|conveyed in writing or speech", "moral strength",
"a capacity for affecting the mind or behavior", or even "legal validity".
Such characteristics might be punishable. This unlikely assertion
is confirmed by the behavior of the U.S. government. For example,
a Moslem cleric, Sheik Omar Abdel Rahman, was condemned to life in prison
for plotting to destroy various buildings, bridges, and tunnels.
He didn't do it. He merely planned it. He was not, himself,
charged with actual violence. Instead, he was guilty of "intellectual
power" and "influential action", that is, guilty of "force".
Another peculiar feature emerges when we examine the concept of overthrow.
overthrow .... 2. To bring about the downfall or destruction of, especially by force or concerted action....
— from The American Heritage DictionaryThus, an overthrow need not even be the result of force, but only of concerted action. The Constitutional Convention that created the present U.S. Constitution might qualify as an example. It was a concerted action, and it ended the previous government. Any such assembly might easily be maligned by the authorities as an attempt to overthrow the government. Delegates could be imprisoned. Even an attempt to amend a state constitution might be punishable under the U.S. Code.
of the English Language
Certain assemblies, groups, or societies are prohibited by 18 USC Sec. 2385. For your consideration, here are some more definitions.
assembly ... 2. A group of persons gathered together for a common reason, as for a legislative, religious, educational, or social purpose....
group .... 3. A number of individuals or things considered together because of similarities: a small group of supporters across the country....
society .... 2. An organization or association of persons engaged in a common profession, activity, or interest: a folklore society; a society of bird watchers....
— from the American Heritage DictionaryIn other words, 18 USC Sec. 2385 might be applied very broadly, depending upon the agenda of those in power. With a little "terrorism" as an excuse, the most innocuous of people or institutions might be punished.
of the English Language
A government should tolerate any change the people care to discuss. If it's a crime to advocate the overthrow of a government, then that is a sufficient reason to overthrow that government. Today, the freedoms of assembly, association, and speech are conditional before an arrogant presumption of inviolable government. We're not permitted to oppose the government, but only to plead for a bigger share of its largess.
All over the country, the U.S. government is punishing people for publishing some forbidden material, funding some forbidden activity, or joining some forbidden group. Liberty is in peril and we all have a choice to make. We can submit or we can resist. The U.S. government isn't going to allow neutrality as an option.
18 USC Sec. 2385
Advocating overthrow of Government
Whoever knowingly or willfully advocates, abets, advises, or teaches the duty, necessity, desirability, or propriety of overthrowing or destroying the government of the United States or the government of any State, Territory, District or Possession thereof, or the government of any political subdivision therein, by force or violence, or by the assassination of any officer of any such government; or
Whoever, with intent to cause the overthrow or destruction of any such government, prints, publishes, edits, issues, circulates, sells, distributes, or publicly displays any written or printed matter advocating, advising, or teaching the duty, necessity, desirability, or propriety of overthrowing or destroying any government in the United States by force or violence, or attempts to do so; or
Whoever organizes or helps or attempts to organize any society, group, or assembly of persons who teach, advocate, or encourage the overthrow or destruction of any such government by force or violence; or becomes or is a member of, or affiliates with, any such society, group, or assembly of persons, knowing the purposes thereof —
Shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than twenty years, or both, and shall be ineligible for employment by the United States or any department or agency thereof, for the five years next following his conviction.
If two or more persons conspire to commit any offense named in this section, each shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than twenty years, or both, and shall be ineligible for employment by the United States or any department or agency thereof, for the five years next following his conviction.
As used in this section, the terms "organizes" and "organize", with respect to any society, group, or assembly of persons, include the recruiting of new members, the forming of new units, and the regrouping or expansion of existing clubs, classes, and other units of such society, group, or assembly of persons.
|Excerpt from Brutality Smeared in Peanut
Butter; Why America Must Stop the War Now
Arundhati Roy, Tuesday October 23, 2001, The Guardian
... When he announced the air strikes, President George Bush said: "We're a peaceful nation." America's favourite ambassador, Tony Blair, (who also holds the portfolio of prime minister of the UK), echoed him: "We're a peaceful people...."
