Dear President Bush
It is not reasonable that those who gamble with men's lives should not pay with their own.
- H G Wells
Thank you for doing so much to educate people regarding God's Law. I have learned a great deal from you and understand why you would propose and support a constitutional amendment banning same sex
marriage. As you said, "in the eyes of God marriage is based between a man a woman." I try to share that knowledge with as many people as I can. When someone tries to defend the homosexual
lifestyle, for example, I simply remind them that Leviticus 18:22 clearly states it to be an abomination. End of debate.
I do need some advice from you, however, regarding some other elements of God's Laws and how to follow them.
- Leviticus 25:44 states that I may possess slaves, both male and female, provided they are purchased from neighbouring nations. A friend of mine claims that this law
applies to Mexicans, but not Canadians. Can you clarify? Why can't I own Canadians?
- I would like to sell my daughter into slavery, as sanctioned in Exodus 21:7. In this day and age, what do you think would be a fair price for her?
- I know that I am allowed no contact with a woman while she is in her period of menstrual uncleanness - Lev.15: 19 - 24. The problem is how do I tell? I have
tried asking, but most women take offense.
- When I burn a bull on the altar as a sacrifice, I know it creates a pleasing odour for the Lord - Lev.1:9. The problem is my neighbours. They claim the odour is
not pleasing to them. Should I smite them?
- I have a neighbour who insists on working on the Sabbath. Exodus 35:2 clearly states he should be put to death. Am I morally obligated to kill him myself or
should I ask the police to do it?
- A friend of mine feels that even though eating shellfish is an abomination - Lev. 11:10, it is a lesser abomination than homosexuality. I don't agree. Can you
settle this? Are there "degrees" of abomination?
- Lev. 21:20 states that I may not approach the altar of God if I have a defect in my sight. I have to admit that I wear reading glasses. Does my vision have to
be 20/20, or is there some wiggle-room here?
- Most of my male friends get their hair trimmed, including the hair around their temples, even though this is expressly forbidden by Lev. 19:27. How should they die?
- I know from Lev. 11:6 - 8 that touching the skin of a dead pig makes me unclean, but may I still play football if I wear gloves?
- My uncle has a farm. He violates Lev.19:19 by planting two different crops in the same field, as does his wife by wearing garments made of two different kinds of
thread (cotton/polyester blend). He also tends to curse and blaspheme a lot. Is it really necessary that we go to all the trouble of getting the whole town together to
stone them? - Lev.24:10 - 16. Couldn't we just burn them to death at a private family affair like we do with people who sleep with their in-laws? (Lev. 20:14)
Mr Bush, I know you have studied these things extensively and thus enjoy considerable expertise in such matters, so I am confident you can help. Thank you again for reminding
us that God's word is eternal and unchanging.
by Rudyard Kipling
Whether the State can loose and bind
In Heaven as well as on Earth:
If it be wiser to kill mankind
Before or after the birth -
These are matters of high concern
Where State-kept schoolmen are;
But Holy State (we have lived to learn)
Endeth in Holy War.
Whether The People be led by The Lord,
Or lured by the loudest throat:
If it be quicker to die by the sword
Or cheaper to die by vote -
These are things we have dealt with once,
(And they will not rise from their grave)
For Holy People, however it runs,
Endeth in wholly Slave.
Whatsoever, for any cause,
Seeketh to take or give,
Power above or beyond the Laws,
Suffer it not to live!
Holy State or Holy King -
Or Holy People’s Will -
Have no truck with the senseless thing.
Order the guns and kill!
Saying - after - me:
Once there was The People - Terror gave it birth;
Once there was The People and it made a Hell of Earth.
Earth arose and crushed it. Listen, O ye slain!
Once there was The People - it shall never be again!
A Patriot (At Gunpoint)
by Emily Weinstein
Since my last (and first) post on the Huffington Post, I've been astounded by the variety of responses to my statement that I won't stand for the national anthem or salute the flag of the United States in
any way until the United States becomes a country I feel is worth standing for. While I hesitate to dignify these predictable reactions with a response, some of them have been so powerful and so overtly
violent that I am compelled to respond to them, if only to let them prove my point. The most popular fantasy of my detractors is that I be forced to stand for the national anthem, preferably at
gunpoint. Mr William Smith of Conservative Blogger (a web site that proudly bears the stamp "Blogs for Bush") writes that he "can only hope that when Miss Weinstein decides she 'won't stand for it' that
there's an entire platoon of United States Marines standing directly behind her to point out the error of her ways. I betcha she stands then."
Then, you see, I might properly appreciate my freedom. Saluting the American flag with a platoon of Marines at your back - I do believe that's what passes for democracy at this very moment in
Another popular suggestion is that I (along with anyone else who doesn't believe that sending the poorest people in America to other countries to dominate and kill the poorest people there is, in fact, the
pathway to freedom and democracy) am selfish or self-absorbed. I beg to differ. Selfish is sending 150,000 sons, daughters, mothers and fathers across the world to kill and die for your own
financial profit while telling the remaining 280 million at home that it's actually for their freedom. Self-absorbed is believing that you are above the law, beyond the Constitution, and so important
that your will can and should be carried out at the expense of thousands of lives. And what is the word for a system of government in which every last citizen demonstrates loyalty to her country,
president and flag, even if the military has to force her to do it? The dictionary definition for that word is "fascism."
