Sunday, April 23, 2006

The Last Refuge of Scoundrels

Nanette has gently chastised me for having neglected In Flight for well -- over a month now, actually, she says looking a bit shamefaced. I have been doing some writing on a story which is possibly getting somewhere (my protagonists are now at the railway station even though they're not actually going to end up getting on the train because I have other plans in store for them), but otherwise I've been in a place of false starts and doubt.

So at the risk of being terribly divaesque, I thought I'd take Nanette's advice and repost a diary that I wrote earlier, albeit not the one she suggested (at least not right now). I wrote this about a year-and-a-half ago. It was my first diary on dKos, which I joined just after the 2004 election, and left during the Pie Wars. I've edited a little to clean up some particularly clumsy phrases, but haven't really touched the style or content. The former seems quite strange to me now, though if anything, I have become more convinced that patriotism is evil in the intervening time.
Anyway, enough already.

The Last Refuge of Scoundrels

Sun Nov 14, 2004 at 05:24:20 AM PDT
I am not a patriot. Soon after the towers fell -- I read Robert Jensen's essay, Saying Goodbye to Patriotism. It resonated like a church bell struck at close range. If you've not read it, you should.
I think the reason that the majority of U.S. voters decided to elect as their president a disingenuous, duplicitous, mass-murderer is because they are patriots. As patriots, they believe that the U.S. is the best nation on earth. There is nowhere else they would rather live. They wake up in the morning believing that to wake up American "is the greatest privilege and the most remarkable good fortune that can come to us on Earth" ( Kerry, concession speech, 3/11/04 )

They believe that democracy is an essentially U.S invention and that the U.S.'s system of government, with its 'checks and balances' is by far and away the best of the world. Not only that, but they believe the American people are the best -- the kindest, the bravest, the most morally upright, the most freedom-loving people on the earth. Because of these things the U.S. should lead the world. Who better to provide good strong leadership? As a democratic acquaintance of mine wrote "Hey, If there's going to be an empire, I can't think of anywhere I'd rather have in charge than the U.S." They are patriots and proud of it.

I am not a patriot. Partly I'm spared that fate because I don't know where I'd be a patriot for. Live long enough as a foreigner and your home becomes everywhere and nowhere. I lived as a foreigner in the States, now I am a foreigner in the U.K. When I visit the country where I grew up my accent marks me as a foreigner there too. Friendly people in the supermarket say 'Oh! Is this your first trip to New Zealand? How are you liking it so far?"

But the Americans that voted for Bush are patriots. And I think many of the Americans who voted for Kerry would also call themselves patriots. They'd subscribe to the idea that the U.S. flag is an emblem of freedom, that the U.S. is -- despite its problems -- the best country in the world.

I think the root problem with the U.S. is that liberals and the left have seldom challenged the idea that patriotism is a virtue. They've seldom stood up and said 'patriotism is evil to its core, and must be torn out, root and branch.' More often, they've tried to gather the mantle of patriotism around themselves. "Dissent is patriotic," they have said. "Asking questions is patriotic." "Protesting is patriotic."

Sometimes, I'm sure, they've done so to reach out across political divides -- "Look," they say, "we're not so scary. We're patriots too." But more often, I think the claims to patriotism are sincere. They want to think of themselves as patriots, they want to apply the term to their works. As patriots, they are genuinely angered by Republican attempts to monopolise the term.

One of the first 'grown-up' books I ever read as a child was Watership Down, which despite its reputation for fluffiness (it's got rabbits!) is an essentially political book. I made several false starts before I could read the whole way through. I'd make it to the end of the first chapter -- the one that begins with Cassandra observing that the house reeks of death and ends with Fiver paralysed in nameless fear before a vision of blood-covered fields. But for me -- when I finally screwed up my courage and made it past the first chapter -- the most frightening part of that book remains the part where Hazel's little band of refugee rabbits discover that a warren that has offered them shelter has an evil secret: it is snared and their hosts have betrayed them. As they plan to avenge themselves by driving out the other rabbits and seizing their warren, Fiver rages at them, gibbering and raving: "We shall help ourselves to a roof of bones, hung with shining wires! Help ourselves to misery and death!"

That's what I think about patriotism -- it's evil to the poisonous core of its rotten heart. Its roof is made of bones, it reeks of burning flesh. Why should those of us on the left help ourselves to that?
So what's so terrible about patriotism? Here is its lingua franca: "I love my country. It's the best in the world. Its people are the best in the world. Its democracy and values are the best in the world. Our brave men and women in uniform are the best in the world and they deserve my support."

