Celebrated columnist Molly Ivins died on Feb.7. Dare I argue with her after her death?
In her Jan. 11 column Ivins said, "The purpose of this old-fashioned newspaper crusade to stop the war is not to make George W. Bush look like the dumbest president ever. ... How massively stupid was the entire war in Vietnam? Even at that, the challenge with this misbegotten adventure is that WE simply cannot let it continue."
The war is no mistake, as Ivins implies. Rather, it's part of a centuries-old American tradition of conquering peoples (including those on this continent) and stealing their resources so wealthy corporations and individuals could become richer. (Don't take it from me: read A People's History of the United States and Hegemony or Survival: America's Quest for Global Domination.)
This war is deliberate and systemic. It's an act of foreign policy. Starting and conducting the war has everything to do with furthering the power elite, and ending it has everything to do with exercising the power of the people.
Thursday, July 3, 2003, was an ordinary summer day on the federal death row, only hotter. The temperature was in the 90s outside. David Hammer, 44, a Row resident for the last several of his 22 years in prison, estimated the temperature in his cell, its windows sealed shut, to be 130 or 140°F.
In a letter to me, a pen pal of his, David said, "I flooded my cell after stopping up my cell door, there was approximately one foot of water in the cell, so I laid down and wallowed sort of like a hog in slop, in order to cool off."
Think about it: corporations govern the U.S., though the Constitution grants them no authority to. When corporations govern, democracy vanishes. What's more, when people live within a culture of corporate rule, their common sense stops working, and they cease to trust their own eyes and ears or to rely on their own experiences: their minds become colonized. "We the People," have allowed corporations to define us as consumers rather than citizens, collectively a self-governing people.