[rant mode]Memory must run in 50 year cycles or so. Here is the current proposal on the books for the Citizen Corps' Operation Tips. Inform on your neighbors who are 'different'. The idea of early detection of terrorists and their acts sounds great. Unfortunately, in the minds of all too many lemmings it comes down to "no civil liberty too basic or large to be sacrificed for the null promise of security". "But, if you have nothing to hide, you have nothing to worry about!" I hear it all the time. Maybe so if you are white christian heterosexual monogamous blend into the crowd Leave It To Beaver sorts of white bread. None of the people I know live in that Pleasantville but the idea that the Shrub has is to recruit the millions that do live there to inform on those of us who don't. Of course, I'm probably just paranoid, you say. "REPORTER: "You talk about the general threat toward Americans....And people ask us, what is it they're supposed to be on the lookout for?...What are Americans supposed to look for and report to the police or to the FBI?" BUSH: "You know, if you find a person that you've never seen before getting in a crop-duster that doesn't belong to you, report it...."Press Conference, 10/11/01" No one documented to be as rockhead stupid as Bush could be a threat, eh? Nah - I'm sure not... he'll just delegate the program to John Ashcroft. Goddess only knows he will work his talons to the bone to preserve the rights of those of us he disagrees with. Right. It doesn't take a lot of Google time to find Ashcroft's naked public contempt for the First Amendment right to dissent. Among many other quotes, in that link he says, "To those who scare peace-loving people with phantoms of lost liberty, my message is this: Your tactics only aid terrorists, for they erode our national unity and diminish our resolve. They give ammunition to America's enemies...". He has been a foe of equal opportunity for racial minorities, he is absolutely against civil rights for sexual minorities, and he would race to the opportunity to make christianity the only approved religion. Betty Bowers has nothing on him. For a very scary exercise, take the quiz here to see if you can tell the difference between Ashcroft and McCarthy. McCarthy? But ... that's ancient history. That was ... about 50 years ago, like I said. Fifty year cycles. The House Committee on Unamerican Activities, was active from 1947 until about 1954. McCarthy wasn't active at first - he was too busy in '47-'49 taking bribes. $20,000 from Pepsi to get them slack on war-time sugar rationing, later $10,000 from pre-fab housing manufacturers that led to his speeches against public housing for veterans, citing the benefits of pre-fabricated homes as an alternative. Auspicious, this man who broke his leg in the Marines at a shipboard party but told people on the campaign trail it was a combat injury. [Don't, of course, consider any similarities to Harken Energy Company money, or perish forbid, the fact that Bush was AWOL for a year from his unit.] Then on 2/9/50 McCarthy gave his first speech against communism, saying, "I have in my hand a list of 205 cases of individuals who appear to be either card-carrying members or certainly loyal to the Communist Party." Eleven days later, he gives a six hour speech on the floor of the Senate but he now claims to have evidence of only 81 communists working in the State Department. This sort of inflammatory rhetoric was mimicked near exactly by 'Senator John Iselin', done perfectly by actor James Gregory in "The Manchurian Candidate". Unfortunately, that movie arrived in 1962, much too late to save the hundreds of victims who saw friendships destroyed, jobs lost, freedom exchanged for prison and, in some cases, even suicide. Working hand in hand with McCarthy on the HUAC was J. Parnell Thomas, (R-New Jersey—who would later himself be jailed for accepting kickbacks) and they ran several investigations into the suspected Communist activity in organized labor, the Federal government, and most painfully public, Hollywood, wreaking the havoc on lives detailed above. Truly a sad chapter in our nation's history. Ultimately, McCarthy was censured by a 67-22 Senate vote for "conduct contrary to Senatorial tradition." It is only the third time in the Senate's history that such a censure is issued. In May of 1957 he died of cirrhotic liver, at age forty-eight. Truly a sad chapter in our nation's history. My point today, in tune with Santayana's "Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it" is to stir more people up. This entire note may appear to be disjointed, paranoid, rambling... but do what I've done. Get on the net. Research. Think. There is going to be a lot coming at you and your very belief in your nation will be questioned if you even ask to think before giving your sanction. Please do think. [/rant mode] Under the cloud of doom I've rabble-roused about here, life continues really damn good. I just want to make sure that does continue.
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