Belle of Liberty

Letting Freedom Ring

Friday, April 09, 2010

Aqua Et Igni Interdictus

This will have to be a short blog, as I had to do my taxes last night and had a concert rehearsal this evening, so there was no time for writing.

A writer in the U.K. has been keeping tabs on the worldwide censorship of the Internet. The House of Commons passed the “Digital Economy Bill” in the middle of the night, giving the government power to restrict and filter any website that is deemed to be undesirable for public consumption.

The bill has to go back to the House of Lords for final approval, where it’s expected to pass.

The author cites examples from other parts of the world, including the United States where freedom of speech is expected to meet its doom.

Here in the U.S., the author says, Congress and the FCC are contemplating something called Internet.2, with rights severely pared down for content providers.

We may have to return to World War II-era ham radios, at this rate.

Once we’ve lost our freedom of speech, all we’ll have left is ultima ratio regum.

Thursday, April 08, 2010

'Tea Bagging' the Tea Parties

The TEA Parties. It was such a simple idea. A bunch of friends and neighbors gather on their town square and hold up signs protesting big government.

What could be easier?

Well, maybe it wasn’t that easy. Permits had to be granted by the town. Sound equipment had to be rented, speakers lined up, and event insurance purchased. In the first rallies, the speaker portion was easy: ordinary citizens who had a story to tell.

But it could be done, and was. The TEA Party to which I belonged did a fantastic job. And they’re going to do it again.

As last summer wore on, the Tea Parties grew larger and larger. People began to take notice, especially the adversaries. With their dirty minds, they immediately came up with a pejorative terms, which only a Liberal mind could concoct: ‘tea baggers’.

You could hear the wheels in their Liberal minds turning. While they pasted on their best Pelosi, joker-face smiles, on the inside they were worried. These tea partiers were very dangerous. They were talking about liberty. Freedom. The Constitution.

What if someone heard them?

The propaganda machine went into 24/7 crisis mode to attack the Tea Parties. We were angry. Racist. Vioent. Homophobic. Xenophobic. Stupid. Moronic. Sore Losers. Look at those idiots in their tri-corner hats. Can’t accept the fact a black man won the election.

Somehow, they had to get inside these tea parties to disrupt them. We had agitators inside our Tea Party from Day One, before we even got to the first rally. They were shown the door.

We fought them at the meetings. On the website (when we still allowed comments; eventually that feature was eliminated). They threatened us with lawsuits. During the summer, one of the guest speakers received death threats. He canceled his appearance.

They tried subtler approaches. ‘You should carry manufactured signs, to present a uniform message.’ ‘You should concentrate on campaigns not rallies.’ ‘You need to be more politically active.’ ‘You need to speak one-on-one with the legislators.’

‘Town Hall meetings are more effective than rallies.’

This was all bunk. But as the crowds grew larger, it was harder for a single, lone voice to be heard: “Don’t believe any of this garbage!! They’re snow-jobbing you!”

Manufactured sign would take away all the individuality and creativity from the hometown crowds. Fortunately, the hometowners told the suits where to go with their conformity.

Liberals tended to crowd into the town hall meetings.  They lined up at the end so they would have the last word at the microphones and exceeded the one-minute limit.  And the town hall was the politician's party; they ruled the event.
But Tea Party activists listened eagerly to exhortations that they head straight for Washington, D.C. ‘We have to do more, we want to do more than just the rallies!’ they cried.

For my part, I threw up my hands. I’m not into telling people what to do. ‘So go to Washington, if you feel that’s what you need to do. Who am I to say? Whatever works.’

Privately, I knew that wasn’t where the real power and influence was. The real influence was back in those town squares. That’s where votes come from: from voters. The Tea Party activists didn’t need to convince the politicians.

Politicians are puppets. Empty suits. Scarecrows that bend with the slightest breeze. It’s Americans who will determine America’s fate. They’re the ones you have to convince to vote for responsible legislators who won’t sell us down the river.

The rallies are everything. They’re the whole deal. They’re what it’s about: the people, not the politicians. The Tea Parties being in Washington made for great television and made the activists feel important.

It even made for great advertisement for their rallies back home.

Only now, those rallies are in danger. A hacker or a mole has infiltrated the National Tea Party Coalition website. They’re systematically erasing the April 15th rally information. They started out alphabetically, replacing the town information with a new notice.

They’re shifting gears, they claim, to become a political activist organization, fundraising, campaigning for politicians. Activities in which the Tea Parties were never meant to engage. In fact, the original hometowners eschewed all political activities.

