Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Dungeons & Dumb-dumbs

Dirty Tricks Department: Maine's (doubly) historic labor mural was removed over the weekend. The price tag for much maligned state workers to do so is undisclosed. Where the mural will end up, nobody knows. The City of Portland is backing away from enabling the sneaky removal, and may not offer it a home in City Hall after all.

The same week Gov. LePage announced he would remove the mural from a lobby in the Dept. of Labor because it is one-sided, he also announced that he would tax the rich in Maine, but he can't find any.

He said this once in class (see John Harlow's video here), and then repeated it for a newspaper reporter covering his appearance at University of Maine's Farmington campus.

Meanwhile the history buffs among us watch censorship rear its ugly head right out in the open. In the corptocracy, it usually works invisibly by shutting out much that is possible. The closing down, boarding up, tearing down style reminds us more of earlier eras of governments that worked on behalf of business, not for the people. Governments that controlled a restive underclass by whipping up hatred for scapegoats. As we now see in the many actions including preemptive prosecution against Muslims simply for being Muslim.

They and Bradley Manning are held incommunicado for immense stretches of time in a young human life, without being suspected or accused of any violent crime. They are in jail for what they believe, and because they are in one of two special prisons called Communication Management Units (article here about CMUs on Democracy Now!), there are twelve year-olds haven't spoken to their father in four years. Special prisons for ideological crimes looked too racist, so the prisons now receive environmental activists and animal rights activists to balance out the demographic of thought criminals.

Meanwhile, Governor LePage has special prisons in mind for Maine's indigent and homeless: “If it were up to me, I’d find a dungeon very cheaply and house them all.”

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