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2003-04-02 - 12:14 p.m.

:::The Death of "Freedom of Speech":::

We are living in sad times. War, death, destruction, hatred, bigotry, and violence capture the headlines of papers all over America. What we don't see or are limited to seeing is the voice of dissent calling for PEACE. It would seem that a nation that heralds itself as a "nation founded by God" and whose religious population is mostly Christian, would be listening to the words of the prophet Jesus, "Blessed are the peacemakers." Matthew 5: 1-16.

What we are seeing instead is the slow, decaying death of one of our Constitutional rights: Freedom of Speech. Over and over again reports are coming out that we should not criticize the President, his policies, the war, or the bloodbath that is occurring. Even former presidents have been warned that it is a "standard policy" that former presidents do not criticize sitting presidents during war. In these times, I am reminded of what one of our former presidents said: "To announce that there must be no criticism of the president, or that we are to stand by the president right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American public. ~Teddy Roosevelt.

So why is there a constant enslavement to Freedom of Speech? The current Administration under the tutelage of George W. Bush prefers privacy to puplic account. This administration has, since nearly day one of its creation, done everything in its power to keep knowledge from the public. It began when Bush sealed all the presidential records from Reagan to his own. It continued when Cheney refused to disclose the information about who he met with for the Energy Department consultations. It has even continued into the "investigation" of 911. So we should not be in the least bit surprised that Bush would want to keep this war with Iraq under as close wraps as possible.

So far, we have seen many dissenting voices in the media and in the entertainment world hushed or brought to silence. These include Phil Donahue, Connie Chung, Peter Arnett, Geraldo Rivera, Philip Smucker, Susan Sarandon, Michael Moore, and Natalie Maines of the Dixie Chicks just to name a few. Not only have some of these people lost their livelihoods, but some of them have also had to make apologies that I am sure they would not do under normal circumstances.

No, the Bush Administration perfers to keep everything hidden from the American people. This is why embeded reporters have been put into Iraq, closely guarded by the military, where every word they report is closely censored. This is why websites that report the news fairly and responsibly are being hacked into by rightwing extremists who approve of the death to "Freedom of Speech". And this is why we are living in scarier times when not only do we have the very unPatriotic Act to deal with, but Ashcroft is planning a second edition to it that strips us of even more of those Constitutional rights.

I leave you with the following to contemplate: It is no longer a free country when men and women cannot speak freely about their opinions without risk of losing their jobs, or when they cannot report the news as they see it, fairly and honestly, without losing their jobs. America is no longer a FREE country.

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~Did You Miss These?~

Just a Reminder - Tuesday, Nov. 04, 2003
Ravyne Is Moving - Friday, Oct. 17, 2003
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