Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Patriotism

I was asked by my mother the other night if I was patriotic. I couldn't believe she had asked me that. I told her that I loved this country more than anyone and that's why I talked the way I did. Last night at the bar I told some dude that I felt more free in Germany than in the States and he told me to leave then, go back to Germany. He then told the chick next to us that I said Germany was better than the States which is not what I had said at all.

And this brings me to a quote and then my point:

"Dissent is the highest form of patriotism."
--Thomas Jefferson

When I think of the United States, I think of the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, and Supreme Court decisions like Brown v. Board of Education and Roe v. Wade. We are a nation of laws and the document explaining our government (the Constitution) is the oldest of its kind in the world and it's one of the things that has allowed us to become the most powerful nation on earth, not through firepower but through providing a beacon of hope to the oppressed masses who want something better, a chance to make something of their short time on earth.

We are now run by a large group of corrupt politicians and corporations whose main interest is making profit. A government should not care about profit. It should care about those people who elected them, namely, everyone. We have laws that are being broken right now and nothing is being done about it. I am not saying that this hasn't been going on for a long time but it has reached its nadir during the current administration. Now I'm sure a lot of people working for the government (probably the vast majority) are good people doing their public service humbly and to the (more or less) best of their abilities. But we have some people, and I would guess it's in the hundreds, who are higher ups in this oligarchy and they have made many decisions to help a political party. You do not work for government to help a political party, you stupid aparatchiks. And that's where we have gone wrong. Our entire federal government has been politicized to such an extent that even FEMA press conferences are staged with employees of FEMA acting as journalists and asking questions. It's the hubris of our leaders, the apparent comfort of people's lives here and the overall indifference that occurs within a fat, free society that are all mixed in to create the situation we have. The treasury is being ransacked and they've got a year left to get what they can before running out of town with hundred dollar bills flying in their wake. And yet we have the moral authority to tell other countries how to do their business?

I love America and I want it to return to how it was before all of this happened. I want the perpetrators of illegal war and war profiteering to be put on trial. I want the people who okay'd torture and warrantless wiretapping to be on trial. If they are innocent, they are free to go, but I can guarantee they will have the right to a speedy trial, unlike the enemy combatants in Guantanamo or other secret prisons around Eastern Europe. But if they are guilty, god help them, may they be punished to the full extent of the law. The law of the United States.

Happy New Year.

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