Petition, Assembly & Redress of Grievances

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Those opposing Kaepernick (CK) and likeminded Citizens have a right to speak. They do not have a right to deny any Citizen the right or ability to express themselves.

Disagree all you want.

Many who are speaking out against CK and the rest are wishing violence and financial harm to them for exercising their right to PETITION and PEACEABLY ASSEMBLE.

It’s not just a Free Speech issue. It is the right to assemble and petition the government for redress of grievances.

There is also a mass of vocal citizens who are denying that there is a problem.

I’ve heard many a person say that there is no oppression in America. I’ve heard them deny that there is a Police problem in America.

Disagree all you want. Disagree in a constructive manner. Outright denial and steadfast, willful obtuseness concerning the issue is not constructive.

Chicago was recently discovered to have a Black Site to which Citizens were taken and held without charge for days at a time. American Citizens are being shot within seconds of coming into contact with Police simply because the Police are undisciplined and “fear for their lives.” The Police killed a 12 year old boy with a toy gun. They killed him within 2.5 seconds of coming into contact with the child. Police are killing family pets in record numbers because they “fear for their lives.” Police have accidentally shot and killed children because they were shooting at family pets who were no real threat. Then we have the war on drugs which disproportionately targets the poor. The Affluent consume more illegal drugs than any other segment of society. Yet, the majority of the incarcerated citizens in America are those who are poor, disenfranchised and have no real voice in America.

There is oppression in America. That it exists is an indictment of our Nation.

These people who refuse to acknowledge this are part of the problem.

One can exercise one’s free speech to one’s hearts content. Yet, one cannot remain willfully ignorant, voice that ignorance and expect others to, likewise, be ignorant and silent about the issues facing America.

[Pre-Inane Argument Shoot Down 1: Of course, there is oppression everywhere. I don’t give a fuck about oppression elsewhere. I care about America.]

[Pre-Inane Argument Shoot Down 2: Yes, the Police have a dangerous job. So do Garbage Men and Loggers. They aren’t killing innocent people in the course of their duties and being granted qualified immunity. Postmen come into contact with family pets on a daily basis. Postmen aren’t killing record numbers of family pets and crying that they feared for their lives. Postmen are also not missing harmless family pets and shooting children, either.]

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Hey Veteran! Shut Yor Pie Hole!

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“Isn’t it odd that some ex military that spent their time pushing a pen piss and moan about the U S while others that did their time in Europe in battle after battle like my dad never found it necessary to do so. Just saying. When WW2 was over dad went to work and did so until he died. He never got one red cent ever from the government. He worked for every penny he had. He is my idea of a man.”

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He seems to be saying that one should not have the right to exercise free speech or be involved in public debate unless they were actual Combat Veterans in Combat Specialties while simultaneously stating that he admires his father who was a Combat Veteran in a Combat Specialty because he complained about nothing, kept his head down, and remained silent DESPITE all of the injustice of the era.

It’s a bit of a confusing note. Short, bitter and full of hypocrisy.

This is the post of a person who has never been in the Military.

I was a “pencil pusher” in the Military.

My first unit was 2/68 Armor which was part of the 8th Infantry Division.

Our mission was to pull up in support of the 11th Cav in the Fulda Gap in the case of a Soviet Invasion.

I was there during the Reagan administration.

Our unit had a fairly high suicide rate.

I’ll explain.

We practiced regularly for our war time mission. About 8 months out of the year, we were in the field. As a “pencil pusher,” I fulfilled my duties of supplying the unit with ammunition, weapons, etc. I also repaired weapons.

When I wasn’t repairing weapons or supplying ammunition or pushing pencils, I was at the range. I assisted with weapons qualification. I also had to qual on every weapon in the Battalion as I had to know them intricately. I also had to be familiar with Warsaw Pact weapons.

When we were on our training exercises (in the field), I manned an M2 .50 Cal Machine Gun in a fighting position as well as on a Deuce and a Half.

Had we gone to war, this would have been one of my primary duties. Manning that machine gun.

Had we gone to war, our life expectancy was approximately 30 minutes from LOB.

We had approximately 30 minutes to grap our gear and get to Fulda. Why? Because they expected the 11th Cav to be overrun shortly after we arrived. About 30 minutes later, I can’t remember who but someone was supposed to be pulling up on us. Why? Because it was expected that we would be overrun shortly thereafter. Continue on this path until REFORGER was accomplished to push the Soviets back out of Germany and into Eastern Europe.

Turns out, we never went to war.

Not our fault. We were prepared.

Many of us were also scared. Some of us were so intimidated by the thing that we killed ourselves in anticipation of dying any damned way.

