Be Like Diogenes

Submitted by Bill St. Clair on Fri, 27 Aug 2004 12:00:00 GMT
From lew:
"As we defend liberty and justice abroad, we must always honor those values here at home." -- George W. Bush

# Peter Ragnar at - Grant No Man the Authority to Make You His Slave - you are free. Nobody can make you do anything except fall down. It is only your fear of being forced to fall down that causes you to obey. [root]

Bear in mind, laws of convention made and enforced by the collective are not like the laws of nature, which, when violated, extract perfect retribution. Therefore, in the furtherance of my own evolution, I can only say "NO" to ALL the candidates. So you see, in a sense I am casting a "NO" vote against all of them. My choice is simply "None of the Above!" One candidate may steal from me more or less than the other, but that's not the point. The basic premise, for honest conscious minds, is that stealing cannot be legitimized. Your integrity should never allow you to cast a vote. Do not sanction your own enslavement. Grant no man the authority to make you his slave. Grant no man the power to enslave your neighbor, grant no man the sanction to steal or murder in your name, lest you cause yourself irreparable moral damage. When asked how one could be a free man and yet a slave, the ancient Athenian sage, Diogenes, answered, "Simply, by the number of times you say master." Diogenes, who recognized no master, always embraced a NO vote. He argued that Athenians, who voted by casting various-colored beans into a receptacle, should "Abstain from beans."

Once, while sunbathing by the river, Diogenes was approached by Alexander the Great. Alexander's shadow loomed over the reclining, naked Diogenes. "Do you know who I am?" asked Alexander. "That's not the question you should be asking," retorted Diogenes. "You should be asking if you know who you are." Alexander, like all avaricious, unctuous politicians, was asking the same banal and prosaic question, namely: Do you recognize my authority to control you? Do you acknowledge my power over you? Diogenes' refusal to kowtow to Alexander simply meant Diogenes recognized no authority except "the primacy of his own right judgment." Freedom, in Diogenes' view, was the "absolute dominion over his own will. This was the inner realm over which no outside force, not even an Alexander and all his soldiers, had any power, whatsoever."

Regaining his composure, Alexander boasted, "I'm Alexander the Great!" Unimpressed, Diogenes, in a dismissive tone replied, "So, be Alexander the Great!" No one had ever spoken to Alexander with such self-assured authority before. In fact, no one could, except the individual who knows that no person can truly control another. Now feeling more like the average solicitous bureaucrat, Alexander adopted a more servile attitude, offering, "Is there anything I can do for you?" Casually waving his hand, Diogenes replied, "Move over. You're blocking my sunlight."

So what are you waiting for? You should dismiss these pompous pinheads with a wave of your hands, instead of using them to pull the lever in the voting booth.

# James Glaser at Sad To Say, Kerry Spoke the Truth about war crimes in Viet Nam. [lew]

# Gary Indiana at The Village Voice - Kiss Your Rights Goodbye: From John Ashcroft's lips to God's ear - taking Herr Reichführer Ashcroft's tyranny to task. [lew]

Ashcroft is, not to mince words, a lunatic. This would have been universally recognized at almost any other moment in American history. In the looking-glass world of "the war on terror," however, Ashcroft's religious manias haven't excited even mild censure from anyone in government. By all reports, Ashcroft runs the Department of Justice like a Pentecostal revival meeting, enjoining his staff to raise their voices in righteous hymns of his own composition.

After 9-11 and the anthrax scare, Ashcroft's Patriot Act, and the subsequent Homeland Security Act sailed through a terrified Congress like shit through a canebrake. Although Ashcroft has disavowed a leaked draft of the Domestic Security Enhancement Act, which bears a twinship to the Nazi Party's 1933 platform, Patriot Act II, as it's affectionately known, is definitely on the menu for a second Bush administration, should Diebold Corporation and Brother Jeb come through for our current appointee.


When it comes to cases, every legal tool law enforcement needed to hunt terrorists was already on the books before the Patriot Act. If "the war on terror" were serious and not a bait-and-switch operation to squash dissent and push an agenda long preceding 9-11, legions of "intelligence" personnel and presidential advisers would have been out of work on 9-12.

Nobody in this administration has lost a job for failing to uphold the Constitution, ignoring the public interest, or exhibiting limitless incompetence. No honor among thieves, as the saying goes. Even the pornographic horror of Abu Ghraib wasn't enough to make Donald Rumsfeld resign. As Dick Cheney asserted in a different context, everyone in the Bush administration has "other priorities," all of them antithetical to the public interest. What is the public, compared to Jesus Christ and Halliburton?

