Tuesday, September 14, 2010
The ingenious design of the constitution is that not only is the concept of majority rule defined, but at the same time, minority protections are written into the document as well.
History is littered with very real examples of the "majority" collective mindset not always being a shining beacon of the correct path. Nazi Germany? The Civil Rights Movement activity centered around the South?
This country was settled by the Pilgrims (among others), a minority escaping the religious persecution of the crown.
The list can be voluminous.
Would a Christianity based church built within a three city block radius of George Tiller's former medical practice cause such a public hub-bub? A YMCA within the vicinity of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building site in Oklahoma City? Probably not. People choosing to follow the tenets of Christianity do not scare or intimidate me, even if sometimes it spawns dangerous radicalism on it's fringes.
Extremism is Extremism, no matter what faith it attaches itself to.
There is a difference between the Islamic faith and Islamic extremism. In the aftermath of 9/11, President George W. Bush was very careful in responsibly drawing that distinction in a crisis, a distinction that is now disintegrating behind the purposeful crafted agendas of right wing think tanks, and it's media organs. It's a cheap political ploy, but by demonizing a populace for political gain, it starts to smell like a page out of the National Socialist playbook; state sanctioned bigotry, anger, and its eventual violent outcome being its cornerstone. It is civic irresponsibility beyond the pale.
This is the REAL dangerous issue, not the construction of an Islamic community center .
As long as you aren't a conspiracy theorist and think that the Illuminati took down the twin towers to gin up a phony war to control the world's oil reserves and accept the premise that members of Al Qaeda did the deed, then an Islamic Community Center really isn't that big of a deal.... unless of course, it is engineered to appear as such.
This is a faux controversy, created to obsfucate the electorate from what is truly important in this year's election cycle, with the sheep-like acceptance of the media in promoting this quantum cartload of horse manure...on both sides of the ideological spectrum, and not just the obvious projectile bile that spews forth nightly from FOX NEWS and NEWS CORP's Murdochian maw. Because these shenanigans have to be exposed, it sucks everybody into the black hole to the detriment of all.
August is always a slow month. Last year it was "Death Panels".
The sad part is that the general populace buys this crap, year in and year out. All of these jerks are absolutely dependent on a dumbed down population, and unfortunately it is a strategy that seems to be working.
The risks and liabilities of demonizing and persecuting a peaceful Muslim faithful for the gain of a vote and political leverage will ultimately be externalized upon a populace that doesn't even realize, even in a post 9/11 world, how those risks and liabilities could manifest themselves in a future reality.
Does anyone think that widespread religious persecution of followers of a specific faith is EVER going to end well, here at home or abroad?
The whole of human history suggests otherwise. These are dark days indeed.
I honestly don't think the beliefs of over a billion people should be indicted by it's fringe elements.
I also believe, as I personal lifestyle choice, that I will not be ruled by fear. And no matter what the polling numbers are, the numbers are skewed by fear, not a rational thought process.... it's bill of goods designed to illicit a knee jerk reaction.
These are my opinions, of course.... but history has shown, that by demonizing a system of belief, a race of people, or the denizens of the lowest strata of an economic subset, IT ALWAYS TURNS OUT BAD!
The building of Minarets has been banned in Switzerland. A Burqua Ban, passed in the assembly, and sponsored by President Sarkozy, is projected to make it's way through French parliament.
I ask all of you: How do you think this is all going to end up? Put on your predictioneering cap, and come up with the best educated guess as you can.
World wide promotion of xenophobia is a losers game, in the end. America, and it's ideals, should be a beacon of enlightenment... and I feel this whole mess is just a small indicator of what is to come, if we allow that xenophobia to wash over us.
It will snuff out that guiding light, and that, in the end, is the concept, ideals and consensual philosophy contained in The Constitution that must be protected and preserved at all costs.
The "enemy" are not the followers of Islam. The enemy is a part of us. This issue is just another societal self inflicted gunshot wound, propagated by people who aren't really interested in protecting those ideals.... and in part, yes perhaps even the majority of our society is allowing the trigger to be pulled. That doesn't necessarilly indicate its the proper action.
There will be no televised galvanizing moment ala Joseph Nye Welch baldly asking Joseph McCarthy, "....Have you no sense of decency, sir, at long last? Have you left no sense of decency?"
