Another Brick in the Wall

DCup
Pistol Packin DCup

I’ve pretty much bottled up my rants lately. They’re comprised of just so many words bitten off and spit into the air or the internet ether. How much rage can I carry around in this heart buried deep under the double DCups? Plenty. How often can I express that rage without it becoming meaningless, dismissed so that it’s out of the way of the things that matter to people.

American Idol is fresh into a new season, dontcha know?

In the past, I have given voice to my fear that we are heading down a cultural, political path of dangerous corporate-sponsored nationalism. I shall not even utter that blasted F word. And I don’t mean fuck.

And so I sit, procrastinating from the work that keeps the roof over our heads and the food on our table because meh, it matters not if I give a little or give a lot the results are the same. Mediocrity, disappointment, the it’s never good enough blues. But I can put my work off for another twenty minutes hour and half while I write this quick note to those of you who care, who understand that we might be sinking to levels of complacency that may be the reason we sleepwalked our way through history.

Yesterday, I read two posts on Ragebot that got my attention. They stood out to me, not because they apply so much to my life at this very moment, but because, taken together, they highlight more of the slow slide into oblivion that our rumored freedoms are taking.

Both stories focus on actions taken by the Department of Homeland Security in recent days. The first is the story about a new driver’s license initiative put in place by the DHS. As explained by Frogette:

DHS will now require those born after Dec. 1, 1964 to have a Homeland Security approved driver’s license in order to board a plane. Not drive mind you, just to fly. Oh, and you have until 2014 to comply. Boomers have until 2017 because, as we all know they’re slower on the uptake.

The second Ragebot post was just as disturbing. Posted by Kvatch, who explains….

With little fanfare, and as little review, new travel rules went into effect on the 19th of February that may have a profound effect on the ability and willingness of Americans to travel abroad.

The Department of Homeland Security has placed an odious new requirement on international air travel to, from, and over the United States. Where previously passenger lists had to be supplied to DHS within 15 minutes of a US bound flight taking off, now those lists must be made available in advance and every passenger must be given “permission” by DHS to board the flight in question. Think about that for a second. A passport is no longer sufficient to allow you to travel abroad, and DHS have given themselves the ability to deny you reentry to the United States…indefinitely

Aiport Security LineNow I don’t plan international travel anytime soon, but so what? This kind of measure makes you wonder if we’re being hemmed in using methods that go unreported by the corporate media. Which also begs the question….”Does the media even seek out this kind of information anymore?”

As each of these “initiatives” are put into place and we just line up like so many sheep and take our shoes off in airport security lines and let cops check our backpacks in subway stations and get pulled aside because we don’t have the right kind of drivers license…..

What is the alternative? Listen, friends, if you comply because you have no other legal choice, no matter how fucking stupid or inane or meaningless the law is, what do you call that?

Did I just hear you say “survival?” Yeah.

Are we approaching the line where some or many of us could be considered criminal because we simply don’t agree with the laws that are supposed to make us feel safe? You don’t actually think that Bushies are sitting around some mahogany conference table trying to protect citizens, do you? Profits, yes. People? Doubtful. We’re a renewable resource.

The idea that our government can truly protect us from every possible terrorist scenario is stunted thinking. Of course we want our government to take steps to prevent these kinds of things from happening, but, frankly, we ‘d be so much better served if our government would address the larger issues that create terrorists in the first place.

Yeah, I know, just more words.

The end.

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~ by dcup on February 26, 2008.

27 Responses to “Another Brick in the Wall”

  1. I can barely read about this Administration anymore. Everything Chimpy proposes has an air of inevitability.

    No matter how many people oppose his dangerous policies, they seem to always come to fruition.

    And those in the “Heartland” will simply shrug their shoulders because the majority of them don’t travel outside their birth state, much less the country.

    Europe is where all those “Commies” live.

    Ironically, we’re becoming more and more like the Soviet Union, Nazi Germany, Fascist Italy (In the end, they’re all the same) with each passing day.

    And
    we’re about to elect another Corporate Lackey because he likes rainbows, and Care Bears.

    I don’t know if you’ve ever seen the Care Bears, but they remind me of how people act when they’ve been drugged into submission.