They wanted the rallies to be about their voices, not those of politicians. But gradually, the local speakers were replaced with professional speakers. Not a bad idea, really. However, it was one more step away from the original intention of the rallies.

At my local tea party, we had politicians in a panel forum. Their only function was to answer voters’ questions. No speeches. No stumping. No campaigning. When they tried to campaign, they were booed, and stomped off the podium in a huff.

Bravo for those Tea Partiers. A year later, though, the Tea Partiers seemed to have bitten the poisoned apple. Now they are signing petitions and campaigning for candidates. A week out from the Tax Day Tea Parties, someone is shutting down the clearinghouse for April 15th rallies.

Politics is like a nuclear reactor: the closer you get to the core, the greater the danger of contamination. Think of the U.S. Capitol building as a giant nuclear reactor. When friends said last summer, ‘Come to Washington with us for the Tea Party rally,’ I replied, “Thanks. But no thanks. I do my best work from my computer.”

At their request, I sent letters to my representatives which I knew would be ignored. I would have preferred to give another speech to average people, encouraging them to gather together to support one another and proselytize within their social circles.

Not prepossessed of a camera-ready appearance, I started this blog instead.

At the beginning of the Tea Party movement last year, someone began a national website to serve as a clearinghouse for the movement. Then they dropped the ball. Now someone is dropping the ball again, this time deliberately.

This National Tea Party Coalition, which now declares itself a “caucus”, claims going to rallies is a waste of time and money; money better spent in their campaign coffers.  'If you want to find out the location of a rally in your area, you won't find it here,' the website flatly tells visitors.

'Don't waste your time and money on going to rallies.  Donate to us instead.'  Yeah, right.

But who was it who wasted our taxpayer money on the Stimulus and other big government extravaganzas but the politicians?

Who wasted our time and money but politicians we sent to represent conservative values and blew all their political capital on scandals? Who reached across the aisle to the enemies of freedom and liberty?

Who is courting the vote of illegal immigrants, hoping that once they become legal citizens they’ll vote for the criminals who made criminals official citizens? On our dollars?

The Tea Party rallies a waste of time and money? The Tea Parties came into existence thanks to the corrupt politicians who are now trying to subvert it. The real question is why anyone in the Tea Party movement is listening to them!

Only a few people will probably read my blog. But I’ll advise you to do just what you did in the beginning: do it yourselves. Don’t depend on anyone else to keep this movement going for you. Expect them, in fact, to try to sabotage it.

Go back to your social networking. Talk from group to group to group. Let each other know what you’re doing and how you’re doing it. Support and encourage one another. Use your own voices, not those of politicians or even the media.

Get back out there and be seen on your greens. Quark at your parks (quarks are fractional elements of a greater whole). Dare to square. You know what to do. You did it before and you can do it again. If you haven’t done it before, do it now.

Don’t get sucked into the political reactor (how do you think politicians got the way they are?). We’re a representative republic for a reason. You shouldn’t have to be doing their jobs for them. If they’re not doing their jobs, you need to let them know.

Exercise your First Amendment rights to assemble and speak freely, for yourselves. This is something you have to do for yourselves, for your families, for your country, and for the future.

Don't waste your time thinking anyone else will speak for you.

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

Political Winter

In October 1962, I was only three years old. I wasn’t exactly sure what atom bombs were and only had a vague idea of where Cuba was.

But I knew something was wrong. My older brother, then six, came home with tales of air raid drills, of children hiding under their desks. I remember seeing a somber President Kennedy talking on the television set.

Most of all, I knew that my parents were worried. There were no fabulous Bible stories that night to entertain me and my brothers. Only my mother hugging me sadly as we sat on one of the boys’ beds, while my father stood nearby, graver than usual.

If she thought we weren’t going to live to grow up, she wouldn’t have had us, my mother said. It wasn’t fair to us. Was it really worth all this risk, all this anxiety? My father said the president had done the right thing, that he’d stood up to the Russians.

I knew it had something to do with ships out on the ocean that weren’t going to be allowed to dock on an island south of Florida. That the American ships wouldn’t let them pass.

That one way or the other, my father said, it would mean war and the end of America as we know it. Russia couldn’t be allowed to store those missiles in Cuba.

My mother asked how long it would take for the missiles to arrive? Not very long, my father replied. Not very long at all. Would there be enough time to get us children in the car and drive to safety?

With enough warning, he thought, we might be able to drive just far enough north to get out of harm’s way. But he didn’t think the government would sound any warning at all, in spite of all the drills. An alert would cause lots of panic but not much else.

