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17 September 2009 @ 02:16 pm
Take my rights, but hands off my bills!  
Jon Carroll recently quoted "a useful rant from reader Ray Welch"; this is phrased succinctly enough that I think it deserves greater distribution:
We live in a country where many people think it's great, even imperative, for the federal government to snoop on our phone calls, e-mail and library records, to deploy a private militia accountable to no one (Blackwater, or whatever it calls itself now), to give the president "unitary" powers during a state of perpetual war, to hold people under arrest indefinitely without charge and torture them in undisclosed locations, to search without a warrant (using so-called national security letters) and to disseminate internal propaganda, but bad, even evil, for the federal government to manage health care, because that might give it too much power, which it would abuse.

My government can detain me indefinitely without a warrant and turn me over to Blackwater to be tortured, and lie to my family about where I am, but a federal health care program - now that is verging on totalitarianism.
Current Mood: annoyedannoyed
sophia_sol on September 17th, 2009 06:39 pm (UTC)
...and this is why I am so glad I don't live in the U.S.
michelel72: SGA-Rodney-Worriedmichelel72 on September 17th, 2009 06:50 pm (UTC)
Yeah, I frequently envy Canada. I know it's not all puppies and unicorns up there, but ... yeah.
sophia_sol on September 18th, 2009 03:21 am (UTC)
Mmm, wouldn't it be wonderful if it were all puppies and unicorns? *grin* But then all in all I think maybe we're better off as we are, warts and all. I mean, far too often a utopian society is just a dystopia in disguise, and it would just plain suck to be stuck in Brave New World or similar.
michelel72: DS-Quote-CoffeeStupidmichelel72 on September 18th, 2009 03:34 am (UTC)
Or Logan's Run. Heh. But as someone stuck in the middle of a political dialogue between "We have aggressively stupid positions, shouted loudly, and we hate you!" and "But we're in charge ... okay, okay, whatever you want, just please like me!" ... I'm not saying utopia, but I'm pretty durn sure we could do better than this. :
Seth Gordonsethg_prime on September 17th, 2009 06:42 pm (UTC)
No, no, no, no. My government can detain swarthy foreigners and dirty hippies indefinitely without a warrant....
michelel72: DS-Quote-CoffeeStupidmichelel72 on September 17th, 2009 06:52 pm (UTC)
Funny story: No such requirement. Which, I know, I know, the assumption is that's the only way their trusted Dear Leader would ever use it ... but again, the whole "the guy who abused power would never abuse power, but expanding Medicare would give the government power it couldn't help but abuse!" ... bleh.
Seth Gordonsethg_prime on September 17th, 2009 07:31 pm (UTC)
But I think that's the underlying psychology. Bush was One Of Us and therefore every kind of arbitrary executive power was justified, because he was protecting Us from Them. Obama is One Of Them[*] and therefore everything he does is part of his scheme to steal from Us and give to Them. The hard-core Republican base seems to be taking these ideas as axioms and any fact pattern can be interpreted to make it consistent with those axioms. Republicans who don't believe those axioms to be true can nevertheless understand that if they want the hard-core base on their side, they have to tell it what it wants to hear.

A month or two ago, the Obama Administration announced that anyone who got email making specious claims about health care reform could forward the email to somethingorother@whitehouse.gov, and then they'd get a response refuting the claims. An anchor for Faux News jumped all over this, claiming Obama is collecting the email addresses of everyone who disagrees with him! He's compiling an enemies list!

[*]his race being one aspect of his Them-ness, but not the only one
michelel72: DS-Quote-TeachToCowmichelel72 on September 19th, 2009 02:05 am (UTC)
Yes, it depresses me profoundly that people can be so very stupid and so pandered to. Bush collects every phone call and email ever? Oh, he's just protecting us! Obama asks for voluntary submission of emails that make idiotic claims? It's an evil plot!! pfeh. And while I'm sure it's not only about race (see: Clinton years), I'm also quite sure it's a factor, yeah. I just wish both Obama and his party would quit caving.
Essie: None of it Means a Damn Thingsentientcitizen on September 18th, 2009 03:15 am (UTC)
I'd love to say that this sort of stuff baffles and amuses me, but actually it's more like "nervous apprehension and stunned disbelief". Because while every American I've ever met as an individual was a wonderful human being, sometimes the mob mind down there scares the hell out of me. :(
michelel72: DS-Jon-Frightenedmichelel72 on September 18th, 2009 03:25 am (UTC)
You're not the only one. Depending on how you met the Americans you've met, I wonder if it's a matter of self-selection. Speaking very broadly, many of the folk who subscribe to this stuff don't tend to wander very far outside their specific neighborhoods and circles; Canada isn't demonized nearly so much as Mexico, but they're both still "foreign" and therefore suspect (drug importation from Canada of course exempted!). I don't meet these people in person, though I know there are some in my city and even in my workplace ....
Seth Gordonsethg_prime on September 18th, 2009 03:21 pm (UTC)
michelel72: DS-Quote-CoffeeStupidmichelel72 on September 19th, 2009 01:56 am (UTC)
Oh, yes, I caught a piece of that in last night's "Rachel Maddow". (I haven't watched the whole thing yet.) At least that one's got a good mockery:dire ratio.
lyrstzha: Workplace Illyria: smithereenlyrstzha on September 18th, 2009 10:51 pm (UTC)
Word. And if I hear the phrase "Nazi socialist" one more damn time, I think I may begin whacking offenders roundly about the head with history and political science textbooks.
michelel72: DS-Jon-Headdeskmichelel72 on September 19th, 2009 02:00 am (UTC)
Amen. You know, my internet stalker called me a 'liberal fascist' and started bringing in the Nazis back when I posted a brief note about my pleasure that the attempt to amend the Massachusetts constitution to forbid gay marriage failed. I mocked and mocked as I user-blocked. (The icing? Stalker turned out to be my brother ... who claims he helped his now-wife against her own internet stalker. We're ... not close.)
lyrstzha: Riverwtf: maryavatarlyrstzha on September 19th, 2009 06:15 am (UTC)
Liberal fascist---there's another one that makes me want to do bloody violence while explaining that randomly stringing together words that frighten you does not actually create meaningful phrases. Not even if you throw in bonus Nazis on top.

And whoa, your brother? True, I know most stalkers have some personal connection to their stalkees, and that's definitely a connection, but damn.