Saturday, September 16, 2006

Across the Desert

by RW Spisak

I'd like to ask you to join me for a few minutes on a walk, across a desert to the citadel where humanity’s future lives. It is defended by our colleagues; The Electronic Freedom Foundation, the Bill of Right Coalition, People for the American Way, Move-On, UUs and a few others.

We few march across a perilous, dangerous and hostile desert. Beset on every side, by well-armed and well financed enemies. A Right Wing establishment of think tanks and opinion-meisters, financed by right-wing corporate and media interests with friends in very high places.

I don't need to remind you, of a major right-wing religious figure who blamed us, the ACLU for the disaster of Katrina in New Orleans and the Gulf Coast. In a world where the leader of millions of Catholics reaches back to the fourteen century when the Holy Roman Catholic Empire confronted the Muslim Empire for a quote, to insult todays faithful Muslims.

Nor need I remind you of the out-going governor of this state, who when faced with a successful citizen initiative on class size, confided to his cronies, nearly off-mike, that he had a devious plan to circumvent the people's will. In the same state which contracted a right-wing computer company to purge legitimate voters from the state rolls, who might otherwise have the temerity to vote while black. In a state where a “would-be” senator, expresses her belief, that “the separation of church and state is a lie”. And the where the states, largest school district, continues it’s legal battle to ban a book for kindergarteners, for not being sufficiently politically correct.

In a nation whose protectors of the public airwaves the FCC, pounce on nudity and documentary language as reprehensible, while winking at violence and burying reports on the truly damaging effect of the consolidation of corporate media voices.

In a nation where the commander in chief only yesterday issued a challenge “that unless he can dispense with the Bill of Rights and rule outside and above the rule of law”, he will be unable to defend the country against it’s enemies. Not only denying habeus corpus, but access to attorneys, and for some the special secret prison, without charges, without and beyond the rule of any law but whim. A government that has turned so completely away from civilized values, taking this great experiment in democracy to a place where justice is sought from the dunking chair and amidst the tortuous screams of the dungeon. He proclaimed these changes indispensable. And our constitution too readily dispensable.

I ask you this faced with these dangers what is our course?

If Leonidas of Sparta on his way to Thermopylae was asked to stop his march and instead give a reckoning of expenditures on weapons and sandals over the last five years in triplicate... Where would Xerxes have been stopped.

If on his way to Gettysburg, Grant was ordered to give a complete inventory of his weapons, horses, and heart, and only then, could he continue on to his appointment with Lee, would they still meet at Appomattox?

While we could stop and do an inventory of the hearts and minds, and investigate the optimum trajectory of our desires, on our way to support the beleaguered defenders, where Liberty's future huddles nearly friendless.

I say... March on, our leaders are fallible men and women, yes, but the danger is stark, March on defend humanity against those who call for a return to the dark ages. March on, my friends, for Liberty's sake for humanity's sake. For the sake of civilization.

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