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June 20, 2008

It's Repentin' Time In Heaven

This is from a letter John Adams wrote to his wife Abagail in 1777; it appears at the end of HBO's John Adams miniseries:

Posterity! You will never know, how much it cost the present Generation, to preserve your Freedom! I hope you will make a good Use of it. If you do not, I shall repent in Heaven, that I ever took half the Pains to preserve it.

And here's Sen. Kit Bond of Missouri this morning, explaining why Congress is making it legal for giant telecoms to wiretap us:

When the government tells you to do something, I'm sure you would all agree that I think you all recognize that is something you need to do.

So maybe Adams would have been better off not bothering. Canada didn't, and they seem to be doing okay.

—Jonathan Schwarz

Posted at June 20, 2008 09:50 PM

Define okay.
Imagine the junction between the chimpanzee-like ape and the proto-human. Imagine the altruistic chauvinism of each.
These are them those who will do that then and now are.
We have only the insistence of our superiority, like the kids in Chile and Guatemala and Argentina sitting in those sweaty concrete rooms before their judgment better than the swine that herded them into the vans and tombs.
Pigs can be genetically modified into humanoid shapes.
And they will love themselves.
Suckass quislings have all the Darwinian advantages.
Except that they are not what we are.
Celebrate that.

Posted by: Roy Belmont at June 20, 2008 10:25 PM

Another step towards completion of an authoritarian state. They tell us that moon is made of green cheese and we must accept without question. Otherwise we shan’t be safe from bad things. Amazing how short of a time span it took for the whole system to be perverted into an unrecognizable pretzel.

Posted by: Rob Payne at June 21, 2008 12:22 AM

Ha. Pretty fancy parsing on Kit's part. "I think you would all agree that I THINK you all will recognize it as something you need to do".

Can't argue with that.

Posted by: Maezeppa at June 21, 2008 12:38 AM

Really, who gives a crap what that guy thinks? W's dad thought that you can't really call atheists Americans. Giuliani thinks freedom means saying yes sir. Reagan thought the pill lady was nice. What's one more authoritarian asshat's opinion?

Posted by: Doctorb at June 21, 2008 03:48 AM

Jonathan: have you ever given us a review of the miniseries in toto?

I saw it, and in my "history for the masses" pedestrian way, I thought it was pretty good. Too bad I.F. Stone is dead because he woulda parsed that shit but good.

Plus, I likes Paul Giamatti (one of your Yalies). He was damn good in American Splendor and makes it believable that portly, bald guys could get Linney to throw her legs up. But only if they're in the S&B.

Amazing how short of a time span it took for the whole system to be perverted into an unrecognizable pretzel.

Not so amazing. Very few transnational wars have been fought on American soil. And in this case (9/11), it's been mostly in our head and cultural.

Where some people learn to live with the results of war and the accompanying urban and social renewal, we haven't -- we've been busy allowing others to build a cultural narrative expounding our greatness and unique historical perspective.

So when we're confronted with media manipulated fear, we fold like a wet paper sack.

Durable values and foundations indeed.

Posted by: Labiche at June 21, 2008 09:25 AM

This is like a self-inflicted hobbling injury. We'll still be alive, but there's no recovering from this sort of thing. EVER! The imperial Presidency will live on past this collection of dollydolts (made that word up) evildoers and spineless courtiers, leaving us all one big collective cripple. Canada, here I com... Oh wait. I might need to think about this.

Posted by: Rob T at June 21, 2008 10:36 AM

dollydolts (made that word up)

People who makes up words are filthy snurflectibbles.

Posted by: Jonathan Schwarz at June 21, 2008 10:56 AM
So maybe Adams would have been better off not bothering.

A few years back, I met a kindred spirit (a rare occurrence). Commiserating on the state of our rotten Republic, he said: "Even after diagnosing the problem and arriving at a solution - one certain to result in some degree of personal cost - the next question is the most painful to contemplate: Is it even worth the effort?"

I'd love to say the answer is yes.

But when I look around at all the people who are quite content with the status quo (even as it stomps on them without mercy) - and many who are not - I still can't get there from here.

Posted by: Arvin Hill at June 22, 2008 01:54 AM

sen bond sounds like a shit salesman with a mouthful of samples

Posted by: Thad at June 22, 2008 12:38 PM