Thursday, March 29, 2007

2000-2008(?): Was I a good American? Was I a good human being?

The first question is asked by Rebecca Solnit, author of Hope in the Dark - Untold Histories, Wild Possibilities in a Guardian (United Kingdom) article published March 14, 2007, Was I a good American in the time of George Bush?

She begins with, “Too many of us have done too little to stop the crimes of this White House. We are waking up but what took us so long?”

Despite Rebecca's amazing track record of citizen activism, Rebecca confesses, “I wrote. I gave money, sometimes in large chunks. I went to anti-war marches. I demonstrated. I also planted a garden, cooked dinners, played with children, wandered around aimlessly, and did lots of other things you do when the world is not crashing down around you. And maybe when it is. Was it? It was for the men in our gulag. And the boys there. And the rule of law in my native land.” Moving to our collective efforts (or lack thereof), Rebecca observes, “There is resistance. But if it were enough, the crimes would have stopped, the war would have ended. When it does and they do, some will have been heroes. Some will have been honourable but moderate, in times that did not call for moderation. And some will have consented, through inaction, to crimes against humanity.”

The second question, "Was I a good human being?" is a result of having checked my friend Tod Brilliant’s March 28 blog, animal extinction planned to provide green power. Linking to a Los Angeles Times article, we are alerted to proposed changes to the U.S. Endangered Species Act. Tod urges us to contact the Pacific Legal Foundation, linked as (Tod is clever), because it, through one of its attorneys representing landowners, is supporting the changes in the Act. The attorney believes that species extinction is not that a big a deal if “it was determined that a greater public value such as providing water or power was being served.”

Both Rebecca and Tod are asking us to do SOMETHING. If we don’t, will we have consented, through inaction, to “the crimes of this White House” against humanity as well as countless animals* and plants?

I put a ? after 2008 because we have a tool to remove Bush and Cheney from office: impeachment.

*Photo of a harlequin frog; 67% of this species has disappeared.


Anonymous said...

The Pacific Legal Foundation has long been fighting to diminish the Endangered Species Act. So it should not be surprising that the Foundation has decided to hook its message to an energy star.

Of course the PLF also supports increased exploitation of natural resources so no one should be fooled by this ploy.


Anonymous said...

'It' is overwhleming...all of 'it'...
We all do what we can, is 'it' enough?
I am a good American, a good human being, aren't I?

Gail Jonas said...

I have a plan to "take on" the PLF. Given what is coming out now, it might not be that hard to embarrass some of its trustees on the board into requiring better behavior from the attorneys representing landowners.

Anonymous said...

Gail -

You know darned well, even though it hurts your heart, U.S. citizens will NEVER do enough.

Once every four years, one out of five will line up and cast a vote - and then slap an "I VOTED" sticker on their shirts out of a warped sense of pride for having done their civic duty. Then it's back to sleep for four more years. Oh, and when they DO vote, it's for one sick and twisted party or the other.

A nation of fools - we should expect only future misery and that's exactly what we'll get.

Look at Sonoma County, the "liberal" county - it's not a whit different.