Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Says It All. . .

Is it Finally Accepting that the “Allowing” will Continue to be Allowed?
by Cindy Sheehan, Memorial Day Morning 2007

“Good-bye America…you are not the country that I love and I finally realized no matter how much I sacrifice, I can't make you be that country unless you want it.”

[Full statement Below the Fold.]

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I have endured a lot of smear and hatred since Casey was killed and especially since I became the so-called "Face" of the American anti-war movement.  Especially since I renounced any tie I have remaining with the Democratic Party, I have been further trashed on such "liberal blogs" as the Democratic Underground.  Being called an "attention whore" and being told "good riddance" are some of the more milder rebukes.

I have come to some heartbreaking conclusions this Memorial Day Morning.  These are not spur of the moment reflections, but things I have been meditating on for about a year now.  The conclusions that I have slowly and very reluctantly come to are very heartbreaking to me.

The first conclusion is that I was the darling of the so-called left as long as I limited my protests to George Bush and the Republican Party. Of course, I was slandered and libeled by the right as a "tool" of the Democratic Party.  This label was to marginalize me and my message. How could a woman have an original thought, or be working outside of our "two-party" system?

However, when I started to hold the Democratic Party to the same standards that I held the Republican Party, support for my cause started to erode and the "left" started labeling me with the same slurs that the right used.  I guess no one paid attention to me when I said that the issue of peace and people dying for no reason is not a matter of "right or left", but "right and wrong."

I am deemed a radical because I believe that partisan politics should be left to the wayside when hundreds of thousands of people are dying for a war based on lies that is supported by Democrats and Republican alike.  It amazes me that people who are sharp on the issues and can zero in like a laser beam on lies, misrepresentations, and political expediency when it comes to one party refuse to recognize it in their own party.  Blind party loyalty is dangerous whatever side it occurs on.  People of the world look on us Americans as jokes because we allow our political leaders so much murderous latitude and if we don't find alternatives to this corrupt "two" party system our Representative Republic will die and be replaced with what we are rapidly descending into with nary a check or balance: a fascist corporate wasteland.  I am demonized because I don't see party affiliation or nationality when I look at a person, I see that person's heart.  If someone looks, dresses, acts, talks and votes like a Republican, then why do they deserve support just because he/she calls him/herself a Democrat?

I have also reached the conclusion that if I am doing what I am doing because I am an "attention whore" then I really need to be committed.  I have invested everything I have into trying to bring peace with justice to a country that wants neither.  If an individual wants both, then normally he/she is not willing to do more than walk in a protest march or sit behind his/her computer criticizing others.  I have spent every available cent I got from the money a "grateful" country gave me when they killed my son and every penny that I have received in speaking or book fees since then.  I have sacrificed a 29 year marriage and have traveled for extended periods of time away from Casey's brother and sisters and my health has suffered and my hospital bills from last summer (when I almost died) are in collection because I have used all my energy trying to stop this country from slaughtering innocent human beings.  I have been called every despicable name that small minds can think of and have had my life threatened many times.

The most devastating conclusion that I reached this morning, however, was that Casey did indeed die for nothing.  His precious lifeblood drained out in a country far away from his family who loves him, killed by his own country which is beholden to and run by a war machine that even controls what we think.  I have tried ever since he died to make his sacrifice meaningful.  Casey died for a country which cares more about who will be the next American Idol than how many people will be killed in the next few months while Democrats and Republicans play politics with human lives.  It is so painful to me to know that I bought into this system for so many years and Casey paid the price for that allegiance.  I failed my boy and that hurts the most.

I have also tried to work within a peace movement that often puts personal egos above peace and human life.  This group won't work with that group; he won't attend an event if she is going to be there; and why does Cindy Sheehan get all the attention anyway?  It is hard to work for peace when the very movement that is named after it has so many divisions.

