2006-10-28

Bush Moves Toward Martial Law

An article on Toward Freedom details a bill signed into law recently by President Bush which removes restrictions on his ability to declare martial law within the United States. It leaves me wondering what's left. I've seen laws rewritten, removed, bent, and broken - eminent domain, habeas corpus, and now martial law; I've seen rights and privileges eroded - education, health care; I've seen treaties ignored - the Geneva conventions, which we signed, and the Kyoto treaty, which we did not; I've seen our government trick and corrupt the United Kingdom and the United Nations. Even if we manage to oust the Republicans from office, I'm beginning to wonder if it won't already be too late by the time we have the chance - in two years, will we have any rights left? How many enemies will we have by then? I worry too that we may face a time very soon when our greatest fear is no longer international terrorism, but terrorism from within; the terrorism peddled by the White House, the Senate, and the House; terrorism peddled by MSNBC and FOX News; terrorism so insidious we don't even realize it's already happening, and it's already having a deeper impact than any bomb ever could.

My girlfriend recently flew to Los Angeles on a business trip. On this trip, they searched her bags, and found some prescriptions (in her name, of course), and some makeup (under 3 oz). They wanted to take the medications until she called in a manager to verify that the GIANT SIGN in the terminal was correct, that she was in fact allowed to keep her prescriptions. But the original security examiner, upset that he had to call his manager, and upset at having been proven wrong, instead confiscated the makeup, which he had been ready to let her take aboard. Purely vindictive.

I will say this: they have, more or less, the right idea: it isn't the Al-Kamirs we need to worry about, it's the Smiths. It's not furriners, it's 'mercans. But what they have wrong is that terror isn't in your makeup or your meds, it's not even in your luggage: it's in your mind. When we carry ideas around the country - wrong-headed, mob-mentality, un-thought-out, angry, fearful ideas, we land with a bomb in our heads, a bomb that goes of slowly, over hours and days and weeks, a biological weapon that infects everyone we talk to and everyone we judge and everyone we persecute, a weapon more powerful than a nuclear bomb, a weapon sneakier than a stealth bomber, a weapon more accurate than a laser-guided missile.

Ideas are the most powerful weapon of all - and the most powerful medicine, the most powerful defense, the most powerful single thing in the world. So many of our ideas today are dangerous, they're weapons of terror inflicted upon ourselves and each other every minute of every day. But just as these ideas have been given to us to use on one another, so too can ideas be passed around which save us from the terror, ideas which mend the wounds of propaganda, ideas that can save the country and save the world.

So please, please, I beg you - have a good idea. Do it today. Do it now. And when you've got it, share it with everyone you know and everyone you see.

It's the only thing that can save us now.
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