Monday, August 25, 2008

Questions that must be answered.

In a reading of the law and of the constitution I must ask the following questions.

1:) At what point do offenders fulfill their onus to society.
a:) What are the measurements?
b:) what are the historic precedents?
c:) Why is the onus stated by the court insufficient repayment for the crime against society?
d:) If the crime is against society (as defined under criminal code) where does the victim enter into the evaluation of the insufficiency of the court-judged criminal remedy of that onus?
c:) Are these even possible?
2:) By what authority, be it law, or divine intent, is that onus created and defined?
3:) By what power and authority do you make law that is against the very constitution upon which your power and authority is founded?
4:) How are any of these laws serving to make children safer?
5:) If the rights and privileges and immunities and freedoms of the citizens of the United States are not rights, priviliges, or immunities, and subject to withdrawal by writ, has not the federal government revoked its authorization for the very powers it wields?

I ask these questions because they are direct legal questions. For every crime, every criminal act, it is a wrong done against society. Civil wrongs are done against individuals, under contractual obligation (including the contract of civil behavior).

Civil laws are created to work within the areas of individual agreements, not between the works of societies. They also recognize inheritance, escrow, estate, contract, and tort law. Civil laws cannot work attainder, nor can they work imprisonment, nor can they work ex post facto, as laws of contract, they must work with full, knowing, agreement between individuals, and entities.

So.. as the imposition of such an act must be attainder, as it must be criminal, else it could not limit rights and privileges by imposition, as it cannot be created nor imposed upon any society or any person without their consent...

At what point do offenders fulfill their debt, their onus to society? Such a debt is a temporal debt, a debt delimited in time, a debt of finite measure that cannot extend beyond the scope of the judgment of law.

Should that judgment be that of life imprisonment, so be it. that is well and good, it is a finite span... but it must be decided upon by a jury, with full disclosure of both the fact, and the law, full measure of the consequences of the law, and full ability by that jury to nullify the law via the ancient right.

The historic precedents are many and varied, from the trials of Throckmorton, to Bushell, to Zenger. Both positive, and negative, the right to juristic nullification cannot be denied, nor the inability of the government to work double jeopardy, nor the inability of the government to legislate a punishment. Taints, by their nature, must have an end. Punishments, by nature, must have a finishing point. Even life is a finishing point.

The scales of justice weigh both mercy, and retribution. They weigh both justice and compassion. With either side out of balance, the scales are not just.

The measurement of punishment is one of time.. it is moments trapped away from the society you have wronged. It is an imprisonment that is a punishment, not for punishment. It is not, like Sysiphus, one of torture. Ideally, the punishment includes both separation, as a form of retribution, lost time in one's life, for reflection, as well as the principles of mercy and compassion allowing for some form of education and redemption.

Thus has it been, for years. In many cases, prior to 1900, criminals were issued a firearm, twenty to fourty dollars, and told to make good on their lives. Many did. Those that didn't generally ended up hung eventually, or shot.

It must be stated that any punishment that has no set end... is torture. Any punishment that changes without warning, without agreement, without judicial and juristic review... can be said to be nothing but slavery.

Any judgment beyond that made by both the judge, and the jury, is by tradition, and by law, unconstitutional. It is the end to that onus against society. All rights were restored at that end... even if the end were death.

It is the purpose of the jury to see to it that the laws are just, that the enforcement is just, as well as to try the fact of law, the process and the law itself.

Can one pay the debt to society? The measure of the debt is what is placed by judge and jury. It is placed upon the offender against society with the sole power within the country to do so.. that of the legal process, the warrant, the investigation, the trial.

Criminal law is not about victims... society is the victim. Society has recognized that a part has been hurt, and has excluded the one that has harmed it. According to tradition, and law, and even in some cases state constitutions, that is the end to it.

So why do people claim that the court judgment is insufficient, that the process of the jury is too merciful? Why is it needful to have legislation to determine minimum sentences? Why is it needful to increase sentences to life, by writ of attainder?

These are instruments of subjugation, and naught else. They are instruments of control. The onus against the offender is defined by the judge, and jury, and can be defined by no other, for none other sees the offender, or the offense, or the victim more clearly. This is why we set up judges, juries. It is why the ancient right was recognized, as the judge and jury were the final arbiters of the law.

There is no power within the constitution to make laws against the constitution. There never could be. Such powers are granted by the people, and subject to the revocation of the people. Such powers are based on the recognition of the rights of the people, and the subservience of the government to the will of the people, by their representatives.

Those rights cannot be taken away from any class, for any reason. This, again, is the part of the constitutional republic, not a place of full democracy, which can legislate away the rights by the will of the people, but a limited democracy which was founded in those very rights.

They talk of safety, of protection... how if it keeps one child safer, it is worth it. But does it do so? Does it manage to maintain the rules of society, does it manage to make them more responsible? Does it manage to keep any single person who intends to harm them under control?

It cannot... so long as men have the capability to be cruel and vile, to be violent and vicious, there can be no protection. In the jail cells one must watch the other prisoners, and the guards. In the gulags, your neighbor can turn you in for an extra crust of bread.

There can be no government founded that tears up its own foundation to create something else. Those powers were vested with the understanding that commitant rights would be respected... via the denial of those rights, via the denial of those privileges, and the denial of those immunities, the government has forsaken its own power, and must be reminded of those whom it serves.

For that is the purpose of a republic... to serve the people, the least and the greatest equally, the most hated and the most loved. All are, and must be the same under the eyes of the law, else the republic becomes a tyranny.

We the people... are the rulers, and arbiters of our government. If you like not how the poll is working, change the pollsters. If you do not like how your state is working, change those in charge in your state, and the Federal government will follow.

If you spread the truth in who you are, in what the facts are, spread far and wide on the wings of the voice and on the radio and television and internet... it cannot be stopped. It gains momentum forever, echoes forever, and cannot be defeated by lies.

