Thursday, March 10, 2011

Abridging the freedom of speech....

The Supreme Court has declined to review the SHAC 7 case. In other words, people were imprisoned for what they said and the highest court has agreed by default that this is ok. This is the same court that just recently said laws against protests at funerals are "unconstitutional" because they abridge the freedom of speech.

Uh, speech ok in one instance, not ok in another instance. What's the deal? Well, it is fairly apparent that the winds that have blown in one direction for 500 plus years are continuing to gust in the same direction. Essentially that if money is involved, if profit is involved...that trumps any hypothetical individual "freedoms".

This country started out as a criminal foray (for profit and gain) against the original human inhabitants (Native Americans) and convenient and self-serving fictions aside...has continued on that track since then and these "decisions" simply serve to affirm that.

Waving a meaningless affirmation of "free speech" such as that associated with the funeral protests is merely providing a passing salute (acceptable, because it doesn't involve money) to the general populace's delusion of "freedom".  The SHAC 7 and Rod Coronado cases are the important ones, because they do involve some sort of opposition to "profit".

What is really deplorable is that when a jury is involved (both the SHAC 7 and Coronado cases were jury trials), folks that theoretically know better (i.e., regular joe blow citizens) have the opportunity to derail the profit train and uphold their right to free speech. They didn't (the jury was hung in Coronado's case) in either case. They went along with the injustices and agreed that money is more important than any such silliness as "free speech". If the citizens don't want "free speech"....?

I will be curious to see if connections are made between these contradicting events...free speech ok if no money involved, not ok if money might be lost.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

New resources...

I have added F.A.I.R (acronym for Fairness & Accuracy In Reporting) to the blog list as well as including the FAIR website on that listing.  These folks do a good job and I recommend you visit their writing and resources often. In case you missed it, the corporate and big money folks are mounting a sustained and serious attack on the power of labor unions and FAIR has some excellent coverage of it.

I have also added a link to Media Lens, a group located in England that include in their "About Us" section of the website this bit of loveliness:
We accept the Buddhist contention that while greed, hatred and ignorance distort reason; compassion empowers it. Our aim is to increase rational awareness, critical thought and compassion.

Our goal is not at all to attack, insult or anger individual journalists, but to highlight significant examples of systemic media distortion that are the cause of immense suffering. For example: the failure to communicate the true death toll of the war in Iraq; the hypocrisy and destructiveness of media reporting on climate change; the failure to expose the real consequences of corporate psychopathology for modern society, sanity and culture.
I am currently reading Burning All Illusions by David Edwards, one of the contributors/founders of Media Lens and am really enjoying it...especially that he recognizes Erich Fromm as one of the most significant thinkers and writers of the Psychology/Psychoanalytic folks.

Fromm is woefully unknown...especially here in the U.S. and the significance of his writing in furtherance of understanding human behavior can't be overstated. If you haven't read Edwards book, do so...it is well worth your time.

Fromm enjoyed a brief moment of popularity during the 1960's (go figure) but primarily in a superfical way...especially here...mainly because of a little book he wrote titled: The Art of Loving. My own cynical take on the popularity of the book is that Americans likely thought it was a how-to sex manual (it isn't).

If you haven't read Fromm, you have a gap in your fund of information and should remedy it as soon as you can. I would suggest you ground yourself in his thinking by first reading Escape From Freedom and The Sane Society. Those two books will go a long way toward getting you up to speed with apprehending the richness contained in the Edwards book...as well as maybe giving you a new take on the influence of society on your perceptions and thinking.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

America, land of the ?...part 2

We're number 1...in prisoners by count and per capita according to Nationmaster.com. You might enjoy poking around on the website. The number of prisoners by country for the top 7:
# 1 United States: 2,019,234 prisoners
# 2 China: 1,549,000 prisoners
# 3 Russia: 846,967 prisoners
# 4 India: 313,635 prisoners
# 5 Brazil: 308,304 prisoners
# 6 Thailand: 213,815 prisoners
# 7 Ukraine: 198,386 prisoners
If you look at the data on a per capita basis:

# 1 United States: 715 per 100,000 people
# 2 Russia: 584 per 100,000 people
# 3 Belarus: 554 per 100,000 people
# 4 Palau: 523 per 100,000 people
# 5 Belize: 459 per 100,000 people
# 6 Suriname: 437 per 100,000 people
# 7 Dominica: 420 per 100,000 people
Ah, makes you feel safe, secure and free doesn't it?

Thanks to The Liberty Underground and Nationmaster for inspiration and data.