Monday, September 3, 2012


I had to think about this today. Being as how it is Labor Day and I believe it is a purely American holiday and all. The reason I had to think about it is I read an article yesterday about how our Constitution is being interpreted. It turns out it is not being interpreted well at all and I find this extremely dismaying. We’ve been down this road before, where certain people decide that it’s okay to interpret the Constitution their way and it's okay to perform some hocus-pocus on habeas corpus and it’s okay to ignore the War Powers Act and pretend we were fired on in the Tonkin Gulf and then holler “there will be no wider war” and then march into Cambodia, but you know what?

It’s not okay to do any of those things and a thousand other things because we. Don’t. Do. That. That’s not what being an American is about. But because we’ve gotten all red/blue state-y and decided we had to start voting platforms we got this fucked-up mess, which is not the America I was born in. This is NOT the America people have fought over and died for. This is not the America people have sacrificed their livelihoods and their futures for. This is some dystopian, non-functioning, greedy, cutthroat, loosely-conglomerated aggregation of little nation-states that by their very existence have succeeded in ruining and destroying countless other nations. Iraq was over there, just being Iraq. Okay, they had a shithead for a leader, but just because Dubya thought Sadam “tried to kill mah Daddah” we had to go over there, bomb them to the Iron Age, cause a power vacuum, ruin lives and fuck everything up. There were never any WMDs and I KNEW it, then. If I, a little violist in Tampa knew it, at the time, how come General Big-Shot Colin Powell didn’t?

What really haunts me? Two days before that war was commenced by us, they printed a picture in the Tampa Tribune of an Iraqi family at a Baghdad McDonald’s. Momma, Daddy and toddler. Having their Mickey Ds. I always wonder what became of them. Were they killed outright in the bombing? They looked so happy. The people on the streets looked prosperous and peaceful. And we destroyed that. We wonder why people hate us.

Three days before my father died he called me. My father was an American and proud of it. Not born here, but naturalized. Proud of that. It was the 4th of July, 1987. The Contra Hearings were going on and he was bewildered and hurt. Oliver North had been on the stand. My father couldn’t believe that our government would knowingly give money raised from Iranian arms sales to the Contras. He was sick and tired; I could hear it in his voice. “I don’t know this country anymore,” he said. I didn’t know what to say. He'd fought in 2 wars for this country and loved America. I think I tried to cheer him up with my dumb tale of locking myself out on the porch. Three days later he died in his sleep. I used to wonder if he just gave up. He had lived through all the other shit; McCarthy, Watergate and just was over it.

We need all of our voices, from Rachel Maddow, to Joe Scarbrough, (yes, I know he’s Republican, but Chris Matthews did himself no favor by losing it on “Morning Joe”) and Chris Matthews, also Jon Stewart, Stephen Colbert and Bill Maher. There are countless others to listen to.  We need people with thoughts and hearts, not vitriol or hate and spite. We can do without the Fox News, Hannity, Limbaugh and their ilk. We need free speech to keep the darkness at bay; not just the darkness of Romney and Ryan, but the darkness of any Zealot.

Unfortunately, I think the red/blue state thing is too deeply entrenched. However, I think that we need to really look deeply at how our government is treating her citizens and the citizens of the world and not just dismiss wars as regional anymore. It all goes much deeper than that and we ignore what happens at our peril. Yes, the Constitution is framed in such a way that there is plenty of room for latitude and interpretation, but when do you breach the spirit of the law? If we are holding to the letter of the law but breaking the spirit, are we still being constitutionally sound? Where do we cross the line? Is it when we imprison someone? Take their property? Kill them? And for what? Because it’s politically expedient, or is it inconvenient, or is there possibility of exposure?

These are valid questions and going back to Watergate for example. When all of that happened, I thought it was beyond boring. Okay, so 2 guys get caught breaking into some guy’s psychiatrist’s office. I was like sixteen at the time and didn’t give a shit. It was all viola, all the time for me. Later, I couldn’t get enough. I bet I watched “Watergate, the Hearings” 80 times on PBS. Unreal. The hearings just had this unbelievable quality. I couldn’t believe the shit these people had done in the name of Freedom, Liberty and the Constitution. CREEP. Richard Nixon and Spiro T. Agnew, E. Howard Hunt, H. R. Haldeman, Richard Kleindiensdt, et al. How Kissinger escaped I’ll never know. What a sinister bunch. The stupid thing is, Nixon would have won re-election without all the Macchiavellian bullshit. This is what’s startling about all this cloak-and-dagger stuff. It never works. These assholes always get caught with their hands in the cookie jars. It may not happen right away and it may not happen as soon as we like, but it happens; It’s axiomatic. Karma baby; it’s a bitch.

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