Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Unreal America

Jimmy Carter hammered the Bush administration in an Op-ed piece picked up by the “Los Angeles Times.”

It was entitled, “This isn’t the real America” and, once again, we undertake one of our favorite practices here at highwayscribery: Mixing the words of an eminence gris (without their knowledge) with those of that rascally, unsavory, and poorly bred highway scribe.

If you think there's nuthin' to it, do a Google search with the names highway scribe and Jimmy Carter to see what happens. the scribe dares ya.

Here's the piece:,0,4858178,print.story

Further evidence the shield of (r)epublican dominance is cracking, Carter’s pile-on piece is, to his credit, a statement of ideas he has held forth on throughout the Bush years. Thoughts that garnered him a Nobel Peace Prize, thoughts he articulated before a national audience at the Democratic National Convention in 2004.

The difference is that now, finally, people are more willing to listen.

The former President, someone the scribe refers to “as the best mistake this country ever made” dressed the administration down from its spats to its top hat.

He opened with a direct hit using a sharp point: “In recent years, I have become increasingly concerned by a host of radical government policies that now threaten many basic principles espoused by all previous administrations, Democratic and [r]epublican.”

Which principles are those? You know the laundry list, but it’s fun to hear it shouted out into the bright light of day.

“[E]ndangered are our commitments to providing citizens with truthful information, treating dissenting voices and beliefs with respect, state and local autonomy and fiscal responsibility.”

(the scribe excerpting those passages that affect his life directly)

“Instead of cherishing our role as the great champion of human rights, we now find civil liberties and personal privacy grossly violated under some extreme provisions of the Patriot Act,” Carter wrote.

And who can forget the administration’s embrace of torture?

Not Jimmy Carter: “It is embarrassing to see the president and vice president insisting that the CIA should be free to perpetrate ‘cruel, inhumane or degrading treatment or punishment’ on the people in U.S. custody.”

The administration’s policies, he said, have left the U.S. as “a prime culprit in global nuclear proliferation.”

For those who insist that Democrats only criticize and lack their own vision, President Carter doesn’t strike with lightening, but humbles us with homily and basic requirements:

“As the world’s only superpower, America should be seen as the unswerving champion of peace, freedom and human rights. Our country should be the focal point around which other nations can gather to combat threats to international security and to enhance the quality of our common environment. We should be in the forefront of providing human assistance to the people in need.”

Now the scribe asks, What’s wrong with that for a platform and direction?


highwayscribery has been remiss in updating the situation of animal rights activist Nicole Fink, who has been in jail for 79 days, not for any crime she committed, but for refusing to testify before a federal grand jury about someone else’s crimes. U.S. District Court Judge Irma Gonzalez gave up for the third time, convinced holding the Compassion for Farm Animals activist was not going get a testimony from her. The judge had already released two young people being held under the same pretense (“As Much as You Can Stomach, redux” Oct 7).


And don't forget. the scribe will read from "Vedette" with a lot of help from ultra-flash guitar wiz, Omar Torrez at 33 1/3 Books and Gallery Collective, 1200 N. Alvarado St. (at Sunset), 8 p.m., Dec. 15.

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