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government | imperialism & war | police / legal a21 bush protests

US Govt has No Legitimate Authority

The corporate papers gush this morning about how well the police did their jobs yesterday. Why? Because the police were able to sneak Bush in through the back door, without anyone ever being able to see him. And he didn't have to see any of the people he claims to represent. Nor did he have to read any of their signs, hear any of their chants, or otherwise pay any attention to their dissenting voices.
Actual armored assault vehicles from Vancouver and from Salem graced the streets of the quiet residential neighborhood that Bush "visited" yesterday. (Vancouver has an assault vehicle? Man, Portland must be green with envy. All they have is those ridiculous possum trucks and that silly ice cream truck.) As I walked down the side streets of this little neighborhood, I found the heavy police presence both disquieting and somehow reminiscent of the old US propaganda films detailing the sins of Eastern Bloc nations behind the iron curtain. Once, we were shown pictures of places like this to remind us how great it is to live in a "democracy" instead. Now, we just step out our front doors and see the same eerie scenes.

The headline of the Tribune this morning reads, "Bush:Mission Accomplished." It goes on to detail how the crack police dept was able to get Bush in and out of the area using decoys, "sleight of hand," back roads, secrecy, and an overwhelming show of force. Job well done.

I must ask the obvious question here. If we really live in a democracy, as we have been told since grade school, then why was this necessary? Why did it take assault vehicles, tanks, military style weapons, and sneakiness to get "president" bush into our city? And why did he even come at all, if not to meet or to communicate in any way with the people who actually live here? This wasn't a visit, it was an occupation.

The police state needn't be so self-congratulatory. They can only play so many tricks to prop up this crumbling dictatorship before they realize the truth. No government can last long without at least a pretense of legitimate authority. They no longer have that. When the "president" must be hidden and sneaked through the streets like the criminal that he is, the party is over. All the tanks and assault vehicles in the world cannot force the people to continue to tolerate a dictator they do not support. This man was not elected, he does not represent the people of this country. He is, in fact, a parasite. He has callously asked people to give up their lives, to sacrifice their family members, to bear the brunt of his ignorance in his bid for glory and gold. Yet he refuses to even look at these people when they come to the streets to tell him what they think. How much longer will people tolerate this behavior? From the looks of things yesterday, not much longer. The People have turned their backs on the man who would be king as surely as he turned his back on them yesterday. He needs us, but we do not need him.

this says it all 22.Aug.2003 11:26

willing

I think we should make a poster out of this and plaster it everywhere.

not likelyanytime soon 22.Aug.2003 11:39

me

um, realistically, a 'legitimate' claim to authority has never been necessary in governance ever. all you need is the power to effectively govern. if this means patrol the city in full on urban warfare style, so be it. nobody is going to succeed in taking away the us governments ability to govern our sadistically tortured turtle island while apathy and the biomechanical system chain us to capitalism at the point of gun, no matter how relentlessly needless the facade seems. power never gives itself up if it can avoid it. just because it appears to be obviously flaunted doesn't mean it is going to magically disappear. unless, of course, the mechanism that enforces the physical control over our lives is somehow destroyed or defeated.

to me 22.Aug.2003 11:57

digdeeper

huh? read catwoman, fool

to "me" 22.Aug.2003 11:58

CatWoman

"Legitimate" authority is seldom, if ever, a reality. However, a <<pretense>> of legitimate authority is always necessary to keep the people at bay. I'm not sure whether to read defeated cynicism in your comment or hopeful prescription for the future. If it's the former, I assure you we are far from defeated. You forget, we have all the power. Like any parasite, bush and his regime will starve in a day without the host animal. They're scared shitless we will someday realize just how powerful we really are.

If, on the other hand, your comment is more of a hopeful prescription, then you're right. Power concedes nothing without a demand. And capitalism is, indeed, at the root of the evils of our society. Capitalism is the mechanism of power for those who sit on the throne, but it is also the chain that binds the very people who benefit from it to our whims. Capitalism requires the labor of the masses for the luxury of the few. When the masses stop feeding this system, the few starve. We're beginning, just beginning, to make the necessary demand.

By the way, people cannot be "effectively governed" at gunpoint. They can be forced into a certain kind of submission, but it's a weak, crumbling kind of authority and it will not last. I do hear what you're saying about apathy, and I echo your frustration. But the fact that "the president" had to be passed like a hot potato between secret checkpoints tells me people are becoming less apathetic every day. Don't give up.

To BaldKnob 22.Aug.2003 12:56

PDXCitizen

I agree. I saw many people wearing all black, with their faces covered with masks. Cowards. Not only that, but as you said, they were just plain mean. They bullied people, refused to allow people to move freely through the streets of their own city, and they intimidated the citizens who came out to express their constitutionally guaranteed right to free speech. They were violent and nasty, and repeatedly beat and harrassed people. They took over a park and doused people with chemical weapons for no reason other than to keep people from being heard. Yes, they were the police.