  2. D-CUP: I’ve been warning everyone of my blog and live friends up in Big Sammy about “internal passports” for years now and everyone called me paranoid. Before that, I warned people that gambling would become the new “drugs” and there would be lots of problems. And everyone said I was nuts. And look what happened? Not just to some middle-class nobody like to me but to the “accursed” rich! I know it’s hard to sympathize but did you think Ruth Peacock liked going from being wealthier than the Queen Of England on the Forbes rankings not because of inherited money but because of entrepreneurship with Party Poker.com to a net worth of 5% of her peak? All because of Chimpy, Frist, etc.? Now, I’m telling you that the “F” word of which you speak is not a paranoid fantasy. It is the REALITY you are living. Such that if Obama in the debate PROMISES to scuttle the warrantless-wiretapping shit and HRC doesn’t, I WILL SWITCH! Somehow, I doubt that will happen because HRC is better on privacy than CareBear is.

    FAIRLANE: In some ways, Bush has been the most successful president in American history. He has gotten EVERYTHING he’s wanted and more. Yes, more. The DoD had to REFUSE 10% of last year’s budget allocation because Gates thought it was way too over-the-top. South America now takes its cues from Old Europe so expect a new villain soon added to the list.

  3. I’ve got nothing to hide, so bring it o – oh, wait, there’s that, and that, and that, and that, and that. Actually, there isn’t much, but it ain’t no one’s dadgum gosh darn bidness. I hope Freida Bee doesn’t chastise me too much for my pisspoor imitation of those affected with hillbilly-itis.

    If whomever gets in, and doesn’t immediately start nuking these signing statements and various and sundry other things that CAN be fixed – the economy will take a fuckload of time – then my last drop of non-cynicism will be gone. But I’m sure some Democrat Leader® will tell me to just hang on.

    When you get used to the paper cut, you won’t mind the next one. And so on, etc, ad infinitum.

  4. You all are so funny. All this was going to happen sooner or later. I am actually surprised how long it has taken. I have to say that I have very little hassle while traveling abroad via the US in comparison to many of the other countries airports.
    I have never been “stripped” searched in an US airport, yet. (exhibitionist part wants that at times) But I have gone through the gauntlet many times in other countries. One of them because I am white. Wacky.
    So I say who cares if you up the security a bit. Not a problem

  5. Fairlane – It’s catching. You sound as hopeful as I feel.

    Kelso – Your perspective on this is much appreciated. So I’m not nuts, either? And I agree that regarding getting his way, Bush has been killer successful. And what he couldn’t get passed by Congress, he simply created his own law…..hey, wait, isn’t that…..nevermind.

    Randal – I’m sick of hanging on and waiting for, um, change. Yuck. Now I sound like a campaign stump speech sign waver.

    Wyld – To answer your question, I care. When I know that I’m complying with stupid security measures while the luggage goes unsearched into the cargo hold, I care.

    I’m glad to hear that you’ve not suffered from any real humiliation or difficulty as you fly. Try wearing an underwire bra though and see what you think. 🙂

  6. ”Does the media even seek out this kind of information anymore?”

    Nah. Too busy with that round-the-clock campaign trail circle jerk.

  7. Wyld- It disturbs me that you would say this is no big deal. You’ve remarked several times that you (Meaning the military) are defending our “Freedom.”

    One of the rights that separates the United States from almost every other country in the world, is our ability to “Freely roam about the cabin.”

    Travel restrictions are Fascist, and the implications are ominous. Especially when coupled with the already extraordinary powers we’ve granted our government in the name of “Security.”

    One of my friends was born in Pakistan, but he’s lived here for over a decade. He went to school here, is a registered citizen, and he works at one of the larges CPA firms on the East Coast.

    He even voted for Chimpy.

    In other words, he doesn’t fit the “Profile.”

    Two years ago he was detained by Homeland Security, and disappeared for ten days.

    I mean, POOF, he was just gone, and no one knew where he was or what happened.

    The only thing that saved him is, he has connections, and Big Money.

    Today it’s “Them,” tomorrow…Who the fuck knows?

    Remember, in less than a year someone with whom you ideologically disagree is going to have the same power Chimpy now wields.

    It is a Big Deal, it’s a Big Fucking Deal.

    No government, within a “Free Society,” should have such power.

    Ever.

