The Sounds of Silence

By Hsing Lee

"Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter."
Those were the words of the Reverend Martin Luther King Jr.
Archbishop Tutu says it another way: "The truth hurts, but silence kills."
And kill it does. Your silence gives assent to political will, and year after year, administration after administration, results in genocide against colored people both at home and abroad. We can no longer remain silent. It's imperative that we concerned citizens of this planet speak out, because the media, the politicians, and Wall Street aren't going to fix anything unless we force them to. At the polls if possible, at gunpoint should the time come. My hope is that we can work toward the former, and avoid the latter.
But if it comes to revolution, the fault doesn't lie with us. As John F Kennedy said, "Those who make peaceful revolution impossible make violent revolution inevitable."
The silence of the mainstream television media is an observable fact.
"Of 414 stories on the Iraqi question that aired on NBC, ABC and CBS from Sept. 14 to Feb. 7, Tyndall says that the vast majority originated from the White House, Pentagon and State Department. Only 34 stories originated from elsewhere in the country, he says.
Similarly, a check of major newspapers around the country from September to February found only 268 stories devoted to peace initiatives or to opposition to the war, a small fraction of the total number."
That's less than 10% of TV news stories related to opposition to war, if that. Where newspapers are concerned, considering how many of them there are, it's probably much worse.
The media is used to shape opinion and manufacture consent. They've been moving the line in the sand between 'right' and 'left' so far to the right that there isn't anything even resembling liberal views being expressed by journalists anymore. Now, even the guests are weighted in this way.
I was watching CNN yesterday, when Rep Trent 'Crow' Lott (R) and Senator Jay Rockefeller (D) showed up to talk about Iraq with Larry King. Never mind that he's a Rockefeller. This particular Rockefeller has shown remarkable independence, and as Governor and Senator, he's been instrumental in passing a large number of laws that have cost his family billions of dollars. So, when he showed up on Larry King, I was thinking, "Great! He's going to slam Bush for his Iraq policies like he's been doing of late, as reported in the fringe media."
NOT. It was a good-cop bad-cop routine without the good-cop. Rockefeller agreed with virtually everything Trent Crow said, and even laughed about the outsourced use of torture by the US State Department.
I started to get frustrated and depressed, but with a slim hope that perhaps these two came out as the pro-war supporters, and that people representing the anti-war movement would be next. While there WAS an anti-war opinion that came up after the Trent and Jay show, what we got was not Medea Benjamin, or Ramsey Clark, or Ken Nichols O'Keefe.
What we got, as the counterpoint to Rockefeller and Lott, was Henry Kissinger and Zbignew Brzezinski. Brzezinski was the guy who some years ago wrote the Grand Chessboard, a book about why we should make preparation to invade and steal Central Asia.
That's what passes for the 'left' today on American TV. A genocidal maniac of war crimes in Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, East Timor, Chile, and Argentina; and the guy who wrote the roadmap for 9/11 and the invasion of Afghanistan.
You really need to understand what's going on here. Bush, Rumsfeld, Cheney, Rice and Powell are so greedy and psycho that they even scare people like Brzezinski and Kissinger. That should tell you something.
CNN's been doing this since Isaacson took over. It's nothing new, but this particular combination of guests was just a little too much middle finger at the 'little people.'
One TV station that's been trying to get real news out from time to time is PBS. Bill Moyers show NOW was the first (and only) to report on the Domestic Security Enhancement Act of 2003 (aka Patriot Act II) and what it means if this bill gets passed.
Moyers has been very critical of the Patriot Act and the Homeland Security Bill. The irony of his sign off, "For NOW, I'm Bill Moyers", has been hitting home of late. I keep expecting to see reruns and no more Bill. But it hasn't happened. Yet. For now, he's still Bill Moyers.
If the GOP gets its way, he'll be gone shortly. They're already using bully tactics, and pushing for an audit of PBS. That's how it starts. Next thing you know, Bill Moyers is off the air, and PBS never mentions proposed Bush legislation ever again.
"WASHINGTON (The Hollywood Reporter) --- A group of congressmen are seeking an investigation of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting's funding programs.
The lawmakers have asked the General Accounting Office to review the CPB's funding programs as public broadcasting system legislation comes up for renewal during this congressional session.
The lawmakers wrote: "While the goal recognized by the Congress in CPB's enabling statute -- to 'encourage the growth and development of public radio and television broadcasting, including the use of such media for instructional, educational and cultural purposes' -- remains important today, it is also necessary to reassess the mechanisms of distributing public dollars for these purposes to ensure that they are fair and fundamentally sound."
