Long Day's Journey Into Night
THE NATIONAL NIGHTMARE CONTINUES
Dear god, we, the citizens of the United States of America, land of the free, home of the brave, re-elected George W. Bush to be our president for another four years. What a nightmare.
Bush the younger was a harmless chimp before September 11, 2001, but the destruction of the World Trade Center towers made him think he was a real leader.
This was never the intent of his original election. Four years ago, in 2000, we voted for him because we knew he wasn't really presidential material. He was just a boy, a naughty little boy. This was patently obvious to other world leaders, who ignored him and planned their foreign policies around the United States, rather than in coordination with it. They tolerated his visits to their country. It was like Curious George stepping out of Air Force One and talking to them. They smiled politely, and then breathed a huge sigh of relief when he left. His advisors were running the country. Surely Curious George the presidential chimp couldn't go too far astray.
Sept. 11th kicked the naughty little boy in the ass. Suddenly we all became very much aware of how many loaded guns this naughty little boy had at his disposal, when he trained them on Afghanistan and then later on Iraq. When he went to war on Iraq - a completely unprovoked military action which did not threaten the defense of this country, nor any other liberal western democratic country - without bothering to build a coalition of forces, we knew he was a dangerous man who thought he had a mandate from God and the right wing to clean house on a world wide scale. Poor Curious George was too stupid to see the political realities in all their messiness in Afghanistan and Iraq - areas of the world where a war can never be declared to be truly won in the classical military sense of the world - nor could he realize that there was never any hope of establishing a true American style democracy in the Levant. The limits of his intelligence were becoming apparent. The dogmatic nature of his aides and handlers was becoming more so.
It was one thing, however, to do stupid things abroad. The rest of the world has always been America's outlet for its own violence and dunderheadedness. But the Janus-faced Bush administration also turned its attention to the freedoms of U.S. citizens here at home. The Patriot Act was rushed through the legislative bodies, ostensibly to make this country a more secure place. However, in the name of internal security we have allowed our congressmen and senators to abridge our liberties by permitting our own government to have much more information about our identities, movements, and communications. The Republicans claim they would never use these powers against loyal citizens. Pardon me if I remain a bit dubious.
As long as stupid people run the government, there will be mischief-making and loophole-taking.... and you will suffer.
The Department of Homeland Security was created to draw together disparate organizations within the federal government, most of whom were comfortable in their existing chains of command, and make out of this human hodgepodge a truly truly scary bureaucratic monster, answerable to seemingly no one. It will cost an amazing amount of money to coalesce these organizations, and the effort will continue largely without oversight because no one knows, EVEN WITHIN THE GOVERNMENT, what the mission or outcome of this hydra-headed monster ought to be. I see daily the effects of the DHS on my own organization. They're not taking the best and the brightest. They're taking the most available.
The Constitution is a very subversive document--worth committing to memory--that and the Gospels--both often quoted, rarely read, even more rarely grasped - doyle
I used to memorize poems when going on long training runs. T.S. Eliot, W.H. Auden, Milton, John Donne, Matthew Arnold, Shakespeare... all memorized one stanza at a time.
Our own beloved Dr. doyle has an even better idea: memorize the Constitution of the United States. Excellent plan. We should all know what our civil liberties are. They aren't rights. They're what we all agree too. They're what the courts interpret. They're what the House and Senate can amend. We should know and memorize and love and cherish what we have before we amend this most precious consensual document.
You know, my father came to this country in 1953. He was an officer in the German SS, an elite soldier in an elite military unit full of nobility and pride, that was the instrument of execution for the most inhuman evil
institution modern mankind has ever known. He saw firsthand the abridgement of civil liberties in the name of the greater good, and what an empty roadmap that was. It brought the horror of war to his beloved country. The apres-VE-day victory brought looting, rape, extreme hunger, unimaginable misery. It was the stuff of nightmares my parents did not talk about, because they wanted to end the nightmares with themselves. War is a terrible thing, more terrible than you can imagine.
He loved this country. He remembered the kindnesses of American soldiers. He loved the stories of cowboys and indians and stories of the Westward migration, the endless land and the open skies. He moved here in search of a better place to raise a family. He made his sons hold their hands over their hearts when we sang to the flag. In every way possible he made us love and appreciate this country.
My father is rolling over in his grave at what is happening to the United States.