There Is No Cat

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Saturday, January 4, 2003

Miranda Warning

Dan Gillmor has a weekend reading list for freedom-loving Americans everywhere, including one piece that draws explicit parallels between Nazi Germany and current-day America. The author is concerned that Americans are accepting the destruction of their rights without complaining. Meanwhile, Shelley Powers looks into a set of public service announcements produced by the Ad Council and finds, yup, parallels with Nazi Germany.

I don't disagree with the sentiments expressed, although any attempt to bring in the Nazis always makes me want to invoke Godwin's Law. But I get frustrated when I try to figure out what I can actually do about the Assault On Freedom. Back in November, I thought that there isn't much we can do, but one of the things we can do is vote, and I felt really good about doing so. Lot of good that did, but no matter.

I believe that George W. Bush is a dangerous man who is in way over his head. As Josh Marshall points out, his incompetence has led to a situation where the US is meekly accepting the emergence of North Korea as a nuclear state. Either that or we're going to war with them; it's not clear yet. I bought Laura a DVD of the great movie The Atomic Cafe for Christmas, and we watched it the other day. I remember being spooked by it when it was released twenty years ago, at the height of Reaganism, but it seemed even worse now, at a time when countries are joining the nuclear club without an invitation.

I thought two years ago that it was possible that Bush would do serious, lasting damage to America, and that he was likely to be the worst President ever, and nothing I've seen since then has changed my mind, whether it be reckless adventurism in Iraq, malign neglect in North Korea, or the Assault On Freedom here at home.

Glen Martin, the author of the first Nazi-mentioning piece mentioned above, asks if we have the courage and integrity to speak up now, before all of our rights are taken from us. But sometimes I wonder what good speaking does. Millions of us spoke with our votes in 2000, but the election was stolen anyway. Webloggers post incendiary comparisons between the Assault On Freedom and the Nazis. It doesn't seem to have any effect; the Republicans made historic gains in the mid-term elections, and extremists like former bug killer Tom DeLay now control the agenda in Congress, promising that we haven't seen anything yet. Talking somehow seems inadequate. But what else is there? I could petition my Congress-critters to fight such moves, and I believe they'd be receptive. But they're outnumbered by the shock troops of the Assault. There have been protests against war in Iraq, but they've been pretty much co-opted by wacko fringe leftist movements. What other outlets are there for a patriotic moderately center-left Democrat who dislikes the direction he/she sees the country going in?

I suppose I should rest assured that there's one right that hasn't been taken from us yet: the right to remain silent.

Posted at 11:11 PM


Note: I’m tired of clearing the spam from my comments, so comments are no longer accepted.

Excellent post and I love the conclusion. I would think most American citizens, no matter what their political leanings, would be offended by the way our freedoms are being systematically disassembled.

Posted by Mike at 5:01 PM, January 6, 2003 [Link]


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What do you mean there is no cat?

"You see, wire telegraph is a kind of a very, very long cat. You pull his tail in New York and his head is meowing in Los Angeles. Do you understand this? And radio operates exactly the same way: you send signals here, they receive them there. The only difference is that there is no cat."

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[ photo of Mischief, a black and white cat ]

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[ photo of Sylvester, a black and white cat ]

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