(thanks to Chris Barnaby for pointing out this article)
Perhaps one of the saddest days in the history of the United States. I believe that we have reached a juncture point which says; “This is the day, the vote that marked the slide of the United Statess away from its roots real and imagined, into Barbarity and the loss of its ideals.
I never though that that the US could slide so low, but I was mistaken; it will even go further.
I mourn for the US, and what it has become, a nation of frightened consumers, citizens no more. We would appear to have surrendered to the bullies.
Yet, this may be a herald of a change for the better. The gloves are off, we know now with what we really are dealing with. Maybe people will wake up to the fact that the Gov’t does not have their concerns and welfare in mind, after all, any of us can now be picked up, and waterboarded, beaten etc., without due process… We are on the edge of The Gulag.
Maybe it is time to consider an alternative to Gov’t we have now. Maybe the US has had its run.
It is indeed a day for mourning, but we will move on, and find another course. This is not a time for complacency.
By: Glenn Greenwald on Thursday, September 28th, 2006 at 5:27 PM – PDT
Following in the footsteps of the House, the Senate this afternoon approved the bill which vests in the President the power of indefinite, unreviewable detention (even of U.S. citizens) and which also legalizes various torture techniques. It is not hyperbole to say that this is one of the most tyrannical and dangerous bills to be enacted in our nations history.
The final Senate vote was 65-34. The Democrats lacked the votes for a filibuster and therefore did not attempt one. Twelve (out of 44) Senate Democrats voted in favor of this bill, while only one Republican (Chafee) voted against it. The dishonorable list of Democrats voting for the bill: Carper (Del.), Johnson (S.D.), Landrieu (La.), Lautenberg (N.J.), Lieberman (Conn.), Menendez (N.J), Nelson (Fla.), Nelson (Neb.), Pryor (Ark.), Rockefeller (W. Va.), Salazar (Co.), Stabenow (Mich).
One can look at the Democrats conduct here in one of two ways. On the one hand, it is true that the Democrats disappeared from the debate until today, all but hiding behind John McCain in the futile hope that he would remain steadfast in his opposition to the White House. Once the Democrats designated McCain as the Noble and Wise Torture Expert who spoke on their behalf, it became very difficult for them to oppose the “compromise” bill whereby McCain predictably capitulated and gave the Bush administration virtually everything it wanted. Democrats painted themselves into this corner by failing forcefully to advocate their own position against torture and indefinite detention.
Nonetheless, it is simply a fact that virtually every Republican in the House and the Senate (with one sole exception in the Senate and only 7 in the House) voted in favor of this tyrannical bill, while Democrats overwhelmingly opposed it (in the House, 160 Democrats voted “no,” while 34 voted “yes”). With those facts assembled, it is fair to say that the Republicans are the party of torture, indefinite and unreviewable detention powers, and limitless presidential power, even over U.S. citizens on U.S. soil. By contrast, Democrats have largely opposed these tyrannical, un-American and truly dangerous measures. Even if Democrats didnt oppose them as vociferously as they could have and should have and that is plainly the case this is still a meaningful and, at this point in our countrys history, a critically important contrast.
Morning In The Burned House – Margaret Atwood
In the burned house I am eating breakfast.
You understand: there is no house, there is no breakfast,
yet here I am.
The spoon which was melted scrapes against
the bowl which was melted also.
No one else is around.
Where have they gone to, brother and sister,
mother and father? Off along the shore,
perhaps. Their clothes are still on the hangers,
their dishes piled beside the sink,
which is beside the woodstove
with its grate and sooty kettle,
every detail clear,
tin cup and rippled mirror.
The day is bright and songless,
the lake is blue, the forest watchful.
In the east a bank of cloud
rises up silently like dark bread.
I can see the swirls in the oilcloth,
I can see the flaws in the glass,
those flares where the sun hits them.
I can’t see my own arms and legs
or know if this is a trap or blessing,
finding myself back here, where everything
in this house has long been over,
kettle and mirror, spoon and bowl,
including my own body,
including the body I had then,
including the body I have now
as I sit at this morning table, alone and happy,
bare child’s feet on the scorched floorboards
(I can almost see)
in my burning clothes, the thin green shorts
and grubby yellow T-shirt
holding my cindery, non-existent,
radiant flesh. Incandescent.