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If Worms Carried Shotguns…

Posted by Rick · September 15th, 2003 · 8 Comments

“Joe” (not his real name, which he apparently has reasons to conceal) posts a comment here pointing out an article called “The Luckiest Man in the World.”

Certainly, no one deserves that moniker more than George Bush, but the article attaches it to Osama Bin Laden, instead. If you read the article, though, you’ll soon come to understand that it’s a tie for first place…

The article is so well-written that I’m loathe to say much myself. I’d just as soon direct you to it. The core of the article, though (to give you a taste and in case it disappears, as Internet sources sometimes do), states:

[U]nder Bush, we started the methodical destruction of our wonderful freedoms in the name of self-protection.

We cringed, we cowered and, when the opportunity to do so arose, we bullied. And, when the chance came for George W. Bush to settle an old personal score with Iraq’s Saddam Hussein, we thumbed our nose at the rest of the world and insulted it. “Old Europe,” our leaders said, disdainfully.

We invented “freedom fries” to show our contempt for the nation that made America possible in the 18th century.

We took a page from the despots of the world and started making people disappear. We rediscovered torture of prisoners to make them talk, either through surrogates (“The Saudis know how to deal with these kinds of problems”) or using modern, scientific, non-touching methods.

We pushed through the USA Patriot Act, an unreadable mess of legalistic mumbo jumbo, without a single senator or representative knowing exactly what was in it. It turned out to be such a bad piece of legislation that communities around the nation passed resolutions vowing to not cooperate with it. Even librarians united to defy its unwarranted snooping terms.

And now, as I reported yesterday, Bush wants to push through even stronger restrictions than those already present in the USA PATRIOT Act of 2001. Now I realize that those of you who admire the ad hominem style, thinking that it completely eradicates the opposition, probably just look on me as some leftist wacko. (If you actually read my stuff, you’d see that I also attack leftists and that I only support Democrats because I find them to be the lesser of two evils. I do not find anything to endorse in them otherwise. I have frequently stated my position by saying, “When Republicans mess up, the whole country gets screwed; when Democrats mess up, only interns do.”)

But since when have librarians been seen as a hotbed of leftist-commie-pinko politicos? And what of the world perception of us? If you won’t follow the arguments, let’s attack this from another angle.

When I was young, my father taught me a great deal about logic. In denial of the subjunctive, he used to say things like

If robins carried shotguns, worms wouldn’t eat them.

And, more to the point here, when I would complain about people having “misperceptions” about my intentions on this, that, or the other thing, he would say

When one person “misperceives” you and thinks you’re a duck, you can pretty much shrug them off. When another calls you a duck, maybe you still can. When a third person calls you a duck, it should make you a little nervous. If a fourth calls you a duck? You better start checking yourself for feathers.

G-d only knows what he would say in a situation where practically the entire world has started quacking at us!

The truth of the matter here—as “The Luckiest Man in the World” points out—is that the terrorists “only” killed people. George Bush and his thugs have killed an entire constitutionally-founded nation.

The Declaration of Independence “proposed a republican government founded in the collective rights of the people, based on their authority alone, and beholden to them.” (Thomas Jefferson, “Account of a Declaration,” from the Autobiography of Thomas Jefferson, found here.) Yet our own President and his staff work night and day to create and push through—sometimes sneaking them through by keeping Congress from reading them until just before a vote is called or scheduling votes for times when the opposition party is known to be unavailable—bills to allow the government to strip away the very liberties which this government for the people was founded upon.

The latest news strengthens the conviction, sparked by the previous disclosures of documents in and around the administration, that Iraqi oil was a goal long before President George W. Bush invoked the danger posed by Saddam Hussein’s alleged weapons of mass destruction as a reason to invade that country. ‘Oil War’ Questions Surround Cheney Energy Group

And the President has not limited his use of the terrible specter of war to obtain the upper hand for government as relates to civil rights. He has also used it to strengthen the position of corporations—artificial, immortal, rich and powerful “persons”—against real persons. When seeking establishment of the oddly-named “Homeland Security Department,” he lobbied hard to exempt the federal government from the requirements of the labor laws. He has used it to award contracts to friends of himself and the Vice-President for telecommunications, oil and construction. He has done this without even allowing competitors of his friends a chance at the business; the contracts were “no-bid” contracts. He has used it to increase the level of secrecy surrounding his administration—what it’s up to now and what it plans to be doing in the future. He has weakened the Freedom of Information Act. This is in spite of the fact that Congress itself attempted to broaden the FOIA in 1996 because, among other things, “Freedom of Information Act has led to the disclosure of waste, fraud, abuse, and wrongdoing in the Federal Government” and “the identification of unsafe consumer products, harmful drugs, and serious health hazards.” And, of course, we no longer even talk about the real reason we went to war in the first place: OIL.

