Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Destroying America In Order To Save It

Dear God, how I miss the days when I could call America a free country without being ironic. The main benefit of freedom used to be this: so long as you weren't hurting anybody, government had to leave you the hell alone.

But that's what law-n-order types call a "pre-9/11 mindset." The new rule seems to be "it doesn't matter how many innocent people suffer, so long as the government can nab one person who's guilty. Or might be guilty. Or looks kind of like someone who's guilty." Arizona lawmakers took a great leap forward in that direction last week, when they passed an anti-illegal immigration bill that gives police the power to stop any person at random and demand to see their "papers."

I wrote about it for the Guardian's American op-ed blog. Not much snark in the piece, though; it's too sad for jokes.
Back during the Vietnam War, an American military officer pioneered the concept of destroying a village in order to save it. Last week Arizona lawmakers continued that tradition by passing an anti-illegal immigration bill that would save America from the alleged immigrant scourge by destroying the very ideals that make America worth saving. The bill gives police power to stop anyone at random – provided police have "reasonable suspicion" they don't belong in this country – and anyone who can't show proper papers will be fined $500.
I'm sure the courts will eventually overturn this, but a lot of innocent people will suffer in the meanwhile.


Blogger KevinBBG said...

And where are the tea partiers and the guys who just marched near Washington carrying their guns? Or Sarah Palin? All those people saying the government is taking over should be rising up and opposing this like they've never opposed anything before.

Oh, wait, this will mainly affect brown skinned people, so they don't really care.

12:44 PM  
Blogger Jennifer said...

I know, Kevin. Goddammit. I support the principles the Tea Party alleges to stand for -- God knows the government's out of control -- but I can't abide what the party wrapped those principles in. It's like the Confederacy -- I think the idea of state's rights, including right of secession, IS important and worth defending, but thanks to those racist southern jackholes, ideas like state's rights and the right to secede are linked forever with the "right" to own slaves and the "right" to treat non-whites as inferior subhumans. Dammit.

2:24 PM  
Blogger KevinBBG said...

State's rights have always been about racism. If you have any doubt that the Civil War was about slavery read this, very good article:

7:52 AM  
Blogger Jennifer said...

Oh, I know full well state's rights has always been code for racism and the Confederacy was damned well all about slavery; I'm just saying it's a damned shame, especially now, when the notion of state's rights would indeed be useful to push back against the feds, but the concept is irrevocably tainted by racist dogma.

7:58 AM  
Blogger Caveman Lawyer said...

What pisses me off about these tea party boobs is through 8 years of Bush II and his assaults upon the Constitution they sat on their thumbs. Now that a black man says he wants to make sure everyone can go to a doctor they are flipping out.

Now I know the economics don't add up and the plan will likely make things worse, but I doubt many of these tea party types have a enough of a background in economics to be able to make that assesment for themselves. Their oposition has more to do with the idea of a black man trying to make life better for brown and black people.

5:48 PM  
Blogger Jennifer said...

The Tea Partiers have the right idea about the health plan but the wrong motivation, in other words. I completely agree.

I kind of miss the Bush presidency solely because in those days, I could still believe the problem would go away when he did. But the problem's the system moreso than any individuals in it. The next election, I think I might sit out.

6:23 PM  
Blogger Caveman Lawyer said...

The last time I voted was in 06 I think. I just got fed up with the whole thing. Damn near 20 year of being involved to various degrees and I never really saw a differance in the way of things depending on which party took control. Either way I got screwed and my quality of life has gone downhill.

My boss rants about the n!@@#r economy and talks like it's all Obama's fault and if only we had elected McCain all of this wouldn't have happened. I have never felt better about my decision to stop playing the game than now that I work for a conservative douche bag.

11:47 AM  
Blogger rhhardin said...

It's apparently a little different if you live in AZ or CA.

"Okay, what's your solution?"

8:30 AM  
Blogger Jennifer said...

Yes, Ron, and had I lived in Chicago during the days of Prohibition I certainly would've seen lots of innocent people suffer as the criminals took over the streets. I still hope I would've had the sense modern Arizonans lack; namely, the sense to look at the lawlessness around me and say "This all stems directly from the government's bullshit prohibitions, so the way to solve the problem is to remove the prohibitions, not shit on the constitution."

