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It's a fine line between living for the moment and being a sociopath.

Patricia B McConnell: For The Love Of A Dog.

Pema Chodron: The Places That Scare You

Daniel Wallace: Mr Sebastian & the Negro Magician

All paths lead to the same goal: to convey to others what we are. --Pablo Neruda

Sunday, September 03, 2006

You had me at Murrow

I've blogged before about being a US Constitution geek. I've also blogged about a lot of things that make me bawl like a baby.

But it's absolutely freaking ridiculous when Edward R Murrow, talking about patriotism and freedom, makes you cry.

If you haven't seen or heard about the duty that Keith Olbermann has performed for all of us who love what we once thought were the ideals the US government was there to uphold and defend, have a gander here. (The link is to the short BoingBoing report, and has further links to the video.)

Keith may not have had me at hello, but anyone who appropriately quotes Murrow can get into my bed:

"We must not confuse dissent with disloyalty," he said, in 1954. "We must remember always that accusation is not proof, and that conviction depends upon evidence and due process of law. We will not walk in fear - one, of another. We will not be driven by fear into an age of un-reason, if we dig deep in our history and our doctrine, and remember that we are not descended from fearful men; Not from men who feared to write, to speak, to associate, and to defend causes that were - for the moment - unpopular."

He was rebutting Donald Rumsfeld's recent speech to American Veterans, in which Rumsfeld yet again questioned the patriotism of anyone who challenges the wisdom of the administration, attempting to align dissent with cowardice, treason and terrorism.

Olbermann did far more than just quote Murrow, who's target had been the McCarthyist witch hunt for "communist sympathizers". His broadside was eloquent in its own right:

"[Mr Rumsfeld's speech] did not merely serve to impugn the morality or intelligence - indeed, the loyalty - of the majority of Americans who oppose the transient occupants of the highest offices in the land; Worse, still, it credits those same transient occupants - our employees - with a total omniscience; a total omniscience which neither common sense, nor this administration’s track record at home or abroad, suggests they deserve.

...In what country was Mr. Rumsfeld raised? As a child, of whose heroism did he read? On what side of the battle for freedom did he dream one day to fight? With what country has he confused… the United States of America?"

I have written, often, here, about the tirade of Bush administration policy that enshrines offenses to freedom in law and cheapens life itself while claiming moral high ground. I have called it, again and again, immoral. This is not a political judgment. It is a moral one.

I have but to read "...we are not descended from fearful men", knowing what's coming next, for my eyes to tear up.

To all the neo-cons who claim that those who are neither Christian nor conservative lack, by definition, values and a moral compass, I ask this: Do you think what's behind those tears is just a bleeding heart and misty sentimentalism?

Think again. It's moral rage.


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