Deeply embedded in this is a kind of calculus that says 'American lives matter more.' If bravery, kindness and the love of freedom are American values, then they are not simply human values -- they're American because Americans are kinder and braver and more freedom-loving than anyone else. And if Americans are the most freedom-loving, then their freedom is the most important, because after all, us foreigners don't love freedom as much. And since Americans are better, so too will be their democracy, their government and its decisions. Other countries should just fall into line and do what they say because they are not as good as America. After all, how did Kerry put it again? To wake up American "is the greatest privilege and the most remarkable good fortune that can come to us on Earth."

I know -- this is boring and repetitive. But I want to capture the tail-chasing nature of patriotism. Once you hold up that rose-tinted mirror of patriotism, you see only yourself, your nation, enlarged to take up the whole sky, reflected in its warm self-congratulatory glory. This mirror has a wondrous effect: every thing and everyone else is made invisible, marginal, not as important, a fly to be swatted, an annoyance to be eradicated. Patriotism takes you to the place where Americans will vote for a mass-murderer because his most recent mass murder wasn't primarily of Americans. Over 100 000 Iraqi civilians are dead, murdered on Bush's orders. If Bush had ordered 100 000 American citizens to be burned, buried alive, blown up and tortured, would he have been elected? But Iraqi lives aren't as important as American lives. They don't count.

And that's what patriotism does. It draws a line between people and says 'On this side of the line, people's lives, works, and ideas matter. On this other side, they do not.'

I am not a patriot. But I have heard its siren song. 'Sleep!' it cries, 'sink comfortably into torpor. Turn off your mind, your cold ruthless conscience, find surcease from despair, rest from rage, let your hard heart melt and heal. Let your head nod in agreement, look into our mirror and you won't have to see evil any more. Follow, and you won't be lonely, you will sing in sweet harmony instead of in your own out-of-tune discordant voice. Obey and you will no longer stand at bay, wondering where you will find strength to endure. We'll make you cosy and safe." I've heard that siren song, promoting 'unity,' 'coming together' and the 'healing of wounds.''Do the easy thing' it says 'Give in. Collude. Immerse yourself in our folksy, gosh shucksiness, find yourself in the homeland, remake yourself in our image'

But I am not a patriot. I will not set up house in that hall of bones.

[I wrote this on the evening of November 3rd. I've tidied up and edited/altered a little since then, but if you think my tone is angry here, it's because I'm angry.]


Blogger Nanette said...

This is amazingly good, dove. And so fitting, after the recent, shocking (to me) displays of "rah rah"ism.

You've captured the indoctrination perfectly, and it's something that most people raised in the US don't even notice. I was never particularly comfortable with it (being sort of an outsider while inside myself), but I it wasn't until I really got into conversations with those outside the US that I realized how destructive it was.

(Also, thanks for posting it - didn't mean to pressure you! much... you should just post the old stuff from time to time, while you concentrate on your story. Some of us have never seen it!)

4/24/2006 1:27 am  
Blogger DuctapeFatwa said...

Well, dove, you are clearly an arrogant hater of all things American or you would not have such a talent for word writing. Or such an extensive vocabulary.

It is clear that you have read far too many books, and did so only to show your disrespect for God's messenger Bush.

You and Osama could be identical twins and you will both be sorry when the Rapture comes and you get Left Behind with the Hindus and most of the Unitarians.

It is posts like these that are clearly intended to divide Americans and weaken their Resolve for spreading Democracy on France. No, wait, France is next week. This week is Sweeden, oh, hang on, I have this all written down.

If this is Tuesday, it must be Belgium.

4/24/2006 2:00 am  
Blogger olivia said...

I hope you'll be posting more of your past diaries/ writings Dove.

4/24/2006 2:15 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Y'know, after the recent kerfuffle on BT, all i've been able to think of is patriotism--or what does it mean to say that i am proud that I am an -------- (fill in the blank). So your diary is particularly resonant.

Why is pride in one's national identity an essential mark of one's makeup? I am Indian and yes, when I was a kid I believed that India was the best of all countries and sang along with all the other schoolkids when they warbled this song.

But I have seen and read and understood how India oppresses the smaller nations that surround it, the minorities that live within its borders, and the majority poor who have no access to avenues for advancement. The policies of its governments have no ethical basis that I can point to and feel good about. Yes, the Congress Party is the lesser of the evils since the Hindu fundamentalists scare the shit out of me, but that is really not saying much. (Won't bore you with wonkish history or policy lessons)

I like Indian poetry and music but i am not willing to say that they are the best. Bach and Thyagaraja--you don't get to choose between the two--you enjoy them both if you are lucky.

