"Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety" - Benjamin Franklin
Saturday, July 09, 2005
All Men Are Created Equal
Or are they?
I no longer believe that all men are created equal. One only need walk (or to be safe, drive) through the streets of Harlem, then drive along the hills of Beverly Hills to see the children born in these two places are no where near equal. Nor will they ever be. Odds are the children of Harlem's poor will never have the advantages of the best schools. They will never attend Ivy League colleges, they will never vacation in Eruope. They will never know the opportuities that the children of the wealthy will not only take for granted but will never understand or appreciate. Yes, there may be that rare exception who makes it out of the ghetto's of Harlem. There may even be the rarer one or two who actually attain some level of wealth. Those are not the norm. On the other hand, what are the odds that even one of the children of Beverly Hills will ever know a single day of poverty?
There is a myth that if you work hard and believe in yourself you can do anything. This myth is an insult to every man and woman who has spent their entire adult lives working hard and struggling yet never being able to rise above living from paycheck to paycheck.
How many of us have worked and struggled to provide a better life for our children, in hope that they will be able to move up the social and economic ladders? Only to see them faced with living the same lives that we have lived. To bear witness to them dealing with the same financial and social barriers we faced.
How many of us grew up being forced to attend the churches of our parents? Forced to follow the teachings of our parents religion. Vowing that when we became adults we would make our own choices about religion and sex. Now we find ourselves once again being stigmitized and brow beaten into a religious culture that we swore to escape?
All is not well in our country. Indeed these are the times that trouble men's souls.
I don't believe there are masses of people out there who want to destroy or take away our freedom. What most of them want is for us to leave them alone to live within their own cultures and religions. That's not to say there aren't bad people out there, who would harm others out of fear or spite. But, they are in the minority. And even they are being used.
The only real threat to our
freedom and democracy are those within our own country who want to curb the rights and liberties that we hold so dearly. Those who would trample upon the rights of the many in order to shore up the power of the few. There is a cancer growing on society in our country. It is fueled by greed, and the desire, not just for power, but absolute power
. The wealthy and the powerful don't just want to be in control, they want to suppress and subjucate the opposition. Their idea of an 'ownership society '
is of them being the owner's and 'us' being the owned. The 'service society' . Our sole purpose to serve them.
I suppose that is why the line actually reads "...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."
Yes, we may pursue happiness all we want. Just so long as we are happy with the status quo, and freedom means the freedom to serve those who have the money and the power.
To think there are those who actually want to spread this [their] idea of freedom and democracy. No wonder the world is rapidly closing the door in our faces.
Thursday, July 07, 2005
The Good, The Bad, & The Ugly
It's been one of those good news/bad news weeks. The good news it Rove's been outted. No, not as Jeff Gannon's secret tryst but as one
of the sources responsible for the revealing of Valierie Plame's CIA Agent status. Of course the White House and all the Presidents men are closing ranks and the spin doctors are already spinning their webs of lies and misinformation in order to cover his lilly white ass. Time will tell if yet again sh** will slide right off the teflon administration
or if finally something will stick to this bunch.
I'm torn over the jailing of Judith Miller. I'm no fan of Ms Miller's but, I fear that her being forced to reveal her source or go to jail will inhibit reporters ability to get those on the inside to talk. As thrilled as I am to see Rove revealed for the chickenhawk coward he is, I can't help but wonder if we'll ever see the like's of Mark Felt again.
Of course this story takes a back seat to the upcoming nomination of a replacement for Justice Sandra Day O'Conner's seat. The MSM are falling all over each other trying to guess who the chosen one will be. Frankly I can't help but wonder if it's not much ado about nothing.
I don't really see anyone who will be that big of threat. History has shown, regardless of their prior rulings, and background, once on the court, most judges tend to be independent. Which is a GOOD thing.
President Dwight D. Eisenhower called his Supreme Court appointments the "biggest . . . mistake I ever made." President Richard M. Nixon unwittingly named the future author of Roe v. Wade (you gotta love that one). One choice made by the first President George Bush now evokes a GOP grumble, "No more Souters!"
The important thing is have they shown a willingness to uphold and interpret the law as opposed to making law that supports one side or the others religious/political opinions.
I remember the bruhaha over Clarence Thomas. The man was all but tarred and feathered. Yet most of his opinions have been one's I could agree with. I had believed that O'Conner would be a voice of reason even though she was a strong conservative. The only area in which she disappointed me was her leanings toward big business.
There's been much talk and speculation that Attorney General Gonzales might be the nominee. Well here's a stunner for you. I'd have few issues with Albert Gonzales being the nominee. After all anyone that the wingnuts would protest against can't be all bad.
I've heard the rumors about Mel Martineze from Florida. He seems to have a lot of support on the left and the right. To me this is a sure kiss of death. Then again with all the mess looming on the horizon surrounding Rove, the White House may well go with someone less controversial. Nah, more likely they'll find the most outragous choice possible. Just to take the attention OFF Rove. Which means no nomination for Gonzales or Martineze. In fact I wouldn't be at all surprised to see Janice Rogers Brown's name submitted. Or even Bill Pryor from my own home state. Pryor wouldn't be too big of a concern for me. I'm familiar with Mr. Pryor and I think the religious right may think they know what their getting in him, but they might get a big surprise. Bill has ambitions, much like Bush, he knows just whom to hook his wagon up to.
