Monday, July 28, 2008

IT’S HAPPENED HERE

Late last week the Governor of Massachusetts (a Democrat) signed into law a bill that had been passed with Patriot-Act type majorities by both houses of the state legislature (very heavily Democratic).

Entitled ‘An Act to Further Protect Children’ (poignantly sharpened, as per current national usage, to “Jessica’s Law”) it includes a little thingie inserted deeper down in the text at the urgent behest of the state’s Attorney-General (a Democrat) and all of the state’s eleven District Attorneys (heavily Democratic).

Said thingie authorized the said law enforcement officials to issue “administrative subpoenas” for telecommunications-type information if they have “reasonable” cause to believe that “a crime” is being committed. In an oblique version of the homage vice pays to virtue, the thingie also immunizes any service-providers who so provide information on their customers upon receipt of the said “letter”. No court review is mentioned as being necessary. So Massachusetts now allows its lawfolk to issue the state-level equivalent of ‘national security letters’.

As I mentioned in prior Posts (‘Now It Starts here’, ‘It’s Still Happening Here’) the law does not limit itself to ‘sex offense-type crime’ against children or otherwise. Nor did the Attorney-General and the District Attorneys see fit to introduce some bill such as ‘A Bill To Give Massachusetts Its Own Patriot Act’, so that the citizens would have some warning and a chance to deliberate. Instead, they quietly stashed this monstrosity in the sure-to-pass suitcase of a sex-offense type law, and against children at that. So much for legislators and law-enforcement being upfront with The People in matters of grave import.

Nor did either of the Boston papers report on this. One wonders whether there are any more reporters covering the State House ‘beat’, who might actually be expected to read these bills and report on what they might mean for the public and the common weal.

This exemplifies what I think We have to assume about legislatures at state as well as national levels now: they don’t want responsibility for major issues, and so they’ll happily pass laws with these exploding parts hidden deep within them, so long as they retain ‘plausible deniability’. And that desired ‘deniability’ is stashed within the pols’ plan – if consequences to themselves ever arise and hit the fan – to claim that they didn’t have time to read the whole Bill before voting for it. Hell, it worked for the Patriot Act itself. A dark trickle-down effect indeed.

A further line of defense – should the need arise – will be that ‘the courts can figure it out’. So much for pols any longer being Our elected representatives, elected (and expensively employed) to deliberate on Our behalf.

And perhaps the last line of defense – undertaken no doubt in a tone of outraged dignity and pained rejection – will be to apply for pardons to the Executive that no doubt will itself claim that although the offending passage was signed into law by ‘this office’, yet ‘this office’ had innocently assumed that the pols had read the thing and found it good. A shell game, in other words. Currently, it seems to be working inside the Beltway where the Iraq war is now an orphan, whose supposed fathers claim that they never intended to create it and/but also that they’re proud that their non-existent spawn is actually working.

No doubt the pols have put no little professional thought into the matter, and decided that – given the state and methods of domestic politics nowadays – it’s easier and safer to do whatever it takes to avoid a squad of ‘outraged victims’ deploying from column into line in front of TV ‘news’ cameras and claiming that you’re ‘for’ child-murder and child-rape because you’re not sure that an ever-increasing engorgement of the police powers of the state is altogether the best way to proceed in this, the land of the brave and the home of the free. The national anthem is clearly now merely an occasion for beery, self-satisfied tears before the opening ball is tossed out; an opportunity to be patriotically verklempt in the boozy presence of a whole lotta other patriots. Gaw bliss ‘murrica! Yah. The flag, as We know, has already been reduced to a filthy, tattered appendage hanging off cars and fire engines 24/7 and 365; a fluttering stuttering symbol of Our need to let every passerby know that it’s important to ‘feel’ good about this great nation.

And We take it all with a straight face.

And that, I would say, is Our problem. We really have learned to take wayyy too much with a straight face over the past 40 years. We have become too soviet in Our effort to be ‘tolerant’ and ‘sensitive’ and ‘open to stuff’ and ‘enlightened’ before even kicking the tires of whatever it is that is demanding such indulgence from Us; and in consequence, Our very government is starting to turn red and grow the tell-tale horns.

