Tuesday, June 26, 2007

First Amendment? What First Amendment?

I'm blogging from a ship in the North Sea. The fact that I can do this at all is a freakin' miracle, but unfortunately, the quality of the connection is poor, so this post is not going to have the links and cross-references that it should. (I'm crossing my fingers that I get it out at all.)

The Supreme Court dealt another body blow to the First Amendment yesterday, ruling cryptically that student speech is not protected by the First Amendment if it is too cryptic, or if it "might" be construed as advocating illegal drug use, or something like that. Frankly, the "BONG HiTS 4 JESUS" message makes more sense to me that the Court's decision. As near as I can tell, the legal principle that the Court is establishing is that the First Amendment doesn't protect any speech that any authority figure doesn't like, taking yet another giant step towards the day when we in the United States enjoy the kind of free speech they once had in the old Soviet Union.

What worries me most about this is that despite the fact that Bush, Cheney, Rove and their appointed cronies Alito and Roberts have so clearly gone rogue, that they so obviously and manifestly despise everything that America ostensibly stands for: Democracy, the Rule of Law, fairness, respect for human rights, government of the People by the People and for the People... despite all this, there is still no one marching in the streets (I know, I'm a fine one to talk, I can't even be bothered to be in the fucking country as it comes apart at the seams. But I feel bad about it. Does that count?) and Bush's approval rating is still north of 25%, an historic low to be sure, but it still means that there are tens of millions of people out there who think everything is just hunky-dory. To you 25% I say: are you insane? Have you lost your fucking minds? What does it take to get you to disapprove of this crew of incompetent megalomaniacal monsters? Ye gods, they could probably ship your own grandmother off to Gitmo and you'd probably just take their word for it that she was aiding and abetting Al Quaeda!

I haven't felt at this much of a loss for a long time. Does anyone know where I can order a "BONG HiTS 4 JESUS" T-shirt on line?


Eric said...

cafe press seems to have quite a few.

denis bider said...

I heard it said that one of the founding fathers of the United States wrote that the country is going to need a revolution in a hundred years.

I'm not sure how accurate that source is, but definitely, the people of the United States now live in a system much worse, much less free in every respect, than the foreign system from which the founding fathers were liberating themselves in the first place.

The difference is that, whereas the source of suffering then was foreign-based, the much greater suffering today is caused by a legacy of 200 years of "government of the people for the people". There is no identifiable and easily defeatable foreigner, such as an English king, to band up against. Instead, the goal of any uprising would have to be regime improvement, but this is too elusive a goal for most people to comprehend, and impossible for them to identify with.

So, for the time being, the current system will remain in place. For now, the situation is still bearable.

Only when it gets much worse will a fertile ground become created for something better to overcome the status quo and to take place.

Perhaps. Hopefully. Some day, in the future.

And even then, that might not happen - you might simply be branded as unpatriotic and sent to jail like a Chinese political dissident today, if you express any kind of distaste or disagreement with U.S. political ways. The U.S. is on that road already. It long has been.