Liberty Activist Blog

Monday, August 01, 2005

Trouble in the land of the free
Common Dreams
by John Atcheson

"Well, it's official; there's trouble right here in the land of the free. Mr. Bush can not only use taxpayer's money to set up Soviet-Style propaganda events, but he can have US citizens kicked out of these public meetings by strong-armed stooges impersonating Secret Service Agents. That, at least, was the conclusion last week by the US Justice Department Attorney who said there was not enough evidence to prosecute an unnamed man who kicked three people out of one of Mr. Bush's "town hall" meetings in Denver this past March. The White House, by the way, refuses to release the mystery thug's name. And here in the good old USA no one seems to give a damn. Hundreds of billions of dollars and nearly two thousand American dead to bring democracy to Iraq, but no need to go overboard with that freedom stuff here at home, thank you." (08/01/05)


Boycott mania
Boston Globe
by Lawrence B. Glickman

"'One of the most remarkable circumstances . . . of our age," wrote William Ellery Channing, the Unitarian minister from Boston in 1829, is the ''energy" with which citizens throughout the nation could ''easily act together." Proximity was no longer necessary for effective political action. Enabled by the advent of cheap print and the national postal system, ''widely separated multitudes" could now unite in protest ''with the uniformity of a disciplined army." The virtual army described by Channing so many years ago was America's first great wave of consumer activism. Channing's observations are equally apt today, as we experience a whole new wave of consumer boycotts (and its flip side, the buycott) facilitated by another communications revolution. Via the Internet, fax, and World Wide Web, along with traditional modes of mobilization, a diverse group of protesters that includes labor and civil rights activists, environmentalists and feminists, evangelicals and gun owners, the young and the old, progressives and conservatives, are using their collective, often global, power to withhold support from businesses deemed immoral or, conversely, use their purchasing power to support a cause." (07/31/05)


Just Say No to the ACS

"To: U.S. Congress ... A CALL TO END THE 'AMERICAN COMMUNITY SURVEY' AND RESTRICT THE CENSUS BUREAU TO ITS ORIGINAL PURPOSE ... We oppose the incredibly intrusive expansion of the U.S. census, the 'American Community Survey.' This new survey contains 24 pages of intrusive, inappropriate questions concerning matters that are simply none of the government's business, including one's job, income, physical and emotional heath, family status, dwelling, and intimate personal habits. The survey questions are both ludicrous and insulting. It goes on and on, mixing inane questions with highly detailed inquiries about one's financial affairs. The government has no legitimate need for this information, and should not have the power to demand it." May be signed online.


Henry David Thoreau and "Civil Disobedience"
by Wendy McElroy

"Henry David Thoreau (1817?1862) was an introspective man who wandered the woods surrounding the small village of Concord, Massachusetts, recording the daily growth of plants and the migration of birds in his ever-present journal. How, then, did he profoundly influence such political giants as Mohandas Gandhi, Leo Tolstoy, and Martin Luther King Jr.? The answer lies in a brief essay that has been variously titled but which is often referred to simply as Civil Disobedience (1849)." (07/30/05)


What the "struggle" is all about
by Butler Shaffer

"Ever since our resident emperor announced his 'War on Terror,' I have insisted that this campaign had less to do with confronting 'terror' -- an effort that would have implicated the United States' use of the practice -- than with forcibly resisting the peaceful decentralizing processes that threaten the established institutional order. ... Social systems are moving from vertically-structured to horizontally-networked models, a transformation that bodes ill for the political and economic establishment. Some three years ago I suggested naming this conflict the War for the Preservation of Institutional Hierarchies. If a shorter name is preferred, how about the War for the Status Quo? The Bush administration has finally confirmed my point." (08/01/05)


It's still martial law
Sierra Times
by Becky Akers

"Picture this: you and your family are vacationing in the Big Apple. You're riding one of those double-decker busses and enjoying the circus that's Broadway. Suddenly, in a scene borrowed from a banana republic, troops waving rifles ambush the vehicle. 'Hands up!' they shout while your family shrieks, your heart thuds, and the other passengers begin screaming. ... Sixty terrorized tourists lived this nightmare near Times Square last Sunday when cops in riot gear invaded their bus. As one of them told the New York Post, 'I thought we were going to die.' It seems that when these folks had embarked on their tour a few hours earlier, five of them aroused suspicion among the bus company's employees [including] the driver, 43-year-old Mohammed Stout of the Bronx. You'd think a man living in the urban jungle wouldn't scare easily, but Mohammed insisted to the Daily News, 'I was definitely frightened from the beginning. That's human nature.'" (07/29/05)


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