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I Once Dreamed of Liberty (Op/Ed)

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posted on May, 17 2006 @ 02:10 AM
When fear rules the law, the fear of the law becomes the ultimate Freedom lost.

The most effective prison is not the one with the highest walls or the thickest bars; It is the prison in which the imprisoned incarcerate themselves.

The most secure prison is the imprisoned mind, the mind which, out of fear censures itself. Which declines to dissent; fearing even just the possibility of retribution.

To those who justify the actions of our "leaders" by claiming that they are doing their duty to protect us, to keep us safe in a time of war; do not let your acquiensence be the result of fear.

No matter how rational that fear may seem at the moment.

Muaddib, you, above all should know the danger which lies in Fear.

"I must not fear.

Fear is the mind-killer.

Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration.

I will face my fear.

I will permit it to pass over me and through me.

And when ...

it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path.

Where the fear has gone there will be nothing.

Only I will remain."

---Frank Herbert, Dune - Bene Gesserit Litany Against Fear

The Liberties we hold dear were hard won, and are harder still to preserve.

But they must be preserved, against all threats, both real and perceived. Because if, by failing to act even at the first hint of threat, we lose any of our Liberties, there is NO guarantee that we shall ever gain them back.

posted on May, 17 2006 @ 03:03 AM

Muaddib, you, above all should know the danger which lies in Fear.

I think you are misunderstanding Muaddib completely. He is one of the very few here who refuses to be paralyzed by fear.

He is many things, stubborn, refusing to be judged by what others may think of him or the opinion of the masses. Those are not bad characteristics.

But one thing he is not, is afraid.

posted on May, 17 2006 @ 03:11 AM

You have a way with words. That teared me up it was so well written.

God Bless You.


posted on May, 17 2006 @ 03:51 AM
The president does not operate in a vacuum. His actions are at the very least known and condoned by certain members of both parties of the House and Senate. So, are they also complicit? To what end, I ask you?

Remember that this is not the first time people have been concerned about the actions of the gov't; Jamuhn's post gave several examples of similar concerns going back for decades.

Yet somehow we survived, didn't we? Doesn't anyone have faith in the strength of the American people? Don't you think there are still honest people out there today?

Be concerned, be vigilant, but please, don't live in such paranoia.

[edit on 17-5-2006 by jsobecky]

posted on May, 17 2006 @ 05:44 AM

Maybe more people feel like you do than you may think. And maybe the reason that it isn't crystal clear that more Americans DO feel like you think is the way the media does non-coverage of the fact.

Take for instance the headline story for right now. It is entitled:

Confidence in GOP is at new low in poll

Though the headline is correct as far as reporting a result of the survey, it has chosen which result it will make news versus the others. If the article is carefully read we find that:

Democrats are now favored to handle all 10 issues measured in the Post-ABC News poll. The survey shows a majority of the public, 56 percent, saying they would prefer to see Democrats in control of Congress after the elections.

(Please note the percentage above - 56%).

But look at the following two results as well!

When asked whether they were inclined to reelect their current representative to Congress or look around for someone new, 55 percent said they were open to someone else, the highest since just before Republicans captured control of Congress in 1994.


The second warning for Democrats is that their improved prospects for November appear driven primarily by dissatisfaction with Republicans rather than by positive impressions of their own party. Congressional Democrats are rating only slightly more favorably than congressional Republicans, and 52 percent of those surveyed said the Democrats have not offered a sharp contrast to Bush and the Republicans.

Could it possibly be that the American people are waking up to the fact that the two-party system has morphed into a single party with two warring factions? Could it be they are starting to realize that the menu is the same, it's only the garnish that changes?

We will see.

[edit on 5-17-2006 by Valhall]

posted on May, 17 2006 @ 06:26 AM
The indefinite detention of people in GITMO & elsewhere does bother me a bit, as do some of the provisions of the Patriot Act. Furthermore, Rumsfeld's imperious air kind of irritates me, as does the propensity for the Bush Administration to be secretive and for some of his appointed officials to be less than well qualified for the jobs they are supposed to be doing, while others seem overly opinionated and unwilling to accept the recommendations of reputable, highly trained scientists, but those are about the only things associated with the Bush Administration that do bother me.