Gandhi was a force for good for the most part (though he did have pretty bigoted comments to make about the community I was born in) but to say that i am proud to be Indian because of Gandhi seems supremely ridiculous. Intertwined with Gandhi's great policies were great injustices--so yeah he wasn't a god or a saint.

So whats there to be proud of here?

I am trying desperately to figure out the cause of the outrage at BT and can only draw blanks.


4/24/2006 2:25 am  
Blogger dove said...

It has been eye-opening, hasn't it.
I wasn't surprised exactly, because I'd caught hints of that kind of sentiment before from some of the others involved -- the xenophobia as well as the personal attacks on DTF.

Like poco I suspect, I'm fuming. It reminds me of that moment that sometimes comes up in discussions about racism or sexism, when in the interests of being 'fair and balanced' we're told that the racism we should concern ourselves with is that directed against white people and the sexism we should care about is that levelled against men. Blechhh.

I thought your post in Sallycat's diary was so well put.

Don't worry about pressuring me! It's not a bad thing at all to be given a little nudge sometimes -- and it was wonderful for my ego to be the subject of a petition!

4/24/2006 2:36 am  
Blogger Nanette said...

I am trying desperately to figure out the cause of the outrage at BT and can only draw blanks.

Fear, I think. Fear of Others, the unknown, Muslims (Ductape invited one person to go to a mosque and ask questions once and they considered it a threat. From him!). Fear of not being on top and not knowing what to do, fear of the Bush admin, fear of the war - enough fear of that to make common cause with those who are anti-Iraq war, but who have few other liberal/progressive qualifications.

I am generalizing, of course, and nothing applies to everyone, but one or more parts of it applies to some. I think, anyway.

4/24/2006 2:42 am  
Blogger dove said...

DTF - how do you manage to keep your patience?

(For some reason, your post has reminded me of a televangelist song in one of Terry Pratchett's books (Good Omens) -- "When I'm swept up by the Rapture, grab the wheel of my pickup" -- it's late here and random synapses are firing), but if you've not come across Terry Pratchett I think you would probably enjoy him for the most part.

4/24/2006 2:52 am  
Blogger DuctapeFatwa said...

Yes, I admit I threatened someone with the suggestion that the folks at their local mosque would be glad to see them, and happy to talk with them.

It was truly a chilling moment in blog history.

I don't really mind the personal attacks, because if the people who have that need can get it out on an old Muslim man on a blog, if they can just keep sitting there at the computer and not go out on the street and vent it on someone they perceive to be Other, then maybe I have saved a life.

As soon as I wrote that I realized that the saving a life part was also my answer every time someone asks why I blog at all, I guess this is one of those times and places where it is basically about trying to save one life if you can, and that is going to color (no pun intended) pretty much everything you do or don't do.

4/24/2006 3:09 am  
Blogger dove said...

Well -- they're better than the BJP (it would be pretty difficult to be worse I think) -- but I think I know a bit what you mean. My husband calls it the evil of two lessers, though usually he's referring to U.S. politics.

You wouldn't bore me with history or policy lessons BTW. Far from it.

Nanette -- I remember the post you mean. It was utterly ridiculous. I think you're right about fear -- I think that also in there is the fear of pursuing a moral argument to its logical conclusion, and having to change your life because of it, or else, think of yourself differently. Much easier and more comfortable to fall back into that ready made chorus.

4/24/2006 3:10 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nanette, I think you are right---fear it is. What DTF does is knock over the bases of our assumptions, our unquestioned premises, and that can certainly lead to fear and insecurity. But to respond in such a filthy manner....sorry, I have not yet gotten over it.

They (at BT) pay lip-service to being citizens of the world--but ...

Not being coherent, just puzzled and immeasurably pissed off.

oh dove, I love the discworld series--am currently re-re-reading the Lancre novels. I want to be Granny Weatherwax when I grow up.


4/24/2006 3:15 am  
Blogger Nanette said...

poco, I also wouldn't be bored with wonkish history or policy. Well, maybe I would with policy, but I would still learn something! And I'd love to learn about Indian poetry too.

dove, it's surprising to me how near the surface all this stuff is... the xenophobia and racism and all of that. The lack of taking things to their conclusion frustrates me sometimes... it seems right before there is a bit of a breakthrough of light, people either shut off the conversation or sweep off and leave and things are just left hanging.

