Eclectic Floridian: Back in the Day of Y2K

Monday, June 19, 2006

Back in the Day of Y2K

The post at Outside the Beltway got my brain working, always a dangerous proposition. But, abandoning wisdom, I'll continue anyway.

Ineke, my Dutch-born life-partner, and I went to The Netherlands for the celebration of the millenium. By the way, flying on Christmas day is wonderful ... 60 passengers on a 767 is very comfortable.

During the course of a three week visit, I had a conversation with Ineke's brother. The European Union was not yet sure to be ratified. Jaap (pronounced Yap), Ineke's brother, asked of my feelings about it. My reply was that I hoped the E.U. would succeed and become a major world power.

Jaap was surprised, saying, "I wouldn't expect an American to feel that way."

My reply simply fell off my tongue before my brain had time to process it, "If the E.U. becomes a world power, then the rest of the world has another group to hate besides the U.S." Since then, I've had time to process that thought and find more meaning than I meant at the time.

The additional meaning became evident a few minutes later. Jap made the (I think justified) comment that he wished the U.S was less arrogant about it's place in the world. I agreed that I wished that too.

But, only minutes later, Jaap began telling me of what the U.S. should do about the situation in Israel/Palestine, the Middle-East and other parts of the world. I could only respond,

"Just a minute. You just stated that we (the U.S.) should be less arrogant. Now you assert that we (the U.S.) should arrange the world is thus and such a way. How can We not appear arrogant, when you (Europe) expect us to manipulate the entire world?"
This is the dilema the U.S. faces. We're damned if we do and damned if we don't, no matter the international issue.

This said, I must also say I am personally ashamed of our showing under Mr. Bush's administration.
  • Suspension of Habeus Corpus (uncharged prisoners at Guantanamo)
  • Warrantless Wiretaps
  • Torture
  • Subversion of judicial process using state security as a straw man
  • Questionable facts surrounding 911
  • Unilateral commitment to a "war" using questionable intelligence
  • Gross dereliction of duty surrounding Katrina (and probable catastrophies yet to come)
  • Economic havoc in the form of huge deficits, unprecedented, undocumented unemployment
  • Surpression of authoritative scientific warnings about global warming
  • Vice Presidential misconduct in awarding Iraq re-construction projects
  • Congressional failure to exercise it's Constitutional responsibility to oversee the actions of the Executive branch
  • Allowing the President to exempt himself from over 750 new laws through the use of "Signing Statements"
In short, I'm so mad at our government I could spit. The government as it is currently run should be aware that there is a Fourth check and balance.

That is the right of the citizens to bear arms. Does our government really want to make us mad enough to exercise that Constitutional right?

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