The following one-minute mouth-off political
monologues express a liberal point of view. Some of them may eventually
find their way into a play, but for now I've shaped them into
monologues that challenge the actors to fill in the missing details
from their own imaginations: who, what, where, when, why, how?
This symbol means this monologue has been recorded. Click on the triangle to listen.
I loved Christmas when I was a kid, but these days I just can't stand the
relentless materialism. The obnoxious ads that equate money spent on consumer
goods with "love" make me sick to my stomach. I'm not giving you the Puritan rant
about plastic Santas and American kids who gobble sugary junk and have too many
toys. I'm not against pleasure. But somehow we have to face the cost to everyone
else on the globe of this "richness", this "freedom", this "generosity". There's
a link between global suffering and exploitation and the way mammoth corporations
like Target and Walmart operate. It's not enough for Americans to drop a few dollars
in the Salvation Army kettle before they sit down to unwrap gifts made by poverty-stricken
children and their overworked mothers and fathers-- gifts made from materials
that poison the workers who make them. If every American could see the process
that results in that designer outfit, that diamond ring or electronic gizmo, I
think people would realize that the world would be better if it had never been
made. We're not only buying in to this destructive system, though our movies and
music and TV and the Internet we're advertising our free, rich, wasteful life
as a standard for the rest of the world to follow. Once everyone wants it and
works for it there will be no saving our earth. We will all die in the trash heap
we are making of it.
The Mexican Guest Worker plan is a great idea. It will give lower class guys
like me the opportunity to spend the rest of our lives without working-- or at
least without a regular paycheck. Why not replace us all with people who will
work for five bucks an hour and sleep ten in a room? We just waste the money we
earn anyway. Buying ridiculous stuff like shoes and food. I had a seasonal job
in Death Valley a while back-- the hotels ran a little short of Mexicans that
year-- and I was amazed at the number of Europeans vacationing . They come to
the Valley for warmth, side trip to Las Vegas and Disneyland, see the redwoods
and Hollywood, relax for a solid month. I figured they must be bankers or real
estate agents or something, but they told me that they were just ordinary workers:
butchers and bakers. I couldn't believe it when they told me that this was the
European standard-- everybody, even the janitors, gets at least a month of vacation!
And the workers take it, too-- they aren't stuck at home because they have to
show up on time for a second job. I realized then that for the people I know,
vacations aren't part of our lives any more. If I'm lucky a relative will put
me up when I get laid off, and I can hang out at the beach or the bowling alley
until I find the next job. But it's getting harder and harder to find the next
job, and I'm running out of relatives who'll put up with me. But hey, it's not
hard times for everyone. If you're a CEO you've probably seen a triple digit increase.
But probably you don't get a vacation, either. What if while you were gone somebody
got a good look at the books?
Click on the triangle to listen:
Economic collapse might be the best thing that could happen to these United
States. Maybe then Americans might start to act like real citizens, instead of
just consumers. Buying is America's everyday religion-- and even religion on Sunday
is selling it. People "buy" isms and dogma and rhetoric and candidates the same
way they buy the latest shiny widget. And they never think to turn it over and
check where it was manufactured, or by whom. You can see our values made permanent
in concrete and neon. Europe built cathedrals, drawing all eyes upward towards
the Glories of Heaven. We build corporate cathedrals, branded monuments to the
Glories of Consumption. Malls in the place of public parks and band stands. Stadiums
with skyboxes so the wealthy don't have to mingle with the schlumps. 10,000 member
mega churches with exercise gyms and acres of parked SUVs. Priorities in this
country aren't hard to see. But people are easily distracted. It may be that the
bottom will have to drop out before Joe Average will open his eyes and look.
