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Saturday, August 6th, 2005

Subject:Operation Enduring Freedom:
Time:3:03 am.
Mood: furious.
     Yes, I am a reactionary. Wasn't it obvious?

"On his way for summer vacation on his Crawford ranch, the president stopped at the American Legislative Exchange Council's 32nd annual meeting. The conservative organization of 2,400 members, mostly legislators, recognized the president with their highest honor, the Thomas Jefferson Freedom Award. The last recipient of the award was former President George H. W. Bush.

"Texas Speaker Tom Craddick, R-Midland, introduced the president and thanked ALEC for upholding the conservative principles in the country and believing in Jeffersonian principles of peace, commerce and honest friendship with all nations."

I wonder what Jefferson would have thought about our recent losses of personal freedom. Nevermind. I can look up what he thought about it.Collapse )

...when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government...

...He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither...

...For depriving us in many cases, of the benefits of Trial by Jury...

In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A Prince whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.
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Wednesday, May 18th, 2005

Subject:Doomed to repeat history. Actually, doomed to commit stupidity for the first time.
Time:1:15 am.
Mood: Doomed.
        "Should any political party attempt to abolish social security, unemployment insurance, and eliminate labor laws and farm programs, you would not hear of that party again in our political history.
        There is a tiny splinter group, of course, that believes you can do these things. Among them are H. L. Hunt (you possibly know his background), a few other Texas oil millionaires, and an occasional politician or business man from other areas. Their number is negligible and they are stupid."
        - Dwight David Eisenhower, 8 November 1954
        Document #1147, series EM, AWF, Name Series, Vol. XV
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Friday, May 13th, 2005

Subject:Democratic Elections and Second-Class Citizenry
Time:11:17 am.
Mood: irritated.
     I gave up. I have to admit. I stopped reading the BBC news, I stopped paying attention to the national news. I followed my state's politics because I feel we have excellent grounds for secession and that most of the nation would gladly be rid of us. I stopped writing in what had become my favorite journal. I even stopped reading it's friends page despite that being set to my home and loading up every time I loaded my browser. I gave in to apathy.
     It was because of the 2004 election debacle. Not that I feel it was "stolen" from the Democrats by any means. 70-some-odd million Democrats couldn't be arsed to get off their collective snatches and vote. Not that I really blame them. I did, but if what happened to me in 2004 had happened in 2000, I probably would have not bothered to vote this time around. I would have accepted eight years the moment I was turned away.
     So I went to vote in my municipality as I felt was warranted. I had signed up at the RMV and had received a letter back that I hadn't read too closely. I should have. It proabably said that I wasn't registered to vote despite confirming that I had checked the box to be re-registered, which it did say. I was blocked from voting. I was told I couldn't have a provisional ballot. I was told I should go to the last place I had voted. And, since I know my rights, I was furious.
     Well, truth be told, I wasn't furious that small-town politicians didn't want me to vote. She seemed really frazzled that all of her helpers had been having people fill out the forms so incorrectly that they all should have been pitched. What I found unforgivable was her insinuation that I was attempting to vote more than once. The only thing that saved it from becoming an outright accusation was that she stopped herself mid-sentence when she realized what she was saying. Possibly she also realized from the look on my face that there would have been blood in the gymnasium had she finished the thought. For that matter, I was the only person requesting one who had been denied. I was the only person there under the age of 40.
     I went to my old precinct 20 miles away. Since I had voted within the previous six months and my registration change clearly hadn't stuck, they were completely willing to help me. I told the woman in charge of my ward what had just happened because the ballot form asked whether I had been living in another precinct. When she was done being horrified, she double-checked that I had been an active voter within the proper timeframe and then, after I had finished my vote, she waited on hold with the Registrar's office for more than 20 minutes to make sure my vote would count.
     My area is a ridiculous blend of extreme right (conservatism bordering on reactionary) and extreme left (the town just to the east of us has their own nuclear non-proliferation declaration) that mixing the two is sometimes very volatile. Mild-mannered people suddenly become crusaders.
     The city I was living in is located on a river 20 miles downstream. The town I'm in now has much greater elevation and I love the upland here. I love the fact that it never gets above 100o in the summer the way it does in the city downriver. But the political right here is very grating in their superiority. Coming from a liberal city, flanked by liberal towns, represented by one of the most liberal representatives in the state, they make up for their lack of numbers with vociferousness. More than that, I despise their intolerance. I am not really a Democrat anymore. But they look at my age and lifestyle and assume that I am. For the most part, this is a safe assumption in this neck of the woods, especially since I am really more liberal than the average Democrat. Love the place, despise the politics.
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Wednesday, October 13th, 2004