He also thought having children like Billy hide under desks was absurd. That would be no protection at all. He’d heard about the tests in Los Alamos and so had Grandpa (Mom’s father). And of the after-effects of the Hiroshima and Nagasaki atomic bombs.

We lived outside of New York City. Just far enough away to know what was happening but not far enough away to get away in time.

But the crisis was averted and our family lived happily everafter. At least until now. Freedom prevailed, barely, through the Sixties. But communism was on the march, with our young people tearing down their own flag, as Kruschev predicted.

I remember the shoe-banging incident at the United Nations, too.

No one needs to bang any shoes today.

Sixteen days ago, the House of Representatives passed the Health Care Reform and today, Obama vowed to destroy all our nuclear weapons in the United States in the name of world peace. No mother need hug her daughter in fear of a nuclear winter.

Another sort of winter is fast approaching us, though – a political winter. This storm’s winds will wreak as much damage as any physical maelstrom, uprooting the trees of liberty, sweeping away homes and families, smashing windows, ripping away roofs, and devastating the country.

Civilization will be turned over to the savages and barbarians. Crime will rule the streets and anarchy our highways and byways. Cities and towns once orderly and peaceful will be left in ruins. Our prosperity will be looted and left strewn in the gutters.

Our gardens will be trampled, our orchards stripped bare of fruit and leaf. The winds of change will howl through their barren branches. Birds will no more warble to the west wind in their boughs nor children climb to their heights.

A frost will leave our landscape barren. Words will be weighed carefully. We will all march to the beat of a single, relentless drummer. No dissent will be allowed, no deviation from the frozen track laid carefully before our feet.

There will be no warmth among neighbors; only suspicion and distrust. Children will not be free to gambol. Our time will be measured out for us. Our days will be long and our nights all too short. The fire of freedom will be stomped out and we’ll be left to freeze.

Men of great wealth will sit contentedly upon their hoards, glorying in the power they’ve accumulated. They will reap what we have sown and deliver it to their devotees, lazy, ignorant, and unprincipled.

We will serve as slaves at their pleasure and bow to their dictates. If this life seems familiar, know that in the autumn we only tasted the augur of this austerity. The tempest has only begun to toss us about, helpless and frustrated.

Any defenses we might have had, any supplies, any arsenal, whether financial, emotional, political, physical will be torn from us. Those nuclear weapons Obama wishes to ban were the sentinels against a political holocaust that is now breaking over us. The calamity they were built to prevent surges around us like a tsunami wave, drowning freedom, democracy, and capitalism.

Any foreign army will be able to march upon our shores without a challenge. Waves of illegal immigrants may flood over our borders. Criminals, vagrants, thieves, and their ilk will have free reign over us.

Nothing will stop them from robbing us and enslaving us in our own country. Obama bowed down to foreign potentates all over the world, and now he will surrender our last, best, if nightmarish, defense against tyranny and oppression.

Hilary Clinton, I believe, said that we have no need of nuclear weapons in this day and age. No indeed, for the communists, the Marxists, the socialists have their victory and their champion in Barack Obama.

He has won a bloodless, radiation-free coup against the free world. Why would he launch nuclear weapons against countries such as Russia and China, Cuba and Venezuela, whom he regards as allies?

We have met the enemy – and he is our president.

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Neutralizing the Net

In response to a 17-word question about over-taxation at a town hall meeting last Friday, President Obama gave a 17-minute, 12-second, 2,500 word answer, overtaxing his listeners.

He claimed there was a whole lot of “misinformation” about the Health Care Reform law and that he was going to work hard to clean up all the “misapprehensions”.

“Let’s talk about that,” he began. But this week, he and Congress are also going to work hard to make sure that only he and his propagandists will be doing to the talking, thanks to the Net Neutrality bill (HR 3458) which the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia and Congress will be considering this week.

According to the Wikipedia entry, “Network neutrality (also net neutrality, Internet neutrality) is a principle proposed for user access networks participating in the Internet that advocates no restrictions on content, sites, or platforms, on the kinds of equipment that may be attached, and on the modes of communication allowed, as well as communication that is not unreasonably degraded by other traffic.”

Well, that sounds “fair”, doesn’t it?

The entry continues with a simplified explanation, “If a given user pays for a certain level of Internet access, and another user pays for the same level of access, the two users should be able to connect to each other at the subscribed level of access.”

That last line, though, “communication…not unreasonably degraded by other traffic.” Just what is that supposed to mean?

