Friday, July 04, 2008


I'm not a big fan of watching fireworks. Fun to set off, not so much fun to observe from a distance.
Flag wavers and "Support Our Troops" stickers worry me, and "These Colors Don't Run" trinkets make me cringe.

When Barack Obama failed to wear a lapel pin depicting the United States flag, his patriotism was questioned. What has this populace come to, that they overlook the substance of a man's body of work for the people, only to complain he is not wearing a pin? A pin that, like the bumper stickers, plastic flags, and yellow ribbon magnets, was probably imported from China?

How easily the public is outraged by a student burning a flag in protest, while we ignore the fact that America, our great experiment in democracy and equality, has taken to torturing people. Humans. Illegally detained humans, being tortured, not just on our watch, but at our hands. We've taken to not offering up our own freedoms and rights, as we've allowed ourselves to believe that this is the only way to security.

And even if it were true that such a trade would work, when did we shift to giving up freedom for security?

This day commemorates our independence. It commemorates something huge. A statement that, we, the people, were not going to take it anymore. And that we would fight for this, and it would be worth it. Because it was the right thing, that all of us were created equal, and that we had certain rights and they were worth protecting.

And somewhere along the way, it changed. Now we're told that the patriotic thing to do in the face of terror is to 1.) go shopping, 2.) give up some of those hard-won constitutional rights and freedoms. "You don't need rights. Let the government protect you," we're told, "after all, you're not a terrorist are you? You're either with us, or ag'in' us!"

All around us, people are nodding in agreement. And it's insane, and sad, and terrifying.

Today, of all days, please take the time to do something. This coming week, our Senate will be considering legislation that will essentially let Bush and the telecom industry off the hook for illegally spying on American citizens.

The simple version is that Bush told these companies to illegally spy on American Citizens, so that makes it legal. This logic, in short, says that if the president says something is ok, the law doesn't matter. That is, pardon my french, seriously fucked up. In my mind, this is probably one of the worst things to happen in this president's term (and that is saying a lot), and an extremely dangerous precedent.

Unfortunately, this has already made it through the House. Think you don't need to bother? Think your senator wouldn't possibly do this? The House members who caved on this shocked me. Pelosi voted FOR this. Please, take a minute, and send this on to your friends.

And remember what our ancestors fought to create when they declared their independence. It was not a nanny state where a big government spied on its own citizens, or where the president was above the law of the land.

From the ACLU:

As we are getting ready to celebrate Independence Day, the Senate is getting ready to sell out our freedom by passing an unconstitutional spying bill that lets lawbreaking telecom companies off the hook.

These companies handed over huge amounts of information to the Bush administration, potentially millions of emails and phone calls and more, without getting a warrant.

Without enough public outcry, the Senate will let these phone companies off the hook and let Bush and future presidents keep spying on Americans without getting a warrant. Will you please help stop this horrendous bill?

Send an email to your senators now and help protect freedom this Independence Day. Go to:

1 comment:

Julia said...

Yeah, as the right-wing authoritarian types said over and over, in order to make Fox News viewers piss their pants and fall in line...

"They hate us for our freedoms".

So, give them up now.

Senators Feingold, Dodd, Boxer and others are planning on attempting to derail this fascist crap when they return to DC. Let them know you support them, and give your own Senators hell if they are planning on giving our rights away. It's not just the telco immunity at issue, it's how the law is designed to allow the wholesale sucking-up and storage of data about American citizens.

That stuff doesn't go away, it stays in the form of backups and copies and all sorts of digital residue that helps to eliminate your privacy.

Make them stop. They were set to pass this without discussion, but a bunch of us yelled at them and brought it to the fore yet again. Yell. Rant. Rave. Call them and remind them of these words, which many Congresswussies seem to have misplaced:

"I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter: So help me God".

Kill FISA, not the Fourth Amendment.

Toll-free Senate switchboard: 1-800-352-1897