Wednesday, December 15, 2010

WikiLeaks

There seems to be a move afoot to target the budding worldwide movement of free thinkers the world over who seek to seize the freedom of the word from government. United States Secretary of State Hillary Clinton finds herself in what must be an uncomfortable position, trying to convince other world leaders (and their minions) to trust the United States Government. Many world leaders are in what must be an enviable position, at last having an opportunity to bruise the American nose (which too often butts-in to places it should not be), reminding officials of the United States Government about necessity and utility of a free press. A particularly impressive example of foreign rebuke comes from Vladimir Putin, about whom the Cable News Network (CNN) remarked:
Referring to the case against Assange, Putin, still smarting from previous U.S. lectures to him about democracy, retorted, "We have a saying here: 'Whoever's cow it was that mooed, yours should remain quiet.' So I would like to shoot the puck back at our American friends."
Well said, Vladimir.

Some regimes, like that in China, have taken another approach, seeking to prevent their citizens from learning the details of the leaked cable traffic. More ominous is the directive from the United States Government which seeks to prevent employees thereof from reading the content of the leaked cable traffic. Clearly, the Obama Administration is crawling into bed with the Chinese Communist Party.

How did it come to this state of affairs, where Russian political leaders are calling for tolerance of journalists and the political leaders of China and the United States arm-in-arm condemning the acts of journalists? Will the United States Government now jail authors for political dissent, just as authors are jailed in China?

It is also interesting that the faculty of the Graduate School of Journalism at Columbia University have chimed in, arguing that Julian Assange is a defacto journalist, and is therefore entitled to publish what he has acquired in the way of leaked cable traffic from the United States Department of State.

Meanwhile, others are calling for restriction on the media, and particularly the free flow of information on the internet. They want Assange assassinated and they want the internet to be censored. These people, and particularly politicians, see the internet as a danger to their power, to their ability to control the minds of other people.

I have a prediction regarding these moves, and a challenge to those who would seek to censor, to control the flow of information, and to keep the great masses of people ignorant and repressed.

The challenge is quite simply, give it your best shot. Go ahead and try to retain the repression of free minds thinking as they will. Go ahead and try to keep the status quo functioning. You are doomed to failure.

The prediction is simple as well. Internet censorship is coming, to every nation. It will not however succeed. The ever increasing freedom of information flow will not be stopped, save by the complete annihilation of all sentient living beings. The reason that such censorship will not succeed is quite simple. Recall that before there was an internet, there were bulletin boards and telephones. Those days can return, and the quality of the technology available now will make an underground internet a quite feasible alternative to the official internet, should the need arise.

So, again, the challenge is, try to stifle people who wish to think free, for it shall not occur. Rather, such acts will only serve to embolden those who seek freedom of thought, and cement their collective resolve to overcome the thought-police.

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For background information related to this blog, see the websites at the following URLs:

http://www.cnn.com/2010/POLITICS/12/15/sweep.wikileaks/index.html?hpt=C2

http://www.poynter.org/latest-news/romenesko/110885/columbia-j-school-staff-wikileaks-prosecution-sets-dangerous-precedent/

http://advocacy.globalvoicesonline.org/2010/12/05/actions-to-silence-cablegate-and-wikileaks-threats-against-assange/

Friday, October 8, 2010

Living Up To Your Creed

It seems to me, especially in light of the recent moves by the French parliament to limit the free exercise of religious practices by muslims in France, that the French government is in no position to point the finger at the Chinese government over Chinese indignation regarding the recent award of the Nobel Peace Prize to Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo. Whatever readers may think of Chinese policy, it pales in comparison with the disgusting and hypocritical contempt exemplified by the dichotomy of current French policy regarding the burqa and the French call for freedom of conscious for Liu Xiaobo.

Of course, this is no different than the contempt of the government of the United States of America, which it regularly demonstrates toward its own constitution.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Our National Shame

Well, now we have something worth blogging about: Obama and the Interrogation Files.

I will not be kind. Nor indeed should be any American.

In the 1940s, we fought a war with a dictator and his empire. That war did not end until the trials at N├╝rnberg were completed.

What have we learned? Apparently, nothing.

The important point is the claims given by Nazi defendants, and in particular, that these claims were not a defense against charges leveled: "we were only following orders."

The same was true of those Japanese nationals who were similarly prosecuted for war crimes.

Apparently, President Obama holds a different point of view: obeying the advice of legal counsel coming from the United States Department of Justice is a proper defense of action.

The United States of America cannot have it both ways.

Acceptance of this action of President Obama by the American people is unconscionable.

And, George Walker Bush is a war criminal.

This is my unequivocal opinion.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

The Murder of Timothy Cole - Texas Admits Guilt

In San Diego County, California, the case of Cindy Somers is a well known example of an abuse of an innocent person. Fortunately for Cindy, she did escape with the remainder of her life. Such was not the case for Timothy Cole, a scapegoat to judicial imprudence, and the victim of a murder, committed by the State of Texas.

Readers may review details of the case at:
http://www.cnn.com/2009/CRIME/02/06/texas.exoneration/index.html and
http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=100249923


What I want to point out is how self-serving are all the actors, save the family of the victim, Timothy Cole. From the CNN article above, it appears that only the family have been gracious.

The State of Texas - you murdered an innocent person, by depriving him of his freedom till the end of his days. It does not matter that you did not know any better. As is well understood in the halls of justice, ignorance is no excuse.

Michele Mallin, who is quoted as saying:

"I still feel guilty. I'll always feel guilty about it because, I mean, my testimony sent a man to prison and he ended up dying there," Mallin says. "Even though I know I did everything I could in my heart of hearts to do the right thing, still that happened. But I know the police are responsible and the D.A., too, because they knew things I didn't know."

