Government submits to God, who wants to leave us alone

God at his computer.

This story is, of course, fictional.  If you see this headline in the newspaper tomorrow morning, you will need to pinch yourself–and if that does not wake you–realize that you have in fact died and gone to heaven.  As I imagine it, there are no tax collectors in heaven.  Upon entry into heaven, I could pick up the Times and read the following:

Today God announced major cutbacks in everything government. 

God called for an immediate end to all hostilities in Iraq, and condemned George W. Bush for lying to His people and killing His children without just cause.  “You’ll burn in hell for this,” God ordained matter-of-factly, in an unusually calm damning ceremony.  Taking questions after the announcement, God explained the departure from the usual thunderbolt display.  “Our traditional ceremony was a little over the top, and we’re trying to cut expenditures in these ceremonies anyway.  After the Falwell incident, I don’t really trust the lightning machine anymore–he wasn’t supposed to burn until he actually got to Hell.  I am not one to deprive Lucifer of his fun, but I am told he has still had plenty of it with Falwell.”  He then belted maniacal laughter for over three minutes.

God’s announcement expectedly drew some disfavor from President Bush, who backwardly believed he was doing God’s work.  “But God–” he started to say, but The All-Knowing knew what was coming and responded before Bush could finish.  “I do my own work, thank you,” God thundered.  “Love thy neighbor.  It’s simple, really.  Why couldn’t you just do it?  Jesus!”

The military will be mostly dissolved by mid-year, much to the dismay of the military industry.  Sources tell us that one CEO was particularly opposed to God’s will.  God quieted his argument, saying, “I never intended for you people to go around killing one another because of your petty arguments about me.  I’m going to let you keep fire and subsequent technological advancements.  Don’t push your luck with this fighting fetish you’ve developed.”

God called for the immediate dissolution of the CIA, FBI, the Department of Homeland Security, and all government secrecy.  He said His “reasoning here is simple: if people really want to be free, information must be free to them.  Besides, there is no reason for a good government to have secrets.  Good governments do not need protection, because people find no fault in them worth attacking.  If anything is going to be mysterious in this world, it’s going to be Me.”

No more personal taxes or tax identification numbers.  God seemed particularly frustrated by these human measures.  “I don’t know what nation is before me now, when I look at these income taxes,” God offered.  “Soviet Russia? Nazi Germany? Oceania?  Certainly not one nation, under Me, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.  There’s no liberty in assigning everyone a number and staking claim to their labor–it’s as if you’ve modeled your society after Hell.”

God ended drug laws as well, and allowed all non-violent drug offenders to leave prison.  He called for a cutback of over 85% of the nation’s local police forces.  “You’ve got a lot of nerve,” He reprimanded Congress.  “Do you think I put cannabis on this planet so that you could spend your days trying to destroy it?  It’s not going away.  I put it here for your enjoyment.  Don’t tell people what they are allowed to do with what I put here.  I ought to damn you all to Hell for this!  As I look around, you’re all headed there anyway–oh, except for you, Dr. Paul of Texas: the Lot of Washington D.C.  What’s that, Ron?  Alright, you can bring Duncan along too.  No, Kucinich burns with the rest of them!  Alright, you may rescue Barney Frank from damnation as well, as we cannot fault the mentally handicapped.”

In perhaps related news, the Federal Reserve Board has disappeared.  No one can find any of them anywhere.  God did not explain where they went, but did say they will not be back.  “Gold and silver will always back the currency, to protect My people’s savings from confiscation.  The market, which I created, will determine rates of interest.”

To cap off His day of governing, God smote Mike Huckabee.  “Huckabee is a false idol,” decreed God, “almost as bad as the pope.”  The Almighty went on to relate Huckabee to the ancient Golden Calf, and his followers to ancient pagans because of their lack of respect for what God called “civic virtue.”

Fear is Tyranny was able to catch up with God during an evening prayer session.  We asked Him if He was done with governing for awhile.  “Absolutely not,” He said, “this is just the first day.  I’ve got five more to go before I rest.  My motivation here is very basic and has never changed: I gave people the capacity to think so that they might use it to guide themselves, and I am simply taking steps to encourage individual thought.”  Pray for similar results tomorrow.

Advertisements

Review: The Miracle (The Miracle Theatre, Pigeon Forge, TN)

Yes, Jesus is that happy.

The Miracle is the well-known story of Jesus Christ put into the form of a musical with awesome performance effects. I am not a Christian and think organized religion is, to quote the great actor Jesse “the Body” Ventura (of Wrestlemania fame), “a sham and a crutch for weak-minded people who need strength in numbers, and want to stick their noses in other people’s business.” Nevertheless, I found the show to be very entertaining, and I would recommend it to anyone who wants to see some of the more gratifying effects of mass hysteria.

