bush-swastika-blMy mother taught me that 2 wrongs don’t make a right. No wonder it doesn’t sit well with me that the Saudi’s suicide bombed the world trade towers with American passenger jets and the American response was to bomb Afghanistan (again) and then invade Iraq (using, by the way, Weapons of Mass Destruction.)

Since then the current administration and its supporters have used every opportunity to crow about how all this is making us safer and more free. My point is, nationalism is alive and well in the United States of America. This is just my opinion, but I see the American government following in the footsteps of Hitler’s regime.

At the rodeo the other day, for instance, the announcer said with pride that freedom wasn’t free, and exhorted the audience to give thanks for all those who sacrificed their lives so we COULD be free. And then everybody stood and listened to an Episcopal choir sing the National Anthem. I’m telling you, we were only inches away from a healthy Group Salute at the end of this display.

I did my best to look somewhat enthused and patriotic but it was a stretch after what I had just heard. Frankly, I felt like a black person at a Ku Klux Klan meeting! I got the feeling that anyone who didn’t join with zest (or who was later found googling the Mid East) would be treated as suspicious and then. well – dealt with.

So, whose freedoms are being protected here, anyway? Certainly not THIS woman who wore the wrong tee shirt to last night’s State of the Union Address. According to this Associated Press Story:
Beverly Young, wife of Rep. C.W. Bill Young of Florida chairman of the House Defense Appropriations subcommittee was removed from the gallery because she was wearing a T-shirt that read, “Support the Troops Defending Our Freedom.”
Also ejected was Cindy Sheehan for, you guessed it, wearing a tee shirt which said, “2,245 Dead – How Many More??”

But the good news is this: The police dropped charges against both women according to this story:
“The officers made a good faith, but mistaken effort to enforce an old unwritten interpretation of the prohibitions about demonstrating in the Capitol,” Capitol Police Chief Terrance Gainer said in a statement late Wednesday.

“Neither guest should have been confronted about the expressive T-shirts,” Gainer’s statement said.
And the Address itself? Well, after listening to Bush’s Address, a friend of ours described it as “Politicians using the constitution as their f—ing punch line.” Anxious to find out what pieces of the speech he was referring to, I looked up the transcript. Alas, I was only able to make it to the fourth paragraph before getting sick to my stomach. It reads:

In this decisive year, you and I will make choices that determine both the future and the character of our country. We will choose to act confidently in pursuing the enemies of freedom — or retreat from our duties in the hope of an easier life. We will choose to build our prosperity by leading the world economy — or shut ourselves off from trade and opportunity. In a complex and challenging time, the road of isolationism and protectionism may seem broad and inviting — yet it ends in danger and decline. The only way to protect our people, the only way to secure the peace, the only way to control our destiny is by our leadership — so the United States of America will continue to lead. (Applause.)

Unable to look the 5430 word document squarely in the eye, I settled for some idle word finding fun. Based on which I can assume the speech was about Leading with Courage to Protect our Freedom from Terrorists. I found the word Freedom 17 times, Lead (as in lead, leaders and leadership) 18 times; Protect, 11 times, Security and Courage 10 times each; and Attack and Future 7 times each. Surprisingly, the word “god” only showed up twice. But I hit the mother lode when I searched for the word Terror. It showed up 20 TIMES!.

Okay, I’m going to let this go for today. Maybe tomorrow I’ll have the courage to use my freedoms to read the entire transcript. Until then, stay safe and god be with you.

By Camille Armantrout

Camille lives with her soul mate Bob in the back woods of central North Carolina where she hikes, gardens, cooks, and writes.