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My American Fatigue

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  • My American Fatigue

    Snakes, Sleepers, Stooges, Pigs, and Windmill-Tilters: My American Fatigue

    I notice quite a few posts in this section of the forum coming from people, and while I applaud some of their motives, I can't support their views or their fundamental strategy without a lot of reservation. Yes, it's undeniably true that our current President is a lying, traitorous swine with oceans of innocent blood on his hands and many megabucks in superlatively dirty war profiteering money in his pockets. So? He's a politician. It is in the nature of politicians to be self-serving prevaricators with too much money and no moral compass. Pointing that fact out does nothing truly useful when the vast majority of the population thinks it's acceptable to do relatively little about it, and this is what I object to about MoveOn's approach.

    There's an old story about a woman who finds an injured snake. She takes the snake home, lavishes loving care and attention on it, and when she has nursed it back to health, it promptly sinks its venomous fangs into her hand. As she is dying, she asks the snake why it would do something so vicious to her, its savior and benefactor, and the only reply is "you knew I was a snake when you brought me home."

    Politicians are bad people, or they wouldn't be politicians. With very few exceptions, even those who begin good, with the highest of ideals, sink into depths of corruption that are inversely proportional to the heights of the power they attain. This is true the world over, it has been true for all of human history, and it is certainly no less true in modern America. This is, in fact, exactly why our country was founded with checks and balances, freedom of the press, freedom of speech, term limits, etc. etc. It's why we have guns.

    (Guns... hmm. This little impromptu soapbox rambling of mine is not actually about guns, but the subject does provide a perfect hook for me to hang my argument on, so please bear with me and forgive my extemporaneous rambling.)

    In America, we've got the NRA, a group of gun-toting mostly Right-wing people who vociferously (and often obnoxiously) defend their 'right' to bear arms. They are locked in an eternal struggle with a heavily Leftist cadre of loosely affiliated and emotionally motivated gun haters who want to limit gun ownership by, for instance, banning military grade weapons (so-called "assault rifles") and ammunition. If the Lefties really had their way, most of them would ban all guns.

    Personally, I cannot stand the Right... but I cannot stand with the Left. As far as I'm concerned, they're both absolutely dead wrong on the issue of gun control, having both missed the essential point of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights and the Federalist Papers and pretty much everything ever uttered by men like Thomas Jefferson. In fact, they're both absolutely dead wrong about pretty much all the other issues as well, for exactly the same reasons.

    The Lefties have a very strong, very deep, and very lamentable tendency to think, lobby, and vote (when they bother to actually register, that is) with their emotions. When they think about guns, they think about Columbine, or about the appallingly regular incidents of innocent, unsuspecting children accidentally shooting each other with daddy's loaded, unsecured firearm. They are emotionally charged and intellectually disconnected people who would happily sacrifice every freedom that Americans have enjoyed for over two hundred years on the altar of public safety. What's more, their failure to rein in their emotions with a little rational, informed thinking causes them to waste the greater part of their energies fighting for or against utter trivialities. Tell them that foreign substances are entering their bodies from the coating on their nonstick frying pans, drop emotional trigger words like "chemicals", and they are up in arms and ready to organize a march. Never mind that pure mountain spring water and lattes and THC are chemicals too. Never mind that teflon is absolutely inert and cannot possibly do you any harm by passing through your digestive tract. Never mind that there are so many bigger, more genuine issues to get upset about.

    At least the Lefties have hearts. The Righties exhibit an equally strong, equally deep, and equally lamentable tendency to think, lobby, and vote with their piggish, myopic self-interest, which is why they seem so gullible in the face of all those lies pouring out of Bush's White House: they believe because they know that their belief might just profit them in the form of tax advantages and the loosening of restraints on their business concerns, and therefore they really, really want to believe. While the Lefties squawk misguidedly about how the government should coddle us and protect us from ourselves and each other, the Righties keep an eye on their bottom lines and thunder selfishly (and equally misguidedly) about their rights. It never occurs to either side to think about their responsibilities, and that's the real problem, the issue at the root of all the other big issues. That's the issue that the Lefties should be organizing protests over.