The last GAO investigation into CPB's funding was conducted in 1984.
Ken Johnson, spokesman for House Energy and Commerce Committee chairman Billy Tauzin, R-La., said the lawmakers were not necessarily expecting the examination to turn up any wrongdoing, but wanted to get solid numbers before reauthorizing the programÉÓ
The request was signed by Tauzin; Ralph Regula, R-Ohio, chairman of the Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Service & Education; Richard Burr, R-N.C., vice chairman of the Energy and Commerce Committee; and Fred Upton, R-Mich., chairman of the Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Telecommunications and the Internet."
Bush is getting ready for war. The Australian news has laid out a probable strategy for the Iraq war.
Air And Ground Double Whammy To Be Unleashed
By Thomas Ricks in Washington
Sydney Morning Herald
March 3 2003
"The Bush Administration's plan for an assault on Iraq is essentially in place, based on an unusual approach that envisages simultaneous air and ground operations, according to several people familiar with the strategy.
General Tommy Franks, the chief of United States military operations in the Middle East, reviewed the plan with his army, navy, air force and special operations commanders in Qatar last week.
The broad outlines of the war plan are now apparent.
It aims to combine the armoured fist of the tank-heavy 1991 Persian Gulf War with the speed of the overnight 1989 US takeover of Panama and the precision bombing of the 2001 US campaign in Afghanistan.
The formal onset of the war is expected with three nearly simultaneous moves.
On the ground, tanks and Apache attack helicopters will charge north into Iraq from Kuwait. Most Army units will be on the west, heading north towards the Euphrates River, while the Marine Corps and British forces will jump off farther to the east and move up alongside Iraq's southern marshes around the city of Basra."
A fast, speedy war, featuring a multi pronged air and ground assault using air power, tanks, and troops. Let's just call this what it is. BLITZKREIG.
Gee, who invented THAT strategy?
This next piece of news has a fitting prologue with a truly ironic double entendre, but when I saw it, I didn't know whether to laugh or cry...
"Private contractors are carving up defence procurement. Nick Mathiason reports on a military coup."
Apparently, Bush isn't the only one engaging in Corporatism these days. Tony Blair's getting in on the game, too...
The First Privatised War
Private contractors are carving up defence procurement.
Nick Mathiason reports on a military coup...
The Observer - UK
March 2, 2003
More than 40,000 British troops are bracing themselves for action in the Gulf. 'Our Boys' are backed by hundreds of tanks, fighter jets and warships in what is the UK's biggest military build-up since the Falklands conflict.
But any imminent action against Iraq will be historic for another reason. This could be the last war fought by British armed forces predominantly in the public sector. The Ministry of Defence is poised to enter into a welter of partnerships with business, ushering in the most fundamental shake-up of the military for more than 100 years.
(*MY NOTE* What were the Brits doing a little over 100 years ago? I'll give you a hint. It had something to do with Boers, a war, and concentration camps that mirrored the American concentration camps in the Philippines.)
Entire training, logistics and supply operations are set to be hived off to big business in the most far-reaching intrusion of the private sector into what was considered the state's preserve. More than 900 procedural reviews by MoD officials and consultants are coming to a head. There are strong indications from within the ministry and unions that a shift is under way from the armed forces' procurement body being a 'decider and provider' of logistic support to an 'intelligent decider' that may contract out most requirements,.
The Defence Logistics Organisation (DLO), which costs £6 billion a year - a quarter of the MoD's budget - is responsible for providing supplies such as arms, food and aircraft. It is the prime candidate for a radical shift away from traditional procurement.
Advised by McKinsey since last summer, a recently published DLO strategic plan said that to achieve its vision would require it to 'leverage industrial capacity and shape our relationship with industry'.
The shift will be welcomed by companies such as Compass and Sodexho, which provide food services, and a host of defence contractors.
Training of troops is the other main area of focus. BAE Systems and VT Group, the shipbuilder and defence PFI specialist, along with Thales and a number of building firms, are set to benefit hugely from lucrative new contracts. Training schools for the Army, Royal Navy and Royal Air Force are now separate, but they are set to amalgamate in what could be a property bonanza.
Most controversially, perhaps, management of the armed forces' secret files - which cover Northern Ireland, the Gulf war and a host of sensitive and historic areas - is set to be handed over to a private contractor. Two private firms are vying to take on the contract, move staff from west London to the North and computerise the records.