Despite the fact that everyone in the audience knows exactly how the story goes, the production was able to enact several elements of surprise. The shock of seeing live camels walk down the aisle beside me was surpassed only by the terrifying moment that Satan enters stage-look-out-below, flying in directly over the heads of the audience.

It was a spectacle. I do not attend many theatrical performances, but as far as lighting and sound go, this was the best one I have ever seen. The ceiling above the audience had stars that twinkled and changed color when necessary. The back of the scene had a huge screen that could project anything to the audience. Rain was simulated with a unique “light curtain,” that defies my physical understanding of the world around me. There was thunder and lightning at times.

The actors were phenomenal talents. Jesus looked like and sounded like Jesus–perhaps it was the beard and hair, or maybe the fact that he always wore pure white tunics. Satan looked and sounded evil–he dressed in black, and even had blonde hair, which seems accurate. One character that did not work for me was Peter. Peter was played by a very large black man. I am a staunch individualist and therefore I do not consider myself racist, but I had trouble accepting a big black Peter-perhaps I have been passively indoctrinated by the countless fair-skinned Peters I have seen over the years. I do think the man who played Peter did a good job and was a good actor, but I would have cast Peter more traditionally.

Throughout the fine spectacle, the most overwhelming sense I got was mood. I was happy, sad, edgy, content, and even scared at times. I think the sound and lighting contributed a lot to my focus on mood and emotion. I disagreed with the show’s portrayal of Jesus; it’s a commercialized Jesus. I am a student of the Bible and history, and I think Jesus was a much more everyman’s man (less heroic) than the show made him. However, I understand the intent of the show was not historical accuracy, but a sort of marketable presentation of Jesus. Overall, The Miracle was a show worth seeing, if only for its entertainment value.

The skeleton shelf: how the media chooses who loses

Amen.

We the people are under fire from corporate media. Their intent is uncertain, but whether for indiscriminate profit or intentional distraction, media sources are bombarding us with smoke bombs of emotion, which steadily stupefy the American voter.

Take Jeremiah Wright, for example. We are asked to listen to a prominent preacher shout obscenities about our country, and we experience a sense of shock, which naturally turns to curiosity. It is democratic, as well as human, to desire an explantion for any loud display of emotion. The news and pundits, however, never satisfy the public’s curiosity. Network presents clip A to evoke audience emotion B, and network stifles curiosity C by jack-hammering emotion B endlessly into the skulls of audience, until curiosity C disappears, and portions of democratic process and human reason disappear with it. Giving a reasoned explanation of events might diminish dramatic effect and bore the audience, or even cause them to commiserate, where it was intended they should repugn. Whether or not Wright had good reason to shout, his brief exclamations should not have been tossed out nakedly. Corporate news websites provide links to the audio or video of the incendiary bits, but even with their unrestricted format, they rarely (if ever) offer full text of Reverend Wright’s sermons, even though the whole speech is, by definition, a better reflection of character than any one part.

With Wright’s clippings and others like them, corporate media control voters. Wright is just one example of many, in which the media manipulates the voting public using emotional reactions, in this case disenfranchising Barack Obama voters. In truth, every candidate has a pastor Wright–an unseemly, destructive skeleton, of which the media is well aware. There is little doubt that networks could fill entire shelves with “guilt-by-association” files of the remaining three candidates but, thus far, they have chosen to explore only one at any length whatsoever.

We have heard the names “Jeremiah Wright” and “Bill Ayres” over and over again in recent weeks. These two toxic Obama associations are invoked day and evening on network and cable news, and talk radio. Corporate media chooses who will be our president–or rather, who will not be our President–and something about Obama does not sit well with them. It is difficult to identify Obama’s fatal flaw: it could be that he does not properly fear the corporate sponsors; it could be that his thoughts are too independent and unpredictable; it could be that another candidate would bring better profit margins to the right corporations–there is one thing that absolutely is not the reason for Barack Obama’s downfall: his pastor is too outspokenly “anti.”

For those who believe some candidate has no associations like Obama’s, let facts be revealed to a candid world:

Charles H. Keating, Jr. – responsible for fraud and bailouts that cost taxpayers and savers billions in the late 1980s, and John McCain derailed investigation proceedings because Keating had donated a substantial sum to McCain’s campaign. Keating was eventually convicted of fraud, racketeering and conspiracy. The mainstream press has not harped on this story. Why?