# Cabbies Against Bush - Shine the Light on Bush! - offering a free ride to the airport for any RNC delegate who'll walk Bushnev's talk with a one-way ticket to fight the war on Iraq. Recommends turning your taxicab lights on during the convention to 'Shine the Light" on Bush. [claire]

# International A.N.S.W.E.R - A.N.S.W.E.R Coalition's Position on Activities in the Great Lawn of Central Park - having been denied a permit to organize a rally in Central Park, A.N.S.W.E.R. is distributing "tens of thousands" of leaflets yesterday and today encouraging people to use the park anyway. Good for them. Unfortunately, the city's obstinence will mean that there won't be enough toilets or medical care for the gathered thousands, and the liklihood of violence is increased. Fascist bastards! I think the "August 28" date in the excerpt below is a typo. The big protest day is Sunday, August 29.

"Thousands of people intended to come to the rally. They believe they have the right to be in Central Park. We have been denied the right to sponsor a rally on August 28 on the Great Lawn. The fact is that people are coming to Central Park on August 28 and on other days in the following week, and it is their constitutional right to do so," stated Brian Becker, National Coordinator of the A.N.S.W.E.R. Coalition. Becker continued, "we are handing out thousands of leaflets to inform everyone that the park does not require a permit for casual park use by visitors, and we are telling them that if they are bringing signs or drums, or other musical instruments, what the specific regulations state. Individuals have the right, for instance, to bring anti-war or anti-Bush signs to the Great Lawn if they are no more than 2 feet in height and 3 feet in length. They can also bring a drum, but they cannot use the drum in parklands between the night-time hours of 10 PM and 8 AM."
Of course if you're reading this blog, and want to protest, you'll probably want to do so with the Manhattan Libertarian Party crowd. According to the "Upcoming Events" section of the 8/20 issue of the Village Choice, Jim Lesczynski recommends that you enter the park at 79th street, at noon on Sunday, August 29, and gather at the south end of the Great Lawn. I intend to stay far away from NYC during the convention.

# AP via Wired - 'Secure Flight' Replaces CAPPS II - yet another airline sekurity system. The description of "secure flight" actually sounds like an improvement over the current system, but still doesn't mention any way to challenge your name being on the no-fly list. Of course, the killer problem with any of these systems is that they require you to identify yourself to travel. In a free country, a man can walk up to the ticket counter at the airport, pay cash for a one-way ticket, and walk onto the airplane. No ID, no X-Ray, no metal detector, no pat-down search, nothing. But then, Amerika isn't a free country. [grabbe]

# James Bovard at - The Bush Betrayal, Chapter One: Introduction - the first chapter of Mr. Bovard's book. Lots of folks are skewering Kerry these days, mostly for stuff he did 35 years ago. Bushnev's transgressions were much more recent, and more potentially deadly to you and yours. If you must vote, vote Badnarik in 2004. [lew]

Though this book focuses primarily on the blunders and deceits of Bush and his team, Democratic members of Congress are either complicit in or acquiescent to most of Bush's abuses. Most of the budget disputes in Washington involve how to waste tax dollars, not whether tax dollars should be wasted. Some Democrats did yeoman work -- such as Sen. Robert Byrd (D-W.Va.) in opposing the war on Iraq, Sen. Russell Feingold (D-Wis.) in opposing the Patriot Act, and Rep. John Conyers (D-Mich.) in opposing Ashcroft. Yet Democratic members of Congress as a group have been less vigilant and courageous in opposing misgovernment than were Republicans during the first Clinton administration.

Regardless of who wins in November 2004, Americans must recognize the damage the federal government is inflicting on their rights, liberty, and safety. Even if Bush wins reelection, the more Americans who recognize the failures and frauds of his first term, the more difficult it will be for Bush to perpetrate new abuses in his second term. Americans must understand the Bush Betrayal if they are ever to rein in the government.

# Jeff Quinn at Gunblast - Kel-Tec SU-16 5.56mm Rifle - Mr. Quinn reviews Kel-Tec's 5 pound poodle-shooter. I will likely eventually get one of these. It's just too neat to avoid. Maybe I'll trade my Colt for it. Naw, just kidding. [gunblast]

After my initial lukewarm impression of the SU-16, I have changed my mind. The gun is absolutely reliable, and as accurate as most 5.56mm/.223 carbines available. Accuracy is on par with the majority of Mini-14s, and the gun is compact and lightweight. It would make for a dandy little weapon to keep stowed away in a vehicle for emergencies, offering lots of firepower while taking up little space. It would also make for a great little backpacking weapon to harvest game or just for plinking. The SU-16 is a fun little rifle, and sometimes that is reason enough to own one.

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