Vox Ego

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Location: Iowa City, Iowa, United States

I hope to use this blog for parody and comment. We still have a 1st Amendment. I am Democratic from Day One. And it's time to saddle up.

Friday, April 28, 2006

Звезда Spangled Знамя

I swear to God, I don't understand conservatives. Twenty years ago, if it had been disclosed that Russians had written a Russian-language version of the American national anthem and were singing and playing it openly, the right wing would be crowing about how they had won a major moral victory and perhaps even the Cold War itself. They would be sending a cassette of the song with every Holy Bible they smuggled into the Soviet Union. So why the outcry over the Spanish language version of that same song? It's because this time, they're actually here, and their growing diversity and influence is in sharp contrast to the look of a typical Republican party convention.

The demographics of the future America, even given reduced immigration after the Cal-Texas Wall is built, must simply scare the bejesus out of the white privileged core of the Republican party. Looking at the long arc of their attempts to write bigotry into law, perhaps the modern rise of the conservative movement was due not merely to the galvanizing effect of the Goldwater debacle of 1964, but also to the Supreme Court decision in the case of Loving v. Virginia in 1967. From "the..Court declared Virginia's anti-miscegenation statute, the 'Racial Integrity Act of 1924', unconstitutional, thereby ending all race-based legal restriction on marriage in the United States."

Imagine how THAT one hit the rednecks - right in their limbic brains. Bad enough they had to let them into "our" schools, but this one had to make their racist blood boil. The only difference today is the race and origin of the "outsiders", one set having been dragged here in chains, and the others seeking to break their own chains of poverty. The natural end result of our shining beacon of freedom is a nation so beckoning and promising that non-natives wish to sing OUR national anthem in their native tounge. And they wish to let us know, they have found their voices and intend to keep using them. Another natural result is, those freedom-seekers will have their children here. And yes, Virginia, there will be racial mixing.

So how could they stop this brown wave, conservatives must have wondered. From the usual think-tanks and media organs was built the bottom-up concept; get a religious activist base rallied around acceptable social issues, run candidates for everything from dogcatcher on up, portray the proper political actions as matters of faith, and build a majority to appoint judges who will rule the correct way. We can't let our people be too free.

And they don't stop there, either. The right wing is the source of a constant stream of proposals to amend the Constitution, and it's striking how many such proposals would have the effect of limiting the freedoms of some group of people. From prohibiting gay marriage, to taking away reproductive rights, to banning flag-burning, it seems we Americans have too many rights for our own good.

I say, it's time for a Privacy Amendment. From the Electronic Privacy Information Center: "Gallup Poll, conducted February 8-9, 1999. A survey of 1,054 adults by phone found: 70% responded that the Constitution guaranteed citizens the right to privacy." And guess what? It does not even use the word. The 9th amendment however, says that by enumerating some rights, the Constitution "shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people." [Emphasis mine-Scoop.] And to me, and to nearly 3 of 4 Americans, privacy IS an actual constitutional right. Privacy IS freedom.

Now look at the right wing's favorite jurists and President Bush's models for Supreme Court appointees, Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas. In Planned Parenthood v. Casey, Scalia and his lap-dog joined in the opinion that stated in part,
"The Roe Court reached too far when it analogized the right to abort a fetus to the rights involved in Pierce v. Society of Sisters, 268 U.S. 510 ; Meyer v. Nebraska, 262 U.S. 390 ; Loving v. Virginia, 388 U.S. 1 ; and Griswold v. Connecticut, 381 U.S. 479 , and thereby deemed the right to abortion to be "fundamental." None of these decisions endorsed an all-encompassing "right of privacy," as Roe, supra, at 152-153, claimed." [Emphasis mine-Scoop.]
But the fact that these laws were struck down, and thus have in effect preserved this right, has helped shape our knowledge of a right to privacy. No court or government can take it away, for they did not give it to us. It is OURS.

And look at some of the laws cited. A heavily Catholic state, Connecticut tried to prevent even married adults from using contraceptives. The Society of Sisters was a private religious school that won the right of parents to decide where their children would go to school. Virginia, after Loving, was safe for interracial lovers to privately couple. And in Nebraska, a state law proscribing the teaching of German was struck down. Oh dear, could the same logic strike down English-only laws? Better amend the Constitution again.

For the white race crowd, it's all downhill from here. The remaining true believers are such an inept bunch, everything they do in the current polling climate seems to turn people even more against them. I pray to God for the continued health of Justice Stevens, for I feel an obligation to humanity, to counter Ann Coulter's exhortations to the contrary. That's just plain wrong, Ann. And if they get their swing vote, the subsequent rolling back of privacy protections will make a Privacy Amendment an urgent matter. Because they won't stop until they can dictate who you can and cannot fuck, no mixing of races in White America. They want to tell you when, where, and even how you fuck. And you won't be able to get birth control, or dildos, or morning-after pills even when you have been raped. But at least all the nice men raping young girls will have their right to be daddies preserved.

And the national anthem? The title of this article is a Babel Fish translation of 'The Star Spangled Banner' into Russian. I wanna hear it sung in a hundred languages! Damn, wouldn't that be awesome? We Are the World, all right. Hell, put it out in binary, and Braille, and Esperanto and text messages. I wonder what "land of the free" sounds like in an Eastern European language? Especially when sung by people who really get it. People who know what a government knock on the door sounds like.

O say, cn u c?


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