This is America. We have a constitutional democracy. Well, a republic, if you want to be technical about it. Semantic technicalities notwithstanding, we still have guaranteed freedoms and rights.
Two of those most basic rights are the freedom of speech, and to peaceably assemble. For any purpose. In this country, we have the right to disagree with our government, or anything else, including but not limited to giant corporations and financial institutions.
When enough people get fed up with the status-quo, they are allowed, by virtue of that constitution and its Bill of Rights, to gather, march, protest, call out slogans, chant, or have a simple "sit-in." As long as it remains peaceful, it is legal. A group is not even required; a single person is allowed to protest by whatever peaceful means they choose.
What has happened? We have the police cracking down on peaceful protesters, beating people with batons, assaulting them with pepper spray, ripping up their signs and temporary shelters, and in general, behaving exactly like underworld thugs and punks.
All of a sudden the protesters, the "occupiers," are being treated as if they are the punks, and all they are doing is sitting, walking, talking, perhaps shouting chants and slogans. They are exercising their legal right to protest, object, and in general say, "I'm mad as hell, and I'm not going to take it anymore!"
The actions of the police (at the direction of city mayors, I might add), is what is illegal. Both are acting as if we have moved to someplace like Red China or Stalinist Russia. We still have our freedoms, and we need to stand up and protect them; yes, fight for them if necessary.
Should any of the protesters, either alone or in unity with others, jump up and attempt to turn the tables, or resist their treatment at the hands of the police, they are charged with anything from ‘resisting arrest’ to ‘assault.’ Excuse me, but it is the cops who are doing the assaulting! They deserve a taste of their own medicine!
After the signing of the constitution, Benjamin Franklin was asked, “What do we have?” His reply? “A republic—if you can keep it.” Well, folks, our republic is under attack, and not from external terrorists, but from inside our own government! It is time to wake up, rise up, and fight to retain our rights!!
The most egregious example is the excuse used for this wave of squelching the rights and freedoms of the individual. It is called “The Patriot Act.” It was enacted soon after the 9-11 attacks, and was nothing more than a smoke-and-mirrors falsehood to keep the populace quiet, and try to make them feel safe.
Well, bullshit! There is no polite way to put it. It stripped many of our constitutionally guaranteed freedoms, and jeopardizes others. It is the motivation behind the current behavior by police, city mayors, and now, even, apparently college chancellors! College!! Of all places, where the right to protest and the lessons about our freedoms should be in the forefront of the curriculum, is now a stage being used to show off the force and might of the bullies in uniforms. FOR SHAME!
Here’s another surprise: That so-called “patriot act?” It is, in and of itself, illegal, unconstitutional, and therefore worthy of being ignored and not enforced. It is the worst oxymoron, and most un-patriotic edict ever enacted! What needs to happen is for everyone to demand its repeal, and assert themselves even more. Do not be bullied and cowed by The Powers That Be (TPTB), or you and your children and your grandchildren for generations forward, will pay the price of having watched this once great nation slide into the darkness of dictatorship, just like the ones we are claiming to battle around the world.
For what business do we have messing about in other countries’ affairs, preaching about “human rights violations,” when our own government is not practicing what it preaches?! We need to tend to the constitutionally guaranteed rights of our own citizens, and tell TPTB to MYOB and stop harassing their own citizens, and violating our human rights, in the name of some nebulous, imaginary threat.
NOW, GO FORTH AND OCCUPY!
Blog Description and Introduction
Ok, here it is..the unadulterated truth. What I say here will no doubt cause great disagreement by many people. Good. If they disagree, that means they read it. Those are the very people who need to see this information! Education is not necessarily about being comfortable. Learning involves change, and not too many like change. Especially the well-to-do. They have a vested interest in keeping things the way they are.
Saturday, November 19, 2011
Monday, November 14, 2011
(Christians, prepare to be both offended and educated.)
This is the time when many people take stock of the year as it comes to a close, make decisions for the following year, and plan all kinds of celebrations with family and friends.
This is great. It is all well and good. However, there is certain misinformation widely distributed at this time of year, and while I have no problem with people observing whatever religious persuasion they choose, I do have a problem with it being incessantly shoved in my face.
