UA-42864205-1 Hero or Traitor?

Hero or Traitor?

Many people, especially ignorant people, want to punish you for speaking the truth, for being correct, for being you. Never apologize for being correct, or for being years ahead of your time. If you're right and you know it, speak your mind. Speak your mind even if you are a minority of one. The truth is still the truth. Mohandas Gandhi

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adam-75:

(Top Left to Right and Down)
1.  Aaron Swartz - Internet activist and critic of internet censorship.  Outspoken against the US government’s involvement with cyber surveillance   Found dead in apartment; ruled suicide.2.  Michael Hastings - Journalist, writer and critic of the US government’s involvement with cyber surveillance.  Investigated by US Dept. of Justice.  Died in a bizarre, one-car, high speed crash.3.  Barrett Brown - Internet activist and writer opposing US government’s involvement with cyber surveillance.  Arrested and awaiting trial.  If convicted he could receive 100 years in prison.4.  Bradley Manning - Convicted for leaking military documents including the US government’s involvement with cyber surveillance.  Awaiting sentencing that will most likely result in life imprisonment.5.  Edward Snowden - Former CIA and NSA agent who leaked documents pertaining to the US government’s involvement with cyber surveillance.  Political exile in Russia.  6.  Will you be next?
Paranoia is associating random events into a conspiracy despite any logical connection or evidence.  
This is not paranoia.  
  

adam-75:

(Top Left to Right and Down)

1.  Aaron Swartz - Internet activist and critic of internet censorship.  Outspoken against the US government’s involvement with cyber surveillance   Found dead in apartment; ruled suicide.
2.  Michael Hastings - Journalist, writer and critic of the US government’s involvement with cyber surveillance.  Investigated by US Dept. of Justice.  Died in a bizarre, one-car, high speed crash.
3.  Barrett Brown - Internet activist and writer opposing US government’s involvement with cyber surveillance.  Arrested and awaiting trial.  If convicted he could receive 100 years in prison.
4.  Bradley Manning - Convicted for leaking military documents including the US government’s involvement with cyber surveillance.  Awaiting sentencing that will most likely result in life imprisonment.
5.  Edward Snowden - Former CIA and NSA agent who leaked documents pertaining to the US government’s involvement with cyber surveillance.  Political exile in Russia.  
6.  Will you be next?

Paranoia is associating random events into a conspiracy despite any logical connection or evidence.  

This is not paranoia.  

  

(via freebarrettbrown)

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"When I was the rabbi of the Jewish community in Berlin under the Hitler regime, I learned many things. The most important thing that I learned under those tragic circumstances was that bigotry and hatred are not ‘.the most urgent problem. The most urgent, the most disgraceful, the most shameful and the most tragic problem is silence.

A great people which had created a great civilization had become a nation of silent onlookers. They remained silent in the face of hate, in the face of brutality and in the face of mass murder.

America must not become a nation of onlookers. America must not remain silent. Not merely black America , but all of America . It must speak up and act,. from the President down to the humblest of us, and not for the sake of the Negro, not for the sake of the black community but for the sake of the image, the idea and the aspiration of America itself.

Rabbi Joachim Prinz, August 28, 1963, March on Washington

It is as true now as it was 50 years ago, - perhaps even more so.

 ”The Only Thing Necessary for the Triumph of Evil is that Good Men Do Nothing”

Filed under The Only Thing Necessary for the Triumph of Evil is that Good Men Do Nothing

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Martin Niemöller (1892-1984)

"First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Socialist.
Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Trade Unionist.
Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.”

Secretary of State Kerry                                                  8/30/13

“So the primary question is really no longer, what do we know. The question is what are we — we collectively — what are we in the world going to do about it.

As previous storms in history have gathered, when unspeakable crimes were within our power to stop them, we have been warned against the temptations of looking the other way. History is full of leaders who have warned against inaction, indifference and especially against silence when it mattered most.

Our choices then in history had great consequences, and our choice today has great consequences.

                                                ….

Some cite the risk of doing things. We need to ask what is the risk of doing nothing.

                                                ….

So our concern is not just about some far-off land oceans away. That’s not what this is about. Our concern with the cause of the defenseless people of Syria is about choices that will directly affect our role in the world and our interests in the world.

It is also profoundly about who we are. … We are the country that has tried, not always successfully, but always tried to honor a set of universal values around which we have organized our lives and our aspirations. This crime against conscience, this crime against humanity, this crime against the most fundamental principles of international community, against the norm of the international community, this matters to us, and it matters to who we are.

                                                ….

Now, we know that after a decade of conflict, the American people are tired of war. Believe me, I am too. But fatigue does not absolve us of our responsibility. Just longing for peace does not necessarily bring it about.

And history would judge us all extraordinarily harshly if we turned a blind eye to a dictator’s wanton use of weapons of mass destruction against all warnings, against all common understanding of decency. These things, we do know.”

Filed under Syria

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"WE SHALL OVERCOME"

On September 22, 1862, the President of the United States issued a proclamation:

“That on the first day of January, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-three, all persons held as slaves within any State or designated part of a State, the people whereof shall then be in rebellion against the United States, shall be then, thenceforward, and forever free; and the Executive Government of the United States, including the military and naval authority thereof, will recognize and maintain the freedom of such persons, and will do no act or acts to repress such persons, or any of them, in any efforts they may make for their actual freedom” (http://www.archives.gov/exhibits/featured_documents/emancipation_proclamation/transcript.html )

In 1939, the well-known African American contralto, Marion Anderson, was banned by the DAR (Daughters of the American Revolution) from performing at what was to be an integrated concert at Constitution Hall in Washington, D.C.. Eight blocks away, on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, Ms. Anderson staged an alternative concert, attended by more than 75,000 people. She opened her concert by singing “My Country ’Tis of Thee.”

