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Freedom from Fear: Being a Stand-up Human Being.

By   Follow Me on Twitter     Message Jason Paz     Permalink
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My Dad Said Soak the Rich

"Soak the Rich" was my dad's complete platform during his 1968 run for President. He didn't believe in press hand-outs. He knew the reporters would find a way to confuse the three words.

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For statistics he showed them his 9-hole 3-par golf scorecard. He had carded a 25, which was two under par. Still, it had more meat than the first Republican budget for 2010.

GHWB had the CIA drown the last two investigative reporters in 1988. The remaining ones mumble a lot and crush the press release with their hands as they leave the press conference.

My dad had a word for Americans such as they: panty waists. Epithets were few and far between from him and idle banter was unknown. After a Thanksgiving dinner he and my Uncle Bill spent the afternoon in the parlor in complete silence. In the days we worked together as house painters the conversation involved who would buy cold milk from the delivery truck for lunch. When it rained we went to the golf course. The wind in the trees made more noise than we did.

Why did such a man run for President? He felt his country needed him. He was right.

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My dad was free from fear. Most people aren't.   

Our Right to be Free from Fear

Bob Chen, Global Voices

Blogger Lan Xiaohuan (兰小欢), in his post ‘Bitter Smile', reflects on how a nation permeated with fear has muzzled people's voice. Lamenting that the cost to claim the rights of a citizen is getting higher today, he also lampooned the infusing fear that crushes people's courage and love, concluding that Chinese have never really stood up without fear.

He starts with an anecdote of his childhood:

I was very timid when I was about 5 years old. One day back from school my sister told me a ghost story which is so scary that I was sleepless the entire night and thus kept my father awake, because I would shake him up once he fell asleep. Next day, my dad scolded my sister, ‘Look, you have scared him so much! I will beat you if you dare do this again!'

Today I received a letter from a kid, which writes, ‘I have been so worried recently. Could you please help me? Not long ago I have published an article about Tiananmen Square incident on my blog in It was deleted by the admins and my account was also locked. Moreover, I have often broken through the GFW (internet blockade) to read webpages that were censored in China. So, will I be put on some blacklist? Would this ruin my plan to study abroad? Please give me some advise, thanks a lot!

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I broke into laugh after reading it, and comforted him almost in a tone of banter. But then I somewhat felt sad for him, recalling what my dad scolded my sister, ‘Look, you have scared him so much!’.

It doesn't have to rely on violence to create fear. It only needs to increase the cost of acting justice. Not even that is needed. As long as it is shown clearly that such cost can be raised at any time, we will be deterred. Look at the stories about people being ‘invited' to talk with the public security agents; look at how citizen journalists were treated in Si-chuan (where 5.12 earthquake happened). Look at their anxiety and fear, you should know everything.

The cost is too heavy for our slim shoulders to take on.

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Born a month before Pearl Harbor, I attended world events from an early age. My first words included Mussolini, Patton, Sahara and Patton. At age three I was a regular listener to Lowell Thomas. My mom was an industrial nurse a member of the (more...)

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