tapped to accompany George H. W. Bush on the Republican presidential ticket. Quayle was under fire for having allegedly used family influence to secure him a safe spot in the Indiana National Guard, thus keeping him out of Vietnam. DeLay argued that Quayle's failure to serve in Vietnam was not his fault; he wanted to go, but minorities had taken all the available slots.

Seriously, he said that.

This is the man who once said, in a debate about the minimum wage, "Emotional appeals about working families trying to get by on $4.25 an hour are hard to resist. Fortunately, such families do not exist."

This is the man who once said, in a speech to bankers delivered eight days before the 2003 invasion of Iraq, "Nothing is more important in the face of a war than cutting taxes."

This is the man who once said, to a government employee who was trying to stop him from smoking on government property, "I am the federal government."

This man is gone now. After being indicted in Texas for campaign finance violations arising from his redistricting scheme, after surviving a tight primary challenge while staring down the barrel of a well-financed Democratic challenger, after watching his press secretary Michael Scanlon and his deputy chief of staff Tony Rudy cop pleas in the Jack Abramoff scandal investigation, after watching Rudy specifically accuse his chief of staff Ed Buckham of being neck-deep in the scandal in his plea confession, after sitting up nights wondering if the Abramoff scandal was going to land him in prison, DeLay decided enough was enough.

Time Magazine, which carried one of the first reports of his decision to step down, has DeLay adamantly denying any wrongdoing. "Asked if he had done anything illegal or immoral in public office," read the report by Mike Allen, "DeLay replied curtly, 'No.' Asked if he'd done anything immoral, he said with a laugh, 'We're all sinners.'"

It was the Democratic party that did this to him, of course. Wait, sorry. It was the "Democrat" party.

"I guarantee you," continued DeLay in the report, "if other offices were under the scrutiny I've been under in the last 10 years, with the Democrat Party announcing that they're going to destroy me, destroy my reputation, and that's how they're going to get rid of me, I guarantee you you're going to find, out of hundreds of people, somebody that's probably done something wrong."

That's right, Tom. It was the Democrat party, that awesome juggernaut of competence, which has shown time and again lo these past few years its Zeus-like ability to hurl devastating political lightning bolts from its lofty position, that took you down. They can stand up next to a mountain, so I hear, and chop it down with the edge of their hand.

Or maybe, Tom, just maybe, all this happened because you are the living embodiment of absolutely everything wrong in American politics. Forget your ideology, and your hateful divisiveness, and your shameless canoodling with the Taliban wing of fundamentalist Christianity. One cannot swing a cat by the tail in Washington DC these days without smacking someone who thinks the way you do. This doesn't make you unique, sadly.

No, your criminal misuse of the campaign funding laws, your outright disdain for the rules if they keep you from assuming absolute control, your almost Zen-like ability to operate beyond the confines of conscience and dignity, is why your presence has been a cancer on the body politic since the day you put down your bug extermination gear and tried a power tie on for size, and is why you're finished now. How deeply were you in the pocket of your contributors? You took an R.J. Reynolds corporate jet to get to your arraignment. There has to be some kind of award somewhere for behavior so brazenly craven.

It is hard to avoid a sense that something like justice, true justice, real justice, has been well served by the manner in which Tom DeLay has been laid low. Politics is a little cleaner today. Not a lot, maybe not even enough for folks to notice, but it is indeed just a little bit cleaner, now that he's gone.
 



5 Apr 2006 @ 22:50 by Quinty @68.226.88.25 : Duck and cover
all you Democrats....

“A Democrat Congress in 2007 would without doubt or remorse, raise hundreds of billions of dollars in taxes, summarily cut and run from the war on terror, and immediately initiate an unconstitutional impeachment of President Bush.”

Tom DeLay recently said those words. Ominous words. Words intended to make the questioning blush and tremble. Like Bush 41 debating Mike Dukakis and claiming he was "a card carrying member of the ACLU." And Dukakis quaked. "Who me?" he frightfully responded. "Oh no, we only deflower virgins after midnight and drink a toast to the Devil before dawn, when we suck the blood from prepubescent boys." Will the Democrats run and hide beneath their desks the way they have in past? Heavens, the world could cave in. Will it work? Will the American people swallow?  



6 Apr 2006 @ 02:13 by vaxen : Um...
this matters -- why? The Democracy extant in the Federal District of Washington D.C. does not represent ''We the People'' of the Republic. 10 square miles and territories, etc., etc., is all it's got! How is it that ''the people'' have forgotten this?

Adversarial goes both ways. The Republic, that old sleeping giant, is awakening. It has nothing whatsoever to do with the false 'Republicanism' extant in this nation today.

