The Original American Malcontent

Experience hath shewn, that even under the best forms of government those entrusted with power have, in time, and by slow operations, perverted it into tyranny.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

So I ran across this article today and I found it interesting:

In these times of the Patriot Act and domestic surveillance, we might justifiably be concerned that our society is becoming post-democratic. So, while the government charging a citizen with the good, old-fashioned crime of sedition might not exactly be commonplace, it is in keeping with recent trends. In September, Laura Berg, a Veteran’s Administration nurse in Albuquerque wrote to a local paper, The Alibi, expressing outrage at the administration’s incompetent and inhumane handling of Katrina and Iraq. “Is this America the beautiful?” she asked.Evidently so, given that Berg’s letter prompted the VA to investigate her for sedition, a charge that would have sounded significantly less anachronistic back when “America the Beautiful” was written in 1893. Peter Simonson, Executive Director of the ACLU in New Mexico, was stunned: “Sedition? That’s like something out of the history books.”While there does still exist a federal law governing sedition, which can carry up to a $250,000 fine and a 20-year sentence, it refers exclusively to intentionally instigating violent revolt against the government. To read Berg’s call to “act forcefully to remove a government administration playing games of smoke and mirrors and vicious deceit” as a direct appeal for insurrection is certainly a colorful interpretation.Nonetheless, Berg’s work computer was seized within days of her letter’s publication. It took the VA's chief of human resources, Mel R. Hooker, almost two months to admit that no evidence of the letter having been written on the VA’s computer could be found. Rather than apologize, Hooker went on to reiterate the possibility that the letter constituted sedition. Moreover, according to Berg’s American Federation of Government Employees Union representative, the VA has turned the offending letter over to the FBI.Although her cause is being championed by the New Mexico branch of the ACLU and Sen. Jeff Bingaman, D- N.M., Berg is understandably distraught and, according to Simonson, “scared for her job,” and has not issued any statements to the press. And so a dissenting voice has been bullied into silence—that’s nothing new.No matter what apologies or assurances Bingaman or the ACLU may be able to secure for Berg, she will not soon be able to forget the risks that are again becoming associated with peaceful dissent. And neither will the rest of America, especially given the fact that Berg is only one target in a recent spate of actions taken to silence federal employees expressing dissent or criticism.Another target: James E. Hansen, top climatologist at NASA, who was threatened with “dire consequences” following a lecture on the dangers of greenhouse gas emissions. NASA public affairs official George C. Deutsch has resigned in the wake of the scandal.A group of Justice Department lawyers who challenged the Bush administration on NSA wire-tapping and torture found themselves harassed, blocked from promotions, and, one by one, forced to resign their posts and leave the public service sector.And so, the suggestion that this administration does not tolerate dissent—whether in the form a federal employee expressing a personal opinion in the public sphere or challenging policy internally—can no longer be dismissed. All coming to light within the past month, these stories provide chilling, mounting and incontrovertible evidence of our deteriorating democracy.


So first we have our founding document - The Declaration of Independence that states: ...We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.--That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, --That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security...

Right so here's this founding document telling us we have the right to rid ourselves of despotism, and then we have these Sedition laws that forbid us from doing just that - so with that in mind, should we not repeal the law that is unconstitutional - and I say unconstitutional because we are dealing with an issue that refers to an inherant right of the people to control their government and not the other way around.

This seems to me to be the crux of the issue - we have laws that will protect the government from the will of the people and yet the permission to govern is given by the consent of the people to be governed. Did you know that the intellegence community is instructed to target anyone who mention the rights or duty of the people to excercise those rights - hi fellas - just to make it clear - I am not instigating or advocating a violent overthrow - I would much rather appeal to the conscience - if one exists - in every American to change course - Alter rather than abolish. Did you know a priest was once put in jail for claiming that fighting in war was un-christian - yep it happened. They made a state law against it in some hillbilly state - I don't recall which.

It just saddens me because it doesn't seem like Americans believe in what it means to be American - To me it means freedom from oppression and having a governmetn whose only interest is providing for our Safety and our Happiness - yet they have made us less safe in innumerable ways and most of us are damn sure not happy and the government is damn sure not putting any billions of dollars into the effort to secure that end - so what the hell are we doing anyway? Globalism - Empire - unbridled capitalism - perpetual war!!! for christs sake - America needs a history lesson. The founding fathers would certainly be readying their muskets to dispose of the despots that have perverted everything they fought for. As Thomas Jefferson Predicticted - the banking institutions and the military industrial complex has turned our democracy into a tyranny. Way to go America, way to stay free.

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