Silence is Consent

If you don't speak up you accept what is happening. This site was born out of the mainstream media's inability to cover the news. I am just an American cititzen trying to spread the word in the era of FCC consolidation, post 9/11 Patriot Act hysteria, hackable voting machines and war without end. I rant and post news items I perceive to be relevant to our current situation.

All tyranny needs to gain a foothold is for people of good conscience to remain silent.
- Thomas Jefferson

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So Called Social Security Crisis (SCSSC)

Comments, questions, corrections, rebuttals are always welcome.

Friday, May 14, 2004
For me this prison abuse "thing" is approaching what I call "space shuttle territory". What I mean is this: The first time a space shuttle blew up, Challenger in 1986, I was watching TV when the news coverage interrupted regular programming. I continued watching it all through the day. By dinner time, I couldn't take it anymore. I was still living at home at the time, and as the evening news was going through it again, I lost it and started ranting and asking everyone in the house, "Hey, did you hear? The space shuttle blew up!" I asked this repeatedly and freaked out the rest of my family. I had heard enough about solid rocket boosters or SRB's, as Dan Rather had called them, for one day. The space shuttle had jumped the shark for me.

I think that is about where I am with the current issue. I am sick of hearing all the different reporters' pronunciations of Abu Ghraib. How high up does this go? Who knew and when did they know it? How long will we be paying for this? The whole thing is being blamed on all the "liberals" in our country.

Now, I have a theory on all of this: basically, the media just keeps on with this until everyone gets tired of the same old thing and just tunes it out. It takes away people's curiosity. People believe that the media is looking into this and that it will all get flushed out and that when it does, they will tell us what happened. But what is really happening is that the same line, usually incorrect, is repeated over and over and over and over, until most people come to believe it as fact.

It is this incessant retelling of the same story over and over and over again that makes people not want to 'hear about it anymore.' It can also turn lies into truth as John S. Carroll, editor of the Los Angeles Times points out in his recent essay The Wolf in Reporter's Clothing: The Rise of Pseudo-Journalism in America:
But we live in changed times. Never has falsehood in America had such a large megaphone. Instead of being ignored, the author of the column [on unethical behavior at the L.A. Times]was booked for repeated appearances on O’Reilly, on CNBC, and even on the generally trustworthy CNN. The accusation was echoed throughout the talk-show world. This is how the tale of the two-week delay -– as false as any words ever penned by Jayson Blair -- earned the columnist not infamy but fame. Millions of Americans heard it and no doubt believed it. And why not? It sounded just like journalism.
So if you 'don't want to hear about it anymore,' then you obviously will not dig deeper into the story to see if what is being said about the situation at Abu Ghraib is actually the truth. There is a constant fight inside each one of us to decide what to focus our attention on. I'm not falling for it this time.

In this case, like everything else, the reality is probably the worst possible story for the mainstream media. War is ugly. Bad things happen during war. The enemy is dehumanized, has to be, for the war to be fought. If soldiers were taught that the enemy is a fine, upstanding person like they are, most would not want to kill the enemy. Rape, murder, torture--it's all part of war. It's not that we or those we fight are different. It doesn't matter what economic system or religion or policial ideology or society you were raised in. This is what happens in a war, no matter where you come from.

That is the story the corporate-run media does not want to be told. They just want to tell the story of the "good" things about war: Killing bad people, libertating good people, democratization, rebuilding schools, etc. And, of course, that those who do bad things on our side are 'just bad apples.' These people in the photos were not influenced--in any way--by bringing in the GITMO prison commander, and a religious fanatic who heads military intelligence, nor by a President who does not respect international law, nor by a Secretary of Defense who believes our prisoners of war are 'different' than everyone else's.

I am currently reading an eerie book about war, War Is a Force that Gives Us Meaning. It is by Chris Hedges who was a war correspondent in many conflicts. It breaks war down very well. If you want a short version of this, I found a commencement speech he gave last year, and it is very interesting. Here is how is begins:
I want to speak to you today about war and empire.

Killing, or at least the worst of it, is over in Iraq. Although blood will continue to spill -- theirs and ours -- be prepared for this. For we are embarking on an occupation that, if history is any guide, will be as damaging to our souls as it will be to our prestige, power, and security. But this will come later as our empire expands and in all this we become pariahs, tyrants to others weaker than ourselves. Isolation always impairs judgment and we are very isolated now.
He wrote that last year, not today. See, people knew--and know--what is going to happen in Iraq, or in any war. But it doesn't make you feel like a liberator. So now, when I'm approaching "space shuttle territory," I handle it in a different way. I keep digging.



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