I simply don't buy into all the negatives I've seen discussed here on ATS and in the media. Mostly what I see are vague, ill defined feelings being written up and discussed as if they were peer reviewed, undisputable fact. I'm sure there have been abuses and lapses and some poor planning and administration along the way, but then you get that with all administrations. The Bush administration has had to deal with some extraordinary events and I think they have coped quite well overall. I just can't reconcile the things I personally see and experience, or that my friends see and experience with what some others would have me believe have happened and are happening. Bush & Cheney are not the Devil incarnate, or the resurrection of Hitler, they are simply two men trying to run this country under difficult and trying times.

I personally would like things better if the christian right did not have such a large voice within the Bush Administration and if some of the Bush Administration apointees were not quite so conservative, but those are only my personal preferences.

[edit on 17-5-2006 by Astronomer70]

posted on May, 17 2006 @ 08:05 AM
Hmmm...too bad our founding fathers didn't even follow the Constitution themselves. I guess that's why we had slaves, their women had no rights and not to mention all of the other atrocities these so called freedom loving men committed.

Face it, the Constitution and laws of today is much, much more in sound with true freedom. Reality bites.

posted on May, 17 2006 @ 08:38 AM
November is closer every day.

[edit on 17-5-2006 by Violent]

posted on May, 17 2006 @ 09:09 AM
Someone previously mentioned Eisenhower's speech from 1961. It's well worth reading in its entirety, but here's a snippet- (bold emphasis mine)

This conjunction of an immense military establishment and a large arms industry is new in the American experience. The total influence -- economic, political, even spiritual -- is felt in every city, every State house, every office of the Federal government. We recognize the imperative need for this development. Yet we must not fail to comprehend its grave implications. Our toil, resources and livelihood are all involved; so is the very structure of our society.

In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the militaryindustrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist.

We must never let the weight of this combination endanger our liberties or democratic processes. We should take nothing for granted. Only an alert and knowledgeable citizenry can compel the proper meshing of the huge industrial and military machinery of defense with our peaceful methods and goals, so that security and liberty may prosper together.


Yes, it's a great country populated by great people. But if it is to remain so, we cannot stand silently by while our rights are slowly eroded. And if you can't see where this is happening, then in my humble opinion, you're not paying attention.

It's the frog in the pot. Throw a frog in boiling water and he'll jump out. Put a frog in a pot of cool water and slowly turn up the heat, and he'll sit there until he's cooked.

posted on May, 17 2006 @ 09:13 AM
Speech from Eisenhower in 1961, eh? Our rights being slowly taken away, eh? ROTFLMAO

This is incredible.

posted on May, 17 2006 @ 09:39 AM

Originally posted by Astronomer70
I'm sure there have been abuses and lapses and some poor planning and administration along the way, but then you get that with all administrations.

I totally disagree. You see, when I saw Colin Powell in the UN, shaking an empty glass vial before the audience and asking them how they would like it if it were filled with anthrax, I thought I was hallucinating. The statement was that Saddam had plenty of similar vials that he would use against us at the drop of a hat.

I'm sorry but having you military intelligence as screwed up as THIS, or as manufactured as THIS, you need to be fired in a hurry. It's amazing that we tolerate such grievous incompetence or ill will in our country's administration, whereas a CEO or a CFO of a large company who showed 10% of such ineptitude would have been fired by the board of directors, in a microsecond.

There was never an exit strategy in Iraq, and even now we are playing by the ear.

The Bush administration has had to deal with some extraordinary events and I think they have coped quite well overall.

Or really? How many trillion dollars of debt have we aquired in the past few years? Are you serious? You call it "quite well"? Hello? Who's going to care for 15,000 wounded?

they are simply two men trying to run this country under difficult and trying times.