There is still a profound lack of understanding among many, it seems, at just what the objection was to that entire Mohammed posting.

Ductape, I too am in awe of your patience. Me, I mind the personal attacks against you... and I mind that people seem to think it's okay to just say anything.

4/24/2006 3:38 am  
Anonymous spinster said...

Very nice writing, dove. You have a beautiful way with words.

Just a thought as someone who lurks at BT. DTF has never (as far as I know) revealed anything about his nationality, heritage, religion or race, so how could those who disagree with him be xenophobes? Just wondering.

4/24/2006 4:45 am  
Blogger DuctapeFatwa said...

Nanette, thank you for minding them, and consider yourself hugged till you squeak!

Of course on a human level, it hurts my feelings, but I would much rather have my feelings hurt than have someone else hurt, or worse, in real life, and because as dove so tactfully puts it, "those kind of sentiments" are intensifying daily, that consideration has to also intensify.

I think you are very insightful, as I said in an email to someone else, when I re-read the thread that caused so much anger, I noticed that absolutely every comment I made contained the same things I had said numerous times before. And some of the same people who had agreed with me were now claiming outrage!

So why would the same comment be praised one day and cursed the next, by the same people? People who were not even seizing this on a platter opportunity to point out that I had said it all before, and why don't I get some new material?

To be fair, they were claiming outrage at things I never said, and frequently were the opposite of what I did say, but the fact that they had that need, that it was so strong that even people who generally are readers and thinkers were now just "losing it" made me realize that it does not really have anything to do with me.

I am coming to the conclusion that it has more to do with the rapid escalation of events far from the blogosphere, and the feeling of helplessness, which I share, of feeling very limited in what one can do.

So there is a need for someone to reassure them, tell them that very terrible things are not really happening, not going to happen, never did happen. I am guaranteed to disappoint there.

And I see also a need to have someone to blame it all on, and as the Other, the intruder, the Enemy in their midst, I am the obvious choice, and if I defiantly refuse to say the things that the Enemy should say, they will pretend I did, so they can say what is in their hearts.

And what a tragedy that it is in their hearts, in THOSE hearts!

What does it tell us about what is in hearts less well-read, less kind?

One thing they are right about, I am arrogant. I am arrogant in having seen this movie before, with a different cast. I know the whole story line, the dialogue, the only thing that neither I nor anybody knows is just how it will all play out with the new technology. But wait. That technology is not really new, and I know how it plays out. At least with just a couple of incidents, in a couple of cities. Nobody really knows how it will end this time, with some of the new advancements, and so many incidents in so many cities.

Maybe going a little bit "nuts" on an internet blog is a healthy reaction to an unhealthy situation?

4/24/2006 8:03 am  
Blogger DuctapeFatwa said...

poco, do you get the same kick I do out of the nearly identical things said about Congress vs BJP and Democrats vs Republicans?

BJP's best choice for a campaign slogan is "Hey, we're not Shiv Sena.."

and Congress's best choice is "Hey, we're not Shiv Sena either, plus we got Sonia."

Now help me shut my mouth. Do not, repeat DO NOT enable me. You do not want to get me started on South Asia. Really. You are just asking for a book-length rant on the lasting damage of colonialism, the evil of Partition (Hey boys and girls, did you know the east had its very own Holocaust too?), and just WHEN, in hours and minutes, did they show Jinnah that damn map?

4/24/2006 8:15 am  
Blogger DuctapeFatwa said...

spinster, my views on Internet security are mentioned in the Anti-Terrorism Safety Checklist:

I would strongly recommend keeping online and offline activities and personas separate and unconnectible.

Do not use your real name or other identifiable contact info online. Do not give this information to other people. You may trust that other person, but do you trust the unknown third party who may view the data on their computer without their permission?

Would you want that other person that you like and trust so much to have knowledge that could be of interest to hostile entities? Hostile entities who would not hesitate to use "pressure" against that other person, even their family members, in an effort to obtain that information?

Do not put others or yourself at risk..

And here is another very insightful article on the subject, from XicanoPwr's excellent blog

4/24/2006 8:27 am  
Blogger DuctapeFatwa said...

dove, I thank you and beg forgiveness for abusing your generous hospitality with such a graphic demonstration of what it means to be Brevity-Impaired.

Please do not hesitate to invite me to stanch the flow and take it over to my own blog.

