Monday, July 30, 2007
Tuesday, July 24, 2007
Let us start here, at what might be called a frontier of freedom. For certainly whatever a society says is obscene, and worth prohibiting, is a place where that society's sincerity with respect to its alleged love of freedom will be most demonstrably challenged.
Of course, this act deals specifically with being obscene mailings, and while the mail is picked upon (I suppose because it would engage government employees in aiding the distribution of the contraband), the assumptions about what is obscene and why and what should be done about it are applicable in a general way to how the society in the United States officially views the limits of freedom.
Note especially the many mentions of the word "abortion" in these prohibitions. Of all the obscene or indecent things the writers and supporters of these laws could imagine, abortion was the main thing on their lascivious little minds. Not actually stopping abortions of course, because those are (so far) legal in the United States and their legality supported by most citizens, and so what "crime" would one be inciting to talk about these practices? No, instead the prohibitors want to deny anybody mailing any information about—you know, the legal practice of abortion.
Only a sick and demented society, one twisted up with a deserved self-hatred, could make a crime out of discussing a perfectly legal act, while at the same time having a supposedly cherished protection that says Congress cannot make a crime out of, nor pass any law whatsoever abridging, the freedom to speak or write the criminal words.
How stupid is that? Hey, it's a joint effort of lawyers and politicians (no doctors need bother to open their mouths with their silly medical facts) trying to regulate a woman's stewardship of her own body. And that is pretty god-damned stupid.
Here is another place worthy of examining, where freedom is hatefully challenged by a law meant to destroy it, and at the same time to contradict freedom's alleged enshrinement in the First Amendment, which shrine is heading for a final fall it seems as Bush's Supreme Court takes aim at it and every other worthy American value (noting those are always an endangered species).
Did you know that it was a crime in the United States to write something like: "The government of the United States is a heinous affront to the liberty and well-being of the people of the entire world, and should be overthrown and replaced by a better and more humane system."
And if you write such a thing, and especially if you mean by writing it to convince somebody (or preferably, a determined mob of them) that your words constitute a policy desirable to follow with deeds of political remedy, you can be thrown into prison for twenty years!
That this provision of the United States government, which would seem to pose its rights of existence far above and beyond the rights of the people to demand its dismantling, is in direct contradiction to the command of the First Amendment that Congress shall pass no law abridging the freedom of speech, has not bothered the politicians and bureaucrats (which is the only political party that matters of course). They operate from an assumption of suspicion that every free inclination not involving the right to stuff another fat American face with processed poisons (called "food" in the USA), or some other planet-killing commodity, is a potentially heinous impulse. And, as you can see, they shall not allow it!
But, the question is, as it has always been, what shall you allow?
Isn't the answer that you'll allow the government pretty much anything, so long as they don't bother you, today? Because don't you believe that the days of rights and rebellion, of fighting for freedom, are now dead forever?
And you see no reason to put yourself out for a dead concept.
YOU'RE certainly not going to endanger yourself by—oh, rudely speaking up in a way that might upset your neighbor or encourage him to rat you out to whatever government agency thrives on the flows of information and other moral support from rats.
And that First Amendment thing, why it was always after all just a guideline, not a rule. After all, it was written by lawyers.
But it was written by lawyers who understood that law, if justly applied, was one way that the people could be protected from their government, and that doing that was a fundamental difference between government by the people, and government against the people. And they understood that governments are by their natures repressive of the liberties of the people—especially minorities—and so needed to be severely limited by rules that reflected something the American people had allegedly just fought a war to demonstrate, that they would not stand for a government that acted in disregard of their freedom.
At least they didn't stand for it in 1776.
But today, you don't have much of a problem with a government that counts you as an ant (one amongst 300 million), do you? Of course it's 2007, not 1776, and you've got your own problems. Everybody does.
Along with a lot of other terrible things, Bush has fully demonstrated the decline and fall of the myth of the freedom-loving American. Now, you may say that isn't true, that you in fact are just as freedom-loving as you imagine the fighters of 1776 to have been.
But, what of it? What have you done? Invaded Iraq perhaps, to murder and torture people—in the name of freedom? Oh...or maybe you have voted to re-elect Bush, after of course you supported his idiot invasion of Iraq. You probably did that, didn't you, since most Americans did that.
And now you say, oh that was all just a big mistake (assuming you aren't one of the 40% or so of people who still, amazingly, think it was good idea). Nope, not just a big mistake. It was a symptom of your freedom-hating condition. And that condition is not just a bad or mistaken vote; it is a mindset of thoughtless and lazy obedience to an immoral, unjust authority.
You have no excuse for this personal failing. You have been stupid, ignorant and basically running with a pack of LOSERS. And unlike in most things in your life, where your losing is of no particular account beyond afflicting you and your family and friends, in the great collective losing which has been the pious and pinheaded political will of the American people, the whole world is made to suffer for your grotesque foolishness.
[Note how I am in fact offering you helpful criticism in the following.]
You can start today getting over this. Start saying "NO"! First and foremost to yourself. Any time you hear your inner child tugging at your heartstrings, telling you it doesn't feel good and needs another bloody fix of jingoism, or nationalism, or another climate-killing SUV to add to the collection, or maybe some more freedom-smashing laws penned by the radical Christian jihadists in search of salvation through repression (of other people), just listen to the child kindly, as you always do, bend down and in the gentlest tones you can muster—tell the little bastard to shut the fuck up!!
Once you've managed to do that, and it might take you a while, since our whole economic system is devoted to building and peddling a billion versions of a better pacifier, you might have a chance to begin to see just how infantile you and your fellow citizens have been and continue to be to tolerate one more day of the murderous thug, George Bush, and his horrible crew of zealous nincompoops.
When that revelation should come to you, which we should hope is the most humiliating day of your life, you can perhaps then start on the road to acting in accord with a more mature sense of liberty. And you can start on the endless road of trying to make amends for your ghastly folly.
Sunday, July 22, 2007
"Conservative Christians and military veterans are part an emerging group of Americans who say they are upset by the recent prosecutions of soldiers and marines based in Iraq on war crimes charges, and are coming to their defense with words, Web sites and money."
"I wonder if you are supposed to check out each enemy to see if they have a gun or wait for them to shoot first."
"Anyone that has been in combat knows how confusing things can get. Decisions have to be made in a split second and the harshest judge of those decisions is the combat Marine or Soldier who has made them. Most of those decisions come to visit us every night."