I'm not going to get myself all in a dither over this SCOTUS nomination. I'd much rather get excited over the possibility of seeing this...
I get so high seeing this, dare I say, it's almost orgasmic.
Monday, July 04, 2005
Oddly enough when I see or hear those two powerful words I don't think of the movie
, so much as the song
. I can't help humming those lines over and over...Let Freedom ring
Let the white dove sing
Let the whole world know that today
Is a Day of reckoning
Let the weak be strong
Let the right be wrong
Roll the stone away
Let the guilty pay
It's Independence Day
On this particular Independence Day, I am looking forward to the day when Americans stand up and say we are FREE, we've had enough so of these attempts to supress our liberties.
I am looking forward to the day when America is once again the land of the free and the home of the brave. A place where people of all races, religions, cultures, and life styles accept each other and live copacetically. Where we appreciate our neighbors not for their similiarities but for their differences. Where we see other culutres not as a threat but an opportunity to learn about each other. A place where religion is a choice not something forced upon us. Where the Atheist/Wiccian/Muslim has as much say so in our government as the Christians and Jews.
I want our courts to be where the LAW is upheld, not where someone's warped idea of religion is enforced. I don't want christian
judges, any more than I want Wiccian or Muslim judges. I want judges who's religion does not enter into their interpretation of the law. Their religionous beliefs take a back seat to the enforcement of the law.
On this Independence Day, I want back the country in which I grew up. The country were my vote was not only counted but where it actually counted for something. Where the people elected their leaders. Where every voted left a paper trail from the time it was cast to when it was counted, and we KNEW that the vote we cast was the vote that was counted.
Yes, I know my dream is large in scope and design, but I believe there's still room to hope.******
I would like to take this opportunity to say thank you to Dan, Tom and Kathy from Left Turn on Bird Street
for inviting me to be a guest on their radio program. The experience was awesome and one I won't forget anytime soon.
Sunday, July 03, 2005
Before I begin, let me state for the record that, regardless of whether we have a chance to get our democracy back or not, I am prepared to go to the wall with this. I am not ready to roll over because 'there's nothing we can do about it'. I will keep shouting because the alternative is unacceptable to me.
However, I have some grave doubts about the possibility of any kind of democratic (small 'd') process when I hear with my own ears a voice vote taken where the 'ayes' are clearly audible, the 'noes' are practically inaudible, and the chair moves that the 'noes' have it. That is pretty much saying black is white, and white is black, and anyone who disagrees can take a long walk on a short pier.
I have grave doubts when I watch with my own eyes a chairman of a hearing shut off microphones and stalk out of the room to keep witnesses from testifying, and get away without so much as a 'by-your-leave'.
I have grave doubts when I see something happen that I have never seen before - the media intimidated into silence by an administration that will not tolerate dissent of any kind.
I have grave doubts when I watch civil rights and property rights and privacy rights dismantled before my eyes by the most secretive, bloodthirsty and greedy administration ever, without a peep from the party that is supposed to be all about freedom from government intrusion. When I see anyone who dares to speak the truth about what they see smeared and discredited, and anyone who places loyalty to the administration over doing what's right promoted and decorated.
I have grave doubts when I find that the only places that the exit polling does not closely match election results are places that are pivotal to one candidate's success.
I have grave doubts when a congressman of sterling character and 30 years' service to our country, carrying a letter signed by 122 other congresspeople and over half a million Americans, is insulted and dismissed by an unelected underling as if he were a beggar at the gate.
I have grave doubts when a 'Snowflake' of cells or one brain-dead woman represents the 'Culture of Life' and an avalanche of American and Iraqi deaths mean nothing.
When torture is acceptable and the reporting of it is unacceptable.
When facts mean nothing, spin means everything and the President uses the word 'propaganda' in all seriousness.
When 'pre-emptive war' is national policy.
When the President's idea of 'bipartisanship' means 'both parties agree with me."
All of this flies in the face of everything I thought I knew about America. And I have the fear that, no matter what information is revealed to the American people, our votes and our voices will not matter anymore.
We are being ruled by a dynasty. It doesn't really matter who is President; the idiot son is just a puppet, albeit a cruel and vindictive one. This administration is filled with the plutocrats and chickenhawks that have been in collusion for decades. There can be no accountability when everyone in power is in on the fix.
Bill Clinton was vulnerable because he was a country boy from a poor family, with only his brains and personality to recommend him. He got to be President on his own, and didn't have a phalanx of courtiers to protect him when he displeased the ruling class. George Bush does not have that vulnerability.
At the moment, I'm running out of hope - not that we're not right, but that it won't matter. I will not let that stop me from raising my voice and taking whatever action I can. But I sure could use a little light at the end of the tunnel. And I don't mean the light of an oncoming train.
I want my democracy back, you thugs!
This fine piece is the work of Alicia from Last Left Turn Before Hooterville
. I believe the lady has nailed it.