Tuesday, October 30, 2018

We Will Not Be Silent

We Will Not Be Silent
by C.A. Matthews

We will not be silent
We will not be forced to stay quiet while injustices occur
We will not pretend that domestic terrorism doesn't happen here
We will not say that what happens to our fellow Americans doesn't matter in the long run just as long as we have our Netflix and our Starbucks
We will not let go of our mantra: "Health care is a human right!"
We will not agree that a woman acknowledging a sexual assault committed against her is somehow "selfishly ruining" a man's career and legacy 
We will not kowtow to political bullies who attempt to shut us down because we choose to think outside of the box and support progressive candidates of all persuasions
We will not be tricked into staying home on election day or voting for the "lesser evil" because, as we know, evil is still evil
We will not acknowledge false leaders, leadership and hypocritical thinking
We will not condone endless wars and imperialism
We will not cheer while innocents suffer for the sake of a billionaire's bottom line or an oilman's wet dream
We will not consider our fellow human beings "illegal" because of the color of their skin, their religion or their country of origin  
We will not permit children to be locked into kennels
We will not sit idly by and let the world go to hell in a handbasket if there's a remote chance that our speaking out and sharing information with others can turn the tide of tyranny and bring about a future to believe in
We will not stop crying out like a voice in the wilderness
We will not give in to despair and bemoan our fate and the fate of our planet without a fight
Welcome to the Revolution Continues
We will not be silent
 Our featured blogger this week shows us what it means to be forced into silence throughout history .

by Coast Watcher
Censorship (noun)

1a. The institution, system or practice of censoring b. The actions or practices of censors, especially censorial control exercised repressively. Source: Merriam Webster dictionary
Censorship is the suppression of speech, public communication, or other information, on the basis that such material is considered objectionable, harmful, sensitive, or "inconvenient" as determined by a government or private institution, for example corporate censorship. Source: Wikipedia.
Censorship, the suppression of words, images, or ideas that are "offensive," happens whenever some people succeed in imposing their personal political or moral values on others. Censorship can be carried out by the government as well as private pressure groups. Censorship by the government is unconstitutional. Source: ACLU
The First Amendment--Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances--protects against government restrictions on or interference with the content of speech. The First Amendment applies to government at the national, state, and local level. 
Suppression of dissenting voices is the hallmark of dictatorships—both secular and religious—and has occurred throughout history. In the twentieth century repressive regimes achieved it through official examination and prohibition of books, plays, periodicals, films, radio, and later television programs. News reports were vetted to ensure they played to the government narrative. They were altered to suppress ideas said government found objectionable or offensive. Even in relatively liberal Britain, the office of the Lord Chamberlain had the responsibility of censoring plays and movies from 1737 up until 1968.

The militarized dictatorships of Mussolini, Hitler and Stalin saw the major imposition of censorship upon the populace. Post-war Germany saw a complete revulsion against the Nazis and all they stood for, which led to its own form of censorship. Under the current German law of haƟsprache (hate speech) it is illegal to depict any kind of glorification of the Nazis and their emblems, including the crooked swastika--something which has caused problems with Germany's Hindu community since the true swastika is an emblem of their faith. In the twenty-first century we have the new phenomenon of internet censorship.

I suspect we all know what a dumpster fire Facebook turned into before, during and after the 2016 election. Let’s not forget the deliberate use of child pornography to attack the Facebook pages of Bernie Sanders’ supporters on the eve of the 2016 New York primary. A certain party favoring the Clinton campaign had no compunction in using a particularly vile and rightly censored means of crippling her opponent, for which Clinton never apologized nor condemned.

Facebook recently carried out a purge of over 800 political pages in these closing weeks of the mid-term primaries. The message is clear—corporate censorship is a real and potent force in support of the current right-wing regime in the White House and Congress. In fact corporate censorship has probably overtaken government censorship in terms of widespread use and effectiveness.  

"The extent of Internet censorship varies on a country-to-country basis. While most democratic countries have moderate Internet censorship, other countries go as far as to limit the access of information such as news and suppress discussion among citizens. Internet censorship also occurs in response to or in anticipation of events such as elections, protests, and riots." (Wikipedia)

It’s no secret that polling machines have been and are being rigged to give a result of use to The Establishment. It’s no secret that governmental and corporate activities which directly contravene the Constitution are being reported in the independent online media while the mainstream media remains strangely silent—until you consider that a mere handful of people own 90% of all mainstream media outlets in the United States and these people have a vested interest in the status quo. It would be interesting to know the opinion of those people about Trump’s continuous attacks on fake news, in other words anything that throws his governance (or lack thereof) into a bad light—which is every day now.

It’s vital to the interests of the people of this country and the world beyond for news to be reported and information disseminated. Even humble outlets such as this blog have their part to play in keeping freedom of speech alive. That’s why I close this piece with the heartfelt request to share the blog post widely, so that we may hold our "betters" and those who govern us to account.  