Though both of those profane ''parties'' are bound by law, real law (if you know what that means), to support the sovereignty of each and every American who has not signed their life away by unknowingly becoming a 14th Amendment slave to the Corporation, for profit, known as the UNITED STATES INC. ...

Step out of that rat race and make a claim for freedom by getting to know who you really are in reference to who they are. They are your servants people (If you haven't opted into their 14th amendment cestui que trust voluntarily or otherwise)!

The flow of power comes from the top down not the other way around and we the sovereign people of this Republic are at the very top. In time this fact will be known by all. Delay is a sop ... distraction.

The courts are here only to serve the people not the attorneys. Never let them forget it. You live in a society of deception, fraud, and fiction. Make your claim for liberty today. Get familiar with case law and the rules of court. Fight back as a sovereign and not a slave!

The communist experiment, going on in Washington D.C., has failed, as all 'Democracies' inevitably do, the Republic awakens ... beware.

http://www.outlawslegal.com/  



6 Apr 2006 @ 07:39 by Annie Warmke @207.69.138.141 : College in France
is a great place. Children are greatly encouraged to participate in demonstrations as it is a common event whenever things don't go according to what the neighborhood, town or country want. The college age children were seen several times marching from school to protest the war or support the farmer's union. After the parade they went back to school. Our children would be thrown out of school for such public assembly.

It's difficult to say how things will progress. The young people need reform because they are unemployed or even if they are employed they are kept in one internship after another with no job security. What these folks are really protesting though is the American form of capitalism. They don't want the culture of France to end up like America and they know that if they lose the job security that their ancestors have enjoyed that the end of their culture is soon to follow.

There is much to do about speaking French as well. Mr. Chirac walked out of the EU summit because one of his fellow countrymen spoke in English instead of French. France is fighting for her life these days, and we are not helping her one bit.
Annie  



6 Apr 2006 @ 09:18 by jazzolog : Annie's Given Me An Idea!
Thanks Vax & Paul for keeping the fires lit here. It's always good to see you guys come at this kind of topic from your individual angles.

As an educator, I love the idea of taking a class to a demonstration as a "field trip" to Freedom. Over here, by the time a kid is in high school, little tastes of freedom and democracy become an excuse for horseplay---no matter what they are. In fact "freedom" itself becomes equated with just fooling around. No wonder corruption is considered just part of the system. Annie's hit upon another connection of France to DeLay I wish I had thought of. Think what America would be like if schools began REALLY teaching the citizenship of participatory government!
Thanks for writing and good luck, Annie, with the workshops this weekend at www.bluerockstation.com .  



6 Apr 2006 @ 13:16 by Quinty @68.226.88.25 : As Molly Ivins
put it (the analogy came to me too) Capitalism is like a shark: it does nothing but reproduce and feed. Always foraging the bottom for the bottom line. I can easily understand the reluctance the French have for becoming a free entrprise "paradise" like the United States. (Recall Paul Bremmer's great Capitalist experiment in Iraq? If not, see Naomi Klein's maginificent Harper's piece of a year or so ago.) Yes, the French know that a piece of good cheese is more important than an SUV in every garage.  


6 Apr 2006 @ 13:21 by Quinty @68.226.88.25 : Er, erratum

She said a corporation is like a shark.

Considering what the French have to preserve it's understandable that they're out on the streets. There's more to life, folks, than the "global economy."  



6 Apr 2006 @ 21:58 by jazzolog : Bush Overthrown
Thank you NCN for the platform!

http://www.truthout.org/docs_2006/printer_040606Y.shtml  



7 Apr 2006 @ 05:37 by vaxen : Oh...
Bush isn't being overthrown. Don't think for a moment that all this 'deception' is not a part of the overall 'game plan.' You might interest yourself in the IMF's history and just exactly what is the UNITED STATES' relationship to and with France since the very get go. After all you must be aware of the 'Treaty of Paris?' Even if no one else is I would expect it of you.

School children here, and abroad as well, are fed one lie after another. Confiscation of property via subversion of un-a-lien-able RIGHTS ( can't place a ''lien'' against) at the hands of the money masters' deceit and subterfuge, is a key (the remedy exists in Commerce) to just exactly how the freeman and free woman who are desirous of real liberty may extract themselves from the entire 'schema (scam)' which is older than the hills yet being perpetrated upon the citizens of this and other countries by way of adhesion contracts (invisible contracts you've made unbeknowst to you) that you never knew you made but which are, nevertheless, enforced in Equity.

You may be interested in this http://www.hiddenmysteries.org/ where you can scroll down and click on ''MONEY." There you will find some very interesting history on this vilest of concepts. ;) Ron Pauls analysis of Paper Money Tyranny is especially brilliant even though you may not like the man per se. Thanks jazz. Glad your 'interest' is not flagging.

