July 01, 2006

Goodbye and Hello

UPDATE: See my latest blog, Gandhi's Journey.
As a handful of regular readers know, for some time now I have been thinking of bringing this blog to an end. I have persisted partly from habit and sheer stubborness, but also because I could not decide what else I should do next. I think I may now have the answer.

This blog was called "Bush Out" because the original aim was to get Bush out of office, either at the 2004 elections or by alternative means such as impeachment. Given what I have learned over the past five years, and how the political landscape has changed during that time, the name of the blog, the aim, and even the URL now seem rather too narrowly restrictive.

And before anyone calls me a quitter, I would point out that this blog has been calling for Bush's removal since way back in mid-2003, when the Iraq War was at the peak of it's popularity, as was Bush's. Since then, anti-Bush blogs have successfully helped bring a huge list of issues to wider public attention. Indeed, many believe we are the main reason why Bush is now polling in the low 30's. But now that these issues have been brought into the public sphere, the role of anti-Bush blogs is diminished: it is not up to us to bring the man down. It is up to the US Congress, the media, and the broader US public.

So what is the outlook - today - for getting Bush Out?

While some Democrats are still dangling the impeachment option as a carrot for mid-term 2006 election votes, it remains (disgracefully) an unlikely option. And the longer it takes to impeach Bush, the less chance that it will happen. Of course, Bush himself has only ever been a figurehead leader, and as such he is a symbol of a much deeper social and political malaise. Removing him will not fix these problems per se, although it would certainly set a valuable precedent for future wannabe dictators and War Criminals.

Indeed, if Bush is not impeached, the office of US President and the USA's international reputation will be forever tainted (I mean, more than they are already). But if it is to amount to more than just a partisan political stunt, Bush's impeachment needs to involve a wholesale overhaul of the US political system. And there are currently (sadly) very few signs of such real change on the US political horizon, despite widespread indications of public disillusionment with the existing system.

More importantly, Bush's presidency has highlighted dangerous pro-Fascist trends around the globe, not just within the USA. We live in a rapidly-changing, globalized world, and there are multi-national corporations seeking to impose their will on people and governments on every continent. Removing Bush from office will not change those unpleasant realities.

On a personal note, these forces have set dangerous new precedents in my home country, Australia, with the full co-operation of John Howard's government. Again, the removal of Bush would do nothing per se to alleviate these pro-Fascist tendencies in global business and politics.

So it's time to look beyond Bush to the wider (and presumably longer) battle for a better world. And for me, necessarily, that begins at home.
NOTE: I have even begun wondering what we will call these pro-Bush people once Bush is no longer in office. I would have thought "Fasicsts" pretty well covers it, but it seems the Bush-lovers are already mudding the waters (as expected) by calling their online critics "Fascists". As this interesting post from Digby indicates, those of us who have allegedly support the "Islamofascist" terrorists for so long are now also being labelled "blogofascists". Orwellian, isn't it? And yet the only way to counter such lies is with the truth, and "Fascists" is what these people are, whether they know it or not. Mind you, perhaps one day the word "Conservative" will come to be an even greater insult than "Fascist"?
We live in an age overloaded with information. Nobody, not even the President of the United States, has time to fully inform himself on every subject. It becomes necessary to focus one's energies on particular areas, trusting to others for the areas you cannot cover adequately.
(On that note: Several readers have told me they read this blog because they did not have the time to browse online sources for themselves, and they trusted my selective eye for news. Thanks for that: my primary sources are still linked in the left column and I can recommend all of them, particularly antiwar.com.)
It is a leader's job to surround himself with people he can trust to deliver reliable information on a broad range of topics. And if they do not deliver, it is his responsibility to hold them accountable. Bush fails miserably on both accounts, of course.

As ordinary citizens, on the other hand, we necessarily place a lot of faith in our governments and the news media to let us know about important events that are happening beyond our scope of vision. This is a public trust, the reason why reputable journalists subscribe to a code of ethics.

Unfortunately, the news media has largely abandoned this public trust in favour of profit-pursuit and Big Business networking. This agenda places entertainment above truth, so we end up with reputable papers like the New York Times and WaPo giving column-space to right-wing pundits spouting nonsense, purely as a trick to enhance sales. The result has been a serious erosion of our Western democracies: without an informed citizenry, we cannot have informed voters. And without informed voters, how can we get decent government?

The Western media is now playing to the lowest common denominator and becoming a circus as a result. For example, as Scott Ritter says today:
America is in its "silly season," the summer months leading up to a national election, and the media is going full speed ahead in exploiting its primacy in the news arena by substituting responsible reporting with headline-grabbing entertainment.
On the other hand, media giants like Rupert Murdoch don't give a damn about declining values: their eyese are on the bottom line - profits. And as the Big Boys know, with profits comes power.

