The New United States Pledge of Allegiance

I pledge allegiance, through the gag
To the United States of Anesthesia
And to the Republic, from which I am banned
One nation
With liabilities and juntas
For All.

Ah! The sweet smell of excess! What can be done with our teenage, mutant, runaway government? The voting baby has already been tossed out with the bath water. Any other choice of American government reform reeks of an uprising. Or….does it? Consider that our entire federal government system is now the sole property of a couple of corporations, a couple of big, private enterprises. This system of free enterprise contains allowances and rules for the consumer. (Remember, we are not employees of this corporation.) Now, the picture starts to look a little different. We are no longer considering uprisings or mutiny. Instead, we are looking at mergers, takeovers, and re-structuring. And I did not create this scenario. The corporations, themselves, made up these rules.

Danger! Danger! Danger! The Patriot Act and its sibling, Patriot II will get me for these evil thoughts! That would be a good thing, if it should happen, as it would prove me and many others right. But, it will not happen, not yet. Remember, this is a country that can no longer afford to give Grandpa a reduced price on his heart pills, or a free lunch and a better education to little, nearly-homeless, Susie and Damien. The two Patriots are bells and whistles, intended to deter the anesthetized citizens of my country from squirming too much during surgery. If you are a citizen, the Patriots will be used for unfettered surveillance and information collection. Mostly, information about you, not your supposed terrorist neighbor. If you are not a citizen, then the Patriots will suddenly acquire omnipotent powers to change your entire reason for being, as well as the future of your unborn descendents.

Since the Patriots are rather new and uncharted waters, I imagine that once in a while, a Patriot Act poster child will be trotted out for a dog-and-pony show. The unknown soul will be created into some kind of “enemy of America”, as a reminder for rebellious folks like me. How can you identify such a scam? It will look like a sitcom. The guest star will be “no one of any importance” – maybe another homeless man (like the D. C. Sniper). The “show” will last a sensibly short time, to suit the perceived American attention span. The “ending” will follow standard sitcom formula – nothing accomplished, nothing resolved, no identifiable plot at all – next week, same time. Later though, I do believe that this will evolve into a more dangerous Act, once the PNAC’ers work out how to sugar it up for the Great American Swallowing. (The G. A. S.)

As an American (converted) Muslim, the last couple of years have been way beyond my imagination. Laurel – what do you want to be when you grow up? “I want to be a good American, a good Muslim, and enjoy the freedom of neither, for the remainder of my adult life. I do so want my daughters to learn that hijab is a weapon, and will be regarded as such by many white males, every where we go, so do not get all surprised when someone assaults and threatens you for flourishing that georgette or cotton-rayon weapon. I want to be considered as a suspected terrorist sympathizer – as if hatred, cultures, and militancy were the auto-pilots of observant Muslims.” Please, hear me now – this is silly. This is a geo-political chess game. Quit acting like you really believe this is about Homeland Security.

I do not look forward to the next election, as the faces may not be familiar, but the hands will sure feel the same.

Laurel Anderson, a free-lance writer, contributed above article to Media Monitors Network (MMN) from New York, USA.