Friday, March 23, 2007

Defamation, Criticism and why they are different words.

I stumbled across this at Markedmanner, was moved to comment, and then realized there was more that needed saying. There seems to be a marked lack of comprehension on the part of certain portions of the Religion of Peace of the distinction between "defamation" and "criticism."

A "defamation" is something that is both offensive and untrue. A valid criticism IS true, and while often uncomfortable, is not a legitimate cause for offense. That is to say that in saying, for instance, that the treatment of women in some Islamic countries is repugnant and unacceptable to great swaths of moral beings is true. That such behaviors brings Islam into disrepute is true as well. It does. Cope, and perhaps consider if the Koran truly requires what culture demands.

Or, for a domestic example, "Swift-Boating" involves saying things about a person, their history and their motives that are factually untrue and intended to discredit them in the eyes of people who do not know any of the parties personally. It's also referred to as "Bearing False Witness" in the Bible; I believe the Koran has similar language, but I cannot quote it.

It's very difficult (not to mention rather silly) to "defame" the Prophet. It's far to easy to check and see if the Prophet really... Oh, wait, yes, I do see the point. See Swift Boating, above. Nonetheless, if you are concerned that the Prophet, or your faith as it's taught are being defamed - or indeed, any person or concept, one goes first to the source to find out the facts of the matter.

Further, for most people on this globe, religion is less about God and more about culture, and therefore it's perfectly legitamate - and indeed, the primary task of every recorded Prophet - to remind folks that there is a real and significant difference, while rudely pointing out the difference between what your neighbors say the book says and what it plainly does say.

Consider also what your culture - and your blind acceptance of it - says about you. And almost all western criticism - even that so ignorant it IS unintentional defamation is actually directed at cultural manifestations. Most people wouldn't recognize a Koranic passage if it bit them. Myself, alas, included.

Spreading ignorance is not bearing false witness. But the consequences are often quite similar.

Especially as you-all quite insightful and accurately criticize the failings of what we touchingly refer to as "western civilization." The radical Islamic and terrorist, Osama Bin Ladin has been most articulate in that regard, as insightful into our failings as he is (or was) blind to the his own failure to practice Safer Sects. Such is the arrogance of mankind.

Of course, one does not have to be Islamic to be confused on this point, or indeed religious. We all have our pet ideas and would love to harbor our fond delusions of mental, moral, religious and cultural superiority. Americans are somewhat cartoonish in this respect, with our flagwaving and parades. But, to the extent that such idealism serves to drive us toward fulfilling our unrealistic expectations of ourselves, it's tolerable, even to be applauded. Mostly, folks prefer the delusions to the heavy lifting involved in making their propaganda come true.

I just found a meeting that took place in Washington DC this week with the Organization ofUS Undersecretary of State for Public Diplomacy Karen Hughes. Islamic Conference. Karen Hughes who is the U.S. Under Secretary of State lead this meeting. Here are some of the things she said: Read The Whole Thing Here

“As you pursue important efforts at the U.N. Human Rights Council to promote resolutions against the defamation of Islam,” Hughes said, “I hope you might consider broadening those resolutions to include respect for all faiths and people’s freedom to worship and express themselves as they choose.”
It's important to recall that this directly relates to the Great Cartoon Flap.

Apparently the diplomatic language is opaque to the author - so permit me to translate. "Sauce for the Goose is sauce for the Gander. If you wish people to respect YOUR choice of religion, and indeed your religion per-se, you must not get your panties in a wad about those who choose otherwise. If you wish to be treated as grown ups; grow the hell up! If you wish to be respected, be respectable. Run along now, the grown-ups have important things to discuss."

Please note the gender of the person saying this. The choice of spokesperson for the United States in this matter was not accidental. This was a diplomatic bitch-slapping, and a textbook example of how one communicates an idea that may be offend without giving legitimate cause for offense.

