Saturday, October 13, 2007

Cry me a river

By Libby

I'm having a bad week that just won't end and I'm preoccupied with some personal stuff but I'm still cruising the tubes and finding some items worth a read. Via Jules Siegel, this Naomi Wolf post didn't exactly improve my mood but it's heartening to know I'm not the only one who feels kind of lost and overwhelmed by our current constitutional crisis. Some excerpts.

The good news is that Americans are already awake: I thought there would be resistance to or disbelief at this message of gathering darkness -- but I am finding crowds of people who don't need me to tell them to worry; they are already scared, already alert to the danger and entirely prepared to hear what the big picture might look like.

But I can't stand the stories I am hearing. I can't stand to open my email these days. And wherever I go, it seems, at least once a day, someone very strong starts to cry while they are speaking. ...

In Boulder, two days ago, a rosy-cheeked thirtysomething mother of two small children, in soft yoga velours, started to tear up when she said to me: "I want to take action but I am so scared. I look at my kids and I am scared. How do you deal with fear? Is it safer for them if I act or stay quiet? I don't want to get on a list." In D.C., before that, a beefy, handsome civil servant, a government department head -- probably a Republican -- confides in a lowered voice that he is scared to sign the new ID requirement for all government employees, that exposes all his most personal information to the State -- but he is scared not to sign it: "If I don't, I lose my job, my house. It's like the German National ID card," he said quietly. This morning in Denver I talked for almost an hour to a brave, much-decorated high-level military man who is not only on the watch list for his criticism of the administration -- his family is now on the list. His elderly mother is on the list. His teenage son is on the list. He has flown many dangerous combat missions over the course of his military career, but his voice cracks when he talks about the possibility that he is exposing his children to harassment.

I find that holds me back sometimes. I don't care so much what happens to myself but I don't want my family to suffer for my political activism and in this administration there seems to be no limits on how far they'll go to exact revenge for exposing their deceits.

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Blogger Swampcracker said...

I don't care so much what happens to myself but I don't want my family to suffer for my political activism and in this administration there seems to be no limits on how far they'll go …

Libby, lately I have been struggling with the same thoughts, and the reason is that I have a daughter who is an officer in the military and serving in Iraq at this moment. These have been hard times for my family. There is the constant anxiety about her safety. Complicating matters further, my family leans left.

My daughter and I do not, perhaps ’cannot’ is the better word, discuss politics or the war or the administration for obvious reasons. She cannot leave the military because there is a “Stop Loss” order backed with threats of prosecution. To protect my daughter, I play it safe and keep my mouth shut (and bite my tongue).

Last year, I removed one of my blogs from the Internet. This year, I may be forced to renege on a book project dealing with election fraud in Florida. Until my daughter is safe at home, until this war is done, until the last neo-con has been driven from Washington, I do not feel safe. With certainty I can say I do not consider myself free.

We have already passed nine of Naomi Wolf’s 10 steps to Closing Down an Open Society, and the tenth is merely a pen stroke away.

For the record, I am ‘swampcracker,’ a scruffy character who frolics with gators.

1:56:00 AM  
Blogger Libby Spencer said...

I don't feel safe or free anymore either Jeffrey and my heart and prayers go out to you and your family. It must be terrifying to have your daughter in a combat zone. I remember how scared I was for my nephew when he was in Bosnia and that was no where near as volatile.

I hope and pray she will return to you safely. I ony hope she comes home to the America she remembered and agreed to risk her life to save.

By the way I kind of figured you're a naturalist. The photos on your blog are stunning. I assume you spend a lot of time swamp muckin' to get shots of gators that good.

8:54:00 AM  
Blogger Swampcracker said...

For the record, I am ‘swampcracker,’ a scruffy character who frolics with gators.

It is the Internet moniker I hide behind when I don't want my poltical views necessarily attached to my real name. That is what I meant. And it allows me to play 'redneck dumb' when deemed appropriate.

But, yes, you are right about my interest in conservation. I was once successful in squeezing $5.5 million out of Jeb on a 300 acre environmentally sensitive land purchase.

6:59:00 PM  
Blogger Libby Spencer said...

Swampcracker. That's a new one on me. But I like it. Tres cool about getting the money out of Jeb.

8:43:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

who cares. what are they going to do kill me and my family? everyone dies. I would love to be sent to gitmo. i'd write poems on soap bars like "grey is thecolor of hope" by irina ratushinskya. I'm reading her book of said poems "pencil letters" now.

9:54:00 AM  
Blogger Libby Spencer said...

Lester, I'm a fatalist and don't worry about dying but I still wouldn't want my family to suffer for my activism.

12:40:00 PM  

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