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coffee_muses politics

Torture and Terror, Un-American Activities

I was sitting at the kitchen table going through my morning emails, reading the blogs I keep up with and generally doing what I do during the quiet of a Saturday morn when after checking out Fragments I started running Fred’s link list. Basically, I was looking for some new voices on what was happening in the world.

The voice that resonated this morning is from Chris Clarke of Creek Running North. His essay from yesterday about the latest fiasco our “elected” representatives have gotten into was entitled “I am an enemy combatant”. Chris is just one of the multitude of voices beginning to rise up out here in the real world, and he has a very eloquent way of putting the common outrage being felt by at least half of this country’s citizens.

For all its manifold faults, for all its history steeped in racism and genocide, for all its wars of empire and Know-Nothing heritage, this country was manifestly founded on the notion that a just government bases its authority in the consent of the governed. Now the Bush administration has declared that the interests of this country are coincident with, and limited to, the short-term interests of the administration and its corporate backers, and the most basic, most essential Constitutional rights of the citizenry be damned, not by the odious exceptionalism of privilege that marred this country’s history, but across the board. All of us are three-fifths of a person now, granted the privilege of full protection only if we do nothing that requires protection, unless we are unlucky enough to be falsely accused. And I withdraw my consent.

It is a slippery slope that this administration and this congress have started us down. At some point the slide is going to get out of control. Who will have their hand on the button when this slide careens into the chasm at the bottom? We all know what the button controls, the biggest stockpile of wmd’s this old world has ever seen. And a petulant, spoiled child seems to have the button…Does that thought make you feel safe and comforted?

One of the commenters on Chris’s site, Alice, had this to say about his post…

The past few days, I’ve been pondering the quotation “I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just”, even as I worry whether a God that I don’t believe in will care if I don’t observe Yom Kippur. Your post impelled me to google the quotation, which tells me (a) that it’s from Thomas Jefferson’s denunciation of slavery in 1785; and (b) that a lot of other folks are also pondering this, in the context of this latest assault on the principles underlying the founding of our country.

Of all of the fool things George W has done since he moved into the real world of international bull-in-the-china-shop, “I am the Decider” self indulgence, setting himself up to lead this country into a dictatorship has got to be the ultimate. And all because he needed that gold-plated “Get out of Jail Free” card. Can’t depend on the Republican congress coming back to keep all of the investigations shut down. Can’t take a chance the Democrats may take over the House and actually, you know, start doing the oversite that the Constitution mandates Congress do. Hell, if the democracy should actually spring up in America, you never know what might happen, George W and Dick may find themselves extradited to the Netherlands to face a jury of their peers…right?

I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again…Torture is Torture, America does not make it a policy to torture. As Chris said, we do not have a perfect record, but as a rule we try. Now the rule will be that you can, and we have all seen were that can get you. Does anyone in Washington remember Abu Ghraib? When you make it a policy to allow torture, torture happens. When you give the President the right to imprison people, does anyone want to bet it won’t happen?

As this debate played out in the halls of Congress, I had faith that somehow this Congress would find it’s (pardon the loss of a better word) balls to stand up to the Dick and George Show and remember what it was they swore an oath to protect. Sure, I’ve heard all of the arguments about this only applies to non-citizens, but so what. I am already being lumped in with the terrorists because I don’t feel that George W and crew have kept me safe without destroying the very things that make us American.

How long will it be before my rights of citizenship depend upon my kowtowing to the ruling party?

Crossposted at Blues From the Red Side of Life

Categories
coffee_muses

Friday Morning Muse

As I sit at my computer reading the mornings emails here are a few of the things that stand out:

From the Washington Post:
E.J Dionne had this to say about the Clinton interview on Fox –

“Sober, moderate opinion will say what sober, moderate opinion always says about an episode of this sort: Tut tut, Clinton looked unpresidential, we should worry about the future, not the past, blah, blah, blah.

But sober, moderate opinion was largely silent as the right wing slashed and distorted Clinton’s record on terrorism. It largely stood by as the Bush administration tried to intimidate its own critics into silence. As a result, the day-to-day political conversation was tilted toward a distorted view of the past. All the sins of omission and commission were piled onto Clinton while Bush was cast as the nation’s angelic avenger. And as conservatives understand, our view of the past greatly influences what we do in the present.

A genuinely sober and moderate view would recognize that it’s time the scales of history were righted. Propagandistic accounts need to be challenged, systematically and consistently. The debate needed a very hard shove. Clinton delivered it.”

Then Michael Kinsley has this closing –

A commander in chief who must face life-or-death questions such as these deserves a bit of sympathy. I would sympathize more with Bush if his answers weren’t so preening and struggle-free. It is wonderful to be so morally pure that you won’t allow a single embryo to be destroyed in the quest for medical cures that could save lives by the thousands. You are way beyond Gandhi, sweeping the path ahead to avoid stepping on an insect: Insects have more human characteristics than a six-cell embryo.

And regarding Iraq you are quite the man, aren’t you, “making the tough decisions.” A regular Harry Truman, consigning thousands to death in order to bring democracy and freedom and peace to millions. But Truman actually produced democracy and freedom and peace, whereas you want credit for your hopes. That’s not how it works. If you want to be the hard-ass, you get judged by results. And you can’t be Gandhi and Truman at the same time.

from this mornings “A Writer’s Almanac“:

Miguel de Cervantes said, “Too much sanity may be madness, and the maddest of all, to see life as it is and not as it should be.”

From the folks at Photo Friday: “This week’s Challenge: ‘Anger’.” I guess I’ll be pondering how to capture that emotion for a while today…

Martha Stewart (don’t ask) brings us Halloween Crafts.

And last in this mornings in-basket is: Eknath Easwaran’s Thought for the Day

September 28

God is not external to anyone, but is present with all things, though they are ignorant that he is so.
– Plotinus

I have heard people claim that mysticism denies the physical world. A good mystic would answer, “We are not belittling Sir Isaac Newton. We don’t deny the Pythagorean theorem. All we are saying is that we have discovered another dimension to life, another realm – changeless, eternal, beyond cause and effect – on which the entire physical universe rests.”

Because our lives are oriented outward, we may doubt the existence of the Self within. I have been telling people about this Self almost daily for more than thirty years, but occasionally I still am asked, “Are you talking about something outside us?” Compared with this Self – whom we call Krishna or Christ, Allah or Adonai or the Divine Mother – my own body is “outside.” Compared with the Self, my own life is not more dear.

Yesterday I spent some time with photoshop to “enhance” a photo from last week, let me know what you think…

 

This is the un-shoped version…

 

My wife is of the thought that using photoshop to “enhance” an image is untruthfull. I tried to tell her that the enhanced version is really closer to what stopped me for the image than the straight shot…oh well, about the only thing we ever agree about is dis-agreeing. And to think we’ve been together for 2 1/2 decades already…

Categories
photography

Used Cars



 
Used car lots in this neck of the woods leave a lot to be desired! 


Nothing a little paint and elbow grease wouldn’t help…don’t ya think?
Ya’ll have a great day…