Finito la Commedia

Updated: Live Free – or Die Horribly!

America's threat: Live Free or DIE!

I am finally ashamed to be an American. Ok, so a lot of you are probably thinking: What took so long?

In fact, so am I. However, it hasn’t so much been that I’ve been ashamed to be an American up until now; I’ve been ashamed that (presumably) a slim majority of our nation elected this government. Now, I’m really discouraged.

Since the Military Commissions Act of 2006 was passed on September 28th, I was very much disappointed to see that the front page story on both of my local newspapers was sports. Granted, our baseball won its division title in a sudden and exciting game, but really.

'Britain Forward not Back' by Chris Holden
What it comes down to for me is a simple proposition: we can’t trust this government — or perhaps any government — to tell us the truth.

A government that proposes that it can be completely certain that it will never harm an innocent person – for how else could it defend the idea that anyone it asserts is an enemy combatant or a terrorist most certainly is, and therefore does not deserve even the opportunity to challenge the assumption of his guilt?

Either the government is asserting that it will never, never be wrong about the guilt of those it arrests, or the government is asserting that it does not matter whether these people are guilty or innocent.

Have our values degraded to the point that we are willing to destroy the lives of innocent people for expediency? Surely not.

Surely our government cannot mean that we are willing to disregard the possibility that someone is innocent because it would be too much of a burden to prove their case before an impartial judge with fair rules of evidence. So, I can only assume that the government is now asserting that it is never wrong.

I ask you – have you not noticed the many recent occasions on which our intelligence was, in incontrovertible fact, wrong? Does the name Maher Arar ring a bell? WMDs in Iraq? I am sorry to sound sarcastic, but I am stunned.

Here is a useless letter I wrote on September 28th to the empty suit who is, unfortunately, one of my senators. As I say in the letter, I have no hope that my letter will have any effect on him whatsoever.

Luckily, I sent a copy of the letter to our other senator, the beleaguered good guy. In my fantasy, he reads it to the full Senate, which also does no good, but makes for good copy in the news.

We cannot defend freedom abroad by abandoning it at home

Mr. Coleman,

I see that you voted for the Military Commissions Act of 2006. Now that you have voted to prevent even a completely innocent U.S. citizen from having the right to protest their detention as an enemy combatant, I see that you and I have absolutely incompatible views of what the words “freedom” and “America” mean. I can see that our values are so opposite that it is hard for me to see you as a rational person.

I am ashamed that you are my senator. I am ashamed that I, personally, have shaken your hand and allowed my step-daughter to do so.

If I am ashamed of the United States and horrified at how willing we are to give up the very basic tenets of due process – valuable not only because we are (or were) lucky enough to live in a country that guaranteed it but because due process is what brings about fair trials with fair results – how can you expect people with much less reason to like America that I to believe in us?

I do not require or want any response to this letter. I do not have any hope that I can reach your mind. I am sure you will dismiss me as some “radical.”

I only hope that you find yourself someday haunted by my prediction that you and this Congress will go down in history, along with those that passed the Fugitive Slave Act* and the Japanese-American internment**, as one of those that children are taught in school to pity and adults bring up as exemplars of bad government, weakness, stupidity, and injustice.

I hope that you, someday, are far more ashamed than I am now.


Your unwilling constituent

No freedom at the point of a gun

Here’s what I wrote to my other senator:

Dear Senator Dayton,

I want to personally thank you for voting against the Military Commissions Act of 2006.

I am very sorry that you did not run again, although I can certainly understand why.

You have been consistently willing to stand against what I view as the forces of oppression within our government. Even if you have only succeeded in being an uncomfortable burr in the coats of these mindless wolves, that is a greater success than most of us will ever know.

Below, please read my note to Norm Coleman.

For my part, your work has been greatly appreciated, and I want to express my sincere appreciation.

Scared of the U.S. Government

I’m so bummed. I realize that I’m a little late with this post, but I just couldn’t get up the energy, to be honest.


Look! Senator Dayton responded!Senator Dayton apparently personally responded with this e-mail:

October 17, 2006
Dear Ms. Reynolds:
Thank you for contacting me to express your support. I am always happy to hear from Minnesotans who take the time to let me know what they think.

Your interest is most welcome, and I invite your active participation in
all levels of the democratic process.
Representing the State of Minnesota in the United States Senate is not
only a privilege, it is a joy. I am committed to working with my colleagues to craft legislation ensuring the best quality of life for all our citizens.
Again, I greatly appreciate your thoughtful message. Please stay in touch with me if there is any way in which I can be [sic]assistance.
My best regards.
Mark Dayton
United States Senator


*There were actually two fugitive slave acts: one in 1793 and one in 1850, both with the purpose of requiring non-slave states to return fugitive slaves to their bondage in the South. 

**My husband correctly points out that the Japanese Internment was the result of an executive order by Franklin Roosevelt. However, Congress did not have to go along with it.


2 Comments so far
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I also do not trust a group that has no oversight.

Comment by George

Thanks for information.
many interesting things

Comment by celpjefscycle

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