And for those of Us who have quietly chosen the Soviet or Reich’s citizen’s “internal exile” – quietly letting things be and keeping one’s head down and one’s mouth shut so as to avoid the attention of ‘the organs’ (and we ain’t talkin’ sex here) … well, that play now bids fair to undermine the whole shebang called the Great American Experiment In Constitutional Government. We are indeed a generation that is making history, just like the Founders. Only in reverse.

I offer as advice the only point upon which I can find common cause with the late, unlamented Fuhrer: Volk, erwache: People, wake up!

Look around your own state government and see if in your state , as perhaps all over the country, erstwhile dedicated and down-home law enforcement types aren’t looking to take this ‘next logical step’ in the comprehensive war upon crime (a significant element of which is continuously expanding the definition of ‘crime’). Certainly, as is evident in Massachusetts, the Nanny State and the Security State have indeed formed the beast with two backs.

And it is being presided over by Democrats. Democrats enjoying one of the largest majorities of any legislature in all the fifty States. And at the insistence of an Attorney-General who is not only a Democrat but a … an Other Than Male. So much for the broad sunlit uplands of an America fully freed to be itself once freed from male oppression. Not that I hold any brief for Chimpery.

Ach! What has become of Us?

And I find it the most curious of developments that as this country has gotten away from a concept of ‘sin’ it has become increasingly obsessed with ‘crime’. Are We really under the impression that there is no ‘sin’? Or that a ‘crimeless’ society will automatically be a ‘sinless’ society? As if crimelessness can be achieved any more than ‘sinlessness’.

But I think that as the various recent Revolutions sought to do away with ‘God’, Whom they saw as an obstruction and a competitor to their agendas, so too they drew Us away from the ancient sense of proportion and balance based upon the fact that anyone who made it off this mortal coil with guilt undiscovered would yet find him/herself facing an implacable and un-hoodwinkable Judge in a Court where Truth bears witness so palpably and clearly that no amount of spinning or whining can evade it.

So this rage for ‘justice’ is not merely a revolutionary tactic, as it has always been. It is the symptom of a lethal loss of a grasp on the Ultimate Truth of humanity’s place in the scheme of things . While the Founders did not see themselves as particularly church-goers, and certainly didn’t forego wine for some Biblically-demanded grape juice, they were damned smart enough to see that a society and a culture that arrogates to itself the Divine authority to ensure total Justice will wind up biting itself to death.

And, humans not being at the very top of the ontological ladder and fundamentally unequipped with the fullness of the Divine attributes, their societies – lusting to imitate heaven’s Justice – will destroy themselves on a fool’s errand, creating a dark and fiery wrack of pride and error.
The Founders thought We would be better advised to stay within Constitutional bounds and make Our pilgrim way in the world, being virtuous models of Democracy, a ‘light unto the nations’ and ‘a city upon the hill’ – as one surely imperfect Chief Executive recently exhorted Us.
We are consuming Ourselves. Not simply as all revolutions wind up consuming their own cultures, but as any humans who believe that they hold ultimate authority tear themselves apart. And each other apart. And others apart. It’s all connected.

We are horribly far along that descending path now, among Ourselves and against other nations. We are becoming salt that has lost its savor. It is a sad commentary upon the hugely and recently diminished state of Our common wisdom that only the collapse of the currency and the falling away from a position of world primacy will impress upon Us – terribly so – the true poverty of what We have become.

Worse, because at this point to wake-up and really ‘see’ what is happening will reveal far more darkness than many of Us are able to tolerate. Games and circuses will be the desired activities, and not only as always among the children, and among the young – so expansively infantilized in these past decades, but among those whose years on the planet should have provided them with a more capacious awareness and a stronger grounding in the deepest realities of existence, gleaned from their own experience ceaselessly reflected and deliberated upon and yet also from a grateful, well-informed grasp of the knowledge and wisdom so painfully gained by earlier generations of humans gone before.

Hey, hey, ho, ho! Wake the frak up!

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