Friday, February 23, 2007

open thread friday

"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security. — Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government."

these days in america life for most folks goes on in a familiar pattern- work, school, dinner, chores and homework. perhaps a daily commute or a trip to the grocery store- the very essence of peace and tranquility. for, you see, america is the greatest nation on earth- a nation where every man woman and child has equal opportunity to rise above his or her station in life if only they work hard enough to do it- and god sanctions it of course. we are a nation of strip malls and suburbs and gated communities tucked away in scenic byways in the land of plenty.

unless you are poor; unless you have 'minority' status; unless you live in louisiana; unless you are a liberal; unless you are non christian. in just about 6 years, this nation has been turned around 180 degrees. the facade we thought was true turned out to be a false one. the seeds were sown in the decades leading up- make no mistake- but the pieces of the puzzle were being put into place. you don't have to take my word for it- all of the pieces are out there to put together. most folks make themselves unavailable to do so- because it isn't nice to think about. it is easier to believe that americans love each other as brothers and sisters and that we are "one nation under god; indivisible with liberty and justice for all"- except that we really aren't and even our 'cherished' institutions are not what the appear to be.

has anyone wondered why we are having so many food poisoning cases throughout the country this year? why most of the medications on the market do more harm than good? why there are so many unanswered questions about what really happened on 9/11/01? why our government lied to us and continues to lie to us and still faces no repercussions- indeed has passed more legislation to shred our constitution in the last 5 years than thought possible- and in secret. why the secrecy? why the illegal immigration issue has suddenly become such an issue when there are millions of mexicans who have lived here side by side with us for decades?

has anyone asked themselves if they think that our government could ever be behind domestic acts of terrorism? why they felt is necessary to run this country on fear for 5 years? why the letters containing anthrax were sent to only democrats in the senate- namely daschle and leahy?

in the past 5 years, we have seen the rise of a police state stemming from legislation from a republican held congress and executive branch that has concentrated the government's power into one place- the white house. the patriot act; the military commissions act; the insurrection act- which leahy is trying to repeal. we have become a nation where it is fine to spew hate rhetoric and call it entertainment; where it is commonplace for the federal government to listen in on phone calls, read private emails, monitor blogs, intercept snail mail, look at financial records domestically and abroad and show up at your house if your internet blogging is deemed subversive. it is shrugged off that we use the practice of rendition to kidnap and spirit away people who may or may not be innocent to places that use torture. we condone that these people are not charged with a crime or have no recourse for a chance at clearing their name- american citizens as well as foreign. it's ok because we have a common enemy to hate- muslims.

i don't condone terrorism and i also don't condone hypocrisy. the time has come to be less tolerant of hate- domestically and abroad. yes, the muslim folks blow themselves up and take others with them- but is what is happening here- under the guise of fighting terrorism in the name of the christian god any less terrifying? both use fear as the underlying force to keep folks in line. both are insidious and both need to be stopped. many folks pooh pooh what is happening with the christian right as a bunch of evangelical nutjobs- and they would be right- these folks are nutjobs but they shouldn't be pooh poohed. they are an intricate part of what is going on in washington these days and are a force to be reckoned with- no pun intended. whether you believe that what is going on in america is the beginnings of fascism or not- i think that we can all agree that something is going to happen here and something will happen soon. according to limbaugh, the unofficial mouthpiece of the right, this week, that something is coming after the 2008 elections. what that something is- i certainly don't know. i do know that i will be preparing.

the sad part about the overwhelming sense of gloom and doom most folks are experiencing right now- is it can be overcome. folks know that the uneasy feeling is an intuition- but they push it back into the recesses and go on about daily life. i am not advocating that you stop living daily life. i am advocating that you listen to that voice inside that is telling you that something is wrong. i am advocating that you prepare for the worst. the government that we have right now can be stopped. the tide that has taken us over can be stopped. we proved that by our involvement in the last election. it will take a sustained effort to continue to battle the forces that are trying to take away the constitution in the name of security and religion. we can do it- if we have the will. we did it once 231 years ago.
  • Unlimited tolerance must lead to the disappearance of tolerance. If we extend unlimited tolerance even to those who are intolerant, if we are not prepared to defend a tolerant society against the onslaught of the intolerant, then the tolerant will be destroyed, and tolerance with them… We should therefore claim, in the name of tolerance, the right not to tolerate the intolerant. We should claim that any movement preaching intolerance places itself outside the law, and we should consider incitement to intolerance and persecution as criminal, in the same way as we should consider incitement to murder, or to kidnapping, or to the revival of the slave trade, as criminal.
    • The Open Society and Its Enemies (1945), Karl Popper


Spadoman said...

This is one great post today Betmo. Fanfuckingtastic!

I'm in Prairie Du Chien, Wisconsin and headed for Davenport, Iowa across the great Mississippi today.

You have my full support, and my back.


Carol Gee said...

