Saturday, January 15, 2005

For your free use.

Here is the Proclamation in PDF format.

Friday, January 07, 2005

A Proclaimation and Call to Action

In the course of great events, and times which try men's souls; It happens that a great nation may take enterpise on a course of great folly, which in itself sets it apart at the seams, and cleaves like a knife between its stated ideals and its actions. This is not new for any nation, least of all those who's stated ideals are beyond that of mere fickle of petty tyrants, but such endeavors may prove to forment much that is to be regretted, and may prove to impliment such tyranny at home or abroad.

This is such a time.

Wherever a nation's government cries patriotism and conquest in the name of liberty like a shrill banshee to glare up the ghosts of dread in men's bones, and yet takes action to hinder freedom and liberty in foreign lands and at home, it behooves an honest man to take cover.

Whatsoever that a government may lie and spread falsehood and fear and strike at the basest ignorance and ignobility in men's hearts to do harm unto others unknown to him, is unjust and injustice itself.

Even If it is true, that a foreign land is ruled by a strange and brutal tyrant, one must give pause to the designs of one's own government on that land should it be less than forthright in its reasonings to topple said tryant, and indeed it should always give reasonable men cause whenever their government should sound the trumpets of war.

Doubly so must it be, if said foreign government has never had a hand in taking a life nor liberty of you or your fellow countrymen.

It is a folly to lay reason down to rest when the hounds of war come baying, it is as worse than death to lay liberty in chains at the heeds of ignoble gentry, should they compel you to abandon it in the name of safety. One would be better suited to lay upon one's own sword, if blood must be spilled at such a cost.

It is in this specific instance, and in these specific times, which I must proclaim my utter protest. These are grievances which should brook no tresspass, but yet have, and I fear that no man shall stand against them if not me. Therefore I proclaim the following as self-evident transgressions against human rights and liberty, both domestic and foreign:

THAT the Government of the United States, should endeavor to make war upon the Soverign Nation of Iraq, lay callamity upon its peoples and lead our own people and the heads of other nations into concert with said undertaking under: False, misleading, distorted, deluded, and beguiling claims reguarding the nature of threat posed by Saddam Hussein and his regime.

THAT the Government of the United States, would use the People's fear in the wake of the tragedy that is and was 9/11 for opportunistic aims; both to curtail domestic liberties and for marshalling foreign conquest, the reasons for which can be stated no other than thus: To secure the natural resources and common property of the Nation of Iraq.

THAT the Government of the United States, would move to cover up and lay not a single ounce of blame for a slew of errors and failings at the hands of those responsible for ensuring domestic security, in the course of events which would culminate in 9/11.

THAT the Government of the United States, would fail to address the greivances of the people in the wake of two public elections riddled with failure, fraud, and indecent procedure.

THAT the Government of the United States, would, through its misleading of foreign Heads of State sour the name of the People which it represents, in the wake of the great outpouring of sympathy and profferings of aid during our time of great tragedy.

THAT the Government of the United States, would continue to occupy the People of Iraq, and spread false information about the nature of the Civil War that the Nation of Iraq is now in.

THAT the Government of the United States, would continue to hold our Nation's Sons and Daughters between civil strife in a foreign land which our government had helped to create, spilling their blood under the onus of lies.

THAT the Government of the United States, would having sent our Nation's Sons and Daughters to war, do so without proper manpower, equipment, security, nor supply, And then beseech them to stay an inordinate amount of time without returning to their native soil.

THAT the Government of the United States, would having sent our Nation's Sons and Daughters to war, forcibly require them to stay past their voluntary commitment, not having any noble way to compel men to fight.

IN THE EXECUTION OF THESE TRANSGRESSIONS: It is with great anger and righteousness that I must lay blame at the whole feet of the Government of the United States. It is with great Irony that King George was fought and severed from our country for less than this, but that President George would fail to recieve even the lightest compareable treatment from our so-called opposition party. The failure to redress these grievances, among many other grevious deceptions and blatant bullying on the part of the government, shall have the effect of depriving the civil body of all confidence in its democratic institutions, or worse: It shall lay the path for the machinations of a politiburo to construct a Tyranny and place our liberty in chains.

Should these grievances not be addressed, there will be sown greater seeds of discontent, and in the minds of the people foster cynicism, and in their hearts plant rebellion.

Thus being forewarned, we ourselves shall become forearmed.

Concordia res parvae crescunt
Small things grow great by Concord.

A Citizen,
Jan. 7th 2005

(This Work May Be Pamphletted Freely and Prodigously. If any Journals or Papers wish to publish this, I should thank them that they contact me first.)

Wednesday, January 05, 2005

Blogs: The Politics and Journalism of Attatchment

Rough Draft: No Particular Format.

