Checking the news radio station this morning, the girl and i simultaneously groaned.
It's september 11th.
It's the day that marks the day a year ago when an event occured that made it possible for the Bush administration to throw away the constitution and destroy civil liberties.
It's the day that made the phrase "there should be limits to freedom" into a phrase agreed with in this country.
It's the anniversary of a day I have come to despise.
Don't get me wrong here, I feel awful for the people who lost someone, and I was horrified by the events that day, but as the repercussions built up over the past year I have come to hate that day, and wish that it would just fade into the background of the public consciousness.
I heard an interesting piece on NPR the other day where historians were being consulted about how 9.11 would be entered into the history books (and in fact already has been). One of them made the point that until there is some kind of closure, no one can really say what interpretation will be made of it in the future. Either we start a war, and it's seen as the divine influence which caused the glorious US to destroy evil in the world, or nothing definitive happens and it it seen as a great disaster with the silver lining of creating the US government in it's present (future) form.
Frankly I'm getting really weirded out about the concept of no closure here.
As some of you may know, I'm very much concerned about civil liberties. I read 2600 for it's political commentary more than it's technical side. I read slashdot to keep tabs on how our liberties are being abused at the moment, and admittedly these two forums are quite reactionary and extreemist, but they have links to the actual articles and you can go check them out for yourself.
I'm almost hoping that some military action does break out in Iraq, although I'll hate it if it happens. My reasoning being this; if the US sheep get some sense of closure on the whole dealio, then perhaps they can go back to paying attention to the government and what it's doing to our rights. At the moment the administration just has to shout "terrorist!" to divert the public's attention long enough to pass some new piece of bullshit legislation which further cracks down on our rights.
The patriot act leaps quickly to mind. How can you vote against it if you're an american? simply naming it as they did ensured it's passage, even if the contents changed slightly from their original intention.
Shit, look back at what legislation has been passed in the recent few years:
you have the DMCA, which is being used to prosecute people for absolutely nothing. Dimitry Skylarov, a russian programmer, is still in jail (I think, haven't checked up the details in a while) being held without bail for writing a program for his company which could read adobe e-books. How fucked up is that.
There's other ones too who's names I forget.
These recent legislations are also being used to arrest people for simple things like port-scanning. Recently I read an article about how a white-hat hacker informed the security people at a company about a security hole in their systems, and they had him arrested as a terrorist. Wardriving is now considered a federal offense I believe. it's utterly ridiculous.
I've been a little afraid to speak out about any of this, as I'm a very careful person when it comes to political activism. I have the feelings, but never act. Recently it's been because I'm afraid to, and that's just not right. I don't want to be afraid to speak my mind on these issues. We still have the freedom of speach damnit.
I read 2600, I read slashdot, I know illegal information about computer hacking, I engaged in such activities when I was younger and stupider, and as a result I wouldn't be surprised if I had a small file in some intelligence agency's database somewhere.
The Eschelon project is terrifying in scope, and is aledgedly monitoring all phone calls, internet traffic, and electronic communications of any sort at all times. (Psht, yeah. I believe that.) But even if it's not omni-present, it is out there and monitoring this stuff in some respect, and it's not right. It's violating my privacy rights as a law abiding citizen.
ok, so I'm going way overboard here, but it's just some stuff that I need to get off my chest, as it's all a load a bullshit being rammed up the asses of the american public while they're being distracted by the shiny bauble of patriotism.
I'm not one to make massive commentary often as most of you well know, but this is really getting to me.
I'll stop rambling now, and I hope that i've made someone take a closer look at what's going on out there. do google searches and look for yourself at the stuff I've mentioned.
Quote of the day:
Dubya was born on third base, and thinks he hit a triple.