Wednesday, April 02, 2008

L'etat, C'est Georges

By Capt. Fogg

The illegal information feeding frenzy has been going on since Commander Guy started chumming the waters almost 7 years ago. I'm still being called deranged for mentioning it, but let me mention one more thing.

It's too easy for us to tell ourselves we have nothing to hide, it's all for our own good, it's all to fight terrorists and that strip searching your grandmother at an airport is a small price to pay for eliminating the far smaller chance that Osama will blow up the Dairy Queen in Keokuk Iowa. If you don't mind being under constant surveillance and constant supervision and constant suspicion every time you pass a toll gate or take some cash from an ATM or buy a plane ticket, or enter a web site, don't bother reading any further. Nothing I can say about the United States of America and what it's supposed to stand for will mean anything to you.

If you used to be proud of this country, if you used to think we stood for something more than security and unrestrained government power, you might be interested in some Pentagon documents that indicate our military is using the FBI to skirt legal restrictions on domestic surveillance to obtain private records of Americans' Internet service providers, financial institutions and telephone companies. The American Civil Liberties Union, yes the same group that the swashbuckling right uses to stop the discussion the way the inquisition did with the Devil, has gone through some thousand Defense Department documents to reach the conclusion that
"Newly unredacted documents released today reveal that the Department of Defense is using the FBI to circumvent legal limits on its own NSL (national security letter) power."
Considering the amount of passion the US once felt about having a government that could simply examine anything or anyone without showing cause or reference to any law, it's had not to conclude that the Republicans have put us right back where we were before we threw another George out of the country. And why this pressing need to put our two hundred year old constitution on hold? A massive invasion of foreign troops? Civil war and widespread insurrection? A shipload of tea thrown into the harbor? Sorry, it's "evildoers" sitting in a cave in Pakistan and sending us an occasional VHS tape while Bush's other family in Riyadh finances terrorism. It's Iraqis defending their country against foreign invaders. It's about fostering fear and cowardice in the name of unitary government and one party rule.

Unfortunately the ACLU has been made into a mass produced straw man that can be trotted out for any hate session the Junta needs in order to refute the irrefutable, or to make defending our constitution and our rights seem subversive. I'm sure some of you didn't read past the name. None the less, had they not filed suit against the government, the government would have been unopposed by anyone with the ability to do more than bitch and blog. In fact other than for the ACLU and the NRA, the bill of rights might long since have been relegated to the Bush enemies list.

I once laughed at Spiro Agnew and his Liberal argument that "extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice," but no longer, only because the defense of liberty has become the excuse for undermining it while any reluctance to submit is being called extremism.

Sleep well tonight
It'll be all right
Trust us, we're the government.

Cross posted from Human Voices

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Blogger Libby Spencer said...

Brilliant Fogg. I wish I had said that.

5:27:00 PM  
Blogger Paul Hammond said...

I believe Barry Goldwater made the quote about liberty, which while eloquent can justify anything from 9/11 to the American Revolution. The minutemen and the abolitionists were extremist and in their day.

I am still be proud of my country, not embarrassed to live here and fond of my countrymen regardless of race. The past was no picnic. Neither will the future be. A broader view of history helps.

6:22:00 PM  
Blogger Capt. Fogg said...

A broader view of history worries me more. Yes I guess you're right about Goldwater. I hate to confuse him with that crook Agnew.

Americans are not unique in their vices but our feeling of uniqueness; our belief in our exceptionalness our insistence that we're number one in anything to which a numerical ranking can be applied is vice enough.

The more history I read, the more I believe that we have never been what we claim always to have been and it's not just our collective blindness, but our persecution of the better sighted than makes me ashamed.

And then, of course there's the hypocrisy. Who else but America can trash the world for telling us what turned out to be true and hold on to the "freedom fries" mentality regardless of how foolish we were and are.

I'm only ashamed because it's my country; because I'm an American - otherwise I'd be laughing at the fat, spoiled, bigoted, ignorant, superstitious, belligerent and smug brat most of the world sees us as.

I'm ashamed not only at having slaughtered millions in the name of Capitalism or "freedom" but that we mistreat our own people because our leaders tell us we can't do what other countries have done. We manifest our incurious stupidity by making everything binary - left and right, communist and capitalist, good and evil ( or worse: Christian and evil) and by buying in to all the propaganda that makes us puppets.

I could go on.

9:13:00 AM  
Blogger No Blood for Hubris said...

Hear, hear.

9:04:00 PM  
Blogger Capt. Fogg said...

Thank you

10:26:00 AM  

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