February 2008 Archives
Abrams updated us on the former Alabama governor who is languishing in prison, possibly as another Karl Rove political payback. (It was Rove who told Chris Matthews that Wilson was "fair game" after her Ambassador husband Joe Wilson spoke out about the administration's fast and loose "interpretation" of intelligence in the lead up to the Iraq invasion.)
On the same broadcast, we learned about an episode on the game show "The Moment of Truth", where people compete to win money by answering intimate questions while hooked up to a polygraph machine. One woman revealed that she had cheated on her husband and wanted to be married to another man. The couple has since separated. The show is pulling high ratings.
So, why have the fates given us this public spectacle in which people are paid to commit painful honesty that ruins their lives right around the time that a newly created database allows us to search and examine the administration's Iraq-related lies? Lies that have destroyed millions of lives? High crimes that have had few real life repercussions for the perpetrators?
Neither Congress nor the American people insist on truth and justice from our highest officials. As the public assents to illegal spying and official lying, we want to watch everyday individuals squirm in the messy, explosive orgies of honesty-fueled cringe.
Sadness and disgust don't even begin to describe how it feels to lose faith in public desire to maintain legitimate accountability and, thus, genuine democracy. We seem to only want truth in its most sadistic forms.
Giving up privacy has been normalized to a paradoxical degree.
On the one hand, few Americans seem to know that relative to most of the developed world, ours is a surveillance society nearing the level of Russia or China. On the other hand, we have come to accept daily incursions on our privacy and other basic rights for the sake of convenience or "safety."
For someone like me, in her early thirties, there has been a gradual and bumpy trajectory from an expectation of privacy at my jr. hight locker, to getting used to being filmed at the ATM, to feeling like an out-of-touch old lady because I want my emails to be private.
What about kids marinating in the camera-filled, reality TV existence we've created for them? As Allison Orr of Australia's EDemocracy notes:
I'm a white woman. Clinton was generally my last choice until the field was narrowed to two. Because the Montana primary isn't until June 3, I had the luxury of waiting to see how she and Obama would respond to the FISA and Homegrown Terrorism debates before deciding.
Today Clinton neglected to vote on the FISA bill and she lost my vote. She offers a Comprehensive Government Reform page on her web site, but won't stand up NOW against vast, illegal spying in our out of control surveillance society. Obama, on the other hand, voted against telecom immunity. I called Clinton's campaign office to let them know this decided it, and then donated to Obama's campaign.
I wish I could telekinetically impress upon MSNBC, CNN and all the rest: I don't care if Hillary cries, or wears a low-cut blouse, or would have stayed home making cookies, or screwed up on health care, gets pummeled by Chris Matthews, or has more experience than Obama. I don't consult my fallopian tubes before I check a ballot. Equality and justice are what matter to me. None of us (black, white, woman, Muslim, Jewish, LGBT) has rights if we don't have Civil Liberties.
(Also? Note to pundits: Ron Paul is not only the "anti-war" candidate. He is the Civil Liberties candidate. The other night a CNN talking head named "The Internet" as his demographic friend, rather than hundreds of thousands of Americans from a variety of backgrounds who are outraged by this criminal administration's war and its assault on domestic freedom.)
So, for now, Obama's got me even though I'm not riding his rhetorical "change" wave. We'll see how the Homegrown Terrorism Bill debate shakes down. Will he continue to show leadership rather than playing the safe Clinton game?
If you're feeling the warm and fuzzy Obama-as-second-coming vibe, I hope you'll cool down and make sure he knows that you're in his corner because he believes that a renewed America means an unwavering devotion to our founding documents. "Change" must mean the restoration of our democracy.
Update: In later updates on the FISA coverage it came to light that though Obama voted against telecom immunity, neither Clinton nor Obama voted on final passage of the bill. I don't yet understand why Obama would take a stand on telecom immunity and then NOT vote against the bill... More soon...
This is very simple.
Most of the petroleum we import goes into our gas tanks. ONLY 1.6% OF OUR ELECTRICITY WAS GENERATED BY PETROLEUM IN 2006. That number is projected to stay the same through 2030.
So: using nuclear energy has little to do with reducing dependence on foreign oil. It would increase our dependence on foreign uranium, which has its own host of national security implications.
Citizens have a right to basic information on questions of energy dependence and national security. In a democracy we rely on the media to do its job and challenge candidates when they make erroneous connections. Especially when such connections benefit the nuclear industry rather than the rest of us.