When I was a kid, war wasn't fashionable. My family didn't know anybody who
was in the military. Gun owners? We thought of them as freaks. They lived on run-down
old farms, or were gangsters in the big cities. Cops were sort of jokes, too--
the not-very bright sons of working class families who were too good to be in
the mob but not good enough to go into the priesthood. World War Two movies? Those
were boring and corny. But one day I noticed something had happened: the militarization
of America. TV commercials were showing soldiers with big sexy weapons, with lighting
and camera angles that glorified their power. Slick cop shows portrayed tough
but smart officers in Darth Vader helmets and heavy boots busting down doors and
throwing cowering little perps up against the wall. Video games put machine guns
and grenades and flame throwers in the virtual hands of ten year olds. The First
Gulf War looked like one of those games -- smart bombs and a turkey shoot as thousands
of Iraqi soldiers fled and were burnt alive. Kids who watched CNN along with Sesame
Street back then are old enough now to join the Adventure, and go on the attack
in the name of-- whatever. Who the enemy is doesn't really matter. Drug dealers,
illegal immigrants, terrorists, Muslims who believe that foreign infidels have
no business being in the Fertile Crescent-- whoever, for the War Culture they
are just straw villains in the latest thrilling episode of American Warrior.
Prisons are a big business. The whole war on drugs is an industry in itself.
I know a kid from a well-off family who was a coke addict and was jailed to punish
him. The county where he was incarcerated got money from DEA for the investigation,
and more for the arrest. The lawyer who bargained down his plea got hundreds of
dollars an hour. The boy was sentenced to a drug testing station weekly, where
he would pee in a cup-- at a hefty charge for each "service". He went to "counseling"
and this cost more money. He met monthly with his probation officer, and his family
was billed for that, too. The jail he spent a short sentence in acted as a hotel
for other counties and the state reimbursed for that. The kid never got treatment,
or hooked up with NA or AA, so to beat his addiction to coke he had to do it on
his own. The court didn't seem to care. Of course, if he'd been a poor kid who'd
been caught messing with a marijuana, it'd be simpler. No money to pay a lawyer
to ransom him? Then he'd have to rat out somebody else or be locked up for a long
time. Prison lobbyists have been tremendously effective. Locking people up is
very very profitable. Ridiculously long minimum sentences keep those tax dollars
I was a teenage wingnut myself. It's true I'm only 20 now, so it's hard to
believe I could go through a 360 degree turn-around in-- what? 5 years? All I
can say is that I was brainwashed. Brainwashed by fear. If you're really really
scared enough, you've got no choice: you grab onto a symbol, an idea or leader
you identify as your sword and shield, and hang on for dear life. It's quite brilliant,
how they did it; and so depressing. I supported the war because every single day
the right wing blogs and Fox TV headlined some terrifying new threat. "Proof"
that Saddam had thousands of Weapons of Mass Destruction; "proof" that the UN
can't be trusted; "proof" that The Left-- funny thing, I had been the only Gore
supporter at my high school just a year earlier--the Left was objectively pro-Saddam,
pro-Terrorist, pro hiding under the bed and whimpering while the Arabs hijacked
planes and smuggled in suitcase nukes. I tuned out all contrary evidence because--
well, actually, I haven't a clue. Looking back, every single "proof" of "liberal
media bias" turned out to be BS. As did, of course, all those WMDs. But unlike
the rest of my dittohead friends, I couldn't forget what I believed from one day
to the next. When my favorite pundits began claiming with a straight face that
1) nobody ever mentioned WMDs 2) we had found a big pile of WMDs anyhow, and 3)
it didn't matter because we had to re-arrange the Middle East in our image, I
wasn't that stupid. The 1984 alarms went off, and I knew I'd been a chump. I'd
sold out my ideals because I was terrified-- by twenty guys with box cutters,
and a couple hundred commentators who put their fingers on the panic button in
Click on the triangle to listen:
They're listening in on all of us, you know. Scanning for key words. Of course
you know, even if you won't admit it. They want you to know. Because the real
purpose of the domestic spying program is to scare you, so you won't talk openly
with your friends and neighbors. People keeping their opinions to themselves--
and that's exactly what they want! The one thing Karl Rove and his henchmen are
most afraid of right now is that Americans will suddenly realize how few people
still support this corruption! As long as you can be fooled into thinking that
other people believe the lies, you'll be afraid to call Bush's gang what they
are: traitors and war criminals, thieves who loot the treasury and steal elections.