    If you're an American, you don't just have a right to bear arms, or vote, or keep a sharp eye on your representatives in Washington, or speak up when they get out of control, you've got a duty to do those things. They are among your most important responsibilities as a citizen, and if you're not doing them, you're in dereliction of duty, motherfucker. If you read the Constitution and the Bill of Rights and the ancillary documents that expand and expound on the ideas expressed therein, you find that Americans are indeed supposed to own military-grade weapons, whether they want to or not. Things are supposed to work more along the lines of the (amazingly trouble-free) Swiss system, where every able-bodied citizen eligible for service is required to own, maintain, and periodically train with a fully automatic assault rifle. Part of that training is in securing your weapon when it is not in use so that it doesn't fall into the hands of children, fools, or criminals, and part of the reason for that training is so you can put down any high-handed viper who tries to usurp your sovereignty.

    The question of gun control, like so many other political questions in America, is only difficult to understand if you fail to factor in the citizen's responsibilities along with his or her rights.

    (In Australia, they fine people for not voting... maybe we should do the same in the States, just for starters. Or would that be too little too late at this point?)

    Note that, so far, I've been pointing out the faults only of my fellow Yanks who care enough to lobby about something. The majority of people in my beautiful country have even less of my respect, because not only have they missed the point at every turn, they don't even care what the point might be. If they stir themselves far enough to attend a demonstration of some kind (rare past the age of twenty-five), it's usually just to engage in a sort of street carnival and meet members of the opposite sex. These are people who idly, disinterestedly assume themselves to be free while living in the very mouth of a nascent American Fascism, a people who care far, far more about their lifestyles and the pursuit of more possessions than they do about principles or politics or that ugly 'R' word, responsibility. Leave them alone, let them live out their comfy, glassy-eyed days watching TV and eating brightly-packaged garbage, and their level of dissent will never be anything more than a sleepy grey mutter of weakly vented spleen, a sparrow's nanoscopic fart in a raging hurricane, and very little ado about gargantuanly monstrous somethings.

    The IV drip in the arms of these sleepers is administered by an alarmingly small (and shrinking!) group of oligarchs who own all the newspapers, TV stations, and other media outlets in the nation. They've got a pretty good gig worked out: they use entertainment programming to dish out enough narcotizing fluff and Leftist shock value to keep the sleepers sleeping and the Righties complaining about how disgustingly 'liberal' the media is, while using (ha, ha) 'news' programming to disseminate whatever lies will serve their rich, powerful friends best.

    Naturally, there are exceptions. Some news media actually carries real content, and occasionally even lets slip something almost truthesque. The sleepers aren't interested, the Right is convinced that it's just more Leftist nonsense to be pointedly ignored, and for the Left, it's preaching to the choir. Thanks to the Right's constant bitching about the 'liberal' media, the crumbs dropped by NPR and the like serve only to distract the Left, who leave the media virtually unmonitored while they keep themselves busy screaming at snakes to stop being so damned reptilian.

    The Lefties have my very deep sympathy because, no matter how misguided they may be, they do care about something bigger than themselves. They have my contempt because, while not asleep, they are hopelessly blinkered against any perception of their own vast irresponsibility, and the immeasurably vaster irresponsibility of apolitical Americans. They blame the politicians... they blame the snakes for not being fluffy bunny rabbits you can safely turn your back on.

    Certainly there are people in America who are wide awake and neither selfish nor blinkered. They don't make up a very large percentage of the population, but they're there. I suspect that most them look around from time to time, scowl at the snakes, tut-tut the pigs, sigh over the windmill-tilters, gape in disbelief at the media stooges, and finally sink back into black despair at the snoring of the sleepers all around them. Maybe they know what Jefferson et al said, and know what their duty as Americans is when tyrants start gathering power and building themselves thrones on the backs of the murdered dead. But what point would there be? Until and unless the rank and file of Americans throw off their torpor, rediscover their backbones and their sense of duty and rise from their (probably terminal) malaise, what good would it do for some courageous soul to spend the rest of his or her life in a prison cell? We have drifted too far; bloodying one's hands in the task prescribed by our forefathers would simply not be sufficient.