Would that I had more power to pseak.. more power to fight. I have learned to love. Not simple physical, crass love.. but love for humanity, for their potential, even for their failings. Love, compassion,a nd understanding are the things which I speak. They are also that which I do my best to live.

And when I die... and die I shall, for such measures are met by all men, I will die free, for that love. It does not matter what course they may take with my body, they can no longer touch my spirit, that spark of the divine which all men hold. The mind is the ultimate property of a man... and if my speech, my words, and my thoughts are illegal, then let me be a criminal for expressing love and compassion to others.

I would rather die in that state... than live in a world where compassion and rights cannot exist.
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Sunday, August 24, 2008

Mankind, by its nature, is a beast of passions, of hate, of anger, of joy, of hope. He is a creature of habit as well, written by the past as much as the present. A creature if instinct as much as logic, of emotion as much as intellect.

He is a wonderful, confusing paradox, both hope and despair held in his hands, lost in the shadows of time. Memories of the past and imaginings of the future mix and spread within the halls of mankind.

What measures a man? By what unit, by what length, and breadth, and depth? Has a man any mass?

I do not know. I do know that from what I work.. the works and words I wrote, and write, that I measure myself. I do not know what that measure is, what works and words I have writ weigh in the scales of truth and justice.

All I know it is all I can give. Should I fall, should I fail... should I sleep that final sleep, I can rest, with few regrets, and a knowledge of what love truly is.

It is a realization of the greatness and the divine within all persons, a recognition of their sovereignty, and their rights. if there were one statement I could make on my death bed, it would be one of love. Love not just for those who care for me, but also those who hate. Love not simply for those who would set me free, but for those who would imprison me.

Love is understanding. It is compassion, it is caring and offering of hope.

For if one, such as I can learn such a thing... any man can.
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Give me liberty.. or give me death.

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The grief of a nation.

Physically, anger is part of the grief process. When we are hurt, we experience fear and stress, the 'fight or flight' syndrome. This produces direct changes in brain chemistry and electrochemical activity in the brain.

The reason it's part of the grief process is that anger is often directed inwards, or outwards, at ourselves, at society, at God. Why wasn't more done? Why couldn't I do more?

A good part of the problem today, I believe, is our nation is grieving. It is hurting, it is bleeding, it's lying by the road beaten by the government that was supposed to protect it.

And it is lashing out. It feels it cannot address the government, we feel powerless against the government, like our votes don't count, like our government hates us, and fears us, and is doing everything it can to break us, and in many ways... we are right.

That fear reaction is being used to misplace the anger, the pain. Part of the recovery process, as well, is to recognize the loss. In society's case, it cannot recognize the loss, as we've been educated out of our rights, our duties, our privileges, and all we know is we've lost *something*.

What have we really lost? The support and service of a government that was designed to support and serve. The ability to affect that government in a meaningful way. The power over the government which we granted power. The power to control our own homes, our own lives, our own thoughts.

Every day we're under assault by a propaganda machine that is designed to distract, to dishearten. It's designed to distract us from the fact our prices are rising, our wages are not, and our world continually grows emptier, more hopeless. Every moment we sit and look out and the government encroaches that much more, seeking power to protect us... but who protects us from the government now?

Our nation is in mourning. It's in shock, and the first vestiges of grief, that awareness that something has changed, and anger that nothing was done about it. It cannot do otherwise than to strike out blindly until the source of that hurt is seen. During this phase the values and morals of a person, and a nation, are questioned. Why did this happen? Why did (god|the world|our government|our governor) allow it? Why did I allow it? How did we get here?

And this creates fear. The discontinuity between belief and the loss of hope create anger, and the government focuses that anger upon a vulnerable population, one they feel nobody will stand up for.

The difference is righteous anger comes from a recognition of the wrong, and a desire to correct the wrong without damaging others... it's reparatory anger. The anger most feel lashes out. We've all seen people who have lost loved ones attacking others they love, or withdrawing from them... how much easier is it to lash out against those you've been taught to hate?

The funny thing is... when you have a person like that, that is lashing out, that is hurting themselves, the best way to stop it, if they have human feelings at all... is to simply love them. Embrace them in that love. Humans need contact. They need compassion, they need love. The illusion of a loveless and thankless world reinforces the anger, the hurt, the pain.

When I die... I in many ways hope rather than mourning, there is celebration. A celebration of life, not of an ending. A creation of new beginnings, not of bleakness. It is the path of compassion to heal, not to harm.

Our nation needs healing. It needs to embrace itself, embrace its neighbors, embrace the truths it has tried to hide. Some of those need digging out of about 70 years of garbage that have attempted to hide them, cleaned of the soil of that garbage, and brought back into the light so they can flourish. So too are the people. They cannot flourish unless they are brought to the light, brought to knowledge and truth, and shown that the power lies within them to heal and create.

The most toxic thing for a victim is to remain powerless. The best way to help them recover is show them their own power over themselves... help them move beyond being a victim, beyond even being a 'survivor of abuse' into being a person in their own right, a person that has created their own existence, and made the choices which lead them into the future.

And that is what the government fears most... self-actualized, self-responsible people that recognize the rights and privileges of others, as enough of those would make their job utterly meaningless.

That was the original police force. You had sheriffs, yes, but their job was to oversee the enforcement of the law, and to uphold the constitution in the county. Their job was to keep the county honest, and to keep the people in it from trampling the rights of others.

But do we not all have the same responsibility? Under compassion, do we not have the duty to set our fellow men free from slavery? When our hearts recognize that yearning to be free, that yearning to know who they are, is it not our responsibility to help them to realize it?

If we, in empathy, reach out to others, is that not the very goal of offender treatment? To recognize the humanity, remove the objectification, and to recognize the anger and hurt, and to do our very best to correct the very wrongs in society and ourselves that created the problems in the first place?