Things are way too fragmented. There are 1000's of channels, instead of 2 or 3 as there were in 1954. The attention of the American populace will never again have a riveting moment of communal introspection such as that.
There will be no "shot across the bow" that will cause us to awaken from our collective dream state.
Divide and conquer is the strategy and order of the day. Rule by fear. Keep everyone scared, misinformed, and confused. If truth is inconvenient to agenda, then by all means necessary, lie.
By all means, let's further open the floodgates of corporate lobbying dollars to further corrupt an already compromised Governmental system, and then force Government to work by 21st century corporation policy, where at any cost, all risk and liability of action will be assumed by an unknowing, uninformed, and unvoiced general population: All the while framing the argument that somehow, this agenda is sound policy, and then sell it to the unsuspecting.
The point of this exercise was to perhaps reveal that this is just an indicator: a tip of a very large iceberg that is breaking the water line.... and we can't figure out that we are all on the same Ocean Liner slowly headed straight for it.
Instead of grabbing the wheel, we seem more concerned with figuring out what tune the band is playing and artfully re-arranging the deck chairs.
Tuesday, August 31, 2010
The “Restoring Honor” gathering on the Washington Mall, headlined by Glenn Beck with Former Alaskan Governor Sarah Palin in a supporting role, was a significant event. Whether interpreted as a spiritual “Come To Jesus” revival meeting, a political pep-rally-on-steroids, or a sincere expression of the legitimate frustration and anger of the electorate depends on personal perspective and personal opinion.
But to summarily dismiss it would be a mistake, given the context of the times in which we live. All factors, including the date chosen for the rally, and it’s various media and think tank sponsors need to be considered, as well as the curiously well-timed media and thus very public brouhaha over the building of the Park 51 Islamic community center that blossomed and overwhelmed the previous news cycles immediately preceding Mr. Beck’s attempt at restoring honor, “reclaiming the civil rights movement”, and more importantly convincing the faithful that “America today gets to turn back to God”; Or at least the version of God that the folks behind this show want you to swallow.
This is a News Corp / Freedom Works / Americans For Prosperity sponsored event, it has been developed around the incendiary bile that has spewed forth from Beck's and other Fox talking head's maws since the start of this News Corporation "programming" campaign, resulting in what may become just one of many gatherings that have absolutely and purposefully been cut from the same conceptual and public relations cloth of those memorable little get-togethers at Nuremburg. It is bald and it is obvious whose playbook is being consulted, and what pages are being torn from it for closer review.
But that doesn't mean that it doesn't exist. That agenda has worked swimmingly, and this is the coming out party and the official parting of the curtain, revealing a debutante ball on the Washington Mall. It's here, it's real, and everybody should start paying very close attention. It’s showtime!
So while God, The "Founding Father's Original Intent", and Constitutional concerns were being invoked by Mr. Beck and Ms. Palin on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, it might be helpful to actually expose ourselves to what one of our founding fathers actually thought:
Josiah Franklin, publisher of the weekly NEW ENGLAND COURANT (the first independent newspaper of the colonies), Benjamin's older brother, was jailed for three weeks without trial in the summer of 1722 by Massachusetts authorities for the crime of the "high affront" of questioning their policing efforts centered about the issue of piracy.
A young Benjamin took over the publishing duties of the paper for those three weeks.
Writing under the pseudonym of "Silence Doogood", here are a few choice thoughts from a young Franklin that might be germane to the discussion.
On free speech:
"Without freedom of thought there can be no such thing as wisdom and no such thing as public liberty without freedom of speech"
Seem like that statement lines up pretty well, no matter what point on the ideological dial you may be happening to choose to occupy. But then Ben floats this question within that three-week period:
"Whether a Commonwealth suffers by hypocritical pretenders to religion or by the openly profane?" and arrived at this observation:
"... Some late thoughts of this nature have inclined me to think that the hypocrite is the most dangerous person of the two, especially if he sustains a post in Government.... The most dangerous hypocrite in a Commonwealth is one that leaves the gospel for the sake of the law. A man compounded of law and gospel is able to cheat a whole country with his religion and then destroy them under the color of law".
