Friday, January 27, 2006
Thursday, January 26, 2006
Those who subvert elections do so at their own peril
The resistance to even the suggestion of electronic voting machines being compromised is easy to understand. Even though they do not consciously admit it, every person of even cursory education knows what it means when the election process has been systematically defrauded. Without the ability to overthrow their government peacefully, using elections, the disenfranchised will inevitably rebel against the tyrants who hold the keys to the voting box. Blood will be spilled, and chaos and destruction will follow in its wake.
No sane person wishes to see a violent revolution happen in their country. No sane person wishes to see their family turned into refugees by their own fellow citizens.
Sadly, the American love affair with the concept of "subjective reality," the ideology that all of reality is purely subjective and no one view of reality should be placed "above" another, has produced a mentality among its people that if you ignore something studiously enough, or if you repeat a lie often enough, unpleasant truths can be replaced with pleasant fictions. They have pulled the towel over their head and hoped the monster that stalks them is so stupid as to believe that if they can't see the monster, it can't see them.
This attitude, if left unchanged, will result in American blood flowing in the streets. This country will be torn apart as its people realize the magnitude of the loss of freedom they have endured. The people involved, after all, are not Chinese, not Russians. Not for them the meek submission to authority. This country is a land of misfits, rebels, and individualists.
Those who tamper with elections do so at their own ultimate peril. The longer a revolution is put off, the more intense it is when it finally arrives. In their wisdom, the founders of this country arranged for bi-annual opportunity for revolution. In their hubris, the rulers of this country subvert that process.
My voice is not the first to speak of these things, but in this time it is one of the few. I know, however, that in this land our chorus will not be quiet for long. Even if the powers strike me down and burn my words, the tide has changed. The water of revolution is rising. If the powers do not return to us the peaceful tools of overthrow, they only invite a return to the old ways.
Do these men and women truly wish to sharpen their own guillotines?
FBI analysis of Usama Bin Laden's recent tape
Office of Intelligence and Analysis
Homeland Security Assessment
Federal Bureau of Investigation
(U) Warning: This document is UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY (U//FOUO). It contains information that may be exempt from public release under the Freedom of Information Act (5 U.S.C. 552). It is to be controlled, stored, handled, transmitted, distributed, and disposed of in accordance with DHS policy relating to FOUO information and is not to be released to the public, the media, or other personnel who do not have a valid “need-to-know”, without prior approval of an authorized DHS official.
(U) Perspectives on Bin Ladin Statement
19 January 2006
(U) Attention: Federal Departments and Agencies, State Homeland Security Advisors, State and Local Law Enforcement, Tribal Government, Information Sharing and Analysis Centers, and International Partners. (U) Distribution Notice: Secondary release, dissemination, or sharing of this product is authorized by Federal Departments and Agencies within their respective departments and agencies, and by State Homeland Security Advisors within their state and local jurisdictions to authorized homeland security partners, that have an official valid need-to-know. Any further release, dissemination, or sharing of this product, or any information contained herein (beyond that indicated above), is not authorized without further approval from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Office of Intelligence & Analysis (I&A) –Production Management Division (PM) at IA.PM@dhs.gov.
(U) Executive Summary
(U//FOUO) DHS and the FBI are releasing this Assessment to provide perspectiveson the recent audio statement that is attributed to al-Qa‘ida (AQ) leader Usama Bin Ladin (UBL). While we do not believe this statement is an indicator of a near-term attack in the Homeland, we urge readers to maintain vigilance and security awareness as AQ remains the most serious terrorist threat to the United States and U.S. interests worldwide. The Homeland Security Advisory System (HSAS) alert level will remain ELEVATED (Yellow) at this time.
(U//FOUO) Multiple open-source reports indicate al-Jazeera broadcast various excerpts earlier today from an audio statement that is attributed to Usama Bin Laden (UBL). At this time, DHS and the FBI believe the statement was most likely recorded in the past two months, given a reference to an alleged U.S. government plan to attack al-Jazeera which first appeared in the open press in late November 2005. While the Intelligence Community continues to analyze the statement, an initial review of the excerpts includes:
- (U//FOUO) Offer of a “compromise” to the U.S. leadership as a way to end the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan, which he proposes is based on the withdrawal of U.S. and allied partner forces from those countries.