But- once enough people dare to say it out loud? To march through the streets
with the truth written on their signs? What happened in Romania will happen here:
a massive uprising! You know who is terrorizing the American people? The American
government! They used terror to trick you into an unwinnable war, and now they
are using terror to keep you from stopping it. Don't be afraid. They can watch
the streets with cameras, they can analyze our phone calls, they can hack our
votes-- but they can't jail all of us, not if we're united. We can re-declare
our Independence, and start anew!
Click on the triangle to listen:
I make a good living from polling. I'm an expert. I can tell you-- this coming
election is going to be stolen. The fraud is in the works now, and here is how
I can tell: the 2004 exit polls did not correspond to the election results. Statistically,
this is flat out impossible. These were the same scientifically conducted exit
polls that talking heads argued in the 1990's should be illegal. Why illegal?
Some problem with accuracy? No! They are TOO accurate. Officials in the western
states complained that late voters might stay home. Because past polls were accurate,
no one would bother to vote in a race that was already "decided". Polling has
been perfected over decades. Statistics don't just stop working: not suddenly,
and not just in certain races. One side doesn't conspire to lie to the pollsters.
People do lie-- but the lies can be predicted statistically, too. Exit polls just
aren't easily manipulated: they are far more likely to be accurate than "official"
counts. They are done by scientists with no stake in the outcome -- except accuracy.
What if, as in 2004, the election results don't match the pre-election telephone
polls? Then you can say for sure that that election was fixed. Now, impartial
exit polls are being discontinued because the manipulators claim 2004 proved polls
are "inaccurate". Crap. Polls must be "disappeared" because in the upcoming election
Republicans will hold on to Congress, by the narrowest of margins in the closest
races. Recounts will be useless: they simply re-run the same doctored data. How
big a landslide would it have to be before an election couldn't be stolen? Who
knows? The thieves have had a lot of practice since 2000. By now they're really
good at stealing.
Click on the triangle to listen:
The truth is that we are now a rogue state, under the arbitrary rule of a rogue
president. Everybody in Washington knows it, but nobody has the guts to say it
out loud. Fear is in the air everywhere: abject, snivveling, hide-under-the-bed
and- pretend- it's- not- out- there fear. It's not just fear of a few foreign
fanatics with explosives. The truth that is just too terrifying to face is the
truth of what we have become. Warrentless searches, indefinite detention, the
abrogation of citizens' rights that have been recognized as basic since the Magna
Carta... We Americans have been raised on the myth of Progress, to pride ourselves
on our gradual March of Freedom: but we sense now that we're in free fall, dropping
into an abyss of self-inflicted torture and slavery that we believed safely in
the past, the Dark Ages. What if Congress stood up to defend the constitution?
Would Bush obey his oath? You may not admit it, but you know the answer. You've
seen The Decider in action. You've read his "the law doesn't apply to this President"
signing statements. Congress and the courts have to go along, have to pretend
they still have some influence, because the alternative-- openly declaring that
the Executive has run amok and is completely beyond control-- is for a democracy
a fate worse than any number of casualties; worse even than defeat in war. Cowardice,
carelessness, corruption: Thus, not with a bang but a whimper, dies the Dream.
When did we turn into a country of crybabies? So there are people who want
to kill us! So what? If Osama wants to cut my head off, let him come try it! I'll
be at my door with my gun and my machete, with my neighbors right beside me! But
this "fight them over there so we won't have to fight them here" stuff is crap.
Bin Laden doesn't have an air force. No way can his suiciders hijack enough planes
to do more than a wasp-sting's worth of damage-- not to The Home of The Brave.
Don't we have guts any more? The Republicans want to tear up the constitution
and blame liberals, but who was the last liberal in the White House? FDR? We've
thrown trillions at the military and elected "tough guy" politicians,
and all we have to show for it is a reputation as hypocrites and bullies. The
world watches us shoot off our mouths and our weaponry-- then watches our corrupt
corporations steal billions replacing what we explode. Back off, George Bush.
Get your greedy hands off my Constitution, or I'll defend my rights the way my
ancestors defended theirs against King George. How many general strikers and protesters
can you disappear into your prison camps? How many patriots silence with torture?