You deemed it necessary to repeat twice how extraordinary and difficult things are, but hey, that's their job. They weren't hired by the People to flip burgers. My job is difficult too, at times, and I don't start whining about that.

Clearly the Administration is failing our nation on education, health, energy dependence, national debt and our standing in the world. If you think it's dandy, that's your right.

[edit on 17-5-2006 by Aelita]

posted on May, 17 2006 @ 10:00 AM
Aelita, I applaud you. You get right to the heart of it. Those are the real issues that are simply being overlooked because of all the rhetoric that is being passed around.

posted on May, 17 2006 @ 10:12 AM
This thread is one of the finest example of civil discourse on a very sensitive subject that I have seen in some time.

The calling patterns of tens of millions of people living in this country are being collected and analyzed in an attempt to prevent terrorist attacks. At least that's the "party" line.

It's ridiculous.

I don't believe for a moment that a global terrorist network is stupid enough to still be using the public phone system in the United States to conduct its critical business. Hell's bells, the stores are full of cheap, pre-paid phones that are absolutely perfect for one-shot use. I'm not even a terrorist and I thought of it. How do you analyze one call from one phone? Nor do I believe terrorists lack the sophistication to be sending unecrypted emails over the Internet. But apparently, the federal government thinks so. And apparently a bunch of our citizenry thinks so too....God help you.

Aside from the fact that the federal government doesn't have the manpower to sift this data in real time and actually prevent an attack. It is at best an evidentiary trail for an after-the-fact investigation. So just stop it with the "keeping us safe" crap...I don't believe that for a minute. I think Osama and company may be quite happy with the mayhem they have already sown.

The federal government can purchase detailed records of millions of people in this country. Do you think for a minute that they are somehow squeamish about doing just that? Nope.

I'm reading defenses of the government's actions that basically boil down to..."well, they made it a law so, its legal.". I don't recall much in the way of a democratic process or debate on some of these laws. Or this one..."give me an example of your rights or liberty being taken away" an example, if I stand outside your house 24/7 (openly, on public property), write down every time you left and arrived, went out for the mail, turned your kitchen light off and on...I'm willing to bet you would get pretty uncomfortable with that, wouldn't you? Why? I'm not preventing you from doing anything am I?

And Congress and the House? You must be kidding....they don't appear able to accomplish anything except find stupid ways to spend our money. The fact that they approved the Patriot Act I and II doesn't impress me at all.

Incompetent, uncaring, sneaky, lying, greedy, unethical,.....unfortunately, these are the words that come into mind when I think of our present state of governance. I would so much like for it to be, caring, transparent, honest,......

I'm not holding my breath.

posted on May, 17 2006 @ 10:34 AM

We must never let the weight of this combination endanger our liberties or democratic processes

Above are the words stated by the former Supreme Commander of Allied Forces Europe during WWII. I find it fascinating we had a man of such moral fiber that even though he was a career Military Man he openly discussed, lo warned us about it.

That "weight" he mentions that "we must never let endanger our liberties" is the power of the military/industrial complex lobbying and or controlling our legislative body.

Through the selling of FALSE fear based on FALSE Intel we are at war with a nation and occupy its land. I am not going to argue the Iraq war with anyone, it's the FACT, we were given false Intel that caused great fear that caused lots of bombs, ammo, tanks, armor, etc... to be manufactured for a profit to execute this war AND the same FALSE fear is now threatening our liberties, no matter how trivial, is the undeniable fruition of Ike's warning.

There are no trivial or less valuable liberties.

THAT's my point.

To those who would call this "paranoia" or "despair" I would answer, I have total faith in my fellow Americans, I am not in "despair" or "depressed" or "paranoid".

I have watched this happen for 40+ years and it seems to coming to a head now. IMHO the MI complex/singular "old money" political party(s), simply erred when they went after wire taps, they had a good thing going until then. They crossed a line that, IF they do want to maintain power they had to cross.

