Wednesday, September 30, 2009
Yes, folks, coming to a town near you, your very own local paramilitary force.
Tuesday, September 29, 2009
Here are Steve Doocy and Judge Andrew Napolitano on the Massachusetts Forced Immunization Law on Monday's edition of Fox & Friends on Fox News Channel.
Monday, September 28, 2009
Sunday, September 27, 2009
The question I have is, are they our national treasure, or , a treasure for the super-rich?
Friday, September 25, 2009
Monday, September 21, 2009
Saturday, September 19, 2009
Friday, September 18, 2009
Thursday, September 17, 2009
Tuesday, September 15, 2009
Monday, September 14, 2009
Lesson number one is that the cops do not believe in your First Amendment rights, or any other rights of yours, for that matter. If they find it convenient for their own purposes, which often seem to include nothing more than throwing their weight around, they will yell at you, shove you, threaten you with night sticks, dogs, and horses, whack you with their clubs, and lob tear gas into your ranks. It’s all in a day’s work for those who have sworn “to serve and protect.” Best you remember, however, that the phrase is short for “serve and protect the state,” not for “serve you and protect your rights to life, liberty, and property.” Protecting your right to demonstrate peacefully against state policies is not part of the cops’ job description.
Lesson number two is that the people in the demonstrations are there for all sorts of reasons, despite what one might suppose from their announced issue(s) as signified by signs, banners, and group statements. I often bemoaned the lack of seriousness in many of the antiwar demonstrators with whom I marched. A great many of the younger ones seemed to be there mainly because demonstrating against the war was, literally, a sexy thing for a college student to do: at the demonstration, one might meet someone suitable for a not-very-subsequent sexual liaison – in plain language, participating in a demonstration served as a reasonably promising avenue to getting laid. Beyond this quite understandable motivation, however, people had all sorts of other reasons for participating. Some fancied themselves radicals out to overthrow the government. Others were worried that children, grandchildren, or other relatives and friends might be drafted, shipped to Vietnam, and killed. Some of us actually cared about the countless hundreds of thousands of Asians being slaughtered by U.S. forces for no good reason. Although we were all against the war in some way, our ways varied widely. The participants in most demonstrations, including the recent one in Washington, no doubt have this same heterogeneous quality. In a protest, however, the enemy of my enemy is my friend.
Lesson number three is that the mainstream media are in league with the government when they report on demonstrations. For example, they will minimize any violence the police use against the demonstrators and exaggerate any violence the demonstrators perpetrate. I recall one protest in particular, where our group included tens of thousands of marchers passing through the streets of downtown Seattle. The police, as usual, were out in force, lining the streets and salivating for a chance to crack some heads. Present also were the undercover agents with their cameras; for some reason, the authorities always wanted lots of photos of us dangerous protestors – college students, hippies, grandmothers, little kids in their mother’s arms, and so forth, all obviously dangerous subversives. At this particular protest, the organizers took great pains to instruct everybody about scrupulously avoiding any kind of violence, because we all knew that the media would use it to discredit everything about the event. So we maintained absolute order, or so I thought as I made my way through the streets somewhere in the middle of the long parade. No violence whatsoever did I see. Hooray! The next morning, however, the banner headline in the Seattle Times read, “Violence Mars Antiwar Demonstration.” Someone, it seems, had broken ranks and smashed a shop window, an occurrence so inconsequential that even I, positioned right in the middle of the affair, had not noticed it. This incident illustrates well what passes for journalistic impartiality and balance in this country. Rest assured that if you are bucking the system, the system’s guardians in the news media will smack you down by stigmatizing you as some sort of dangerous hooligan or totally out-of-touch wingnut. They’ll also minimize your group’s numbers, again seeking to marginalize and trivialize your efforts.
Lesson number four is that the powers that be don’t give a damn about your demonstrations or the reasons that have impelled you to participate in them, except to the extent that your actions create bad press for them and their policies. The minute they conclude that your demonstrations actually imperil their personal grip on power, they will cease to be so accommodating of your First Amendment rights. They might even cook up something called COINTELPRO, whereby they employ every political dirty trick in the book against you, up to and including murder. (If you suppose I’m exaggerating, I suggest you do some research on COINTELPRO and other such government schemes to violate the people’s civil rights systematically.) Nowadays, the USA PATRIOT Act lends itself splendidly to broad-gauge surveillance and disruption of peaceniks and other troublemakers.