November 24, 2009

Citizen 121701 strikes again

Again, the clandestine frequency clatter to life and I translate an encoded message -- an allegory -- from another of our underground brethren, Citizen 121701:
The Greatest Show on Earth

(Dream sequences # 4 and # 6, interpretation to follow)
At the podium in front of a large tent stood a tall, lanky man with very large ears. The crowd was hushed in eager anticipation of the words he was about to speak. Once the teleprompter began, his speech gushed out like so much honey and each word, like manna, was glued to the next with a pervasive stickiness not unlike those dominating, persuasive voices of mid-20th century Europe.

He was asking people to enter his tent and take a tour, an exploratory journey, to a place where hunger and homelessness were forbidden to exist and egalitarian ideals flawlessly flourished. He heralded this island to be a home where workers were united and individuals unaffected by failure (or success), where fear had been conquered and every need and want one had, from happiness to wealth to long life, was readily available, freely given. With an operating ease found among well-oiled machines, his emotional speech made you tingle first of all, which was most important to him, act secondly, and then, if one found it necessary at all—and they seldom did—to think. The flaps to the front of the tent, which looked like it was being used for the first time, were furled up with an un-blocked mighty, open entrance; the sign above the opening to the tent read—ADMISSION: FREE.

In front of another tent stood a man who was also tall and lanky. His appearance was ghostly and his mannerisms calm. When he spoke, the words—unaided by external cue, plodded out serene and determined but with uncompromising integrity and transparency, like the wake up tones of a clarion. His words were delivered with a matter-of-fact objectivity and without urgency; but they were his words, integrated into him, and they were designed to make you think first, develop an emotional conviction for one thing or the other, next, and then boldly act accordingly.

He began: "Those who deny freedom to others, deserve it not for themselves; and under a just God, can not long retain it."

He neither demanded nor urged those he spoke to to enter his tent—a well used tent with holes and splotches of red here and there—but motioned his arm back to let them know it was there and, if they chose, to enter. The flaps to his tent were not locked, merely unfurled, demanding that one choose to open it on their own, with the admission price requiring nothing more than a pledge to liberty and justice for all who would go in. I saw no politicians, no lawyers, and very few teachers among those who stood waiting to get in. Everyone in line could recite the Bill of Rights, which they honored and believed in, as easily as the Ten Commandments, which they made great efforts to honor and obey.

He spoke of our Founding Fathers, their sacrifice, and the peril our nation was facing:

Their’s was the task (and nobly they performed it) to possess themselves, and through themselves, us, of this goodly land; and to uprear upon its hills and its valleys, a political edifice of liberty and equal rights; 'tis ours only, to transmit these, the former, unprofaned by the foot of an invader; the latter, undecayed by the lapse of time and untorn by usurpation, to the latest generation that fate shall permit the world to know. This task of gratitude to our fathers, justice to ourselves, duty to posterity, and love for our species in general, all imperatively require us faithfully to perform. How then shall we perform it? At what point shall we expect the approach of danger? By what means shall we fortify against it? Shall we expect some transatlantic military giant, to step the Ocean, and crush us at a blow? Never! All the armies of Europe, Asia and Africa combined, with all the treasure of the earth (our own excepted) in their military chest; with a Buonaparte for a commander, could not by force, take a drink from the Ohio, or make a track on the Blue Ridge; in a trial of a thousand years.

At what point then is the approach of danger to be expected? I answer, if it ever reach us, it must spring up amongst us. It cannot come from abroad. If destruction be our lot, we must ourselves be its author and finisher. As a nation of freemen, we must live through all time, or die by suicide. I hope I am over wary; but if I am not, there is, even now, something of ill-omen, amongst us. I mean the increasing disregard for law which pervades the country; the growing disposition to substitute the wild and furious passions, in lieu of the sober judgment of Courts; and the worse than savage mobs, for the executive ministers of justice. This disposition is awfully fearful in any community; and that it now exists in ours, though grating to our feelings to admit, it would be a violation of truth, and an insult to our intelligence, to deny. (Bold added by the dreamer.)