My hope is we, as Americans will not sit idly by and let take the country down a path that has led to empire collapse 100% of the time historically. The government's feigned paranoia, designed to scare you into submission for you own safety, is the dastardly deed in this sordid affair. NOT those of us who want attention paid to the government. To create a false threat, sell that false threat as imminent danger requiring military response is as OLD A TRICK as prostitution.

Let's not allow it go unchecked. That's my point here. I don't see some dark grave and dire day in the future when we all roll up and slink into the night so please don't attempt to portray the questioning of public official's as being that. I wouldn't let my doctor cut my arm off so I could lose weight, I wouldn't expect anyone else to either.


[edit on 5-17-2006 by Springer]

posted on May, 17 2006 @ 10:38 AM
I am not American, I am British, but I view from afar America's troubles, over it's foreign policy over the years, and it's domestic policy now as implemented by it's government, implementing ultimate control through fear, as was seen in Orwell's Nineteen-Eighty Four in what Goldstein's role was in Big Brother's rule.

I want Americans to know, those of you that have awoken, or have always been awake to what is the realities of the implementation of a State ruled by fear, and corporatism and NeoCon imperial expansion, that the people of the UK who are awake, are alongside you in your struggle for better governance.

Tis true, we have not known proper democracy, that which Monarchy denies, but the monarchy has never in modern times been a threat to our outstanding liberties as has this government we have here, of Blairite proportions, inheritor of Thatcherism, where we have seen a woman who stood calmy by a War Memorial in London and with calmness read out the names of the British soldiers who have been killed in Iraq in an act of rememberance, before finding herself arrested and carted away in a police van under anti terror laws, and saw last year the case of Wolfgang, in his eighties, a Holocaust survivor, a life long Labour Party Supporter, who sat in the audience at a Labour Party Conference, who for daring to say 'Rubbish' when Jack Straw, then UK Foreign Secretary talked of the Iraq War, was wrestled and grabbed from his seat and rough handled out of the conference by hired thugs and then arrested under Anti Terror Laws.

We have also seen actors returning from winning awards in Germany for their role in a film dramatising the imprisonment of British citizens at Guantanamo Bay, only to be briefly detained by police and asked sinisterly if they planned on "making any more 'political' films"

The government is pushing hard still for ID Cards, that will take down biometric details, personal details et al, making you a number, not a person, to be compiled on a database at the hands of a power mad government.

The government want to make ID Cards compulsory upon getting or renewing a passport. No ID Card, you can't leave the country.

The Police arrest people on political grounds under anti terror laws while real criminals are not bothered with.

Oh, how I think of my country and it's brave men and women, my Grandfathers and Grandmother and my other relations among them, their generation, took up arms and hands to fight the black and stinking giant hand of Nazism, how our Britain shone, how we fought against what was wrong, how we stood alone in 1940, how my Grandfather helped in liberating a concentration camp, how we fought that which enslaved, imprisoned and which waged war on many peoples.

My Grandmother in her 80's writing her protest to a newspaper against the War On Iraq because she, as a Blitz survivor, knew what it was like.

Now the fight is from within, upon which rests upon us the fight against the corrupted, power hungry, control freak government, using fear to accept liberties lost, a government which ignores the people's demands.

Our country, becoming the poodle of The White House via Blair, the 51st state, saying to the NeoCons demands of 'Jump" with "How high" instead of "Your first"

How the UK follows the US like a obediant unquestioning dog, when the US Administration foreign policy and those administrations preceding is WRONG, Bush being the greatest threat to World Peace.

I lament what the UK has become. Instead of becoming peaceful and democratic after the demise of The British Empire, we have been subject to Big Brother rule and have seen our government willing, colloborative and accountable to the new Empire.

You are not alone Americans, we the British are alongside you, as are all those all over the world fighting for justice and freedom.

Let not The Statue Of Liberty become a hollow statue.

Let not the weights of Justice become weighed against us.

Let your Eagle soar, and we shall let our Lion roar alongside you.

posted on May, 17 2006 @ 10:48 AM
I strongly feel that if there was a leader who stood for what the majority of Americans know and believe in our hearts that the people would rise up and support what we all know to be true.