What ever happened to freedom of expression Mrs Hughes? How about instead of outlawing people putting down religious faiths we allow them to do so if they please? If people want to put down Christianity and Jesus thats their choice. If people want to put down Islam and Muhammad that is their choice. There should be no law against the right of people to express how they feel about any religion. This should never be against the law. Just because Muslims cant handle people putting down Muhammad and the Quran doesn't mean other religions have to cow tail to their demands and outlaw defamation of all religions. Christianity is constantly attacked by people who mock Jesus yet I do not know of any large group of Christians that have committed violence because of it. Nor have they called for the outlawing of peoples freedom to express themselves in this negative way towards Jesus. Muslims should understand freedom of expression and freedom of criticism the same way Christians do.

Well, let's have a look at what else Karen Hughes said. Here's the next two paragraphs:

Noting recent violent terrorist acts committed in the name of Islam, Hughes praised leaders such as Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai and OIC Secretary-General Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu for speaking out against “violent extremists [who] only pervert religion when they bomb hospitals, universities, wedding parties, mosques, employment centers, even groups of children.”

Hughes called on the OIC Washington Group to join U.S. efforts to combat “misperceptions fostered by extremists that there is a ‘clash of the civilizations,’ that the West is somehow in conflict with Islam.” [emphasis mine]

Hear that, Dobson and Roberson? You have just been publicly and officially declared to be "part of the problem." Clearly she did not clear this statement with the White House. That, or as a Bush Appointee, she's incapable of perceiving irony. Nonetheless, I see nothing in here suggesting that violent actions are to be "tolerated" as "Legitimate expressions of outrage," or that criticism of Islam, or any religion should be outlawed.

But the author is not advocating the right to criticize Islam. He's advocating the right to DEFAME Islam. He's correct, so far as it goes, to say that as a US Citizen, the First Amendment guarentees the right to say things that may well offend others, and that Government is espressly prohibited from restricting such speech, even for his own good. The only exception to this is the "Fighting Words Doctrine," which says that the government is justified in acting to restrict speech that is likely to cause an immediate breach of the peace by "reasonable persons." Government has neither the authority nor the responsibility to protect the speaker from personal consequences - the doctrine exists ONLY to prevent "collateral damage."

In practical, individual terms, the way the law treats this is to reduce the consequences of punching a markedly offensive person in the face to a misdemeanor; just enough of a consequence to make people consider whether honor requires such a sacrifice. Honorable persons are responsible for the actions that honor requires of them, regardless of religion or culture. This is an ethical constant.
[She praised] Secretary-General Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu for speaking out against “violent extremists [who] only pervert religion when they bomb hospitals, universities, wedding parties, mosques, employment centers, even groups of children.”
Yeah. Thereby effectively putting words in his mouth that he very much did not wish to say in this context. In praising him, she was "heaping coals of fire upon his head."

General Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu whom Mrs Hughes quotes supports outlawing any negative things being said about Islam. Read Here Sure he speaks out against specific attacks but who does he really consider to be terrorist organizations? That is the question we must ask.
Um. Why must we? It's quite probable he does support organizations that many westerners consider to be "terrorist organizations," and it's not at all a stretch to consider it legitimate to support the goals while considering some actions to be abominations.

I considered the African National Congress to have had worthy goals. But it WAS accurately described as a "terrorist organization." I was uncomfortable with that, but one has to consider if any other means were available to blacks in South Africa... or indeed, Catholics in Northern Ireland during the Troubles. In both cases, arguably, other options were limited or non-extant. Or shall we speak of the Irgun? Of the Stern Gang? The Mossad, pre 1948? I'm quite sure that the British considered them terrorists, and I doubt they were such airy-fairy idealists to seriously disagree. These groups were founded by survivors of the Warsaw Ghetto and the extermination camps. There is a definite "whatever it takes" that comes with "never again," and to an extent I cannot argue. Up to the point they start building ghettos for other people. Then I start wondering if anyone ever learns anything from history. I mean, what part of "never again" was unclear? It's an unqualified statement. If YOU can do it, it means - aside from "never again to us" - permisson to others to say "Once again, with FEELING."

