Let it be borne on the flag under which we rally in every exigency, that we have one country, one constitution, one destiny. -- Daniel Webster

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Resuming After a Break

I have spent my dog days of August on vacation, both at home and out of state. Now that I am getting back into the swing of things, it is time to resume my blog entries.

As I commence anew the United States is getting ready for a new Attorney General. This, of course, is an extremely important matter. At the same time, I cannot help but reflect on the sorry state of the public discourse in this country. I cannot help but remember the botched "election" of G. W. Bush in 2000 and the election fraud which denied John Kerry the Presidency in 2004. In addition there is all the circumstantial evidence of inside knowledge of the September 11, 2001, tragedy.

Explanations tying all these events are available on the Internet. I have mentioned some of them here. In the past I have charged that the economic portion of the British Empire has been continued and -- along with collusion by American corporations -- has continued in operation around the world. Operating under a greedy profit motive these powerful financial forces have worked to undermine the democratic republic of the United States in increasinlgy sophisticated ways.

Not to acknowledge these facts, painful as they are, only seeks to obscure the truth and delay a solution to our problems. Thus, if democracy is not yet practiced here in its real form, we have the opportunity to establish it. If the corporations are too powerful, we have the opportunity to rein them in, modify their function, or dissolve them. We must remember, of course, that, as they say, Rome was not built in a day. But let us be about the business of securing between these shores a truly representative democracy -- one worthy of the best of our people and one which will truly serve as a light to the world.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Reason on the Throne

I have learned from chapter two of Al Gore's new book The Assault on Reason that the founding fathers, although not unalterably opposed to religion, nevertheless understood that in the old world, religion and the church had often stood with the forces of oppression and against the common man. This abuse of religion they were firmly oppososed to and sought to proscribe in the new United States. This is the meaning of the establishment clause in the First Amendment.

Thomas Jefferson said that state-sanctioned religious authority "has been hostile to liberty." In our time we have seen the rise of religious sects which claim a direct pathway to the mind of God. Anyone who opposes them is declared an enemy of God by definition. This outrageous, arrogant, and supercilious attitude is dangerous both to the common good and to freedom. That persons with such an attitude have reached the highest levels of the federal government should give every patriot pause.

As Christ Hedges has recently pointed out, the only thing a tolerant society cannot tolerate is intolerance. Thus I call for the elimination of "The 700 Club" and its like from our cable TV channels. If this sounds like over-reach I believe supporting evidence can be marshalled. Such evidence and support for this call will be given in coming days. (In the meantime you can consult American Fascists by the aforementioned Chris Hedges for details.)

The time to act is now. Well-financed individuals and groups are working every day to establish a narrow theocracy in America.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Fear Overcomes Reason

In chapter one of his book The Assault on Reason, Al Gore writes about the relationship between fear and reason. Both, he says, are necessary for survival. Yet fear can shut down reason. This, he posits, is what has happened in America in recent years.

Surely Mr. Gore is right about this, even as others have made the same observation. We are a long way from President Franklin Roosevelt's statement that we have nothing to fear but fear itself. The message of the current administration is Be afraid, be very afraid.

This is a big subject and much can be said. For a further understanding you may consult Gore's book and also The Culture of Fear by Glassner.

Let us not be consumers of fear. Rather let us be consumers of knowledge and purveyors of reason. Such an approach is the only true antidote to unreasonable fear.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Al Gore's Defense of Reason

It is a pleasure to take in the message of Vice-President Al Gore as given in his new book The Assault on Reason. In this introduction to a series of reviews I will present some opening comments.

First, although I cannot say I agree with every statement in the book, the introduction and first chapter of the book alone are worth the purchase price. Mr. Gore presents in clear terms how the public sphere -- the area in which the national discussion of great issues takes place -- has been co-opted by a shallow one-way delivery system known as televison. This is no diatribe, nor is it any vindictive essay of regret about the 2000 election. This is a thoughtful and well-researched description of the loss of a method for learning about our nation's problems and collectively coming to solutions. Later in the book, Gore presents some beginning solutions to the problem.

For now I can say that the elucidation of the history of print media, public discourse, and the degeneration of this discourse currently being experienced chiefly through the national television media, and to a lesser extent through radio, is an extremely valuable explication of the vital role played by the press and media in a democracy and how the degradation of these media has seriously threatened our democracy. I am grateful for this book! It is a pleasure to recommend this book not simply for enjoyment but for its necessity in helping to maintain one's sanity in a deeply anti-intellectual environment. Get this book, and get it soon. You will be glad you did.

Friday, August 03, 2007

Cancelling the Vote

At the hyperlink shown below is an important new article by elections experts Harvey Wasserman and Bob Fitrakis. This intrepid pair has closely investigated the vote rigging which went on in Ohio before, during and after the 2004 election. This kind of vote rigging and suppression went on all over the country.

Now these modern-day Paul Reveres are alerting us to the preparations by certain Republican operatives regarding the 2008 election. Knowing they are not favored to win, these Republicans are doing everything they can to undermine democratic elections in this country. There are even plans to "cancel" the election next year in the event a Democratic out-come becomes a forgone conclusion.

Read and weep or read and get busy. The choice is yours. I will write more on this subject in the future.


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