    I'd still cheer, though.


    In 1787, Thomas Jefferson wrote the following in a letter to William Smith:

    "Wonderful is the effect of impudent & persevering lying. The British ministry have so long hired their gazetteers to repeat and model into every form lies about our being in anarchy, that the world has at length believed them, the English nation has believed them, the ministers themselves have come to believe them, & what is more wonderful, we have believed them ourselves. Yet where does this anarchy exist? Where did it ever exist, except in the single instance of Massachusetts? And can history produce an instance of rebellion so honourably conducted? I say nothing of it's motives. They were founded in ignorance, not wickedness. God forbid we should ever be 20 years without such a rebellion. The people cannot be all, & always well informed. The part which is wrong will be discontented in proportion to the importance of the facts they misconceive. If they remain quiet under such misconceptions it is a lethargy, the forerunner of death to the public liberty. We have had 13. states independent 11. years. There has been one rebellion. That comes to one rebellion in a century & a half for each state. What country before ever existed a century & a half without a rebellion? & what country can preserve it's liberties if their rulers are not warned from time to time that their people preserve the spirit of resistance? Let them take arms. The remedy is to set them right as to facts, pardon & pacify them. What signify a few lives lost in a century or two? The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots & tyrants. It is it's natural manure."

  • #2
    Nice piece of writing, M Otis.
    Very good points.
    I'd leave out the word "motherfucker," though
    unless it is your intention to sound emotionally charged
    and not purely intellectual.
    Just my humble opinion. agree with it or throw it into the trash,
    no big deal. :)
    \"Bush\'s army of barmy bigots is the worst thing that\'s happened to the US in some years...\"
    Michael Moorcock - 3am Magazine Interview


    • #3
      It absolutely was my intention to sound emotionally charged. I'm angry, and I want people to know exactly whom I am angry with. I want them to be angry, too... angry with the sleepers, and appropriately wary of the snakes.



      • #4
        Does your agreement with "the right to bear arms" extend to foreigners under US economic domination or military occupation?

        The tactic of "terrorism" is mostly to the disadvantage of the oppressed because:

        1. Terrorist attacks often hit the potential allies of the oppressed people (eg. workers going to work) and turn them against the oppressed peoples cause.

        2. The US state is so powerful that military methods are unable to stop it. A small group of conspirators cannot substitute for the action of the mass of people.

        Terrorism is a desperate tactic of the oppressed people who feel they have no other way of achieving change.

        The double standard of the US government is shown starkly by the treatment of those held in Guantanamo Bay. Most of these people have done nothing more than defend their own country and have never set foot in the US. The US doesn't follow the Geneva convention and has admitted that interogation of inmates is "just short of torture." It is illegal for enemy combatants to be interogated in this manner. If US soldiers or CIA agents were being held in this way by a foreign power there would be outrage (and probably war!).


        • #5
          Well cool. If you don't mind, I will mail it out to people.
          and no worry, I will leave your name credited to it. Or I can
          remove it so that it is annonymous if you so wish.

          "Guest" you have some good points as well.

          \"Bush\'s army of barmy bigots is the worst thing that\'s happened to the US in some years...\"
          Michael Moorcock - 3am Magazine Interview


          • #6

            That's fine, send it or post it anywhere you like, just please make sure my name stays on it. It might also be nice if you include my e-mail address: [email protected]


            No, I don't think that non-US citizens have rights (beyond basic human rights) under the US Constitution, because they don't have any responsibilities spelled out in that document. The question seems a little absurd, and please forgive me if that sounds rude.

            I also don't think that we as Americans have any business stomping around in other people's countries unless they attack us first. This Bush administration doctrine of striking preemptively sets a new and terribly frightening precedent, and it strikes me as very foul play indeed.