But Arizona is the place where Sheriff Joe Arpaio is popular enough to get repeatedly re-elected, which suggests far too many Arizona voters are happy to ignore the constitution in lieu of kicking scapegoats.

8:45 AM  
Blogger rhhardin said...

Your solution was ... ?

Armstrong and Getty this morning
podcast page, 04-26-10 Hour 2 (KNEW San Francisco)

1:45 PM  
Anonymous Jersey Patriot said...

The main benefit of freedom used to be this: so long as you weren't hurting anybody, government had to leave you the hell alone.

Unless you were black, or Indian, or gay, or a woman who didn't know her place, or had attended a Communist Party meeting...

There was no libertarian golden age in America.

10:08 PM  
Blogger Jennifer said...

No, but the way to bring about equality is to grant everyone the rights and freedoms afforded white males, not drop everyone down to the "papers, citizen" level of totalitarian states.

6:47 AM  
Blogger Caveman Lawyer said...

I went to my fathers suprise 65th birthday party last night. I was talking to my brothers father in law and ath subject of this law came up. I was amazed at what has to be the willful ignorance behind the supporters of this law.

What it boils down to is this. #1) REAL Americans need jobs that dirty stinky Mexicans are stealing from us. #2) Since the police have to have probable cause to stop someone in the first place this could NEVER be abused. And #3) It's the "biased media" that is blowing this out of proportion.

The guy is a decent sort and I don't want to think that he's really got a white hood in his philosophical closet that is driving his support for this law. But you know, one has to wonder when someone who gripes about too much gubbiment gettin' in the way wants MORE gubiment getting in the way.

7:51 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

But that's what law-n-order types call a "pre-9/11 mindset."

Oh you're the one who wrote that Article about 9/11 being a Fraud. You actually think a government would create a phantom enemy in order to strip rights from citizens and install a Big Brother State?

Just because the Anthrax sent to the Senators opposing the Patriot Act did not come from the terrorists doesn't prove anything. You people who question the War on Terrorism are grasping at straws. There was no need for NIST to test for the explosives in those buildings - Jennifer, because there obviously were no explosives.

Give it up already and move on.

11:23 AM  
Blogger Jennifer said...

Anonymous commenter, if you read my article and concluded I thought 9/11 was a fraud perpetrated by the government, you desperately need to hone your reading-comprehension skills.

11:40 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Someone just gave to me the sites that support these beliefs. You're quoted on the Home Page of the CT 9/11 site:

Why did you attack NIST and write such gibberish?

Why would you question government scientists about explosives?

6:00 PM  
Blogger Jennifer said...

Why wouldn't you read the entire article rather than use the small bits quoted in a Truther paper as an excuse to track down some woman's blog and leave anonymous gripes on it? If your Google-fu was strong enough for you to find my blog, it's strong enough for you to find the story, too. (Especially since, unlike you, I actually have the courage to put my name on what I write.)

7:01 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I tried using my name on another Truther site and then got a barrage of Truther attacks. I guess it would be okay with you if I called myself "Caveman lawyer," so long as I agree with your views like he does that the government's post-9/11 security improvements are not a sincere attempt to battle the War on Terror.

If you really are not a Truther, then give me a link to what you believe, other than the one I have where your quotes are heralded as support for the movement.

You call yourself a "courageous writer" and all I see is your running away from your own writing and quotes.

9:02 PM  
Blogger Jennifer said...

Ah, and you also anonymously demand I do your Googling for you? Go back to hanging out on Truther sites; they have more time and inclination than I do to argue with strangers on the Internet.

10:19 PM  
Blogger The Atomic Fruitbat said...

I'll take pity on Anonymous; after all, when you Google "'Theories of 9/11' Jennifer Abel" you have to look all the way down to the fourth entry to find the text of the article. No man should have to suffer so!

Suffice it to say that the people in charge of that CT 9/11 site had to do some serious editing to make it look like Jennifer was actually supporting their views.

11:20 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes that's it - Fruitbat.

That's the Article where Abel writes about all these theories in which supposed "scientists" say the claims of the government scientists are impossible, and then Abel contacts the NIST scientists in an obvious attempt to make NIST look foolish and help these unpatriotic claims. That's why she's quoted on the Home Page of the CT Truther group.

