Badtux the Snarky Penguin

In a time of chimpanzees, I was a penguin.

Religious fundamentalists are motivated by the sneaking suspicion that someone, somewhere, is having fun -- and that this must be stopped.

Monday, May 29, 2006

Blast from the past: From September 11, 2002

As I've noted before, I had a few blogs before this one, including one that is probably a direct ancestor of this one. It is no longer available on the Internet for a number of technical reasons, but I still have the data.

This one is from September 11, 2002. In the previous year, the Patriot Act had been passed, and it appeared that Dear Leader was working up to a war against Iraq, a nation which had never attacked us, which had never supported a single act of terrorism against the United States, and which was militarily no threat to us. What I said then is especially relevant on this Memorial Day. Here is what I said:

On September 11, 2001, over two thousand Americans gave their lives for freedom. This is nothing new for America. From the soldiers ofthe Revolution, to the bloody fields of the Civil War, from the shores of Normandy to the freedom marcher's fall, freedom has always had its price, usually buried in the ground with a white cross and flowers to be forgotten as time marches on.

Yet ominous reporters were quick to tell us, "Everything has changed." Nonsense. The world is a dangerous place. It was a dangerous place when we stood up to Hitler and Tojo. It was a dangerous place when we engaged in nuclear standoff with the Soviet Union. It is still a dangerous place, and always will be,because the United States is prosperous and the envy of all, and the barbarians at the gates will do anything to see us fall. Nothing has changed. Nothing.

Yet we hear these calls, "We must give up our freedoms." We must give up our freedom to travel this great nation's airways without presenting our papers and submitting to strip searches(for the females amongst our readers). We must give up the freedoms guaranteed by the Constitution of the United States -- the right to a grand jury, the right to a trial, the right to a lawyer -- for "we must be safe."

But no number of freedoms we give up will ever make us safe. The barbarians are at the gates, and forever shall they be. Only constant vigilance and, yes, blood, shall preserve this great nation, and there will be further deaths, further examples of freedom's toll. Over two thousand people died on September 11. They did not know that they died for freedom. They were going about their daily lives, and then they died.

But that is how it has always been. All of us, any of us,any time of the day, may find ourselves paying that price. You can either cower in a bunker or stand tall, and try to live the best life you can in full knowledge that tomorrow it may end. Or you can spit on the graves of those who have died, of those who died because this is a free nation and we do not have machine-gun-armed soldiers on every street corner demanding our papers, you can spit on the graves of those who died on the shores of Normandy, on the graves of those who fought this nation's wars, on the graves of those who fought for liberty and justice and equality for our own citizens.

Just don't expect me to shake your hand if you do so. Or to call you anything other than what you are: A coward, a disgrace, a desecrator of the graves of the dead. For in the end, the biggest threat to this nation is not the barbarians at the gate. The biggest threat to this nation is the barbarians within, who would destroy the freedoms that made this nation great in the name of an illusionary safety that will never be attained.

- E.L.G., September 11, 2002

Posted by: BadTux / 5/29/2006 10:11:00 AM  


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I am a black and white and yellow multicolored penguin making his way as best he can in a world of monochromic monkeys.

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"Keep fighting for freedom and justice, beloveds, but don't forget to have fun doin' it. Lord, let your laughter ring forth. Be outrageous, ridicule the fraidy-cats, rejoice in all the oddities that freedom can produce." -- Molly Ivins, 1944-2007 "The penalty good men pay for indifference to public affairs is to be ruled by evil men."

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