Rod Parsley – John McCain calls this man his “spiritual guide,” which sounds familiar to anyone who has heard prevailing Reverend Wright rhetoric. He is a critic of Islam, stating he does “not believe that our country can truly fulfill its divine purpose until we understand America was founded, in part, with the intention of seeing this false religion destroyed.” While Obama’s preacher is held under the fire, McCain’s preacher seems to be getting a pass. Curious, no?

Bill Clinton – Hillary Clinton calls this man “my husband.” How have the darker sides of the Billary saga escaped notice throughout the campaign?

I heard almost two years back that “the fix is in for Hillary,” and I did not believe it at the time, but now I am starting to reconsider.  It is probably true that, had the media spent the last three weeks talking about Bill Clinton’s escapades instead of Barack Obama’s preacher, the Democrat Party’s primary would already be over.  If “the fix is in for Hillary,” then I imagine the Keating Five will become a huge story this autumn–the contrived amnesia of corporate media will suddenly subside, revealing fraudulent bailouts and stalled investigations, and all of McCain’s dirty little secrets.  It will be worn out week after week until you simply can’t consider voting for the man.

If there is a “fix,” who does the fixing?  Who decides what dirt makes the news once, and what dirt is reported over and over and over again?  It’s not the shows’ hosts, or even directors or producers–they’re all worried about making the show seem professional yet unrehearsed–so who?  Here’s a clue: follow the money–follow it all the way back to General Electric, Disney, News Corp., Time Warner, Viacom, etc.  We should all have learned from the false premises of the Iraq War, that profit margins are the root causes of almost every big decision made in the United States today, and that a lie that helps stockholders is easily forgiven.

Regardless of which candidate is on the receiving end of tireless mudslinging, the democratic process is always the real loser, because voters stop basing their votes on policy positions. Of course, this miserable result matches corporate media’s miserable intent. If Americans voted based on policy positions, politicians might stop supporting these corporations’ monopolistic advantages in the U.S. market, which is plainly bad for business.

A democracy’s success depends on the rational and informed voting decisions of its citizens, but our contemporary media’s most notable gifts to society are misinformation and irrationality.  Essentially, our media and our democratic republic are fundamentally at odds with one another, and one of them will have to adapt in order to survive. For the sake of my country I hope–though with limited faith–that the media will do the changing, and the republic will survive.

My first attempt at poetry: “I am a human”

Perhaps the most important thing I have learned from Shakespeare is that the leading edge of social reform is always artistic.  Shakespeare created individualism before it was ever really known.  I write social commentary all the time, but I have never tried to form it in a more attractive, presentable, widespread way.  “I am a human” is my first attempt at poetry, and I hope the literary types will keep that in mind as they read.  It is short, simple, and important (I think).  Here:

To whom it may not concern:

I am a human.
I want peace.
I want love.
I want song, dance, and laughter.
I want health.
I want rights,
to live happily ever after.
I want friendship.
I want opportunity.
I want to learn on my own.
But the only thing
I really need
is for you to leave me alone.
I am a human.
Who are you?

Your humble servant,
We the People

A frightening parallel: European Jews and the FLDS sect

“In Germany, they came first for the Communists, And I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Communist;
And then they came for the trade unionists, And I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a trade unionist;
And then they came for the Jews, And I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Jew;
And then . . . they came for me . . . And by that time there was no one left to speak up.” – Martin Niemoller, on the inactivity of German intellectuals following the Nazi rise to power.

It seems appropriate that this post should come on Passover, the day that Jews all over the world celebrate the exodus from enslavement in Egypt, because for Jews like myself, today is a day to be thankful (and vigilant) for religious freedom. Today is also a day to remember the way a group of humans in Europe mistreated (and eventually began exterminating) other groups of humans, simply because they did not live in a manner deemed proper by mainstream culture. Today we remember the Nazis, and their ideas of a perfect society and a final solution. Today we watch the news, and we hear about a Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (FLDS) accused of–at the very least–child abuse and gender discrimination. We rush to judgment, which we base on what is considered mainstream, proper, or even perfect, about our own society.  If we are to learn anything from history, we must constantly compare our society to the facts of the past, and we must continue to utter, to declare, to yell and scream and burn into the hearts and souls of anyone who will listen, “NEVER AGAIN!”