Subject:Final Score: Bush 3, Kerry 0
Time:11:37 pm.
Mood: cranky.
     I only watched the last half of the debate. In that time, there was no question put to Sen. Kerry that he did not answer. In that same amount of time, Pres. Bush refused to answer three that I noticed. I wasn't the only one. Kerry remarked on it more than once. After the third one, the Senator began answering all the questions put to him with a clear statement of his position before adding elaboration. Sometimes a "yes" or "no," but always a clear statement. As the american voting populous becomes less educated and able to glean meaning from a longer explaination, this type of debating will become more and more valued for it's simplicity.
     A few things that made me cringe (other than the evasive manevers) included: the calling of a Think Tank a "group of folks" and the younger adults of the nation who are currently paying in to Social Security "youngsters." Kerry likening himself to President Kennedy is almost as cheesy as referring to Dick Cheney's daughter when the issue of homosexuality is raised. The statistic that Kerry quoted as women making $.78 for each $1 that men make in performing the same work is appalling. I thought it was better than that. I also noticed that President Bush didn not offer that he shared his opponent's view that this was at all out of line. Also, for Pres. Bush to declare that he has no litmus test for Supreme Court Justices that he would appoint is an out-and-out lie. He has already proven that with his previous appointees. For him to attack Kerry on it is actually a mark in the Senator's favor. Kerry said he would use, as a litmus test, the failure of Justices to attempt to change the Constitiution. The Constitution does not need intolerance added to it. It needs it taken away.
     And speaking of tolerance, who let Guilliani talk? Who decided that was a good idea? The biggest Bushism in the last half was not uttered by Bush. Rudy decided he needed to speak about toleration for each other. Well, when I type "toleration" into MS Word, and ask for synonyms it tells me "Not Found: Toleration" "Alphabetical List: to last, to make matters worse, to make somebody look foolish, to make somebody look silly..." Go ahead, and try it for yourself. I'd be interested to see what other versions of word or other word processors come up with. And while all of those suggestions are very appropriate, none are quite what the former mayor had in mind, I think. He probably meant "tolerance" which, when looked up means, according to MS Word, "broadmindedness."
     And for the record, Kerry could never seem like the more Liberal of the Massachusetts Senators. I mean, come on, Senator Kennedy isn't even a fiscal conservative like Kerry is. Anyone who knows anything about Massachusetts politics knows Bush just severely exaggerated Kerry's liberalism. Unfortunately, unless people have this pointed out to them on the Fox slow-mo replay, they are unlikely to think of it on their own.
     But undecided voters seem, at a brief glance, to be coming down on the side of The Senator. There may be hope for this country, yet. But I am not holding my breath. I don't really llok attractive in that shade of blue and suffocating will make it that much harder to move to Canada.
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Tuesday, July 13th, 2004

Subject:Running Scared
Time:12:45 pm.
Mood: devious.

     Now they're talking about delaying the November elections. Talk about running scared. Karmic retribution is swift. I hope the GoP is all peeing themselves right now.
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Time:11:38 am.
Mood: enraged.
"Republican House leaders, in an intense last-minute effort, pressured almost a dozen Republicans to switch their votes and save a controversial provision of the USA Patriot Act that allows the FBI to monitor people's reading, e-mail and Internet habits at public libraries."
"I would say, in my judgment, that lives have been saved, terrorists have been disrupted, and our country is safer," said Rep. Porter Goss, R-Florida.