Apparently, I’m supposed to apologize for not going to war or for pushing pencils. Either that or my service doesn’t count at all because I pushed a pencil and, despite the fact that I am American and have the right of Free Speech, I’m supposed to remain quiet and not speak.

I was also stationed in the DMZ in Korea. Aside from my paper pushing duties, I was assigned an M60 7.62MM Machine Gun and a bunker. If all hell broke loose and the Koreans had come across the DMZ, I was supposed to defend in place until I was dead or until the Koreans were pushed back and barring that, if I survived being overrun, I was to grab that M60 and hightail it up to a mountain holdfast which had enough food and ammo stored in it for us to survive for up to 6 months.

Again, I apologize that North Korea never attacked and that I wasn’t killed or maimed or didn’t experience war as an Infantryman or a Tanker or some other Combat Arms specialty.

I also served time as an Observer in the Sinai, Egypt. Our job there was to ensure that Egypt and Israel observed their treaty and that they did not go to war.

And I served in the The Old Guard and buried a bunch of Military and Veterans in Arlington National Cemetery.

I suppose that because I never actually went to war, my time in the military is worthless and I am not worthy to express my opinion or exercise my right to Free Speech as a Veteran, an American or a Human Being.

Many people don’t mind others expressing their opinions when said opinions are in concert with their own. Many Americans seem to believe that Free Speech is only for those with whom they agree on issues important to themselves.

Odd that, I think.

Or maybe that’s just the hypocrisy of Humanity, in general, and Americans specifically.

Perhaps, if this person’s father and others like him had not sat idly as millions of African Americans suffered under Jim Crow. we might have had Justice for Black Americans sooner. If this father had used his voice and the Freedoms for which he fought, it may not have taken another 75 years for a Black American to make it to the White House or 80 plus years for a Woman to be nominated to run for President. Perhaps, if that generation had spoken up, Marriage Equality would have advanced more swiftly. Perhaps…

Perhaps, he was correct. It is better to keep one’s opinions to oneself and bury one’s head in one’s work. Worry not about the world about you. That is for others who are better than you. You fought for those freedoms. You placed your life on the line by serving in the military. However, it is not for you to use those freedoms. Your opinions do not count. Your voice does not and should not count. You are merely a Veteran and not worthy of the Freedoms taken for granted by other Americans who deem their opinions more worthy of public discourse than yours.

Especially if you were but a “pencil pusher.” I mean that’s not dangerous. How dangerous could it be? You don’t fucking count. Shut the fuck up, ya pencil pushin’ bastard.

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Flag Burning and Drawing Muhammad

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If someone burns the Flag and people simply acknowledge it and register their disapproval in a normative manner, the protesters have nothing.

If someone burns the Flag and people become outraged and react emotionally and/or violently, the protesters have a victory.

All of this angst and outrage, faux or otherwise, is both counter-intuitive and self defeating.

By being outraged and pretending that you are “American Bad Ass,” you are giving them exactly what they want.

If people ignored them, they’d probably not do it.

The folks who become outraged over flag burnings, stompings and other forms of protest against the United States are similar to those Muslims who act out over Mohammad cartoons and drawings. The difference being that Muslims will actually physically act on their threats whereas the folks of American Badassery will only whine and talk loudly with their chests puffed out.

Blasphemy outlawed in Ireland

Political Correctness Gone Mad!!!!

Quote:
As part of a revision to defamation legislation, the Dail (Irish Parliament) passed legislation creating a new crime of blasphemy. Update: The bill went to the Seanad on Friday, July 10, passing by a single vote. This attack on free speech, debated for several months in Europe, has gone largely unnoticed in the American press.

The text of the legislation is provided at the end of this post.

How does this impact free speech? Just don’t be rude.

* Atheists can be prosecuted for saying that God is imaginary. That causes outrage.
* Pagans can be prosecuted for saying they left Christianity because God is violent and bloodthirsty, promotes genocide, and permits slavery.
* Christians can be prosecuted for saying that Allah is a moon god, or for drawing a picture of Mohammed, or for saying that Islam is a violent religion which breeds terrorists.
* Jews can be prosecuted for saying Jesus isn’t the Messiah.

Is it really THAT big a deal?

Ireland’s Blasphemy Bill not only criminalizes free speech, it also gives the police the authority to confiscate anything deemed “blasphemous”. They may enter and search any premises, with force if needed, upon “reasonable suspicion” that such materials are present.

