Saturday, January 29, 2011
It happened in Iceland.
It happened in Tunisia.
Now Egypt and Yemen.
Tonight, all over the world, it seems, people have had enough.
Enough of oppression.
Human rights violations.
Starving while rogue dictators line their own pockets.
Let's hope the Liberty bug is contagious.
Let's hope we catch it here in the United States, too.
Liberty & Justice,
Friday, January 28, 2011
Sunday, January 23, 2011
Wednesday, January 19, 2011
Tuesday, January 18, 2011
- opposed the lawful government,
- believed in gun ownership
- spoke out against taxes
- endorsed violent revolution
- left behind "anti-government writings" (The Declaration of Independence and The Constitution of the United States )
Monday, January 17, 2011
Saturday, January 15, 2011
I've heard a lot of lies in my time.
Some so outrageous that they knock the wing out of you.
Leave you so stunned all you can do is stare and sputter.
But, as the saying goes, "You ain't heard nothin' yet."
Read the following article about Jeh C. Johnson, who surely must now reign as one of the world's biggest jackasses, or most despicable liars.
You may want to bite on a bullet to keep from gnashing your teeth into chittlin's.
An Obama administration official said that nonviolent icon Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. would "understand" and "recognize" the need for the US wars in Iraq and Afghanistan if he were alive today.
In a speech commemorating the late hero days before Martin Luther King, Jr. Day on Monday, the Department of Defense's general counsel Jeh C. Johnson imputed highly questionable views to the civil rights leader.
"I believe that if Dr. King were alive today, he would recognize that we live in a complicated world, and that our nation's military should not and cannot lay down its arms and leave the American people vulnerable to terrorist attack," Johnson said.
Johnson claimed US service members are helping the people of Iraq and Afghanistan, noting that Dr. King spoke out in favor of acts of kindness.
"I draw the parallel to our own servicemen and women deployed in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere, away from the comfort of conventional jobs, their families and their homes," Johnson said, adding that the "dangerous unselfishness" of the troops would make Dr. King proud.
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The claim sparked controversy as critics were quick to note that Dr. King was an ardent anti-war activist who spoke out against military interventions.
Investigative journalist Jeremy Scahill called it "[o]ne of the most despicable attempts at revisionist use of Martin Luther King Jr. I've ever seen."
Salon's Justin Elliott remarked that Dr. King's "political philosophy, as outlined in his landmark 1967 speech against the Vietnam war, strongly suggests that he would be an opponent of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and, for that matter, the secret wars in Yemen and Pakistan."
In the speech, Dr. King lamented "the most powerful nation of the world speaking of aggression as it drops thousands of bombs on a poor, weak nation more than 8000 miles from its shores."
He called the United States "the greatest purveyor of violence in the world today" and said: "A nation that continues year after year to spend more money on military defense than on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual death."
The Pentagon release goes on to note that Johnson, an African-American, is a graduate of Morehouse College, Dr. King's alma mater, where he attended school with Dr. King's son.
Read some of what the Rev. Dr. King actually said at:
Friday, January 14, 2011
"The government is a group of people that systematically use force and threats of force to accomplish their goals. With no justification other than their ability to use overwhelming violence against those that resist, they act as a monopoly on violence and ultimate decision making over a certain geographical area. They claim the people that live in this area as property, call them “citizens” and take a certain percentage of their income as tribute. They set up rules against certain kinds of non-violent behavior and certain kinds of voluntary transactions between consenting adults. They then initiate force against people that engage in these behaviors and transactions and extract further tribute from them. They are no better and no different than a mafia gang subjecting a local business to a protection racket. Government is just a protection racket writ large."
Monday, January 10, 2011
Sunday, January 9, 2011
"Find out just what the people will submit to, and you have found out the exact amount of injustice and wrong which will be imposed upon them; and these will continue until they are resisted with either words or blows, or with both. The limits of tyrants are prescribed by the endurance of those whom they oppress."
Saturday, January 8, 2011
"...But despite the general unpleasantness of street protests, one thing is certain about them that is certainly not the case for books, films, and multimedia presentations: they cannot be easily ignored. For at least a few seconds between traffic lights, hundreds of drivers are jolted out of their normal routine and forced to reconnect with something their tax dollars are paying for. The image of a man in an orange jumpsuit laying on a cross is a visual reminder that Christ was tortured by the "just doing my job" soldiers under the empire of his time much like many of those held in American detention centers today. For a few hours each week, the sight of a hooded detainee is pulled from the shadows where victims have been deliberately hidden and thrust into the light of everyday life. It is, in short, working to remember those whom the government works so hard to make us forget..."
When Manners Get You Nowhere:
30 Weeks of Protesting Torture in 2010
by Justin Norman
Published on Saturday, January 8, 2011
It's a hard thing for people to acknowledge these wrongs done by their government.
To acknowledge them is to accept the responsibility to remedy them, as a moral imperative, if you're a free man or a free woman living in a free country, as you tell yourself you are.
That, in turn, leads to acknowledging your utter powerlessness to rein in the government that claims to serve you.
And that, in turn, leads you to confront the ugly truth that you are not free.
Not free at all.
Your freedom is just a bumper sticker.
It takes tremendous courage to face that kind of excruciating truth, and not everyone has it.
This is not to pardon those who are such craven cowards, but only to understand why they act as they do.
There's an old saying: Those who can, MUST -- because those who can't, CAN'T.
So it falls to a few who have somehow found their courage, to do as Mr. Norman does.
"Marketing" folks will tell you that a person has to receive a message numerous times before they will act on it. And the Justin Normans among us will have to relentlessly pound away at the others' psychological defenses with the truth until the lies crumble, the way ocean waves eventually wear away the rocks.