I see no candidates in the current political spectrum, and honestly, at this point the entrenched system should be stripped to the constitional roots and restructured. I pray the American people wake up en masse before another incident like 911. I think that the people in power right now are going to upset the media powers a step too far and then real issues could get the proper coverage and discussion they need. The time is ripe for a third party to come in and I would love to see it gain momentum.

Voting Democrat as a vote against the Republican majority is the only alternative I see the voting public of America taking, but it would be a great day in this nation for a properly funded and publicized independant party to sweep the nation.

posted on May, 17 2006 @ 10:51 AM
Bravo, SO.

Originally posted by DYepes
I just honestly want to inquire how you or anyone you know has been affected by our loss of liberty.

Having discovered what the government is doing to its citizens, I wonder how much more is going on that we are unaware of.

Sitting in my living room in the evening, talking politics with my husband, I catch myself moving into a whisper, because I realize that someone might be listening. We live on 5 acres and have dogs, so no one could stand outside our windows and eavesdrop, but we do have a TV and telephone...

I have lost the knowledge that I live in a truly free country. I find myself nervous to say certain things in the privacy of my home. I don't say certain things on this board or on the phone or in public or in emails, even though there's nothing illegal about it, because someone might be listening and not like what I say.

I hold back; I participate less. Regardless of my statements to the contrary, I do have some fear. Not of terrorism, but of my own government.

Originally posted by Muaddib
the question is "what freedoms have you lost"?

I have lost the freedom of experiencing true freedom. I have lost the feeling of security in my person, my home. I do not feel secure, private or safe. I have lost the inviolability of my home. I used to feel sure that I could ask for a warrant if anyone came to my door, but I KNOW now, that that isn't the case.

I know that the government isn't being held to the same legal standards that I am. I know they can break the law and get away with it.

I have lost the knowledge of what's really happening around the world because of the government's interference in the media.

As regards losing freedoms, Springer said, "WHY DO SO MANY FEAR WE MAY"? I have lost the knowledge that my freedom and privacy are solidly protected. I now know that many people fear our loss of freedoms and I can't attribute it to paranoia. I see the corruption in government and blatant disregard for the Constitution and the rights it grants me. How can I not be concerned? The mere fact of the level of concern around the nation tells me that my suspicions are founded.

This is from another thread, but it fits perfectly here:

Originally posted by sigung86
the end of where this is going isn't in sight yet and it will be very ugly when it gets here.

Some people here see a car inching toward a cliff and claim that the people inside are still alive, they're unhurt, they have nothing to complain about. Others can see the inevitability of their plight and wish to stop the car before it goes beyond the point of no return.

Some of us see the clear signs of a looming dictatorship and what that will mean for the nation that we love so much. Some of us want to stop it before it goes too far. Others don't see the signs or explain it all away because it has no effect on them personally. They won't rise up until they personally have suffered. And by then, it will be too far gone for us to do anything about.

"It takes a lot of degeneration before a country falls into dictatorship, but we should avoid these ends by avoiding these beginnings." -Sandra Day O’Connor

We want to avoid those beginnings. Others wish to wait till those ends.

[edit on 17-5-2006 by Benevolent Heretic]

posted on May, 17 2006 @ 10:54 AM
What does it take to become a politician anyways? Hell I myself have been trying to find a way to become a representative for the people in the city. I guess it starts with us. We are going to have to start running for positions in the government you know? We have to educate. I will willingly contribute 10% of my income (or a reasonable amount) to help finance a campaign for someone I know, or even somebody from this site. What does it take to create our own political party?

If we really want to change things, then we will actually have to become involved the way all the other politicians do. We will have to start a party.

I have to go back to work. Anyone have sources to the requirements for each political seat in the government? Mayors, city council, district representative, senate, governor, hell even the president. I can not remember off the top of ym head what it takes for a citizen to run for president. I think they taught me that in eigth grade.

posted on May, 17 2006 @ 11:58 AM

Originally posted by SkepticOverlord
The parties are just a diversionary illusion to split the population so that divided we fall.