Not enough! When faced with a lockdown, the American answer is: "Give me liberty
or give me death!"
Click on the triangle to listen:
Thanks to the brilliant leadership of FEMA, 11,000 brand new mobile homes sank
unused into the mud. Turns out, it's not legal to put trailers in a flood zone.
About $900 million of your tax money-- easy come, easy go. The national debt is
about to hit $9 trillion, our most recent big expense being an endless sinkhole
of a war. The companies rebuilding after Katrina are the companies rebuilding
Iraq-- hey, you can see on TV how great that's going. Must be nice to be a buddy
of Deadeye Dick. Another big ticket item is health coverage. I'd say health care:
except "coverage" doesn't necessarily mean "care". We've got the most expensive
medical system in the world by about a factor of two, and we're way down the list
of civilized countries in terms of what we get for it-- shorter lives and more
diabetes, heart disease, stroke, lung disease and cancer. Illegal aliens scurry
across borders "guarded" by Homeland Security-- that's FEMA big brother-- while
middle-class jobs march off overseas. Congress doesn't care. When congressmen
get bored with writing the corporation's wish lists into law, they can get even
more money and perks working for them directly. In the rich man's America, a rising
tide lifts all yachts. Our leaders don't even notice who is getting swamped.
I hear terrible things these days-- and they're coming out of the mouths of
people I used to think of as decent. These are middle class, middle aged people
who are living in comfort. They've raised families and done a pretty good job
of it; helped out at the school's Science fair and walked for breast cancer research
and given blood to the Red Cross and money to the Humane Society. But they talk
about the people Bush wants to torture as if they're not human beings. They'd
never let a stray dog suffer, never mind one of their neighbor's children! But
they see Muslims, or Arabs, as a lower species: about the level of cockroaches.
There's no sense that how we treat our enemies defines us morally. No sense that
the torturers will come back and live among us, bringing the horror home. Killing
terrorists? That's extermination. Inflicting pain on people who might be terrorists,
or the relatives of terrorists, is just part of the job we hire soldiers and military
police and CIA agents to do. They're protecting us-- getting crucial information!
No need to consider that some prisoners are innocent, and that even the guilty
are our fellow humans, with human dignity. The "murdering bastards" deserve whatever
they get. These people have travelled, they'd tell you that they have friends
who are of different races and religions. They would be totally shocked if I told
them that being complicit in the bombing of civilians and the torture of prisoners
is more of a war crime than setting a landmine to blow up our troops. To much
of the world, we are the guilty ones! Don't they talk to their foreign friends?
Don't they know how Abu Ghraib looked to readers of European papers, to watchers
of El Jazeera? The label "terrorist" has scared my neighbors out of their minds,
and hardened their hearts.
Click on the triangle to listen:
Americans are luvvies- warm, friendly, generous-- and much too
polite lately. Why are you sitting around sucking your thumbs
and sucking up the Bush BS? Are you utterly spineless? Of course
politicians have no spines, just like they have no scruples. Politicians
may start with principles and a conscience but those who try to
act accordingly are weeded out at the lower levels. The higher
they go, the worse they become. Bush and Cheney are in a whole
other dimension, however. They got into politics for one reason:
To get their snouts and the snouts of their families' cronies
closer to the trough of public money. That's all they care about.
Even the dullest Joe Sixpack must have noticed by now-- the money's
gone, and the men who took it are using it to lock in the power
to keep taking. The whole of the rest of the English-speaking
world is aghast at how the proverb has come true in your once
admirable democracy: "All it takes for evil to flourish is for
good men to do nothing." Barbarians have taken over, and you have
Click on the triangle to listen:
I don't support the troops. Let the insurgents kill them all. If
the jackbooted torturers who wear our contry's uniforms escape
their rightful fate as war criminals, I call on all patriotic
citizens to join me in shunning them when they come home. Anyone
who participates in an illegal war of conquest, who follows illegal
orders, who commits crimes against humanity, against women and
children, should pay. Even if you were poor and couldn't get a
job, even if you joined to get money for college, or support your
disabled old mother--don't you know the difference between right
and wrong? There's no excuse for joining the dark side. I don't
feel any sympathy for the Waffen SS-- Why should I feel differently
about the US military when it acts like the Stormtroopers? The
Commander in Chief is dismembering the US Constitution, and he
has turned our troops into a fascist force. I love the America
I grew up in, sweet land of liberty and justice for all. But I'd
die in one of this criminal regime's torture cells before I'd
pledge allegiance to the affront to decency that America has become.
