Dream of the Dragon

Tag: seriously?

Maximum Accountability

by Justin

The post title is misleading – what I’m talking about is misdirected cruelty masquerading as extreme accountability.

In the thick of the financial crisis many people demanded the sacking of Goldman Sachs executives that oversaw the exploitation of its investors. Again, throughout the Gulf spill disaster concerned citizens called for the firings of BP and Transocean leaders as a show that things would change. In giant corporations this may very well have amounted to just that: a show. But sometimes that’s all anyone wants – a little drama in place of substantial reform. Well, North Korea went to the extreme of misguided theatrics, hoping that an execution would overshadow the endemic flaws in its system.

This ran in the Guardian yesterday, a brief account of the execution by firing squad of former North Korean cabinet official Kwon Ho Ung. Read the rest of this entry »

The Past, Exploding

by Justin

Remember the glory days when we met our enemy on the battlefield, certain of our cause and confident that no amount of diplomacy could check the engines of terror?

I don’t, of course, but my oldest brother and I like to talk about World War II with a sort of desperate longing and an endless admiration for the men and women involved in the Allied campaign. These days the lines are muddier (oilier) and the enemies of freedom seem to be more products of post-industrial greed than any real ideological schism. The terrorism of radical Islam can’t be met directly on the battlefield and offers the quagmire we’re still struggling to escape in the wake of George W. Bush’s presidency. Which is not to say it isn’t a battle worth fighting, but not by traditional means.

The reckless agendas of corporations, however obviously villainous, aren’t generating the outrage one might hope for. The catastrophe in the Gulf of Mexico may be some sort of tipping point, but it will require President Obama to mobilize the public and articulate their frustrations. Something remarkable began happening this week as Obama’s careful reactions to the developing economic and ecological disaster gave way to action. Read the rest of this entry »

What To Do About Symbols That Are Not Okay

by lbej

Every time I drive to pick up my kids from school in the afternoon I pass by this one particular house that is taking an interesting approach to life in the United States.  Not the house itself, probably, but the residents.  This house is so notable because it is very well-kept and socioeconomically congruous except for one thing: it has a flagpole of the sort you see at post offices and schools on which is hoisted, always and only, the battle flag of the Confederacy.  This is very striking and, in my opinion, not okay.  I want to ask the residents of this otherwise unassuming house what they are trying to say.  Perhaps they would say something like “Southern heritage” or “states’ rights,” but the incontrovertible historical meaning of that flag is a call to take up arms against the United States.  Also virulent racism, but treason first and foremost. Read the rest of this entry »