            The rest of your message may have some merit for its own sake, but I don't see how it pertains to what I wrote. The very clear right of the American people to violently overthrow tyrants has nothing to do with terrorism. I might also point out that, in the total absence of any evidence of a link between Saddam Hussein's regime and Al-Qaeda, the war in Iraq also has nothing to do with terrorism.

            My main point here is that the American people, not the politicians who lead them, are entirely to blame for the depredations of BushCo and friends. You don't hire a poisonous snake as babysitter for your child, and then blame the snake for biting the baby while you're out.

            Finally, I'm sorry, but I really don't wish to discuss this further with you unless you are willing to register and post in a less anonymous guise. Thanks for your comments.

            M OTIS BEARD


            • #7
              It was me who posted. It was a computer glitch that made the earlier posting 'anonymous.'

              I think that the point does have some relevance - the US constitution was written after the American war of independance from the economic and political control of Britain. Such a war of independance would be classed as 'terrorism' if it occured today. "The right to bear arms" is a throw back to the US's own anti-imperialist struggle. Too bad that George Washington had no regard for the soveirenty of the indiginous people - throwing off the yoke of the British merely allowed the local tyrants to persecute the American Indians and steal their land and resources.
              :-) flamingo


              • #8

                Thank you for clearing up the anonymity thing.

                One man's terrorist has always been another man's freedom fighter. I don't think it's useful to bandy the word about as an emotional trigger.

                As far as I am concerned personally, military actions against non-combatant civilians are terrorism; military actions against soldiers are guerrilla warfare. The relative merits of the cause driving the military action doesn't matter. So, for instance, while I have always felt that the people of Ireland have a right to self-rule, I cannot support the IRA... and the current conflict in Iraq seems to me to be largely a matter of American terrorism perpetrated against Iraqi civilians.

                Your point about the ignored sovereignty of the indigenous peoples in America is well-taken, but still not relevant to the original thesis. It simply reinforces the idea that politicians are bad people who need to be slapped down from time to time by the citizenry. Thanks to citizens who (eventually) stood up and made a stand for universal human rights, we no longer operate under the doctrine of manifest destiny at home, and it's about damn time we stopped doing so abroad.

                I don't care about the past, I care about the present and the future. We cannot change the past, and our past failures do nothing to invalidate our Constitutional rights or responsibilities... but we can be proud of the way in which we, as a people, have in the past effected change for the better. The civil rights movement is a good example.

                Bottom line: if things aren't right, we need to place the blame squarely at the feet of those whose fault it truly is: the politically lazy, the politically selfish, and the politically uninformed, as individuals. We should be imposing some kind of sanctions against citizens who don't vote, for one thing.

                M OTIS BEARD


                • #9
                  Thanks M Otis. Your name will be given it's due credit. and I will attach your eMail address as well.

                  Here's some info I got...


                  Arianna Huffington

                  Struggling to reconcile the ever-widening gulf between what the Bush
                  administration claims to be true and what is actually true is getting
                  harder by the day. Fortunately, Paul O'Neill has a timely, if disturbing,
                  diagnosis, backed up by some 19,000 pages of lab results: the country is
                  being governed not by the genial figurehead now running toward the center
                  in hopes of re-election but by a band of out and out fanatics.

                  On the administration's two defining issues, Iraq and taxes, the former
                  Treasury Secretary paints a scathing portrait of a cabal of closed-minded
                  zealots steadfastly refusing to allow anything as piddling as fact,
                  evidence, or truth to get in the way of their unshakable beliefs and
                  forgone conclusions.

                  According to O'Neill, invading Iraq was a Bush goal before he had even
                  learned where the Oval office supply closet was. It came up just ten days
                  after the inauguration, at the new president’s first National Security
                  Council meeting. "It was all about finding a way to do it," he says.
                  "That was the tone of it. The president saying 'Go find me a way to do

                  Of course, All the President's Men (and Condi, too!) did just that,
                  gathering a collection of dubious facts, half-truths, quarter-truths,
                  and--the House Specialty--no-truths (what "unpatriotic" people would call
                  lies) to match the desired outcome. A slice of Nigerian yellowcake,

                  But hey, why let a little thing like the truth get in the way of a
                  perfectly good war?

