Category Archives: freedom

op-ed:George And His Pet Project: WireTrapping

George Bush stood on the White House lawn today to tell the public about how Congress is messing with his pet project. You know the one, listening in on Americans talking to people in other countries.

Right now he’s wanting to make sure the phone companies don’t get in trouble when they do his bidding.

See here’s the thing. It’s basically illegal to wiretap someone. Even for the phone companies. A person who’s been wiretapped could say…..sue the criminal that listens in on their personal conversations.

But gee whiz Georgie doesn’t like that. The big companies may not go along with his plan on listening in on people if those darn phone companies obey the laws of the land.

And what Georgie don’t like means going to make a brand new law. That is if those mean kids in congress will let him.

One way of doing that is by trying to scare the pants off of Americans.

“Today the House Intelligence and Judiciary committees are considering a proposed bill that instead of making the Protect America Act permanent would take us backward,” the president said.

Now here’s the thing. Remember that story of the boy who cried wolf too often? Yeah……..Georgie seems to forget that a lot of people are considering him to be one of the biggest terrorists in the world.

Anyway Bush wants the temp bill that Congress passed in August to be forever and ever. The Democrats (a.k.a. the biggest bullies to Georgie who can’t seem to get them to listen to him)say umm let’s rework this bill and make it a bit less like the government can do anything.

The August bill is going to expire in four more months. And then if it does it’s back to the old way of doing things.

The 1978 Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act governs when the government must obtain eavesdropping warrants from a secret intelligence court.

By George doesn’t like this idea at all.

Seeking to increase the pressure on the Democratic-controlled Congress, Bush said the update has already been effective, with intelligence professionals able “to gather critical information that would have been missed without this authority.”

“Keeping this authority is critical to keeping America safe,” he said.

George is a good boy. He wants to keep Americans safe from all those mean old terrorists that don’t like America. You know those guys who drop bombs all over the country. The ones who target schools and Mosques. Oh wait……oops my bad.

Advertisements

Silence Is Not How Activists Work

Jennifer Flynn knows there are eyes in the walls. She has been followed. She’s an activist pushes for funding and better treatment for those living with AIDS. Does someone want to silence her?

The woman knows what it’s like to be followed. In 2004 the day before the New York City AIDS Housing Network Rally at the Republican National Convention she visited her family in Hillside, New Jersey. Noticing a car with New York tags parked outside of the house she made note of it. When she left that evening to return to her Brooklyn home she noticed that the car started to follow her. Then there were two more vehicles tailing her. She weaved in and out of traffic, the cars stayed on her trail. She slowed down long enough allowing one of the cars to come up beside her. Gesturing at the men in the car they “threw up their arms as if to say, ‘We’re only doing what we’re told,'” she remembers.

Finally along Goethals Bridge on the Jersey side they stopped their pursuit. She made it home only to find another car with two men in it using laptops. Looking out at 4a.m. she was shocked to see them still there.

In New Jersey she had jotted down one of the license plate numbers and gave it to a lawyer she called in a panic, Christopher Dunn.

The license was traced to a company called Pequot and a post office box outside of the city. It’s common practice for the police and law enforcement agencies to “hide” undercover cars in false addresses. The NYPD though wasn’t involved. Deputy Commissioner of Intelligence David Cohen said no one was under surveillance because of the rally.

The city that the post box was traced to is Amenia. Population 1,115. The street from the license plate exists, just not the address. Someone suggested the reporter working the story go to the post office.

The post office gave some clues perhaps, but more questions came from their answer.

“That’s not a real company,” the assistant says. “The people who used that box, they’re from New York. They used to come here and get the mail, but not anymore.”

Colgan is tempted to elaborate, but doesn’t.

“I can’t because of the sensitive nature of the issue,” she says.

Flynn still hasn’t any idea who followed her or if the incident had anything to do with the GOP Convention. Of course you have to realize that activists had 1,806 arrests among them at that convention. People were arrested and instead of being taken to jail were held for hours in a West Side pier warehouse. The New York Civil Liberties Union is suing. They also want the release of raw NYPD intelligence reports detailing police surveillance of activists and protest groups.

The activists are starting to learn. In America it’s better to be silent and go with the flow.

“When you use scare tactics, you really are curbing our right to dissent against the government,” she said. “The only thing this is serving to do is squash public dissent. By going after the organizers of a rally, you really are sending a message – ‘Don’t hold a rally.'”


Op-Ed: Why Are There Detention Centers In the US?

Why does the United States have detention camps set up throughout it’s mainland? Is the threat of civil unrest so high that these camps are considered a necessary evil? What is going on?

I’m not talking about Gitmo Bay. I am talking about the FEMA camps that litter the country. At this time there are over 600 prison camps in the United States. They have no prisoners in them yet remain fully functional. They are in place to hold people in case of Martial Law should ever come to being.