* The local Freethinkers society, with its copies of Hitchens’ God Is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything.
* The video store, with copies of The God Who Wasn’t There.
* The history teacher, who uses The Dark Side of Christian History to teach her class.
* The library, with its collection of books deemed blasphemous.
* Even the homeowner who lets the wrong person know he has a copy of Salman Rushdie’s The Satanic Verses could find his door broken in by the Thought Police, his bookshelves ransacked, and his books burning in the front yard!

Satirizing religion in any way, shape, or form, if it “causes outrage”, is now a prosecutable offense in Ireland. Saying anything negative about a religion, if it “causes outrage”, can now be prosecuted as a crime. Just like in Muslim countries.

Witness the return of the Dark Ages.

They’ve gone insane.  Too many pints, I reckon…

Islam and “Freedom” of Speech

Muslims in the Lords

The House of Lords is a venerable British institution, but what does one get if one accepts Muslims in? This:

A member of the Lords intended to invite her colleagues to a private meeting in a conference room in the House of Lords to meet the Dutch politician Geert Wilders, an elected member of the Dutch parliament, to watch his controversial movie Fitna and discuss the movie and Mr. Wilders’ opinions with him.

Barely had the invitation been sent to all the members of the House when Lord Ahmed raised hell. He threatened to mobilize 10,000 Muslims to prevent Mr. Wilders from entering the House and threatened to take the colleague who was organizing the event to court. The result is that the event, which should have taken place next Thursday was cancelled.

Lord Ahmed immediately went to the Pakistani press to boast about his achievement, which he calls “a victory for the Muslim community.”

A victory for the Muslim community, but a defeat for British democracy where topics to which Muslims object cannot even be debated. That, apparently, is what one gets when one accepts Muslims into the House of Lords.

Lord Ahmed is considered to be a “moderate” Muslim. The Pakistani born Nazir Ahmed became the United Kingdom’s first Muslim life peer in 1998. He is a member of the Labour Party and was appointed to the Lords by Tony Blair. Lord Ahmed took his oath on the Koran. He led one of the first delegations on behalf of the British Government on the Muslim pilgrimage of the Hajj, to Saudi Arabia. In February 2005, Lord Ahmed hosted a book launch in the House of Lords for anti-Zionist author Israel Shamir. In 2007, he responded to the award of a knighthood to Salman Rushdie by stating that he was appalled, saying that Rushdie had “blood on his hands.”

Lord Ahmed was among the founders of The World Forum, an organization set up “to promote world peace in the aftermath of 9/11 with an effort to build bridges of understanding between The Muslim World and the West by reviving a tradition of Dialogue between people, cultures and civilizations based on tolerance.”

What does “dialogue” mean to those who make discussion about controversial issues impossible? Thank you, Mr. Blair, for bringing “diversity” to the House of Lords.

Only if you adhere to their beliefs are you allowed “free” speech in the Muslim mind and world.  The day is coming that Muslims in America will demand this same control over speech in America.  Not far off.

And with the Democrats in power, it will be easier for them to do so over the next 4 to 8 years.

It will be a slow and quiet surrender of our freedoms to the oppression of the Islamic thought police.

Freedom of Speech — Toby Keith and the Dixie Chicks

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Neil Young has recently been snubbed by his fans for being too preachy. The right is using this as an argument that recording artists should just shut up and sing. That would apply to you too, Susan Sarandon. Speak your lines in the movies and shut the hell up.

A couple of years back, Natalie Maines uttered those not so magical words to the effect that she was not proud that G Dubya was from Texas. That remark set off a firestorm of controversy. The right screamed for her head. Boycotts were all the rave. The Dixie Chics went down in flames. Toby Keith came out in support of the war and toured in Iraq, Afghanistan and all over the world in support of the troops. His song, Courtesy of the Red, White and Blue, was THE (country) Rock Anthem of the Global War on Terror.

Toby Keith was hailed as a hero of the masses by the right. The Dixie Chics were told to shut the hell up. Loudly. Decisively. By the right. The left took them to their bosom but failed to back that up with their pocket books. No matter. I still don’t think the Chics are hurting.

When an artist speaks out, one side or the other is going to scream; “Shut up!”

I disagree.

Song (art) has always been a form of both protest and support (some would say propaganda). It is only really noticed negatively when the artist gets TOO preachy or when a given artist preaches against the ethos of their primary or target audience (i.e., the Dixie Chics). Yankee Doodle was a protest song. Uncle Tom’s Cabin was a protest book that Lincoln claimed sparked the War of 1861 to 1865. Common Sense was a protest pamphlet. Many of our most cherished folk songs were protest songs of the age in which they were written. World War II was probably the height of artistic support for a War or political endeavor. Vietnam was the American apogee of war protest songs and movies. The whole M.A.S.H. Movie and TV Series was a protest of the Vietnam War specifically and war in general. Songs of protest are the essence of America.