Our brave young men and women in Iraq have been abandoned there indefinitely by their cowardly leaders who move them around like pawns on a chessboard of destruction and the people of Iraq have been doomed to death and fates worse than death by people worried more about elections than people.  However, in five, ten, or fifteen years, our troops will come limping home in another abject defeat and ten or twenty years from then, our children's children will be seeing their loved ones die for no reason, because their grandparents also bought into this corrupt system.  George Bush will never be impeached because if the Democrats dig too deeply, they may unearth a few skeletons in their own graves and the system will perpetuate itself in perpetuity.

I am going to take whatever I have left and go home.  I am going to go home and be a mother to my surviving children and try to regain some of what I have lost.  I will try to maintain and nurture some very positive relationships that I have found in the journey that I was forced into when Casey died and try to repair some of the ones that have fallen apart since I began this single-minded crusade to try and change a paradigm that is now, I am afraid, carved in immovable, unbendable and rigidly mendacious marble.

Camp Casey has served its purpose.  It's for sale.  Anyone want to buy five beautiful acres in Crawford, Texas?  I will consider any reasonable offer.  I hear George Bush will be moving out soon, too…which makes the property even more valuable.

This is my resignation letter as the "face" of the American anti-war movement.  This is not my "Checkers" moment, because I will never give up trying to help people in the world who are harmed by the empire of the good old US of A, but I am finished working in, or outside of this system.  This system forcefully resists being helped and eats up the people who try to help it.  I am getting out before it totally consumes me or anymore people that I love and the rest of my resources.

It's up to you now.

by Cindy Sheehan, Memorial Day Morning 2007

She is, once again, correct.

[Even though I have a son, I can only imagine the horror of her loss.]

Stephanie McMillan at Minimum Security

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Sunday, May 27, 2007

Do You?

Do You Think They Care What You Think, or are Worried that You Might Actually “Do Something” that Might Actually Stop Them?
Do You?  Really?!?  They Know You Better than You Know Yourselves.

by The Old Hippie Because The “Allowing” Hasn't Even Diminished, Much Less been Stopped.

Even when smacked in the face with a mandate vote, a demand, the “opposition” Democrats bowed down and kissed their feet.  Their sneers got bigger.  Their sycophants even louder.  Their pockets fuller--with your money.  More of your children died.  And you did nothing - Nothing.

You don't even seem to care that they do not care that we care.  Ben Franklin was right - You do not deserve freedom nor security.  But we who have fought them from the beginning do, and we will continue to fight them, until you allow them to stop us.  You don't even seem to care that they do not care that we care.  Oh BTW, just so you don't misunderstand me - Fuck you.  Seriously - Fuck you.  Now, be a good citizen, and go watch television, or consume something.

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. . . - - - . . .   . . . - - - . . .   . . . - - - . . .

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Friday, May 25, 2007

Forget Outrage Fatigue. . .

It's Long Past Even The Exhausting Emotions Of Betrayal Fatigue
by The Old Hippie because I've watched it, read it, and now realize that most haven't.


We see it.  We bloggers, we news hounds, we who go out of our way to be daily hunters of the truth, we see it.  -And-  We report it, we rant about it, we try to warn, we live the truth's reality daily.  -And-  We know the final impact of daily outrage.  -And Now-  We know the exhaustion of betrayal.  The futility of honest efforts ignored.  The final fear of realizing our fellow citizens collective yawns, in the face of the undeniable destruction of their Constitution, are the true sign that the times, they aren't just a-changing...  They have changed.

The change began when that court reporter gave citizen-rights to corporations in 1886.  The final nails in the coffin were the successful take-over of the government, and the complete take-over of the control of the wealth, of this nation by the corporatists during the past seven years.

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Minimum Security

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Thursday, May 24, 2007

Betrayal. . .

How Much Worse Do The Betrayals Of Your Trust Have To Get?!?
by Keith Olbermann, via MSNBC, via Crooks and Liars

[ A Windows Media video, right-click for Zoom, etc. controls.  Original Here. ]

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Mr. Olbermann speaks for many of us. . .

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Sunday, May 20, 2007

Wish I could Claim This Rant. . .