When I read the headlines, and watch the cable news clips of these people, I am reminded of my Jewish grandmother, whose Passover Seder I attended this evening. She is 86 years old, an immigrant from pre-World War II Poland. Her family lived in a small town that was separated from “mainstream” European culture. Everyone there was Jewish, and everyone spoke Yiddish–think “Fiddler on the Roof”, where arranged marriages, traditional clothing, and gender roles were simply a way of life. Families were generally happy there, as they are in any society, but their way of life was very different. Dotting the landscape of southeast Europe before World War II were hundreds of towns just like hers, where free and good people–Jewish people–lived in relative peace, away from the bustle of liberal European philosophy and culture, which was probably most advanced in Germany.  Despite its destruction, the world of my grandmother’s childhood was a unique but legitimate society, with mothers and fathers, brothers and sisters, morals, customs, and respect for laws and tradition, where young boys played games and young girls exchanged meaningless secrets, and the individual lived, loved, smiled, laughed, cried, and felt the growing pains of youth, and the debilitating pains of age–a culture that lended to its subscribers a different but normal life. It was a self-sufficient bubble, soon to be burst by German tanks and train cars, eventually thrust behind the now infamous fences of concentration camps.

The Jews were just a little bit too indoctrinated, too oddly clad, too nostalgic, too stubborn in their matrimonial traditions to see the enlightenment of proper German culture, and so they had to be dealt with coercively. 

Could it happen here?  It is happening here.  It’s happening to a fundamentalist mormon sect in El Dorado, Texas.   That our own government imitates the beginnings of Nazi oppression is as shocking as it is true.  Although they seem trifling when reflecting on the state-sponsored kidnapping of several hundred children, the media’s headlines reveal the coldness of the collective American soul today, and do great harm to the reputation of our nation’s many good individuals.  Among the top stories in major metropolitan newspapers:

“Sect children will undergo genetic tests” (This headline is Holocaust Museum material.)

“Cult kids will remain in state custody” (It’s strange how the press only refers to their ranch as a “compound,” while the state is the entity actually keeping them locked up.

“Polygamist sect indoctrinated girls” (There is irony when commercial media accuses anyone of indoctrinating girls.)

“400 children saved from Mormon sect amid allegations of child abuse”

“Texas authorities must protect children” (From their parents? Are their parents Meth addicts?)

Taken at gunpoint without explanation, herded to a government facility, and detained endlessly without any presentation of evidence.  As it turns out, the phone call that led authorities to them now appears to be a hoax, and the abused teen girl, “Sarah,” may not even exist. 

Never again to the Jews, the FLDS, or any group.  Never again destroy a peaceful and free people.  Never again assume that people who live differently are living incorrectly.  Never again allow a government to forcefully shape the individual soul.  This is not America.  This is totalitarian hell.  Let these people go.  If you stand with the government on this one, you stand with Hitler.  Sit down.

Red Light Cameras = Proof Evil Exists

Hey Dubya, here's your proof that evil exists.

“All agree that the legislature cannot bargain away the police power of a State. ‘Irrevocable grants of property and franchises may be made if they do not impair the supreme authority to make laws for the right government of the State; but [101 U.S. 814, 818] no legislature can curtail the power of its successors to make such laws as they may deem proper in matters of police.’ Metropolitan Board of Excise v. Barrie, 34 N. Y. 657; Boyd v. Alabama, 94 U.S. 645 . Many attempts have been made in this court and elsewhere to define the police power, but never with entire success. It is always easier to determine whether a particular case comes within the general scope of the power, than to give an abstract definition of the power itself which will be in all respects accurate. No one denies, however, that it extends to all matters affecting the public health or the public morals. Beer Company v. Massachusetts, 97 id. 25; Patterson v. Kentucky, id. 501. Neither can it be denied that lotteries are proper subjects for the exercise of this power.” – Chief Justice Waite

Despite the good intentions of public officials, in its “Request for Proposals for Automated Red Light Enforcement System,” the City of Knoxville’s legislature affects to “bargain away the police power,” which is forbidden by the United States Supreme Court in the decision above (Stone vs. Mississippi, 1879). The restriction invoked hinges on the debatable definition of “police power,” which is generally accepted as “the capacity of a government to regulate behavior and enforce order within its territory.”

Beyond the obvious illegality of camera systems, there are other noteworthy aspects of original intent that pertain to automated enforcement systems like the red light cameras in Knoxville. When we consider the constitutional framework of our government, the implementation of automated enforcement is offensive to the liberty intended. In opposition the Fourth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, it assumes, searches for, and punishes the trivial moral shortcomings of free and good people-without probable cause.