My excuse is that I felt compelled to answer these comments, and you are my honorary great-granddaughter so I have made myself rather bold.

I will try to do better. And shorter.

4/24/2006 8:33 am  
Blogger dove said...

You're my honorary grandfather. Grandfathers are supposed to feel at home, no? And while some may have labelled you 'brevity-impaired' others think that sometimes concision, like consistency, can be a hobgoblin of little minds.

So -- be loquacious, garrulous, concise, blunt, or terse as occasion and whim demand. And be those things here.

For what it's worth, I hate what's happening to you over there, not least because I think some of the invective directed at you should by rights be coming my way and because I haven't taken my share of that flak.

4/24/2006 9:04 pm  
Anonymous spinster said...

Respectfully, DTF, I agree with internet security and I too try to maintain a low profile. But my point is if a commenter does not know a certain person's race, nationality or religion how is it possible to be accused of being a xenophobe when he/she disagrees with the poster.

Having read the thread you speak of and the charges of your being arrogant, I can see where that belief comes from. You possess a moral certitude that is disquieting in it's breadth.

I could not help but think that the last alleged audio tape from OBL said some of the same things you were saying in that thread, mainly that average Americans are responsible for the decisions by our dear leaders because we elected him. Both of you give no weight to the 48 million of us who did not vote for him.

If we are to blame for the deeds of Bush & Co, would it also be fair to say that, if you are indeed Muslim, that you are responsible for the actions of Islamic terrorists like OBL who, like it or not, is one of the most prominent faces of Islam?

Just as I would never blame you for the actions of Islamic terrorists, so I am not surprised that many in that thread took issue with the arrogant way you painted everyone with the same brush.

Again, I respect you tremendously, and I have read a great deal both at BT and at your own blog over the past year.

4/24/2006 9:05 pm  
Blogger dove said...


"Just a thought as someone who lurks at BT. DTF has never (as far as I know) revealed anything about his nationality, heritage, religion or race, so how could those who disagree with him be xenophobes? Just wondering."

Let me try and tackle that question. Probably in 'brevity-impaired' fashion.

Part of me wants to agree with DTF that actually, it's not about him per se. Or at least it's not about his identity -- although at least indirectly, it probably is about his political commitments.

I think what makes one xenophobic is not that one disagrees with a particular person --or even that one disagrees with a person of different ethnicity or citizenship from oneself (or whatever the dimension of difference may be).

What matters is the content of the disagreement -- what the disagreement is about.

What makes one xenophobic is not the identity of one's interlocutor, but one's expression of xenophobic opinions, one's revelation of xenophobic assumptions and/or behaviours -- and particularly such expressions from a position of relative structural power. Which might seem to bring ones interlocutor straight back in, but doesn't necessarily: much of the most racist behaviour I've observed, for example, has been among white people who thought they were 'among their own.'

All of which is another way of saying that people are moral agents.

But being contrarian and awkward by nature, part of me wants to disagree with DTF and with what I've just said and say that actually -- a lot of it (or at least a lot of why he gets so much invective sent his way and I don't, when so far as I can tell our political commitments and beliefs overlap substantially) is about his identity.

Or rather, what people infer about his identity from his political commitments and his writing.

And one can make inferences. I certainly have. The image I have of DTF is of a man, about the right age to be my grandfather, Muslim, almost certainly not white (my guess would be part of the diaspora from the Indian sub-continent, but it's not a confident guess), living somewhere in the U.S. either as a citizen or as a permanent resident.

My inferences may be quite mistaken, but I suspect I'm not the only person to have made them.
And I also suspect that part of why (despite what I take to be fairly similar political convictions) DTF gets targeted personally in a way that I don't there has to do with the inferences people make about our respective identities.

4/24/2006 10:11 pm  
Anonymous spinster said...

Very eloquent and I agree with most of it. But the reason DTF is met with such invective is that he is confrontational and condescending in his manner.

Most of the time I agree with him and am in awe of his gift for word-writing. But in this one thread, on this one topic he was rude and insulting and was met with the same in return.

4/24/2006 10:15 pm  
Blogger DuctapeFatwa said...

No, it's not about me. If I ever thought it was, I realized my mistake when I looked back through my comments and found not one thing that I had not said before, at least several times. :)

BooMan once compared it to a bag of golf clubs, that he could be sure, if he said thing A, I would pull out club X, if he said thing B, there I'd go for club Y. It made me laugh then, and it still does, because he is right.