An Excellent Rant Concerning The Opening Of The Moron Magnet.
by The Steven Hart, via The Opinion Mill, May 19, 2007

“The Moron Magnet” - Science and science education will take a giant step forward this Memorial Day when a 50,000-square-foot magnet for morons is activated in rural Petersburg, Kentucky, just over the state line from Cincinnati, Ohio.  (If you follow the link, be sure to scroll down from the white space — some curious formatting at the site.)

{-The Way Many Picture Me-}

The builders of this moron magnet, officially called the Creation Museum, expect the facility will generate a field of intellectual vacuity strong enough to attract some 250,000 ninnies, flakes and feebs in its first year of operation.  They may be right.  After all, the nonprofit ministry Answers in Genesis managed to attract $27 million in moron monies (aka, private donations) to build the facility, which will boast a huge replica of Noah’s Ark and animatronic displays showing Adam and Eve mingling with dinosaurs.

This moron magnet, like a smaller facility due to be activated in Florida, operates on the principle that there are plenty of people who are determined to swindle themselves and their children out of an education, and will travel great distances to pay up-

wards of two sawbucks each to be fed a comforting pablum of lies and superstition.  Science educators around the country are denouncing the moron magnet, as well they should, but I think we should also recognize the great public service being performed here by Answers in Genesis.  Anyone who willingly goes out in public wearing swag from the Creation Museum gift shop is telling the world he is a gullible rube ripe to be taken advantage of by any con artist with a good line in Gospel patter.  Any educator who tries to book a field trip to the Creation Museum is warning parents and administrators that he is a conniving fraud and a potential source of expensive litigation.  Any church that sends its kids to the Creation Museum is notifying the community that it is a spawning pool for Christianist nonsense, and apt to engage in other forms of political and/or social mischief.

So by all means, let the Creation Museum fling open its doors.  If the morons get to waste money on their own make-believe museums, they’ll have that much less time and energy to spend on trying to infiltrate places where real science is respected and taught.

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by Stephanie McMillan via Minimum Security

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Saturday, May 19, 2007

Reality Check. . .

Some Have The Ability To “Put It All Together” - Here Are But A Few...
by The Old Hippie Because It Is Getting Worse By The Hour, And The “Allowing” Continues.

  -  “Ending the Empire”
      Is Imperial Liquidation Possible for America?

  -  A Guide To Most of the GOP Scandals
      An Interactive Visual Map is Also Available Here.

  -  “The Atomic Bazzar”
      ...the United States’ onetime leverage of a formidable nuclear arms
      supply became a liability in dealing with smaller countries seeking
      nuclear leverage of their own.
 Your Right

  -  “Nixon Rides Again” - It's only illegal when the president agrees it's illegal.

  -  “Earth’s Natural Defenses against Climate Change ‘Beginning to Fail’”
      The Long-Feared Sign of “Positive Feedback” ... Is Occurring Now.

  -  “Don’t Blame Bush”
      “No, I haven’t lost my mind.  Mr. Bush has degraded our government and undermined the
      rule of law; he has led us into strategic disaster and moral squalor.

      But the leading contenders for the Republican nomination have given us little reason to believe
      they would behave differently.  Why should they?  The principles Mr. Bush has betrayed are
      principles today’s G.O.P., dominated by movement conservatives, no longer honors.  In fact,
      rank-and-file Republicans continue to approve strongly of Mr. Bush’s policies — and the
      more un-American the policy, the more they support it.”

  -  Confidence, Schmonfidence - They Do Not Care That Congress Cares - Not At All -
      Now Do You Understand What's Behind Their Sneers?  Are You Beginning To Comprehend
      That They Believe That Not You, Not Us, Not Even Congress, That No One, Anywhere. . .
      Can Stop Them?  Is It Sinking In Yet?

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Nothing else at this time...

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Thursday, May 17, 2007

Al Gore Nails It. . .

Many Have Been Asking And Saying The Same Things, Just Not As Well.

Book Excerpt:  The Assault on Reason

by Al Gore, via Time Magazine, Thursday, May 17, 2007
[Original Linked Here]

Not long before our nation launched the invasion of Iraq, our longest-serving Senator, Robert Byrd of West Virginia, stood on the Senate floor and said:  “This chamber is, for the most part, silent—ominously, dreadfully silent.  There is no debate, no discussion, no attempt to lay out for the nation the pros and cons of this particular war.  There is nothing.  We stand passively mute in the United States Senate.”