Your post today was wonderful. I particularly liked the conclusion on tolerance and intolerance. I am a liberal and pretty tolerant by nature. And I just hate it that I have had to become very intolerant in order to take stands against what is so clearly wrong coming out of the current administration. I hate it that my peace of mind has been disturbed. I hate it that our government has become laughable in its insanity, derided by many other countries, abandoned by our closest ally, the UK. I hate it that journalists like Dana Priest have had to take charge of handling routine basic maintenance at a Walter Reed Hospital ancillary facility.
I know one thing for sure, however. The cause of truth is in ascendency and the outlook is better since the November election. Thanks for your dedication to sunlight.

betmo said...

welcome back carol!! thanks for your kind words. as long as there are folks out there who value truth over lies and basic human dignity over greed- we have a shot.

spado- drive safely- and get your bum back here! don't you know that there's a war on?! :)

shawn (aka blogstud) said...

much to think about, dear b. I am going to have to re-read this one again later.

Not sure what I think about it yet.

have a wonderful weekend.


Donnie McDaniel said...

Great post Betmo! WOW! I'll have two of whatever it was she had. ;) Don't know what made you cough that one up, but keep it up. Well, i'm off to peek at a couple of more blogs before I lay to rest. Then I have to do some more troll bashing at my blog. I can't even cuss that winger away! What has the world come to?

Time said...

To say that our rights are being abused is, in my opinion, correct. To say that our privacy is being abused is, in my opinion, correct.

The conservatives like to point out that our Constitution has no written right to privacy. I would amend the Constitution to document a certain right to privacy.

To say that we live in a police state is, in my opinion, an overstatement. We need only compare our society to a real police state like China, Cuba, or Iran under Saddam.

The American people have allowed their rights to be stepped on by the government.

Up until recently, the people have not only allowed this administration to be a tyrant over our society, but did so with a majority vote and opinion.

That is OUR mistake!

We have so little care in preserving our freedom, that we can barely get a 60% voter turnout.

We have no sales resistance. We allowed ourselves to be conned by the bigotry of the Bush/Cheney fear tactics.

I agree with you about the negative direction our country is headed. I hope the 2006 election shows a turn in this depressing direction.

But it is incorrect to imply (your quoting one of our most famous documents) that this is somehow against the will of the people.

Unfortunately, the people have approved of the Bush/Cheney decisions, for 6-1/2 years.

The people's approval and praise of what I would describe as evil leadership, is the basis of my depression about what has happened in this country since 9/11.

The people's willingness to go along, tells me that there is still to much intolerance and hate, among our people. The people seem so willing to accept the discrimination; in the name of what, FEAR!

NOW, the President is ignoring the cry of the people, the advise of the military, the decisions of the Congress, world opinion, and the message of the 2006 elections.

That is not a reason to change our government, it is a reason to impeach and imprison the criminals who are in charge.

Impeach this administration, before they can do more damage!

Coffee Messiah said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Coffee Messiah said...

This and the previous post (url) well worth reading often, Thanks for sharing these! ; )

As you noted, many, many of us are feeling "out of it" for a different description.

It's never been a good idea to trust the government, no matter where it is, but, for us, this is a first for those of us who weren't born prior to the 50s! ; (

(sorry about the deletion, forgot how to spell)

Peacechick Mary said...

Now here's the Betmo, I know! Well done and Bravo. There is indeed a feeling that something is happening that is usually so distasteful and repugnant to many if not the majority of Americans and to top that off, we feel we have no power to change it. These are not normal times for in normal times, we could and would impeach the whole lot of them. Criminal behavior is criminal behavior no matter who does it. But, the Prez holds too much power over the Justice Department and the Rubber Stamp congress people still have too much power. We are in a vice grip and it is very painful. I thought today, if congress does bring impeachment proceedings, I will spend as much time and money as possible to make it a success. Impeachment is our only hope at this point.

earl said...

Betmo, I kept hearing this song "For What It's Worth" as I read your post...

There's something happening here
What it is ain't exactly clear
There's a man with a gun over there
Telling me I got to beware
I think it's time we stop, children, what's that sound
Everybody look what's going down
There's battle lines being drawn
Nobody's right if everybody's wrong
Young people speaking their minds
Getting so much resistance from behind
I think it's time we stop, hey, what's that sound
Everybody look what's going down
What a field-day for the heat
A thousand people in the street
Singing songs and carrying signs
Mostly say, hooray for our side
It's time we stop, hey, what's that sound
Everybody look what's going down
Paranoia strikes deep
Into your life it will creep
It starts when you're always afraid
You step out of line, the man come and take you away
We better stop, hey, what's that sound
Everybody look what's going down
Stop, hey, what's that sound
Everybody look what's going down
Stop, now, what's that sound
Everybody look what's going down
Stop, children, what's that sound
Everybody look what's going down

betmo said...

time- i am not implying that what has happened is against the will of the people- and there is a core element of the population who have been against this regime from day one. no, rather, i am implying that we need to remember that we have the power to remove this government if we do indeed reach full out dictatorship. we are heading towards it- but it can be stopped- if we are aware. my job is to get folks to think about the information we have- and to put the puzzle together. the people have not been with bushco for the entire 6 1/2 years. iraq and katrina were his waterloos. i do see your point about the voting. i have a sneaking suspicion that the folks who are so vocal and are working to either keeping this kind of government- or railing against it- are the ones who do vote. the other folks- are apparently the ones we have to save from themselves.