Related links:

BIO: Coast Watcher is doing his best to spread the word of progressive revolution in spite of the odds. He vows to keep speaking out and demonstrating that the worst periods in history can indeed repeat themselves and, therefore, we have to remain vigilant at all times. He will not be silent!

More on Facebook purging alternative media sites from The Real News Network. https://youtu.be/PgXv6igtW3c


Calling them out whether they like it or not. Don't let them shut us down!

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From Health Care Voter:

We don't have to remind you what's at stake in this election.

Contrary to President Trump's tweet earlier this week, Republicans will NOT protect people with pre-existing conditions. In fact, they're literally suing right now to eliminate the Affordable Care Act and those protections.

We need all hands on deck to stop the Republicans' plan to repeal the ACA, cut Medicaid and Medicare, and rip away health care from millions of Americans if they win in November. And to make sure we stop the Republican health care sabotage, we need your help.

Today, reach out to your friends and family with our new outreach platform to make sure they head to the polls on November 6 (or earlier if your state has early voting!).

The most effective way to hold the Republicans accountable for their years of senseless and hurtful attacks on our health care is for you -- yes, YOU -- to reach out to your friends and family directly.

Tell them why you're a Health Care Voter and what this election means to you. Your voice and conversation will have a much larger impact on them than any ads or news articles ever will. Ask them what issues they're concerned about and remind them that their voice can, and will, make a difference.

We need to do everything we can in these next 11 days to save our health care -- and this is one of the most important ways you can help.

Take action today to protect our health care by encouraging your friends and family to vote in this election.

We can't do this without you,
The Health Care Voter Team

Update from Public Citizen

Two days after the Pittsburgh shooting, and in the wake of a racist shooting in Kentucky and the pipe bomb mailings, I remain profoundly sad, angry and determined.

Sad for the lives lost and for the families that will forever, for all of their lives, have to grapple with the tragedies. And so sad for our country that such things could happen.

Of course, racist violence is nothing new in America, but that does not make these incidents any less heartbreaking and sickening.

Angry, because as is painfully apparent, these are not random acts of violence.

We’ll never know what internal demons speak to someone who shoots and kills 11 people in a synagogue, or who sends explosives by mail to prominent political figures who he finds objectionable, or who opens fire on people in a grocery store.

But we do know what external voices are speaking to these individuals.

We know the social environment in which they live.

Let’s be very clear: This is not about a problem of polarization on “both sides.”

This is about the increasing extremism on the right.

It’s about the rampant racism on social media, the conspiracies of Alex Jones and the zealotry of Fox News.

But above all — far above all — it is about President Trump.

It is the president who more than anyone sets the tone of our political culture.

This President of the United States routinely spews not just nasty and uncivil remarks, but engages in racist, anti-immigrant and hateful speech, embraces conspiracy theories, many with anti-Semitic overtones, and winks and nods at — and sometimes overtly encourages — political violence.

The horrible truth is, I’m surprised we haven’t experienced more political violence under Trump.

I know you share my grief and outrage.

I hope you also share my determination.

Donald Trump does not get to define who we are as a people.

We do.

Our retort to Trumpian proto-fascism must be love and solidarity.

Each and every one of us, in every circumstance in which we encounter it, must confront and denounce anti-Semitism, racism, anti-immigrant “nationalism,” sexism and homophobia.

There are no “others.”

We need to show that, as a society, we care about, and take care of, every human being.

Everybody counts, and no one gets left behind.

We need also to recognize the teaching of Martin Luther King, Jr.: “Power without love is reckless and abusive and love without power is sentimental and anemic.”

We must evidence that love and solidarity not just in words but policies and priorities that show we value everyone.

Trump draws his political strength and bases his appeal not just on deep reservoirs of racism, but on a profound sense of grievance and alienation.

For many, the attraction of Trump is that he rejects the trappings of a system they believe, rightfully, is rigged to benefit elite insiders.

Trump validates the sense of alienation among his more rabid followers by calling the system rigged — using our word — evidencing his disdain for accepted norms and protocols.

And he redirects their anger away from the forces and institutions that are actually disrupting communities, directing it instead to scapegoat vulnerable communities.

In response, we need to explain, again and again, how Trump is governing by corruption, and enriching and empowering the plutocratic class.

But even more, we have to advocate, demonstrate real commitment to, and ultimately win policies to cure the rigged system and offset the nation’s historic and obscene wealth, income and power inequality.

We must build vibrant, growing social movements to displace Trump’s right-wing demagoguery by building the power to win an aggressive, progressive agenda.

We have to continue to come together to figure this out together.

We have to continue to take care of each other.

I know we will.

Thank you for everything you do for a better and kinder America, and a better and kinder world.

With love and determination,

Robert Weissman
President, Public Citizen

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