Tuesday, January 31, 2006

"These are the times that try men's souls"

Thomas Paine's birthday slipped quietly by on Sunday, somehow appropriate given the vote that will take place later today in the Senate (the Alito confirmation). Borrowing from "The Writer's Almanac" entry:

"He joined with Washington's Army when the war broke out, and at nights after fighting, he worked on a collection of essays titled The American Crisis (1783). His pamphlet, Common Sense (1776), was a best seller and helped inspire the move toward a declaration of independence. At the end of the Revolution he returned to England, where he published The Rights of Man (1789), a response to anti-revolutionary sentiment there. After reading it, his friend Benjamin Franklin said, "I would advise you not to attempt unchaining the tiger, but to burn this piece before it is seen by any other person." He was imprisoned in France in 1794, where he wrote The Age of Reason (1795). This book angered his critics further, until he was brought back to the United States in 1802 by Thomas Jefferson. Here, he received much public abuse for his writing, and he died poor and alone in 1809."

Sadly, I fear today marks the end of another revolution. Some of the main goals of the "elite" for the last 70 years have been the overturning of the social protections won by the "working class" in the labor struggles of the 30's, and through the New Deal. Having been stymied in their initial attempts, they began a long slow assault that will end with their final triumph this afternoon. To wit:

1) They couldn't control the press, so they bought it, through outright purchase or merger and acquistion. Now there are no Willam Paleys to tell Edward Murrow to go ahead, advertisers be damned. Most cities have a single daily paper struggling to even be read, there are no "crusading editors" in print or on the air in this "brave new world"...

2) They managed to take over the legislative branch through campaign contributions and lobbyists; now they can get anything they like written into law and passed; the lawmakers claim to need the lobbyists to explain it, and the reporters aren't looking...

3) At this point, you don't even need the White House to have your own way, but a rubber stamp is nice...

4) Today, with the confirmation of Alito, they have a Supreme Court that will back most anything they would care to write into law!

So a "new revolution" would seem to be ending this afternoon, without a shot being fired, no 3" banner headlines, not even enough phone calls to warrant a second thought on the part of some of the Democratic Senators, let alone the Republicans!

I truly hope I am wrong about this; I hope I am just being too cynical for my own good. Somehow I fear that there is even more to this iceburg than my cynicism is showing me, and that the rip in the hull, like the one in the Titanic's, is going to be one that sinks us all!

Good night and good luck!



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CrackerLilo said...

I keep hoping that people will get sick of it all enough to make their own alternatives again.

Sublime said...

Hi Alan,

Thank you for your kind and thoughtful comment on my blog today. I'm definately trying to leave some of this behind me, though it seems to keep creeping back in.

It looks like we run with some of the same "blog crowd". I'm looking forward to reading more of your writings.

I too hope that Alito's confirmation isn't the last nail in the coffin.

Take care,

PS- If you get a chance, check out my other Q&A blog called The Big Question. I post a new question each day and would love to read some of your answers. It's at:

nancy =) said...

alan, you nailed it...what an awesome awesome post...

you were able to turn the grief i've been feeling into words...

what i weouldn't give for a revolution...and soon...


sttropezbutler said...


This was amazing and you said it so eloquently. Thank you.

I'm losing hope in my dotage and it isn't pretty. Knowing like minded people are out there sure does make me feel like I'm not alone out there!

Thanks again...


Ceri said...

Oh, man. I agree with you. I get really upset if think about it too much. I don't have tv, don't read the paper, and I stick my fingers in my ear and go blablablabla to block out & ignore any news I may happen to hear. It makes me ILL. I love Benjamin Franklin, so any friend of his is a friend of mine. We need to take back this country.... REVOLT!!!

alan said...

Thank you all for the kind words. There are so many times I wonder if I've got it right or I'm off on some tangent that's wandering off in the wrong direction. I never had a lot of faith in myself, be it my thoughts, opinions, knowledge or anything else; I keep working on it, but not sure I'll ever get that one right!

It's amazing how this circle has grown since I followed someone home from Rosie's...my world is much brighter for each of you!


Blogzie said...

Hi Dear One,

You are neither wrong or a cynic.

You are just very smart and very real.

I wish Thomas Paine was still around.


Hawaiianmark said...

Well said. Cant put a finger on it, but some how, something along the lines of "we are RIGHT and you are wrong", seems to fill the air in politics now.

Maybe enough folks will care to do something about this kind of thing.

We will see hopefully a peaceful revolt of the minds is all it will take.


(and stay warm!)

I n g e r said...

Oh Alan, well said indeed. The iceberg bit--that's exactly how I feel: an ominous sense that however horrid it seems, this is just a bit of it.

My mother told me last night that she's done: that she may not even vote anymore--that there's no point. I can't say I disagreed with her.

But we must rally, and we will. There's comfort in history; the seeds of destruction are built into arrogance, right from the start. Alas, my kids and yours have to endure the dark nights to come from the things this cabal has done.


alan said...

Beg her to vote; it's been so close the last few times, each and every one of us needs to, and needs to try and get someone else to. My wife is very unhappy with me because I took a payroll deduction out for the UAW-VCAP before the last election; the money gets used to inform and register voters. When we lost, I doubled it...these people have to go! If we lose again, I will raise it again until they are gone. Next time I'm going to volunteer for a phone bank as well. My next step is to find out how much I can contribute to my Congressman since I'm alread giving to the VCAP and then try to save him as they redistricted to try and get rid of him last time, he's the last Democrat holding national office from Kansas...


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