Sedition or Free Speech...
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ConsortiumNews in an article titled
Mysterious New Programs" by Nat Parry (02/21/06), domestic operations to
deter terrorism will now target Fifth Columnists -- aka:
disloyal Americans who sympathize and collaborate with the enemy.
“The administration has not only the right, but the duty, in my opinion, to pursue Fifth Column movements,” Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., told Attorney General Alberto Gonzales during Senate Judiciary Committee hearings on Feb. 6, Parry reports. “I stand by this President’s ability, inherent to being Commander in Chief, to find out about Fifth Column movements, and I don’t think you need a warrant to do that,” Graham added, volunteering to work with the administration to draft guidelines for how best to neutralize this alleged threat.
Question: Who gets to decide what, specifically, quantifies as disloyal to America or helpful to the enemy?
Question: Does the sale of American ports to ANYONE who is NOT a residential member of our own NATIONAL business community count? Or does stating this opinion in public qualify the author of having committed a Fifth Column offense?
Who decides? Where do we register to serve on the committee...? Which I bet will be the same group of folks who will get to pick and choose which among us get to vacation in the lovely new $385million Detention Centers the New York Times reports [Feb. 4, 2006] are being built by Halliburton subsidiary, Kellogg, Brown & Root for the Homeland Security Department, to:
Besides the questionability of trusting Halliburton et al with large sums of money, given their somewhat abysmal track record with standard fiduciary accounting practices, I must wonder aloud what kind of 'rapid deployment' programs would require the quick construction of national detention centers, each capable of holding 5,000 people.
Anyway, these questions and many more are posed amidst noteworthy research in the aforementioned ConsortiumNews article. And whilst you are pondering this do consider -- if YOU were a member of the Fifth Column Committee -- how would you rate the following:
And how would you rate It Didn't Work, wherein William F. Buckley explores the violence between Sunni and Shiite Muslims in Iraq, finding that the "troublemaker in the middle" who is propelling the clash and "the main reason behind all our woes.. is the United States."
Or what about this piece
by Joe Lauria,
The Strange Quiet of the Inner Sanctum, published on Friday,
February 24, 2006 by
And finally under this same heading, while reflecting on the sanctity of liberty and our inherent right to see things differently, how would you -- in terms of drawing the line between Free Speech and Fifth Column -- rate So called re-discovery of Ivory-Billed Woodpecker allegedly 'made up' by the anti-Kerry 'Delta Swift Boat' veterans Karl Rove hired during the last Bush Crime Family election.
Watch what they do, not what they say. ~Karl Rove
the way coming home from the keynote speech delivered by Karl Rove
(pictured at right) during the Lincoln's Day
Dinner sponsored by the Republicans of Faulkner County at the University
of Central Arkansas Student Center Ballroom in Conway, Arkansas,
February 16, 2006, we passed a church with a large marquee that read
"God is not afraid of your questions."
Rove astutely mixed metaphors, drawing elaborate correlation between
the works of Abraham Lincoln and the works of George W., managing to
calculate-in a few backhanded insults to Democrats of notable repute
while in the same breath denouncing those who sling mud at their
NORFORK AREA BUSINESS
Elected officers include:
Sandie Cloud, VP NABA
NOT JUST A LOCAL ISSUE...
One example of this would be the coverage we did on a local public water issue back in 2003. More recently, there was our December 2005 front page note about the brutality of war. Neither of these reports, as with some others we've done, could realistically be described as 'good news.' However, there is a responsibility to 'inform the public' inherent to legitimate journalism and over the last six years I have come to take this duty ever more seriously.
For the public to NOT be informed about unpleasantries is to deny the public (that's you and me) the right to make an informed choice about what does (or does not) constitute the condition of 'personal happiness' -- noting here that the 'pursuit of happiness' is identified in the U.S. Declaration of Independence as a Creator endowed and thus 'inalienable' right -- as I see it, the communication of information which is pertinent to our own immediate and/or future happiness, even if that information itself is unpleasant, still falls under the heading of good NEWS and the minimum standard of good journalism.
With that said, I feel compelled to address the recent furor over the dreadful cartoons found so infuriating by devout Muslims. This subject caught my attention because the editor of a respected newspaper in a (supposedly) 'enlightened' nation (France) was fired for having printed 12 cartoons.
Think about this boys and girls.
Really, think about this.
I did. And in the process I compiled a few notes from various sites, the bottom line of which (in bold itallics below) offends me I assure you every bit as much as the referenced cartoons offend the Muslims, to wit I quote from various reports scattered about the Internet:
What did he say? Let's read that again. He said that U.S. newspapers tend to NOT publish things which are NOT 'permissible.'
Wait a minute... In context of having a 'free press' who exactly is it that decides what is permissible and what is not...??? And how does an editor get canned for reporting 'the news.'
That is, it is NEWS when a religious order is grieved by something published in a newspaper. And, whether you like it or not, it is NEWS that the original publisher of the (offensive to some, not offensive to others) images apparently went to great lengths to get same published, first having to deal with the fact that a number of graphic artists refused to touch the lampoon project this publisher envisioned (note that 'lampooning' is a sacred tradition in the newspaper business) because depicting Mohammed in imagery is forbidden by the Islamic religion and the artists feared they would pay for their graphic skill with their lives. [For more on this, click here.]
Now before I go on I must underline that as far as I am concerned all of us have the right to be just as offended as we want about whatever we choose to be offended by... But NOBODY should EVER be subjected to THE THREAT OF DEATH because of having drawn (even the most vile) cartoon. (Not even Hugo Chavez by Pat Robertson... how disgusting!)
