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[personal profile] rosethorne
[Error: unknown template qotd]For me there are quite a few in my lifetime. The first is December 8, 1993, when Bill Clinton betrayed his working-class base by signing NAFTA without protections for American workers. And in the footage of the signing, there's George H.W. Bush patting his back like the good ol' boys they are. We can all see what's happened as a result. This is one reason I will not vote for a Clinton.

Then there's June 10, 1994, when, at a State Department briefing, spokesperson Christine Shelley was asked, "How many acts of genocide does it take to make genocide?" in reference to what is now known as the Rwandan genocide that had been going on since April of that year.
"That's just not a question that I'm in a position to answer."

"Well, is it true that you have specific guidance not to use the word 'genocide' in isolation, but always to preface it with these words 'acts of'?"

"I have guidance which I try to use as best as I can. There are formulations that we are using that we are trying to be consistent in our use of. I don't have an absolute categorical prescription against something, but I have the definitions. I have phraseology which has been carefully examined and arrived at as best as we can apply to exactly the situation and the actions which have taken place ... "

In reality, this was to avoid our obligation to step in to stop genocide. We had, after all, signed the 1948 Geneva Convention, pledging to step in where genocide was occurring after the horror of the Holocaust. We failed, and the Rwandan genocide is now known as one of the most efficient mass killings in modern history, with nearly a million people slaughtered over the course of 100 days. The only instance of a more efficient mass killing is the dropping of the A-bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

April 20, 1999. Columbine. It made me realize how different I was because even though I was horrified I sympathized more with the killers than the victims because I was a victim of horrible bullying over a number of years.

The second is, obviously, September 11, 2001. I remember that day pretty clearly. I was a freshman in college, still in the Engineering program, and at the internship fair suddenly all the governmental booths started packing up in a hurry with no explanation. I'd been on campus since pretty early, so I missed the actual footage, and didn't know about it until about 10:30 CST when I went to class and everyone was completely freaked out. Again I was different in that, well, I wasn't exactly surprised so much. It's not like the US hasn't fucked with other countries so much without consequences that we shouldn't have expected something to come our way.

Then there's October 26, 2001, when many of our civil liberties were removed by the USA PATRIOT Act and very few people blinked an eye.

I was in England during the July 7, 2005. What struck me most was the difference in reaction to that as compared to 9/11. And yes, less people died, but it really fucked up London's transportation system for quite some time. Whereas we completely freaked out on 9/11, the Brits mostly stayed put, stayed calm, and had some tea while checking on relatives and friends. It's probably because they've experienced attacks, where the US had only had Pearl Harbor as a major attack, which wasn't a state at the time. We've been sheltered, where Britain dealt with the Blitzkrieg and the IRA bombings. It was different.

November 4, 2004 was a big one as well because the US actually voted Bush in. The last time we could maybe blame it on the Supreme Court, but these last four years have been all on us. Kerry was a poor choice for the democrats, and the thought seemed to be "My god, after the past 4 years who would actually vote for Bush?" Over 50% of the nation when the other choice is another moron of about equal idiocy.

And the big recent one...

November 4, 2008. The elation of Obama's election followed so quickly by the horror of Prop 8's passage... Well, I spent a goodly portion of the next week drinking, crying, and raging in some combination. Because our nation showed how far it had come, and then a state immediately removed civil rights from a portion of the population via a simple majority vote. The founding fathers might have a problem with homosexuality, but they're turning in their graves at the fact that a simple majority can fuck with a state constitution and infringe on the rights of the minority. James Madison would be especially disgusted with this tyranny of the majority.
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December 2011

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