July 2007 Archives

Sat Jul 7 14:02:16 CDT 2007

"Dire Distress" signaled at UT Austin on Friday

ยง 3100.053. ORIENTATION ON FLAGPOLE OR FLAGSTAFF. If the state flag is displayed on a flagpole or flagstaff, the white stripe should be at the top of the flag, except as a signal of dire distress in an instance of extreme danger to life or property.

Posted by johan | Permanent link | File under: randomweirdness

Tue Jul 3 11:09:04 CDT 2007

The United States of Fear

"We" used to be the "We" in Jefferson's "We the People..." from the Declaration of Independence. The "We" that kicked the collective ass of the most powerful international empire then in the world because We disagreed with King George's laws that unfairly taxed our earnings[1] and denied us political representation.

And after all of that risk, bravery, and blood, today we are ruled by the Bush Administration, that claims for itself the right to violate our laws and persecute the whistle blowers. Because if we can hear the whistle blowers, we would know that Bush and Cheney lied to us, so that they could mislead the country into a immoral and now disastrous war. A war that is steadily increasing our enemies, not decreasing them, as Bush and Cheney tell us. And when their minions are caught lying to protect their Liars-in-Chiefs, Bush and Cheney, instead of accepting the rule of law and the will of a jury, Bush and Cheney release their criminal henchman from prescribed punishment, as if to say: "Fuck you, America. We will do exactly as we please, and American laws will not be used to punish[2] our lackeys. America's highest laws do not apply to us, your rulers. Shut the fuck up and take it, or we will ruin you like we ruined Valerie Plame, and so many others."

And despite the fact that even Paris Hilton was made to serve something resembling her time in the slammer, Scooter Libby will not. And the U.S. Congress will not impeach Bush and Cheney for excusing Libby from justice, because as a country, we appear to be too complicit, too corrupt, too lazy, too stupid or most sadly, too frightened to compel our "elected" representatives to obey us.

I never thought i would see the people of these United States afraid of anything, but we are. They have us terrified, and we do not even know what we are afraid of. I cannot understand how a country that took up arms to create itself, and then to save the world from Fascism, brutal dictatorships, and genocide during the Second World War could now be too scared or corrupt to vote out a regime that clearly has so little respect for the laws it swore to uphold and defend.

Perhaps we're afraid of changing administrations during a "time of war," but the war is their own bogus creation, and Bush and Cheney haven't even recognized the futility nor the cost. So how could any new administration possibly be any worse at ending this war than what we have now?

The only thing the Bush Administration has not done that King George the III did in the 1700s to provoke the Declaration is to barrack troops with civilians. Ironically, this would actually be welcomed by a lot of Americans , because they would then be able to see their fathers, mothers, husbands, and wives for the first time many months or even years. Many military families have had only one parent since the second War to destroy Iraq began four years ago. The War is destroying these families along with our military and Iraq. It's time to end the war and give these children back their parents; to return these husbands and wives their spouses. It's an unreasonable cruelty to keep these families broken apart without serious threat, and Iraq has not been any sort of threat since we all but destroyed their military in 1991.

Also like George the III, Bush and Cheney unreasonably tax us, so they can give away our money (in the form of no-bid contracts) to their friends that run a familiar list of government contractors, like Haliburton or Kellogg, Brown & Root. And when an honest civil servants, like Bunnatine Greenhouse, brought this to our attention, this government abused, and then fired her without cause. Her first name may seem a little silly, but she most certainly is not. She was the chief contracting officer for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers when she alerted the media to corruption in government contracts. First her superiors ignored, then intimidated, humiliated, and finally fired her. But all along, she refused to submit and repeat their lies. They tried to corrupt her integrity, but she would not allow it. You have to admire her -- this is the type of person whose morals and strength of character we all admire. But apparently, there is no room for such people in the upper echelons of the U.S. Army -- of the U.S. government, which says a lot about this administration.

And finally, just like King George, Bush and Cheney take away our lives. The lives of our brothers, husbands, sons, and fathers; our sisters, wives, daughters, and mothers, in a hopeless and immoral war, that only prolongs in blood what we all know is inevitable, and is actually already happening: the Iraq Civil War.

Iraq will rip itself apart along ethnic lines, just as some of the other recently-contrived countries in Eastern Europe did after the demise of the Soviet Union. And short of killing most of the people there, there is not a damn thing we can do to stop it now. Avoiding a full-blown civil war in Iraq might have been possible just after the invasion, but Bush and Cheney squandered the chance by lining the pockets of their political allies and corporate buddies. So a bunch of arrogant and ignorant lackeys were sent in to stabilize and rebuild the country, instead of police officers, civil servants, or officials from the State Dept. who study how to (re-)build nations. People who could have trained an Iraqi security force and setup a stable government, or people who would have been smart enough not to disband the Iraqi military, instead of cutting them all loose and making an enemy of ever discharged Sunni soldier. The "peace" was bungled by Bush and Cheney's lackeys from the very beginning, and the Iraqis have been paying for our corruption and ignorance with hundreds of thousands of innocent lives for the past 3-4 years.

I'm at a loss for what else to say or do. I have written all of my Congressional representatives. Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio) introduced impeachment articles against Cheney in late April. After over two months, the WP reports he now has 10 co-sponsors. That same story reports that 207 Democrats and two Republicans voted for Rep. Rahm Emanuel's (D-Ill.) bill to strip Cheney's office of its funding, but enough Democrats voted against the bill to torpedo it. Regardless, i think cutting funding falls short of what's needed. Bush and Cheney need to be removed from office immediately. Why aren't others in Congress supporting impeachment?

As a whole, Congress seems too corrupt, afraid, or unable to act, as are, apparently, the rest of the people in this country. I have talked to everyone i know who will listen. Before the war, i marched in anti-war rallies and repeated all of the news stories that explained how Bush and Cheney were lying about the threat from Iraq. (News stories that were buried by most of the mainstream media before the start of the War, but have recently re-surfaced.) Short of out-and-out rebellion, or getting myself thrown in jail, i'm at a loss of what else could be done.

We used to be "Land of the Free, Home of the Brave."

Now we're "Land of the Corrupt, and Home of the Cowards."

Is there anything else i could say to wake us from this nightmare? Must it go on forever until the country collapses in on its own corruption, apathy, and fear? Must it get so bad that we again have no choice but to take up arms against "our" government and dissolve "the political bands" which connect us, as the Declaration of Independence explains as our right? Is there any other way we can relearn this lesson:

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. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.


[1] One must note that there would not have been in earnings had Europeans not essentially stolen land that was under the control of other people -- the first Americans who lived in the various places that were colonized by the English, French, Spanish, and Dutch colonized in before the United States created themselves.

[2] Yes, Libby will pay a $250,000 fine. But he won't really. 250 wealthy Republicans will buy themselves a front row seat at the feeding trough with a $10,000 tax-free (to Scooter) donation to Scooter Libby, and there is not a damn thing we can do about that.

Posted by johan | Permanent link | File under: unixlike, politics