Your Own Death
June 14, 2002
By Bridget Gibson
week we learned of an American citizen, Jose Padillo, whom
they have taken to permanent detention purgatory. Attorney
General John Ashcroft and George W. Bush have stripped him
of all rights. His crime? Looking something up on the Internet.
Will he get a hearing? No. Can he have an attorney to represent
him? No. Have they charged him with a crime? No. He is the
first of a new breed in America. Let's call it the "Disappeared."
How many more American citizens will they allow this junta
to disappear before our country wakes up? I think one is too
many. However, knowing the complacency with which the vast
majority view the workings of our government, a thousand will
be too few to even signal to them that they, too, are at risk.
Soon, your son or daughter, doing research for a term paper
or science project, could stumble into the abyss of questionable
knowledge. And you, dear citizens, will say "they should not
need to know these things." You will attempt to limit their
knowledge because you are threatened by those that might know
more than you. You have allowed yourselves to become the land
of the stupid and the world of the coward. You are unwilling
to stand your ground and represent the worst of the worst.
You have failed this country and you are failing your children.
You have allowed the monsters that you have created to begin
their blood fest and you do not care who they eat.
"Feed them the poor," "feed them the foreigner," "feed them
the needy," "feed them anyone they want." Those have been
your underlying mantras as you have cravenly allowed them
to strip the Constitution and Bill of Rights. A nick here,
a chip there, here a bit, there a bit, everywhere a little
bit. Feed the monster as long as you can. Pretty soon it will
begin to eat you, too.
You have fed the monster by buying into the slick commercialism
and consumerism of greed. There's a big case of the "I got
mines" and screw everybody else. Keep me safe and I will continue
to shop at Walmart, continue to drive my gas guzzling SUV
for pleasure and commuting. Who cares that the environment
cannot continue to support your greed. "Go and exploit some
other country" you cry. Don't look at Enron's human rights
abuses in Burma. Don't look at Halliburton's chicanery with
Iraq. Don't look, don't look because you might see where you
have fallen on your own sword.
"Give me some sexy story" you beg the television. Show me
some gore and blood, you plead. Let's see some killing fields
in the movie theater, you cry.
And now your denials. I didn't do that. How could my shopping
preferences have lead to this? you ask. When have you told
yourself "no?" Never. Why do you think that is what you see
on the news and at the movies? Because you buy it. Why do
you think your downtown and business districts have failed?
Because you buy at Walmart, looking for a "good" deal. Well,
you have dealt yourselves a handful of crap. You have allowed
the sprawl-marts to take your local jobs (the grocer, the
baker, the butcher, the pharmacist, the bookseller) and turn
them into "door greeters" that work part-time jobs that pay
minimum wage and no benefits. You have allowed them to concentrate
all of the money from your neighborhood into one big nasty
pocket of ooze.
You have lost your towns and now you are losing your rights.
Soon, you too can have a place next to Jose Padillo, for looking
something up on the Internet.
You have lined up to give up your rights and in the process
you have taken mine. You have supported the destruction of
the American way of life for blind consumerism and the momentary
titillation of your senses. You have declared the wealthy
as a superior class and have forgotten that they have made
their billions at the taxpayer's expense. You have ignored
the hypocrisy of the right-wing ideologues and the blatant
spin of the politicians. You have allowed all that is good
in life to be corrupted by your own complicity and complacency.
Just remember that you are not at the top of the feeding chain
and you are next in their path.
Today is Flag Day. While you stand there saluting and waving
that flag that supposedly represents all that is America,
you might check out that little tag in the corner. If it doesn't
say "Made in USA," perhaps you should question where the jobs
and prosperity have gone. And remember that things have a
way of happening when you are not watching. If you do not
become more vigilant, your liberties and way of life will
soon be "disappeared."