Anyway, whether such acts as blowing up the King David Hotel are acts of terrorism, insurgency or those of "freedom fighters" is mostly a matter of perspective, and whether one agrees with the intended goals and the eventual outcome.

Me, I like calling a spade a spade. And if these groups were terrorists - they did not lack for legitimate targets. Nor did they always restrict themselves to legitimate targets. David Ben Gurian, well, I don't think he had reason, on the whole, to have difficulty sleeping at night. His current political successors, though - that may be another matter. Seems to me that one lesson of history should be how and why one should avoid being a legitimate target of - erm - "asymmetrical warfare."

That's the term the Pentagon uses for those folks who are either terrorists or freedom fighters, depending on who you talk to. An accurate description, if intentionally bloodless.

I should like to ask the author if he considered the Nicaraguan Contras to have worthy goals, and to what extent, if any he nonetheless objected to such excesses as the torture-murders of civilians - including nuns - in wholesale lots. They WERE fighting against Communism, or so I have been told. Many would consider that a laudable goal. Some would even say any means justified that end.

But there are means, and there are means. There's a difference between attacking a military occupation force and bombing a shrine filled with children. There's a difference between shooting a known traitor behind the ear and sticking a burning tire around their neck. The distinction is when the viciousness is in excess of any arguably legitimate goal in a moral struggle.

My personal view on all such "struggles" is this; if you are going to "go to the mattresses," it should be about something that is genuinely worth dying for, and ideally directed against objects and possibly persons who are by virtue of their nature and position legitimate targets. If either point is questionable, one's struggle is apt to be perceived as being nothing more than a particularly vicious temper-tantrum. Worse yet, that perception will be accurate.

The distinction between various forms of asymmetrical warriors is debatable, but it's not the debate that we need. We need to distinguish between asymmetrical warfare - as prosecuted on either side - and thuggery.

I think there is a great deal less "asymmetrical warfare" in any supposed cause than there is just plain old vicious thuggery on all the supposed sides, with a few childishly transparent justifications applied as laughably inadequate fig-leaves.

I believe that there is a general world-wide consensus of thinking persons that "temper-tantrum" is an accurate description of those who riot and commit bombings in the name of redressing the offense caused by a cartoon, and that an even better example of such inexcusably childish flailing would be the Iraq war.

Actually, in the latter case, "childish temper-tantrum" would be a charitable interpretation of the actions of this particular excuse for a government. The responses have been thuggish. We are led by thugs, the war is cheered by thugs, and those who balk at being thugs are called traitors.

We can be sure of this, for the most basic of reasons; they refuse to be held to account, they refuse even to give an account of themselves under oath. They are therefore dishonorable men, with not even the moral courage of a child snuffling an outraged "Johnny STARTED it!"

Yeah, I think that world wide, it's time that the real grownups stood up. Islam - go clean up your messes. Don't whine about the perception of Islam when you refuse to deal justly with those who pervert and defame it with their actions. You are demanding "respect." Try earning it. Hark back to when Islam was the heart of civilization and to be Islamic WAS to be civilized. What the hell happened, gentles, and why are you not embarrassed by your dusty decadence? This is surely not a criticism of the Prophet or the Book - but it certainly is of the religion as practiced by people who clearly are not following the Prophet or the Book.

Pot, Kettle, Black, you say?


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Wednesday, March 21, 2007

What Would Thumper Do?

hell’s handmaiden » Blog Archive » Message from The American Center for Law and Paranoia:

Religion is under assault. Christianity is under attack. The nation is collapsing. The Lib’rals are guttin our values, stomping on our Bible-based Constitution, educating our children, putting condoms on our men and shoes on our women. Or so says The American Center for Law and Justice, whose initialism– ACLJ– is curiously similar to ACLU. Sneaky… sneaky… Credibility by association is not fair play.

