Now to get started. We do have a rather "Strange Culture" anymore, from what I know of it, anyway. First, let me just say outright that we need to repeal the so very unpatriotic (and so called), "Patriot Act".
I see nothing Patriotic in it. In fact, it strikes me as a rather cowardly, fear mongering act of a bunch of "cowboys" who were in office at the time (cough, cough, Bush, Bush....).
We do not now have a culture like we did when that act was being discussed, nor like when it was passed, nor even afterward. IF there are "terrorists" out there trying to get us, I have two things to say about that. One, we have laws covering this already. Two, if there is a culture in the world where people want to kill us, we need to be adult about it, intellectual about it, figure out what the problem is, and fix it. Or simply draw faster then they do.
Also, this is what we have "intelligence" agencies for. If you cut their resources so they have no money to do their job, as they started doing in the 80s, then this is the situation you will find yourself in. But you don't throw out the constitution because this is hard on us. That, is what I find "cowardly".
Otherwise, the Patriot Act is simply yet another American easy way out method of "fixing" our troubles.
I just watched a documentary called, "Strange Culture". What a strange thing it was. Strange, scary, irritating. Remember when the government used to fun the Arts? Why did things go so wrong, that this is a no go any longer? Who was mismanaging our Government so that we cannot afford to move forward on the path to more leisure for our citizens, and more arts and sciences? And not sciences solely for the benefit of the corporations.
It's a cause and a situation that had brought in the likes of actress Tilda Swinton as Hope, Jay Ryan as Steve, along with Peter Coyote and Wallace Shawn Thomas.
|Steve Kurtz - Really, this guy is a Terrorist?|
Rather than simply first listening to what the artist had to say and checking it out, they became proactive and rather than check out intellectually, using "intelligence" (in the information gathering sense, as well as in the use your damn head, sense) to discern what he had actually been doing, which would also have saved the US citizen millions I'm sure, they instead treated the Professor like he was a "terrorist".
This man, who was distraught over the death of his wife, was harangued, harassed, indicted, and put on trial. A process that lasted several years and cost him his money, time, energy, and nearly his sanity and his health and could have ended him up in prison. For having done, nothing, illegal.
Is this the kind of America we want? Because it seems to me that if it is, then we aren't any longer the tough, self-assured kinds of American I've always known us to be. Rather we have somehow morphed into a bunch of school girls, fearful of the playground bullies.
Steve's friends started a petition when all this started up. Some of his art students signed it. But some were afraid to. Why? Why, were US citizens, of the "greatest country in the history of the world", afraid of their own government, of speaking out under the First Amendment, of standing up to say they believed someone was innocent? Innocent until proven guilty. Unless someone labels you as a "terrorist".
And what is a terrorist? Is it someone you "think" might be one, or do something that makes them one, or is it someone who has done a terrorist act? Yes, it would be nice to catch terrorists before they act. But look at what it's gotten us. People afraid to speak out when they know someone is innocent.
The "Patriot Act".