I had the pleasure of joining Tim Corrimal (@TimCorrimal on Twitter) again this week on his weekly podcast (“The Tim Corrimal Show“). This week Tim was joined by his co-host Dave von Ebers (@Dave_von_Ebers on Twitter), Ian Boudreau (@iboudreau on Twitter), and David Simmons (@My1BlueEye on Twitter).
I say it every week and every week I mean it even more, if you’re not tuning into Tim’s show on a regular basis you’re really missing out. Tim does a wonderful job week in and week out gathering together smart people for observant, witty, and on point conversations about current events, politics, culture, media, etc.
This week’s topics were DOMA, Wisconsin protests, and Libya. The show opened with Dave’s discussion of DOMA and the Justice Department’s decision to no longer defend it. I confess now to being shamefully ignorant on the matter of DOMA and the Justice Department’s role in previously defending it and deciding to no longer defend it now. Dave von Ebers is capable of speaking intelligently on this topic and I can’t say enough about his smart discussion on the podcast and his recent blog post about the DOJ’s decision.
Next topic for discussion was the protests in Wisconsin (and across the country for that matter) regarding Gov. Scott Walker’s efforts to bust public sector unions. Really, hasn’t this become a non-issue? Is it not clear that union busting is the objective here? The fact that dumb-as-a-box-of-rocks Walker gave a 20 minute foot-in-mouth interview with a Buffalo, NY reporter posing as David Koch merely cements the under-handed bullshit that’s happening in Wisconsin. The GOP hasn’t changed their playbook in decades. Every time they have an opportunity to blame anything and everything on a math teacher in Kenosha, they do. Walker wants the teachers’ unions and public sector employees’ unions to take it up the ass right after he gave business more tax cuts! Only a Republican can think that plan makes any sense at all. Seriously.
The unions have already come to Walker and said they will pay more towards health insurance and pension benefits. The monetary issues have been resolved. But Walker is still pushing for the unions to give up their collective bargaining rights. Without collective bargaining rights unions aren’t unions. How can anyone really believe that this isn’t about union busting? That’s all it is about.
Last topic on the podcast this week was Libya. What is happening in Libya is no different than what happened in Tunisia and Egypt: citizens fed up with corrupt regimes, high unemployment, high cost of living, housing crisis, and police brutality. The first step in galvanizing momentum in Egypt was the June 7th beating death of Khaleed Said in Alexandria last year. The first step in galvanizing momentum in Tunisia was Sidi Bouazizi immolating himself on December 17th last year. Protest and a handful of other young male suicides followed in mid-December. Following Bouazizi’s death in early January protests began to spread across Tunisia and into the capital. And now, the first step in galvanizing momentum in Libya are the arrest of human rights activist Fathi Terbil and political commentator Jamal al-Hajji along with the government blocking access to YouTube so as to prevent people from seeing video of protesting families of Abu Salim massacre victims. The crushingly oppressive regimes of the Arab world are at the root of every protest in the Middle East right now. Their corruption and cronyism that has economically raped their countries for decades has resulted in staggering unemployment (between 20-30% across the region), a housing crisis, and has exacerbated the rising cost of consumer good and food supplies. Protesters in Libya have been spurred on by the successes of their neighbors, but their hardships are equally heartbreaking.
The violently crushing police state in Libya is no different than that of Egypt. The notoriety of Egypt’s state prisons and army is mirrored in Libya. The Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International have called repeatedly for investigations into conditions at Libya’s Abu Salim prison. In 1996 1,270 prisons were massacred at Abu Salim. No real investigation (that I know of, I am hungry for details if anyone has them) has been performed to find out why this massacred occurred, but it has become a defining example of the violence of the Libyan government and army over her people.
As always it was a blast being on Tim’s show. Look forward to joining him again some time in the future. Give Tim, David, Dave, and Ian hearty follows on Twitter and check out all their blogs.
UPDATE: Please check out Ian Boudreau’s Tumblr for great posts. I’ve added it to the blogroll, too.