One member of the crowd the speaker had attracted shouted he was going to the other tent, as there was no admission at all required, and the perfect life awaited him and his family there.

The speaker, aware of the differences the two tents represented, answered:

"A house divided against itself cannot stand. I believe this government cannot endure permanently half-slave and half-free. I do not expect the Union to be dissolved - I do not expect the house to fall - but I do expect it will cease to be divided. It will become all one thing or all the other."

“Right”, continued the dissident as he walked toward the other tent, “what are you going to do about it?”

The tall man turned to him and spoke calmly, every mannerism and gesture, word and gaze, made it seem as if he had trod upon this ground before, as if he was aware that it was those inside his tent, and not himself, that was at the heart of his following comment:

“This country, with its institutions, belongs to the people who inhabit it. Whenever they shall grow weary of the existing government, they can exercise their constitutional right of amending it, or their revolutionary right to dismember or overthrow it."

After that, the speaker stepped down and took his place at the back of the line.

Dream Sequence #6
Several evenings after found me among the circus tents once again. There were not so many people milling about and both barkers were gone; I’m sure they had entered their tents by now. This time, there were no colors, only grays, everywhere, grays—sand, ocean, sky, clouds—shades of gray. I didn’t know where the light came from, which way was east or west, so it was either sunrise or sunset.

I walked behind the two large tents and was surprised to see there countless smaller tents of various sizes, each one was either black or white, each had its own sign and that signage was a contrast to an exact sized tent of either white or black. Thus, there was a tent called pro-traditional marriage and one titled pro-gay marriage, another was pro-drugs and its same sized counterpart.

I was about to head to the pro-choice tent to ask why it wasn’t called pro-death, as opposed to the pro-life tent’s sign, when out of the corner of my eye, I spotted something washed up along the beach; it was a man, face up, and I ran over to see if I could help him.

I recognized him as the man who had voiced contention at the second tent the previous night and carried him to a sandy knoll. I put my jacket over him and waited until he became conscious. Finally, he woke up, thanked me for my help, and told me this story:

“My family and I walked into the tent and got in a line which led, in the distance, to a boat—a ferry. There were many ferries so the line went pretty quickly. As we were nearing the loading plank, we were given our choice of a free t-shirt; one was purple, the other bearing a picture of the seed from one of the mightiest trees on earth.”

“We get on the ferry and off in the distance, surrounded by a peculiar mist, see an island. The boat fills quickly and we depart towards the new land of hope and change we were all promised from the podium. Everyone seems excited but underneath there is an awareness of something we can’t put our finger on. Some of us have learned that to express such words in discussion is not a good idea, especially in the presence of so many purple shirts. Those of us who know this tell the others when they start to discuss their uneasiness.

“We near the dock to the island and the first sign we see, hanging over the pier, is ‘Welcome to the Island of Toys’”.

I stopped him because I vaguely remembered something about the words on that sign. He repeated what the sign read and then went on:

“And everywhere were pictures resembling the barker, and groups of children singing praises to his accomplishments. There was a single line to exit the boat but after passing the first gate, it immediately turned into two lines. Those in the line to the left were grinning and rubbing their hands together, cheering some times, laughing at others—the line led to what looked pretty much like an amusement park; the other line, which I entered because I didn’t feel quite right about being on the island, was quiet and somber. Near the end of the line was a sign, some of the letters of which we could barely make out” and he spelled out what he remembered, “t-h-e g-r-e-a-t--- s-h-o-w -- e-r--. We could see people entering the large building, but could not see an exit. Once in a while, we heard what was like a wail or scream, but the sounds before going into the building and after were distinct, which I can only describe as a resigned hush.”

I asked him how he ended up on the beach, here, back in America.

“As we approached the entry to the building, a few of us decided to hop over the fence and try to escape. Since there was barbed wire at the top, we tore our free shirts in half and used them for gloves. We all went at once as there were guards making sure we stayed in line. We were fired on and I think I’m the only one who made it to the beach. I dove in the water and started swimming, determined to reach the shore. I woke up here.”