More, every act of rebellion empowers others to rebel, too.
So no act of integrity or courage is ever wasted.
Liberty & Justice,
I grew up under a government that lied constantly to its people about important matters and engaged in all manner of evil and wrongdoing. Time and time again terrible crimes at the highest levels of government came to light and went unpunished. The government that lied us into Vietnam is the same government that lied us into Iraq, the same government that has sanctioned preemptive war, assassination and torture - the same government for that matter that slaughtered the Indians and took their land. Make no mistake about this, our government is up to no good and needs to be stopped. It is nothing but a miracle of propaganda that they have persuaded so many decent people into supporting anything and everything they do and have done for so damned long.- Randy Shields
Friday, January 7, 2011
This tune always reminds me of slow dancing on the hotel balcony on a hot summer night.
The touch of her fingertips.
Scent of her hair.
A champagne-flavored kiss that seemed like it would last forever.
But forever ends.
And much too soon.
Listening to this even now, in the middle of winter,
with inches of new snow on the ground,
brings a wisp of summer.
Just when I need it most.
I hope you dig it.
Thursday, January 6, 2011
The sole purpose of this exercise is to accustom Americans to outrageously unconstitutional searches and teach them absolute obedience to "authority."
We used to call this "the home of the brave."
I guess we can kiss that good-bye.
EVERYONE is a threat.
Tuesday, January 4, 2011
Monday, January 3, 2011
In 1881, in Tombstone, Arizona, a professional gambler named Mike O'Rourke (aka "Johnny-Behind-the-Deuce”) was saved from a lynch mob by the legendary lawman Wyatt Earp.
The event has been dramatized more than once. My current favorite version features Kevin Costner as Earp in the epic film, Wyatt Earp.
You know how this goes.
A popular local citizen has been shot and an outsider and ne’er-do-well is accused of murder. With whiskey-lubricated courage several dozen of the towns irate menfolk grab their firearms, torches and some rope and head for the jail.
They congregate outside and demand that the lawman turn the villain over to them – or else. Save the county the cost of a trial. Make sure no slick lawyer gets the guy off using such vile courtroom tactics as “the presumption of innocence” and “reasonable doubt,” and asking for “evidence.” They want some swift and certain “justice.”
The Law steps out calmly, and refuses their request.
Lynch mob leader: “You arrogant son of a bitch. You think you can stop all of us?”
Wyatt Earp: “You boys can get me. That won’t be any problem with all the guns you got here. But I’m taking 10 or 12 of you with me. Starting with you, Dick Gird. And you, McGee. Maybe you, too, Harvey. So if any of you want Tommy… and you want me… come up front with these brave men… and we’ll all go together.”
Faced with the muzzle of the lawman’s Colt revolver aimed unwaveringly at his forehead, the mob’s ringleader has a sudden epiphany about the value of the rule of law. He backs away, muttering and grumbling, and the mob evaporates.
It’s a short scene in the film, but well worth watching. It offers, I believe, several very important lessons.
First, it’s the definition of the difference between a democracy and a republic.
The angry mob is democracy. The majority took a vote and agreed that old Mike was due for a little neck-stretching. Majority rule, right?
The lawman represents a Republic. The rule of law that says everyone has certain rights no matter who they are or what they’ve done – or what you think they’ve done. The law says everybody gets a fair trial.
Second, it’s the power of commitment needed for a republic to survive. The lawman is ready to go down swinging (or in this case blasting away) to uphold the law – even for a known bottom-feeder like Mike. The ideal that he’s standing up for is more important than, Mike and more important than his own life.
Third, the lawman could just quit. Why risk getting murdered by the mob to protect some guy who probably deserves to be lynched, anyway? Because he took an oath, that’s why. He gave his word. And when you give your word, that’s it. Period.
Fourth, nota bene that the lawman doesn’t beg, plead or discuss the matter in a civilized fashion. He doesn’t negotiate or try to find a “reasonable compromise” with the mob.
He also doesn’t come out singing a hymn, or holding up a protest sign that says “Lynching Sucks!”
What he does have with him is a firearm -- which he clearly knows how to use and is prepared to do so.
This scene is an icon of the republic and says everything that needs to be said about what it is and how to make it work.
It’s of sad interest to note that, in recent times the scene was replayed on the global street.
When the United States demanded that Afghanistan turn Osama bin Laden over for his presumed role in the WTC arson/murders, Afghanistan said “show us some evidence.”
I guess we didn’t have any evidence.
Because instead of making the case in court, Dubya led the lynch mob in an assault on the “jail.”
And we’re still there.
Yeah. That’s right.
We’re the damn lynch mob; Afghanistan is Wyatt Earp.
Say it ain’t so, Joe.
The folks at Rainbow Meadows are warming up for a February fund-raiser.
If you can support them in any way, that would be a good thing.
Here's the contact info.
"If you would like to sponsor our event or donate an item or service to our silent auction, please contact me as soon as possible."
Karen Everhart, MEd
Co-founder and Executive Director
Rainbow Meadows Rescue and Retirement, Inc.
Serving the equine companions who have so loyally served us...
Sunday, January 2, 2011
Saturday, January 1, 2011
You have always been and before you there was nothing
Give me the vision to see the good in all
Give me the strength to know when I am weak
Give me the courage to face myself when I'm afraid
Let me be a true friend to the poor, the defenseless and the innocent
Let me be a fearsome enemy to the greedy, the violent, the malevolent
Let me always speak the truth
Let me always keep my word
Let me be gracious and dignified in defeat
And humble and gentle in victory