Sunday, May 18, 2008

I've been sitting on this one a couple days... digesting it like the 2 lbs of ribs I managed at the Salt Lick saturday evening...

There was a story in the NYTimes the other day about a nice Italian man who had fallen in love with a nice Virginian girl... he was a lawyer from a well to do family... came to the US, helped out at the community center with the retirees and local kids... made lots of friends and was very popular amongst the locals. DHS locked him up for 10 days out of what appears to be spite - and only released him (directly back to Dulles and a plane home) when the NYTimes started making phone calls.

Then I read a nice bit on the senate's new Violent Radicalization and Homegrown Terrorism Prevention Act - which, well, here's the money shot:

The legislation specifically singles out the Internet as a "weapon" for domestic radicalization. When she introduced her bill to the Senate last November, Harman remarked, "There can be no doubt: the Internet is increasingly being used as a tool to reach and radicalize Americans and legal residents."

Equating America's web-surfacing habits with the threat of ideological infection by Islamist pod-people, Harman avers that the Internet allows Americans "to become indoctrinated by extremists and to learn how to kill their neighbors ... from the comfort of their own living rooms."

They're going to go after people who say anti-american things on the internet - and otherwise fill the net with pro-america propaganda... What's happening here... I mean - we went from 9/11 to PATRIOT - ok, we made a mistake there... but we didnt learn and we took the sunset off a bunch of it. We had the FISA bill come within a hairs breadth of passing - and it steamrolled in the senate... I WANT MY COUNTRY BACK.

The afterward of Doctorow's great new book Little Brother (this one should be on Oprah's book club) captures this perfectly:

Have the terrorists already won? Have we given in to fear, such that artists, hobbyists, hackers, iconoclasts, or perhaps an unassuming group of kids playing Harajuku Fun Madness, could be so trivially implicated as terrorists?

There is a term for this dysfunction--it is called an autoimmune disease, where an organism's defense system goes into overdrive so much that it fails to recognize itself and attacks its own cells. Ultimately, the organism self-destructs. Right now, America is on the verge of going into anaphylactic shock over its own freedoms, and we need to inoculate ourselves against this. Technology is no cure for this paranoia; in fact, it may enhance the paranoia: it turns us into prisoners of our own device. Coercing millions of people to strip off their outer garments and walk barefoot through metal detectors every day is no solution either. It only serves to remind the population every day that they have a reason to be afraid, while in practice providing only a flimsy barrier to a determined adversary.

Ok look... I mean I keep thinking I'm as frustrated and pissed off at this Country and what's being done IN MY NAME as i can get - and they keep making it worse. First something idiotic like we cant carry liquids on planes because tang is an explosive, they set up CCTV cameras everywhere and they take pictures from protests to casinos and run facial recognition against them and build dossiers, and set up profiles based on THIS BLOG and scan all the email that goes across the net and dump packets wholesale out of fiber optic closets into renamed total information awareness databases and i, for one, have long since had enough of it.

Harlan had it right...

Once more, in anticipation, the elfin grin spread, and there was a tooth missing back there on the left side. He dipped, skimmed, and swooped over them; and then, scrunching about on the air-boat, he released the holding pins that fashioned shut the ends of the home-made pouring troughs that kept his cargo from dumping prematurely. And as he pulled the trough-pins, the air-boat slid over the factory workers and one hundred and fifty thousand dollars' worth of jelly beans cascaded down on the expresstrip.

Jelly Beans! Millions and billions of purples and yellows and greens and licorice and grape and raspberry and mint and round and smooth and crunch outside and soft-mealy inside and sugary and bouncing jouncing tumbling clittering clattering skittering fell on the heads and shoulders and hardhats and carapaces of the Timkin workers, tinkling on the slidewalk and bouncing away and rolling about underfoot and filling the sky on their way down with all the colors of joy and childhood and holidays, coming down in a steady rain, a solid wash, a torrent of color and sweetness out of the sky from above, and entering a universe of sanity and metronomic order with quite-mad coocoo newness.

But no one will save us from ourselves... they will poison our society - take away the sharp edges and fois gras, the jawbreakers and colors and giving us cold grey bland tasteless reeking fear. I hate it. Palpably. To the point I can barely stomach the people who advance it upon us for our 'collective good'. To the point I'm ready to abandon the nation of my birth. I dont see the flag the way I used to see it... how many years of wiping their asses with that symbol did it take before it lost it's hold on me I wonder... We get worse - month by month. Prove me wrong. Elect Obama and see him safely into the WH and see if, as a result, we can take the country back from these cretins and warmongers and horrible awful people who torture and kill in my name. I do not have high expectations.

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