Saturday, April 11, 2009

No Doubt 'Bout It - Ronald Reagan Was a Bastard

Just finished watching a little documentary about Berkeley College, the Free Speech movement of the early 60s, the antiwar movement that followed, People's Park and how Charmin' Reagan while governor of California thought it was a good idea to blockade a slew of students inside campus walls and gas them to smithereens in 1969. Hey, here's another great idea; let's honor The Gipper by renaming People's Park in his honor.

For the whole month of May, students at Berkeley University had worked hand in hand to build a park where an empty lot had previously stood. But Reagan wanted none of the love. After all, Reagan owed his entire political power to the shameful demonization of the 60s boogie man: those lazy, good-for-nothing, dirty, hippies who'd dared seek freedom of speech inside the hallowed campus walls. Yes, and it was also the fault of all those weak-kneed campus administrators who hadn't had the belly to put the filthy "communist sympathizers, protesters and sex deviants" (Regan's direct words) in their proper place when they started to demonstrate (peacefully) for their right of speech. Why those over-indulging savants had even sided with students; all the way around, discipline was obviously lax.

And so it was the People's Park was fenced off; and poor James Rector was shot. But blood wasn't good enough. Contrary to a vote by the Berkeley City Council, a month later, the good governor decided to send the national guard to Berkeley University and to occupy the city. The following is a sequence of events that took place with blessings from the governor.

[A] midday memorial was held for student James Rector at Sproul Plaza on the University campus. Rector had suffered massive internal injuries from his shotgun wounds, finally dying at Herrick Hospital on May 19. In his honor, several thousand people peacefully assembled to listen to speakers remembering his life. Without warning, National Guard troops surrounded Sproul Plaza, donned their gas masks, and pointed their bayonets inward, while helicopters dropped CS gas directly on the trapped crowd. No escape was possible, and the gas caused acute respiratory distress, disorientation, temporary blindness and vomiting. Many people, including children and the elderly, were injured during the ensuing panic. The gas was so intense that breezes carried it into Cowell Memorial Hospital, endangering patients, interrupting operations and incapacitating nurses. Students at nearby Jefferson and Franklin elementary schools were also affected.

How very lovely! And the beat goes on and on and on. The same gamy gang arose from what should have been their Waterloo in Vietnam and Watergate to inflict more of their special brand of 'freedom' on America with good ol' Ronnie leading the funeral.

It was Ronald Regan who killed the labor movement and stopped the liberal movement dead on its track. And those who were around in the 60s just watched and cheered as their yuppie careers soared and everything else went to hell in a handbasket of greed. Indeed, they were the very ones who elected the bastard in '80 and '84 and then voted for Bush I in '88 and Junior in '00 and '04. No use looking back except when lamenting The Gipper's death.

Hmmm, where have we heard that phrase before...? Oh yeah, the same guy who lauded Reagan as a transformational hero; the same okey-dokey feller who was making it up as he went along but told us not to trust anyone with the last name of Clinton.

Unfortunately, the howler was too young to join the hippie movement in the 60s, and by the time she came of age, Ronnie was running for president. Imagine a world without Scalia, Thomas, Alito, Rumsfeld, Cheney, Rove, Iraq, waterboarding, eavesdropping, torture, black sites and all the horrors of the last 30 years. They say that Reagan's biggest disappointment as governor was that he only presided over one execution; state courts wouldn't allow more. Well, at least H/L had the pleasure of casting her first presidential vote against that awful son of a bitch who set America back almost 30 years and counting...

I can imagine that world-- it would be a much better one than one we're in right now. Alternate timelines- sigh--
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