When you boil it all down

President Bush keeps using 9/11 as one of his leading arguments for a whole range of sweeping policy decisions, from tax cuts and a bill to start drilling in a protected wildlife area of northern Alaska to the war in Iraq. The Republican Convention, which is to serve as a springboard for Mr Bush’s re-election, has been deliberately slated for the end of next August, very close to the third anniversary of the terrorist attacks. – Radio Netherlands, “9/11, Mr. Bush’s albatross?,” 11 September 2002.

This comment is just as true today—if not more so—than it was when it was made in 2002.

I tell you all this because I keep thinking that if you—and the rest of American voters—only knew the facts, we would actually do something about this President and prevent him from accomplishing for bin Laden what bin Laden was not able to accomplish himself.

On the other hand, if robins carried shotguns, worms wouldn’t eat them.

Categories: The Man Who Would Be President


8 responses so far ↓

  • 1 joe // Sep 16, 2003 at 11:46 am

    Ashcroft cares about your feelings …..


  • 2 joe // Sep 16, 2003 at 7:38 pm

    Sorry for the dupes, my notebook hung up for a minute or two….

    Foreign policy, gourmet style….


  • 3 joe // Sep 16, 2003 at 10:13 pm

    And Moore from Justice Moore ….


    Aren’t you happy to have me on your blog? Don’t I send you interesting

    And the thanks I get is ‘friendly bogey’? Is that any way for an ex Navy
    medic to talk to another ex Navy guy?

  • 4 Rick // Sep 16, 2003 at 10:16 pm

    Joe, I should apologize for something here. I tried to fix the duplicates by removing them. Only my screen must have been misleading me about how many I had deleted, because I accidentally deleted them all. I meant to leave one.

    So I went to the copy it had e-mailed me and posted it back in for you, but the timestamp on the “new” post makes it show up after your comment about the dupes.

    Oh well, no good deed goes unpunished, eh?

    And what’s wrong with “friendly bogey”? It’s a legit way of indicating that although you’re not known, you appear to be a good guy!

  • 5 joe // Sep 17, 2003 at 11:49 am

    Random philosophical thought of the week….

    Ok, I understand that we’re pissed at the French, and that we now order ‘Freedom’ fries with our lunch, but do we really have to call it ‘Freedom’ kissing to be patriotic?

  • 6 joe // Sep 17, 2003 at 2:26 pm

    Perhaps as a service to your bloggers, you could offer an area on your blog dedicated to ‘serious’ candidates for president or governor? Someplace where we could actually get a SIDE BY SIDE comparison of the issues.

    This is something that a reader could easily remember in the voting booth.

    It should also spawn some interesting interchange between rival camps. Let’s just see who IS running the honest campaign!

    What do you say, Rick? Are you ready to become ‘ground zero’ for these elections? (BTW, ‘Ground Zero’ is a pretty good name for the page).

  • 7 Rick // Sep 18, 2003 at 9:54 am

    I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about what to do with the blog(s) and the website(s). You may not know this, but I own and/or manage several. It’s too much to maintain them all adequately AND attend law school AND work full-time.

    This is what I’m thinking:
    1) I’m thinking of possibly selling TechStop.com after all these years. (I’ve had it since the mid-1990s.) I recently converted it to a law/informational site with its own blog and also a FORUM. And I was going to use it to separate my “less-partisan” from my “partisan” posts. I did recently renew TechStop.com for another five years, but I’m pretty happy with The Unspun Zone™ and want to focus on it. I’m not TOTALLY convinced I want to sell TechStop.com, because I do plan to do technology law, and could perhaps still use the site for that. I guess it would depend if I received a good offer on it.

    2) I’m thinking of selling Winkola.com. I recently renewed it, also, and it’s been an important domain name to me for quite awhile for my “personal” website. Again, I’m happy with The Unspun Zone™, although I’d like to get the unspun.com domain. Currently I’m using unspun.us. I don’t know if anyone would want to buy winkola.com, but apparently there’s a clown living in Texas who could maybe use it(no—I mean a REAL clown—how appropriate, eh?).

    3) Regardless of what I do with #1 and 2 above, I’m thinking of adding material currently existing at http://www.TechStop.com to http://www.Unspun.us. After that, I’d probably mostly maintain Unspun.us and only occasionally post to TechStop.com. (And, of course, if there were a buyer, it would go away from me completely.)

    Contrary to appearances, I’m not actually political enough to do exactly what you suggested. However, maybe I’ll move my FORUM from techstop.com to unspun.us, making it easier for folks like you to post.

    There’s just one problem with that; to use it, you’d have to use a legit e-mail, since the account activation will require a real e-mail address to make it work. 😉

  • 8 joe // Sep 18, 2003 at 1:13 pm

    In that case, you may see ‘friendly_bogey@hotmail.com’.

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