It's chic today to refer to blogs as a new media paradigm, the "blogosphere" is the current noxious buzz-word for it. Of course, primarily they're referring to politically oriented blogs, which serve to gather stories and like-minded political constituents into linking havens of homogeny. But also, in at least a few cases of people being none-too-discreet with their personal online blogs and internet activities, sometimes it happens that the private lives of individuals on the web get swepped up into the morass (Alan Keyes daughter is one example). Blogs indeed have quite a bit of social power, judging by the amount of time some people spend on them, and also by the fact that some people actually make a living from their blog. (Indeed, I'm using this blog as an opportunity to learn and improve my writing skills as to better my own opportunities.)

But with all this excitement, all this hype, I'd like to offer a simple caveat emptor. Blogs are inherently a progeny of Journalism of Attatchment (as opposed to "detatched reporting"), this is not a bad thing in and of itself. It simply means that they are by their nature partisan. They function as collective or individual filters of news, politics, oppinions, cultural, and socio-economic issues through an ideological lense. Even if a blog simply functioned as a news-wire, there exists the filter of "What do I/we Consider News?"

Of course, its not as if that hasn't been the case before blogs, quite the contrary. It's simply subtly and complexly different.

Blogs aren't Accountable

While that unfortunately resembles CBS' crappy appologeticism it also happens to be true. Because they are not accountable it means they are under no particular obligation to fact check or even report honestly. The objection to this is of course that the credibility of said blog is at stake should it not, but that belies the fact that political blogs primarily serve ideological functions, not news functions. That is to say, while it may lose some credibility among those visiting who are non-attatched to its ideology, it would not necissarily stir ideological diehards. The beliefs can be "wrong" and still hold a strong bond which promotes a defensive wall of disbelief of contrary evidence. Which brings us to my next point...

Blogs are Ideology First, News Second

This is probably the most important warning I have, blogs also serve to filter ideological homogeny among groups. Even I myself, am more likely to partake in a blog like DailyKos than I am to LittleGreenFootballs. That is, you're most likely going to participate in Blogs that allready mesh with your current perspectives, and most of the people there are going to echo those perspectives. And indeed, since anecdotally I have noticed that those that do not echo those same perspectives often instead seek to antagonize people on said blog, through name-calling or trolling, or whatnot; it serves to reinforce polarizing mentality. It is not bad to seek out people with similar ideas and perspectives, this can create social cohesion and solidarity, however it is important to be aware that these sites are built with pursuing a particular agenda, and its important to know you're actively participating in it. Remember: Wisdom is when you have ideas, Ideology is when Ideas have you.

Blogs and faux ami's

Since blogs are probably the ultimate merging of media and the populist expression of attatchment journalism since the collapse of the socio-political importance of the ye olde tavern, and ye olde townhall, and ye olde pamphlet it also means they are ripe pickings for false legitimacy. Grass roots groups are now often inundated with astro-turf groups, made by pro-government plants, industry plants, groups of one ideology masquerading as another, etc. Expect the same thing from Blogs. In fact, expect it now not in the future. PR and psychological operations is an increadibly fast and opportunistic field. If you find members of government, industry, etc. which direct you to specific blogs or "Fact-sites" you should be immediately skeptical. That does not neccisarily mean that those sites even contain false information, but you should also be immediately skeptical of why they might want to direct your attention there. As an example, I saw recently a member of the Bush government (I forget specifically which) tell a media representative that there's lots of support for American troops from the Iraqi people, and directed him to a blog of an Iraqi. What was left unsaid is that he was not telling the media rep to do this, he was telling the public that they could find his message reinforced at that particular blog. Also left unsaid was that this was two Iraqi Americans from Texas, and that their views are well in the minority, as compared to most Iraqi's. Its not necissary that even the website be faked, only that pertinant information be left out.

Blogs, Possibilities and Limitations

There is a great multitude of pleasant possibilites from blogs and grass-roots independant media, it can enliven the populace to new political awareness, and even unite disparate groups across the world, shattering their alienation and making it known that they are not alone. It can also serve as blatant engines of smear, hate, and demonization. Just think of anyone you've known that has had a really nieve and stupid or prejudiced oppinion on an issue ("We should just nuke 'em all." "All those niggers are lazy." "They come here and steal all of our jobs.") and think about those people consolidating their power into an ideologically re-affirming continuous stream of information. Soon they go from simple ignorant explainations to neigh religious proclaimation.

So in conclusion: Remember, your beliefs will always contain some element of falsehood, some element where they do not apply, and you should allways be aware of this. Because if you are, you'll be able to expand your mind, rather than turn it into a steel trap, from which none of your prejudices will ever escape, and which no light of reason can penetrate. Have fun, and happy surfing.