Saturday, August 06, 2005








How Close is too Close? How the NeoCons used fear to stifle free speech


First, it must be said that every political viewpoint, Right, Libertarian, and Left, have their flaky and weird factions that are routinely given far too much attention by the media. They get media attention because they make great copy. Threatening to blow up the bowling team will always garner you more attention that complaining that the color of the team tee-shirts makes you look even more sallow. These individuals evidently get off on the adrenaline rush they get by being outrageous. It would be interesting to see the media do an in depth study of their backgrounds with attention to their other asocial behavior, which is certainly there from those I have known personally.
People are pretty consistent if you know them over time and in depth.
The EarthFirst! Fanatics and their ilk should not be encouraged any more than the hysterical Abortion Clinic Bombers should be glamorized. Neither represents the movement they are trying to hijack. Shame on them.
The media should also get a sharp rap on the knuckles both for their laziness in looking for the most outrageous story over and over again, thus providing copy with a minimum cost in thought and journalistic output, and also for cooperating with the powers that be in ignoring the real ground swell for protest from the American people evidenced first at the Democratic Convention in Boston and now at the Republican Convention in New York.
Protesting the establishment is more American than political conventions and predates them. The American Revolution was, after all, a protest using the means available.
But we want our protests today to be non-violent, of course.
So, if Central Park is too close for the comfort of the powers that be in New York and Coney Island also makes then nervous how far away do the authorities need protestors to stand?
This is not a rhetorical question.
I fear that the answer will be someplace rather remote, say on the football field of the Brigham Young University in Utah or if that is too close to electrical outlets then out in the middle of the Mojave Desert.
Snideness aside, the question still remains. Where can the protests take place? Those who are unhappy, and at this point that is a very large number of people from every conceivable viewpoint, they need to be told immediately so they can begin organizing and the intelligent media can cover them. The overwhelming number of Americans protesting the policies of the Bush Administration are honorable, decent, Americans and have an absolute right to make their opinions known. Using terrorism as a justification for stifling protest violates the foundational vision that is America and should not be tolerated.
While we are waiting for the powers that be to emerge from their NeoCon huddle with their buddies in New York and determine what location will be the most impossible for protestors to use efficaciously we might turn our attention to how we can make our opinion known while staying quietly at home and going about our business.
This is my suggestion.
Most of us own and cherish the emblem and symbol of the country we love, the American flag. We can show the flag, using its radiant stripes and glorious stars to speak for us by hanging it upside down, or with the blue field down where it will be clearly visible.
When I do that I will be saying, “Please God, do not put either of these Bozos in the Oval Office.” Personally, I will be voting for Susan B. Anthony this time around so it will not be my vote that affirms the candidacies presently offered.
Susan B. was a woman of principle. When she lived she spoke truths with which I could agree on human rights. She stood up with singular courage to the establishment and never backed down. She is now dead, and some would say that the only good politician is a dead one. I would not go that far but certainly now she will never disappoint me.
Be American. Show the flag if you love your country. And God bless us and the nation that we love.

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