Why do I have an American flag on my webpage?

I posted a message about this in 2001, after September 11. I still believe what I said then. But the way the current administration has dealt with September 11 and its aftermath is disappointing, infuriating, and scary. Bush will go down as the worst President in American history, no matter what he does from now on. How can any patriot stand idly by?

September 11 was supposed to "change everything," and many people continue to talk as though it did. I thought it would at least let Americans know what it felt like to be vulnerable to random acts of political violence, and thereby bring us closer to the rest of the world. I thought it would make us realize how tightly all countries are bound together by a web of political cause and effect, and make us more aware of how our policies are viewed abroad. Surely it would wake us up to where our oil dollars go and what they buy.

But the Bush administration has worked to make sure that we learned nothing. Rather than notice what we spend, we are encouraged to go shopping. Rather than join the club of those bombed upon, we have dropped a lot more bombs. Rather than think about political issues, we are calmed with shallow lies. It doesn't help that we get almost all our information from TV networks run by corporations whose motives, if not sinister, are unbelievably crass.

And on top of all this we are told that the only way to be safe is to give up some of our civil liberties. Can you imagine the patriots of 1776 putting up with all this? Our motto has become GIVE US LIBERTY or GIVE US safety, material comforts, and a dream world.

--- Drew McDermott, Memorial Day, 2004