Is this not the path to recovery? And if so, who are they to deny us this? Who are they to say that the nation is hurting, but we have no power to heal it? And why do they wish to keep harming the people, and harming their very being?

As before, anger is a part of hurt and grief. Forgiveness (not forgetting, but forgiveness) and releasing one's self from the bonds of that anger is part of recovery from the hurt. Freeing onseself from one's own bonds, created in the situation of hurt, is just as critical. Nobody can remain a victim, or a survivor forever. It is toxic to their very soul. Self-actualized, self-reliant human beings cannot be in that mindspace.

It is a work of love to bring them beyond that.
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Tuesday, August 19, 2008

sex offenders: The new threat to security.

Broken lives, broken homes, broken families. How could this occur in America? How can we, as a people, condone abuse? I'm speaking, of course, about the latest big problem in America: Sex offenders.

Sex offenders have become the latest political hot button. One can distract a detractor from nearly anything by invoking that specter of child abuse.. but is it really what we think it is? Are we buying our 'security' at the expense of all our freedoms, and gaining nothing at all? We talk of protecting our children, but what of the children of the offender? Some would claim that offenders have no right to family, no right to love, no right to live, even.

Are they not still human? Are their partners, their children still human? Think well before you answer this in the negative, as soon as any man can be said to be inhuman, and his rights and freedoms restricted by writ, all men can be.

But is this the work of a just and fair society? Indeed, what is perceived as a sex offense is not just and fair, but should we abuse to prevent abuse? Should we torture to prevent torture, murder to prevent murder?

This is what the sex offender laws lead to... since we have no right to police protection, and must police ourselves, would not an honest man justify many things in the name of protection? If such a man were to commit acts of vigilante 'justice', could he not claim he was condoned in such by the government itself? When we wrap a people, any people, for any reason in a label where they may be targeted, are we not, indeed, creating a situation where people will be targeted?

There is no fairness, in this world, nor in many cases recourse, but we ask, and demand only one thing, the right to be human. Should that right be denied, by any man, to any man, then the denier is guilty of fostering tyranny and slavery. We are a country based upon the rights and freedoms of men, based upon the ideal that all men are created equal, and that includes all of humanity, all genders, all colors, all creeds in the 'human'.

When you children cry out in the night, do you not fear for their safety? When the child of a sex offender cries in the night, who hears? When they sit at the schools, and are tormented, not for anything they have done, but the perception of what a family member has done, is that fair or just? Should they be torn from their homes, does that not deny their rights?

What have they done to deserve such a torment? How is this just or fair, that people judge them, judge their family, and judge their very existence, not even for their own acts? How is it fair that same law destroys those children, forever, in the name of their own protection? How is it just or fair that children are labeled as molesters and rapists, in many cases, simply for having a teenage relationship?

Is this the part of a wise and just government? Is it truly protection? Think about it. Look at the department of justice statistics. The greatest number of those approached by police officers, charged, and convicted of 'sex offenses' are between fourteen and eighteen. The ratio decreases over time.

And the greatest part of new sex offenses comes from those not on the registry. What protects you from those? Is it the destruction you visit upon those on the registry? Is it the vigilantes that call friends, neighbors, jobs? Is it forcing those on the registry from their homes, upsetting family situations, repealing the rulings of judges to place new trials upon them, trials, not by the court or by juristic right, but by the legislature without reviewing any kind of information on the offense or the situation surrounding it?

We, the people, of the united states, includes all the people. Young and old, rich and poor, felons, citizens, legislators, and even presidents and those that live on the edges of society.

How is it just or reasonable to press more, however, to those edges of society? How is such power for the protection of others, when it forces people into situations where no man can see hope, and where justice is a fading memory in the daily trials of survival?

Is a label such a good thing to give a man? Should a man rebuild his life from the ground up, and then be destroyed again, not for a new offense, but for being judged guilty of a future offense which may never occur?

That, friends, is the future you're creating... a future of guilt until proven innocence. A future of no rights, of no hope, of no security. When all are registered, who can say what the registry will be used for? Nobody will protect the children then... nobody can... for when the rights of any are limited, and the freedoms taken by writ... all freedoms have fallen, and all rights will be restricted.
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Friday, August 15, 2008

Protection and the Federal Government

The federal Government has numerous times attempted total disarmament of felons.. and in some cases, there is substantial argument for that impairment. But given the distinct argument in DC vs Heller, as to the necessity for the firearms for self-defense, upheld by the supreme court... might there not be an argument for felons?

There have been numerous attempts in the Federal level to expand the blanket prohibition to misdomeanor sex offenses, mentioned in the congressional 'debate' (if one can call it a debate when the time and argument is assigned by the promulgator of the bill) on H.R. 4472. But at what point does the government establish a protected right to the expectation of protection?

If there is no right, under a number of rulings to protection, then where does the protection lie? Naught but in our own hands, friends. But denial of the ability to protect oneself, is an implied assumption of the duty to protect, and the right to the same protection.

"Law enforcement agencies and personnel have no duty to protect
individuals from the criminal acts of others; instead their duty
is to preserve the peace and arrest law breakers for the protection
of the general public." (Lynch v. NC Dept. Justice)

". . . a government and its agents are under no general duty to provide public services, such as police protection, to any particular individual citizen."--Warren v. District of Columbia, 444 A.2d 1 (D.C. App.181)

