Wednesday, March 30, 2005

Spreading Freedom! (limited offer...please read the fine print) 

I see where Laura Bush Takes Quick Trip to Afghanistan . Hm. Maybe her stash was getting low?

Meanwhile, if you thought I was exaggerating the increasing militarism along the border with Old Mexico, it’s just going to get worse: 500 Agents to Be Added to Arizona Border And the vigilantes are expanding, too, with support from the Birchers. Vicente Fox asked for the wall to be torn down. It really is just like the Israeli security wall. But it ain’t gonna happen. It’s gonna get longer and taller. They’ve gotta keep those brown people out, by gum. Why, most of them don’t even want to learn to speak American reel gud like Tancredo or aWol, the famous C student.

A friend asked me over coffee this morning the following riddle: “Why does Bush think it’s a bad role model to children to admit having smoked marijuana, but that it’s a good role model to children to brag about being a C student?” The answer, clearly, is national priorities—just look at the proposed budget. Plenty of $ for the War on Drugs that fills prisons with brown people, but slashes in public education.

As Garrison Keillor says in Home Grown Democrat,

We Democrats are at our worst when we lose touch with our principles—the protection of the powerless, paying attention to real consequences in the lives of real people and not flying on slogans or glib phrases—and we try to emulate Republicans as we did in signing onto the “war” on drugs that has ruined so many young lives. In our nation’s capital, nearly 50% of black men between 18 and 35 are either in prison or on probation or parole—nationally, it’s a human disaster: 6.6 million Americans in prison, nearly half of whom are black men. The cruelty of the Sentencing Reform Act of 1984 [!] is stark indeed, and of sentencing guidelines that impose mandatory minimum sentences for minor drug possession… no rational person can defend this, it is a Dostoevskian nightmare and it exists only because politicians fled in the face of danger. That includes Bill Clinton, under whose administration the prosecution of Americans for marijuana went up hugely so that now there are more folks in prison for marijuana than for violent crimes. More than for manslaughter or rape. This only makes sense in the fantasy world of Washington, where perception (X is “soft on drugs”) counts for more than reality. To an old Democrat, who takes a ground view of politics—What is the actual effect of this action on the lives of real people?—it is a foul tragedy that makes you feel guilty about enjoying your freedom.

And the ones who get out of prison with a felony rap can’t vote to change the system that sent them there, either. Meanwhile, fuggedabout going to college, pal, or finishing high school, because education spending is getting slashed, especially at tribal colleges where revenue is already a perennial issue.

So, let’s summarize the nightmare: (1) don’t let “them” in the country; (2) bust “them” for nonviolent consensual crimes and make them felonies so “they” go to prison and have a felony record; (3) disenfranchise “them” for having that record; (4) make it harder for “them” to get an education and a job by slashing social and educational programs; oh, and (5) make sure you and your buddies don’t do time—or even get caught—for doing the same damn thing.

It’s little wonder that in a Poll: Most American Adults Sleep Poorly except the ones lacking a conscience, the lying hypocritical dickheads! (apologies there to Mr. P-Niss)

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