All of the camps are connected by the rails. Most of the camps could house populations of up to 20,000 people. The largest camp is in Alaska and can house up to 2 million people.

What is the reason for so many to be housed?

One program is the Rex 84 Program. It’s set in place in event of a mass exodus of Mexicans crossing the border. The theory is that they could be quickly rounded up and placed in these camps.

Of course it is illegal to intend citizens. Right? Right.

It says quite clearly that “no citizen shall be imprisoned or otherwise detained by the United Sates except pursuant to an Act of Congress.” No such Act has yet been passed to authorize the use of the detention camps. Congress has previously articulated a clear public policy against detainment of U.S. citizens.

Are there laws that have been changed since 2002 that the public doesn’t know about?

One factor is that the Bush administration has deemed that enemy combatants do not have the same rights as other human beings. They can and will be detained for as long as they are a threat.

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights, adopted in 1948 provides that “everyone has the right to an effective remedy by the competent national tribunals for acts violating … fundamental rights” and that no one “shall be subjected to arbitrary arrest, detention or exile.” If detention is neither subject to any judicial review, nor authorized by an act of Congress, it surely must run a high risk of being “arbitrary.”

These centers have been in place for a long time. Quietly in the background so as not to make a fuss. So why make a fuss now? Because the civil liabilities of Americans has been slipping around steady since the bombing of the World Trade Center. No one made a large fuss about it. When they are gone will it just be the status quo?

From a talk by Phil Schneider: “Recently, I knew someone who lived near where I live in Portland, Oregon. He worked at Gunderson Steel Fabrication, where they make railroad cars. Now, I knew this fellow for the better part of 30 years, and he was kind of a quiet type. He came in to see me one day, excited, and he told me “they’re building prisoner cars.” He was nervous. Gunderson, he said, had a contract with the federal government to build 107,200 full length railroad cars, each with 143 pairs of shackles. There are 11 sub-contractors in this giant project. Supposedly, Gunderson got over 2 billion dollars for the contract. Bethlehem Steel and other steel outfits are involved. He showed me one of the cars in the rail yards in North Portland. He was right. If you multiply 107,200 times 143 times 11, you come up with about 15,000,000. This is probably the number of people who disagree with the federal government. No more can you vote any of these people out of office. Our present structure of government is “technocracy”, not democracy, and it is a form of feudalism. It has nothing to do with the republic of the United States….I believe we can do better. I also believe that the federal government is running the gambit of enslaving the people of the United States. I am not a very good speaker, but I’ll keep shooting my mouth off until somebody puts a bullet in me, because it’s worth it to talk to a group like this about these atrocities. [Within a year, Paul Schneider was assassinated.]

Over 400 years ago the Magna Carta came into being.

Articles 38 and 39 of the Magna Carta said:

“38 In future no official shall place a man on trial upon his own unsupported statement, without producing credible witnesses to the truth of it.

“39 No free man shall be seized or imprisoned, or stripped of his rights or possessions, or outlawed or exiled, or deprived of his standing in any other way, nor will we proceed with force against him, or send others to do so, except by the lawful judgment of his equals or by the law of the land.”
Who decides who is the enemy?


Tuesday 21 February 2006

Not that George W. Bush needs much encouragement, but Sen. Lindsey Graham suggested to Attorney General Alberto Gonzales a new target for the administration’s domestic operations – Fifth Columnists, supposedly disloyal Americans who sympathize and collaborate with the enemy.

“The administration has not only the right, but the duty, in my opinion, to pursue Fifth Column movements,” Graham, R-S.C., told Gonzales during Senate Judiciary Committee hearings on Feb. 6.

“I stand by this President’s ability, inherent to being Commander in Chief, to find out about Fifth Column movements, and I don’t think you need a warrant to do that,” Graham added, volunteering to work with the administration to draft guidelines for how best to neutralize this alleged threat.

“Senator,” a smiling Gonzales responded, “the President already said we’d be happy to listen to your ideas.”


KBR
was awarded a $385 million over a five-year term contract to build ICE facilities in the event of an emergency in the United States. KBR is a subsidiary of Halliburton. That was in 2006. There were already the 600 centers in place. Why is there a need for more?

Do you think this is impossible speculation?

Right now in Taylor, Texas families are being held. That’s right families. Infants have been jailed because their families are illegal aliens. Children wear prison uniforms as soon as they grown into them.

According to the lawyers who have visited their clients in the facility, the children receive one hour of education, English instruction, a day and one half hour of indoor recreation.

The intention of keeping families together is all well and good but to turn a child into a criminal is wrong.

