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Subject:  Re: OT: Taliban getting bombed Date:  10/8/2001  12:33 PM
Author:  bookgrrrl Number:  52663 of 807774

I, for one, am far more fearful of the US government than I am of any terrorists. If you value freedom and civil liberties,
you should be too.

Galeno - I dont want you to take the following personally, but...
You come across to me as a ... tree hugging,

Hey now! On behalf of all tree-huggers everywhere, I say: them's fighting words!

I know that I'm not a regular on this board (I'm a LBYM regular). I found my way here via a post on the "Best Of" board. I haven't even read through this entire thread, so I may well be repeating what others have already stated. I'll apologize in advance if this post intrudes on the RE community, but I did want to respond to Galeno's post.

I'm one of those radical feminist, tree-hugging, Birkinstock-wearing, candle-vigil-holding, demonstration-going women who believes in animal rights (GASP!), environmentalism (SHUDDER!), and the power of psychotherapy to change lives (UNCOMFORTABLE SILENCE). However, I also have a deep and abiding love for my country, and a profound sense of gratitude that transcends all of my political complaints, due to one simple, astonishing fact: in this country, someone like me can exist.

Galeno, your post expressed a concern with civil liberties. So let's review some of mine, granted to me by the country in which I reside: I can have as many demonstrations and candlelight vigils as I want, and as long as I and my hairy-legged pals destroy no property, we'll be allowed to peacefully march and sing and clap our hands and hoist our placards until we grow bunions. Pretty amazing, no? And I can have my most radical friends over for dinner any night of the week, and let them sit around my tiny living room ranting about capitalism and corruption and gender politics, and after they leave, I can go to bed secure in the knowledge that no one will come knocking on my door late in the night to take me away, or to ask for the names of my friends.

I am free to write anything I want - anything! can you see how extraordinary this is? - and disseminate it to my friends and colleagues, no matter how reactionary or bizarre my ideas. Right now, I could create a small pamphlet on my computer claiming that aliens carried out the 911 attacks - or that we should all be afraid of the U.S. government due to impending civil rights violations - and it would not even cross my mind to think that I would go to jail for this, or that my family would be harassed, or that my mail would be read, or that my computer would be smashed to bits. You yourself made your post, critical of the U.S., freely and without similar fears.

And if golfwaymore is sitting at work right now, reading this post and wondering where a nice grrl like me got such nutty ideas, I could tell him that it was at college and graduate school, where I was free to apply and enroll. The only limitation to my access to education was my academic merit - if I met entrance requirements, I could attend. Once enrolled, I was free to read any books I wanted, to talk to and associate with any professors I wanted, to write any papers I wanted, and to espouse any theories in which I believed. At times, this freedom was difficult for me to bear - for example, at one University I attended, one of the professors was a virulently anti-semitic Holocaust denier. As an observant Jew, it was acutely painful for me to see him out on the sidewalk in front of his office, holding up his crazy signs and shouting his offensive slogans. But there it is, Galeno, the powerful beauty of this country - that I, a Jew, and he, an anti-semite, could exist on the same campus, in the same town, with extremely divergent beliefs and lifestyles, without ever coming to blows and without one of us ever being silenced by the other.

If SeattlePioneer is sitting at home right now, reading this post and wondering what kind of marriage a grrl like me could possibly have, I could tell him that it's a wonderful marriage, since I was free to choose my DH myself. I was even free to live in sin with him prior to our marriage, and far from getting stoned to death for it, I actually got a couple of nice pots from my mom (thanks, mom). And should my much-adored husband ever decide that he's had enough of all the "Up With Women" and "Save the Little Animals" and "Teach Non-Violence to the Children" crap that goes on in our household, and that he wants to trade me in for a less tree-huggy gal, he will have to wend himself through a court process that is designed (despite its faults) to treat us equally, and to protect my property a