                  The picture of a White House teeming with fanatics gets even clearer with
                  O'Neill's depiction of the Bush brain trust's dogged devotion to cutting
                  taxes for the wealthy.

                  And, before I go any further, one word of advice to the White House attack
                  dogs now unleashed on O'Neill: If you want to belittle his bona fides,
                  you've got to come up with something better than saying "We didn't listen
                  to him when he was here. Why should we now?" Let's get real. Is there
                  anyone more central to developing economic policy than the Treasury
                  Secretary? To be any more inside, O'Neill would have to have been George
                  Bush's proctologist.

                  Now, of course, they're painting him out to be a cross between Jerry
                  Garcia, Karl Marx and the disgruntled former employee who just shot up
                  your local post office. Yeah, what an anti-establishment wackjob: Former
                  CEO of Alcoa, and a friend of Don Rumsfeld's since the sixties.
                  Anyway, whether or not the cabinet choir of the church of tax cuts
                  listened to him, O'Neill certainly listened to them, and now he's doing
                  what this administration makes a fetish of not doing: telling the American
                  people what their government is really up to. To hear O'Neill tell it,
                  the true believers surrounding the president, headed by Karl Rove and
                  O'Neill's one-time patron Dick Cheney, are all devout disciples of the
                  first commandment of Bush Republicans: thou shalt cut taxes for the
                  wealthy, no matter what the cost to the greater good. They have all drunk
                  the supply-side Kool-Aid -- and simply don't care to hear any debate on
                  this subject. Or on any other for that matter. According to O'Neill,
                  "That store is closed". To disagree with the Bush clan is according to
                  their vast, self-serving post 9/11 definition of patriotism, to hate

                  What's more, in classic fanatical fashion, the inner circle in the Oval
                  Office displays an utter intolerance of dissent.

                  When O'Neill, who had the gall to be concerned about the looming fiscal
                  crisis triggered by the growing budget deficit, argued against a second
                  round of tax cuts, he was quickly put in his place by Cheney. "Reagan
                  proved that deficits don't matter," growled the Vice President, blithely
                  ignoring the nearly 20 years it took to undo the fiscal damage Reagan's
                  budget-busting had wrought. Besides, added Cheney, sounding less like the
                  most powerful #2 in history than a kid cajoling his parents into giving
                  him ice cream because he has cleaned his plate, "We won the mid-term
                  elections, this is our due." An over-stuffed gift bag for the president’s
                  prosperous donor corps is our due? Is it actually possible to so badly
                  misread what this country--or, indeed, democracy--is about?

                  It's a measure of how effectively the GOP radicals have framed the
                  political debate, with taxes as the root of all evil, that Paul O’Neill, a
                  bedrock-ribbed establishment Republican, comes across like Tip O’Neill.

                  Hell, it turns out even President Bush had his doubts about the virtue of
                  following his first round of serve-the-rich tax cuts with a heaping second
                  helping. "Haven't we already given money to rich people?" Bush asks at a
                  2002 meeting of his economic team. "Shouldn't we be giving money to the
                  This momentary bout of presidential scruples was quickly cured by Karl
                  Rove. "Stick to principle. Stick to principle. Don't waver," he urged
                  Bush repeatedly. The principle, I suppose, being: "If we wanna win in
                  2004 we gotta keep our Pioneers and Rangers happy!" Boy Genius, indeed.

                  The most alarming thing that emerges from O'Neill's revelations is the
                  total lack of leadership on Bush's part. Just as the president was
                  finally outgrowing the long-standing rumors that he was a cheerful pawn in
                  a game he was too dumb to understand, O’Neill applies the paddles to the
                  “Bush as clown� image, turns on the juice, and yells, “Clear!�

                  At the very moment that Rove and the Bush re-election team are gearing up
                  to sell us the president as the macho, heroic cowboy from Crawford who is
                  going to keep us all safe from terrorists, despots, and Mad Cow meat, here
                  comes his former Treasury Secretary with his devastating assessment of
                  Bush as "a blind man in a roomful of deaf people".

