Monday, August 15, 2005

Why Do I Hate Freedom?

George Orwell, of course, was right. He was just off by about 20 years.

In Orwell's book 1984, written on the walls of the Ministry of Truth, were three slogans:


Those slogans are being carved over the White House portico even as we speak.

Ever since the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, the face of patriotism has been changing. No longer is it enough to hold your hand over your heart and recite the "Pledge of Allegiance" with a tear in your eye. Knowing the proper way to display and dispose of the American flag is now passé. Dubya and his minions have redefined patriotism for all time.

We learned during the 2004 presidential election that serving with valor in combat doesn't save you from being called a "traitor", even when the people orchestrating that chant are draft-dodging chickenhawks. And now, with Cindy Sheehan being snubbed by "her" President and vilified by the right-wing talking heads, losing a son in combat isn't even enough to make you a Good American. No, you must agree with everything our Dubya-in-Chief says, thinks and does, or you shall be taken to the town square, pilloried, and have rotten fruit thrown at you.

One of my "Friends" on MySpace asked a darn good question in her own blog. Lil' Sucka wrote: "When did dissent become treason"?

Oh, sometime around 9/11. Now, if we had learned nothing from Bush/Rove's attacks on John McCain's service record during the 2000 presidential race, we learned that under Shrub, dissent would have become treason soon enough, but people would have had to have been persuaded. Minds would have had to have been molded. Media would have had to have been manipulated. Those kinds of mass brainwashing usually take a lot of time.

Al-Qaida pulled it off for him in an hour and ten minutes.

And although Bush/Rove have proven they are capable of a lot of terrible things, even I don't think they orchestrated the attacks of 9/11 in a bid to consolidate power. But don't think for one second that Bush hasn't thanked his lucky stars for nigh on four years now that it happened. And if you think he really feels any sense of loss for those thousands of lives that have happened on his watch, just look at Ms. Sheehan, standing out in that field, waiting for someone without a media credential to pay attention to her from across the electrified fence.

They say that if God did not exist, man would have had to invent Him. And, in a way, I believe that if 9/11 hadn't happened, Bush would have had to invent something similar to it, even if it had just been a pipe bomb at a vacant bus stop, just to scare the bejeezus out of us. I don't want to believe that, but I believe it nonetheless.

As it is, Dubya and Rove have been using 9/11 the way DeNiro's Al Capone used a baseball bat in the movie "The Untouchables", beating us all mercilessly about the head and shoulders with it until we submit peacefully. I'm sure the families of those who perished on that horrible day are thrilled that their loved ones are all being recalled as good, God-fearing Republicans who would want Dubya to continue playing with his green plastic Army men. (Never mind that most of them were Democrats or foreign nationals.) We shall wave the Stars & Stripes over Iraq -- why did we even bother with Afghanistan, again? -- in memory of those whom Saddam Hussein may have conspired with the Taliban, al-Qaida, Osama bin Laden, and Al Franken to kill.

Oh, did I say "Al Franken"? Is Al Franken really an American-hating traitor? According to Bernard Goldberg, yes he is.

Goldberg has written a book called 100 People Who Are Screwing Up America (and Al Franken Is #37).
There's an excerpt here. And, when you read the excerpt, it becomes very obvious that Goldberg feels disagreeing with the majority is no longer simple disagreement -- it's treason. Now, we liberal whack-jobs (meaning, anyone to the left of Ann Coulter) had been joking for a while that of course the Right feels "dissent = treason". We joked about it because we didn't want to believe it. We didn't really think they could possibly feel that way. But when you read Goldberg, and Coulter, and listen to Sean Hannity and Michael Savage and their ilk, they don't seem to be joking, do they?

The point is, our political system has devolved to the point that "spin" is no longer the favored method of dealing with unpleasant facts. The newly-preferred method is to ignore them altogether. Pretend they don't exist. Cover your ears and scream la-la-la-laaa loudly. Stick your head in the sand. Because if you pretend hard enough that those facts don't exist, eventually, they sure as hell will disappear.

And if you bring those unpleasant facts up again, you're a traitor. End of story.


Orwell forgot one:


On this topic, add the following blog links (thank you, Eric Alterman, who talks about way too much off-topic stuff for me to link directly to his own MSNBC blog):

Harold Meyerson,

Ariana Huffington,

And Cindy Sheehan herself,

Good stuff, and all directly on-topic with this blog entry. I'm probably going to blog again about Ms. Sheehan today or tomorrow.

posted by Gary @ 12:05 PM


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Location: Houston, Texas

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