One Hand Clapping

June 1, 2008

In watching the world spin away its last few hours, we wondered (not aloud as we were alone) about whether history will continue or maybe would soon change direction and leave no sign of this generation’s passing.
And all those who led up to this generation.

History’s root comes in the unfolding of three Greek words: historia, “a learning by inquiry;” historeō, “to examine, to observe, to inquire; and histōr, “a wise man, one who knows right, a judge.”
So to understand history, one has to examine, observe and judge.

What brought on this historical reflection was a comment made yesterday by Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina on the future’s judgment of Decider George’s outrageous antics this past grueling near-eight years.
Graham, who looks and sounds like the comedian/writer Dave Foley, a very funny, funny guy, late of Kids in the Hall and NewsRadio, spoke at the South Carolina state GOP convention.
Although absolutely not funny, Graham was a complete crack-up.

  • Graham used his remarks to embrace President Bush, just hours before he was to meet Bush at Greenville-Spartanburg International Airport and accompany him to Furman University for a presidential commencement address that has divided the campus.
    At his first mention of Bush’s visit, Graham paused, waiting for applause. When it didn’t come, it took a slight nod from Graham to prompt a round of applause.
    “President Bush is my friend,” he continued, “and I’m not going to run away from the friend.”

    “History is going to judge him a lot better than everybody thinks,” Graham predicted.

    — Dan Hoover, The Greenville News, greenvilleonline.com, (5/31/08)

History, however, will run far, far away from Decider George.
Graham was talking to the converted in Columbia, S.C., and the converted gave history’s answer: silence.

What in the world could happen in the next few years to change the current appreciation of Decider George?
Nothing.
Except continued protests.

And one of that history’s most important points was proclaimed on Friday.
This story appeared only in the Bangor (Maine) Daily News and was later picked up by AlterNet:

  • The good news, which that paper reported on April 30, is that six peace activists were acquitted on charges of criminal trespass for failing to obey a police request that they abandon their sit-in outside U.S. Sen. Susan Collins’ office in the Margaret Chase Smith Federal Building in Maine.

    Specifically, they based their defense on the First Amendment’s “right of the people … to petition the Government for redress of grievances,” and their belief that the war is being pursued in defiance of Article VI of the Constitution (“all treaties made … under the authority of the United States, shall be the supreme law of the land; and the judges in every state shall be bound thereby”), the Nuremberg Principles and the Geneva Conventions.
    After a two-day trial in Penobscot County Superior Court, a jury of 12 citizens agreed and brought back a verdict of “not guilty.”
    Though Judge Michaela Murphy explicitly instructed the jury to set aside their feelings about the war and only deliberate on the evidence presented during the trial, she did allow jurors to consider whether or not the defendants believed that they had the “license and privilege” to consciously choose to break Maine law because they thought international law was being violated. The jurors decided unanimously that the protesters did, in fact, believe they had that right.

    Penobscot County District Attorney Christopher Almy told the Bangor Daily News that he believes the verdict could be read as an indication of Mainers’ disgust toward what he referred to as the “debacle” in Iraq and their impatience with both Maine senators, Collins and Snowe, who have continued to support it. He said he would have to reconsider how to handle such cases in the future.

    — Penny Coleman, alternet.org, (5/31/08)

And history’s buck stops here!

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