For those of you
growing weary of seeing these "rant" type missives, take heart, they
probably won't be around much longer.
I hate to sound like
the consummate cynic (I prefer to think of it as being a pragmatic realist),
but if things play out the way I think they will, we are rapidly approaching
the time and place where I, and many others, may have to give it up.
Even now, at this
stage of the game, I'm merely exercising/exorcizing the demons, while I can,
because there's not much else to be done. It's a personal thing, and I
appreciate you being an unwitting part of my 'therapy.' By simply reading this,
you're helping me work through my "Cassandra" issues (the
mythological Cassandra, not a cross-dressing fetish!), and I'm sincerely
Recently I made the
following observation in one of my rants, "Americanized fascism is not only
possible in this country, it is right at our doorstep, leaning in. All it will
take is for just one more "catastrophic emergency" to occur, and that
door is going to fling wide open, and in they'll come, prepared to solve all
our problems with just a few 'minor adjustments' to the system."
Actually, they're not
only at our doorstep, but they've removed and discarded the locks and hinges.
All protective mechanisms that once protected us are now gone.
not much of anything I could realistically suggest anyone do at this stage.
Whatever we do would have little impact anyway, once they decide to pull that
"emergency" trigger. The USAPATRIOT Act, "Military Commissions
Act, and the Homeland Security Presidential Directive/HSPD-20 have made sure of
Right now in this
country (and it's still hard for even a cynic like me to digest this) not a
single person has even one constitutional right if George W. Bush says they
don't. We don't have a right to be free from arbitrary search and seizure, or
not to be arrested and imprisoned without trial. We don't even have a right not
to disappear forever into some unknown detention center! And if you don't have
these rights, what worth are any of the others? Essentially all rights are now
based solely on the whim of the president, if he so desires to exercise that
whim, for whatever reason.
No, they are not
dragging people off the streets by the thousands in broad daylight. That's the
point. They don't have to. They only have to have the power to do so, and to
make an example of a select few, in order to quash dissent and otherwise
terrify the citizenry into submission.
Who among us over the
age of 30 could even fathom such a thing 5-10 years ago?! What in the world
happened to us and to this country? What were we doing when it mattered; when
it was crucial for people to pay attention (and not just to Faux News!) and
engage in the process?
I'm sorry to report
(much more than I can express) that the opportunity to engage, and make a
difference, has now passed. That point was in 2000, 2002, and 2004. That's when
many of us were desperately trying to warn anyone who would listen that the
'handymen' tinkering with the door were not who they said they were, and must
"At the very least, quit supplying the
tools and baking them cookies!!" -- we implored.
Alas, too few
But hey, I'm not here
to throw stones. I realize people had other priorities and/or needs.
Most of the wealthy
were blinded by the expectation of big fat tax cuts (and what could be more
important than that?). Others, by the prospect of declaring this "The
United Christian States of America," as well as doing their part to help
move along that whole "Armageddon/Rapture" thing. Still others, I
suspect, were in a perpetual state of GOP/media induced fear, and therefore
unable to think clearly. And far too many simply didn't care one way or
another, assuming someone else would do their caring for them.
Which brings us to
where we are today.
But again, I'm not
here to lay fault or blame. Not at all. I guess I'm just hoping that maybe next
time . . . well, probably just wishful thinking and a moot point.
Anyway, here's a
little trip down memory lane, some 'on record' excerpts of my plaintive pleas
from 2000 thru 2004. Peruse them if you like, or not. Not sure what difference
it would make either way.
But at least it does
help me cope. And for that, I am grateful.
9/00 -- Our constitutional freedoms, as we know them, may be
depending on you! . . . Maybe it is just
paranoia. I honestly would prefer it were -- I kind of like the Bill of Rights
as is. But just in case, please, do your civic duty. Get out and vote, and take
someone with you. Future generations will appreciate it.
10/00 -- �Free money!! George W. is going to give me some free
money!� . . . The free money being offered is borrowed money,
borrowed ultimately from future generations. It�s called our national debt.
Giving away this borrowed money to help win an election is equivalent to
skipping your mortgage payments in order to shower friends and family with
gifts. Sure, they�re going to think you�re a swell guy, but it would be really
2/01 -- 43 percent of
the tax cut -- $688 billion -- will go to the richest 1 percent, and this will somehow
stimulate the economy? Seriously, if you truly wanted to stimulate the economy
(and maintain fiscal responsibility), wouldn't you limit tax cuts to those who
will actually spend the money in the economy; people to whom a villa in the
south of France just isn't an option right now?
