Indefinite Detention, Rip Van Winkleism, and Respecting the Future

Yesterday I was talking on the phone with my friend, Rich, in North Carolina.  We were discussing this ‘indefinite detention’ thing going on in Congress and the fact it’s a lead-pipe cinch it’s going to happen.   The US Government is defacto eliminating habeas corpus.

The conversation kept drifting back to the question, “How in the world did we get here?  How did it come to this?”

The answer always came back the same.  “We followed the yellow brick road.”  We did it.  He did it.  I did it.  We all did it.  We saluted, marched in step, ignored the unpleasant obvious, and allowed ourselves to be cogs in a giant wheel.   We closed our eyes and Rip Van Winkled our way into this.

We abdicated.  When we saw our energy needs exceeding our capabilities to produce energy we took the comfortable route of ‘protecting’ sources someone else owned and kept the thermostats where they were.   We wanted government services we couldn’t afford, so we signed the chits to let our descendants pay for it.  When we saw the elected officials rubber-stamping the desires of multi-national corporations to move our production and manufacturing to countries where someone else could do it, we tacitly helped fill the void with government jobs.   We watched them add layer after layer of new cop functions at every level.  We watched them militarize the police throughout the country.  We cheered as they imposed increasingly draconian measures of ‘protection’ of us against the microscopic threat our lives would be touched by terrorism.

We marched in step because it was the easy way and trusted someone else would pay the price.

We’re there now.  There’s no going back.  There’s not a damned thing you, I, anyone can do about it.  It’s time to salute the future.  Congress and the president wouldn’t have done this if they didn’t plan to use it.

Sometime during the next few years you’re going to have some choices to make.  You can watch them haul off people you don’t like for indefinite detention.  You are going to watch that, whether you like it or not.  But since you don’t like those people anyway it will be easier to accept.

So long as it’s someone else.

We’re there and we’ve gotten what we paid for.

I don’t know about you, but it seems to me to be a strange place to find ourselves.  Hog-tied, handcuffed, at the absolute mercy of the whims of people we were crazy ever to trust and really never did.

Old Jules

19 responses to “Indefinite Detention, Rip Van Winkleism, and Respecting the Future

  1. Exceedlingly well put, Old Jules! Speaking of Van Winkleism, consider this: if you live to be 72 and have, on average over your entire lifespan, slept 8 hours a night, you will have slept for 24 years.

    • Fearguth: Thanks for coming by and offering up an astute observation. I try to make up for any sleep I missed all these years by letting the cats help me along, four of them sleeping 16-20 hours a day. If they live long enough I figures I’ll have slept my entire life away and can go back to take care of matters I’d have done differently had I known better. Reversed Rip Van Winkleism I calls it. Gracias, Jules

  2. Jules,
    I agree with most of your article. This is exactly my point but I believe we can still cut these svincters off before all is lost. I know you and I are in no shape to be marching and standing in protest for hours or months but we can still help. Jules; we can’t give up. We must fight. Well;…..I must at any rate. I have two girls ages 20 and 17. Before too many years pass; if I’m still here; I’ll have grandchildren. babies. Those babies and their parentrs will have to live in whatever country we leave.

    How can I just sit and watch as my babie’s right to live; literally their right to live is ground away by these Fascists? I can’t. I am hoping that you can’t either.
    You are a writer Jules. I know you have alot going on around the cabin, but we both know the power of the written word. We can both help stop this by writing about it. Telling everyone to stand up and get to the streets becuase if this is to be stopped; it will only be by direct action of the people. Occupy means more than hang out for a few months. When sufficient nymbers have found there way; the intent is to !Occupy! America and make the needed adjustments. I am convinced from all I read, see, experience and from my study of History thay this is our only hope. “Help me, Obi Wan Kenobi”

    • Angrymanspeaks: I respect your view and appreciate the fact you’ve expressed it here. However, I think matters have progressed to a point demanding a lot of careful thought by anyone intending to advise anyone else about what they should be doing with themselves in these circumstances. Some of the most likely early candidates for indefinite detention, it seems to me, are those who place themselves in the path of the steamroller. That’s their choice to make, whether or not the choice involves a meaningless gesture. But I’m not certain my own role involves attempting to influence them in the making of it. I’ve shot the finger at enough abstractions this lifetime to have an opinion about whether shooting the finger is a wise choice and whether it results in anything other than consequences to the finger shooter without denting the abstraction.

