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land of the free press, home of the brave idiots

Eliot Weinberger asks, What is Happening in America?

The screed is several paragraphs long, but here is the most telling line:

Most of all, America doesn't feel like America any more. The climate of militarism and fear, similar to any totalitarian state, permeates everything.

And you know, he's right. Don't you see how protesters are being rounded up and shot? How all the people with Impeach Bush bumper stickers on their cars are being pulled over, dragged out their vehicles and beaten to death?

It's a shame how Michael Moore and Susan Sarandon were exiled to Siberia for speaking out on national television against the president. And poor Sean Penn, executed in a very public hanging at Yankee Stadium.

The writers for liberal papers like the San Fransisco Chronicle have been silenced, their offices trashed and burned, the reporters missing in action.

The National Guard stands on every corner on every street in America, making sure you walk in a straight line and salute every single flag you see and they will shoot you for so much as littering.

The women of our country have become downtrodden, forced to wear veils and quit their jobs so they can stay home and subjugate to their husbands. Their kids are sent off to the service at only 15, whether they want to go or not.

Yes, this country is quite the police state. The fear is palpable. I mean, you don't even see protesters anymore. Indymedia has been shut down out of fear. Bloggers are closing up shop. We are like frightened, scared little children who look to our lord and savior, George W. Bush, for the answers to everything because we can't come up with any on our own. Our minds have been brainwashed, our lives have been taken over and totalitarianism wreaks havoc on all of our lives.

What is happening in America? This, I see:

Perhaps it cannot be stopped, but the first step toward slowing it down is the recognition that this is an American government unlike any other in this country's history, and one for whom democracy is an obstacle.

Perhaps the author has never heard of this little country called Iran?

These running-at-the-mouth anti-Bush revelers are clueless when it comes to freedom and democracy. They think this country sucks? Have they ever stepped foot inside of a country where thoughts like theirs would get them killed? I doubt it. To them, America is evil, Bush is the devil and freedom and democracy is only worth fighting for if it's for your own country.

What's happening in America? I can tell you this - it's not the squashing of dissent. It's quite ironic that a person should pen such a diatribe against a country that allows him to write such garbage and not have to face any death threats for it. It takes very little bravery to write a few anti-Bush paragraphs in this country.

Try talking shit abour your leader somewhere else and you'll feel the blade of the sword upon your neck within minutes. That, my friend, is a climate of militarism and fear. Not making faces at the president from behind the protective glass of something called the First Amendment.

Of course, that same freedom of speech allows me to not only read this garbage, but to spread it around as if I were showing off an ugly boil on the author's ass.

See, on the internet, everyone knows you're a jerk. Just ask Bill O'Reilly.

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Comments

Dissent all you want, noone cares except Bill O'Reilly but download an MP3 off the internet and people care especially Orrin Hatch who wants to destroy you computer if you do. True, he's an idiot, but he's an idiot in power. Hopefully, noone will take him seriously.

No one has ever taken Orrin Hatch seriously. I mean -- his name, "Orrin Hatch." Is that straight out of bad sci fi, or what? Surely his constituents keep electing him for the comedy value. "That Senator Hatch -- what will he come up with next! The lovable scamp!"

I swear that sometimes I think these people live in their own personal Twilight Zone.

Could someone dircet me to the nearest recruiting office of the Ashcroft Iron-Booted Dissent Squishing Brigade?

I can't find it in my local yellow pages.

MonkeyPants
Imperial Falconer

Did this guy miss any of the popular cliches? I thought he might not hit on "imperialist" but he picked that one up in his final catch-all paragraph.

Who the hell is Eliot Weinberger anyway?

They remind me of the militia movement and the "black helicopter" crowd. Just delusional.

THANK YOU, thank you, thank you.

I have an old friend - brother to my dearest friend, who is a raging believer in the existence of the Amerikkkan reich. I was foolish enough to read his blog and comment - very politely, trying to explain my point of view, similar to yours. For that, I was equated with Hitler, the Anti-Sedition act, and told to wear a sheet.

Of course, these accusations are totally bogus, and anyone with half a brain knows it. It woudn't bother me if this were an anonymous person, it'd roll right off my back. But to see a person that I know personally, one with a once-brilliant mind letting it go to waste like this...sick and sad, as well as personally insulting. And guess what? He'll be a public school teacher this fall.

Sorry for the long comment, but you got to me. I wish I could get him to come read this, but he won't. He only reads people who agree with him.

I don't know if my view will be taken seriously, but in a way the person is correct. We have lost alot of freedoms in the name of, what? Holding people and denying them their rights that they are guranteed? During Bush's administration we've lost a good deal of liberties and we might loose more. I fear that and I vote against it. It's really the only thing (besides economic policy) that I disagree with the administration on.

Chris,

Perhaps you can enlighten us, what freedoms and rights, exactly, have we lost?

