Ah, I Remember that from French Class! Or was it Social Studies?

The Bush Administration’s arro­gance con­cern­ing eaves­drop­ping on cit­i­zens with­out even a momen­tary thought giv­en to war­rants or any kind of civ­il lib­er­ties remind­ed me of anoth­er arro­gant dic­ta­tor (besides Big Broth­er):


And you thought it was just your library books they were look­ing at!

I also caught this choice quote from an incred­i­ble essay with the title: Fear destroys what bin Laden could not by Robert Stein­back of the Mia­mi Her­ald:

Pres­i­dent Bush recent­ly con­firmed that he has autho­rized wire­taps against U.S. cit­i­zens on at least 30 occa­sions and said he’ll con­tin­ue doing it. His jus­ti­fi­ca­tion? He, as pres­i­dent — or is that king? — has a right to dis­re­gard any law, con­sti­tu­tion­al tenet or con­gres­sion­al man­date to pro­tect the Amer­i­can peo­ple.
Is that America’s high­est goal — pre­vent­ing anoth­er ter­ror­ist attack? Are there no prin­ci­ples of law and lib­er­ty more impor­tant than this? Who would have remem­bered Patrick Hen­ry had he writ­ten, “What’s wrong with giv­ing up a lit­tle lib­er­ty if it pro­tects me from death?”

There’s much more in this, and some of it is what I’ve been near­ly scream­ing for the past 4 years, that Amer­i­ca is not the same coun­try that I knew. Stein­back also says ear­li­er:

…I would have expect­ed such actions to pro­voke — speak­ing metaphor­i­cal­ly now — mobs with pitch­forks and torch­es at the White House gate. I would have expect­ed proud defi­ance of any­one who would sug­gest that a mere ter­ror­ist threat could send this coun­try into spasms of despair and fright so pro­found that we’d fol­low a leader who con­sid­ers the law a nui­sance and per­fidy a priv­i­lege.
Nev­er would I have expect­ed this nation — which emerged stronger from a civ­il war and a civ­il rights move­ment, won two world wars, endured the Depres­sion, recov­ered from a dis­as­trous cam­paign in South­east Asia and still man­aged to lead the world in the prin­ci­ples of lib­er­ty — would cow­er behind any­one just for promis­ing to “pro­tect us”.

It’s a call to arms. Is it too late for any­one to hear it?

PS: I noticed that this is my 100th post­ing in this blog. Guess I made it to triple dig­its by the end of the year!

2 Replies to “Ah, I Remember that from French Class! Or was it Social Studies?”

  1. David,

    This is the biggest prob­lem I have with bush­co … And the thought that the US pub­lic is not storm­ing the gates over his spy­ing on them is just beyond me.

    Get us out of here!!

  2. Hi Bob,
    The dam­age that Bush and his min­ions have inflict­ed often seems to fall into 4 cat­e­gories:
    1) Hand­ing over Pub­lic Pol­i­cy cre­ation to multi­na­tion­al cor­po­ra­tions under the guise of ‘free enter­prise’ and ‘pri­va­ti­za­tion’ (Cheney and his secre­tive meet­ings with Enron and oth­ers for ‘Ener­gy Pol­i­cy’ was just the begin­ning)
    2) Fol­low­ing a Fas­cist Mod­el for all gov­ern­men­tal activ­i­ties, par­tic­u­lar­ly any­thing involv­ing deal­ing with ter­ror­ism. When your ene­my is ‘the boo­gie­man’ or a con­cept, you can get away with any­thing. Wire­taps and secret dossiers on cit­i­zens like you and me are the way that fas­cists have always (and still) oper­at­ed. Vladimir Putin and Kim Jong-Il will tell you that.
    3) Loot­ing the trea­sury. Just as Banana Repub­lic (the metaphor, not the cloth­iers) Dic­ta­tors raid the cof­fers of their tax col­lec­tions to feed their insa­tiable appetites, so has Bush and the Repub­li­can par­ty. The result is a Deficit (and worse, Nation­al Debt) that looms on the hori­zon like a com­ing storm. I have to say that this is above all, what led us to get out of Dodge. Sure, you can be mad about the oth­er stuff, but this finan­cial dis­as­ter? You run, as far as you can when you see that com­ing.
    4) Remov­ing the wall between Church and State. Allow­ing reli­gious zealots to take key posi­tions and con­trol deci­sions regard­ing health care, government’s role in the lives of cit­i­zen­ry, and edu­ca­tion. Even the Grand Canyon isn’t allowed to say how old it is in its tourist lit­er­a­ture because of the administration’s whole­sale adop­tion of far-right luna­cy that doesn’t believe in Sci­ence. This has a chill­ing effect on sci­en­tists or learned peo­ple stay­ing or doing any­thing good in the coun­try in the long term. Anoth­er rea­son to leave, albeit not as much a call-to-action as the pre­vi­ous one.

    Any one of these four things is enough to get me going (and notice that I didn’t even once men­tion the war in Iraq!), but all four tak­en togeth­er add up to a night­mar­ish com­bi­na­tion of stu­pid­i­ty, greed, and arro­gance. It’s one thing to be crim­i­nal, and oth­er to be incom­pe­tent, and still anoth­er to be a Fas­cist. Bush­co man­ages to be all three, while smirk­ing like a Fra­ter­ni­ty Boy.

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