3/01 -- Look, I'm only
trying to do my part to help some of you avoid the embarrassment that will
inevitably come when you realize you've been duped. When the budget surplus has
mysteriously vanished, the gap between rich and poor has reached dangerous
levels, and the environment is in another post-Republican era freefall, you'll
at least be able to say, �I saw it coming a mile away.�
11/01 -- I have
nothing but disdain for those who wear their nationalistic zeal on their sleeve
and loudly proclaim that those who do not embrace their particular ideology or
religion are therefore unpatriotic. Those who proffer such a blind allegiance
represent the most dangerous threat to our liberties and freedoms, and are, in
my opinion, the antithesis of true patriotism. Adlai Stevenson Jr. said it best
-- �Patriotism is not a short and frenzied outburst of emotion but the
tranquil and steady dedication of a lifetime."
12/01 -- Once again, I
beseech you -- don't be sucked in by this mind numbing propaganda machine. It's
not at all a stretch, considering the way this Republican juggernaut is rolling
right now, to be seriously concerned that we're headed in an irreversible
totalitarian direction. Give these people just a little more power, let
yourself become just a tad more indifferent, and you might just wake up one day
soon to an Americanized version of fascism. And you won�t even know what
4/02 -- Like zombies
we listen to the billion dollar corporate media, and millionaire individuals
within the Republican Party tell us that a tax cut for billion dollar
corporations and millionaire individuals is just what this country needs right
now. And like brainless idiots we buy it. We stand there with our little flags
in our hands, clutching our Bibles, and swallow any foul thing they care to
feed us. All they have to do is serve it up with a patriotic condiment and a
side order of God, and we eagerly consume their crap.
5/02 -- There are
serious things going on in this country right now; things the Bush
administration -- and the people who own it -- don't want you to know about.
They are quite literally banking on it. If they can keep your attention
diverted long enough; if they can keep us fearfully focused on their new
replacement for the communist bogeyman -- 'The Terrorist' -- they may very well
leave behind a wake of environmental and economic destruction that will take
decades to recover from.
9/02 -- Thousands of
innocent people died that morning that probably shouldn�t have. And tens of
thousands more will likely die because of it. If the Bush administration had
done their job in a lousy manner, or in a sloppy manner, lives could have been
spared. But they didn�t even do that. They did nothing. He just sat there. Why
doesn�t anyone seem to care?
11/02 -- Ever since
9/11 was thrust upon us, many Americans appear to be emotionally hell-bent on
destructive revenge, regardless of who it is that gets destroyed, including
ourselves. This irrational exuberance to go kill somebody -- anybody -- seems
utterly bizarre to me.
4/03 -- This could be
our best opportunity to preserve our constitutional form of government and the
ideals it represents. Let's not let it slip away without a fight. Do it for
yourselves. Do it for future generations. Do it to 'support the troops'. Do it
because, as a citizen of this country, it's your responsibility to do so.
5/03 -- A rather large
percentage of the American public want it uncomplicated and easy. And the more
superficial the better. But the world, and reality in general, is much more
complex than that. Something far too many in this country either fail to see,
or simply refuse to acknowledge. Is it any wonder we appear to be reverting,
collectively as a society, to a condition more suited to childhood?
11/03 -- What else
would justify the silence and/or acquiescence of certain 'in-the-know' members
of our society to the flagrant economic, environmental, and societal
devastation going on today? Why are the Democrats, the media, the intelligence
community, and even traditional conservatives, so cowed by this movement? . . .
There has to be something more sinister in play here. Something most of us
thought could never happen in this country.
5/04 -- It's
within that 2000 PNAC document that we find articulated what they believed
would be a prerequisite to their Iraq invasion; the one thing that would be
needed in order to bring the American citizenry on board -- both emotionally
and monetarily. That need, that missing link was, and I quote: "some catastrophic
and catalyzing event, like a new Pearl Harbor."
6/04 -- "Bring it
on!" Or as Lord Farquaad, the character that portrayed Bush in the movie
Shrek put it to his Knights: "Some of you may die, but it's a sacrifice
I'm willing to make."
7/04 -- This was and
is the method to their madness, at least on the domestic front. Ignite the
fundamentalist Muslim world against us (adding tens of thousands to the
terrorist ranks), fueling a never-ending 'war on terror.' Then use that war --
and the fear generated -- as a tool to dismantle, one by one, the structural
components of our unique but fragile system, and replace it with a theocratic
form of military/industrial corporatism.
11/04 -- It's been
difficult for some to comprehend the downward spiral we as a country seem to be
caught up in, and why so many of their fellow citizens appear to be positively
giddy about it -- wholeheartedly embracing those in power who are driving us
straight into the ground. But it hasn't been difficult for me. I've been
observing both the leaders and followers of this right-wing movement for 20
years, and warning of the dire consequences that lay ahead. I knew what they
were all about, and where it was headed. Still, there appears to be something
more going on right now; something peculiar and unanticipated, but with a
vaguely familiar feel about it.
. . . Yep,
there's a definite pattern developing here. Better get ready. The Kool-Aid is
being prepared. And they're going to try to force us all to take a drink.