                  Will this be the wakeup call that finally opens the American public's eyes
                  to the deadly consequences of being governed by a disengaged dolt in the
                  hands of a gang of brazen fanatics?
                  \"Bush\'s army of barmy bigots is the worst thing that\'s happened to the US in some years...\"
                  Michael Moorcock - 3am Magazine Interview


                  • #10
                    What matters and what doesn't...

                    The What Matters and What Doesn't Matter Poem

                    The economy has gone to shit, but no one seems to care.
                    In a vast foreign land virtually barren of all except extreme sun and sand
                    many people are starving, bleeding, and dying
                    But people are more concerned with the final score from the game last night.

                    Last week my brother died, but no one shed tears of sorrow but me

                    ***In our great land, the FIGUREHEAD PULLED BY PUPPET STRINGS
                    creates great tides of War and Chaos that will have irreparable repercussions,*** [hmmm... wonder what that means? --Jer]
                    but all we seem to care about is that Ashton is now dating Demi.

                    I don't care that you missed the latest episode of "Friends" last night.
                    I don't care that you bought those shoes you're wearing yesterday.
                    I don't care that Belinda's got a big ole butt.
                    I don't care that poppa's got a brand new bag.
                    Wake up people and take a look at what's really goin on!

                    --Jerico R.
                    \"Bush\'s army of barmy bigots is the worst thing that\'s happened to the US in some years...\"
                    Michael Moorcock - 3am Magazine Interview


                    • #11
                      You know Jer, there's a reason I don't read those posts all the way through (I read yours out of respect for your efforts). They always enrage me. It makes me shake with anger.

                      Ahhhhhhhhh!!!!! Bush stopped doing coke long enough to go run for office like daddy. Oh man! "This is our due". You know, there'll be someone who will say this is just left-wing propaganda, but it sounds like what they would say (about the war, taxes, everything). It really does. Why is it so easy for me to believe it? Because I know people from that part of society, they do look down at others (mostly) and feel they deserve their good fortune more than most.

                      Cutting taxes, increasing spending. Shit, I've got no money and even I know if you spend more and make less, you're fucked.

                      Get out and vote. Anyone but Bush!!!!

                      Rant over, thank you...
                      When they had advanced together to meet on common
                      ground, then there was the clash of shields, of spears
                      and the fury of men cased in bronze; bossed shields met
                      each other and the din rose loud. Then there were
                      mingled the groaning and the crowing of men killed and
                      killing, and the ground ran with blood.

                      Homer, The Illiad


                      • #12
                        Yes Ear I suppose I did go off on a bit of a tangent raving on about terrorism and such. I guess that's what's in my head. I think that when US citizens do throw off their torpor and get out on the street they are met with water cannons and tear gas. That's the impression from watching television anyway. That Seattle protest for instance.

                        And they fired rubber bullets at your Longshoremen who protested against the war as well. It seems ok for a Democratic candidate to be against the war (though it seems mostly ex-military types are making the running now). But if you actually try to do something to stop the war - like go on strike for instance they'll beat and club you into submission.
                        :-) flamingo


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by VonWeiner
                          Get out and vote. Anyone but Bush!!!!

                          While that is definitely a sentiment I can understand, VonWeiner, it does disturb me somewhat. Looking back, it seems to me that pretty much every Presidential election that has taken place in my lifetime has been a matter of most people voting against a candidate rather than voting for one. Could there be any more compelling evidence that what we need is a few more viable parties to choose from?

                          While I have stated in the past that I like, respect, and sympathize with the American Left far more than the American Right, I still don't have any love of or faith in the Democratic party. They're marginally better than the Republican party in my book, but that's not saying much when you consider that the Republicans' ranks are swollen with alarmingly fascistic Christian fundamentalist control freaks, a nightmare breed who not only think it's their business what consenting adults do behind closed doors, but actually look forward to Armageddon. Sure, the Demos look good standing next to them, but in absolute terms they're pretty horrible as well, albeit in their own way. Saying that any Demo candidate would be better than Bush is like saying that John Wayne Gacy would be a better choice for voters than Hitler.