Click on the triangle to listen:
talk to me about "those crazy hippies"! I was there in 1960. I
became a hippy because the "adults" were talking gibberish. My
friends became draft resisters because returning veterans told
us that the war was criminally insane. People born after 1960
can hardly imagine how brain-dead this country was, after all
the 50's purging and blacklisting. All the hippies I knew were
very serious people. Being serious sometimes means recognizing
that the society around you is either insane, or flat out evil.
Now America's 60-year effort to secure our oil supply by propping
up foreign dictators has stopped working. We brought down every
elected government for 60 years (except Cuba's-- and that wasn't
for lack of trying!) , and now our leaders complain that democracy
hasn't spread! The religious right has conned about half the country
into thinking that angels are in our midst, ready to trumpet the
Rapture tomorrow-- and they're complaining about insane fanatical
'jihadists' who are intent on worldwide destruction! Frankly,
we're once again in a time when being serious means recognizing
what evil and insanity we're up against-- at home as well as abroad.
If things continue as they are, we're doomed.
Right now, I see a race between
the corruption scandals destroying the GOP and the GOP destroying
America. I hope the scandals will develop quicker: Give voters
a heads-up about what's happening. I hope that every one of those
crooks cops a plea, and dumps everything he knows about all the
others-- until the whole, corrupt, crony-ridden, hateful system
comes crashing down. But I don't have much hope. Our justice system
grinds slowly, and clever lawyers can slow it down till way past
the chance to throw the bums out. In my midwestern town? All people
read is our local newspaper. Our paper hasn't gotten round yet
to reporting that one of our senators took money from Abramhoff.
A couple of our reps were on the take, too. I guess the editor
thinks that nobody cares. Well, he may be right. When I ask my
neighbors about the scandals, they're likely to came back with
something like: "Didn't see you at church last Sunday." I'm afraid
First we lost assembly-line manufacturing,
then the skilled trades like die cutting. Now science and engineering
is going overseas too -- our American multinationals are driving
this! They're funding it with the capital gains and corporate
tax cuts they got because they said they'd invest in creating
jobs. Which they did. In China. In India. What's left? Financial,
business, medical, cutting edge high-tech? Wait til the geniuses
selling out America learn they have business schools in China,
too. Financial service expertise. Remember, China has a big trade
surplus. Invested somewhere other than in American bonds....Want
a explanation of free trade? Tech job in US = $50,000. Same job
in India = $10,000. US companies are free to to fire you and hire
someone in India. Your former company's costs go down, their stock
goes up, and you are free to go to work for $6.50 an hour with
no benefits at Wal-Mart.
Click on the triangle to listen:
worried should we be about income inequality? We worry plenty
about its opposite. Forced economic equality is socialism. It's
unAmerican to be for socialism. But America's strength is our
majority middle class. It's the promise that anyone who starts
poor but works hard and is a good citizen can get into the middle
class and stay there. Watch their children go to college, and
retire with enough to buy presents for their grandchildren. If
the rich get richer while the middle class is thriving, you're
happy, and I'm happy. We're living in a society that makes us
proud. But if the rich get richer while the middle class is dwindling
away-- well, you don't have to be a socialist to worry about that.
There are more and more signs that our middle class is in trouble.
Statistics show a decline in real wages even for college graduates--
not just the working poor. Young, married, two-job couples who
are living with their parents? More like India or Latin America
than the USA. A little inequality's ok. But a Latin-American-style
class structure, with a few rich and masses of the poor? If that's
where we're headed, it's time to back up and turn around.
You claim that scholars have concluded
that Bush's argument for wiretapping without a warrant is valid.