The United States Army is not in Iraq protecting our freedom. The United States Army is in Iraq making money for the friends of the Bush Administration. Rather than protecting my freedom, I
believe they are endangering it. I am not the traitor who should be marched before the flag at gunpoint to answer for my crimes. George W Bush is that traitor. He lied to the United Nations,
lied to Congress and lied to the American public in order to start a war that would benefit not the American people, nor the Iraqi people, but the Halliburton corporation, a handful of defense contractors
and the people who profit from the trade of oil.
The American soldiers in Iraq at this moment aren't spreading democracy, they're sowing the seeds of future terrorism. Every young Iraqi who grows up with an American tank at the end of his street or
American soldiers knocking down his door is a potential new terrorist. Saddam Hussein may not have had the means or the plans to attack America, but after years of American occupation, one of those
children one day might. The Iraqi who launches a rocket-propelled grenade at a passing American convoy is no threat to my freedom. He's not coming to America to get me to swear a loyalty oath at
gunpoint. According to the proud supporters of Bush, America and all that is good, that's the job of the United States Marines.
Source: huffingtonpost.com 5 January 2005
Protest Is Criminalised and the Huffers and Puffers Say Nothing
The Police Abuse Terror and Harassment Laws to Penalise Dissent
While We Insist Civil Liberties Are Our Gift to the World
by George Monbiot
We are trying to fight 21st-century crime - antisocial behaviour, drug dealing, binge drinking, organised crime -
with 19th-century methods, as if we still lived in the time of Dickens.
- Tony Blair, September 27 2005
Down poured the wine like oil on blazing fire.
And still the riot went on - the debauchery gained its height - glasses were dashed upon the floor by hands that could not carry them to lips,
oaths were shouted out by lips which could scarcely form the words to vent them in; drunken losers cursed and roared;
some mounted on the tables, waving bottles above their heads and bidding defiance to the rest;
some danced, some sang, some tore the cards and raved. Tumult and frenzy reigned supreme ...
- Nicholas Nickleby, by Charles Dickens, 1839
All politicians who seek to justify repressive legislation claim that they are responding to an unprecedented threat to public order. And all politicians who cite such a threat draft measures in
response which can just as easily be used against democratic protest. No act has been passed over the past 20 years with the aim of preventing antisocial behaviour, disorderly conduct, trespass,
harassment and terrorism that has not also been deployed to criminalise a peaceful public engagement in politics. When Walter Wolfgang was briefly detained by the police after heckling the foreign
secretary last week, the public caught a glimpse of something that a few of us have been vainly banging on about for years.
On Friday, 6 students and graduates of Lancaster University were convicted of aggravated trespass. Their crime was to have entered a lecture theatre and handed out leaflets to the
audience. Staff at the university were meeting people from BAE Systems, Rolls-Royce, Shell, the Carlyle Group, GlaxoSmithKline, DuPont, Unilever and Diageo, to learn how to "commercialise university
research". The students were hoping to persuade the researchers not to sell their work. They were in the theatre for 3 minutes. As the judge conceded, they tried neither to intimidate
anyone nor to stop the conference from proceeding.
They were prosecuted under the 1994 Criminal Justice Act, passed when Michael Howard was the Conservative home secretary. But the university was able to use it only because Labour amended the act in
2003 to ensure that it could be applied anywhere, rather than just "in the open air".
Had Mr Wolfgang said "nonsense" twice during the foreign secretary's speech, the police could have charged him under the Protection from Harassment Act 1997. Harassment, the act says, "must involve
conduct on at least two occasions ... conduct includes speech". Parliament was told that its purpose was to protect women from stalkers, but the first people to be arrested were 3 peaceful
protesters. Since then it has been used by the arms manufacturer EDO to keep demonstrators away from its factory gates, and by Kent police to arrest a woman who sent an executive at a drugs company two
polite emails, begging him not to test his products on animals. In 2001 the peace campaigners Lindis Percy and Anni Rainbow were prosecuted for causing "harassment, alarm or distress" to American
servicemen at the Menwith Hill military intelligence base in Yorkshire, by standing at the gate holding the Stars and Stripes and a placard reading "George W Bush? Oh dear!" In Hull a protester
was arrested under the act for "staring at a building".
Had Mr Wolfgang said "nonsense" to one of the goons who dragged him out of the conference, he could have been charged under section 125 of the Serious Organised Crime and Police Act 2005, which came into
force in August. Section 125 added a new definition of harassment to the 1997 act, "a course of conduct ... which involves harassment of two or more persons". What this means is that you need only
address someone once to be considered to be harassing them, as long as you have also addressed someone else in the same manner. This provision, in other words, can be used to criminalise any protest
anywhere. But when the bill passed through the Commons and the Lords, no member contested or even noticed it.
