Thursday, January 13, 2005
AMERICA'S SKY DARKENS
"I have been known to say that the real passion of the twentieth century was slavery. That was a bitter remark which did an injustice to all those men"..."whose sacrifice and example every day help us to live. But I merely wanted to express that anguish I feel every day when faced with the decrease of liberal energies, the prostituting of words, the slandered victims, the smug justification of oppression, the insane admiration of force."
"We see a multiplication of those minds of whom it has been said that they seemed to count an inclination toward slavery as an ingredient of virtue. We see the intelligence seeking justification for its fears, and finding them readily, for every cowardice has its own philosophy. Indignation is measured, silences take counsel from one another, and history has ceased to be anything but Noah's cloak that is spread over the victims' obscenity. In short, all flee real responsibility, the effort of being consistent or of having an opinion of one's own, in order to take refuge in the parties or groups that will think for them, express their anger for them, and make their plans for them."
"Thenceforth everything is good that justifies the slaughter of freedom, whether it be the nation, the people, or the grandeur of the State."
"The welfare of the people in particular has always been the alibi of tyrants, and it provides the further advantage of giving the servants of tyranny a good conscience. It would be easy, however, to destroy that good conscience by shouting at them: if you want the happiness of the people, let them speak out and tell what kind of happiness they want and what kind they don't want! But, in truth, the very ones who make use of such alibis know that they are lies; they leave to their intellectuals on duty the chore of believing in them and of proving that religion, patriotism, and justice need for their survival the sacrifice of freedom."
"As if freedom, when it leaves a certain place, were not the last to go, after all that constituted our reasons for living. No, freedom does not die alone. At the same time justice is forever exiled, the nation begins to agonize, and innocence is crucified anew every day."--Albert Camus, "Resistance, Rebellion, and Death", pp 100-1
The photograph is of Senator Barbara Boxer weeping, as she hears the impassioned speech of Congresswoman Stephanie Tubbs Jones. Senator Boxer was the only member of the US Senate to co-sign a petition of protest, joined by 31 Members of the House, on January 6, 2005. This protest challenged the slate of electors from Ohio, who tipped the balance in the presidential election in favor of George W. Bush. Specific charges of voting irregularities and fraud were brought to the attention of a joint session of Congress. An overwhelming vote defeated the measure after three hours of debate.