This is urgent … we could see a vote in the Senate anytime this week! Your freedom of speech has literally never been so threatened as it is today.

Senate Bill 1 and House Resolution 4682 are clearly the work of politicians who want to control, limit, and silence Christians and conservative groups.

By classifying and regulating any Christian organization or church, which you may be a part of, as a ”lobbyist” …

… this legislation will forcibly restrict your right to free speech - which is absolutely unconstitutional.

Message from The American Center for Law and Justice « The Light

… except that H.R. 4682 does no such thing. Read it. (Helpful hint: If a person complains about the content of a easily available document but does not link to that document, don’t trust that person.) What the resolution does do is treat lobbyists like lobbyists. And that is the problem.

And she goes on, most eloquantly, to end up making the following point:

Nowhere in the resolution, so far as I have been able to find, does it discriminate against “conservatives” or “christians”. Framing it as doing so is dishonest.

Nowhere does the resolution forcibly restrict anyone’s right to free speech. It does require that lobbying activities be duly reported, but it does not restrict those activities. Framing it as doing so is dishonest.

Now, that's a very good point, but being an Athiest, she doesn't really take it and stick it up the right opening.

Quoting myself quoting Scott Peck, as quoted by The Yurica Report:

There are seven attributes of a man that God hates. God lays out the psychological profile of those traits he abhors. The following are from Proverbs 6:16-19 in the Amplified Version:

1. “A proud look [the spirit that makes one overestimate himself and underestimate others].

2. “A lying tongue,

3. “Hands that shed innocent blood,

4. “A heart that manufactures wicked thoughts and plans,

5. “Feet that are swift in running to evil,

6. “A false witness who breathes out lies [even under oath],

7. “And he who sows discord among his brethren.”

Selah! Pause and think on these things.

Those who make a living thwacking other folks with the Bible will be thwacked with it in the place they keep their wallet.

Or to make my point - is a person who, in appealing to you AS a Christian, and who lies in order to gain your support worthy of your time, attention, and support? Or should you "shake the dust from your feet?"
The link above goes to a slick, commercial-christian site that I fear would make a point of avoiding my point. But I rather do think the Jesus the Bible speaks of would give me a big hi-five.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Flashbacks to Chicago, 1968

Colorado Confidential :: Springs Police Launch St. Paddy's Parade Investigation:

Colorado Springs police have launched an internal investigation into the arrests of seven men and women during last Saturday’s St. Patrick’s Day parade in which officers were captured on camera and videotape dragging 65-year old Elizabeth Fineron across the street, resulting in a nasty road rash on her upper thigh and stomach.

The images also show police holding retired Catholic priest Frank Cordaro in a pressure point control that is designed to force compliance through pain, as well as detainees lying face down on the street in handcuffs as parade-watchers look on.

The seven who were arrested were marching in the city's annual St. Patrick's Day parade wearing green T-shirts with white peace symbols on them.
And such a threat to peace and security they were.

Of Duty and Honor - the responsiblities of Citizens and Soldiers.

The Unapologetic Mexican:
"IT IS REMARKABLE, this spirit we inherit, this blood we inherit, these dreams and these roads that we wake to find wound around our wrists and across our cheeks like war paint, like sleeplines, like shooting stars tattooed as gentle but indelible reminders. We are children for so long. Our desaturated comic strips blow into pulpy confetti clouds of memory and the palms open to reveal magenta astral charts...alien and familiar all at once. Nameless glyphs that reappear. Faultlines and gold-laden veins that bleed through old tests and texts and packaging slips. Emerald grit upon the fingertips. The voice that sings the moon to sleep reprises her reminders in the secrets that we speak. Drafts of warm air, cool lilac exhalations, and sunset's shadow. Desert sun and greyhound buses and memories of a home you've never touched with your hands."
Daayaam, that's fine writing; goes down like a stubby of Bohemian after a hot day riding a stuker and tossing bales of wet alfalfa - which is what blogging feels like some days, and no Bohemian pilsner to be found here in Reno.

