Thursday, September 28, 2006

Dark Thoughts on a Dark Day

"All mankind is of one author, and is one volume;
when one man dies, one chapter is not torn out of the book,
but translated into a better language; and every chapter must be so translated...

As therefore the bell that rings to a sermon, calls not upon the preacher only,
but upon the congregation to come: so this bell calls us all:
but how much more me, who am brought so near the door by this sickness....

No man is an island, entire of itself...any man's death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind; and therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee." - John Donne
There are times in one's life when all that can be seen are shadows. It has nothing to do with depression but rather the true existence of such vast darkness that one can't help but pause and stare into the abyss.

While I'm relatively young, many events in my life have been secured as these types of moments. Deaths of very close family members and friends, direct assaults on my personhood as a brown-skinned human being in a society that sneers at diversity, and of course world tragedies that are reminders that "no man is an island."

September 11th was one of those dark days that has unfortunately been replayed emotionally inside of me for the past five years. How could it not? We're constantly reminded that the bloodshed and carnage wrought by our military forces are to "fight them over there so we don't have to fight them here". The "them" has never been accurately defined and, in fact, you'll probably receive a different answer for every person you ask - especially among the atrocity supporters.

Today, September 28, 2006, will also be cemented in my soul as a day I will not soon forget where I was nor what I was feeling - utter despair
The Senate today rejected an amendment to a bill creating a new system for interrogating and trying terror suspects that would have guaranteed such suspects access to the courts to challenge their imprisonment.


The bill’s ultimate passage was assured on Wednesday when Democrats agreed to forgo a filibuster in return for consideration of the amendment. Any changes in the Senate bill, however, would have made it impossible for Republican leaders to meet their goal of sending the bill to the White House before adjourning on Friday to hit the campaign trail.

Underscoring the political stakes involved, White House spokesman Tony Snow said today that President Bush will emphasize Democratic opposition to the bill in campaign appearances.

The very fabric of the United States has been altered by the actions of Congress today. While it had already morphed into something totally unrecognizable due to pResidential signing statements, it has now been endorsed by the very people who are supposedly representatives of all Americans.

The political system of this country is dead.

The electorate is changeable with a few computer keystrokes, the corporate citizen carries more weight than the average voter, and at the helm of this ship is a man who will stay the course even if "Laura and Barney are the only ones supporting" him.

That sound carried on the wind is more than just a bell, it's the promise of destruction on the rocks; and today, the U.S. Senate extinguished the lamp in the lighthouse forever.

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