First posted on February 8, 2013 at 1:35 PM

When I was six I remember my cousin Dave Ville telling about a dream he had one night about being in Red China. He said there were bombs which followed everyone around and if you said or did anything wrong, you’d get blown up. Dave said he got killed right away and had evidently lain dead for a while then at the end of the dream there were a lot of bright lights and things looked “real pretty.” There may’ve been more to the dream but this was the gist.

What did all of this mean? Perhaps just a manifestation of the pervasive fear of Communism common to most of us from the ‘50s through the ‘70s, followed with a hope for the Day of Judgment which might reverse death for the Just? Who knows? My cousin’s dream has just been something I’ve recalled from time to time when contemplating what it might be like to live in a totalitarian society. It was just a 13-year-old boy’s fantasy of course and no nation could actually have bombs following their citizens around.

Alas, things change though, and fantasies sometimes come true. For all of the bashing George W. Bush got during his terms as president (and I am no particular admirer of Past President Bush) I think it’s chillingly fascinating that the president who has actually deployed drone missiles (possibly the ultimate in automatic weapons) is held to be a liberal and a champion of human rights. And now we are told American citizens are subject to robot bombing, even without evidence. Is there any difference at least at the higher levels, between a war-mongering militarist fundamentalist and a war-mongering humanist, social agendaist or does it all have to do with who holds the reins (or the remote control?) I think most of us wanted a change in ’04 and we got one sort of, but is anything improving or were we better off with what we had?