      But I’ll think it over, same as everyone else will have to. Thanks for the comment. Jules

  3. You should have figured that out when they threw us on the reserves. Everything was practiced on us and then applied world wide. It was mastered. Jules is right, if you go up against this you will pay. See my blog on American indian John Trudell. This is happening gauranteed. There are even some native prophecies that I’ve heard about how far this will go. The fourth prophecy is the bar code. Moreover, religion is not going to help you this time. This is beyond that. I have faith in human beings that they can overcome what is going to happen. It won’t be easy and the kids who are young today are going to see some things that we never imagined in our life times. I am 39 years old now. I will probably see this event in my life time. My people were made to suffer before this though so it doesn’t matter to me. We’ve been here before this giant social experiment was created and we will be here after this is all over. Old Jules I hope to see you on the other side when this is all over you would fit in with us perfectly. They even say when we make that journey there will be non-natives coming with us. Good luck Jules.

    • Thanks Fleury: Good seeing you here for a visit. Looks as though you and I might agree on a lot of things, and what we don’t agree on would still be okay. Gracias, Jules

  4. Exactly! Great post! I’ve tried for years to get people to ‘do something’ … back when our manufacturing jobs were first shipped to China (and before.) Back when we still had the power [money] to demand that only products Made in the USA lined our shelves. I sent out emails begging people to NOT BUY from or SUPPORT any company that shipped our jobs overseas. To boycott. But the people were “sleeping” as you say, pacified by huge home equity loans that funded extravagances galore, cheap junk and dreams of early retirement. Why rock that boat?

    I stopped buying dishes because I wondered if the dishes from China contained lead. Turned out lead was just the tip of the iceberg. We were shipped tons upon tons of Trojan Horse products. Contamination concealed in “goods.” Even in pet food. Remember? And contaminated drywall… So many empty shipping containers lined our ports we didn’t know what to do. Turn them into homes? We had nothing to ship back in return.

    I reminded people about their children and grandchildren. About saving the country for them. I told them that an economic storm was gathering. They said, but we’ve had down times before. I said this is different. This is a perfect storm. They said, “Oh you’re just depressed.” After all, they held “The Secret” and the power of positive thinking. “Everything is fine…”

    Oh I could go on and on. But the fact is that Obama inherited what I call a Burnt Toast Economy. Collectively we overcooked the books – created a false economy – became a home building and service industry. The people are broke and angry and with drive thru mentality, expected a fast food fix. But it took years to get to here. And like you said, each of us got us here in our own way …. a quick scrape off this piece of toast won’t cut it. Especially when you have employers like Steve Wynn who says he could hire 10,000, but he’s worried about the uncertainty of taxes. He’s in the business of gambling for Pete’s sake!! Gamble on your community!

    Yep – This piece of toast is burnt clean through. If anything is to save us, it’s to think outside the Wall Street box and to create a “sustainable” economy. But yeah, you know … the people …

    • Ann Marquez: I haven’t browsed around looking for news yet this morning. I’m wondering whether the Senate and House voted on the Committee bill yesterday. Gracias. Jules

  5. Just shared your post on FB – it’s worth sharing. We are in deep doo-doo in this this country, and that is no lie. Thank you, Old Jules, for your eloquence…

  6. Nice to see this conversation starting but about impact, well, we’ve already shot ourselves in the foot haven’t we?

  7. Nicely done. Thank you.

  8. Very eloquently put Jules, thank you for putting your head above the parapet.

    • Ship’s Cook: Good seeing you this morning. Sometimes it’s inevitable I’ll put my head above the parapet, I reckons, because the parapet’s a moving target. Gracias, Jules

  9. Pingback: Oh, say, can Republicans see? « Millard Fillmore's Bathtub

  10. Oh dear. Let’s Cut the Crap is a blogger. On an earlier post I thought you were displeased….

    I’ve seen some of this coming but to be truthful I didn’t think it would come quite this way.

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