Cases known supporting this:
South v. Maryland, 59 U.S. (HOW) 396,15 L.Ed., 433 (1856)
Bowers v. DeVito, U.S. Court of Appeals, 7th Circuit, 686F.2d 616 (1882)
Riss v. City of New York, 293 N.Y. 2d 897 (1968)
Keane v. City of Chicago, 98 Ill App 2d 460 (1968)
Hartzler v. City of San Jose, App., 120 Cal. Rptr 5 (1975)
Reiff v. City of Philadelphia, 477F. Supp. 1262 (E.D.Pa. 1979)
Chapman v. City of Philadelphia, 434 A.2d 753 (Sup. Ct. Penn. 1981)
Warren v. District of Columbia, D.C. App., 444 A.2d 1 (1981)
Davidson v. City of Westminster, 32 C.3d 197,185 Cal. Rptr. 252,649
P.2d 894 (S.Ct. Cal. 1982)
Morgan v. District of Columbia, 468 A2d 1306 (D.C. App. 1983)
Morris v. Musser, 478 A.2d 937 (1984)
Calogrides v. City of Mobile, 475 So. 2d 560 (S.Ct. Ala. 1985)
Lynch v. N.C. Dept. of Justice, 376 S.E. 2nd 247 (N.C. App. 1989)
Marshall v. Winston, 389 S.E. 2nd 902 (Va. 1990)

Can any government protect, however? No, they cannot. There is no way to balance protection with rights. If you look to the protection programs for federal witnesses, the conditions are those of a prison.. they are protected 'for their own good' and have no civil rights. This is not the part of the Government, nor in its power for any class of citizens.

When is it that we must demand our right to be protected, or to be able to protect ourselves? At what point does that protection become a mandate? And, considering the nature of protection, do we dare ask them to protect?

Protective custody is still custody, and after all, the ghettoes of Germany were originally protective in nature. It is easier once one is out of sight, and out of mind of the people that they are being protected from, to remove them utterly.

So in whose hand lies our defense? Is it the hand of god? Or does god work through us? If there is a just and loving god, that has granted the foundation of our nation, as was argued by the founding fathers, is it not just as binding upon us and our foundation? Are we not still citizens, bound to the cause of liberty? If we cannot protect our own rights, we also cannot protect the rights of others. If the police cannot protect, we gain the duty to protect ourselves, and our families.

By opening the registry to the general public, and sensationalizing and demonizing the registrants, is it not removal of the limited protection of privacy? WHen before, one had to search out the information, and actually be affected by it, is it not a de facto destruction of our right to self-protection and self-determination?

By what means do they argue that such is applicable? By interstate commerce... but are we not as well those who engage in it? Does this not still make us all citizens?

Should they strip that too of us, does that make their actions any greater? Are we not still humans? How long until we again are stripped of even that dignity?

And is it not already occurring? Shows like 'to catch a predator' and news reports sensationalizing the 'worst of the worst' as they like to call it...

The stereotypes written of 'chester the molester' and so many other things are only going farther in this demonization. We look out into the world, and fear for our safety, as citizens and as humans. We fear for the safety of ourselves, our children, and even the ultimate rights and freedoms of those who persecute us.

But what means have we to resist? Only education, now, and prayer, and thought, and remonstrance. We have no power beyond that of the poll, and the education, and they attempt even to take that away from us.

Is it not truth that any nation that removes any rights from any citizen, natural rights, not freedoms, rights granted, not by the government, but by the state of being human... has ceased to respect all rights of all citizens? Is it not true that any removal of rights expands to the maximum of the void of outcry which is the part of all speakers, all voters, all citizens?

Mercy is the other pan of the balance of justice, and in no case can any weight be removed on either side of that scale. This is the purpose of the jury, to try the law and the facts, to try the very constitutionality of the proceedings, and to try with a just conscience the dictates of what it is to be human.

That is justice... and when the debt to society is paid, even if it is paid by the life of the one judged, the debt is over. No more can be asked of any man, nor an indeterminate sentence given by writ of the congress can be instituted, nor can a community nor any human being deny them their rights and freedoms, as those freedoms were restored after the service of their sentence.

This is the fight we fight... a fight of lassitude, of ignorance, of prejudice, of hardened hearts, and closed minds... but we can and must fight. We have the advantage of truth, a sword that while two-edged, cuts through the armour of lies and hypocracy that surrounds the issue.

And should there be no end to the ties, should we not cut the gordian knot? If there be no patience, no compassion, and no redemption within the government, when the government respects not the rights of even the least citizen... is it still a duly and justly constituted government?

When we, as a people, are guaranteed the rights for which our forefathers fought... is it the place of any duly elected government to deny those rights?

It is time to take back our powers from our government. It is time to take back our places of polling from easily-influenced machines, to return the counting and storage of the votes into the public view. It is time, from the county level to the state level, to remind the federal government that they are, and must be servants of the people and of the several states, and that intrusions upon the sovereign rights of any human being is not to be tolerated.

Our battle is at the polling places.. from county to federal. Our battle si for the hearts and minds of those who would do wrongly to their fellow men. Our battle is one of redemption, not of condemnation. Our battle is one of love.. not of anger. Returning ourselves, and our government to the fold from which it has separated itself is our duty, our right, and our oath as citizens, not by violence, but by the simple act of recognizing our rights and powers as citizens, and the governments derived powers which we grant them.

Lest we forget... that the government is of, by, and for the people. It is a servant of our interests, a steward of our nation, and as such, should such a steward fail in his duties, it must be gently, but firmly reminded of whence the duties originate.

And that is the path of the citizen, and the society.. remonstrance, discussion, honesty, compassion, are all parts of government... even for those who wrong us. No man may be removed of his right to self-protection save by his own choice.. and any man who would be so foolish to allow another his protection, has admitted that he has none.
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Thursday, August 14, 2008

Showing who we are

I've been responding to a number of things this morning, as is my nature. I've been looking back through them, and pondering them, and even, somewhere, deep in this battered, and scarred heart, praying about them. I'm not a religious man. I'm not one who feels that he has a mandate from god, nor should I. I am simply a man.

I have, however, in the days following my research into the depth and breadth of the problem of the sex offender laws, found a new purpose, a drive, and a fire, a spark of the divine, the inspiration. I've not written thus in many years, since I actually believed in something. Perhaps this is simply the rekindling of my belife speaking through this medium of electrons and bits.