This blog is a challenge and a joy - for I have to say that while it is beautiful, it's template needs a little tweaking for those of us who cannot read six point gold type on a parchment background.

But unlike most pretty blogs - it's worth highlighting or even fuzting with your browser text settings. That was a pretty post. But this is Graphictruth, where pretty is valued only to the extent that it helps the blade of truth slip between the ribs of ignorance.

So check this out.

You forge of your self a dull weapon.

PERHAPS A READER cannot readily agree with the stance of holding soldiers personally accountable for aiding such massive crimes as the invasion of Iraq. Perhaps even though it is made clear to us in everything from time-worn fables to Self-Help books to music lyrics to television shows to age old films to mama's words to our own inner urging—that each person in life is born alone, dies alone, and in the meantime, must stand up and be counted for what they have lent their hand to while here—we still imagine somehow that culpability for anything from kidnapping to assault and battery to murder is mitigated and even nullified, nay—justified, by immersing the self into a collective such as the military. Those who argue as much enable the State to carry out unmentionable crimes and and will do so for the end of time, justifying such dangerous and indiscriminate allegiance by arguing that the cohesion of their nation-state justifies all. These are the people who hand over their will and thought with but a slight gesture, and so they are that oppressive State. They forfeit the discernment and skepticism and autonomy necessary to mark one as a reasonable individual and they do it for a song, for a mediocre fee, for a fable, for a fluffed-up casus belli. For these people, even questioning the codified if unspoken set of rules that make these wars possible is taboo, after a point. And yet those who hold this ideology see fit, somehow, to bemoan the wars waged by the greedy elite when it is only their own ideology of Human as Mindless Tool that makes these wars a reality.

Please tell me why should I not form a militia, or my own government? My own group of people who decide upon a book of laws? Why are they, then, not justified in killing where killing would otherwise be thought a crime? Because they are not your gang? Yes. And that is all. So at least we can be clear on that. There is no great morality that can be defended by any nation, and especially one that operates on the dictums the US does and engages in the hypocrisies that she historically has.


There is no such thing as Liberty and Democracy, nor Freedom when you seek dispensation of same from a Government. Because in the end, those glorious ideals and speeches and laws will be communicated with steel and blood and agony and murder, and based on reasons you may or may not agree with. Just as we see now. Just as we have seen in the past. Just as we will see again. For there is no law of society but force. Everything else is a conditional addendum. And to loan your body and will and force to the State—and unconditionally—is to forego your humanity and forge of your self a dull weapon.


A dramatic - and damnably accurate assessment of the current situation. Nonetheless, I do support the troops. Not because I support the war, or even the supposed intent behind the war. I support their survival, so that they may internalize the experience of being cynically used as if they were Janissaries instead of free citizen-soldiers. I also remind all US Soldiers of their nearly unique oath of service - to "uphold and defend the Constitution of the United States from all enemies, foreign and domestic."

I remind everyone that in supporting the troops, we are supporting fellow citizens in dire straits that are not of their choosing, and if many do not have the courage to take a principled stand such as First Lieutenant Ehren Watada it's due to having families to support - or due to what their friends and families would say. Sadly, many are willing to do wrong in order to be seen as "doing the right thing" by those who do not know better.

If they are unaware - as many are - as to their rights and duties as Citizen-Soldiers under the Uniform Code of Military Justice, and the Constitution of the United States, it's our duty to find out and tell them. They are kinda, well, busy.

So my support to them is specific and limited to doing what is needful to survive. I discourage adventurous heroism. Dead heroes can't vote. I suggest that every non-citizen in US service who wishes to do so, pursue the citizenship they have - in my humble opinion - earned in the most honorable possible way.

But I'd also suggest requesting written orders for any actions that could be considered a war crime. Hell. in this clusterfuck, get written orders for everything, and make multiple copies, especially if related to combat injuries. Funny how hard it is for the VA to find such things.

