Facts Are Stubborn Things

2001-11-06

Facts are stubborn things. Randolph Bourne said that war is the health of the state. We need to face the fact that his insight is still true, and that the U.S. federal government is grabbing immense powers right now (probably state and local governments are, too). Unconstitutional institutions like the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court are thriving. Government officials and media pundits are openly discussing the use of torture. Those who disagree with current policies are being singled out. Around the country, police forces are lifting traditional restraints in pursuit of terrorists. The government isn't even saying how many people remain in custody after September 11th. Crackpot notions like Larry Ellison's national ID card scheme are getting a serious hearing (as if a national ID card would stop terrorists!). Even traditionally "dovish" women are pro-war. Although some are worried that government officials have acquired too much power, most Americans are willing to give up essential liberties for the sake of temporary security. Is it any wonder that gun sales are up? Adequate weaponry is traditionally just about the only defense against tyranny (not to mention terrorism).

Well at least you're free to think, if not much else.

Today's quote from Victor Hugo: "To look facts in the face is the duty of every sensible person." (The Man Who Laughs, II.4.iv)


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