Who is Weinberger?
I asked google.
The first hit said it all: Eliot Weinberger - The Academy of American Poets.

I will go out tonight to see if I can find -The climate of militarism and fear, similar to any totalitarian state, permeates everything. I seemed to have missed it.

Cacique: The right to be an illegal alien and not be deported seems to be the one in most jeopardy, in terms of actual data.

Remember, it's not that rights are particularly being Trampled On By Evil Bush specifically (statism creeps on no matter who's in the White House, generally)... but it's the fact that the continuing very slow erosion of some rights happened While The Wrong Guy Was In Power that's the problem.

If the Correct Person was in power, there would be little uproar from most of those complaining now (and, sadly, more uproar from a portion of those now silent) - while the probably correct response is moderate and sensible inquiry and complaint about actual excesses no matter which party's man is President.

Don't hold your breath for that one, of course.

You are correct, America is better than your average totalitarian state. But look at how much has changed.

Bush was selected president by a supreme court that was fraught with conflict of interests (not going to go into details), Patriot act 1 and now 2, killing of American citizens without trail in Yemen, holding american citizens in prison without a trail, not to forget all the non-citizens that were held and deported illegally and the list goes on.

The question is do we wait till we become a totalitarian regime? I don't think we'll ever get as bad as all the examples you gave in your blog but that's no reason to be complacent.

Chris, you must be joking!

The right to be an illegal alien and not be deported seems to be the one in most jeopardy, in terms of actual data.

There never was a right to be an ILLEGAL alien and not be deported. Claiming a right to do something ILLEGAL without punishment is simply absurd. And good on the Bush administration for enforcing the laws against illegal immigration to their fullest instead of the slipshod manner of the past.

Sorry Chris, that's Sigivald, you must be joking!

Neeraj, get over 2000. Bush got the votes, all the Supremes did was slap the Florida court that tried to steal it.

Killing of citizens in Yemen without trial - if they are illegal combatants, so what?

Holding American citizens in prison without a trial - Yeah, I agree on this but exactly how many is that? I think there is one and even that is a trial that will ultimately happen.

The Patriot act - okay, but why are you so up in arms about Bush? He's not the one who voted on it in Congress. And really now, it doesn't do a lot more than what was done by Clinton with a Democratic Senate and no wartime footing.

Non-citizens deported illegally - Pray tell, HOW? It is not illegal to deport non-citizens. They have no "right" to be here, they are here as guests and at the pleasure of the government. They may be asked to leave at any time and for any reason (lawyers can correct me on the details, but that's the gist) and deported if they refuse. There is absolutely nothing "illegal" about it.

Aside to Faith - I think Sigivald was being sarcastic with that statement.

Thanks Ken. I got so outraged I didn't take the time to check. That Eliot idiot had me too riled up.

Sigivald, my apologies.

Chris seems to have missed the entire point Michele had made in her response to Eliot's diatribe.

Have no fear about losing your freedoms in our country, our democracy operates on a blessed treasure called the "checks and balance" system, totalitarianism cannot exist in such a state.

What I like is that a GERMAN periodical published this.

They know what a real police state is like.

Seriously, if W is creating a police state, he really is a nincompoop. He isn't getting it right. You have to simply disappear people. And then when their families show up to protest their disappearance, you send men to beat them with sticks, and then you confiscate their property to reuse as a school or some such.

He may have a point. Have you heard anything lately from Janeane Garofalo? Susan Sarandon? Barbra Streisand? Nope. Because they've all been rounded up and put into internment camps because they dared to speak out. When will the madness stop?

internet camps? that sounds fun. how do I get in one of those?

Remember in the Twighlight ZOne Movie when bigot Vic Morrow was magically transported to Nazi Germany as a Jew? WOuldn't it be great if these imbeciles could be transferred for just a day to the Soviet Gulag so that they can learn what oppression is?

Amazing....that this "terrible" country even allows me to post to this blog.......While I am saddened to see some of the changes to our freedoms, I am mature enough to recognize that we are very fortunate to be able to express our views on the Internet and elsewhere without fear of being hunted down. I am in agreement with Michele....we ARE free.....

Oh! Come and see the violence inherent in the system! Help! Help! I'm being repressed!

Gee... you mean, someone started up leftist-hunting, dissent-squashing, dorm-room-socialist-brualizing death squads?

Right here in the US?

AND THEY DIDN'T INVITE ME???

ungrateful wretches.

My sister sent me that whole letter.

I was unable to point out the myriad lies, distortions of context and utter cluelessness. I was only able to delete about 20 lines out of my reply (which was sent to her by one of her offcemates, I can only hope she forwards my reply to them).

Nowadays, I guess they call that a fisking, but in my old USENET days, we just called it a reply.

I pointed out that the fact that this had been printed rather seriously underminded the concept that he was promoting.

It would probably have been better to limit my reply to ridiculing one sentance, as well.

Addison