Most of all, come back alive, in as close to original condition of issue as possible, and rejoin civilian life as an armed, dangerous and motivated citizen voter. We will help, and that, too, is Supporting the Troops.

And hey, we may need you, should it become clear that it's time for a Constitutional Convention.

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Monday, March 19, 2007

Constitution, THEN politics.

Declarations of Pride Sez:

What I care most about is America and her soul! I care more for this than any maneuvers to guarantee power. If this President is left unchecked, then we become a land without the base respect and enforcement of our laws to the highest levels of our representative government, then what do we have left to be proud of? Not a democracy. Not "America the Beautiful," but something much less than America, and much more like the former USSR.

Standing firmly without care for strategy, and with immense power for the protection of this union from the hands of an out of control executive is the United States Constitution, and upon swearing an oath to this sacred decree, our representatives are charged with a duty to this country and this founding document.

What our legislature is charged with is a legal responsibility to hold the executive branch in check if it should break the rules of law, no matter the cause or the reason. It is one of the greatest responsibilities of that legislative body, and not something that should be toyed with, abused, or contemplated as a political tool of strategy.

It is my contention, outside of all contingencies, that President Bush and all those who have aided him in his war on Iraq, the truth, and our Constitution should be held accountable for their various and many crimes against America; not to mention laws violated or ignored at home and abroad.
Amen. And allow me to add that this reluctance is making me wonder if our democratic representatives are cut of any different cloth than the members of the Party of the Rubber Stamp. Politics and consequences be damned! The rule of law and justice demand impeachment.

Impeach. Impeach NOW!

A Republic, if you can keep it: H.R. 1022

A Republic, if you can keep it: H.R. 1022: Blogging a comment by Lester Luttrell:

"April 19th, 1775, when the British came to relieve American colonists of their arms, they were shot.
This is celebrated as patriots day, not 9/11 as has been changed on the calender.
That is the line in the sand to the true patriot.
HR 1022 is the tyrants coming after your arms.
Say no. Resist.
And if perhaps all of the bad people who are trying to kill you, aka, criminals cannot be stopped by our politicians, then we need to be responsible enough to protect ourselves - with firearms."
The constitution IS "just a scrap of paper" if it cannot be enforced by the people whom it empowers and defends from authoritarian nonsense. To that end, Graphictruth strongly supports the 2nd Amendment and private ownership of very capable firearms - though I tend to think that high-capacity arms are not as important to a well-trained militia as they are to regular forces. A "well-regulated militia" does well to rely on aimed fire - and police it's brass!

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The other side of Neurotpical on the Autistic Spectrum.

Incorrect Pleasures: The marriage between the findings of this study and Baron-Cohen’s systemizer-empathizer theory falls into conflict when one ponders how these marriages between similarly-minded people are possible in a world that does not yet legally recognize same-sex marriage. To simplify Baron-Cohen’s theory, while looking at page 150-151 of his book, many people have a brain type that is a balance between empathizing and systemizing, while males are generalized as having a systemizing type brain and females are generalized as having empathizer type brains (already this theory seems inconsistent, doesn’t it?). Autistics are described as having extreme systemizer brains, and the people who are theorized as having extreme empathizer brains are undiscovered territory. The Constantino and Todd study suggests that most people marry others with similar brain types, so explaining marriages between the “balanced” people in Baron-Cohen’s scheme isn’t a problem, but one wonders where do systemizer males find systemizer women to marry, and what kind of guys do empathizer women marry? The kind of guys who like other guys? Are there really more empathizer males and more systemizer females than Baron-Cohen’s book suggests? Do systemizers and empathizers really need to gain an understanding of people who are their opposite type? Do most of these types of people get through life happily by simply avoiding contact with those of their opposite type?
In my experience, people I'd now consider to be on the opposite end of the Spectrum either avoided me as if I had cooties, tried to force me to accommodate them or tried to eject me from wherever I was. I was seen as a threat, unless I assumed protective coloration, and if I were to guess, I'd place Lennie Schaefer and other sorts of Curebies as probable examples of people with this sort of deficit.