I believe all humans are equal. I believe that no man has the right, or privilege, or power granted to deny this fact, and that no human being should be deprived of their rights for any reason, nor can they. I believe that we as a people are, and must be, people of compassion, love, and forgiveness. We must be people of strong character, strong ideals, and work toward those ideals, while keeping the rights and freedoms of others firmly in our minds.

We must deal with personal responsibility. I am not responsible for the actions of others, but I am responsible for their freedoms, rights, and privileges, by my own actions. Should I infringe upon those rights and freedoms, I am as guilty as any other would be.

We must look out over the world with compassion and caring, with dignity without regard to the circumstances that we have placed ourselves in, or been placed in. With love and compassion, the denial of the judgments placed upon us, we must look out over the world, strong and resolute, to break the chains of hatred, of bigotry, of anger.

To do this we must become angry, but make it a righteous anger, an anger, not with a person as a target, but hate as a target. An anger that moves us, not to attack, but to preserve, defend, and restore. Our hand is a hand of redemption, a hand of restoration, the same as that given by god, and extended to all mankind.

Our rights and powers are given us by that same hand, and imbued within each person is that same divinity. We are not sheep, we are not wolves, we are human. Our frailty and mistakes were as equally built into all, our humanity brings us to the realization and choices that make those mistakes with the best possible knowledge at the time, and brought into action by the emotions, feelings, and knowledge that one has at the time.

I defy any man to say that, in the same situation, the same knowledge, and the same thoughts as any man had at the time of any offense... that they would do different. With the same understandings, that they would change what occurred.

This is why the hand of redemption, justice tempered by mercy, is so utterly important. Incarceration for a time is needful, not to punish, for separation from society is a punishment, but for remediation. It allows one to reflect, ideally, upon what one has lost, and then be re-embraced into the society. And this should be extended, equally, to our opponents... a re-integration, a chance for redemption.

Those that claim themselves Christians and judge... forget that Christ came not for the saved, but for the sinners. He came not to raise the righteous up to heaven, but to extend a hand to the fallen. He came to redeem.. and that redemption again.. was extended to all mankind.

None of us is without sin. All of us have hurt others.. and all of us bear the same personal responsibility to gaze out into the darkness within our soul and defy it. All of us bear the responsibility of our actions, the responsibility for our intrusions on the rights of others, but bear equally the knowledge that humans are fallable, and imperfect.

This is the knowledge from which we fight.. not a knowledge of our perfection, but a knowledge of our imperfection. It is a knowledge, not of our past, but of our future, and that is the knowledge which we must take with us, in any battle, any future. That is the touch of the divine, of whatever god, whatever mind, whatever conscience you believe in.

We are human. Nothing more, nothing less. And that is the greatest thing to be of all.
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Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Breaking out of darkness.

Compassion and conscience cannot die.. to imply such would be to say that they could be murdered... they but sleep to nurse deep-held wounds, rest to be awakened again to their endless toil to make a way for mankind to become beyond what they are.

Compassion, conscience, love, acceptance, these are the messages of one Jesus Christ. Not the judgment, not the condemnation, but redemption for all. Love, peace, and hope are only possible so long as you hold them close. Justice is only just so long as there is mercy and compassion.

Should we ever fall so far as to forget who we are, to forget what we are, and to abandon compassion, conscience, and care beside the road, beaten and abused, we would no longer be human.

Those are the very qualities that separate us from the rocks, and trees, the caring for others of our kind, the stewardship of our rights, duties, and privileges, and the freedoms and rights of others.

For, in truth, no man can be denied of their rights. Their freedoms, perhaps, for a time, but their rights cannot be alienated from them. This is the purpose of prison, a limitation on freedoms, not to be punished, but to separate one from the society one has wronged, to allow the wounds on both sides to heal, and to attempt to make right the wrongs which were done against that society.

These laws are not about protection, they're not about preservation, they're not about society, nor about anything but condemnation and control, and maintaining that condemnation, maintaining a scapegoat for corrupt politics and broken societies.

It is compassion that creates societies.. and hardness of the heart that destroys and breaks them. It is fear and anger and hatred that destroy societies.. compassion, love, and forgiveness that allow them to heal.

Many offenders have victims, yes. But none of them have to remain so. They can rebuild their lives, even though there may be scars, they can turn their world into a thing of beauty even so. Allowing yourself to weep, allowing yourself to learn to love yourself again, and accepting that the abuse you were put through is not your fault are all steps on the process, so is anger, so is hurt, so is reconciliation with yourself. And those scars are as much against ourselves as our perpetrators, and left unhealed, the infection grows and may cause us to hurt others.

Our purpose as humans is not to get the most 'stuff'... be it power or anything else on this planet. It is to simply love, help, and heal each other and our world. Not our planet.. our world.

Because we are part of that world. And though our nation is one society, there are many.. and all make larger societies of humanity... and between members of that human race there are no differences, there are no barriers save those made by those who would remain in control.

If any person tells you that you cannot reach, you cannot strive for something that keeps and holds those rights for yourself and others.. he seeks to control. If he seeks to keep you silent, he seeks to victimize.

How many of the very 'worst of the worst' abusers had victims that were afraid to leave? How many of them could not see a way out, so never tried, and often died in captivity? How sadistic were the abusers to make ways out but not let them dare to reach for them? And to kill them when they tried to escape?

This is what madness is. This is hatred, this is fear, this is control, and external control is tyranny.

The ultimate control over the fates of mankind, over everything we are, comes from within. If we lack that control over self, lack that responsibility that comes with it to shape our destinies and by our own shaping, to lead the destinies of others, then we are doomed forever to repeat our mistakes.

That is the ultimate thing they try to deny us... the ability to shape our destinies as our conscience sees fit. The ability to rise above who we were, who they claim us to be, and the ability to burn brightly for the world to see.