This is pathetic and chilling, especially when one considers that this dangerous ideology which requisites 'death for blasphemy' has been throughout history ratified as a fundamental tenet of Christianity, Judaism, and Islam alike.
Yeah, I know, I hear you objecting. All of us 'enlightened' and 'reformed' religious practitioners would just never do a thing like kill somebody because they drew a 'dirty picture' or spoke a foul word. However, the Christian Reconstruction movement -- which is the 'high octane fuel' driving the neo-conservative political agenda -- is tenaciously determined to convert the USA to a THEOCRACY where there will be NO 'freedom of the press' or anything else that is not considered 'permissible' by the 'authorities'... and I defy anyone with a brain to look at the policy changes that have swept through our nation since the 1950s with increasing tenacity since 9.11 and tell me that this authoritarian insanity is not 'winning'...
Really, folks. This is serious, destiny altering, life threatening business.
Add to this the fact the Muslim religion is the largest and fastest growing religion in the world and then perhaps you will get a clue as to why somebody thought it could be a good idea to lampoon this particular prophet. Think of it like you would the phrase "Who Would Jesus Bomb?"
Offended? I hope so. I am offended to know that a sufficient amount of nasty behavior has been committed 'in the name of Christ' to justify the colloquialism of this phrase around the globe.
I say shame on us Christians... and shame on us Muslims and Jews... It is time for us all to grow up and take the intentions of our sacred masters to heart. To stop "quibbling over words" (or cartoons) and get on with the business of loving our neighbors as we love ourselves which is the bottom line of every religious ideology known.
No matter whether we are 'offended' by another's religious beliefs, the greatest courage Liberty calls on us to take is the sacrifice of our need to raise vendettas on behalf of God.
Trust me on this, fellow Gozarkians... God is perfectly capable to take care of God's own business -- without our help. There is NO need, ever, to 'rise to God's defense.' God's got it handled. All we've gotta do is get out of God's way, get the log out of our own eye and do unto others whatever it is we feel lovingly induced to do -or- brush the dust from our sandals and move on. Anyway... a few related/unrelated thoughts to close this particular rant:
Item 1: If you wish to read more about the controversy and view the offensive cartoons referenced above, click here.
Item 2: Psy-ops right out of the movies, aka: are you aware of the US military's plans to 'fight the net' (ie: control, distort and censor the free exchange of ideas and information) with psychological operations and attacks on "hostile" computer networks? Click here to read more.
Item 3: On what we hope is a much more appealing 'good news' front, early in May Gozarks will be kicking off a calendar of gatherings on topics ranging from personal health care to civic activism. To be held at our homeoffice headquarters near Clinton, Arkansas, the series will start with a "Well Aware" women's workshop on birthing. This open-ended, spontaneous and 'non-medical' dialog among mothers and prospective mothers, addressing thoughts, questions and concerns about the birthing experience in general, will have a special focus on homebirthing which, for those of you who may not know, was the venue by which four of my own six children made their debut in this world.
Anyway, as with all things, there will be more about this coming soon...
A QUESTION OF VALUES...
I watched the State of the Union last night (January 31, 2006)with nice guy from a neighboring community; a professional and a gentleman of about my same age (late 50s) who is very well traveled having lived in China, Finland, and a few other places and is somewhat of a left-leaning democratic-socialist by self-definition (which is also how I would describe myself).
This gracious guest and gentle soul expressed that he has become so disillusioned about the state of governmental affairs in the dear old USofA that he has seriously considered relocating to Canada in order to escape the insanity he sees being increasingly accepted as 'the norm' around him every day... but feels somehow that would be a cowardly thing to do... that this is his country... that he owes it to himself to 'do something' to make a difference... to put things 'right'... but -- like the rest of us -- he just doesn't know what and isn't sure how.
Said he had never attended a meeting of this ilk before... that in fact he had never watched the State of the Union address before, but that he subscribes to SoJo and when he found Gozarks listing for a "State of Our Values" get together as part of national mobilizing campaign he wanted to see what other people thought about all of this.
After we watched Bush deliver his speech, we agreed that the dangerous thing about him is his Bush-speak. That he strings words together which sound lovely and persuasive because they allude to ineffable ideals which strum the bass strings of every red-blooded American heart. But the problem with Bush-speak is that our dear President never defines the terms he uses by connecting them with identifiable values.
An example, we agreed, was the President's use of the word 'success.' That he used it in such a way that you had absolutely no idea of what success really looks like to him... other than an image of himself... which as we saw it was self-inflated, aggrandizing and dictatorial. The arrogance, for example, to assert that the world cannot survive without USofA leadership... and particularly the style of capitalistic profit-driven (and I'll add 'fear mongering') leadership we have become credited with of late: unprovoked invasion of another nation; waging a blatantly unconstitutional and thus 100% illegal war against an intangible enemy (terrorism) for which we concurred the President and the entire Congress should have been and should be now impeached.
In addition, I'll mention the Katrina debacle and having a deserter as our Commander and Chief.
But Bush's definition of success looks in real life very different
than ours. Our President reflects on his track record and the
'accomplishments' of our nation over the last several years and
essentially, overall, he sees a working model of success. We look at
this self same series of events and are revolted, reviled, dumbfounded,
perturbed and amazed.
Also in our world, kids would be 'taught' ONLY the a,b,c's and the
1,2,3's, and all other 'teaching' would be focused on enabling them to
THINK ON THEIR OWN. Which is, with all due respect, the inverse opposite
of our current administration's "No Child Left Behind" action plan and a
further example of how, based on strict evaluation by empirical
evidence, the values that our President attaches to his definition of
'success' are -- in context of tangible benefits to real people -- very
different than those we defined as our own.
If elements of the foregoing conversation
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