Were you alive when Adolf Hitler ruled Nazi Germany? When Stalin cracked down on the Soviet Union? If so, then you understand why we must not silently sit by and watch our streets become littered with government troops cracking down on political dissenters.

since you brought it up 22.Aug.2003 12:57

history buff

There's been this undercurrent of assumption that protesters would want to harm, or assassinate, Bush. I find the idea ludicrous, since most people are aware that Bush has no real power, he's just the puppet on display, reading the words he's given. The only people that would stand to gain from Bush being harmed would be the administration who would use it to institute martial law. Remember PNAC said that they needed another Pearl Harbor, maybe they'll also decide they need another Dallas 1963. I think the best thing for Bush is for him to live out his life with his legacy. That's more than enough punishment for any one person.

And this supports CatWoman's argument: the administration want to sell the story that president is in "danger" and the coporate press laps it up. But he's not in danger, except from being met by crowds of people who oppose his presidency and policies as he has at every public function starting with his inauguration. It's clear that protesters are being portrayed as terrorists and that many people are all too happy to buy into this illusion, which only underscores their fundamental lack of understanding to the concepts and practices of democracy.

Anyway, great write up, and I agree, the tide is turning on the Bush cabal. We can all feel it.

Catwoman-- sharp analysis! 22.Aug.2003 13:25

Fenbar1

Your point on the purpose of Bush's visit also brings up the shady economics of the huge police presence-- why should the citizens of the City of Portland have to pay for a visit that purposely hides itself from the citizens of the City of Portland?!

Catwoman-- I would encourage you to make up a name and send this in as a letter to the editor of the Trib and O. Knowledge is power even in the mediocracy of the media-cracy...

Peace.

Thanks Fenbar 1 22.Aug.2003 13:43

but...

The corporate media is the enemy, as surely as the robocops ready to shoot us down for attempting to communicate with our supposedly elected representatives. As long as we pander to the corporate media, naively begging them to be our voice, we will continue to be caught in their web of half truths and lies. When I want to speak my mind, I go around the corporate media. It's safer that way.

On governmental legitimacy 22.Aug.2003 13:50

Dark Knight Detective

I just wanted to add a thought about determining the legitimacy of a government. Here's to descussion. ( Please note and disregard gender specific statements.)

"It has been thought a considerable advance towards establishing the principles of Freedom to say that Government is a compact between those who govern and those who are governed; but this cannot be true, because it is putting the effect before the cause; for as man must have existed before governments existed, there necessarily was a time when governments did not exist, and consequently there could originally exist no governors to form such a compact with.

The fact therefore must be that the individuals themselves, each in his own personal and sovereign right, entered into a compact with each other to produce a government: and this is the only mode in which governments have a right to arise, and the only principle on which they have a right to exist."

From Thomas Paine's "The Rights of Man" (1791-92)

The media-cracy 22.Aug.2003 14:04

Fenbar1

I think the media-cracy is more like a force of energy. It is true that it is corporately controlled and designed to alienate us from each other and buy useless things and believe in useless ideas. I do not subscribe. However, just like postering political or artistic messages onto a sterile cityscape, where you may strategize on the location of your message for greatest viewshed, I believe in "trickerating" the energy of the media to post logical, righteous and revolutionary ideas to the numb and alienated mainstream. Just cause the corporations have hijacked our culture of communication does not mean we can't take its energy, turn our bodies slightly to the side and flip it on its head with the grace and power of Truth. Lots of folks on the editorial staff of mainstream publications are reactionary bigots. But sometimes the Goddess opens the doors of fate and lets real messages slip through. The revolution will not be publicized in the Oregonian but the handwriting on the wall can be reported on now and again.

Catwoman's story is news!

Was it 200 22.Aug.2003 14:22

mjb4

The corp media said only a mere 200 people showed up...did they take off a zero. God I hate bushco...

Thanks Fenbar But 22.Aug.2003 17:26

Another admirer

Cat Woman. You say you wil "go around the corporate media." That is all well and good, however the limited audience that you play to would admire your words anyway, since your words only reinforce what they are thinking. Your words become more powerful and altogether more significant, when they are used to persuade non believers, or the unknowing. How the hell will those folks get the word, if you only write to your own ready made audience? The corporate machine is really well served when all the intelligent and informed ones spend all their time in political discourse only with each other, and refuse to share their wisdom with the informationally challenged who read the newspaper or watch t.v. for their source of wisdom. How the hell do you think that the likes of shrub was appointed without more of an outcry from the public? Because no one told the public what to think, other than Rupert and his buddies. Why not take advantage of their ink to spread some real wisdom? Even your enemies' power may be coopted to your own purpose, if you use the head that your writing indicates that you possess. Go, and inform the world-YOU ROCK!

to indy editors 24.Aug.2003 17:54

PDXCitizen

Hey, how come baldknob's comment was composted? I mean, I know it was a meaningless attempt to rile, but sometimes good discussion is generated that way. I'm all for the compost bin, for destructive, disruptive crap. But not for every single nasty comment. I think it should be reserved for special occasions. We can defend ourselved, and it's good for us to do it here. Please don't do this so much.

Other than that, keep up the great work.

googlewhack 12.Mar.2004 16:42

me zumerzet@tiscali.co.uk

Arrived at this page via googlewhack: sadistically composted.
Regards to you all.