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|"All life is 6-5 against" - Damon Runyon|
Wednesday, October 04, 2006
Indulge Me For A Couple Minutes
While many of you are having your Howard Beale moment in regard to this online poker legislation, I'm having a difficult time summoning up the same sort of outrage. There's just too much else about which I should be angry.
You should want to grab a Florida Congressman by the scruff of the fucking neck and drag him in front of two hundred microphones, telling him this "alcoholism" and "molestation a million years ago" bullshit is obfuscating the truth we deserve. You should want to point out to the mouthpieces of the right wing that Clinton/Lewinsky was NOT the same, as she was 22 years old (not fucking 19 as Hannity said a couple days ago). You should be up in arms that protecting Republican election interests means deflecting questions about this story with insinuations that this is just partisan politics and a case of selective smearing five weeks out, despite mounting evidence that SOMEONE SHOULD JUST ADMIT IS FUCKING WRONG from that side of the aisle.
I'm having a difficult time summoning up a high level of outrage for that bullshit too. There's just too much else about which I should be angry.
Michigan's Republican gubernatorial candidate stated a couple weeks back that local school boards should have the opportunity to decide whether so-called "intelligent design" should be taught as it would help students "analyze competing theories." Except that in science "theory" doesn't mean "aimless guess," it means "logical conclusion backed up by observable and testable evidence." Besides not being a "very viable alternative theory," as DeVos claimed, it's poisonous to an understanding of science and it becomes a wedge between Christians who have a warped sense of entitlement when it comes to public education and sensible adults who realize there's a time and place to spread the ideas of mythology and philosophy, but science classes on the public dime ain't it.
I'm having a difficult time summoning up a high level of outrage for this stuff as well. There's just too much else about which I should be angry.
President Bush stated in an interview with The Economist that, "It seems to me there's a 'Third Awakening.'" Ignoring for a moment that we can consider pulling the hood of religious ignorance to rationality over our collective conscience and somehow call it an "Awakening," I'm angry our elected leader is creating a divisive culture in this country, drawing lines between right and evil, patriotic and evil, and supportive and evil. Fear is being mongered and he has enabled those with the most extreme fervor of opinions with regards to religious interpretation to be given voice in our government. A proper "Third Awakening," as Christian columnist Eileen Fleming so eloquently put it, "would promote a theology of liberation that puts an end to the hijacking of people's faith by politicians... would unite us in the rejection of all attempts to subvert and fragment the unity of the human family and to oppose every narrow world view and ideology that privilege one people at the expense of another." It'd be a tolerant and beautiful thing, not at all what the Christian right is aiming for.
What gets people to the polls though? Unity or division? I'm still not sure I can get that angry.
The state of our media culture has devolved the discussion of anything important into a challenge to both define your position and denigrate your opponent in one fifteen second (or less) sound bite. Is it any wonder that as we're being spoon-fed rhetoric and talking points that every issue has become devoid of nuance, a simple black/white us/them good/evil patriotic/terrorist sort of thing? I am a baby killer, I want to cut and run, I'm driving God from the public forum, I've bought into the homosexual agenda, I believe in special rights, I'm a communist.
I do not believe in torture.
I do not support our leaders.
I want to let the terrorists win.
I'm not "with us."
I've found my appropriate level of anger.
I'm not doing anything wrong.
I have nothing to worry about.
Nothing at all, except for the neo-fascist agenda. Nothing at all, but the culture of fear devolving into twenty-first century McCarthyism. Nothing at all, until one and two and more are yanked off the street and thrown in secret cells without habeas corpus to protect us. Nothing at all, but a government who has turned our rights into an unsolveable puzzle in which we must prove injury to get redress, but cannot prove injury when "classified information" cannot help us show why our rights have been revoked.
Bush's argument here has been very consistent: I can do anything I feel is necessary even if it violates either statutory or constitutional law, and not only can you not stop me from doing it, you can't even bring a case before the courts because the state secrets privilege denies them the authority to hear it. As I've said before, it's a perfect mobius strip of logic, forming a force field around everything the President does and rendering him immune to constitutional challenge. -- Ed Brayton, Dispatches from the Culture Wars (Which you should be reading every day)Why is there no politician seemingly willing to step up and say, "Life is complicated, and I'm going to need at least a half an hour of your time to tell you why." Why isn't it the least bit troubling to the Neo-Cons and war hawks that an unprecedented consolidation of power is occurring at the top levels? It's your guy now, but it's not going to be your guy later. Why is our government using the media to put fear in the heads of the least of us, but scaring the bejeezus out of anyone attentive enough to be watching our ability to live in freedom slowly eroding?
Is it too much to ask that my government preserve my freedom to be left alone, and at the same time provide protection to the least of us? Strengthening our borders is not the answer to protection. Neither is another metal detector at the airport, shampoo in three ounce portions or a gambling ban or Jesus in the classroom.
The first minute some unfortunate guy named Mohammed spends in an undocumented location getting his ass kicked for information he simply cannot provide is the first minute I feel shame for our country. The first time Mohammed is denied knowledge of the charges against him - if any - and prevented access to legal counsel and judicial review? This is when shame turns into fear.
Everything our founding fathers designed to preserve our access to liberty was put on the line the day after those buildings fell five years ago. If this sort of fear-mongering fascism is allowed to continue, America will be largely unrecognizable in ten years' time.
Give me liberty, or I'm moving to Canada.
Bill Simmons @ ESPN
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