Frankly, when I read these words, I hear the voice of one seeking absolution, not the voice of one who is truly remorseful. You know, Michele, it gets worse, much worse. All one need consider are these other words of yours:

"What you did to me, you had no right to do," she told him angrily, according to Austin's KXAN. "You've got no right to do that to any woman. I am the one with the power now, buddy."

Right, you have the power. And, your power cost a man his life. Timothy Cole didn't just "end up dying there." You put him there to die. This is no different than holding someone liable for the death of another, when that death is proximately caused by some act perpetrated by the person being held responsible. You, Michele, put Timothy in prison, an act for which you are responsible. Moreover, you are also responsible for his death.

You sound vindictive to me, when I listen to your courtroom testimony. You sound just as desperate to get out of your responsibility, as is the criminal who is on trial. This you should think about, very deeply. Indeed, never should you fall asleep at night without first thinking of how you helped to destroy the life of another person.

This is what you owe to Timothy Cole. Indeed, you owe him your life.

Parents, Death, and Hospice

During the course of life, one encounters many obstacles, trials, tribulations. The last year has brought to me a good deal of change, the most notable being the deaths of my parents, just six months apart; the comedian Alan King would understand that mom died first.

The importance of hospice to this story is significant, and readers will find a wealth of perspective on the nature of hospice, and particularly the effects of hospice care upon caregivers.

Helping Mom to Die

The hardest part of hospice was visiting the pharmacy, in full knowledge of my purpose; to by the drugs with which to kill my mother. Morphine sulphate, it is, and they give you lots of it.
Well, that, and the coup-de-gras, Haloperidol.

The last dose came at midnight, May 24, when I was able to get mom to wake one last time, look at me knowingly, recognising that I needed her help, to get her to swallow, ensuring she would have no more pain.

Sure, everybody in the business (and the courts) call it palliative care, as if the name has some kind of magic to it, so that all things are right. They are not right, as I shall demonstrate.

I visited mom in hospital 14 days before her death, at the Kaiser Permanente hospital located in or about Anaheim Hills, California. Characteristic of her wry humor, mom replied to my question about her condition: "Well, I have some good news, and I have some bad news." The good news was that she did not have pneumonia. The bad news is that mom had stage four small cell lung cancer.

Within a few days, arrangements for home-care hospice were complete, and it was time for mom to move from hospital to home. It is at this time that the first prescription of morphine is filled.

Here is where the first blow was struck by Kaiser Permanente.

During mom's hospital stay, she received intravenous morphine. This was due to mom having lost the ability to swallow. When I visited the hospital pharmacy in Anaheim Hills, I was given solid morphine, pills as it were. When I mentioned to the pharmacist that my mother could not swallow, the pharmacist replied that I should use a pill-crusher, dissolve the solid in water, and use an needle-less syringe to administer, and that my mother could swallow the solution.

Fine. I am not a medical practitioner, so perhaps their is some detail that I do not understand, and so I gave it a try. It never worked well, and became a big problem at the end, to use this method to orally administer morphine. No alternative was ever offered.

Morphine was supplemented by lorazepam, used to control anxiety, and at the end, haloperidol (which was supplied in an amount apparently sufficient to kill a herd of buffalo - I gave my mother a minuscule portion from the supply).

So, on a rigid schedule, pills are crushed and dissolved and the liquor is transferred to patient mouth with blunt-nipple syringe. The patient, unable to swallow, simply chokes the liquor down. What could be more pleasant, for patient or caregiver?

A Visit With Dad

During his second hospital stay, about November 17-23, we enjoyed a visit from a physician, and there ensued a discussion of Hospice. Basically, the doctor had come to tell dad that there was very little to be done; that he might like to just go home and smoke a cigarette.

I mentioned to the doctor the experience I'd had with mom, how in the hospital it seemed perfectly proper to use intravenous injection, especially given that mom had great difficulty swallowing, but that when sent home, she was sent with pills of size more suitable to a suppository than an item to be taken by mouth. "Why," I asked, "was mom not sent home with the catheter in place, and me with a supply of injectible morphine? After all, I do have a science education, and can easily measure small (milliliter size) volumes with a syringe. Here is the evasion I obtained:

Friday, June 27, 2008

Keep and Bear - the Next Hurdle

One consequence of the Supreme Court decision is the identification of troublesome constitutional language for the gun control lobby. The battle has now turned, from one of which rights are granted constitutionally, to altering language in the constitution, thus removing those rights. The decision mentions,

"That is perhaps debatable, but what is not debatable is that it is not the role of this court to pronounce the Second Amendment extinct."

The clear message to proponents of gun control is that they work to alter the constitution. This is the danger which the Framing Fathers forgot to include within the constitution, a protection on the removal of rights from the constitution.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

US Supreme Court Supports Individual Right and Militias

Today, the United States Supreme Court affirmed the Second Amendment of the United States Constitution. For once, there is support from a branch of government for the proper subordination of all government to the terms of its foundation. Admittedly, I am surprised by this decision, for wise it is, even if the arguments of the justices err.

The condition of the times in which the Founding Fathers lived was one of clear tyranny, and it was the express purpose of the Constitution to provide remedy for tyranny. The right to keep and bear arms was enshrined so that the people, exclusive of any and all government, might form their own, collective militia, and so protect themselves from the tyranny of government. Without the recognition that each person holds an unalienable right to hold and use weaponry by which to protect themselves, militias would not exist. Indeed, all other use of weaponry is conscription, this to include the use of weaponry by employment of choice, such as that displayed by police organisations.

The American ideal is clearly, never again suffer a tyrant, and the only possible solution is that individuals have effective means to form a militia. If it is the government that forms the militia, it can be for only one purpose; the repression of the citizenry, as its armies deal with outside threats.

The wisdom of this court decision is the protection of that ideal.