Fortunately, fooling such people is a trivial exercise, though only worth the effort in a protective sense - one simply has to convince them that you are not in competition with them for whatever it is they are seeking. When that is not possible, one has to remember that bullying is part of their repetoire, and bullies are both predictable and react to effective confrontation by running away.

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Sunday, March 18, 2007

Lawyer Who Wiped Out D.C. Gun Ban Says It's About Liberties, Not Guns

Meet the lawyer who conceived the lawsuit that gutted the District's tough gun-control statute this month. Meet the lawyer who recruited a group of strangers to sue the city and bankrolled their successful litigation out of his own pocket. Meet Robert A. Levy, staunch defender of the Second Amendment, ... said he has never owned a firearm ...
read more | digg story

The Constitution must be protected both from the predations of the well meaning and the machinations of power-mongers. Power and influence, indeed, all duty, responsibility and government derives from the people, and our founders in their wisdom dictated that it would be much more difficult for anyone to take that away and put it in the hands of the powerful if the people were armed.

It should be a symbolic issue. It's the fault of a great many over many decades that in Washington DC, it is a matter of great practical and personal importance to many people.

We must stop believing in the opposite fairies of delusion - that "gun control" and "being tough on crime" will solve a massive social problem. And we must also stop pretending - each and every one of us - that such social problems are the responsibility of "people in authority," the government, that may be solved by restricting the liberties of "other people."

Constitutionally, you and I ARE the government, as is your neighbor and the fellow down the street with a pot plant in his basement. The people who do the day to day paperwork, policy and enforcement are our delegates and if they fail in their duties, it's our responsibility to discuss, examine and correct the matter.

Yes, this decision is going to make things more difficult in Washington, DC. Perhaps there should be some examination of why there are so many people who are so desperate that crime has become a multi generational way of life.

Government should ensure that at the very least, everyone has access to the things they need at a price they can afford, and a path to fulfill their legitimate ambitions, for ALL the people are the power that the Government rests upon, and furthermore - our very system of government recognizes from it's inception that people have the inalienable right to provide for their own needs, even if an oppressive authority objects.

It is "inalienable" in the sense that any law made to restrict that right is both unethical and futile. It is a basic fact of human nature that illegitimate laws will only be recognized in the breech.

But a "gun" is not the only way to wield the power of citizenship. Ideally, it's a tool that's never required - but upon that most practical and deadly of all symbols rests the means to maintain all others.

In this case, it's an individual with money. Money that represents power, that many governments would very much prefer to either co-opt or confiscate. "Plomo e Plata" is a phrase used by many thugs, some of whom carry badges. Their behavior toward the citizens that their authority rests upon should determine the response of a citizen to them.

In my case, it's an individual with a computer. In other cases, it has been a citizen with a cell phone or video camera. In all cases, it''s a case of a citizen who is willing to BE a citizen - a duty with some inherent risks - that keeps our society on track and maintains it in the face of many who would prefer we all bleat praises of the day's Leader in happy unison.

Government serves at the will of the people. This is a fact, true of any government, anywhere, whether or not that government legally recognizes the will of those who have ejected it's agents from their lands, it is nonetheless true that those who are ill-served badly enough and long enough by national governments tend to favor resistance movements and shoot tax collectors.

It is an embarrassment that those people who live in the Capital city of the United States of America are not as safe, as happy and as well secured as those in any gated community; the fact that it is not is an act of criminal neglegence, for it gives cover and connections to people that are our collective enemies.

Bluntly, it is an issue of National Security that the people of Washington DC do not feel themselves a valued asset of the Nation, nor in any wise secure.

Seems there's a body of elected representatives who have the duty to deal with this situation. I think they should spend some time thinking on the matter.


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