Some links:Winter Soldier: Iraq and Afghanistan
. Held this weekend with little mainstream media coverage, veterans and active duty military members involved in the current conflicts in Afghanistan provide testimony on what they did, saw, and heard. The site has several video files from the event as does Democracy Now!
for the last few days. The event was organized by Iraq Veterans Against the War, so the panels obviously display a selection bias. However, the selection is genuine (anecdotes and systematic observations) and worth hearing (it's not just a warmed-over set of talking points).Tibet Through Chinese Eyes
, which I found through a comment on a recent Boing Boing
post. That the Chinese government is engaging in violence with Tibetan protesters less than five months before the Olympics start in Beijing could make for very interesting times. If the games are to effect change in Chinese policy toward Tibet, I think something must happen causing officials to lose face to other Chinese
.Plastic People of the Universe
, a rock band that was a beacon and symbol for freedom in Czechoslovakia behind the Iron Curtain. Our military isn't very well received by citizens of countries we set out to liberate. Our human rights moralizing is ignored by the countries we preach to. But rock and roll has been one of the best American tools of social change. Perhaps we should establish the Rock Corps. One division could be the Hard Corps.
I saw Les Claypool's current band, Electric Apricot
, at the Ogden tonight. It was a great show with a funky version of Shine On You Crazy Diamond (without a sax instead of a guitar and xylophones instead of keyboards) and a totally groovy drum jam. To start the encore, Les came out with a bass that looked like a banjo. He started playing Too Many Puppies and the crowd cheered. He remarked "I wrote this song when I was an impressionable lad of about 19." It was almost a generation ago. The song is older than some of tonight's attendees. It's a protest against a Middle East war for control of oil started by President George Bush. Sound familiar?
We live in a country that's done a lot of bad things, but we've still got hope. We've still got access to independent media. We've still got the right to protest. We've still got rock and roll. When you have something to say, speak out. When you don't know what to say, rock out.