Well, I'm a constitutional scholar-- and I'm telling you that
Bush's argument is ridiculous. Yes, there are a few lawyers who
claim legality for it. John Yoo, for instance. He cooked up his
ridiculous argument after more experienced lawyers decided that
Bush's policy was unconstitutional. Yoo told his client what the
client wanted to hear-- a legal-sounding opinion, but one without
substance, unsupported by legal precedent. By doing so, Yoo violated
the fundamental rules of the profession. What does his argument
really prove? How low an ambitious young lawyer is willing to
stoop to curry favor! But, even if the Supreme Court were inclined
to save Bush's bacon-- as they saved him from losing the 2000
election-- it wouldn't matter. Bush ordered the NSA to start wiretapping
right after he was sworn in as President. In January 2001 -- six
months before 9/11 . Before he was aware of any terrorist threat.
Apparently, Bush didn't disclose this important fact to Yoo, so
Yoo's argument is based on wiretapping as a justified response:
to an attack that happened AFTERwards! So if not Al Quaeda, who
was Bush wiretapping? Unless I see evidence that proves otherwise,
I must presume that the taps were of people and groups who are
his political enemies. Not Al Quaeda-- but Al Gore? Not you, of
course-- unless you change your mind. But maybe-- me?
Do you mean to say that even our most
reliable news media panders to the administration in power, and
doesn't tell the whole truth to the American people? Oh my stars
and garters! You're shocked? Try reading some of the newspapers
from outside the United States. You'll find a totally different
viewpoint. Our newspapers, radio, and television used to go in
search of the truth. Now, thanks to communications technology,
there's a whole world of in-depth information available. But do
they even compare their own coverage to the foreign press? Or
check out the video on the internet? No. They sit on their collective
backsides and put out the latest government or corporate press
release as breaking news, whether or not it bears any resemblence
to the facts. Local news is made up of product plugs, "human interest"
stories and police blotter "bleeders", along with hyped-up local
weather and sports. Anyone with a modicum of intelligence is insulted
by what passes for news today.
Bush has annointed himself king. If we
the people don't stand up for democracy we'll go down in history
as the generation that gave up the Constitution and the Bill of
Rights without a fight. And for what? The autocratic rule of a
spoiled rich kid. Pull your head out of the sand before it's too
late to do anything about it except weep! Stop listening to the
corporate media's talking heads. They are paid to lie. Study and
learn how to recognize bullshit when you hear it. You don't have
to live in fear and ignorance any longer than you choose to. America
is being run as a runaway corrupt business, with boards of directors
and CEOs on the take and incompetent political appointees feeding
on every decent and valuable program. Our heritage is being sold
out from under us. Stop going along with the bullies and the crooks
and liars! Help us to reclaim our honor and restore the lost soul
of our Republic.
Let us pray, "May the sins of the fathers
be visited unto the third and fourth generation of the Fourth
Reich of the Rich, those who stole elections when democracy was
their banner; those who deceived when righteousness was their
cry." It was obvious to me from the first that Bush and his
minions are lying to the public every time they show up on TV.
They have all the tricks and tics of professional con men, selling
snake oil. I have a visceral reaction to the lies. It sickens
me to see them. I see the expressions on their faces and I feel
as if I've eaten tainted tuna, or somebody is punching me in the
gut. But it's become obvious that most Americans don't recognize
a liar when they see one. They bring up little debating points,
quibbles, when the Big Fat Lie is smack in their faces! Even 2
years later, when the truth has been exposed--almost half of Americans
still give Bush the benefit of the doubt. When will the people
recognize that these sinners will say anything, do anything, to
get their way? Their way is not The Way of Righteousness!
The problem with you Americans is you
don't have politicians, you have front men for corporations. Elections,
the Constitution, your law-- these are just an inconvenience to
these office holders. You just lost a major city to a natural
disaster. Tens of thousands are still homeless. What have your
so called "politicians" done for these citizens? If Republicans
and Democrats can just wash their hands of New Orleans, what the
hell are they in office for? Isn't it supposed to be to serve
the people? They serve big business. You, the ordinary hard working
American, mean nothing to them. You are nothing, and you deserve
to be nothing, because you allow their game to continue. The Republicans
are enslaving you, and the Democrats won't save you. Save yourselves!