Why was the Senate silent?

In describing the empty chamber the way he did, Byrd invited a specific version of the same general question millions of us have been asking:  “Why do reason, logic and truth seem to play a sharply diminished role in the way America now makes important decisions?”  The persistent and sustained reliance on falsehoods as the basis of policy, even in the face of massive and well-understood evidence to the contrary, seems to many Americans to have reached levels that were previously unimaginable.

A large and growing number of Americans are asking out loud:  “What has happened to our country?”  People are trying to figure out what has gone wrong in our democracy, and how we can fix it.

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To take another example, for the first time in American history, the Executive Branch of our government has not only condoned but actively promoted the treatment of captives in wartime that clearly involves torture, thus overturning a prohibition established by General George Washington during the Revolutionary War.

It is too easy—and too partisan—to simply place the blame on the policies of President George W. Bush.  We are all responsible for the decisions our country makes.  We have a Congress.  We have an independent judiciary.  We have checks and balances.  We are a nation of laws.  We have free speech.  We have a free press.  Have they all failed us?  Why has America’s public discourse become less focused and clear, less reasoned? Faith in the power of reason—the belief that free citizens can govern themselves wisely and fairly by resorting to logical debate on the basis of the best evidence available, instead of raw power—remains the central premise of American democracy.  This premise is now under assault.

American democracy is now in danger—not from any one set of ideas, but from unprecedented changes in the environment within which ideas either live and spread, or wither and die.  I do not mean the physical environment; I mean what is called the public sphere, or the marketplace of ideas.

It is simply no longer possible to ignore the strangeness of our public discourse.  I know I am not alone in feeling that something has gone fundamentally wrong.  In 2001, I had hoped it was an aberration when polls showed that three-quarters of Americans believed that Saddam Hussein was responsible for attacking us on Sept. 11.  More than five years later, however, nearly half of the American public still believes Saddam was connected to the attack.

At first I thought the exhaustive, nonstop coverage of the O.J. Simpson trial was just an unfortunate excess—an unwelcome departure from the normal good sense and judgment of our television news media.  Now we know that it was merely an early example of a new pattern of serial obsessions that periodically take over the airwaves for weeks at a time:  the Michael Jackson trial and the Robert Blake trial, the Laci Peterson tragedy and the Chandra Levy tragedy, Britney and KFed, Lindsay and Paris and Nicole.

While American television watchers were collectively devoting 100 million hours of their lives each week to these and other similar stories, our nation was in the process of more quietly making what future historians will certainly describe as a series of catastrophically mistaken decisions on issues of war and peace, the global climate and human survival, freedom and barbarity, justice and fairness.  For example, hardly anyone now disagrees that the choice to invade Iraq was a grievous mistake.  Yet, incredibly, all of the evidence and arguments necessary to have made the right decision were available at the time and in hindsight are glaringly obvious.

Those of us who have served in the U.S. Senate and watched it change over time could volunteer a response to Senator Byrd’s incisive description of the Senate prior to the invasion:  The chamber was empty because the Senators were somewhere else.  Many of them were at fund-raising events they now feel compelled to attend almost constantly in order to collect money—much of it from special interests—to buy 30-second TV commercials for their next re-election campaign.  The Senate was silent because Senators don’t feel that what they say on the floor of the Senate really matters that much anymore—not to the other Senators, who are almost never present when their colleagues speak, and certainly not to the voters, because the news media seldom report on Senate speeches anymore.

Our Founders’ faith in the viability of representative democracy rested on their trust in the wisdom of a well-informed citizenry, their ingenious design for checks and balances, and their belief that the rule of reason is the natural sovereign of a free people.  The Founders took great care to protect the openness of the marketplace of ideas so that knowledge could flow freely.  Thus they not only protected freedom of assembly, they made a special point—in the First Amendment—of protecting the freedom of the printing press.  And yet today, almost 45 years have passed since the majority of Americans received their news and information from the printed word.  Newspapers are hemorrhaging readers.  Reading itself is in decline.  The Republic of Letters has been invaded and occupied by the empire of television.

