I didn't consciously give up blogging for Lent or anything like that.
I said a year ago when I came back that I would try to be fearless and exultant throughout these bonus years, but I haven't really done that.
Here, for instance, is a letter that I wrote but never sent, after telling a new acquaintance at a meeting in December that I was born in 'U.S.-occupied Mexico' prompted the sort of response that I ought to have been able to predict:
My conscience keeps sending me white feathers for being such a coward, so I am in the unusual position of writing to you to apologise for *not* starting an argument. I did not want to spend all evening arguing in Brisbane so I shied away from explaining where I really stand.
In essence, my anti-Americanism is from the Right, not the Left.
From a Right-Libertarian point of view, I find the erosion of civil liberties and the growth of government power in the United States chilling, but see that this has continued unabated under both Republican and Democrat regimes and - if you look at the perversion of the Department of Justice under the current administration - it is very much a case of: 'My father chastised you with whips, but I will chastise you with scorpions'.
The despicable degree of gerrymandering in the United States and its primitive 'first past the post' electoral system make it an embarrassment to more advanced representative democracies.
I do truly believe that the Democrats are the party of the millionaires and the Republicans are the party of the billionaires: but while millionaires can make their peace with an authoritarian state, sooner or later, the state (like we have seen in Russia) will come for the billionaires. Hence the party of the billionaires holds out the only hope for the freedoms of the ordinary citizen.
From a Theoconservative point of view, I consider abortion to be a monstrous evil and was shattered when the United States voted in a President whose record on the issue was so extreme. While not affiliated with any religion, I consider myself a monotheist in the Judaeo-Christo-Islamic tradition. I recognise that the idea that a child is the property of one of its parents at any stage of its life is a survival of ancient Roman law and the idea that it is part of its mother's body at any stage of its life is a survival of pre-Renaissance science. Thus I would gladly vote for any knuckle-dragging moron who promised to pack the Supreme Court with conservative justices who would overturn Roe vs. Wade.
From a Neoconservative point of view, I abhor unmanned drone strikes, assassinations, extraordinary rendition, and detention without trial in extraterritorial prisons, but consider these all to be symptoms of trying to fight Islamic radicalism on the cheap. Transforming the Middle East needed millions of men on the ground and occupying Iraq while leaving Iran intact to cause trouble was like liberating France in 1944 and not going on to invade Germany.
I think it is hypocritical that the United States clings to its (much less strategically vital) gains from its (much less justifiable) pre-emptive war of 1845 while demanding that Israel renounce all the gains from its pre-emptive war of 1967. This is my main motivation for asserting Mexican sovereignty over the Occupied Territories of Alta California, Nueva Mexico, and the Pimeria Alta region of Sonora where I was born.