Our Constitutional guarantee of freedom of religion likewise assures freedom from religion for those who do not believe, or who follow a different path. Yet, as we shop the stores from almost before Halloween has even arrived, our ears are assaulted by Christmas music in nearly every store we visit until the very day before Christmas itself. The Christian view and its music is virtually shoved down our throats at every turn.
The Christmas holiday takes on a life of its own that has nothing to do with religion or religious beliefs, and everything to do with corporate greed. It is the biggest mass-marketing push of the year. You can shop for a late November birthday gift if you wish, but know this: the store will count it into its Christmas sales figures!
A few persons of this particular religious persuasion will grumble about the commercialization of the holiday, trying to remind the rest that, "Jesus is the Reason for the Season." Unfortunately, they are just as wrong.
The day on which Christians celebrate the birth of their "lord" has nothing to do with the birth of an infant many years ago and far away. That person was not born in winter--the evidence for that is in the very music of the season...shepherds would not be out in the middle of winter in the snow with their flocks..they'd die of exposure, and there would be no grass for the sheep to nibble. No, winter is barn and hay time. So, the Christ Child was more likely born in spring or summer.
What really happened, here then? The early church was struggling desperately for converts. They used all sorts of nefarious schemes to gain them, including threats of death and seizure of property. Most fell into line, if begrudgingly. In those days, people still worshipped a pantheon of older gods and goddesses even pre-dating Roman and Greek traditions.
In December, the Winter Solstice occurs, and was celebrated back then with great feasts, and many fires, candles, torches, and so forth, to drive back the darkness of winter, and make hope for the return of Spring and her light and warmth. Some of the pagan sects made offerings of food to their gods; others may have made blood sacrifices. It was a horrific time to try and survive a winter in meager shelters with little in the way of warm clothing. Many died over winter. It was a scary time.
The feasted, they drank, they danced and made merry to chase the fear, the dark, the cold. Just around the 25th of the month was the Saturnalia celebration.
Many of the reluctant converts still practiced their old ways in secret, only pretending to believe in this new religion, simply to save their lives and their land, if they had any. The church noticed this, and took advantage of the fact by simply piggy-backing the celebrations they wanted to emphasize onto the pagan celebrations already happening. Hence, they decided to assign the birth of Christ onto the same date as the Saturnalia. Bingo! Instant (apparent) compliance with the church-mandated celebration!
In fact, the church probably knew, or suspected the real motives behind the celebrants' partying, but they looked the other way at first, satisfying themselves that they had "won" and convinced the popluation to believe as the church directed.
Over time, however, as the elders of the population died off, and new people were born, the people forgot the old ways. Gradually, stricter rules were put into place by the church, and they began to have an iron fisted will over their subjects. Enter the crusades and other horrors such as the Spanish Inquisition.
Oh, and by the way, the original meaning of "pagan" back in those days was simply a person of the country, or countryman ... meaning of the land...a simple person. There was no negative connotation as the church later characterized the word. "Pagan" does not mean devil-worship.
Nowadays, we hear all kinds of whining from the Christian community about all the things wrong with this "holy" season. They are offended when people say "Happy Holidays," instead of "Merry Christmas." Well, excuse you, but not everyone you meet is a Christian!
Why would you expect them to offer you a greeting pertaining to your particular religious celebration? There are far more religions than just Christians that have celebrations at this time of year. So, insistence on "Merry Christmas" as the only appropriate greeting is a very chauvinistic and bigoted viewpoint.
Do you Christians put up a tree? String your house with lights? Teach your children about Santa? These are all remnants from the original Pagan traditions.
So I ask, why should you be any more offended than a Jewish person, to whom no one says "Happy Chanukah?" What about those who celebrate Kwanzaa? Don't they have an equal right to be offended by your "Merry Christmas?" I am pagan, and proud of it. Shouldn't people greet me with "Happy Yuletide" or "Merry Saturnalia?" No, that should not be expected of them. I don't celebrate the Christian holidays; and I don't expect you to celebrate mine. I am offended that the focus of the season is exclusively Christian in its basis. There are many winter celebrations, so, in fact, "Happy Holidays" is the more proper, all-encompassing greeting that leaves out no one!
I have put up with this in silence for decades. The silence has ended. I am tired of hearing Christmas Carols in every store for 2 solid months; so the next time someone says "Jesus is the Reason for the Season," they need not expect a polite answer. There are many 'reasons for the season,' and the Jesus one was trumped up centuries ago. So--