On June 12, 1963, African American civil rights leader Medgar Evers was shot to death by white supremacist Byron De La Beckwith in the driveway outside his home in Jackson, Mississippi. Waiting dinner for him inside, his wife and two children heard the shots. In 1964, Beckwith’s trial by an all-white jury ended in a deadlock. Beckwith was set free when a second trial by all-white jury also ended in a deadlock. The case was reopened in 1994, and Beckwith, then 73 and unrepentant, was found guilty by a racially mixed jury and sentenced to life in prison. Beckwith died in prison on January 21, 2001.

On August 28, 1963, Medgar Evers’ widow, Myrlie Evers was scheduled to stand on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial and address the crowd along side Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Held up by travel delays, she didn’t make it. Five years later, on April 4, 1968, Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated on a balcony of the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, Tennessee, where he had come to lead a peaceful march in support of striking sanitation workers. Fifty years later, on August 28, 2013, Myrlie Evers-Williams made it to the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, and standing along side President Barack Obama, she spoke to the crowd, “There are efforts to turn back the clock of freedom and I ask you today, will you allow that to happen? … Stand your ground in terms of fighting for justice and equality.” (http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2013/08/28/march-on-washington-myrlie-evers/2725031/ ) “Fifty years later, I might be a little tired…. I might be a little weary, but I can’t stop, because there’s too much at stake.” (http://tv.msnbc.com/2013/06/12/medgar-evers-widow-jim-crow-is-alive-in-a-brooks-brothers-suit/ )

On that same day, ABC News reported: “Unemployment among blacks remains in the double-digits, at 12.6 percent in July, nearly double the rate of whites. The median household income for a typical black family is just 60% that of whites – a gap that has grown since 2009. Nearly one in three blacks lived in poverty in 2011, almost double the national average. … [O]n nearly every major socio-economic measure, blacks have faced continued headwinds when it comes to catching up with whites. … The findings underscore the stubbornness of socio-economic disparities that have frustrated the African-American community and at times thwarted Obama’s attempts to address it. (http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/march-washington-obama-legacy-civil-rights-spotlight-anniversary/story?id=20067008&singlePage=true )

            The president himself downplays, if not dismisses, the impact his race has had on the inextricable partisan gridlock and the “True Believers” in the Republican Party who seem to view blocking Obama at every turn as their holy mission. Others are more blunt. At a ceremony commemorating the 50th anniversary of her husband’s assassination in June of this year, Evers-Williams said, “Look at some of the racist things that are still happening in America … . For instance when President Obama was reelected there was rioting at the University of Mississippi … . (http://tv.msnbc.com/2013/06/12/medgar-evers-widow-jim-crow-is-alive-in-a-brooks-brothers-suit/ )

            In an interview earlier this year on “Meet the Press”, former Secretary of State Colin Powell condemned comments made by former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin. “There’s … a dark vein of intolerance in some parts of the Party. … When I see a former governor say that the president is ‘shuckin’ and jivin’, that’s a racial era slave term. (Powell was referring to former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin using the term to describe Obama’s response to the attacks in Libya.) (http://sayanythingblog.com/entry/colin-powell-republicans-still-look-down-on-minorities/ )

            In January of this year the New Yorker reported:

“Responding to reports that President Obama is considering signing as many as nineteen executive orders on gun control, Republicans in Congress unleashed a blistering attack …, accusing Mr. Obama of “cynically and systematically using his position as President to lead the country.”

Spearheading the offensive was Rep. Steve Stockman (R-Texas), who charged the President with the “wanton exploitation of powers that are legally granted to him under the U.S. Constitution.”

… The Texas congressman said that if Mr. Obama persists in executing the office of the Presidency as defined by the Constitution, he could face “impeachment and/or deportation.” [presumably back to the land of his birth ….]

… Rep. Stockman said that he hoped his stern words would serve as a wake-up call to Mr. Obama: “Mr. President, there’s still time for you to get in line. But if you continue to fulfill the duties of´ President of the United States that are expressly permitted in the Constitution, you are playing with fire.” (http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/borowitzreport/2013/01/republicans-accuse-obama-of-using-position-as-president-to-lead-country.html )

I have often wondered if a white President Obama would be treated with such a mixture of animosity and disdain. Would a United States Congressman ever suggest that a white President Obama should head his “stern words” and “get in line”. As Colin Powell might have commented, there’s a tag that goes with that suggestion. It’s “Get in line, boy.”

Following the recent trial of George Zimmerman for the killing of Trayvon Martin, a nameless caller to a radio talk show commented, “We live in a country where – if you are Black - buying skittles in a hoodie can get you killed”.

Yesterday was a day of national reflection in the media on how far we have – or have not – come in these fifty years since Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. stood on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial and delivered a speech that galvanized a movement and changed a nation. As part of a panel on NPR’s “On Point”, Reniqua Allen, journalist and fellow at Rutger’s New America Foundation, cited Trayvon Martin as a symbol of a nation of Latin Americans and African Americans who are still unable just to “be”. They cannot walk down a street without looking over their shoulder, worrying about their clothing, wondering if someone thinks they are a criminal. That is what she sees as the definition of freedom, the freedom from bondage to the idea of race itself, This is what Martin Luther King Jr. wanted for our nation – a world where everyone, regardless of race, could simply “be”.

Filed under March on Washington 8/28/13