Ultimately, the future is what matters.. even if we are not here to see it, and the only indication of the future is by the past, compared with the present. Judging by that past, it is a certainty that things will get worse if we do nothing. More and more bills pass by the desks of Congress making certain of this.

Do we really wish to live on the world which they shape? When personal responsibility becomes collective responsibility.. is it not true, at all times in the past, that all bear the punishments and restrictions of those few who offend? When we can no longer stand up and claim that 'THIS IS WHO I AM' and not be punished for it.. when we can no longer simply be, and create, and work toward the true good of society, where all humankind is free, and recognizes the results of their actions toward one another, and their responsibility for those actions they take...

It is a nightmare coming to pass. It is a damnation of the soul, of the spirit of humanity. It is a destruction of all that mankind holds dear, from the very right to work the ground that they have tilled, to the right to eat the food one has grown or purchased, to the right to keep the money that one has worked for, and to use it to better ourselves, our children, and our society.

That is why I fight. They claimed that I cared very little about others.. but I have learned to care perhaps too much. I see the results of action and inaction, of changes and choices, and I see my own responsibility in it. I pray and work, I dream and hope, and I will not see any person's dreams crushed and stand idly by.

That is personal responsibility, that is the trials of conscience, and that is the reasons I can do nothing else. It is why I fight abuse in all its forms, from abuse of the sexual sort, to the physical and verbal, to the governmental and regulatory, to the very abuse that is inherent in keeping people ignorant of the fact that they are being abused.

That.. is conscience. Not a shame.. not a guilt.. but a fire that burns inside us and pushes us, fuels us, consumes us to make changes in who we are, and what we do. It is not something that says 'I am bad' but something that says 'I must change'. Sometimes that is not enough.. and sometimes we cannot hear it clearly enough. That is what jails and prisons are for.. to silence the external and let the internal speak.

A temporal judgment is a temporal judgment. The greater one is that which lives inside your heart and judges you every day, and that is why so many condemn. It is what they fear in themselves that they judge. They judge not on what is true or real for each individual person, but on the fears in their own hearts, their own being, mind, and conscience, and that judgment, ultimately, is a judgment of their own being.

It's time to make an end to all of this, and neither man nor any court or entity can stop what is coming. Our nation yearns to be free from the heavy yoke that has been placed on us and weighed down so slowly we forget its very weight. We seek and hope, yearn to reach out and dare to dream again.

We yearn to be able to throw paper airplanes, and, childlike, wonder-filled and awe-struck at our world, and not have to work eighty hours a week just to make the least payments, then go further into debt on our credit cards just to eat and get to work.

And I can't ignore it any longer.

Tried By Conscience.
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Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Fuel for the fire of conscience.

Within each of us lies a spark of the divine, a spark of something beyond what we are, beyond what we may even be... a spark which, when fanned into flame, may become something beyond our own control, leading us eternally beyond our own reach.

I don't know what to do about all the things I'm writing about. I don't see all the deals and things that happen in back rooms, and I don't have the power to change a damned thing in this god-forsaken world. I do know, with a conscience stronger than any I've ever known before, that things have to change.

I can't even say that I touch the edges of what is going on, or know the breadth nor the depth of the depravity into which we've fallen... but I can say that without change, the depth will only increase.

My life at that point matters not at all, what matters is the future. What matters is the world we leave behind for our children, our grandchildren. Even if we have no children or grandchildren, for our neighbor's child, their grandchild, and their children and children's children.

We, as a people, have been robbed. We've been robbed, not only of who we are, but of the very knowledge of the rights and privileges which we have been granted by a just and powerful god.

The name of this god matters not, the powers are innate in all of us humans, in all men, all women, all children. The color of the skin matters less than the contents of who you are. The past matters less than who you choose to be. And that nature, that divinity, that grace, is given by that omnipotent hand, and cannot be taken by any man, woman, ruler, lawyer, judge, president, or dictator.

We are a people who have a spark of the divine. And we must grasp it, and hold on to it, lest we be cast into the darkness which is prepared for us by those who would bind and rivet upon us the chains of slavery.

It is no less slavery, after all, for being legal. It is no less slavery for being enforced by law rather than lash. It is no less slavery for being slavery by writ and judgment.

I'm not here this time to try to find peace. I'm here to make you mad, to challenge you, and to sear your conscience with a hot iron. I'm here to drain the wounds of lassitude, to cajole you into accepting your divinity, and more... to bring to fire that divine thing which you are.

I am, admittedly, a man of ideals. I am a being who, in full knowledge of the stupidity, arrogance, lethargy, and perfidy of man, dares believe in the goodness, the potential, and the kindness that also inhabits each being. It matters not what you call god... we make what god calls our purpose... matter.

And who are 'they' to deny us this? Who are 'they' to forbid us the right to make ourselves better beings, to claim that we cannot change, to declare in their infamy that they are above even our creator?

Who are they to lie to us for what they have declared to be our own good? Who are they to declare that our dreams don't matter? Who are they to make it impossible to live, impossible to eat, impossible to grow, impossible to care for others?

By whatever power is out there in this universe, I exhort you! I deny their claims to power sufficient to break the rights of others! I deny that their government was ever granted such a power!

We as a people have duties, and in these we have been lax. In these, we have fallen short, and in many cases, fallen completely away. We do not believe our votes count... so we do not vote. We do not believe our votes are counted, so we make it true. We fight more and more for each scrap which comes to our hands, to feed ourselves, our children, and beg to be able to simply continue to work, to eat, to breathe.

We breathlessly listen for the next chant of change, look for some hope in the darkness, and find more and more of our choices are no choice at all. Who the hell are they to grasp our lives in the palm of their hands and squeeze out our substance?

They are men.. no better, no worse than we, save for our grant of power to their office, and insofar as they continue to work for the rights of men, that power is granted. Should they fail to discharge faithfully those oaths and affirmations to which they have sworn... then their power has, and must fail.