     Welcome to 1984. Would you like a side of buggery with that?
     So we sacrificed liberty in exchange for security, proving that we deserved neither. So now that the furor has died down, we'd like some of our freedoms back. Our representatives are doing their jobs as best they can. Some of them are playing by the rules. Some of them are cheating. Nowhere is it written that life is fair. But karmic retribution is sometimes very swift.
     To the shouts of "Shame! Shame!" from the minority, the GOP extended a vote. A vote that, at the end of it's allotted time had passed. A vote that, eight minutes later, failed. Not much for deadlines, our Senate majority.
     It was an act that Dick Cheney has been quoted as calling "the most heavy-handed, arrogant abuse of power in the 10 years I've been here." See Dick exaggerate. Exaggerate, Dick, exaggerate! But he has a point. This is not nearly the most heavy-handed abuse of power since he's been in office (or before that, either) but it is a blatant "fuck you!" to every American. Every voter has, just the other day, been flipped off by their government.
     Let's discuss the Republican party. One of the major parts of their platform is less government interference in their lives. Less state interference in town and city governance. Less federal interference in state governance. Less taxing, less spending. Fewer government programs. Fewer amendments to the Constitution.
     Now let's look at the Bush administration. Patriot and Patriot II. Um, George? That's not less interference, that's more. A lot more. A federal judge could always issue a warrant for library records. But now they can look at anyone. Any book. Any time they like. For those of us who publish anti-GOP sentiment on the internet, this is a small thing. They already have dirt on us. For the rest of America? Every student who wants to know what the deal with banning The Catcher in the Rye or confiscating The Anarchist's Cookbook is? It is perfectly normal for everyone to get curious about these things. For idle curiosity to generate an FBI record is overkill. Like tac-nukes on mosquitoes.
     Less tax-and-spend? Well, less tax, anyway. GW gets everything half right. The only reason this worked for so long was that he began with the largest budget surplus this country's ever seen. So he lowered taxes and spent the surplus. But that was OK because the dollar was strong and he was able to borrow. And borrow he did. We now have the largest deficit this country's ever seen. With the dollar weakening against the Euro, how long will we be able to borrow? Eventually every addict needs to be shut off, right George?
     And with other minor issues like the amendment to the U.S. Constitution that would ban gay marriage, you'd think we might soon need permission to stay out late or passes to go to the bathroom. This is not less government. This is more. Lots more. If I were a Republican, I'd be pretty pissed. This is not even about the withdrawals from the Geneva Convention or the Kyoto Accord. This is not about those pinko programs. This is about letting red-blooded Americans go about their business.
     They say they want to make America safer for Americans. This is a lie. They want to make America safer for a few Americans. Themselves.
     This is not about safety or security. This is about power and control.
     "Today on the House floor, Republican leaders once again undermined democracy, this time so that the Bush administration can threaten our civil liberties. How thoroughly un-American." -House Minority Leader Rep. Nancy Pelosi, D-San Francisco
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Tuesday, April 20th, 2004

Subject:How to lose an election in one easy step:
Time:11:47 pm.
Mood: bitchy.
     Institute the selective service. Because it really is the perennial favorite of winning candidates everywhere. My great aunt Lobelia...
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Wednesday, February 18th, 2004

Subject:Any nation that cannot stand up to a little criticism has a very weak position.
Time:8:16 pm.
Mood: cranky.
     Israel has learned nothing from history. That is why the Palestinian Barrier will eventually fall. They all do. Palestinians have as much right to that territory as they do. They are foreign occupiers and a little oversight would not be amiss. Especially over a country that can do no wrong because God is on their side. And superior weaponry. And money. But I repeat myself. But the Red Cross does not normally take a firm political position. Of course Israel would "regret" that they have done so. The world will notice the ICRC's position. For that matter, the fact that Israel claims the International Court of Justice in The Hague has no authority to hold hearings on the legality of the wall. Of course it has authority. Even if it is only as an opinion that matters to world leaders. It is only a matter of whether Israel is in a position and mindframe to do any pre-emptive damage control. More likely, Israel will hold onto it's position until enough nations are against it. Or until the US says something. I'm very glad that Senator Kerry is keeping Northern Ireland in mind, but then, he's of Irish descent. I would like to see him a little more outspoken on the issue of Israel than he's been.
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Saturday, February 14th, 2004

Subject:The Greatest Democracy on Earth is neither a Democracy nor great. Discuss.
Time:1:10 pm.
Mood: enraged.
     The Presidential selection fiasco was worse than I realized. This is probabably not worksafe, and you'll have to turn up your speakers. Hrm. I have articles to read.
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Tuesday, February 10th, 2004

Time:12:44 am.
     I like this one. It's sad and beautiful. And all true. There are some real gems here. Pity none of them saw airtime.
Comments: Add Your Own.

Saturday, January 10th, 2004

Subject:I'm gonna get arrested as a terrorist... just because I like democracy...
Time:3:20 pm.
Mood:still peeved.
Very good definition of Fascism. Read it and be afraid.
Comments: Add Your Own.

Subject:Very good article:
Time:3:20 pm.
Having not travelled in some time, I may just not do so any time soon. Reciprocity... I think that the more paranoid we become, the more the world will fear and hate us. Like the Inquisition. I mean, they weren't even being selfish. They were interested in the salvation of your soul!
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Tuesday, December 23rd, 2003

Subject:Djindjic Assassination Intended as a Coup:
Time:12:17 pm.
Mood: pensive.
     I thought so.
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Monday, December 22nd, 2003

Time:4:28 pm.
     I have yet to find it online (though I shall continue to search) but if you can get hold of a copy of this month's Scientific American, make certain you don't miss the Special Advertising Section. It is quite the statement, if you look carefully at the images and read between the lines.
Comments: Add Your Own.

