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I must admit to being mildly amused by the Yanks from time to time. Here we have a people so intent on making the world a free and fair place — and securing the oil reserves, of course — that they will send their young people to go wage war on the forces of terror, on the axis of evil.

At the same time they seem to be giving up their rights at a rate that would make their founding fathers spin in their respective graves…

Here is a prime example of that behaviour.

Now instead of having civilian thugs running the show, we have military thugs ruling the roost. Well done, guys!

Let’s see if I have it right then. Your bill of rights should now read something like this:

  1. Freedom of speech, press, religion, peaceable assembly, and to petition the government.
  2. Right to keep and bear arms. New Loss
  3. Protection from quartering of troops.
  4. Protection from unreasonable search and seizure.
  5. Due process, double jeopardy, self-incrimination, private property.
  6. Trial by jury and other rights of the accused.
  7. Civil trial by jury.
  8. Prohibition of excessive bail, as well as cruel or unusual punishment.
  9. The Bill of Rights does not take away any right already held by the people under the Constitution.
  10. Grants residual power to the states and to the people.

I got these from WikiPedia, and this would admittedly be a nice Bill of Rights to live under, but the Yanks have systematically been giving these away at an astonishing rate, apparently in the very mistaken belief that politicians and big business will protect them. Unfortunately the people they really need protecting from the most (besides themselves, of course) are the very politicians they are giving their rights to…

In case any Yank reading this feels like arguing any of these points, go read what these rights supposedly give you. And then you ask yourself if you actually still have this right. Do the poor bastards in Guantanamo bay? The people in the concentration holding camps in Houston and elsewhere?

Honestly?

It’s a hell of a thing, liberty. It’s the one thing in the world which, once given up, will never be freely handed back to the people by those in power. I’m a South African, so you may take my word for that…

You want to tell me the damned Yanks haven’t realised that the politicians want nothing more but absolute control? Nice thing living in a Third-world country: You know not to trust politicians further than you could chuck them.

“Land of the Free and Home of the Brave”?

Erm… I think I prefer it right here at the Southern tip of Africa, thanks….

Update:

Rebecca Solnit at Harper’s Magazine wrote The Uses of Disaster, an essay on the relationship between disasters, authority, and our understanding of human nature