Our constitution does not guarantee any rights... it only states what a very few unalienable rights are. It states that the government must be limited, and places those limits upon the government, for the interest of the people.

It is not a grant of rulership, but a grant of servitude. It is a grant of power, subject to the will of the people through their representatives, that the republic cannot deny the rights of any man, by the will of any other.

It is a government based on equality.. not equality of the least common denominator, but equality of spirit, equality of the ability to take the opportunities that they are offered, and to make those opportunities for themselves.

It is also a government subverted by special interests, by corporations, by people seeking power. They fail, however, to realize that such power comes, entirely, by their own servitude to the people.

In the past the Romans kept a slave in the chariots of a returning general, reminding them in the adulation of the crowd that they were only human... We, however, are not slaves, nor should we be, but we should remind them that their position in life makes us no less human, and no different from they, and in proportion to the power wielded, ought to be their devotion to those who grant that power.

Yes.. grant that power. It is the people who cede power to the government, not the government who gives rights to the people. The people are the base, the foundation of all government, of all society. They are the people. Of the people, by the people, and for the people.

But what have they done? They've created systems where they themselves often are not tried for crimes, where the rich can afford the lawyers to become free, and the poor too often are railroaded into their prisons. They've created a surging prison population, and made it a near guarantee that anyone coming from that prison will return. Then they turned the prisons into labor camps in competition with US jobs, one of the largest industries in the United States... but out of sight, out of mind, right? I think not.

The switchboard jobs that used to go overseas go to the prisons now. The Federal Reserve takes our assets, the entire assets of our country, and loans them out to overseas interests, as collateral for a massively ballooning debt. Oil prices rise as faith in our unbacked currency wavers, and this widens the gap between the poor and the rich further, the middle class disappears, and before too long, we're in a classic feudalistic society, where some have.. and others have nothing.

Our food is often tainted, our water equally so, our vehicles poor in quality and prone to breaking down costing more and more for repairs. We put in emission control systems which reduce our total fuel mileage, increasing total burned hydrocarbons in the long run, but making the waste gasses invisible. We gain ability to do more and more science, but our wisdom in the uses of that science wanes.

Part of our nature is to question. Most of science, in fact, is questioning, questioning what is, questioning each other, testing the data and hypothesis, testing the outcomes, and then rehashing it between scientists.. but now we're told we can't question, only accept. We're told that in order to secure our nation, to maintain our security, we have to give up more and more rights, and they'll protect us better with the rights ceded.

But how are we more secure? In the prison system, prisoners are still raped, still beaten, still killed, and they have given up the control of nearly all their rights. So does our nation, we have no guarantee of protection, nor any guarantee of police cooperation or even investigation.

We are left, as we always were, to police ourselves.. and meanwhile have given up in most cases the rights and abilities to do so. For protecting ourselves and our properties, we can be sued, imprisoned... or executed.

For protecting our rights we can now be imprisoned, registered, monitored, tortured, and potentially executed.

After these things, and after so many lies from our government, how can we hope that yet one more program may be for the public good? They claim that all their programs are for the public good, but are they? When we see the prices rising, the people losing more and more, the construction of more places of imprisonment, more and more control being placed on the internet, and even placed on the libraries and the press itself, attacks on political speech, the spraying of people behind a barricade with pepper spray...

How is this the nation for which our forefathers fought? How is it that since the 1940s, since Nuremberg, that we have embraced the very philosophies of totalitarianism which we fought?

How is it that our nation has come from one of the most progressive nations in the world, the most protective of personal freedoms and privacy, with the best factories and schools in the world... to one of the poorest? Yes, you look around, look around well, and see all the things here, how could we be poor? Because our very money itself is imaginary. It doesn't exist. It's worth is measured entirely in the weight of the paper, the bits of ink on it... and that isn't worth much at all, cotton rag fiber and ink.

Is it not because of that very leadership that feels it knows best for us? Is it not because, rather than taking hold of the tiller of the government ourselves through our representatives, that almost none of us have times to show them what the issues are?

At this point... it is on our own heads. And I am as ashamed for myself as for you. Our spending beyond our means, our credit deals, our paucity of life to pursue the next 'big thing' while ignoring our families, our pursuit of pleasure beyond our pursuit of knowledge and wisdom...

Who the hell are we? And why, in the name of whatever God is out there... do we let 'THEM' stand for 'US'?

And when will we realize that all the power that the government claims... is really ours?

When will we realize.. that we are the masters of government, not the other way around?

And when will we awaken, and become angry, and tell them this? When will we look and speak out, shout out in our anger, and tell them this needs to change?

When will we rebuild our nation? It can't come from outside, it is OUR nation. WE have to rebuild it, and return it to the dream which stirred the nation from the ashes of history.

And we must vote, speak, think, question, perceive, study, plan, and research upon the nature of the constitution, and the Federalist papers upon which the arguments were founded.

I don't need to tell you about the lies. You know all about them. You live them in a lot of your life. You exist within them, the society, the money, the credit, the fuel and food prices. You see our people overseas, dying, but we don't shout out that we're hurting here.. we're starving here, that each month the checks less and less cover the bills coming in, and that we know at some point they can't cover those bills.

Should we still let 'them' control the government? Should we continue the mistake, or turn it about into a triumph? Should we play their game, or play our own? Should we continue to be puppets, or choose our own play?

The choice is yours. The rights are yours, and by God and all that is holy... the powers are yours as well. I believe that there is a God, that presides over the destinies of nations, and that right now, he is weeping at our inaction.

He is mourning those that fall before the machine of government that we allow to continue the legal fiction of legislating away those rights and freedoms which ultimately derive not from them, but from ourselves.

