darkness settles over the land, this time maybe permanently

the Madtown Liberty Players portray the Fourth Amendment under attack (two years ago)

The House voted today to make the "Patriot Act" permanent. In what may be the least patriotic vote ever recorded in that chamber, our representatives effectively moved to revoke the Fourth Amendment for all time.

My countrymen are cowards. They are ignorant of themselves and of the world. The unknown is always what we fear, and this country has an enormous dark store of the nameless feeding its private terrors.

Americans don't know who they are, and they don't know the outside world. We never had to learn anything about either subject, and for pretty much the same reason: the country was just so big; we were busy filling it up and we could pretty much ignore everyone outside our borders and most of them inside. We don't like people anyway, whether they're from another continent, another city, another neighborhood, another family. I don't even have to mention our class, racial and ethnic insularity, they are so well-documented. We don't even like to be too close to those in our own families. We like the separation the oceans furnish us and we wish there were others on our northern, and especially southern, borders. We want as much space as we can manage to arrange between ourselves and the next fellow's place, and everyone in the family should have a private room and bath, as well as his or her own car.

I'm appalled, but not surprised, by this cowardice on the one hand and on the other a welcoming, even enthusiastic, support for, excuse the expression, but I do know my history, clearly "fascist" concepts of political control that are being embraced by so many of our fellow freedom-loving Americans. These are people who will still boast tomorrow that they enjoy a unique island of liberty and democracy blessed by a god who favors their virtue.

America has indeed been terrorized. It was the work of a single brilliant and monstrous blow, but the land of the free and the home of the brave is now willing to trash its heritage for the mere illusion of security. While most of its people are willing to admit the trade, they don't see the disconnect.

We're doomed.

[image from Madison Indymedia]

Ignorance by choice has made us a nation of absurdities. We love liberty and embrace bondage. We fight terrorism by invading a nation and turning it into a terrorist training camp. We protect families by attacking the rights of families.

America is yet again a house divided, this time by splintered ideologies.