When I asked him what happened to his family, he put his hands in his head and began sobbing. “I don’t know…we were separated on the ferry and I don’t know which line they took. I didn’t see them again but I looked for them once I took the line to the right.”

I helped the man rise and turned around. I was shocked to see every tent had collapsed and all were lying flat on the ground, including the two large tents. There was no one around, desolate, a graveyard of black and white tents. We walked to the front of the shiny new tent and looked at the opening, where the sign read ADMISSION: FREE.

I picked up the sign and looked closely at it and showed it to the man. Three letters, barely visible, were rubbed from the end of the sign, they were, d-o-m.

Interpretation of Dream Sequence # 4 and # 6
The United States of America is confronting her darkest hour since the birth of the Republic. Pronounced fear and a subdued self quelling anger permeate every strata of the informed populace; belligerence, contention, and intolerance appear among groups of people who have chosen to take a stand for or against one interest or another; incessant hypocrisy from politicians and bias from the media attacks one’s sanity daily; honesty and trust—from elected citizens as well as each other—is more valuable than gold and just as scarce; respect for the rule of law has been selectively abandoned and selectively enforced; disenfranchisement has become an expected response from our alleged representatives; and, economic frailty has produced a political platform from which to spring the final assault on the decaying remnants of America’s founding government. The time has come, then, when Americans—each and every one, must once again tackle that fundamental question which was soundly addressed and resolved in pre-natal America, namely: From where do human rights originate?

Any other discourse or query—debating the validity or legality of marriage for homosexuals, the climate condition of planet earth, the legalization of drugs, the necessity and extent of animal rights, pro-choice vs. the right to life, etc., seeks to segment the population into endless warring, polarized factions and relentless divisiveness. Pursuing any other question, other than from where our rights come, leads to confusion and unnecessary complexity to that which is simple, yet, as imperative to answer as ever. On the other hand, answering that question places America and Americans into the most fundamental two subsets of the population possible. One can perceive accurately, and without obfuscation, to which group an individual belongs: “us” or “them”, by the manner in which this question is answered. In the future, there will be no neutral tents and will not be allowed as any dictatorship demands, in one way or another, that you are for them, at least outwardly.

Along the lines of “us” or “them” that defines our nature is the parallel that defines our nation. Will we be America or non-America?, that is to say, something other than the Founding Fathers posited via the Constitution. Thus, the answer to the question “Where do our rights come from?”, represented as either God or man, also answers are we to be America or not, respectively. This simplicity is important as it shaves away argument of any kind which is focused on any particular interest of one person, or any group. This is precisely the reasoning that eventually solidified sides—North and South—which then defined America’s first Civil War; it will also define the next one. And although I can tell you this battle will be between the two most powerful ideologies on earth, freedom and slavery, I ponder, how will this war be fought?

There is irony in the fact that the Civil War was waged, for the most part, to end slavery, while the next civil war will seek to avoid re-establishing it, and, is currently being fomented by one whose race was enslaved and now seeks to economically enslave all but an elite few. In anticipation of the next civil war, we would all do well to make an effort to define America into two distinct, opposite voices, for: “freedom” and “non-freedom”. By the way, so there is no confusion or lack of disclosure, I choose freedom. This means I believe my rights do not come from any human—they can be as easily taken, then, but are unalienable, permanent, and originate from God.

There are discussions in a number of states that involve secession. I have read emails which suggest we all stop paying taxes. I believe there are thoughts and sentiments lurking in the background at cocktail and tea parties of those who would seek violence and revolution to have our voices addressed. And even though there are problems that should be resolved without the use of the sword, wars have taught us there are those which can’t be solved without them. I would like to remind Ron Bloom, Obama’s Manufacturing Czar, that while he may be right in quoting Chairman Mao that “political power comes from the barrel of a gun”, so does freedom.

Arguments for or against, say, gay marriage as a right have become terribly unappealing and trivial when compared with the vanishing right to express those arguments. Groups from one particular ideology or other no longer seek debate, they seek domination and imposition of their point of view. To do so requires, in their minds anyway, the destruction of opposing voices using tactics familiar to those from another era, another country—Germany, for example, from the 30’s and early 40’s—today, Chavez in Venezuela. What they are missing while sanctifying their ideology and vilifying the voices of those who oppose theirs, is that the very voice they seek to shut down will be their own.

