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Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Politics: The Constitution


Until recently, we at La Casa de Los Gatos were of the opinion that only the Idiot Son, our Chimperor from 2001 through 2008, had the temerity to refer to the document on which this nation was founded as "a goddamn piece of paper."

But thanks to literacy and the joy of reading, we find that Georgie Porgie was not the first, probably will not be the last, and is almost certainly not the only one among us who has equated this noble document with bumwad.

Which is why we should fund education, and resist the dumbing-down of the nation to which the oligarchs and corporatists among us seem committed.

Here, for your enjoyment, or at least edification, a quote:
"[...] if it is a question of the safety of the country ... the Constitution is just a scrap of paper to me."
*attributed to Asst. Sec. of War James McCloy, as quoted in Lest We Forget: The Japanese and America's Wartime Mistake, Joyce E. Williams and Alice M. Coleman

The issue in question? The forced internment of Japanese (Issei) and Japanese-American (Nisei) civilians in specially built concentration camps, in blatant disregard of Constitutional protections. Since the vast majority of those interned were guilty of nothing more than being of a different race than the majority of Americans at the time, the manifest injustice of their imprisonment required a contempt for the founding document of this country that is still difficult to believe.

Of course, one has to ask oneself exactly what people mean by "the country." Throughout history, a "country" has been variously defined as that geographical location that has been successfully held by one or more strong men (rarely, women), usually related. More recently, countries have been political entities, comprising people of different ethnicities who make common cause for their mutual protection and success. This particular country can be said to comprise those who regard this particular Constitution as a contract between themselves and their fellow citizens. That being the case, treating the Constitution as "a goddamned piece of paper" bears all the logic and clarity of thought of the statement "We had to destroy the village in order to save it."

This type of information — the knowledge that the people who have power over us believe that we have no rights whatsoever — needs to be disseminated far and wide. People need to know that those who climb the ladders of power see the powerless as disposable stepping-stones to that power.

Today, we have a President who believes in listening to his fellow-citizens. This man was democratically elected in free and fair elections by nearly two-thirds of his countrymen. We also have a proportion of certifiable loons talking about bloody and violent revolution to wrest power away from our elected leader. Although they are in the minority they want to violently overcome the will of the majority.

While we agree with Jefferson that the tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants, we don't appreciate idiots like William Kostric conflating the fairly elected and chosen President of two-thirds of his nation with tyrants like, say, Dim Son. Where was this self-proclaimed "hero" and "patriot" as Bush and his cohorts systemically looted the nation and broke its infrastructure? Cowering under his bed? Peeing his pants for fear of the pigment-endowed and hirsute perpetrators of Terra?

Mr. Kostric, since you're fond of quotations, consider these, if you will:
"Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel."
-- Samuel Johnson (Boswell's Life of Johnson)

When a true genius appears, you can know him by this sign: that all the dunces are in a confederacy against him.
-- Jonathan Swift
*Note: James McCloy testified in 1981 before the Commission on Wartime Relocation and Internment of Civilians that he did not make this statement.

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