Alarm bells are ringing about Britain's fighting capability being fatally compromised by wide-ranging privatisation. Critics point to recent MoD procurement from the private sector as the shape of things to come, and list a number of botched or delayed key projects :
á Most glaring is the scandal over the multi-million-pound upgrade of RAF Nimrod aircraft, which suffered a setback because the wings built by BAE were the wrong size. Nimrods are used for reconnaissance and submarine hunting and have been deployed in every significant British military operation in the past 30 years. Not this one, though.
á New Apache helicopters, costing £27m each, are being mothballed at a cost of £6m. The National Audit Office (NAO) last November found pilot training was messed up because of an attempt to introduce competition into the regime, which cost an extra £34m. The helicopters are absent from the Gulf deployment.
á The SA80 rifle, once feted as the ultimate assault weapon, was the target of widespread complaints by soldiers. Made by BAE, it could not be fired in the left-handed position because ejected rounds hit the firer in the face, it was difficult to maintain in bad weather and the magazine fell out when carried against the body. The faults have since been corrected, according to the MoD.
á Halliburton, the oil and defence combine that US vice-president Dick Cheney worked for, was contracted to rebuild Devonport dockyard in Plymouth. Last December, an NAO report said the price had escalated from £505m to £933m and could be a lot more.
á Britain's Gulf build-up has already been dogged by supply shortages and equipment failures. Ten days ago it emerged that troops in Kuwait are so short of rations they are being sent food parcels by their families. Basics such as desert boots are unavailable. There are even reports of shortages of toilet paper.
'It was horrific logistical debacles during the Crimean War in 1854 and the Boer War in the early 1900s which forced government to take overall responsibility for procuring supplies and co-ordinating military training,' said Dean Rogers, negotiations officer at the Public and Commercial Services Union, which represents thousands of civil servants currently working in the armed services. 'Now there is a serious risk that this is all being unwound and the implications are truly frightening.'
Senior officers have voiced doubts in private about the imminent shift. They are training a searchlight at beleaguered Defence Secretary Geoff Hoon, and asking if he is aware of the magnitude of the reviews undertaken by his department.
One prominent officer who contacted The Observer despaired at the prospect of a carve-up. 'The Army spent £3bn on Apache fighter helicopters. Training the pilots was a contract given to the private sector. The helicopters are ready but there are no pilots. They haven't been trained and I don't think they'll be ready for at least three years. This is a shambles. And yet the indications are the ministry is proceeding with wholesale privatisation.,6903,905559,00.html
DID YOU SEE IT? Dickhead Cheney's Halliburton slimed their way into a UK military service contract. BAE systems, the UK's biggest contractor, was also mentioned. What wasn't mentioned was the BAE systems is now owned and operated by the American-based Carlyle Group, who employ George H W Bush, former PM John major, and oh so many other of the 20th century's most heartless bastards.
This war is all about oil and military service contracts. It always has been.
The UK is being turned into a vassal state of the American Empire, and Tony Blair's finishing what Thatcher started with the sale of BP, by selling BAE to the Carlyle Group. The UK is now well on it's way to becoming Wall Street's bitch.
Some people who were once on the inside are now trying to make amends and do their part to fix things. Joe Stiglitz, former Chief Economist for the World Bank is one of them. PLEASE go read his book, Globalism and Its Detractors. It's a mea culpa the likes of which you've never seen. He admits to being the guy who invented the IMF Structural Adjustment Programs, and then goes on to explain what those policies are doing to the Third World in horrific detail.
Go support your local Indigo or Chapters book store by purchasing Stiglitz's book at one of their many locations. I say this with sincerity because of a correspondence I just completed with the Privacy Department at Indigo. I wrote them, asking them what their privacy policy was. I suggested that they stop collecting purchase information of Indigo card holders, so that if the feds tried to use the Patriot Act to seize book records, the company wouldn't be able to break the Constitution by complying.
As it turns out, they already have a program in place that will cease filing your purchase records on purchases made though physical bookstores, by dumping the purchase records into anonymous accounts. Cardholders have to write them at to opt out of the 'Rewards' program and request that their information be deleted, but once that's done, you don't have to worry about Indigo giving records of your reading habits to Uncle Sam or the Canadian government.
So for now, I support Indigo and Chapters books, so long as they continue to diversify the ever-expanding number of books kept in-store. If they start moving in the other direction, you'll be the first to know, because I don't endorse Corporations lightly. Please consider purchasing Joe Stiglitz' Globalism and Its Detractors from your local Indigo or Chapters store.
