I keep having the same disturbing dream. I am on a crowded airplane flying through clouds thick with moisture. George W. Bush is piloting the plane. Riding shotgun as co-pilot is Dick Cheney. Condoleezza Rice and Donald Rumsfeld are flight attendants, but they are dressed as cheerleaders. The service is poor to non-existent, except for those select few sitting in First Class. I am carefully apportioning my stale peanuts when Captain Bush makes an announcement: Ladies and gentlemen, we have begun our descent. Please fascinate your seatbelts, and put your seatbacks in their uprightable position. At this moment, I happen to glance out the window and, through a hole in the clouds, notice to my horror that the plane is flying too low. In a flash, I realize that the aircraft is well past due for an inspection (thanks to FAA budget cuts), the altimeter must be malfunctioning, and we are going to crash. I try to scream to alert the crew or the passengers, but a gag is covering my mouth (and the USA Patriot Act forbids me from disclosing such information anyway). I try to rouse myself from this nightmare, only to realize that I am wide awake!
On September 11, 2001, passengers and crew aboard United Airlines Flight 93, aware that their plane had been seized by dangerous men with the deadliest of intentions, fought valiantly to regain control of the aircraft. In so doing, they all perished but managed to prevent an even greater tragedy. The courage of these individuals is worth remembering at this time, because we, the citizens of this great nation, are now passengers on a similar plane with a similar destination. Though I may joke at times, the steady erosion of our civil liberties, our economy, and our environment is no joking matter. The flag-draped coffins of our children who have sacrificed everything for the most specious of causes are no joking matter. Our democracy is in grave peril. Unless we wrest control of this republic from the likes of Bush and Cheney and those who would blindly follow them, we will all perish. It is very simple. We must choose between descent or dissent. Which will it be? Let’s roll.