There may be no need to question the motives of the government with these camps. They may be there to support disaster victims. There couldn’t be plans to instate martial law on the citizens of one of the most free countries on Earth. Right? Right?

additional source
http://www.apfn.org/APFN/camps.htm


The United States Was Not Started As A Christian Country

Although it’s what we are lead to believe the United States was not founded by a rock of Christians. The pledge of allegiance didn’t include God until the 1950’s. Religious freedom is quickly going into the hamper.

George Washington, the first elected President of the United States, never undertook communion. It is widely believed that he was a Deist. In his speeches as President he never brought religion in. It wasn’t part of the government. Church and state were separate entities during that time period.

In February, 1800, a few weeks after. Washington’s death, Jefferson made the following entry in his journal:

“Dr. Rush told me (he had it from Asa Green) that when the clergy addressed General Washington, on his departure from the government, it was observed in their consultation that he had never, on any occasion, said a word to the public which showed a belief in the Christian religion, and they thought they should so pen their address as to force him at length to disclose publicly whether he was a Christian or not. However, he observed, the old fox was too cunning for them. He answered every article of their address particularly, except that, which he passed over without notice” (Jefferson’s Works, Vol. iv., p. 572).

It’s fitting that in his farewell address liberty is mentioned fifteen times. God nor Jesus were mentioned.

The second elected President of the United States was John Adams. Adams was a a Unitarian. According to the dictionary Unitarians believe:

A Christian denomination that rejects the orthodox doctrine of the Trinity, asserts the fatherhood of God and the brotherhood of humanity, and gives a pre-eminent position to Jesus as a religious teacher, while denying his divinity.

Unitarians believe in individual conscience and reason as a guide to right action, rejecting the doctrines of original sin, the atonement, and eternal punishment. Unitarianism is widespread in England and North America.

In his, “A Defence of the Constitutions of Government of the United States of America” [1787-1788], John Adams wrote:

“The United States of America have exhibited, perhaps, the first example of governments erected on the simple principles of nature; and if men are now sufficiently enlightened to disabuse themselves of artifice, imposture, hypocrisy, and superstition, they will consider this event as an era in their history. Although the detail of the formation of the American governments is at present little known or regarded either in Europe or in America, it may hereafter become an object of curiosity. It will never be pretended that any persons employed in that service had interviews with the gods, or were in any degree under the influence of Heaven, more than those at work upon ships or houses, or laboring in merchandise or agriculture; it will forever be acknowledged that these governments were contrived merely by the use of reason and the senses.

His own words tell of how the country was founded. Considering the fact he was there during that time, I would have to say he had some personal insight.

“Thirteen governments [states & former colonies] thus founded on the natural authority of the people alone, without a pretense of miracle or mystery…are a great point gained in favor of the rights of mankind.”

Thomas Jefferson, the one who penned the Declaration of Independence, was not a Christian. His writings show a man who thought the faith was absurd at times. He was a Freethinker like Rousseau, Paine and Ingersoll.

In a letter to John Adams, written August 22, 1813, Jefferson says:

“It is too late in the day for men of sincerity to pretend they believe in the Platonic mysticism that three are one and one is three, and yet, that the one is not three, and the three are not one…. But this constitutes the craft, the power, and profits of the priests. Sweep away their gossamer fabrics of fictitious religion, and they would catch no more flies” (Ibid, p. 205).

In his “Notes on Virginia,” the following caustic allusion to Christianity occurs:

“Millions of innocent men, women, and children, since the introduction of Christianity, have been burnt, tortured, fined, and imprisoned; yet we have not advanced one inch toward uniformity. What has been the effect of coercion? To make one-half the world fools and the other half hypocrites.”

Jefferson like the two elected Presidents before him did not see religion being part of the government.

Consider this, Jefferson who wrote the Declaration of Independence was a Freethinker. One who has rejected authority and dogma, especially in religious thinking, in favor of rational inquiry and speculation. That is the definition of the belief. The United States is based on those beliefs.

James Madison was next in line. He was the main author of the Constitution and many consider him to the “Father of the Constitution” because of that.

# From a document in Madison’s own hand and re-published in the William and Mary Quarterly of October 1946.

* “The danger of silent accumulations & encroachments by Ecclesiastical Bodies have not sufficiently engaged attention in the U.S.”
* “Strongly guarded as is the separation between Religion & Govt in the Constitution of the United States the danger of encroachment by Ecclesiastical Bodies, my be illustrated by precedents already furnished in their shorty history.”
* “But besides the danger of a direct mixture of Religion & the civil Government, there is an evil which ought to be guarded agst in the indefinite accumulation of property from the capacity of holding it in perpetuity by ecclesiastical corporations. The power of all coprporations , ought to be limited in this respect. The growing wealth acuired by them never fails to be a source of abuses.”

We can continue to search for an early religious founding father. Not until 1829 when Andrew Jackson became President did the White House have a religious man residing in it.