                          I predict that one of two things will happen in this next election: either BushCo will once again "win" by manipulating the electoral process (which should be even easier to get away with this time, if Diebold's highly insecure voting machines are used), or some Demo whose entire campaign platform consists of yelling "I'M NOT BUSH" over and over again will enter the White House, causing 95% of the people currently outraged over BushCo's depredations to sink back into utter apathy, satisfied that things are not as bad as they were. Never mind that things will still be awful and wrong and in dire need of mass protests and profound civil disobedience.

                          In the long run, it might actually be better if Bush wins. Have you ever read Robert Graves' I, Claudius? There's a bit of narrative in there about King Log and King Stork, who rule the frogs in turn. King Log does nothing, and the frogs are complacent. King Stork eats frogs... and while King Stork is far worse in the short run, he at least has the virtue of pushing things toward the limits of the frogs' tolerance. Push those limits far enough, reasoned old Claudius, and perhaps the frogs will rise up and restore the Republic, putting an end to kings once and for all.

                          So, this being a forum for activism and not merely political discussion, the question is: now that we've collectively spelled out the need for change, just exactly what changes do we want, and what are we going to do about it?

                          For my part, several years ago I became so deeply ashamed of the apathy and/or deluded self-interest that rules the majority of my fellow Americans that I lost my faith in their ability to do anything coherent or truly productive about the situation. This led me to the conclusion that I basically had two choices if I wanted to continue using a mirror when shaving: either arm myself and go traitor hunting in our nation's capitol, or admit to myself that I'm not dedicated enough to act alone if it means ending up in prison for the rest of my life, and expatriate instead.

                          I hit the road. I'm now living in China, and I have no plans to return to the States until someone better than Bush is in office, and the Dep't of Homeland Security is just a bad memory.

                          Living in China does give me one distinct advantage over the folks I left behind: here I can get on the Internet and speak my mind freely without fear of a (second) visit from the Secret Service, who came to my house a while back and questioned everyone there, claiming that they had traced the IP address of someone (it wasn't me, believe it or not) who threatened the President's life in an Internet chat room.



                          • #14
                            That's really amazing that you've had to go to China to get away from the secret service raiding your house.

                            I always found it strange that Americans would think of the Democrats as 'Left'. They started out as the party of the slave owners of the southern states.
                            :-) flamingo


                            • #15
                              It was a knee-jerk reaction (not as strong as moving to China though) :lol:
                              I'm not sure if this country can withstand four more Bush years. Ah well, these things come and go. He 'll be gone and some other huckster will take his place, on and on and on...

                              But I'm not sure if you are as safe as you may think,

                              Originally posted by Ear
                              Living in China does give me one distinct advantage over the folks I left behind: here I can get on the Internet and speak my mind freely without fear
                              I remember that China was placing "gateways" (for lack of a better term) on internet raffic leaving the country. So they could control the data coming in and monitor the data going out. The gov't claimed it was to protect China from internet viruses, hacks, etc... . (And apparently the US gov't does some monitoring too, judging from your post). China has a recent history of suppressing free speech (and thought) and I don't think that has changed much. I think they still have one of the highest execution rates and it is common for people to go to jail for their beliefs. This is only what I have heard. I have never been there to witness it. You are, so perhaps I am wrong. I know the Chinese gov't is must be having one hell of a time keeping this Internet Jeanie in its bottle - or putting it back for that matter.

                              But China has a very old and distiguished culture (we are babies in comparison) and I am sure the hard-liners can't hold out forever.

                              Tell us what it is really like there. I'd love to visit, that's for sure
                              When they had advanced together to meet on common
                              ground, then there was the clash of shields, of spears
                              and the fury of men cased in bronze; bossed shields met
                              each other and the din rose loud. Then there were
                              mingled the groaning and the crowing of men killed and
                              killing, and the ground ran with blood.

                              Homer, The Illiad