And he is mourning, right now, that you are still not angry enough to speak. When will you be angry though? Will it be when we no longer have effective means to resist? Will the change come when they have stationed police in your own home, when your children are turned against you, when the schools teach dogma rather than thinking and learning skills? What then?

I do not know what you will choose.. but my course is more clear than any other course in all of my history. It is a fire that burns inside men, and I choose to let it burn, even if it consumes me. No man can be denied something given him from within, by god or by himself.

And no man can ever truly die, so long as he follows his dream. The body may fall, the corpse may rot away.. but so long as his dream lives on, he is not dead.

So dream your dreams, as I dream my own, and spin the webs like Clothos of old. Though my thread may be cut by the shears of Atropos, the fabric continues, and will be stronger for my dreaming.

This is the part of wisdom, of hope, and of the future.

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The dream.. the hope.

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Saturday, August 2, 2008

On society and equality: Or what do we ask for?

What is law? Some claim that Law and the Constitution are the guarantors of our rights. Some also claim that those rights are abandoned by a criminal act.. but what is truth?

The truth is, simply, that law is that restraint put upon society by the government, that enforces similarity, attempts to punish the people, in order to maintain order. Law, by nature, can only remove rights, and only be punitive. Anything else is a simple statement, and where enforcement ensues, removes other rights.

The ultimate goal of liberty is equality... but equality is not quite, I think, what we think it is. Equality is not having the same home, nor having the same life as everyone else, nor even the same opportunities as everyone else. Equality is the right, nay, the power and privilege of a sovereign human being, to simply strive for the best one can wrest from this cold and uncaring universe, without infringing the same rights for others.

Some look at equality as a zero-sum procedure... but let us explore this? If one gains freedoms, does another lose them? If one loses freedoms, does another gain?

It cannot be zero-sum if increases on one part are not met with losses on another. Nor can it be zero sum if decreases on any part do not cause increases. Such would be a fallacy... Neither economies, nor societies, nor people gain by the decrease of rights and freedoms. No society gains by losses of these, and losses of rights to even one, causes the rights to be lost to all.

If, in the interest of security, we give up rights, the right to due process, the right to live, the right to strive to redeem one's self, the right to create a world worth living in, and simply, in some cases, the right to be left alone... is this increasing our security? When our government becomes more and more intrusive, when any communication is looked upon with suspicion and censure, when the government starts tearing down the rights that are the foundation upon which its powers were built... what have we left?

You who seek to be more secure... will you really be? Let us take the final example of such 'security'. Maximum security prisons.. are you truly as secure in a society that you have no rights, no property, only the guards watching... and turning their back, as they will?

Are you more protected when none have rights, or when all do? Does the government protect us? Well, to address that, we have to look into the past... and to the Militia in its original incarnation.

Those persons, who, not part of a standing military, were subject to the call of service to our country, in 1792, were required to have, and maintain the best weapon that they could. Via the decentralization of the armories, it made seizure of the weapons by any despotic government more difficult, more troublesome for the intruding foreign or domestic powers.

When we can no longer speak about the problems of the nation, do they go away, or do they become more troublesome, until we dare not turn and look at them, or they would devour us?

Will they not devour us anyway if we do not address them? Will they not become more potent if we wait before their address, and allow them to grow and fruit and spread their seed?

Rights come not from the government, nor from law, nor from a document, nor from any agreement that a man might enter into. Rights come from the state of humanity itself. Rights cannot be taken, only given up.

We throw around the word 'right' so freely anymore. So long as men are unwilling to fight, bleed, and die for their rights, it is not a right. So long as they are willing to deny that right to others... it is no longer a right.

Every despotic government in the world created a class that they hated, that they loathed, then made such a class become more and more monstrous, more and more consuming. Their fervor led them down the roads to fanatacism, to religiosity, to hatred and incivility, and to the destruction of the ends and means of those who would remove them from their power.

When one looks into the past, remember the lessons from Stalin, from Lenin, and from Hitler. Remember the works of Orwell, the statments of Neitzche, and the works of Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn. Are we becoming the monster we saw in the darkness, in order to fight it? Have we gotten so caught up in day to day living that we forget the past, forget the future... and eventually love big brother?

And when all are equal, can not some become more equal than others?

Who are we? What do we want? Do we really want security at this price? If we must be bound in chains, is it better chains of our own making, or chains which we fought at any cost to prevent from being bound upon all?

We, as a nation, bear a sacred, and troubling duty, to confront even the law when the law fails its own tests, to fight even against those who should maintain the law, when the law fails its predicate. We have sworn to uphold and sustain the constitution, but do we?

The constitution cannot argue. it cannot cajole, it is a dead, and silent document... but oh the commentary that it created! The debates, the reason, the proclamation of freedom for all, as a basis for government!

But what does it all mean?

Some laws, as I said before, are necessary to the good of society. Some roles are needful, that of police, of magistrates and judges, of juries, that the rule of law might restrain the more impetuous impulses of man. When does the law become a problem, however? When is it more than law allows, and more than man should bear?

When the law becomes blind, the scales of Justice fixed, and Justice herself becomes bound and gagged to not speak, regardless of the inequity placed upon the scales, then we have opened ourselves to tyranny. Should we then not fight, not try, not work, for remonstrance and re-establishment of the purpose of the government, by peaceable means? Should, if those peaceable means fail, we not engage in that arduous struggle that life has allotted us, and cast our ballot with whatever means we have left?

The past is replete with myriad injustices. The past, also, is replete with those who fought and died to end those injustices.

Simply because I bear no weapon does not make me any less a warrior. My weapons are words, written and honed to sting at the heart, the conscience... to twist and tease at your thoughts, and make you simply consider.

And as long as you choose to think... we both win.

This is society.

If you choose rather to kick aside those who have fallen along the way, to step on them and restrain them further, to beat them while they have no power left...

This is the absence of thought, of justice, of prudence... and it is the end to all means and measures of government save that which is tyrannical.

Tried By Conscience
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