Conservative pundits say it’s Liberal language for destroying competition. In other words, if you have three popular Conservative bloggers and one unpopular Liberal blogger, the carrier has to ditch two of those popular Conservatives.

The Fairness Doctrine, for the broadcast and cable industry, which was struck down in the 1980s, made the same argument.

Carriers can also be forced to place content providers who displease the government on lower bands with weaker signals where they’re less likely to be read or heard. The government will cite discrimination against less popular bloggers.

For years, The National Endowment for the Arts has used federal funds to support politically-favored but culturally unpopular artists, dancers, and musicians. One famous, or infamous artist, created a work showing a cross in urine.

Not only was it religiously offensive, but…yuck. The NEA claimed it was freedom of expression.
On our tax dollars. And now they’re going to use our tax dollars to stop us from expressing our opinions on the Internet.

Major Internet content providers like Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck can afford the highest fee levels, but all their capital won’t save them from the politically-correct ambitions of this bill. It won’t matter how weak their competition is; they have the backing of the U.S. government.

Just like General Motors.

As for us, the small-fry of the Internet, our voices will be relegated to the lowest level of the Internet food chain, on that weakest signal, the most we can afford, where no one will ever hear us or read us.

We won’t be able to afford to blog and reach a wider audience anymore than we can afford to buy a radio or television station, or publish a newspaper. Even now, it’s not easy to crawl our way onto one of the major search engines.

Service providers will have the lure of higher fees both from providers and their audience. Some have been on Obama’s bam-wagon all along.

We shouldn’t let this bill sneak by us unchallenged. The Liberals are desperate to silence us (they didn’t think we’d catch on to this Internet stuff. They thought we were too stupid, stuck back in the Fifties, hopeless dolts who couldn’t program our VCRs).

They sure got that wrong. We’re all over the Internet and now they want to stomp us out like the pests we are. They want to silence Glenn Beck and Rush, but Glenn is right: they’re really terrified of our power.

The Liberals need to pull the plug on us before we become self-actuating.

Before we become independent of them.

Monday, April 05, 2010

Easter Charade

“He is Risen.”

Mine was the lot of the biblical Martha yesterday. Fixing Thanksgiving dinner yesterday for my family, I paid little to heed the tidings of Easter.

Still, I had hoped to at least follow it on television as I did my work, as Martha heard Jesus talking to her sister Mary, seated at his feet.

But not one station saw fit to mark the Easter holiday. Only at five o’clock as I was finishing the preparations for dinner, did one of the cable networks play “King of Kings”, with Jeffrey Hunter.

The host of the cable show saw fit to sneer at Hunter’s blue-eyed portrayal of Christ.

However, another network (perhaps the same one) did show “The Silver Chalice,” with Paul Newman. Here, the host saw noted that it was the movie Newman hated the most and even urged fans not to go and see.

But it’s Jack Palance who literally “steals the show” as Simon the Magician, who covets the silver cup of Christ in order to crush it and prove Christ was merely a magician, like Simon himself.

In these kinds of denouncements does the real anti-Christian evil work. The Anti-Christ, whoever he is, works to destroy faith. No better ally exists for this purpose than the mundane workings of the natural world.

In The Ten Commandments on Saturday, Ramsees is heard denouncing the plagues of God as nothing more than natural occurrences. A mudslide in distant mountains that poisoned the water, killed the fish, the crops, and the beasts, unleashing yet more plagues of lice, frogs, and locusts.

Taking that lead, a modern-day documentary postulated that the final plague, the deaths of the first-born of Egypt, was the final result of the original calamity: that the first-born were given the bread from the diseased grain first, dying first.

Anything God can think of to do, Men of Science can explain away. They can figure out how to cure the sick just as well as He can. They don’t need to beg the rich to feed the poor; they’ll force them to do it. Why make the poor wait on an uncertain magnanimity?

They have a logical explanation for the creation of the universe and a theory for its eventual demise. In the Sixties, they even declared that God is dead.

But they can’t explain that empty tomb. Up until recently, even if they’d discovered Jesus’ remains, they couldn’t have proven it was him. But now, with DNA and genetic testing, they have the means at their disposal.

They’ll find him, even if they have to dig up every grave in Jerusalem and its environs. They’ll prove to us yet that this Son of Man (as he called himself) did not rise from the dead and live forever.

They’ll crush his bones and Christian faith the way Simon the Magician wanted to crush the Silver Chalice. They’ll find this Jesus and put an end to all the doubts.

They can dig up every graveyard in Jersualem, search every crypt, open every sarcophagus until they locate him. But that’s trying to find Jesus the hard way.

All they have to do is pray.