Non-sports events to watch this weekend
It is relatively easy to bemoan the state of the world, and once having recognized its condition and trajectory, to try to prepare oneself for the future by whatever and all means necessary and available. It is quite another to actively participate in bringing about a change in the status quo, rather than just react and adapt to it.
This outfit certainly seems determined to be an active part of the solution: Truckers Ride for the Constitution. The idea of slowing/stopping traffic as a means of civil disobedience and protest is a relatively established one, I’ve encountered several region/nationwide stoppages elsewhere. If 25K cabdrivers can shut down a small country for days (absent violent military response), 10K semis should be able to handle a town this size. In the US, whose supply chains depend heavily on interstate ‘highway trains’, the effect of such an endeavor would be doubly felt. I would probably have gone with a more positive verb than 'Shut Down' (a la T2SDA, but perhaps that is literally what is necessary for more people to become aware of reality.
I’m reserving judgment about the enterprise for now , but the idea of snarling 495 in a constant (even more so than currently, anyway) traffic jam does hold a delicious irony, provided this at least in a small way inconveniences some of the overlords of the world gathering in DC the same weekend (see below). If the action results in more than an invisible, brief ripple on the political landscape and wakes a few people up, I will be impressed.
Given the scant attention (and not so subtle demonization) in MSM, and the rather unorthodox manifesto, we will see whether this has a real impact and gets legs, or if it really will be the flash in the pan US News imagines.
“A similar three-day protest in 2007, against illegal immigration and competition from Mexican truckers, did not spoil commutes as feared, the Washington Examiner reported.”
The SPLC has already helpfully weighed in and made up our minds for us:
“The only aspect of the planned protest that is clear is that it is fueled by conspiracy theories regarding President Obama and fears about an imminent economic collapse," SPLC said in a statement Tuesday. "And it is being promoted by antigovernment 'Patriots' and radio-show hosts with a history of far-right agitation."
I am also, however, slightly worried as to whether it might seem like an opportune moment for an agitator (or two) to raise the visibility of the threat that people who regard the Constitution as a living document pose to average, working American drones, err… citizens. Not to mention those chaos-mongers who are worried about the fragility of the economy. If the opportunity for some demonstration of the effectiveness of all the paramilitary training, equipment and personnel major urban centers, and especially the capital have received, should present itself, well…. Would that be a terrible thing for an entity seeking to display its own necessity and omnipotence at the same time?
[Late edit: the movement’s website and facebook pages have been shut down. It seems there really MAY be something to this effort if 'they' are trying to erase it. I am curious to see whether radios will be jammed to prevent communication. I am even more worried about any possible large-scale response that would give them a chance to flex the muscles of Fatherland Security, Inc.]
But speaking of overlords, there are other doings afoot in the quadrangle on the former marshland betwixt Maryland and Virginia. The World Bank is having its annual global meeting in town this very weekend.
“Finance ministers and central bankers from around the globe are gathering in Washington this week for meetings of the International Monetary Fund and World Bank. In addition, finance officials from Group of 20 nations are meeting on the sidelines.” -- Reuters, full program at the link.
Details on WB side of the events (including live webcasts) are at the WB site and blog. If you want, you can also check out ChristineL’s outfit at the I(MF)MF. The meetings all but promise to show humanity how to turn water into wine, and lead into gold. Speaking of which, could the continuity of global fiat currency regime be on the table amidst all the meetings to end poverty, hunger and teach the world how to better steward water resources?
From right, Chairman of the U.S. Federal Reserve Ben Bernanke, Undersecretary of International Affairs at the U.S. Treasury Department Lael Brainard, World Bank President Jim Yong Kim and Chief of the International Monetary Fund Christine Lagarde attend a group photo ceremony at a meeting of G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors in Moscow, Russia, Saturday, Feb. 16, 2013. (AP Photo/Misha Japaridze)
Janet Yellen , nominated to lead the Federal Reserve American, Christine Lagarde , the president of the International Monetary Fund, Elvira Nabiullina , at the helm of the Bank of Russia (larger image @ Libero Quotiniado)
While the annual meetings of such venerable institutions are coordinated and planned well in advance, isn’t it an interesting co-incidence of factors and events converging in this one particular quantum of time – Jackson Hole-skipping BennyS spending more time with family, the Bag(holder)lady is introduced onstage, and is being given her makeup and costume in the dressing room. The ‘shutdown’ of what is supposed to be government, the looming debt ceiling cliff, the largest money market fund dumping short-term notes to avoid 'breaking the buck', with Bill Gross buying on the other end…
And there is more:
“The protest has been organized by individuals with various connections to the military, either as children of veterans, spouses of veterans or those who have served themselves, who are outraged and deeply disappointed that individuals who have served in the military have been blocked from the memorials honoring their service across the country. […]
The Million Vet March’s Facebook event page has over 23,000 “likes” and states that almost 2,000 individuals have committed to attending.”
…and the apparent direct reaction on the part of the populace that has long suffered (supposedly on our behalf) to this pressure. This on the heels of the events at the DC naval facility, and the self-immolation on the National Mall witnessed and all but snuffed out in MSM as a story of any consequence -- just some crazy folks doing crazy things, nothing to see here, move along. I have no idea if the mother shot on the Mall should be in this list, but what the heck, we are discussing coincidence, pure and simple. Right…? The Times of India is already speculating as to the societal and race-relations aspect of these stories, while bringing down Libertarians as “the small cabal of Tea Party lawmakers represent a mostly-white constituency in Middle America that resents against any government role”.
In the meantime, media in the US is aflutter with speculation about negotiation of the terms of continuing corruption, err... I mean legislation and governance, and seemingly uninterested in anything that is not related to violent crime, corruption, or network/cable TV programming.
In Moscow today:
What a colorful tapestry they weave… Keep your eyes and ears open this weekend, it has a significant amount of interesting events all happening at the same time. The air is full of the flaming, spinning batons, the stage smoke is heavy all about. It’s not like there is flammable material around or anything.
Now if only one could see what all the misdirection might be hiding. Chances are, things will trundle along on their downward trajectory without much interruption. But if there is to be any kind of reaction other than resigned acceptance to the state of affairs, it will begin with things like these. ‘Ordinary’ people standing up for themselves and each other. Maybe not this weekend. But the mere existence of such blips holds the possibility of a directional change in the thinking and actions of the citizenry, and as such should not be dismissed out of hand. Many significant shifts in history began with seemingly inauspicious and localized events.