Radio, the Internet, movies, cell phones, iPods, computers, instant messaging, video games and personal digital assistants all now vie for our attention—but it is television that still dominates the flow of information.  According to an authoritative global study, Americans now watch television an average of 4 hours and 35 minutes every day—90 minutes more than the world average.  When you assume eight hours of work a day, six to eight hours of sleep and a couple of hours to bathe, dress, eat and commute, that is almost three-quarters of all the discretionary time the average American has.

In the world of television, the massive flows of information are largely in only one direction, which makes it virtually impossible for individuals to take part in what passes for a national conversation.  Individuals receive, but they cannot send.  They hear, but they do not speak.  The “well-informed citizenry” is in danger of becoming the “well-amused audience.”  Moreover, the high capital investment required for the ownership and operation of a television station and the centralized nature of broadcast, cable and satellite networks have led to the increasing concentration of ownership by an ever smaller number of larger corporations that now effectively control the majority of television programming in America.

In practice, what television’s dominance has come to mean is that the inherent value of political propositions put forward by candidates is now largely irrelevant compared with the image-based ad campaigns they use to shape the perceptions of voters.  The high cost of these commercials has radically increased the role of money in politics—and the influence of those who contribute it.  That is why campaign finance reform, however well drafted, often misses the main point: so long as the dominant means of engaging in political dialogue is through purchasing expensive television advertising, money will continue in one way or another to dominate American politics.  And as a result, ideas will continue to play a diminished role.  That is also why the House and Senate campaign committees in both parties now search for candidates who are multimillionaires and can buy the ads with their own personal resources.

When I first ran for Congress in 1976, I never took a poll during the entire campaign.  Eight years later, however, when I ran statewide for the U.S. Senate, I did take polls and like most statewide candidates relied more heavily on electronic advertising to deliver my message.  I vividly remember a turning point in that Senate campaign when my opponent, a fine public servant named Victor Ashe who has since become a close friend, was narrowing the lead I had in the polls.  After a detailed review of all the polling information and careful testing of potential TV commercials, the anticipated response from my opponent’s campaign and the planned response to the response, my advisers made a recommendation and prediction that surprised me with its specificity:  “If you run this ad at this many ‘points’ [a measure of the size of the advertising buy], and if Ashe responds as we anticipate, and then we purchase this many points to air our response to his response, the net result after three weeks will be an increase of 8.5% in your lead in the polls.”

I authorized the plan and was astonished when three weeks later my lead had increased by exactly 8.5%.  Though pleased, of course, for my own campaign, I had a sense of foreboding for what this revealed about our democracy.  Clearly, at least to some degree, the “consent of the governed” was becoming a commodity to be purchased by the highest bidder.  To the extent that money and the clever use of electronic mass media could be used to manipulate the outcome of elections, the role of reason began to diminish.

As a college student, I wrote my senior thesis on the impact of television on the balance of power among the three branches of government.  In the study, I pointed out the growing importance of visual rhetoric and body language over logic and reason.  There are countless examples of this, but perhaps understandably, the first one that comes to mind is from the 2000 campaign, long before the Supreme Court decision and the hanging chads, when the controversy over my sighs in the first debate with George W. Bush created an impression on television that for many viewers outweighed whatever positive benefits I might have otherwise gained in the verbal combat of ideas and substance.  A lot of good that senior thesis did me.

The potential for manipulating mass opinions and feelings initially discovered by commercial advertisers is now being even more aggressively exploited by a new generation of media Machiavellis.  The combination of ever more sophisticated public opinion sampling techniques and the increasing use of powerful computers to parse and subdivide the American people according to “psychographic” categories that identify their susceptibility to individually tailored appeals has further magnified the power of propagandistic electronic messaging that has created a harsh new reality for the functioning of our democracy.