The aforementioned “Request for Proposals” leaves the responsibility of policing public intersections to a private entity. This private entity is not a local company, and moreover has no responsibility to the electorate.  If the citizens do not like the way the firm operates, they cannot elect a new firm; it remains unfettered by political dissent.  Whereas the public police force has a primary objective of protecting and serving the people, the private firm’s primary objective is to earn a profit, even if at a cost to the rights, safety and happiness of citizens (as has been proven in Chattanooga’s case, among others).  With the “Request for Proposals”, the enforcement of a traffic signal is no longer for the benefit of the public, but for the benefit of a private firm.

There is a psychological change that takes place in drivers as a result of traffic light enforcement, which existed before automated camera systems, but is exacerbated by their introduction. When the rules of the road originated, it was not necessary to enforce their use. With rare and extremely unusual exception, people followed the signals out of an interest in their own safety. It is now unusual for drivers to follow signals for this reason; the reason now is to follow a law, without regard to safety. While people know the signals are there to keep them safe, they do not follow them for their personal safety. Because of traffic law enforcement, the objective of an automobile’s operator has been fundamentally altered. The driver’s original purpose, “to arrive at a destination as quickly as is safely possible,” has been replaced by a new one, “to arrive at a destination as quickly as is legally possible.” This psychological change, which can only be attributed to unnecessary and costly enforcement, has made American roads much less safe, because individuals are more apt to act for their own benefit than for the pleasure of authority.

It is unfortunate for lazy enterprises that good government practices rarely grant profitable contracts, and it is the policy of bad governments, as well as bad businesses, to reward mere association and sloth. Proper engineering and timing of signals will do much more for reducing accidents than any enforcement firms ever could, but these will require natural law and common sense to be used in place of coercion and lucrative contracts, an occasion rarely seen in our time. 

Automated enforcement contracts are a dangerous sign that we are but a step from the sort of fascism Mussolini called “corporatism,” and defined as “a merger of state and corporate power.”

Request for Proposals for Red Light Automated Enforcement:
http://www.cityofknoxville.org/purchasing/bids/0513_redlight.pdf

Stone vs. Mississippi (1879):
http://caselaw.lp.findlaw.com/scripts/getcase.pl?court=US&vol=101&invol=814

Fourth Amendment text:
“The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.”

“It is their right, it is their duty…”

The revolution is never over.

“…to throw off such government, and to provide new guards for their security.” – Thomas Jefferson

When Thomas Jefferson wrote the Declaration of Independence, and when our framers ventured into the realm of a constitutional republic, they did so at great risk, seeking great reward.

The United States was founded on Jefferson’s philosophy, along with Thomas Paine’s.  “Every generation,” Jefferson wrote, “needs a new revolution,” because, as Paine noted, “when we are planning for posterity, we ought to remember that virtue is not hereditary.”

Just as virtue is not hereditary, neither is constitution.  “The American constitutions are to liberty, what a grammar is to language,” reflected Paine.  “They define its parts of speech, and practically construct them into syntax.”  Just as a proper sentence requires attention to grammar, a proper liberty requires attention to constitution.  The failure to attend to grammar is perhaps an insult to the educational system, but the neglect shown toward constitution today is an affront extending beyond the realm of man–an offense to the Author of the laws of nature, wretchedly declaring that the senseless mob of human majority can overrule the mandates of God.

Whose right and whose duty is it to throw off a government that ignores constitutional liberties?  The civilian military first and foremost, for they have taken an oath to protect, preserve and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic (this would include the FBI, CIA, President, Congress, and federal courts, when these groups extend their powers beyond constitutional limits); but ultimately the right and duty lie where the expense must fall–with the people.  What is the expense?  How much are we willing to give up to cling to liberty?  I yield again to Paine, who wrote, “can we but leave posterity with a settled form of government, and independent constitution of its own, the purchase at any price will be cheap.”  The ends (constitution) justify the means, which I hope will be peaceful, but control is rarely so yielded.

Regardless of the nature of the struggle, I will always stand on the side of constitutional individual liberty.  The natural moral code, given to us by God, requires that we disobey unjust laws, which now emanate from Washington DC with alarming regularity.  If this reads as a threat to the federal government’s usurpation of power, I have written with clarity.  In Jefferson’s words: “When the people fear the government, there is tyranny.  When the government fears the people, there is liberty.”  All Americans, an overwhelming majority of whom have expressed their malcontent for Congress and the President, should together declare war against the current tyrants, who have unwisely declared war on our cherished Constitution of liberty.  Their supposed guards, if they find in themselves a single ounce of civic virtue, or a hint of concern for their fellow person, will certainly be leading the charge.  The others, who will read this and call it sedition, are the Redcoats of the new revolution, and should be pitied for their lack of faith in humankind.