Monday, October 23, 2006

Falling into Despair

Lately, I have not been posting all that much, mostly because I don't have a lot of happy things to say. Instead I am finding myself falling into despair a little bit more each day, so I am gonna write about it a little here, if only to get it off of my chest. I am gonna touch on politics a little which I know can be touchy but here goes.

Politics

Top of the list is the current political climate, one in which you are either with us or against us, an American or a traitor/terrorist. And therefore, there is no longer any need for that pesky habeus corpus thing that has been protected with varying success for 1000 years when the Magna Carta was struck to parchment. I saw a copy of the Magna Carta recently in Salisbury, and took the time to read the modern English version of this august document. I was amazed that this document that spoke in very real and medieval terms had limned the boundaries of freedom over the next 1000 years. We Americans do not have exclusive rights to those freedoms, even though we took them to new levels at the end of the 1700s. Let me say that again, for emphasis.

We Americans do not have exclusive rights to those freedoms.

Now some of you will say that is obvious. But no, it's not. If it were obvious, there would not be documents like the Magna Carta and the Constitution. There would not be treaties and guides for behaviour like the Geneva Convention. None of that would be needed, because all good men and women would know what to do.

Yes, I know that we Americans are scared. We have had a major terrorist event occur on our soil for the first time in our lives and our memories. But I want to say this. Other countries have been dealing with this for centuries, and have somehow maintained the rights of habeus corpus and related rights. Why are we not looking at how others address these circumstances?

We have been scared before, and it resulted in Witch Hunts. Literally, and figuratively. Salem. McCarthyism. Japanese interments. Need I say more?

As an American, I would rather know that there were guilty men free and dangerous, than suspect that any man's or woman's rights were being sacrificed for the sake of my safety. Radical I know. To suppress anyone's rights for my safety is equivalent to selling my own soul to the devil.

And apparently, that is what I have done.

Eternal Vigilance

"Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty." -- Wendell Phillips

My liberty, my ability to seek any path and protect myself and my loved ones, comes at a price.....eternal vigilance. I have been vigilant, I have watched them closely as we headed for this path, but what can I do?

I could write my Congressman, and explain about the degradation of our souls as Americans who allow anyone in our custody to come to undue and possibly unnecessary harm. And my Congressman will never see it. His or her staff will put a tick in the approval column of the weekly status report, and my concerns will never see the light of the congressional day.

I could protest and then be subject to the same law that I protest and be stripped of my American and even my human rights, and subjected to torture, while my family wonders what became of me.

But really, there seems to be nothing I can do. For the simple reason that my government does not want to hear it. So if anyone has any ideas for action to take, please let me know. In the meantime, dear reader, please go to the polls this November and cast your vote.

Nukes

When I was in high school, I remember this general angst about nukes. I remember The Day after Tomorrow coming out, and I remember hearing about everyone watching it. Somehow, I managed to avoid actually seeing the movie, even though it was shown in one of my classes at school.

I was scared.

I am scared again. North Korea is rumored to have nukes, and to have tested successfully in their country.

I live on the West Coast in an area that was considered to be a known nuclear target when I was in school, due to the Naval Weapons station some 7-10 miles from my home. I am just betting that has not changed much.

On Knitter's Review, someone wanted to know why no one was talking about North Korea and the nukes.....I think it's because we are too scared, too saturated, too completely totally overwhelmed by the hopelessness of our times to consider even one more bad thing, one more threat, one more fear that may not be real or may be a lie.

Knitting

The corset top is cast off, with ends woven in, folded nicely in the sewing room, for the next stage which is to crochet an edgeing.

And yes, knitting is solace, what little there is right now with everything else in the world.

2 comments:

Bezzie said...

Excellent post. I like your point about other countries dealing with terrorist crap all the time. We have it happen once and all goes to hell.

I grew up in Alaska during the Cold War. This North Korea thing is a tad unnerving for the same reasons. I may not live there now, but that's my home. I'll go back up one day to spawn and die.

OldLadyPenPal said...

As soon as the ex-husband is gone (deployed, residency elsewhere, etc.) the kids and I are heading for another country. Want to go wih us? We'll start a brand new colony. Or something. I feel the same way, and have a similar feeling of hopelessness.