Another side-switcher of late is Warren Langley, former head of the Pacific Stock Exchange.
If the United States attacks Iraq, a former president of the Pacific Exchange plans to participate in nonviolent demonstrations aimed at shutting down San Francisco's Financial District, including his former employer.
Warren Langley of San Francisco, a U.S. Air Force veteran who was president of the exchange from 1996 to 1999, will work with Direct Action to Stop the War, the activists organizing civil disobedience on the first business day after a U.S. attack.
"I felt I needed to do something more than marching in a demonstration, more than talking to my friends about it, more than sending e-mail letters to (Sens. Barbara) Boxer, (Dianne) Feinstein and (Rep. Nancy) Pelosi," Langley said Monday. "I feel that this is an important enough issue to take a risk."
The 60-year-old Russian Hill resident expects to be involved in nonviolent protests in front of the exchange.
A spokesman for the Pacific Exchange declined to comment Monday on Langley's involvement. Langley will formally announce his participation at an 11 a.m. news conference today in San Francisco. Now an independent consultant, Langley resigned from the exchange during management changes there.
A 1965 graduate of the U.S. Air Force Academy, Langley raised money to help fund an acclaimed 1998 documentary on Vietnam War prisoners of war, "Tom Hanks Presents: Return with Honor." Several of his academy classmates were POWs.
Now, he wants to speak out against the war.
Anti-war activists have been planning to blockade the Transamerica Pyramid, the Pacific Exchange and other "war-making" corporate and federal headquarters in San Francisco on the first business day after a U.S. attack.
Since last October, dozens of small affinity groups, clusters of five to 25 like-minded individuals, have been planning sit-ins, intersection blockades and theatrical productions around more than two dozen locations, most in the Financial District.
The activists' goal, as stated on their Web site and flyers: "If the government and corporations won't stop the war, we'll shut down the war makers!É"
This is a great idea if you ask me. Protesting at the spot where the oil moneyÕs going to end up after the war. Poetic justice.
A lot of people are still arguing that now is not the time to be standing up, when faced with such an oppressive and brutal dictators as the Bushies have become with their bogus laws and double standards and penchant for secret arrests and assassination. They're saying that in such times, one's first and foremost duty should be to look after one's own, to survive, and to not go looking for trouble unless trouble comes looking for you. Keep your head down and ride it out.
That kind of talk reminds me of being in a henhouse. It MUST be a henhouse, because when I hear that kind of talk, I don't smell nothing but chickenshit. If we refuse to stand up to injustice, we are guilty of collaboration by silent consent. BOK BOK.
Read these excerpts from the Reverend Martin Luther King, written from a Birmingham Jail.
'We know through painful experience that freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor; it must be demanded by the oppressed. Frankly, I have yet to engage in a direct-action campaign that was "well timed" in the view of those who have not suffered unduly from the disease of segregation. For years now I have heard the word "Wait!" It rings in the ear of every Negro with piercing familiarity. This "Wait" has almost always meant 'Never." We must come to see, with one of our distinguished jurists, that "justice too long delayed is justice denied."
"The Negro has many pent-up resentments and latent frustrations, and he must release them. So, let him march; let him make prayer pilgrimages to the city hall; let him go on freedom rides-and try to understand why he must do so. If his repressed emotions are not released in nonviolent ways, they will seek expression through violence; this is not a threat but a fact of history. So I have not said to my people: "Get rid of your discontent." Rather, I have tried to say that this normal and healthy discontent can be channeled into the creative outlet of nonviolent direct action. And now this approach is being termed extremist.
"But though I was initially disappointed at being categorized as an extremist, as I continued to think about the matter I gradually gained a measure of satisfaction from the label. Was not Jesus an extremist for love: "Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you." Was not Amos an extremist for justice: "Let justice roll down like waters and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream." Was not Paul an extremist for the Christian gospel: "I bear in my body the marks of the Lord Jesus." Was not Martin Luther an extremist: "Here I stand; I cannot do otherwise, so help me God." And John Bunyan: "I will stay in jail to the end of my days before I make a butchery of my conscience." And Abraham Lincoln: "This nation cannot survive half slave and half free." And Thomas Jefferson: "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that an men are created equal ..." So the question is not whether we will be extremists, but what kind of extremists we viii be. We we be extremists for hate or for love? Will we be extremist for the preservation of injustice or for the extension of justice? In that dramatic scene on Calvary's hill three men were crucified. We must never forget that all three were crucified for the same crime---the crime of extremism. Two were extremists for immorality, and thus fell below their environment. The other, Jeans Christ, was an extremist for love, truth and goodness, and thereby rose above his environment. Perhaps the South, the nation and the world are in dire need of creative extremists."