The whim of a few will become the burden of many. Such is the way of kings and would be dictators. So it is thus as I heard one political candidate express recently: “our children and grandchildren will be enslaved to serve their children and grandchildren.” This becomes blatantly true, once you have answered the fundamental question, us or them? Freedom or slavery?

When considering an answer to “Where do our rights come from?”, it becomes the most difficult question a person can answer, as, it is the same as this question: Am I willing to die to be free? Now, I may be either enthusiastic or apathetic about one particular subject matter or another, but none will stand that test. This is about as black and white as you can get. I may be vehemently against marriage for homosexuals, but would not be willing to die for this position. I need a bigger tent. However, I would be willing to do so if it meant those in favor of it would be allowed to express that view without fear of personal and physical reprisal. I have often pondered if the reverse would be true. Would the cowards, aka bullies, at SEIU and Acorn be willing to arm themselves in pursuit of continued policies of slavery now embraced in this country? Maybe, but knowing bullies, doubtful. I recall Obama saying that “…we’re not stupid, we bring guns to a knife fight,”. Yes, but will they bring guns to a gun fight?

Yes, but would they even show up at a gun fight?

Those who founded this country and the freedom it represents, were willing to die to do so; are those of us who believe in these vanishing principles willing to die to keep them?

America is becoming an island resembling the Island of Toys, aka Pleasure Island which Pinocchio visited briefly. After a time on the island of no school and no rules—nothing but pleasure, the boys who went there turned into jackasses—symbolic of stupidity and ignorance. They would eventually labor timelessly for the greedy and ruthless coachman. Our fundamental educational system is one of self indulgence all the while asking that others sacrifice for the common good. Our current education system is also one which the political elite desire, and the general populace deserves. Higher education, which has an allegiance to the king, fosters stupidity, and promotes an in-bred, lop-sided ignorance—not knowledge or wisdom, in the bullies it produces—cowards, who hide behind electronic gadgets to spew venom and not legitimate discourse or compassionate thought; cowards who hide behind a television camera and spew lies and distortions equalling those of the Tass news agency; cowards who say things in front of a camera on talk shows and steps of the Capitol, knowing they will never have to be accountable for the nonsense they utter, much less the things they do. Eric Holder, the Attorney General for the United States, may well have gotten the following observation correct: “We are a nation of cowards,” although, for the wrong reason. Stupidity and cowardice is a deadly combination for the health of a democracy which was designed to breath life into this, our Republic. Our education system raises people within the borders of the new tent and in blindness, are unaware of the old one; our youth are being trained so that they can not viscerally understand freedom. In most Americans understanding, it is not this way.

My liberty and rights come from no man or woman. This includes Benjamin Franklin, George Washington, and most especially, Barack Obama. This also includes any body of people in some institution currently known as Congress. Once freedom has been conceptualized, earned, and internalized, it can not be taken away, it can only be given up. Incarceration neither interrupts nor destroys my freedom. My decision to be free remains, unless I relinquish it or until I die. Others think differently, although they would like me to believe otherwise, all the while attempting to superimpose their will upon mine. To some extent, they get away with it, but only because I choose to let them. That time is rapidly coming to an end.

As Congress continues to ignore the people while seeking power entrenchment, there is no place for neutrality concerning freedom. With continued aggravation and grievance, I believe we will indeed have to meet, eventually, on the field of battle and not the battlefield of ideas, which has been usurped and laid fallow by ideological bullies and moral depravity, along with its laws once planted and growing gloriously within it. This war will be to end slavery, between us and them. If there is no us, then it will be against me and them. And please pay attention, Americans one and all, the people we saw in the streets of Tehran earlier this year may well be a mirror to our own future after the U.S. elections of November 2010.

The price of one tent is liberty, the other, the absence of it. Us or them, it’s time to choose and decide which tent we belong in as well as those who belong in the other. Eventually, our country will become all one thing or all the other.

Citizen 121701

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