As a result, our democracy is in danger of being hollowed out.  In order to reclaim our birthright, we Americans must resolve to repair the systemic decay of the public forum.  We must create new ways to engage in a genuine and not manipulative conversation about our future.  We must stop tolerating the rejection and distortion of science.  We must insist on an end to the cynical use of pseudo-studies known to be false for the purpose of intentionally clouding the public’s ability to discern the truth.  Americans in both parties should insist on the re-establishment of respect for the rule of reason.

And what if an individual citizen or group of citizens wants to enter the public debate by expressing their views on television?  Since they cannot simply join the conversation, some of them have resorted to raising money in order to buy 30 seconds in which to express their opinion.  But too often they are not allowed to do even that.  MoveOn.org tried to buy an ad for the 2004 Super Bowl broadcast to express opposition to Bush’s economic policy, which was then being debated by Congress.  CBS told MoveOn that “issue advocacy” was not permissible.  Then, CBS, having refused the MoveOn ad, began running advertisements by the White House in favor of the president’s controversial proposal.  So MoveOn complained, and the White House ad was temporarily removed.  By temporarily, I mean it was removed until the White House complained, and CBS immediately put the ad back on, yet still refused to present the MoveOn ad.

To understand the final reason why the news marketplace of ideas dominated by television is so different from the one that emerged in the world dominated by the printing press, it is important to distinguish the quality of vividness experienced by television viewers from the “vividness” experienced by readers.  Marshall McLuhan’s description of television as a “cool” medium—as opposed to the “hot” medium of print—was hard for me to understand when I read it 40 years ago, because the source of “heat” in his metaphor is the mental work required in the alchemy of reading.  But McLuhan was almost alone in recognizing that the passivity associated with watching television is at the expense of activity in parts of the brain associated with abstract thought, logic, and the reasoning process.  Any new dominant communications medium leads to a new information ecology in society that inevitably changes the way ideas, feelings, wealth, power and influence are distributed and the way collective decisions are made.

As a young lawyer giving his first significant public speech at the age of 28, Abraham Lincoln warned that a persistent period of dysfunction and unresponsiveness by government could alienate the American people and that “the strongest bulwark of any government, and particularly of those constituted like ours, may effectively be broken down and destroyed—I mean the attachment of the people.”  Many Americans now feel that our government is unresponsive and that no one in power listens to or cares what they think.  They feel disconnected from democracy.  They feel that one vote makes no difference, and that they, as individuals, have no practical means of participating in America’s self-government.  Unfortunately, they are not entirely wrong.  Voters are often viewed mainly as targets for easy manipulation by those seeking their “consent” to exercise power.  By using focus groups and elaborate polling techniques, those who design these messages are able to derive the only information they’re interested in receiving from citizens—feedback useful in fine-tuning their efforts at manipulation.  Over time, the lack of authenticity becomes obvious and takes its toll in the form of cynicism and alienation.  And the more Americans disconnect from the democratic process, the less legitimate it becomes.

Many young Americans now seem to feel that the jury is out on whether American democracy actually works or not.  We have created a wealthy society with tens of millions of talented, resourceful individuals who play virtually no role whatsoever as citizens.  Bringing these people in—with their networks of influence, their knowledge, and their resources—is the key to creating the capacity for shared intelligence that we need to solve our problems.

Unfortunately, the legacy of the 20th century’s ideologically driven bloodbaths has included a new cynicism about reason itself—because reason was so easily used by propagandists to disguise their impulse to power by cloaking it in clever and seductive intellectual formulations.  When people don’t have an opportunity to interact on equal terms and test the validity of what they’re being “taught” in the light of their own experience and robust, shared dialogue, they naturally begin to resist the assumption that the experts know best.

So the remedy for what ails our democracy is not simply better education (as important as that is) or civic education (as important as that can be), but the re-establishment of a genuine democratic discourse in which individuals can participate in a meaningful way—a conversation of democracy in which meritorious ideas and opinions from individuals do, in fact, evoke a meaningful response.

