(NOTE: The following was written in my notebook in early 2008. A few subsequent events, most importantly the election of Barack Obama, have given me cause for a guarded and probably temporary optimism that I did not feel at the time of writing.)
Scahill's Blackwater is as scary as advertised, like Saw III for liberals (or for anyone for whom phrases like "human rights," "national sovereignty" and "separation of church and state" are more than catachreses). The religious right is building its own private army with bases in the wonderfully named Great Dismal Swamp of NE North Carolina (Did Herman Melville name this swamp?) as well as in Barack Obama's Illinois. And they've already deployed domestically--on the streets of New Orleans in the aftermath of Katrina. But perhaps the scariest thing of all is the fact that most Americans don't give a damn. Scary, but not surprising. These are, after all, the same Americans who sat on their fat asses while their government was taken over by a far right militarist junta in late 2000, the beginning of eight years of abysmal misrule that seems to have hastened our national decline. But most Americans were too busy watching American Idol to notice the Bush-Cheney administration's repeated use of the Bill of Rights as a handy substitute for Charmin. We're an uninformed, apathetic, anaesthetized people heading straight down the highway to the great dismal swamp of imperial decline. The only question is, Will we run out of gas before we arrive?