The basic issues discussed on most blogs nowadays can be boiled down to a handful of well, basic issues. So one does not need a very extensive repertoire, as it were, especially if one is blessed with sufficient moral certainty that under no circumstances is it OK for say Syrian or Malaysian gunmen to invade and occupy spinster's country, come to his town, shoot up his neighbors, kick down his door, slap his wife around, blow the limbs off his children, haul his sons off to torture camp, and shoot him if he objects to this.

Should that occur, spinster can count on me to support his right, and aid him in his duty to defend his home against that brutal horde.

Even if the invading country has a lot of money and the politicians have exceptional hair and very expensive designer suits.

So most of it is not about me, obviously the eagerness to obtain personal information about me is about me in a way, but still only symbolically.

Michele Malkin has inspired many in the past, and continues to do so, and I would strongly suggest to anyone considering making personal information available on the internets that they read XP's article before taking that step.

Anyway spinster, I realize I wrote some long posts late last night, but since all of these things are discussed at length therein, I would ask the favor that you allow me not to repeat it all, but merely scroll up, if that is not too taxing.

4/25/2006 12:48 am  
Blogger poco said...

Hi spinster,

I am not sure I agree with you regarding DTF's tone--though I haven't gone back and looked at the thread again--the diary is too long and my computer is too old--so forgive me if I am missing something.

I thought that his comments were exquisitely crafted to make us rethink our easy assumptions and yes, they did make some of us a bit uncomfortable.

I have read a number of essays (some in international media, some right here in the US) that have berated all of us residents in the US for not doing more to end the horror that the US and its policies have become for the rest of the world. In fact, there have been attacks on those of us who have marched and rallied against the policies of the US, for marching like it was a fun picnic, for not having our outrage more apparent, for not doing more to make our determination to stop these horrors more a part of our protests. I have read those and have felt embarrassed and ashamed at the lack of my own determination to do more. Not easy reading, I will admit--because all I want to say is, "Damnit! I and my friends are doing the best we can, so shut up with all your holier-than-thou attitude."

But I don't get the luxury of tuning these voices off--by choosing to live in this country I have to, willy-nilly, bear the blame for its policies, just as I benefit from its exploitation of the rest of the world. There is no way to live in this country as a hanging -by -my -fingernails- middle-class person and not benefit from the oppression and exploitation of world so the responsibility for the horrors it unleashes must be mine as well. Refusing to vote for the greater of two evils is not an adequate alibi, I think, and recognition of the paucity of our protests is precisely what makes us defensive.

Well this was a long detour (whew!)--back to DTF-- he has over and over and over expressed his admiration and solidarity for all of us who do whatever little we do to oppose current US policies. And there has never been any berating in any of his posts. But he has exposed the hollowness of our anti-establishmentarianism by calling attention to our easy solidarity with the weapons that the US uses to be the horror that it is.

Brevity-impairment is a contagious disease, I think. Sorry for going on at such great length.


4/25/2006 12:51 am  
Blogger DuctapeFatwa said...

poco, thank you for reminding me, I do not think that I can hope to express adequately my admiration for those who resist a brutal regime, and at no small risk to themselves, stand up for human rights, for human decency.

None of us can control the behavior of more than one person. We can decide what WE will or will not do, and of course we can do our best to impart our values to our descendants.

Whatever happens, it is ourselves with which we must live, our own faces that will look back at us in the mirror, our own descendants who will ask us what and why and why not.

If our own conscience is at peace, we cannot ask more of ourselves. What can we ask of others, or more pertinently, what can the American Resistance ask of its loyalist countrymen?

Like the question of whether Americans should defend the constitution or the Patriot Act, I will leave that to the Americans to decide, though as catnip revealed, the secret ingredient of course that all issues boil down to human rights. And one is left with that essence, all those shiny globules of pragmatism having melted away, as the screams continue from the facility, each person can only decide what is right for him or her...

4/25/2006 1:45 am  
Blogger dove said...

Well poco -- I think I found a new sig.

"Refusing to vote for the greater of two evils is not an adequate alibi"

And I think you need to write longer comments more often.

"So most of it is not about me, obviously the eagerness to obtain personal information about me is about me in a way, but still only symbolically.

Hmmm. I think you're probably right.

4/25/2006 7:42 am  
Blogger DuctapeFatwa said...

I'd like to second the call for more long comments from poco.

And I'd like to give my honorary great granddaughter a large squeaky hug, just because.


4/25/2006 7:50 pm  

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