- (U//FOUO) Insistence that despite this “compromise”, the U.S. leadership has ignored this offer despite the U.S. public’s desire for a withdrawal of forces from Iraq and Afghanistan.
- (U//FOUO) Claim that AQ has delayed carrying out attacks in the United States -- but not because of heightened security measures -- and that operations are “under preparation” and could potentially occur in the future.
- (U//FOUO) Emphasis that AQ is patient and will ultimately win the larger conflict with the United States even if it loses a few battles in the interim.
- (U//FOUO) The UBL statement is the first such message since December 2004, in which he then recognized Abu Musab al-Zarqawi as the leader of AQ in Iraq. Previously, UBL issued a number of public statements, most of which contained similar criticisms of U.S. policy on Iraq, Afghanistan, and other issues. We note that UBL’s last overt reference regarding possible attacks in the United States was contained in an October 2003 audio statement.
- (U//FOUO) We lack corroborating information indicating that AQ is prepared to execute attacks inside the United States in the near-term, although intelligence indicates that AQ leadership has the intent to conduct another dramatic attack in the United States.
- (U//FOUO) In reviewing public statements from UBL and other senior AQ leaders, we are unable to correlate the release of such messages as “cues” or “triggers” for terrorist attacks. We have no information to suggest the release of today’s message is designed to authorize a terrorist attack in the Homeland or against U.S. interests abroad.
(U//FOUO) We continue to analyze the contents of today’s statement from UBL. We will provide additional updates as appropriate.
(U) Reporting Notice:
(U) DHS and FBI encourage recipients of this document to report information concerning suspicious or criminal activity to the local FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force (JTTF) and the Homeland Security Operations Center (HSOC). The FBI regional phone numbers can be found online at http://www.fbi.gov/contact/fo/fo.htm and the HSOC can be reached by telephone at 202-282-8101 or by email at HSOC.Common@dhs.gov. For information affecting the private sector and critical infrastructure, contact the National Infrastructure Coordinating Center (NICC), a sub-element of the HSOC. The NICC can be reached by telephone at 202-282-9201 or by email at NICC@dhs.gov. When available, each report submitted should include the date, time, location, type of activity, number of people and type of equipment used for the activity, the name of the submitting company or organization, and a designated point of contact.
(U) For comments or questions related to the content or dissemination of this document, please contact the DHS/I&A Production Management staff at IA.PM@dhs.gov.
Monday, January 23, 2006
A Blast from the Past
Patrick Henry, March 23, 1775.
No man thinks more highly than I do of the patriotism, as well as abilities, of the very worthy gentlemen who have just addressed the House. But different men often see the same subject in different lights; and, therefore, I hope it will not be thought disrespectful to those gentlemen if, entertaining as I do opinions of a character very opposite to theirs, I shall speak forth my sentiments freely and without reserve. This is no time for ceremony. The questing before the House is one of awful moment to this country. For my own part, I consider it as nothing less than a question of freedom or slavery; and in proportion to the magnitude of the subject ought to be the freedom of the debate. It is only in this way that we can hope to arrive at truth, and fulfill the great responsibility which we hold to God and our country. Should I keep back my opinions at such a time, through fear of giving offense, I should consider myself as guilty of treason towards my country, and of an act of disloyalty toward the Majesty of Heaven, which I revere above all earthly kings.
Mr. President, it is natural to man to indulge in the illusions of hope. We are apt to shut our eyes against a painful truth, and listen to the song of that siren till she transforms us into beasts. Is this the part of wise men, engaged in a great and arduous struggle for liberty? Are we disposed to be of the number of those who, having eyes, see not, and, having ears, hear not, the things which so nearly concern their temporal salvation? For my part, whatever anguish of spirit it may cost, I am willing to know the whole truth; to know the worst, and to provide for it.
I have but one lamp by which my feet are guided, and that is the lamp of experience. I know of no way of judging of the future but by the past. And judging by the past, I wish to know what there has been in the conduct of the British ministry for the last ten years to justify those hopes with which gentlemen have been pleased to solace themselves and the House. Is it that insidious smile with which our petition has been lately received? Trust it not, sir; it will prove a snare to your feet. Suffer not yourselves to be betrayed with a kiss.
