October 5, 2006

Get up early just to watch the sun rise

nathan lyons, untitled

* A shameful retreat from American values, by Garrison Keillor. excerpt:

"I would not send my college kid off for a semester abroad if I were you. This week, we have suspended human rights in America, and what goes around comes around. Ixnay habeas corpus.

"The U.S. Senate, in all its splendor and majesty, has decided that an 'enemy combatant' is any non-citizen whom the president says is an enemy combatant, including your Korean greengrocer or your Swedish grandmother or your Czech au pair, and can be arrested and held for as long as authorities wish without any right of appeal to a court of law to examine the matter. If your college kid were to be arrested in Bangkok or Cairo, suspected of 'crimes against the state,' and held in prison, you’d assume that an American foreign service officer would be able to speak to your kid and arrange for a lawyer, but this may not be true anymore. Be forewarned.

"The Senate also decided it’s up to the president to decide whether it’s OK to make these enemies stand naked in cold rooms for a couple days in blinding light and be beaten by interrogators. This is now purely a bureaucratic matter: The plenipotentiary stamps the file 'enemy combatants' and throws the poor schnooks into prison and at his leisure he tries them by any sort of kangaroo court he wishes to assemble and they have no right to see the evidence against them, and there is no appeal. This was passed by 65 senators and will now be signed by Mr. Bush, put into effect, and in due course be thrown out by the courts."
"Three Republican senators made a show of opposing the bill and after they’d collected all the praise they could get, they quickly folded. Why be a hero when you can be fairly sure that the court will dispose of this piece of garbage.

"If, however, the court does not, then our country has taken a step toward totalitarianism. If the government can round up someone and never be required to explain why, then it’s no longer the United States of America as you and I always understood it. Our enemies have succeeded beyond their wildest dreams. They have made us become like them.

"I got some insight last week into who supports torture when I went down to Dallas to speak at Highland Park Methodist Church. It was spooky. I walked in, was met by two burly security men with walkie-talkies, and within 10 minutes was told by three people that this was the Bushes’ church and that it would be better if I didn’t talk about politics. I was there on a book tour for 'Homegrown Democrat,' but they thought it better if I didn’t mention it. So I tried to make light of it: I told the audience, 'I don’t need to talk politics. I have no need even to be interested in politics — I’m a citizen, I have plenty of money and my grandsons are at least 12 years away from being eligible for military service.' And the audience applauded! Those were their sentiments exactly. We’ve got ours, and who cares?

"The Methodists of Dallas can be fairly sure that none of them will be snatched off the streets, flown to Guantanamo, stripped naked, forced to stand for 48 hours in a freezing room with deafening noise, so why should they worry? It’s only the Jews who are in danger, and the homosexuals and gypsies. The Christians are doing just fine. If you can’t trust a Methodist with absolute power to arrest people and not have to say why, then whom can you trust?"

* the rude pundit. excerpt:

"Here's the bottom line on the Foley snowball, a runaway fucker that's heading down a clear mountain path: they knew. Republicans in the leadership and you can sure as shit bet many, many more (Karl Rove, anyone?). They fucking knew. They knew that, while he may not have actually gobbled that unsullied seven-and-a-half-inch cock, that he wanted to, desperately. They knew that he was creeping out the pages, that he was a joke, that predatory old queen who the pages laughed at behind their dorm doors, sharing stories about how much Foley put his hands on them when they talked or invited them to different places. They knew in 2001, and they let him try to innoculate himself by putting him on the forefront of writing and passing legislation making it a federal crime to do the very things he was doing, giving him the shiny imprimatur of Mr. 'America's Most Wanted' himself, John Walsh, allowing him to appear on television condemning others even as he condemned himself. They let him remain as chair of the House caucus on Missing and Exploited Children, as if the fox would only eat the grown chickens while guarding the just-hatched in the henhouse.

"And, just as importantly, the Republicans showed complete and utter disdain for the people of Foley's district because it was a safe seat in the Congress and because he was a motherfucking cash cow for fellow Republicans, who would suck some of that filthy lucre from Foley's teats. So for two elections they allowed the people of the 16th district in Florida to vote him back to office, 172,858 of 'em in 2002 and 215,563 of 'em in 2004. Yet despite the heat being turned up months ago, they were gonna let them vote for him again, thinking that saying to Foley, 'Hey, you know all the shit you write to the boy pages? Cut it out' was enough.

"So fuck Mark Foley. Just another tiny-dicked fucker who abused his power and position in obeisance to a sublimated libido that Republican politics would not allow to run rampant and free, another pathetic conservative who denied his true self and destroyed himself for it. This ain't about Foley's online jackin' it to chats with teenaged boys writing about how they fuck their own beds. It's about the people still in power and what they'll do to maintain power.

"God, if they would allow tens of thousands of people in Florida to vote for someone they knew was getting his rocks off in a definitely unethical and probably illegal way, what wouldn't they do? If they knew that Mark Foley cut open illegal Ecuadoran immigrants and fucked their still pumping aortas, they'd probably say, 'Well, it's not like he's fucking the hearts of voters.'"

* "My language is the common prostitute that I turn into a virgin." --Karl Kraus


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