I see that you did claim you used an "apologetic" tone in questioning the government scientists. Is that supposed to be the courageous part? You are apologetic for helping the Truthers try to make NIST sound silly?

Nobody else in the media covered the Truthers that day and nobody else challenged the NIST scientists. So why did you, If you were not trying to help them?

I think it's funny that you describe yourself as an "American writer who began her career in print media exactly when the Internet killed that industry." More likely you got fired for being the only one stupid enough to write about the Truther's claims and stupid enough to question the government's claims.

Sounds like you learned your lesson, if you're now trying to say you did not mean to help them. I guess you won't have so much "courage" next time.

These Truther links were sent to me because the Truthers are coming to Hartford again this Friday. I suggest you do not make the same mistake again - Ms. Abel. It does sound like you understand that now. These people should not be written about and you should not be questioning our own government Scientists. Saying you "apologized" for questioning the government scientists is not good enough. Your quotes from that Article are being used by the Truthers to get other people to question 9/11 and the War on Terror.

5:29 AM  
Blogger Jennifer said...

Crazy as the Truthers are, anyone who says the government should never be questioned is even crazier. And if the Truthers' efforts help undermine support for the war on civil liberties disguised as a war on terror, then it's all for the good.

7:02 AM  
Blogger The Atomic Fruitbat said...

Anonymous -

Are you even reading the same article I'm reading? Jennifer's thesis could be summed up as "Truthers make claims that sound plausible to laymen, but turn out to be groundless". I don't know where you're getting the "she's helping the Truthers" thing.

Criminy, whatever lens you're viewing this article through needs some serious polishing.

8:38 AM  
Blogger Jennifer said...

As I originally said to our anonymous nationalist here, anyone who could read my article and conclude I thought 9/11 was a fraud perpetrated by the American government desperately needs to hone his reading-comprehension skills.

11:01 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"And if the Truthers' efforts help undermine support for the war on civil liberties disguised as a war on terror, then it's all for the good."

And that is precisely the stated Thesis of their Friday meeting. So what are you saying - you're some sort of a quasi-Truther, in your attacks on Our Government for defending us from the Terrorists?

"anyone who says the government should never be questioned is even crazier."

Well let's test out what kind of a sorta Truther you are. Their latest thing now is claiming that the anthrax attacks in 2001 were not done by one whacko military guy who committed suicide with tylenol - saying that's scientifically impossible too. They seem especially pleased with themselves just because the who came out last month to support them is another scientist from the same bio-weapons lab, who says its impossible this guy did it by himself:

Do you question your Government on that one too?

Just because one whacko used US military anthrax and now one of his buddies is defending him does not mean that someone planned those attacks to create a phony War on Terror, and you seem to agree with the Truthers on the phony part.

So where are you on this new "scientific" impossibility in your quasi-Truther beliefs?

11:46 AM  
Blogger Jennifer said...

I have no interest in chatting with you, Anonymous. It's obvious you have an axe to grind, and have sincerely convinced yourself that trolling my blog means you are accomplishing something useful.

12:09 PM  
Blogger Caveman Lawyer said...

Wow, I thought I was annoying... This guy is a real piece of work. Well it takes all kinds to make the world go 'round. Methinks our annonymous poster is a great example of the idiots who make up the majority of the Tea Party members.

My boss is a fine example too. Some idiot from Arizona came in today and they were slapping each others backs over how great this new law is and how all 50 states ought to pass it. The new idiot said "I don't see what the problem is, the police have to have a good reason to stop someone, like fifty mexicans in a car and half of them are soaking wet."

I thought "can I vomit now?"

Of couse conservatives think it's a great idea. THEY aren't going to be stopped and treated like a criminal just because their language skills aren't top notch because they are white.

I can't wait until the son of some high power hispanic attourney gets hasseled by the cops. Then it will get fun.

6:54 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Don't let that Troll bother you Jennifer. It's some guy who's been harassing people on various blog sites about the David Ray Griffin, Phd appearance hear at U. of Hartford on 5/7, where the topic is "Is the War in Afghanistan Justified by 9/11?" Now he's bragging about intimidating you.

Cindy B.

7:01 PM  
Blogger Jennifer said...

If "intimidating" means "mildly annoyed" he's right, Cindi.

8:53 PM  

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