I rarely do a "Quote of the Day", but this one - even more frighteningly relevant than it is satirical - had me LOL and shakin' m' head.
Not that this (The midnight knock on the door, incarceration at the whim of men in shiny boots, confessions obtained with a section of hose, secret trial by Star Chamber.) is a bad thing. Who am I to say? Maybe we've been too lenient with enemies of the state. A period of stark repression might be a rich and rewarding experience for all of us.

Garrison Keillor via Common Dreams

(emphasis mine)


  1. Hi, Michael,

    He might be right. It took Hitler's repression of Europe to galvanize that continent's more liberal and secular elements. The US has never experienced a truly evil, totalitarian regime, so we take our freedom for granted.

    Your might find this post at David Brin's blog interesting; he points to yet another parallel between today's America and Rome when it was losing its republic. (The key text starts about halfway down.)

  2. ..yet another parallel between today's America and Rome when it was losing its republic.

    Hey now Jay! Even when folks were cryin' over not being able to re-re-elect Reagan, whom I thoroughly despised as a President, I thought and felt it was oh so estupido that he couldn't run yet again.

    Then it was my turn to be pissed off cuz we couldn't maintain the Clinton Presidency as - much like my younger man's ill-considered take on former VP, Fritz Mondale - I just didn't think Al Gore (for whom I did vote) had the right ideas or competency for that job.

    I knew that amendment stemmed from the FDR years, but FDR was and, still is IMO, one of our Top 5 Presidents ever. Congress could and should have worked harded and more wisely to retract some of the more draconian (I'll only parenthetically submit, Fascist) of his policies. Alas that by the time of their opportunity to do such, great masses of mostly white peoples were benefitting too profitably and dependantly upon some of them. The brilliant and much needed cultural evolutionary development of Social Security was matched and - now it truly seems - subsumed by the feudally reminiscent mindset embodied by the infamous words: "As goes GM, so goes America".

    Having matured quite a bit in both my knowledge of history and understanding of both the Constitution and its preamble, I've grown to the conclusion that I was actually quite right in both my reasoning and my gut instincts.

    The problem with having long-term leaders stems from one simple and patently idiotic determination by both historical (and modern) aristocrats, and our SCOTUS' interpretation of the word Freedom: Money is no more speech than are weapons. If we as a nation do not limit the financial resources which candidates may bring to bear upon their election schemes, at the very least, to mandating equality of spending by both (and nearly all) parties seeking election, we will always have the sorts of problems resultant from our having a skewed picture of our choices.

    Money is the most efficacious tool for enacting glamorous subterfuge which humans have yet to develop. In its root, trunk, stem and leaves, Money is Power, NOT Freedom itself. By that empirical, demonstrable fact, can it be regulated by Constitutional means.

    Even if it means the mass of citizenry must then enrich our own awareness and comprehension of our political processes and the politicians who would govern our nations, regions and communities.

    Money is neutral; Until it is amassed to some empirically critical mass - one which is measurable by sociotally relevant standards - to a point where it becomes either morally Good or Evil. Productive or Destructive.

    Rome fell from Fear being bought and sold at the expense of Reason. America, the US and A*, could, and I merely say could, indeed be slipping down the same financially and militarily lubricated slope.

    Let's hope we've learned enough and have enough numbers of folks in these 2000 years later to prevent such an apocalyptic slippage of Civil Society from occuring once again.

    Now I'm off to read the Brin. I'd forgotten he has a blog, much less how much I've enjoyed his SF stories! Thanks for the reminder and it's Great to hear from you again amigo!

    * Borat is everywhere! on the tube it seems. If it comes to the cheap seats, then I'll definitely check it out before it hits the rental shelves.


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