Musical artists have a right (and I think an obligation) to use their medium to speak their truth. Music and all Art really has been a form of social conscience since the beginning of “civilization.” I agree with Green Day’s “American Idiot.” It highlights growing problems in America. There are all too many of these “idiots” in America. All too many in Europe as well.

How many on the right disagreed with Toby Keith and his right to speak out. Yet, those same people yelled and screamed and sent death threats to the Dixie Chics. They had just as much right to speak their minds as did Toby.

Art has always shown us the way or a different way. Sometimes, they get it right. Sometimes they don’t. That largely depends upon one’s perspective. But they should never just shut up. None of them. I think Bill Maher is about as funny as a talib shooting a woman in the back of the head with an AK47 for not wearing a burqa in public. The left thinks he’s hilarious.

Kanye West told us that President Bush “doesn’t care about Black People” on national TV. He made himself look a bit of an ass in so doing. Much of the far right hated him for it. A great part of the left agreed with him. A greater part of America yawned. Black America was right behind him. He and they were probably correct. Before that statement, I had little opinion of Kanye West. Now, for some reason, I’m a huge fan. Go figure.

I’m a huge Toby Keith fan. I’m also still a fan of the Dixie Chics. They had the courage to stick to their convictions even though they knew that it would kill their bottom line. They have not yet recovered professionally. How many of our politicians would do that? How many evangelicals would do that? The Chicks proved that they possess integrity. That is something that I admire greatly. No matter their political leanings.

Fuck ’em all. Rock on!

I absolutely love and understand both of these songs.

Courtesy of the Red, White and Blue (The Angry American)

by Toby Keith

American girls and American guys
we’ll always stand up and salute,
we’ll always recognize;
when we see Old Glory flying
there’s a lot of men dead,
so we can sleep in peace at night
when we lay down our head.

My Daddy served in the army
where he lost his right eye,
but he flew a flag out in our yard
’til the day that he died.
He wanted my mother, my brother,
my sister and me
to grow up and live happy
in the land of the free.

Now this nation that I love
is falling under attack,
a mighty sucker punch came flying in
from somewhere in the back.
As soon as we could see clearly
through our big black eye,
man we lit up your world
like the Fourth of July.

Hey, Uncle Sam put your name
at the top of his list,
and the Statue of Liberty
started shaking her fist.
And the eagle will fly
and it’s going to be hell,
when you hear Mother Freedom
start ringing her bell.
And it’ll feel like the whole wide world
is raining down on you.
Brought to you courtesy
of the Red, White and Blue

Oh, justice will be served
and the battle will rage,
this big dog will fight
when you rattle his cage.
You’ll be sorry that you messed
With the U.S. of A.
’cause we’ll put a boot in your ass,
it’s the American way.

Hey, Uncle Sam put your name
at the top of his list,
and the Statue of Liberty
started shaking her fist.
And the eagle will fly
and it’s going to be hell,
when you hear Mother Freedom
start ringing her bell.
And it’ll feel like the whole wide world
is raining down on you.
Brought to you courtesy
of the Red, White and Blue.

Of the Red, White and Blue
Of my Red, White and Blue

DIXIE CHICKS LYRICS

“Travelin’ Soldier”

Two days past eighteen
He was waiting for the bus in his army green
Sat down in a booth in a cafe there
Gave his order to a girl with a bow in her hair
He’s a little shy so she gives him a smile
And he said would you mind sittin’ down for a while
And talking to me,
I’m feeling a little low
She said I’m off in an hour and I know where we can go

So they went down and they sat on the pier
He said I bet you got a boyfriend but I don’t care
I got no one to send a letter to
Would you mind if I sent one back here to you

Chorus: I cried
Never gonna hold the hand of another guy
Too young for him they told her
Waitin’ for the love of a travelin’ soldier
Our love will never end
Waitin’ for the soldier to come back again
Never more to be alone when the letter said
A soldier’s coming home

So the letters came from an army camp
In California then Vietnam
And he told her of his heart
It might be love and all of the things he was so scared of
He said when it’s getting kinda rough over here
I think of that day sittin’ down at the pier
And I close my eyes and see your pretty smile
Don’t worry but I won’t be able to write for awhile

[Chorus]

One Friday night at a football game
The Lord’s Prayer said and the Anthem sang
A man said folks would you bow your heads
For a list of local Vietnam dead
Crying all alone under the stands
Was a piccolo player in the marching band
And one name read and nobody really cared
But a pretty little girl with a bow in her hair