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Archive for January, 2012

Government feeds on America’s obsession with patriotism and fears of terrorism. In doing so, they abandon constitutionally protected rights and freedoms. NDAA’s section on counterterrorism does just that. But there are challenges to that law.

On New Year’s Eve, President Obama signed into law the National Defense Authorization Act for 2012 (NDAA).

It is important legislation. But sections 1021 and 1022, titled “Counterterrorism,” gives the government frightening powers that are unconstitutional, outrageous, and dangerous. The Act appropriates Pentagon spending for 2012 that includes a pay raise for the Armed Forces. However, Congress amended the legislation to include changes in the law that leaders felt were necessary to combat counterterrorism. Those changes ominously allow military detention of American citizens without trial and the use of military force on U.S. soil.

Read article here: Totalitarian Systems of Power: The Psychological Weapon of Fear

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Americans should not be silent when the war drums beat and imperialistic goals mean more to leaders than the wellbeing of ordinary Americans. That is the essential message from Martin Luther King in his Beyond Vietnam speech. It is all up to you and me

Monday, January 16, was Dr. Martin Luther King’s birthday. A day America celebrates Dr. King’s selfless and courageous non-violent struggle for social change.

Of all Dr. King’s oratory accomplishments, the best known is his 1963 “I have a Dream” speech. However, “Beyond Vietnam — A Time to Break Silence,” delivered at New York’s Riverside Church on April 4, 1967, is equally as significant.

The speech addressed poverty, racism, and militarism at a time in our country when the Vietnam War and racism deeply polarized America. It was a time …

Read full article here: A Revolution of Values, the Fierce Urgency of Now

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Republicans pontificate the efficiencies of a limited federal government. They preach on how freedom needs to be restored after the attack on it by Barack Obama. However, in light of their congressional record, their words are not to be believed.

The starkest contrast between today’s Republicans and Democrats is their different positions regarding a limited federal government.

Republican presidential candidates, like all republicans, preach the efficiencies of a limited government. They believe the creation of wealth and supporting economic wellbeing for a few will trickle down to be the rising tide that lifts all boats and that that will bring everyone else, including those in poverty, to realize the “American Dream” and reduce the need for entitlements. Republicans believe in strict adherence to the U.S. Constitution. They believe that only within the structure of a limited federal government and a free market economy greater individual freedom is achieved.

Republicans say the way to a limited federal government is for individual states to take on powers not specifically delineated in the Constitution to the federal government.

They believe the private sector would be more efficient if they took up some of the services now provided by the federal government.

So that means state governments …

Read full article here: The Republican View of Small Government and Freedom Contradict Their Record

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News of eminent atheist Christopher Hitchens’ death triggered a revisit to days when my life was simple, believed that the bible was the word of God, and when religious faith was a part of my life.

The passing of Christopher Hitchens, who recently died of pneumonia, a complication of esophageal cancer, triggered a revisit to those days when life was so simple. It was a time when I attended church, believed that the bible was the word of God, and a time when religion was very much a part of my life.

Christopher Hitchens was an intellectual, author, a provocative essayist, and formidable polemicist. Like Sam Harris and Richard Dawkins, he too was an avowed atheist and champion of the New Atheism movement.

Like Hitchens, Harris, and Dawkins, now, I too believe time has come to cast out religious ideology. I no longer believe in an anthropomorphic Personal God, God of the Abrahamic religions, Christianity, Judaism, and Islam, who are and have been the reason for so much suffering and misery in this world.

The transformation from youthful credulity …

Read article here: A Belief in Human Values and Love, Not Religion or God

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