Monday, December 6, 2010

A Paranoid New Year

para·noid adj

1: characterized by or resembling paranoia
2: characterized by suspiciousness, persecutory
trends, or megalomania

3: extremely fearful

para·noia noun
1: a psychosis characterized by systematized delusions of persecution or grandeur usually without hallucinations
2: a tendency on the part of an individual or group toward excessive or irrational suspiciousness and distrustfulness of others

The above definitions are from

A few days ago I needed to block out noise at work, and played some 1960's music. Among the songs were these. Click on them to go to YouTube videos.

Barry McGuire Eve of Destruction
Donovan Universal Soldier
The Byrds Turn Turn Turn
Manfred Mann With God On Our Side

Being the end of the year I started thinking about this last year, and my life.

I was born a few years after World War II. The German veterans of World War I told their sons to surrender to Americans because we treated POWs well.

In 1960, while in Europe, I saw what the "good guys" did to civilians in Germany. I also saw what a police state looked like when we visited the Soviet Union. A police state requires the constant monitoring of people's activities. A police state requires the suppression of a free press.

I grew up during the Cold War, a time when schools practiced air raid drills. We lived under the flight path from the San Francisco airport. During the summer I would hear plane fly overhead, and wonder if that was the plane that would start WW III.

The basis for many of my beliefs were formed, and the 1960's strengthen them.

True lasting change can only happen with a change in the belief of people. Said another way, change through violence will fail.
- We are still fighting the civil war. Without cause, in some places blacks have their backpacks searched on the way to school. Their cars will be stopped and taken apart looking for drugs. As of 2005 38.9% of prisoners were black. With a criminal record there is little chance they can rise out of poverty. The are cast into the jobs that were done by slaves.
- WW I laid the groundwork for WW II. WW II laid the groundwork for the Cold War, the Israeli Palestinian conflict, and more.
- Korea. Vietnam.
- And now two more wars.

In contrast to a police state, freedom as we traditionally understood it can not survive without a free press. The constant monitoring of our activities will, without a doubt, lead to the loss of our freedoms.

The eventual end to our invasion of Vietnam was the result of many things. Two stand out to me.
- First was the anti-war movement. They put the truth in front of the American people in a way that could not be ignored.
- The second was the press. Slowly they were forced to report on what was happening. Then Daniel Elisberg released the Pentagon Papers. This provided the proof that we escalated the war based upon lies.

We are again in a war based upon lies. We again have an anti-war movement trying to let the American people know what is truly happening. We again have a whistle-blower releasing secret document proving we are in a war of lies. So, what's different.
- We are no longer the nation that treats prisoners of war humanly, but rather we are in constant violation of U.S. and International law.
- The media has been consolidated into a few major players. GE and other military industrial complex businesses are invested in the last of the major media. With cross ownership all major media can be controlled.
- The major media outlets, with the exception of The New York Times and a few others, have not covered the content of the Wikileaks releases. I did not see any of them present the documented evidence that places the torture of prisoners at the feet of General Petraeus. The media only covered the "controversy" over his release and the call for his prosecution or assassination. I heard the claim that individuals named might be put in harms way, but I didn't hear that the Pentagon found that none were harmed.
- We are constantly being monitored. If your phone call crosses AT&T there is a good chance that everything you say, or every thing you do on the Internet will have a copy go to the Government. Toll booths are being removed, and tolls are collected by your license plate or electronic badge. There are security and traffic cameras everywhere.
- For the first time in my life, including behind the Iron Curtain, traveling might require me to be virtually stripped or felt up by strangers.

It is not too late to save this nation. It requires organizing at least nation wide, and hopefully world wide to dismantle the Military Industrial Complex. It requires the prosecution of criminals in government and business, many guilty of murder. It requires the restoration of a free press. It requires an open government. It requires a popular non-violent revolt.

Paranoia requires "a psychosis" or "excessive or irrational" thought. Paranoid can be "extremely fearful." Thus being paranoid can be a very rational state.

I will conclude with one more song.
Simon & Garfunkel Silent Night - 7 o'clock news

1 comment:

  1. Sad and true! And yes I will call it to others' attention. I am now most afraid that we are losing the freedom of the internet, our last free media, due to Wikiphobia. And thanks for the nostalgic music. The song that makes me cry, literally, is "We Shall Overcome".