Speaking at the FBI headquarters a few days later, President Bush said: "This is our calling. This is the calling of the United States of America. The most free nation in the world. A nation built on fundamental values that reject hate, reject violence, rejects murderers and rejects evil. We will not tire."
Here is a list of the countries that America has been at war with — and bombed — since the second world war: China (1945-46, 1950-53), Korea (1950-53), Guatemala (1954, 1967-69), Indonesia (1958), Cuba (1959-60), the Belgian Congo (1964), Peru (1965), Laos (1964-73), Vietnam (1961-73), Cambodia (1969-70), Grenada (1983), Libya (1986), El Salvador (1980s), Nicaragua (1980s), Panama (1989), Iraq (1991-99), Bosnia (1995), Sudan (1998), Yugoslavia (1999). And now Afghanistan.
Certainly it does not tire — this, the most free nation in the world.
What freedoms does it uphold? Within its borders, the freedoms of speech, religion, thought; of artistic expression, food habits, sexual preferences (well, to some extent) and many other exemplary, wonderful things.
Outside its borders, the freedom to dominate, humiliate and subjugate — usually in the service of America's real religion, the "free market". So when the US government christens a war "Operation Infinite Justice", or "Operation Enduring Freedom", we in the third world feel more than a tremor of fear.
Because we know that Infinite Justice for some means Infinite Injustice for others. And Enduring Freedom for some means Enduring Subjugation for others.
The International Coalition Against Terror is largely a cabal of the richest countries in the world. Between them, they manufacture and sell almost all of the world's weapons, they possess the largest stockpile of weapons of mass destruction — chemical, biological and nuclear. They have fought the most wars, account for most of the genocide, subjection, ethnic cleansing and human rights violations in modern history, and have sponsored, armed and financed untold numbers of dictators and despots. Between them, they have worshipped, almost deified, the cult of violence and war. For all its appalling sins, the Taliban just isn't in the same league ....
Sam Aurelius Milam III
• Lately, the airport thugs have greatly escalated the kinds of items that they confiscate (steal) from passengers. My understanding is that most of it goes to the dump. Why don't they set up some tables near the arrival gates, and put the stuff there? Then, arriving passengers who had their stuff confiscated (stolen) where they departed could select some replacement items where they arrive.
• Let's not call the recent nonsense in Afghanistan a war. It wasn't a war. It was target practice, a chance for U.S. government thugs to test weapons systems on live targets, under safe conditions.
Letter to the Editor
Your lead article, Liberty Lost, is good except you seem to have forgotten the most important of your own guiding principles. A right cannot be given. To give someone a right is, in fact, the giving of a privilege. The individual must exercise any rights he hopes to retain. Thus, if the individual is unable or unwilling to exercise a right, it ceases to be a right. Therefore: people must have the right to be presumed innocent should be written, "People must be presumed innocent."
In court, the preponderance of evidence is all that concerns a judge and most jurors. In most cases a person will be convicted if he is not able to prove his innocence. The prosecution is funded by the government and is well able to accumulate enough evidence to prove anything they want. As you have found out for yourself, there is no stopping the government when they wish to gather information from any source, including blood and tissue samples. The right to not testify against yourself does not seem to include nonverbal evidence.
Regarding United Nations Agenda 21, by John Tisdale, John does not seem to realize that the United States of America has been fascist since World War Two. He should read your article War of Words in your December 1994 issue.
The control of resources is the leverage that will get compliance out of even the most resistant person. In this, the control of water is the second most effective way to gain control of people. How long can you survive without water?
— Sir James the Bold
Buck Hunter Shoots Off His Mouth
What do you think of Bizet?
— Opera LoverDear Opera Lover
That's one of them fancy French toilets, right? I saw one once on Crocodile Dundee, but I've never, well, you know.
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— Sam Aurelius Milam III, editor