Friday, June 27

Wrong wrong wrong!

I was disappointed when I heard about the Supreme Court's decision yesterday overturning Washington, D.C.'s handgun ban. Not surprised - after all the Court is home to Antonin Scalia - just disappointed. On the other hand, I was surprised to hear they chose to rule against capital punishment for rapists. While I am all for coming down extremely hard on perpetrators of sex crimes, I do not think killing people for their crimes is appropriate punishment. I wouldn't have believed the Roberts Court would have delivered a decision limiting the use of capital punishment.

In all, a mixed day in the news yesterday. This morning, however, I was outraged to hear the latest statement from Barak Obama regarding these two decisions.

Those of you who know me probably know that I'm pretty far left on the political spectrum. I have never voted for a Republican in my life. Unless the Republicans go through a complete reversal of direction, I have no intention of doing so in the future. I feel it is a completely morally bankrupt party that is leading our nation toward a totalitarian police state. Which is why I found Obama's statements today so disturbing.

Senator Obama's statement that he agreed with the Court's decision to overturn the handgun ban was disturbing enough. I could forgive him for it even if I disagree. But when he proceeded to say that he opposed the Court's decision regarding capital punishment, I was shocked and appalled. Did I just hear Obama agree with Scalia? Did he just place himself to the right of the most conservative Court in decades?

To top if off, he expresses support for FISA. Oh, don't worry Senator, I wasn't using those civil rights anyway. After all, I'm a loyal law-abiding citizen who has nothing to hide. So please feel free to tap my phone and read my mail.

No no no! Just when I thought we were going to finally reverse 8 years of the race to the Right, the Left's candidate goes and does this?

Sunday, June 8

America's Democratic Collapse

Wow. This is an amazing speech made by author Chris Hedges last month: America's Democratic Collapse

Most of what he has to say I've seen elsewhere, but Mr. Hedges does a great job of piecing it all together in a cohesive whole that is both powerful and frightening. Considered separately, things like no-bid contracts, warrantless wiretaps, and the shift in measurement of inflation and unemployment. When put into context as a cohesive whole, however, a horrifying picture of growing totalitarianism starts to emerge.

Intuitively - I'm the intuitive thinker in the household, A is the logical one - I've felt that A and I are standing astride a widening chasm between "have" and "have not" for quite some time. We have been very very fortunate to keep a strong enough toehold on the "have" side when so many of our friends in the past few years lose theirs and have started to fall in. Mr. Hedges' speech confirms to me that widening chasm really does exist, and that it is likely a result of intentional action by an extremely small and powerful group of people.

There is this little voice in the back of my brain chiding me, however. Is the fact that Mr. Hedges' words match what I'm already thinking what makes it seem so "right"? Is he telling me, in a way, what I want to hear? Or is the fact that his points resonate so strongly because they are true? I'd like to think I'm intelligent enough to know the difference and that it is the latter. But even if it is the former, would it change anything we need to do to fix what's wrong? Probably not. We still need to repeal the so-called Patriot Act. We still need to stop fighting an illegal and immoral war in Iraq. We still need to reverse the flow of power away from the average working citizen toward the corporate elite.

Ugh. That's a daunting list. It's going to take more than turning out to vote to, in the oft-quoted words of Gandhi, be the change you want to see in the world. Where to begin?