No on Gonzales

Wetmachine is a technocentric place. We talk about, mostly, science and technology and their relation to society. My own particular hobbyhorse is unforseen side effects of technology, especially negative side effects. I guess you would say I’m a dystopian, happiest whenever some new technopolistic horror happens and I can say “See! See! I told you we never should have angered the gods by making fire!”

I don’t generally post political rants here. (I have a diary at daily Kos for that.)

But I’m going to add my puny voice to the chorus opposing Alberto Gonzales for Attorney General, because there are limits, after all, to my perverse delight in seeing technophilia run amok. Gonzales truly is an Orwellian character, a minion of Older Sibling and a cog in the machine that is hell-bent on turning my beloved United States of America into a high-tech Ociania–replete with a prole-filled gulag and a worldwide secret army of faceless enforcers brought up on videogames and armed to the teeth with gizmos, gadgets and all the latest in mind-fuck technology.

A vote for Gonzales is a vote not only for torture and the debasement of a proud American tradition that began, literally, with George Washington. A vote for Gonzales is a vote for the gulag, an the corruption of our republic that inveitably goes with it.

No on Gonzales.


  1. hear, hear.

    At first I didn’t know what to think about Rice for secretary of state. Then I heard her answer a question about why she asked for wording to be changed on a unanimously agreed Senate declaration of principles. She said that the original language afforded rights (e.g., against torture) to people who don’t deserve it. No trial, no discussion, just her and the president’s judgment. Her and the president’s judgment sucks. Now remember, this answer was made in a public hearing on whether she should be appointed to conduct US foreign policy. I’m in Japan as I write this, and the wording on my passport is a plea from “the secretary of state of the United States” to respect me as an American.

    Suppose we approve Gonzales and Rice. Add that to the fact that we re-elected President Bush — and by a larger margin than last time! And that we largely re-elected the legislative branch that has also approved of all this, and even increased the majority in that direction. Maybe a large minority supported Kerry over Bush, but even Kerry didn’t decry this nonsense. He said he would go out and destroy our enemies. I’m surprised he didn’t take of his shoe and bang it on the lectern. How can this not be looked on as a consensus of Americans towards a policy?

    And what is the policy? We’re coming out for torture. No trial or counsel for those we don’t think deserve it. We won’t allow our politicians or soldiers to stand trial for war crimes, but we do put on trials for others. We completely take over the countries bordering the east and west of Iran, and label it evil in major speeches, but we say that it can’t have a nuclear weapons program because, well, because we’ve decided it would be bad. We say we’re for human rights but we don’t preserve them. We insist that our own state be allowed to murder its own citizens. Our politicians and so many legislative and executive bodies have legally and individually stated that the state is to control who we marry and what we do with our own bodies. The world environment is not to be protected, but the rights of landowners are. Well, American landowners. Well, American landowners of European descent. And no one at home or overseas has a right to privacy in this time of emergency – except for the politicians, that is.

    And all of this is to be guided not by the rule of law or of any guiding philosophy, but by those who are morally superior by virtue of having been elected? Sort of elected? The Republican party line on campaign contributions, influence peddling, bribery, spying, corruption, contract fixing, and cronyism is that its leaders haven’t broken any existing laws. Nothing about doing what is right or avoiding the appearance of impropriety. Meanwhile, the party policy on laws is that they are too restrictive and burdensome, and should be relaxed in favor of folks just doing the right thing. Meanwhile, the safety net of civil protections through the courts is deemed to be abused and must be restricted by laws limiting its use. Where the hell is the guiding moral philosophy? Christianity? You know, when Jesus said love your enemy, I think he probably meant to not kill them.

  2. Side note on techno-war. I’ve been out of anything even remotely military since before the WWW. I’d been assuming without cause that the military has been designing tactical systems for the playstation generation.

    Yesterday on the plane I met an engineer for one of the major defense contractors. It turns out that the systems this fellow is involved with are not based on video game skills at all. It seems the digital divide has kept video and computer games out of the hands of the disadvantaged folks that fill the military’s enlisted ranks.

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