Friday, April 07, 2006

Outrageous Harassment!

A couple of days ago Rob Kall at OpEdNews published an article with ”Black November” in the title. I read it that day and, because I thought the point of the article was about future “black Novembers” (2006, 2008), I missed (or quickly dismissed) the part that caused the uproar.

After reading the second article I wrote to Rob questioning the jurisdiction that brought in the Capitol Police to be involved, since no one he wrote about is a member of Congress. I guess he did understand my question in the circumstances of being harassed, and so I have not yet heard back from him how the Capitol Police jurisdiction now extends to browbeating the electronic press in America. Because of the browbeating Rob has revised the “Black November” article you just read; it no longer contains the specific “offensive” material, and Rob has also sent out new guidelines to OpEdNews writers instructing them plainly to refrain from inciting the public to acts of illegal or violent activity. I would call this excessively, perhaps gratuitously, reasonable and would note that the original version of “Black November” did not in my or Rob’s or even the Police’s opinion incite anyone to violence. It did hope that certain parties experience sleepless nights for the criminal and immoral acts that can be reasonably attributed to them. Calling upon the consciences of persons to rouse them from their immoral and illegal activities is just about what thousands of sermons every Sunday are about.

Let’s face it; if there is a heaven and hell, and unless he repents and performs appropriate acts of contrition, Tom DeLay is definitely going to hell. He and his brown-shirt thugs who push senior citizen ladies around at political rallies are all going straight to hell. Tom richly deserves the trip, the especially uncomfortable accommodations, and permanent resident status there. Notice, I am not telling Tom DeLay to go to hell; I am saying that the inherent logic of his situation—the entailment of his rude, crude, borderline, and out-and-out illegal activities, his the assault on American democracy under the guise of Christian righteousness and political enthusiasm—will result in Tom going directly hell without passing GO or collecting $200! And good riddance when it finally happens!

As for Kathleen Harris, et al, they should all stew and fret and lose sleep, for they are certainly among the most callous practitioners of anti-democratic, racist bigotry, all of which are inconsistent with a clear Christian conscience. Rob Kall was right to say so. Certainly his comment was minor compared to the screaming hatred that blares out of Pat Robertson and Jerry Falwell, both of whom have many times publicly called for the violent demise of one prominent person or another.

It struck me the moment I read Kall’s second article, the one about being called by the Capitol Police, that the real point of the political harassment was not the sleepless nights that were directly mentioned, but the point was rather the topic of the first article, namely, Rob’s dream of the mid-term elections of 2006 being corrupted (again) and the Republicans holding the ground they have so undeservedly gained in recent elections. The way Rob wrote the Black November article left me with the lingering feeling that he is right, that the machinery and the will to corrupt the next election are in place and that it will happen. Thugs are thugs and American brown shirts have a rich genealogy.

In fact, Rob Kall’s nightmare became my own, and I have not slept well since I read it.

What can we do to protect our elections? The key is to insist that there be a reviewable paper record of every vote, everywhere (H.R. 550). Call your Representative today and get him or her to be cosponsor! It is high time that a federal election code be established for federal elections. The current system of leaving the management of elections to the several states just does not work (and never has!), primarily because it does not provide equal protection of the law.

We must also not allow ourselves or our press to be intimidated. Yes, of course, the aggressive forces of anti-democracy will pull their strings within the corporate media and the news will be distorted or ignored, but our electronic press must be saved from this. Make sure you understand that Rob Kall was not being browbeaten for his gentle reproof of Kathleen Harris or the others, but for his implicit call to “arms” against this sea of troubles that threatens our democracy.

James Richard Brett