Jackson was a very religious man. He also did not believe that Church and State should be the way the government was run.

“I could not do otherwise without transcending the limits prescribed by the Constitution for the President and without feeling that I might in some degree disturb the security which religion nowadays enjoys in this country in its complete separation form the political concerns of the General Government.” (letter explaining his refusal to proclaim a national day of, among other things, prayer.)

The Presidents have not all been Christian and yet the country stood strongly. The man responsible for ending slavery, Lincoln was not a Christian.

Ulysses S. Grant
“Leave the matter of religion to the family altar, the church and the private school supported entirely by private contributions. Keep the church and state forever separate.”

Theodore Roosevelt

“To discriminate against a thoroughly upright citizen because he belongs to some particular church, or because, like Abraham Lincoln, he has not avowed his allegiance to any church, is an outrage against that liberty of conscience which is one of the foundations of American life.”

The United States is becoming a country where God is in every other line. The politicians try to convince people it’s that Christians are the rock of the foundation. Yet the founding fathers were not all Christian. There were Jews. There were people who believed in nothing. The one thing that they all believed in though was having the freedom to choose.

The original The Pledge of Allegiance was written in in August 1892 by the socialist minister Francis Bellamy. His hopes were that the Pledge could be used in any country.

“I pledge allegiance to my Flag and the Republic for which it stands, one nation, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.”

In 1923 the first alteration came.

“I pledge allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America and to the Republic for which it stands, one nation, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.”

Eisenhower had the last alteration added in1954.

“I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America and to the republic for which it stands, one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.”

While the largest religion base in the United States is the Christian faith it is not the only one. When a country reins in to base it’s laws and ideals for only one religion chaos ensues.

Take a look at America.


They Danced To Freedom

They defected for their art and freedom to the West, ballet stars ballet dancers Rudolph Nureyev, Natalia Makarova, Mikhail Baryshnikov, and Alexander Godunov all from their homeland Mother Russia. Back when the Cold War was real they sought freedom.

June 17, 1961, at the Paris Airport was when Rudolph Nureyev defected the Soviet Union. He had been treated harshly because it was assumed he was homosexual by the KGB. Within the week he was employed with the Grand Ballet du Marquis de Cuevas and was performing The Sleeping Beauty with Nina Vyroubova.

He was finally allowed the freedom to be who he really was. In Denmark he met his lover Erik Bruhn. They had a stormy relationship due to the fact Rudolph liked to play around.

Professionally he director of the Royal Swedish Ballet from 1967 to 1972 and Artistic Director of the National Ballet of Canada from 1983 until his death in 1993.

He was allowed back in Russia once to visit his mother. The year was 1989.

He contacted HIV sometime in the 1980’s. Although he denied he was sick with AIDS his health was visibly failing.

The French Culture Minister, Jack Lang, presented him with France’s highest cultural award, the Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et Lettres in 1992.
On January 6, 1993 he died in Paris, France at the age of 54.

His death was mourned throughout the world although perhaps the most eloquent tribute was by Mikhail Baryshnikov who said, “He had the charisma and simplicity of a man of the earth and the untouchable arrogance of the gods.”

Natalia Makarova, a prima ballerina with the Kirov Ballet defected in 1970 to London owing to both personal and professional unhappiness. A favorite of the ballets Swan Lake and Giselle she preformed for American Ballet Theater and Royal Ballet. She even returned to Russia during her career and danced Swan Lake again with the Kirov Ballet.

During his trip of the 1970 tour of London, Mischa started planning his escape helped in part by his friend Christina Berlin of the United States. In 1974 Mikhail Baryshnikov escaped his dance troupe and sought political asylum in Toronto. His first appearance after the escape was with the National Ballet of Canada in a televised version of La Sylphide.

After that he ventured to New York. During the rest of the 1970’s he was a principal dancer with the American Ballet Theatre (ABT) and the New York City Ballet. He later became a dancer and artistic director for the ABT until the 1990’s.

He is still a major name in the world of Ballet. On July 3, 1986, he became a naturalized citizen of the United States.

Alexander Godunov didn’t escape the Soviet Union until 23 August 1979, while on a tour with the Bolshoi Ballet in New York City. In New York Alexander contacted authorities and asked for political asylum. In response the KGB put his wife Lyudmila Vlasova on a plane bound for Russia. The United States tried to intervene but she returned to Russia and the couple were divorced in 1982.

He joined his friend Mischa at the American Ballet Theatre dancing as a principal until 1982 when they had a falling out.

He moved on to a movie career. A much publicized relationship with Jacqueline Bisset lasted until 1988.

He became an American citizen in 1987. Sadly he fell ill with hepatitis and died at the young age of 45.

His memorial at Gates Mortuary in Los Angeles is engraved with the words:
His future remained in the past