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Zer Netmouse
December 24th, 2003
09:11 am

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Yesterday on the bus home
I overheard some people talking about Dude, Where's my Country? A woman was raving about it to the man next to her.

She had read Stupid White Men and thought this one was even better, all the things it was saying about Bush and the administration. The next thing she said really caught my attention.

"The one thing I'm afraid of is that he'll get assassinated. I can't imagine they can let him go on saying all these things."

She can't imagine the administration would let someone speak against it so plainly, and sounded like she thought it a serious possibility that they would resort to assassination of a US citizen to shut him up. she didn't really sound upset about it, either. But neither did she sound like she was joking. And the man she was with didn't disagree with her.

This country is fucked.

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From:bjorng
Date:December 24th, 2003 06:29 am (UTC)
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Scary, isn't it? I suppose that even three years ago the notion that the US govt would assassinate someone for being outspoken wouldn't be taken seriously by anyone but the most extreme radicals. It's amazing how things can change over such a short period.

To me it's more frightening that people will give credence to that idea than the possible occurence itself. It signals an acceptance of constitutionally untenable activities that could easily permit an overthrow of the present governmental system if it becomes sufficiently prevalent.

Given that, I hope what you overheard is a relatively isolated case. Even if it isn't, it makes me want to know what we can do to prevent those sorts of ideas from becoming the accepted wisdom.
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From:omnifarious
Date:December 24th, 2003 08:43 am (UTC)
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I don't think it's an isolated case. I know my first thought on hearing of Wellstone's plane crash was that Bush must've done it. I'm still not completely convinced that he didn't.

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From:ratphooey
Date:December 24th, 2003 06:38 am (UTC)
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We are indeed seriously fucked.
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From:minnehaha
Date:December 24th, 2003 07:03 am (UTC)
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Even worse, people like her are inclined not to bother voting.

B
From:ex_erikvolso370
Date:December 24th, 2003 08:01 am (UTC)
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Which is another part of the GOP message. The 2000 debacle doesn't help either. It's very hard to convince someone to vote when they can point at the current selected president, and the noxious court ruling that put him there.

I'll vote. I'll fight for my candidate. I've given what money I an, and I've given time. But, to be honest, I am in no way sanguine that a Democrat will be allowed to win this.

You can call this counsel of despair. You'd be correct. I am in despair.
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From:kyril
Date:December 24th, 2003 07:35 am (UTC)
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This administration is the first I know of to actually use the regular military against a citizen in this country, if only to detain one when they alleged he was an "enemy combatant" because he may have been conspiring to create a "dirty bomb".

Dude, it's not an emergency situation any more. And what's he going to tell his cohorts, "don't mind me, go blow stuff up anyway"? They're already doing that if they're going to do that...
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From:netmouse
Date:December 24th, 2003 08:23 am (UTC)
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well, there are people who do believe it's still a war situation. (and the daily body count in Iraq sadly seems to confirm that belief) I was just listening to one on NPR. Nobody in the discussion mentioned that it's not a war formally declared by congress, but anyway.

He brought up that this is not the first time presidents have done things like detaining US citizens in the face of a war - Lincoln has a group of Maryland congressmen arrested around the civil war because he was worried they were going to vote to secede from the union. However I find it interesting that the example he found of this sort of thing happenning was from a time when we were dealing with internal conflict, not external.

It's a complex situation. I appreciate the viewpoint that it's not an emergency situation, but I contend with the term "anymore" -- I don't believe that anything the Bush administration has done in the middle east, here, or elsewhere has dramatically lessened the odds of the US' getting attacked. so if you agree it was an emergency situation after 9/11, then it's still an emergency situation. But I think it's more like "situation normal in light of the existence of severe power and economic inequities and religous fanaticism combined with dangerous technologies."
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From:kyril
Date:December 27th, 2003 09:23 am (UTC)
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As far as the body count, it's sad but supposedly (according to someone they had on NPR) compares quite favorably to an occupation of Gemany, though I forget whether that was post-WW1 or post-WW2. As far as "not formally declared by congress", I know they gave him the go-ahead to attack when he wanted to; I don't know if a formal declaration of war was implicit in whenever he said to attack.

Based on my definition of "emergency", it was one post-9/11 because we didn't yet know if more of the same was forthcoming, and because the government had to seem to act decisively to protect us, even if they really weren't. Now that we "know" that there won't be another attack soon, it's no longer an emergency, just status quo danger we don't want to think too much about. The fact that Bush and congress did almost nothing useful (but spent a lot of money on it) is sad but irrelevant.

Speaking of sad, someone's pocket knife got missed at a checkpoint, they went back and tried to check it, the plane was held up 90 minutes and the whole family was held back. What a bunch of idiots.

It's not actually all that complex until you try to untangle the red tape and national and corporate politics and fix things: the 9/11 terrorists succeeded partly because our intelligence wasn't working well or together, but mostly because of vast loopholes and a little bit of innovation. Box cutters and nail files should still be okay on planes, and you can't X-ray for bomb threats. So what do they do? They hire new screeners without changing the duty regimen that makes it almost impossible for them to succeed (especially watching X-ray for hours on end); they spend bazillions on baggage scanners when that wasn't what was so devastating this time.

At least they're finally doing background checks on the service people who get to bypass the checkpoints...
From:ex_erikvolso370
Date:December 24th, 2003 07:53 am (UTC)
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Well, this is exactly what the right wing has been working to bring. The whole point of thier discourse has been twofold -- "Those who oppose us in any ways are enemies of the country" and "Enemies of the country deserve nothing but death."

So, I'm not surprised she think that the Administration would kill Michael Moore. That's *exactly* the message the right-wing has been sending for most of her life. Michael Moore opposes Bush. Any who do so are enemies. Enemies deserve death.

However, she hasn't played it out. The right-wing's control of the meida means that Moore has been marginalized, and he's far more useful to them as the Liberal Fool than dead. So, Michael Moore is safe.

There are others I fear for far more.
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