Section 125 hasn't yet been exercised, but section 132 of the act is already becoming an effective weapon against democracy. This bans people from demonstrating in an area "designated" by the
government. One of these areas is the square kilometre around parliament. Since the act came into force, democracy campaigners have been holding a picnic in Parliament Square every Sunday
afternoon (see www1.atwiki.com/picnic); 17 people have been arrested so far.
But the law that has proved most useful to the police is the one under which Mr Wolfgang was held: section 44 of the Terrorism Act 2000. This allows them to stop and search people without the need
to show that they have "reasonable suspicion" that a criminal offence is being committed. They have used it to put peaceful protesters through hell. At the beginning of 2003, demonstrators
against the impending war with Iraq set up a peace camp outside the military base at Fairford in Gloucestershire, from which US B52s would launch their bombing raids. Every day - sometimes several
times a day - the protesters were stopped and searched under section 44. The police, according to a parliamentary answer, used the act 995 times, though they knew that no one at the camp was a
terrorist. The constant harassment and detention pretty well broke the protesters' resolve. Since then the police have used the same section to pin down demonstrators outside the bomb depot at
Welford in Berkshire, at the Atomic Weapons Establishment at Aldermaston, at Menwith Hill and at the annual arms fair in London's Docklands.
The police are also rediscovering the benefits of some of our more venerable instruments. On September 10, Keith Richardson, one of the 6 students convicted of aggravated trespass on Friday, had his
stall in Lancaster city centre confiscated under the 1824 Vagrancy Act. "Every Person wandering abroad and endeavouring by the Exposure of Wounds and Deformities to obtain or gather Alms ... shall be
deemed a Rogue and Vagabond..." The act was intended to prevent the veterans of the Napoleonic wars from begging, but the police decided that pictures of the wounds on this man's anti-vivisection
leaflets put him on the wrong side of the law. In two recent cases, protesters have been arrested under the 1361 Justices of the Peace Act. So much for Mr Blair's 21st century methods.
What is most remarkable is that until Mr Wolfgang was held, neither parliamentarians nor the press were interested. The pressure group Liberty, the Green party, a couple of alternative comedians,
the Indymedia network and the alternative magazine Schnews have been left to defend our civil liberties almost unassisted. Even after "Wolfie" was thrown out of the conference, public criticism
concentrated on the suppression of dissent within the Labour party, rather than the suppression of dissent throughout the country. As the parliamentary opposition falls apart, the extra-parliamentary
one is being closed down with hardly a rumble of protest from the huffers and puffers who insist that civil liberties are Britain's gift to the world. Perhaps they're afraid they'll be arrested.
Source: guardian.co.uk The Guardian 3 October 2005
-------- Original Message --------
Subject: Re: Innocent in London
Date: Fri, 23 Sep 2005 20:51:43 -0400
From: Cody Hatch <email@example.com>
On 9/23/05, Ruth Hatch <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:
Fascinating: gizmonaut.net/bits/suspect.html - ("...basically the Police have decided that wearing a rain jacket, carrying a rucksack with a laptop
inside, looking down at the steps while going in a tube station and checking your phone for messages just tick too many boxes on their checklist and make you a terrorist suspect. How many other people
are not only wrongly detained but wrongly arrested every week in similar circumstances as myself?)
*nod* That's Britain.
In other news, Sir Ian (chief of the Met Police) is considering drafting soldiers to use as armed quasi-police. He'd also like to radically expand their powers to dispense "on-the-spot"
justice. (See timesonline.co.uk and news.scotsman.com.) Some commentators ask, still partially in jest, if Brits are still a free people (timworstall.typepad.com).
The British Home Secretary has publicly called for the EU to recognise that security is more important the civil rights. Some heated commentary on arbitrary detentions for people who live with people
suspected of being terrorists: timworstall.typepad.com.
Here's a fun proposal from back in May that would have, arguably, made sedition illegal: militantpinemarten.blogspot.com.
Oh, and Anti-Social Behaviour Orders (ASBOs) have been mentioned once or twice in some of those links. They allow the judicial system to order a named individual to not commit a very specific
action. Crucially, there's nothing at all that says the actions needs to be illegal - it just needs to be "anti-social". Real examples of things which have been targets of ASBOs include
distributing leaflets, jumping into rivers, holding a flag upside down, saying the word "grass", carrying "any article that could be adapted as a missile", wearing a baseball cap, and entering any building
more than 4 stories tall.
Violating an ASBO carries up to 5 years of jail. Yes, you too can go to jail for wearing a baseball cap, or entering a 10-story building...
Okay, getting back to work now.
A society that puts equality...ahead of freedom will end up with neither equality nor freedom.
- Milton Friedman
For articles on bioterrorism, patriotism enforcers, airport security, children in war, McCarthyism, humanitarian killing, Voice of America, pipelines, truth, lessons, anthrax, hatred and pain click the
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