March on the White House, in your thousands. Form a human chain,
a human wall. Nobody goes in or out till you get accountability!
They'll call out the cops, the guards, they'll crack your heads
and gas you. But you might wake up America-- before it's too late.
I'm almost 80, and I don't remember ever
in my life being so disgusted as I am with this Administration.
I'd like to march into the White House and slap Bush across the
mouth. Something his own mother ought to do! Bush gets away with
murder, because the media is in the business of making money now,
not reporting the news. The public wants crime and celebrities
and weather and sports. Instead of economics and politics they
want simple slogans, solutions without having to think. College
graduates today have less ability to remember facts and follow
a train of reasoning than fifth graders did when I was a girl.
And while I'm on the subject, it really makes me mad that they
call Karl Rove a "Brain". Maybe once in a generation an evil specialized
mind capable of pulling these dirty tricks comes along. But that's
not brain power. That's bully power, a bully who's been given
the all the power he wants, to pull the wings off flies!
Anyone who deals with the government
or large corporations knows that these days nobody is playing
by the rules. Rules are for "little people". At the top, things
are underhanded, under the table, under the radar-- and really
really ugly . I have a neighbor who puts yellow ribbons on his
SUV. He thinks he's doing his part, supporting the troops. He
voted for Bush because he was angry at Kerry for talking about
war crimes in Vietnam. I was in the service then, too: Kerry told
the truth. I can't believe the stupidity of the people who voted
for this regime. Don't they know Fascists when they see them?
Our cardboard cutout of a free and democratic America is the mask
of a ravaging monster of greed. It is swallowing the world's resources.
It is defecating on the graves of the heroes who gave their lives
to keep this from happening. Stop what you are doing! Get on the
phone to Congress. Get on the phone to your friends. Email every
media outlet you can think of. Buttonhole your boss, your teachers.
Everyone, stop what you are doing and address this! How we can
go on with our personal business, when Fascism is happening HERE?
Why am I worried about wiretapping if
I haven't done anything wrong? What have I got to hide? I'm relatively
guilt-free as people go, pretty much law-abiding compared to the
average. But think: what's being done with all that "data mining?"
PR firms buy it, so they can target their ads. I don't like being
a target for ads. Political consultants use the data to figure
out how to word their message to get my vote. Hey! I'd rather
be told the truth than told what I want to hear. But mostly, I
think that it's important that we protect the guilty. Because
a lot of the guilty are in power and represent us in the Congress,
the Judiciary and even the press. Most of the "guilty" have small
sins, or sins that we have gotten along with and are no threat
to the nation. But sins enough so that blackmail, and the threat
of job loss, can keep those people under control. Isn't it strange
how tame the Democrats have been lately? Or how much the press
sounds like hired pitchmen? Maybe that's how the information is
I'm a parent with young children, and
I've been struck with how much, even in America where we've never
had a king, children's stories-- and I don't just mean fairy tales--
are about some good King character. All these stories take for
granted that even the youngest of children has a positive understanding
of the concept of monarchy. Rule by a single individual. Often
the plot involves a bad King or a bad minister using his power
for harm-- but then the hero comes and sets things right and the
happy ending is still rule by a single individual. I sincerely
believe that many Americans don't outgrow these childhood stories.
Our country believes in the worth of the individual, and in opportunity
for all, and in the idea that anyone can grow up to be President.
Somehow we don't see that there is an inheritant contradiction
between the glorification of individualism in our culture, and
our belief in Democracy. Democracy rests on the consent of the
governed. All of the governed-- not just a majority. Every voice
is a part of the dialogue. Democracy is very, very frustrating
if you want quick results. An intelligent co-worker of mine is
very cynical about government, and loves to bring up examples
of government waste. He really thinks we'd be better off with
a King. He believes the fairy tales! I think the farther we get
from 1776, the less we appreciate why Democracy is better than
alternatives. We The People: making mistakes, learning from each
other how to correct them. Citizens, not subjects.