Ask yourselves how this gracious reception of our petition comports with those warlike preparations which cover our waters and darken our land. Are fleets and armies necessary to a work of love and reconciliation? Have we shown ourselves so unwilling to be reconciled that force must be called in to win back our love? Let us not deceive ourselves, sir. These are the implements of war and subjugation; the last arguments to which kings resort. I ask gentlemen, sir, what means this martial array, if its purpose be not to force us to submission? Can gentlemen assign any other possible motive for it? Has Great Britain any enemy, in this quarter of the world, to call for all this accumulation of navies and armies? No, sir, she has none.
They are meant for us: they can be meant for no other. They are sent over to bind and rivet upon us those chains which the British ministry have been so long forging. And what have we to oppose to them? Shall we try argument? Sir, we have been trying that for the last ten years. Have we anything new to offer upon the subject? Nothing. We have held the subject up in every light of which it is capable; but it has been all in vain. Shall we resort to entreaty and humble supplication? What terms shall we find which have not been already exhausted? Let us not, I beseech you, sir, deceive ourselves. Sir, we have done everything that could be done to avert the storm which is now coming on. We have petitioned; we have remonstrated; we have supplicated; we have prostrated ourselves before the throne, and have implored its interposition to arrest the tyrannical hands of the ministry and Parliament. Our petitions have been slighted; our remonstrances have produced additional violence and insult; our supplications have been disregarded; and we have been spurned, with contempt, from the foot of the throne! In vain, after these things, may we indulge the fond hope of peace and reconciliation. There is no longer any room for hope. If we wish to be free-- if we mean to preserve inviolate those inestimable privileges for which we have been so long contending--if we mean not basely to abandon the noble struggle in which we have been so long engaged, and which we have pledged ourselves never to abandon until the glorious object of our contest shall be obtained--we must fight! I repeat it, sir, we must fight! An appeal to arms and to the God of hosts is all that is left us!
They tell us, sir, that we are weak; unable to cope with so formidable an adversary. But when shall we be stronger? Will it be the next week, or the next year? Will it be when we are totally disarmed, and when a British guard shall be stationed in every house? Shall we gather strength by irresolution and inaction? Shall we acquire the means of effectual resistance by lying supinely on our backs and hugging the delusive phantom of hope, until our enemies shall have bound us hand and foot? Sir, we are not weak if we make a proper use of those means which the God of nature hath placed in our power. The millions of people, armed in the holy cause of liberty, and in such a country as that which we possess, are invincible by any force which our enemy can send against us. Besides, sir, we shall not fight our battles alone. There is a just God who presides over the destinies of nations, and who will raise up friends to fight our battles for us. The battle, sir, is not to the strong alone; it is to the vigilant, the active, the brave. Besides, sir, we have no election. If we were base enough to desire it, it is now too late to retire from the contest. There is no retreat but in submission and slavery! Our chains are forged! Their clanking may be heard on the plains of Boston! The war is inevitable--and let it come! I repeat it, sir, let it come.
It is in vain, sir, to extenuate the matter. Gentlemen may cry, Peace, Peace-- but there is no peace. The war is actually begun! The next gale that sweeps from the north will bring to our ears the clash of resounding arms! Our brethren are already in the field!
Why stand we here idle? What is it that gentlemen wish? What would they have? Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God!
I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty or give me death!
That last part really sums it up for me. Do you really want to live in a world where you can be fined, arrested, imprisoned, or even killed simply for speaking your mind? Is the comforting boot of security on your neck really so important to you that you'll give up your humanity and make yourself a slave to feel it?
If you prefer an illusion of safety to a life of liberty, what does that say about you as a person?
I would rather die than live a comforting lie.
Sunday, January 22, 2006
Force as a Political Tool
Lethal force and coercion are unacceptable when used as political tools to implement and enforce policy within a country.
Lethal force and coercion are acceptable only to establish and enforce a system of equitable democracy. One person, one vote, and all have an equal chance to be heard.