But please do examine the difference between a real Republic and the scam called Democracy (even that is a misnomer for the fraud defacto gov in Washington D.C.) and also know that your rights as a citizen of the real Republic of the united States of America to redress the Corporation in Washington D.C. called the UNITES STATES of AMERICA (the experimental 'Democracy' and a 'legal fiction.') which is NOT the same as our Republic which still stands though largely vacant. Think about reclaiming it, there is a way, and standing upon that firm rock. Thanks Baba.

PS: I view the demonstrations as purely diversions. Thesis, anti-thesis then ... synthesis. Ask yourself the question: "Who are the synthesizers? Do their letters begin with I and M and F perhaps?  



7 Apr 2006 @ 08:48 by jazzolog : TruthOut Tempers Its Report
Jason Leopold rewrote his interpretation a couple hours later of Patrick Fitzgerald's statement. It is rather more opaque than the earlier. Now we have a "suggestion" of Oval Office overt/covert OK. http://www.truthout.org/docs_2006/040606R.shtml I have yet this morning to read the world newspapers I usually go after. We shall see.

I understand where Vax is coming from here, and realize completely what kind of enemy the world actually is facing---and for how long the plot has germinated and hatched. I do feel its apologists and accomplices are becoming more ridiculous and obvious in their tactics, and I believe Americans slowly are waking up. At least I'm not getting the fear and resistance I used to when I talk about these issues with colleagues and acquaintances. The Right already appears to be crucifying Libby: Paul Harvey's Rest Of The Story last evening at 6:00 was comparing him to General Custer(!) who also "betrayed" his president and led the nation into a massacre. Hmmm, gives new meaning to the word "am-bush".  



7 Apr 2006 @ 09:02 by rayon : Scroll to Duck and Cover
of Quinty - This may be the case, BUT, my inclinations lead me to think that Democrats in one word are usually associated with "Good" and the Republicans could be "Do" which is hardly ever really deemed good by the populace. The Democrats may not necessarily Do, but at least most might feel that they are at least on the side of Good, and strangely don't have to rely on dodgy perforations and late or no show ballots to squeeze in.  


7 Apr 2006 @ 09:18 by jazzolog : The Headlines
Wonderful to see nraye bustling about the site again!

At this point there are nearly a thousand papers, at Google News, carrying lead stories to the effect that Bush directly OK'd the leak. The LA Times is pointing out, as we noticed Cheney hinted earlier would be their defense, the executive can declassify information anytime he wants for any reason. {link:http://www.latimes.com/news/printedition/asection/la-na-legal7apr07,1,1919280.story?coll=la-news-a_section} But my question remains What is the intent in this method of leaking the information? Why not call a press conference and question the Wilson/Plame connection openly?

Well folks, this thread actually is more about France and whether that government is coming apart. If I post again about these developments I'll look for a more appropriate article for comment. Too much excitement everywhere to maintain structure and order, eh?  



11 Apr 2006 @ 11:41 by dempstress : Great email
and you must now be feeling far more confident about the situation and glad for the amazing experience she's having. Also a bit more up on european politics. Suspect she's only doing it for the purposes of parental life-long learning!  


11 Apr 2006 @ 15:49 by jazzolog : Uh...Jeff, Ming?
Everything OK there?

http://medias.lemonde.fr/mmpub/edt/ill/2006/04/11/h_9_ill_760637_toulouse.jpg

Des étudiants anti-CPE de l'université de Toulouse Le Mirail ont bloqué, le 11 avril dans la matinée, un dépôt d'autobus.
{link:http://www.lemonde.fr/web/article/0,1-0@2-734511,36-760636@51-725561,0.html}

I understand they're just being vigilant about this business.  



11 Apr 2006 @ 15:56 by dempstress : I told you
they weren't good about onbserving this smoking ban.  


11 Apr 2006 @ 18:55 by Quinty @68.226.88.25 : General strikes

I hope for Ilona’s sake this unrest soon comes to an end. Having been in Europe during a general strike I know what a pain one can be.

But I must admit my sympathies (even when I’m not familiar with the particulars) tend to be with the strikers. And the French don’t take take-backs and abuses lying down. Which is so different from here.

Here in the US many giant corporations have been dumping their health and pension plans, dropping coverage for tens of thousands. If they attempted anything like that in France the French would shut the country down. Here we seem to passively take it as if it were all somehow inevitable

Yes, there’s more of a sense of living for the sake of living, without hurry, in Europe than here. And of course there is all the great beauty. Much magnificent statuary or stone work, which was executed centuries ago by anonymous sculptors or masons, can be found almost anywhere. Architecturally the churches there are indeed superior to ours, combining an intense spirituality with great beauty.  



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