Rupert Murdoch is now calling for greater de-regulation of media ownership laws, pretending this will create greater opportunities for everybody. It sounds great:
Mr Murdoch ... said with the spread of high-speed broadband internet services, the whole world of media was opening up to everyone, no matter where they lived. With more people able to get access to the internet, everything from the movie industry to newspapers was open to change.

"What it is for me is it's about tremendous choice for everybody, where they get their information, what information they want, where they can put their views out," he said. "I think that we're on the cusp of a better world, a world of certainly very fast change, change which we can't all foresee except we know it's going to be tremendous."
What he really wants, of course, is to monopolise the information industry even more than he and his Zionist friends already do. That's the ugly face of rampant Western Capitalism in the early 21st Century: Big Business forcing smaller operators out of the market. Governments in the hand of Big Money making sure the playing field is not level. Zionists in funny hats, fat men in shiny shoes.

Well, is time for me to get out there among the real world. I am going to leave this blog standing, but I will be abandoning my "gandhi" pseudonym and hopefully making some journalistic tracks in my own name. The following posts will give you an idea of where I am heading...

So farewell to all my regular readers, thanks to all those who contributed their thoughts, and hello to anyone using this blog as a source of information in the future. It's been educational, it's been fun, it's been bloody excruciating.

A final word:
Thoughts lead to actions.
Actions lead to repercussions.
Therefore strive for purity in your thoughts.
PEACE, LOVE and HAPPINESS TO ALL!

10 comments:

Causal said...

Impeach Bush yourself! This is much more than just a petition.

There's a little known and rarely used clause of the in the rules for the House of Representatives which sets forth the various ways in which a president can be impeached. Only the House Judiciary Committee puts together the Articles of Impeachment, but before that happens, someone has to initiate the process.

That's where we come in. In addition to the State-by-State method, one of the ways to get impeachment going is for individual citizens like you and me to submit a memorial. ImpeachforPeace.org has created a new memorial based on one which was successful in impeaching a federal official in the past. You can find it on their website as a PDF.

You can initiate the impeachment process yourself by downloading the memorial, filling in the relevant information in the blanks (your name, state, etc.), and sending it in.

http://ImpeachForPeace.org/ImpeachNow.html

More information on the precedent for submitting an impeachment
memorial, and the House Rules on this procedure, can also be found at
the above address.

If you have any doubts that Bush has committed crimes warranting
impeachment, read this page: http://ImpeachForPeace.org/evidence/

If you're concerned that impeachment might not be the best strategy
at this point, read the bottom of this page: http://ImpeachForPeace.org

"I just want you to know that, when we talk about war, we're really talking about peace."
Bush, June 18, 2002

"War is Peace."
Big Brother in George Orwell's 1984

elendil said...

Good luck with your next endeavour, gandhi. Drop us a line every now and then to let us know how it goes.

Wadard said...

You'll be back... that's why you should leave up your blog as a reference in the mean time.

Good luck, have you got a job as a journo yet?

thepoetryman said...

A nice touch to end or take a break from your blog. I will miss the informed reading and wish you the best in your endeavors.

Peace.

Mack said...

Gandhi,

I agree with a previous commenter; leave the blog up as a placeholder in case you feel a burning need to comment, or decide to come back. Also, there are squatters that will jump on the address the minute you disconnect (as I found out when I left blogspot).

I for one will check back from time to time to see if you're back. Feel free to e-mail me at any time, and there's always a cold pint waiting for you in Houston, Texas, USA.

gandhi said...

Blogging is a hard habit to break, but I am weaning myself of it, I swear!

I do not have a journalism job "per se" but am working on some freelance projects which may or may not bear fruit.

In the meantime, I have posted some quotes below: food for thought. Enjoy!

Wadard said...

Gandhi,

Mate, you must leave your comments on at your new blog. How else am I going to say it is extremely well written and engaging? The writing does not get in the way of the story - it's good stuff. Me - I'm a sucker for a road movie, guess it's the same for a road blog. You really do have talent there big fella.

gandhi said...

Thanks, Wadard, I will get to it!

In the meantime, I have received a strange email from Blogger telling my blog is locked because they suspect it could be a "spam blog"! Can you believe that...? I should be in their all-time top ten, man!

I guess that is what happens when you put in text suggesting your blog is closed, then post a link to another blog.

If anyone from Blogger is watching, the comments above are not far off the mark: it wouldn't be the first time I stopped blogging then started again the very next day. Give me a break, dios mio!

gandhi said...

OK confession time: I have not been compin well with my self-imposed blogstopping, particularly since Blogger froze my blog then went on holidays.

So I have been cheating, posting on another new blog. Check it out: Guthrie's Guitar.

My "other" work continues anon... More later.

gandhi said...

Hello,

Your blog has been reviewed, verified, and cleared for regular use so that
it will no longer appear as potential spam. If you sign out of Blogger and
sign back in again, you should be able to post as normal. Thanks for your
patience, and we apologize for any inconvenience this has caused.

Sincerely,
The Blogger Team

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