When a system for creating public policy becomes corrupt, it is incumbent upon those who wish to change the system to first work within it, and give that system a reasonable chance to do its work. Only when all lawful methods of systemic change have been tried and have failed should a patriot consider the use of force to correct the corruption of the system.
A patriot puts the system and its integrity before their own policy and ideology. A patriot never corrupts the system to advance their own policy. A true patriot ensures the system is fair and equitable, and then works within it to effect their policy, letting that policy stand or fall on its own merits.
History is filled with examples of revolutions that began with a call for systemic reform, but which ended with the revolutionaries giving in to temptation and using their power to enact policy. The communist movement of the early twentieth century is an example of this. What started as systemic revolutions became policy revolutions. Iran is also a good example of a policy revolution and the negative effects such actions inevitably have on a country. In one case a secular revolution, another a revolution based in religion, in both cases we see countries plunged into tyranny and oppression.
Policy revolutions inevitably end in abject failure, and leave the country in a state of ruin and chaos.
In global history, one true systemic revolution stands head and shoulders above the rest. This is, of course, the first American civil war against the British crown. Due to the exceptional patriotism and devotion to Natural Philosophy of the Founding Fathers, a system was created into which an incredible spectrum of policy could fit. Over two centuries, this system has grown more robust and equitable, shedding its roadblocks to democracy rather than face a revolution in force.
The one significant attempt at a policy revolution against the government failed, for the same reasons that all policy revolutions must fail eventually.
The dawn of the twenty first century sees the seeds of systemic corruption once again planted in the United States. It is the duty of the Patriot to ensure these seeds are not given a chance to grow.
What is your personal limit? What does the Government have to do to drive you over the edge, from a closet dissenter to a Patriot?
Its time to think about this, long and hard. The Government, in thrall to the red team, invaded a country who posed no direct threat to us on the basis of lies and misdirection. They did so with no regard to the safety of our soldiers, sending them in without proper personal body armor, among many other logistical and supply errors. During wartime, under direction of the President and his staff, veteran benefits have been cut and proposals to cut them again are in the works. Under the conscious, willing direction of the President and his staff, the United States has engaged in torture and murder, in some cases of men detained solely on the word of rival warlords in one of the most war ravaged, savage areas on the planet. All of this information can be verified in the press. All of it is factual. The administration has held American citizens without charges, trial, or any of the other rights promised in the Constitution. The Administration considers the Constitution to be a roadblock to its powers instead of the basis of them.
Defend the Constitution from all enemies, both foreign and domestic.
Draw your line in the sand.
The Fifth Estate
The beauty of democracy is that it allows people to overthrow a government without having to resort to violence and warfare.
The rulers of a democracy subvert this process at their own peril. A free people denied a fair, equitable system for peaceful revolution will rightfully seek other means. Being elected is meaningless if one rigs the system so that one can not be thrown out during the next election cycle.
The Constitution provides us with a broad spectrum of checks and balances. Government is broken into separate branches, each charged with keeping reign on the others. In addition, the Bill of Rights provides additional checks and balances. The first amendment establishes what is often called the “fourth estate” through protection of speech and the press.
But the system does not end there. In their wisdom, the Fathers empowered a Fifth Estate, a final option for when the system was so corrupt that all other courses of peaceful overthrow have been subverted.
A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.
And should it come to pass that those in power subvert the system of voting, that the checks and balances fail and the Fourth Estate, held in thrall by the power elite, shirks its duty, that all peaceful roads to revolution are closed; Then will the Fifth Estate rise up and show the world the true power of American Democracy.
The Pen is mightier than the sword, but the pistol is mightier still.
The purpose of this blog is to discuss dissent, revolution, and the obligation of vigilance in a democratic republic. My goal, in creating this blog, is to map out the moral issues surrounding government, culture, and civilization. It is my hope that, together, we can be one of many nodes in the new internet based marketplace of ideas that is the last, best hope for preserving progressive civilization.
Join me, and together maybe we can leave the world a better place than it was when we arrived.
To start us off, I will be posting some of the essays I've written over the last two years concerning the topic at hand. I look forward to seeing what you all have to say.