SO: Outstanding op/ed - you put into very elegant terms what I (and obviously from the responses here, many others) have been feeling for quite a while now. I especially loved the quote states what I have been trying to express for many years in amazingly simple terms.

Originally posted by Double Helix
When do the people finally wake from their slumber and say "ENOUGH!"

I wish I knew the answer to that, but I'm hopeful that it's very soon. Reactions like the poll responses pointed out by Valhall help to make me feel that the public is not entirely 'asleep'.

Springer: What can I say, I was unaware that you were a mind reader!

For those that can't accept there has been any loss of freedoms, simply refer to the Bill of Rights with careful attention to the 1st, 2nd, 4th, 6th and 10th amendments. I won't bother debating each item as many have already been brought up and I'm certain the rest will be (by posters who are much more up to the task than I am).

Thank you all (even the dissenters) for the best thread I have read here or anywhere else for a long, long time.

posted on May, 17 2006 @ 12:43 PM
What is the real argument to me is kind of sort of but not really along the lines of Springer. It's not the fact of 'privacy issues' to me, because no laws have been broken and no liberties have been trampled on. And I feel what the government is doing is necessary. However, here is the kicker why is it necessary? Because our government has put us in the position of it being necessary through attacking Iraq. To say that our 'national security' isn't at stake and that the 'threat of terrorism' is just a fear tactic to take away our civil liberties and rights is really just grasping at straws, IMO . Repubs & Dems alike have put us in REAL danger of being attacked and THAT is what bothers me the most about this entire drama. And the Dems are just as guilty when it comes to spying. But, now they are crying about how it's a civil right violation and the law has been broken. PLEASE!? What is wrong with that picture?

If we as citizens really want to do something to further this country we will stop playing into the partisan political game because politicians are basically all the same, I don't care what side they state they are on. Partisan politics is taking this country down and it is taking it down FAST!

Edited to add: Not to go off topic, but I want to ask that each and everyone of you purchase the new Dixie Chicks CD with their new song fighting back against the attacks they got regarding the war. I really hope that even if you don't like Country music you will buy this and support them, because naturally very few in the country realm of the world will buy it. THANKS!

Here's the lyrics to their new song:

Artist/Band: Dixie Chicks
Lyrics for Song: Not Ready To Make Nice
Lyrics for Album: Taking The Long Way

Forgive, sounds good.
Forget, I'm not sure I could.
They say time heals everything,
But I'm still waiting

I'm through, with doubt,
There's nothing left for me to figure out,
I've paid a price, and i'll keep paying

I'm not ready to make nice,
I'm not ready to back down,
I'm still mad as hell
And I don't have time
To go round and round and round
It's too late to make it right
I probably wouldn't if I could
Cause I'm mad as hell
Can't bring myself to do what it is
You think I should

I know you said
Why can't you just get over it,
It turned my whole world around
and i kind of like it

I made by bed, and I sleep like a baby,
With no regrets and I don't mind saying,
It's a sad sad story
That a mother will teach her daughter
that she ought to hate a perfect stranger.
And how in the world
Can the words that I said
Send somebody so over the edge
That they'd write me a letter
Saying that I better shut up and sing
Or my life will be over

I'm not ready to make nice,
I'm not ready to back down,
I'm still mad as hell
And I don't have time
To go round and round and round
It's too late to make it right
I probably wouldn't if I could
Cause I'm mad as hell
Can't bring myself to do what it is
You think I should

I'm not ready to make nice,
I'm not ready to back down,
I'm still mad as hell
And I don't have time
To go round and round and round
It's too late to make it right
I probably wouldn't if I could
Cause I'm mad as hell
Can't bring myself to do what it is
You think I should

Forgive, sounds good.
Forget, I'm not sure I could.
They say time heals everything,
But I'm still waiting

[edit on 17-5-2006 by zenlover28]

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