Fortunately, the Internet has the potential to revitalize the role played by the people in our constitutional framework.  It has extremely low entry barriers for individuals.  It is the most interactive medium in history and the one with the greatest potential for connecting individuals to one another and to a universe of knowledge.  It’s a platform for pursuing the truth, and the decentralized creation and distribution of ideas, in the same way that markets are a decentralized mechanism for the creation and distribution of goods and services.  It’s a platform, in other words, for reason.  But the Internet must be developed and protected, in the same way we develop and protect markets—through the establishment of fair rules of engagement and the exercise of the rule of law.  The same ferocity that our Founders devoted to protect the freedom and independence of the press is now appropriate for our defense of the freedom of the Internet.  The stakes are the same:  the survival of our Republic.  We must ensure that the Internet remains open and accessible to all citizens without any limitation on the ability of individuals to choose the content they wish regardless of the Internet service provider they use to connect to the Web.  We cannot take this future for granted.  We must be prepared to fight for it, because of the threat of corporate consolidation and control over the Internet marketplace of ideas.

The danger arises because there is, in most markets, a very small number of broadband network operators.  These operators have the structural capacity to determine the way in which information is transmitted over the Internet and the speed with which it is delivered.  And the present Internet network operators—principally large telephone and cable companies—have an economic incentive to extend their control over the physical infrastructure of the network to leverage control of Internet content.  If they went about it in the wrong way, these companies could institute changes that have the effect of limiting the free flow of information over the Internet in a number of troubling ways.

The democratization of knowledge by the print medium brought the Enlightenment.  Now, broadband interconnection is supporting decentralized processes that reinvigorate democracy.  We can see it happening before our eyes:  As a society, we are getting smarter.  Networked democracy is taking hold.  You can feel it.  We the people—as Lincoln put it, “even we here”—are collectively still the key to the survival of America’s democracy.

© 2007 Time, Inc.

I strongly suggest that when the book comes out next week,
that you make a determined, and sustained effort to do three things:

1.  Read the book

2.  Pay real attention to the corporatist-right-wing smear-machine as it attacks it.

3.  Then fight back, any way you can.  “Don't go quietly into the dark night.”

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Wednesday, May 16, 2007

For Those That Don't Believe -

So - You Think The Christianists’ “Take-Over” Isn’t Real - Right?
by The Old Hippie Because These Forces/Movements/People Are Dangerously Determined.

  - From The Navy Times:  Accept Jesus, or be Damned

  - From Crooks and Liars:  Bush’s Dobson Meeting is Not a Good Sign

  - From Mainstream Baptist:  Know Your Christianists

  - From Jesus’ General:  Christian Reconstructionism with a Kung Fu Grip

  - From Talk To Action:  Separation of Church and State 101

  - From The Defense Department:  Bringing Historical Revisionism to a High School Near You

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Stephanie McMillan - Minimum Security

“Imagine if everything the Religious Right believes about the End Times is true, except the Rapture doesn't take them and the antichrist turns out to be their favorite politician . . .”

That's the story of The Event, a book by Mick LaSalle which will be serialized on the above
linked web site, one Episode per week, over the next few months.  [ Now on Chapter 19 ]

Read the Rest of this Posting    →  Below The Fold  ←                  (Permanent Link Here)

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Try Not To Scream. . .

Also Try To Not Cry, But Definitely Don't Laugh It Off.
by Bill Moyers, via PBS, via Bill Moyers Journal

[ A Windows Media video, right-click for Zoom, etc. controls.  Original Here. ]

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Moyers nailed it again.

Read the Rest of this Posting    →  Below The Fold  ←                  (Permanent Link Here)

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Food, There's Plenty - Right?

Even America, The “Bread Basket To The World,” Will Face Shortages. . .
by The Old Hippie Because They Lied To You, Global Warming's Effects Are Real.

Patriot 1.  “Food vs. Population...” - The Land of Plenty?

2.  1 in 6 Countries Facing Food Shortage. - Why?  Climate Change.

3.  “Population Growth and the Food Crisis” - Dated, But Accurate.

4.  “Global Warming May Exacerbate World Food Shortages”

5.  Global Warming: Connect The Dots - The Image Appears Clearly

6.  DIE OFF:  If a Path to the Better There Be, it Begins With a Full Look at the Worst.

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Minimum Security

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Thursday, May 10, 2007

It's Been A Long Week. . .