"Is organized religion too inextricably bound to the status quo to save our nation and the world? Perhaps I must turn my faith to the inner spiritual church, the church within the church, as the true ekklesia and the hope of the world. But again I am thankful to God that some noble souls from the ranks of organized religion have broken loose from the paralyzing chains of conformity and joined us as active partners in the struggle for freedom, They have left their secure congregations and walked the streets of Albany, Georgia, with us. They have gone down the highways of the South on tortuous rides for freedom. Yes, they have gone to jai with us. Some have been dismissed from their churches, have lost the support of their bishops and fellow ministers. But they have acted in the faith that right defeated is stronger than evil triumphant. Their witness has been the spiritual salt that has preserved the true meaning of the gospel in these troubled times. They have carved a tunnel of hope through the dark mountain of disappointment."
This last paragraph reminds me of the true words of Jesus, which are not contained in the Bible and are considered Heresy by today's Charlatans.
76. Jesus said, "The Father's kingdom is like a merchant who had a supply of merchandise and found a pearl. That merchant was prudent; he sold the merchandise and bought the single pearl for himself.
So also with you, seek his treasure that is unfailing, that is enduring, where no moth comes to eat and no worm destroys."
77. Jesus said, "I am the light that is over all things. I am all: from me all came forth, and to me all attained.
Split a piece of wood; I am there.
Lift up the stone, and you will find me there."
78. Jesus said, "Why have you come out to the countryside? To see a reed shaken by the wind? And to see a person dressed in soft clothes, [like your] rulers and your powerful ones? They are dressed in soft clothes, and they cannot understand truth."
Those words are from the Gospel of Thomas, from the Nag Hammadi transcripts found several decades ago in the Holy Land. They're written in Jesus original tongue, Coptic, and date back to (or close to) the lifetime of Jesus himself. They're the closest thing we have to the actual words of Jesus of Nazareth.
I encourage one and all to check out the Nag Hammadi archive.
If you read through these works, and then compare what Jesus says in Coptic compared to what he says in today's Bible, which is in English translated from Latin translated and heavily edited from Greek, which was itself translated and edited from the original Coptic, you'll find that the teachings of Jesus have been edited, twisted, and corrupted so as to be unrecognizable as the teachings of Jesus in the original language.
His words more closely resemble those of Che Guevara and Buddha than the garbage passed off as the teachings of Jesus today, garbage thumped loudly and proudly by our televangelists.
Jesus, the TRUE Jesus, has been silenced by today's media, just like We, the People.
In reality, he was silenced long ago, in 322 AD, when the Roman Emperor Constantine decided he needed a religion to go marching with, and ordered the scribe Eusebius to create a definitive collection of gospels that would be digestible by a Roman audience, and would serve the needs of the state better than the Roman/Greek Pantheon or Mithraism, which were the other religious cults competing with Christianity.
People need to understand this. The Bible as we know it is NOT the verbatim words of Jesus Christ. It's a bastardized and twisted version of Jesus' words that no scholar of Roman history disputes was created by Constantine and Eusebius in 322 AD.
Get it? NO ONE who's made serious study of the Byzantine era disputes this. The Bible was translated, edited, and compiled by a Roman Conquerer more three centuries after Jesus lived and died. There are numerous historical records passed down since 322AD that support this fact beyond any reasonable doubt.
Any who has eyes, let him see. Any who has ears, let him hear.
It's time to break the silence. It's time to move forward as a species and rise above our animalistic tendencies, so we can at long last achieve human civilization. But to do this, we need to be willing to be persecuted, spat on, and crucified by lesser minds.
Believe me, you're not the only one who's scared. I'm just as scared as any of you, even if it doesn't seem that way. But despite my own fears, I put one foot in front of the other, step by step, person by person, trying to make a difference.
Frank Herbert said it best in his Bene Gesserit Litany Against Fear, from the book Dune.
I must not fear.
Fear is the mind-killer.
Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration.
I will face my fear.
I will permit it to pass over me and through me.
And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path.
Where the fear has gone there will be nothing.
Only I will remain
The ability to face our fear, to face uncertainty over security, is the power of consciousness. It's what sets us apart from the animals. We must conquer and master our fears, for until we can face them, and face our past despite the discomfort of gazing at the distorted image in the broken mirror, we will never move forward.
And all will be naught but silence.



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