  8. Not for nothing DCup, but a while back you recommended a Philip Roth book to me that covered this point to a T. In his book, they were relocating Jews to Kentucky. Ya think maybe he gave Chimpy these ideas? And my next question is why now? If terrorism is such an imminent threat, why wasn’t this done between 2001 and 2005 when the terrorists really were blowing shit up?

    I agree, most Americans choose to remain glued to what will happen next on American Idol or Survivor; most will want to know who’s Dancing With The Stars. This is not a little extra security. This is making sure I’m hemmed in so that I can’t be in touch with or organize with other “true” American patriots.

  9. and what really pisses me off is that Chimpy does get his way everytime! again and again, the democrats cave in to his demands, after awhile I have to think that the democrats are playing us for fools. great post DCup!

  10. DED – Exactly. And it’s so true. The distractions are many. It’s to our government’s benefit to have us ill and misinformed.

    Fairlane – Thank you for addressing the freedom issue. You made the hair on the back of my neck stand up with that. And you nailed it. This is not America.

    Spartacus – Back when I first read that book, I flipped the fuck out because it seemed so prescient. But even then, it was all hahahaha can’t happen here.

    Now we’re watching it happen as in death by a thousand cuts. And most Americans I know think like Wyld. If it doesn’t affect me then what’s the big deal to which I guess we should say..
    When they came for the muslims, I didn’t speak out because I was not a Muslim.
    When they came for the people who prefer paper to plastic, I did not speak out because I don’t really care what my groceries are in.
    When they came for the Toyota drivers, I did not speak out because I drive a Kia.
    And when they finally came for me, there was no one left to speak for me.

    Liberality – Thank you. And I don’t think we can even begin to comprehend the shift that our checks and balances have taken.

  11. Wy1d:

    The problem isn’t necessarily security, nor the military, and CERTAINLY not you!

    The problem is the domestic knock-on effects and the degree of social control that has been imposed and the changes both de jure and material to the US Constitution. Look at the wiretapping crap Bush wants. It turns the whole LEGITMATE concept of wiretapping on its head.

    It used to be that the feds needed a court-order to wiretap and had no role in foreign calls unless they were germane to the criminal inquiry. The orders would be issued in 16-day segments and the feds were REQUIRED NOT TO LISTEN when bullshit like the subject of the inquiry calling his wife and asking her to pick him up a quart of Haagen-Dasz on her way home from work.

    What Bush wants is a special exemption to allow the Feds to ESPECIALLY record trivial details unrelated to the inquiry!

    If I’ve told you once I’ve told you a million times, I am the son of a Navy vet and I admire the US military (especially the Navy), though I wouldn’t put a magnetic ribbon on my car on a bet. My gripes have NOTHING to do with the military or even with the very ill-defined “national security.”

    They have to do with the way the right-wing civilian leadership has used both the military and criminal justice system in ways that don’t serve national security but do serve regressive domestic social ends.

    And I know that you are above throwing a pity party for yourself for being White. I assume that was a rhetorical device.

  12. I have some more opinions but, I am officially on vacation.

  13. Excellent post Dcup and I particularly liked your last comment about ‘when they come for the coffee drinkers I didn’t speak up because I prefer tea’. I agree we all have very good reasons and historical examples of why we should be very worried.

  14. Nuremberg Laws, 1935………
    i think might point is made

    Dcup thanks for brining this up… i think i have to make this viral

  15. Not sure why my comment is still awaiting moderation. I didn’t write anything offensive. And I think I only used one Angle-Saxon oath.

  16. Kelso – It looks like you excellent comment was given approval. Damn that boss of mine. 🙂

    Wyld – I hope you have a good vacation. And thank you. (We’ll just let the rest of them wonder for what I am thanking you.)

    Susan – Thanks. When they came for the dog lovers, I did not speak out because I have cats.

    DCap – Thanks, DCap. Yes, you make a good point.

    Kelso – More oaths are required maybe?

  17. In the future you and I will not be able to leave the counry which doesn’t make sense, don’t you want critics of America to leave and then you can not readmit them?

  18. I thought states were balking at issuing these new driver licenses. Christ.

  19. Thanks for the link DCup. My theory is that Americans will do *anything* for security. Tap my phone, sure, check my bags, yup, not let me board the plane, sure thing officer. People need to stand up and say no to this administration…and the next because you know this isn’t all just going to go away.