Ben Franklin was 16 years old when he wrote this. Out of the mouths of babes, indeed.
So: Rather than a polarized discourse on the surface topics such as Constitutionalism and the real driving forces between the concept of "Separation of Church and State", etc., perhaps we can all agree on a basic premise:
That somehow, we are all possibly seeing the same outcome, but through different prisms of perception.
The new paradigm in corporate strategy is in re-assigning (or "externalizing") the risks and liabilities of their corporate agendas on an unsuspecting, unaware, unvoiced, and unrepresented populace. Nobody gives a tumbling rat's arse about your political and/or religious beliefs, as long as the risk is assumed outside of the corporate structure.
This is what the banking meltdown of 2008 was all about, and this is why billions of dollars are spent lobbying your elected (your "representational") officials.
This is why the Citizen's United case was decided 5-4 by the Supreme Court to further open the floodgates of corporate money into our political discourse and process.
Lobbyists had a banner year in 2009, with over 3.5 billion dollars shelled out (this equates to over 1.3 million dollars PER HOUR that Congress was in session).
Who’s at fault? It may be easy to target those promoting a "pro-business agenda", because frankly, they’re more nakedly bald about their actions. It's easier to target folks like Rupert Murdoch, the Koch Brothers, or Dick Armey because of their graceless transparency and unbridled aggression, but in reality, everyone that is in position to stick their hand in that particular river of money shares a certain amount of guilt and responsibility. The veneer of competition is only there to see who controls it.
In other words, this isn't a "left/right" argument, or at least it doesn't need to be: The polarization of the American populace only happens when individuals allow themselves to be polarized. Everybody, no matter what their political inclinations may be, can recognize that in the end, representational government is quickly becoming a farce, if it isn't one already.
So whether it's Rush Limbaugh spewing invective, Glenn Beck weeping while pontificating, Keith Olbermann bloviating, Rachel Maddow snarkily delivering a sniggering aside, or Andrew Breitbart doctoring video and then Fox News promoting it in an never ending loop... media matters. It's how we collect data to make informed decisions. And our data is corrupted, because our broken system absolutely requires that to function in the way that they see fit.
Instead of getting sucked in to the "issues" rabbit hole, maybe we should all just stop, and ponder thoughtfully at its rim for a moment. Maybe there is a different national strategy that doesn't involve jumping in it in a reactive, emotionally driven way... maybe we should all ask ourselves the question "Why am I being encouraged to jump in, by whom, and to what end?"
Why must we all shove ourselves into a barrel and then thrown off the side of Niagara Falls, given the directive of "fight it out amongst yourselves"?
This I know: The journey as the barrel rolls will not be a pleasant one. Elbows will be thrown under a pervasive environment of unadulterated fear as the political "plunge-o-sphere" rotates in free fall. Rascist hate generated centrifugal force will glue your back firmly against the curved inner wall. And for those who survive the experience of the barrel being dashed upon the rocks and you lay broken and bloodied for having taken the trouble for the trip, there will be someone at the bottom to gather you in their loving arms...and then punch you in the face, just in case you didn't quite understand.
That's a diversionary tactic. Sleight of hand via misdirection techniques. Let the masses squabble and re-direct attention, while the game is run.
I see this as a game, and one rigged for everyone to lose except for the very few that are in position to take advantage.
The only move on the chessboard that makes any sense to me, is maybe considering not getting in the barrel in the first place. The game cannot be run effectively without enough people jumping in.
So either we continue to let them play, or we devise an alternative strategy that will allow us to truly restore the concept of "We the People", instead of allowing a den of thieves, regardless of ideology, to wrap themselves in the constitution and flag, with the sole intent of forcing the American public to hold the bag for their actions.
The "Fourth Estate" used to be the press. It isn't anymore. The Fourth Column of our Government is now the flow of corporate cash, and that will only continue to slowly and painfully castrate and corrupt our sacred founding documents, and the ideals and philosophies that ALL Americans hold dear.
The Constitution and the Bill of Rights are compacts, and inviolable contracts within the context of a Republic. "These truths we hold to be self evident..."
Let's truly seek out truth and justice. Let us allow America to find her way. That journey starts with an individual decision, and that is the true genius behind those compacts.