We can have no better illustration of the deeply systemic nature of America's continued and inexorable fall from Constitutional innocence than the nearly immediate capture of Barack Obama, supposed agent of change, by the powers-that-be (I do say supposed, because I never possessed a whit of confidence that he would make any changes conducive to human freedom). Here is Mr. Obama extending the Patriot Act, escalating the occupation of Afghanistan, caving in to the Wall Street banks, propping up giant industrial enterprises, spending the hard-earned money of your average middle-class worker in deficits that will sink the ship of state, soaking up every dollar of capital that might otherwise be spent on starting small businesses throughout the land, heedlessly encouraging the continuation of mindless consumerism -- well, as Lester Hunt observes, pretty much the 9th year of the Bush administration. Furthermore, as Mr. Hunt points out in his observations on a must-read essay by Gary Wills, this is more than the 9th year of Bush II: it is the 68th year of a state of emergency that began in 1941 and has never ended. The corruptions of empire are so deep and so systemic that no mere mortal can overcome them. Yes, we can hope for change we can believe in, but it is not and shall not be forthcoming.

I consider myself an American patriot. But I am a patriot for what America once was, not what it has become and least of all for what its future holds.

Peter Saint-Andre > Journal