  20. The thing that’s the most frightening is now it’s all in place and none of the three who remain in the race is going to do anything to reduce the American Empire’s military industrial footprint. Empire building is democracy killing. The most recent issue of Stars and Stripes says the US Army Central Command is establishing a ‘permanent platform for ‘full spectrum operations’ in 27 countries around southwest Asia and the middle east – including a huge new base in Kuwait. They may move troops out of Iraq but they’ll be right next door or around the corner. Nobody who plans to reduce the size of the military will get anywhere near the White House in the forseeable future. I guess the only thing I can hope for (and a terrible hope it is) would be an economic collapse so serious that the Pentagon would go bankrupt. Is it possible the banks would foreclose and throw these guys off their bases, their aircraft carriers, their airports, their secret prisons?

  21. Frogette: I agree but at the same time those who stand up and say no can’t be afraid to embrace the Criminal Bar and ACLU as compatriots in the fight. You guys can’t win this with the “moral high ground” thing or Bill Clinton’s “those who play by the rules…” bullshit. You can only win by loving your Constitution. And that means “checks-and-balances” and an adversarial court system.

    If they say “technicalities” you say “Oliver North” or “Lewis Libby” or “Caspar Weinberger.”

    It’s not my fight anymore. But it IS yours. Wage it correctly and fearlessly.

  22. Wy1d: Nobody deserves a long and enjoyable vacation more than you do. The arguments will still be here when you get back. Have fun.

  23. 35 years ago at a small dumpy college in the north woods of wisconsin an OK guy and his large,dumpy debate partner argued on the college debate circuit that ” Resolved: the US Government should significantly curtail the gathering and utilization of information concerning US citizens.”

    I thought the shit was bad then…… and that was a different episode of empire building. The more shit changes, the more it stays the same.

    PS…I am missing a Nun from Chicago. If anyone finds her, lemmee know.

  24. I passes the line into criminality long ago.

    I think I passed into criminality long ago.

    I think that the FBI is getting sick of Jason Bourne always getting away; they just need more advanced notice.

    (Thanks Randal, for your attributing all things hillbilly to me, apparently, now, the hillbilly expert.)

  25. If what you say about criminality and hillbillyness bears even a nodding acquaintance with the truth, you will know what “my old lady” refers to and I don’t mean one’s wife, girlfriend or mother.

    From even MSM reports Bush’s warrantless wiretapping program has been effective at sending these old ladies away to die in prison because of the lack of restrictions of the taps but hasn’t been real effective at “keeping the country safe.” And “the old lady,” in a bitter twist of irony, would not be such a central figure were it not for the prescription drug benefit Cheney strong-armed through a skeptical Congress.

    This is truly a Bush Administration masterpiece. They give away a massive amount of money to the drug companies who funded the campaigns. They get to punish old ladies at the maximum level for doing what any sane person in poverty would do, plus advertise such MISUSE of the whole national security part of the tapping as helping to fight the “war on terror” because “the war on drugs is a crucial part of ‘the war on terror.'”

    Where does everybody think Rush Limbaugh got all that Oxy? From Mars?

  26. And that, Wy1d, my good buddy, is why I don’t buy what Bush is selling here. I don’t think I’m naive. While I might not approve, I can UNDERSTAND the appeal of taking over Iraq and maybe persuading Israel into plowing through the Middle East alongside Sammy like a game of RISK. While I might not approve, I UNDERSTAND the appeal of all the fraud and corruption and profiteering. Who doesn’t like money? What I don’t understand is what’s happening now. It just push, push, push, more sadism, more conflation of everything foreign and domestic. More more more pain. For what? They got the Iraq Embassy. They got the Imperial Executive. They got all the money. They completely reframed the political debate to the point that a right-wing Gaullist President of France was demonized as much as Brezhnev had been. The debate is so skewed that Clinton and Obama are arguing over small pieces of a platform that Ronald Reagan would have considered too conservative.

    So, if anyone who disagrees with me wants to set me straight, please do so, because I am completely lost here.

  27. Excellent post, DCup. I had no idea about this new regulation. As usual, the MSM have ignored it completely. “Another brick in the wall,” indeed.

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