Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Good Will and Respect

Well, the Great War Leader addressed us last night. It was routine, in that he was apparently sober and refrained from biting the heads off any live kittens during his platitudinous recitation of approved abstractions: freedom, democracy, etc. But he did admonish us concerning our deteriorating manners.

In a system of two parties, two chambers, and two elected branches, there will always be differences and debate. But even tough debates can be conducted in a civil tone, and our differences cannot be allowed to harden into anger. To confront the great issues before us, we must act in a spirit of good will and respect for one another -- and I will do my part.

There was also some business about "responsible" criticism (the kind that doesn't question the basic goals and assumptions of the Empire) vs the Other Kind (that does), but I'm too lazy to put the clothespin back on my nose and dig it out of the transcript just now. I suppose the reason he's bothering to call for us all to be good boys and girls is that even the mighty Empire doesn't have enough jail space to give too many people the Cindy Sheehan treatment. Here you can read the responsible version of what happened to her, and here you can read what she says happened. You'll have to decide for yourself whom to believe; myself, I think Mrs. Sheehan's a much better bet, although I certainly don't know her. I do know my gummint, and they're liars until absolutely proved truthful, as far as I'm concerned.

I am curious, though ... the CNN story doesn't tell us what Mrs. Sheehan was charged with, and she reports being charged with "unlawful conduct." What is the world is "unlawful conduct," and how do I know I'm not doing some right now?


lemming said...

I love the argument that anyone who doesn't agree with the president's ideas is "defeatist" "backward-looking" and "lazy." Ah, is that what's been wrong with me all these years...

itsmecissy said...

She entered the gallery wearing a shirt with an anti-war slogan "Bring Them Home Now Tour" (which she had been wearing all day), "they" were afraid she was going to do something with it in front of the cameras (like wear it?). Funny thing about the law, you can't normally be arrested for something you *might* do. Guess the only opinions allowed in the People's Capitol are George W. Bush's.

itsmecissy said...

The rest of the story ...

Bartleby said...

Lemming: not to mention, "isolationist." Apparently, if you don't want Uncle Sam to be a combination of GloboCop and World Pointy-Haired Boss, you're "isolationist."

Cissy: thanks for posting that link (clickable link). There I read:

= = = = = =
Sheehan, who caused no ruckus, was arrested not because she engaged in "unlawful conduct." Rather, by every evidence, she was arrested because of what her T-shirt said--and, by extension, because of what she believes.

That makes this a most serious matter. Representative Pete Stark, the California Democrat who is one of the senior members of the House, is right when he says that Sheehan's arrest by officers he refers to as "the President's Gestapo," tells us a lot more about the George Bush and the sorry state of our basic liberties in the midst of the President's open-ended "war on terror" than anything that was said in the State of the Union address. "It shows he still has a thin skin," Stark says of the President who claims to welcome dissent.

= = = = = =

This troubles me. Certainly, I think Bush is an out-of-control tyrant, and is equipped and surrounded with the apparatus of tyranny. I already knew that. But if Rep. Stark, "one of the senior members of the House," actually believes what he has said, why hasn't he attempted to have Bush impeached? Did he not take an oath to uphold the Constitution? It's as easy for those who have some power to talk as it is for me; but -- unlike me -- they're in a position to do something. When they don't, I think their sincerity is very much in question.