Subject:In which Censorship is Dumb.
Time:4:22 pm.
Mood: amused.
     "(I would just like to pause and opine that if Maxis had just left us alone there would be about six people in the word reading the Alphaville Herald. Moral: ethics aside, censorship is really really dumb.)"
     What's really funny about this is that I found the discussions through this article on the BBC Science/Nature News site. Now that's publicity.
Comments: Add Your Own.

Friday, December 19th, 2003

Subject:Global Obliquity: Sources of Special Information Publication
Time:3:57 pm.
Mood: bored.
     Maybe I'm just nosy, but I think this sort of thing is absolutely fascinating.
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Thursday, February 20th, 2003

Time:10:59 am.
Mood: aggravated.
     O.K. So the entire world isn't against us. Just France. And that mattered until they stated that EU candidate nations shouldn't be choosing sides because it might hurt their chances of being accepted into the EU. Um, excuse me, but if the point of a republic isn't "one [person], one vote," can we at least agree on "one person, one voice?" In any free state, the individuals get a voice. So why not the countries? Do they not get their say? And FRANCE? "Liberté, Egalité, Fraternity." But only for the French? I don't think so, and neither do many of the EU member nations and those being considered for membership.
     So now the only problem with a war is that the major religious leaders in all of Christendom have decided it's wrong. Murder is wrong. But war isn't murder, out political leaders argue. We're still on the side of right. War isn't murder, any more than intentionally hitting someone walking on the side of the road is murder, any more than crashing a plane into an office tower with the intention of killing a bunch of people is murder. Murder is not the killing of a bunch of people in a government building out of hatred for the government. Murder is not the deaths of people who happened to be in the bullet spray of a drive-by shooting. But the Bible doesn't say, "Thou shalt not commit the sin of murder." It clearly states that "thou shalt not kill." So 'our' religious leaders protest. But have any of them gotten off their comfortable chairs and marched in protest? No, and they probably won't. Power comes with privilege. Privilege should come with responsibility. But what sort? Armchair diplomacy? They don't have the kind of power to make that stick. All they can do is to tell the people who look to them for guidance to protest. But wouldn't it be nice for them to be actual leaders for a change? To take to the streets in protest and be the shepherds they claim to be? This, instead of proclaimations from on high decrying this war as wrong.
     So are we on the side of right or not? Apparently not, but we are bulling ahead anyway. Why? Because we need fossil fuels. And why do we need fossil fuels? Because only now are we doing anything about the global energy crisis that we have caused. Yes, we. As in the United States of America. We consume 33% of the world's natural resources. We have a population less than 1% of the world's population. This must be that "new math" educators are talking about. The kind of calculus that justifies the logic behind 1% consuming 33%. It's this kind of math that creates the global devisiveness we are witnessing. From here it can, and likely will, get worse.
     Unless we create more resources. And if anyone can, it's US. Why? Simple. We have the ability to turn our outrageous consumption into an earth-shattering commodity: ideas. Yes, ideas. Not patented, profitable, market-sharing inventions. But ecologically sound, globally affordable, quality-of-life enhancing inventions. We can focus on things like: solar and wind collectors; hydrogen, boron, or vegetable oil combustion engines; more, cheaper, and better water reclaimation plants; low impact farming and ranching including greater genetic diversity in crops; more effecient recycling. I can see a future with clean air, and water for everyone. I can see a future with enough food for everyone. I can see a future that includes a rain forest. But I can also see a future with coastlines and ridgetops spoiled with our need for power. At which point we need to ask: Do we really need all that power?
     Not only do we have the ability and the right to do this, to change the world for the better, we have the responsiblity. We have 33% of the power to change the world. We control it with money and might, diplomacy and market shares and nuclear weapons. This means that the fate of the world largely rests with US. Or those who will rise to stop US. If we do not start to take responsibility for our actions against the world, for the negative impact of our economic, military, and environmental policies, that responsibility, and the power that comes with it, will be taken from US. Either by those with aims more noble than ours, or by those with desires more base than ours. Both groups want what we have and both will fight us to get it. We will need to stop sitting on the fence and decide: do we sacrifice our moral principles and take what we want from the world, or do we sacrifice our need to posess, our need for power. We will need to make sacrifices. We will need to learn how.
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