A Week of Seeing the Continued Allowance of Positives’ Destruction.
by The Old Hippie Because the Negative is Still Being Allowed, Even Promoted.

  -  “Too Many Still Don't Understand. . .”
     Too many are looking at the trees, and not watching the forest.

  -  “Duck and Cover”

     The “Complex 2030” plan is reviving the nuclear threat.

  -  “Evaluating ‘No Child Left Behind’”

     With high-spending schools outspending low-spending schools at least
     three to one in most states - the United States has the most inequitable
     education system in the industrialized world.
 Your Right

  -  “Inventing Human Rights: A History” - A long, excellent, and worthy read.

  -  “Bush Alums Reap Their Rewards” - To understand why scum consistently rises to the
     surface of the Bush administration, it is best to refer to the wisdom contained within the final
     memoir of the late, great Kurt Vonnegut.  In an excerpt published in 2006, Vonnegut observed
     that “George W. Bush has gathered around him ... most frighteningly, psychotic personalities,
     or PPs, the medical term for smart, personable people who have no consciences.”

  -  “House Fails To Address Habeas Corpus In Defense Authorization Bill”

  -  “Finally. . .” - I Think Americans Are Slowly Accepting That This Administration Will...

[ The “BLACKWATER” Video is Below The Fold. . . ]

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[ A Typical Google Video - You Know What To Do ]

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Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Staying With The Positive. . .

A Couple Of Articles About Us Hippies You May Find Interesting -
by The Old Hippie Because I Can Take A Compliment With Sincere Appreciation, And A Smile.

“Just two articles about us hippies.  Yes, the unique simple complexity of our complex simplicity is really not all that hard to understand, nor to appreciate.  Both articles kind of made me feel a little bit more like I did before I got here, than I do now.  But even so, appreciating the appreciation is... Well... groovy.”

{-The Way Many Picture Me-}
 Here are the links to the two articles:

“We Owe It All To The Hippies”

From Stewart Brand at Time Magazine via their History Files
“Forget antiwar protests, Woodstock, even long hair.  The real legacy of the sixties generation is the computer revolution.”

“The Hippies Were Right!”

From Mark Morford at The San Francisco Chronicle
“Green homes?  Organic food?  Nature is good?  Time To Give The Ol’ Tie-Dyers Some Respect.”

Dig “the unique simple complexity of our complex simplicity” now?

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A Special Treat For You Below The Fold Readers - A very cool, little taste of the “60s”;
[- Turn your speakers up! -]

- “Take Me Back To The 60s” -

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Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Who Cares? - Surprisingly A Lot!

The Number Of Functioning Positive Forces May Surprise You.
compiled by The Old Hippie Because These Forces/Movements/People Deserve The Credit.

Globally speaking, this planet, as measured by the Environmental, political, social-justice, and just about any other global-society marker you can name, is within the worst-case scenario of negative forces.  Which has been greatly accelerated and enhanced by “our” current American administration, of which I, (lesser,) and many others, (majorly,) have exposed, discussed, documented, ranted on, and chastised about, in the independent media, web sites, blogs, and even the mainstream media, et al, for years, including the decades before this corrupt administration. . .

But today I'll not rant or chastise - This posting is centered on just the positive forces, movements, and people.  I provide my usual links-of-proof, (or in this particular case just 2 “get-you-started” links-of-interest,) “Below The Fold.”  Please - Read them, absorb the words’ implications, and realities, for not just yours, but everyone's futures - Do anything and everything you can do to help them - As their efforts are not easy, nor simple.

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Stephanie McMillan - Minimum Security

The Links of Proof:  [ -If you can, please spread these links to others - Thank you- ]

“To Remake the World”
    Something Earth-changing is afoot among civil society, by Paul Hawken

    Compiled Set of Positive Forces Links

Stephanie McMillan - Minimum Security

Read the Rest of this Posting    →  Below The Fold  ←                  (Permanent Link Here)