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Some things I'd love to see on the public radar: Please write more articles about these topics!

Message Kathryn Smith

Dear friends: Please help me to get these matters below on the public radar. Your help by writing articles about these topics would be very greatly appreciated. We have so many superb journalists here on Opednews, and so many topics covered with frequency: Impeachment, 911 truth, and more.

Below I have listed a few items which I believe may be key to taking America back, and which may possibly be overlooked (I had to take a break from politics and writing for a while there, and of course I am human, so I could have missed something!) And please be advised that this list is in no particular order of priority. Except, that is, to get impeachment back ON the table and out from UNDER the table.

A) Expose the voting record of each individual Congressmember.

Particularly, Pelosi and Conyers, for obvious reasons. Help get them ousted and pressure them into voting for their seat in office becomse threatened by the use of our pens! Exposing the voting record of individual Congressmembers would be no small part of getting the offenders ousted. See or for the voting record.

B) Ask Americans at large to check the Congressional voting record before ever voting for a single thing, and never to vote based on impressions, images or assumptions.

EXAMPLE: "McCain wouldn't vote for torture. He was tortured himself". And of course, we on Opednews all know the truth about that one. In fact, he not only voted for the torture bill, but specifically voted against restoration of Habeas Corpus in Sen. Dodd's bill, Restore the Constitution Act.

THE MORAL OF THE STORY: Question assumptions! Check the Congressional voting record! Please write about this with frequency, and ask readers to write about the subject too. This would be enormously helpful!

C) Civil liberties:

In my experience having served on my local County ACLU Board, mainstream people don't worry so much about what they perceive as "National" issues (like warrantless wiretapping, etc) because they truly believe that it won't affect them personally. It will, in their minds, "only" happen in this or that geographical corner, and certainly not to themselves or any loved ones. Last but not least, it of course wouldn't happen on their turf.

Are these common assumptions correct? Of course not! That's why writing about specific case histories of who has been affected by civil liberties, in each of our own local areas, would be key to help opening up peoples' eyes.

Who in *your area* has been affected by the warrantless wiretapping, and in what way? Who has been subject to warrantless arrest without probable cause? Do you know anyone on the No-Fly List, or have you heard of anyone who is? Can you list any specific cases that you know about, or have dug up based on research? (I can name a few cases of people I know, right off the top of my head. And every one of them are peaceful activists!)

If you don't know of anyone in your own area, or if research has not dug this up, then please do refer to specific examples which have "only" happened "over there", on someone else's turf.

VERY IMPORTANT: Please also write about the specifics of each of the post-911 legislative bills. This will help to wake people up (if they put 2+2 together, that it can and will affect them too. That's where the mainstream will need your journalistic help. CAUTION: Don't come off as paranoid, or it will discredit you! Find ways to make them aware of the realities without spouting fear, projections, etc....just stick with facts and you will probably be okay).

At the bottom of this article, I have posted links I have saved about civil liberties violations: Please refer to them as you write and pass them on!

Informational resources, statistics, case histories, FBI documents and "terrorist" (ha!) investigations, facts about post-911 legislation, the history of each bill and who forced it through and how, etc:

The Center for Constitutional Rights or

ACLU still the best source on the web to get the facts, background of each bill, see declassified FBI documents, etc. Also has a Congressional voting scorecard, where you can look up by bill names/numbers or by the individual Congressperson of your choice.

Electronic Frontier Foundation

D) Identify and rebut commonly-held American beliefs which inform the mass pro-activity or inactivity, such as, but not limited to:

"It would never happen to me/you"

"America has free speech"

"Just let them wiretap me: I have done nothing wrong, so I have nothing to hide"

"Paranoid, conspiracy theorist" and other matters which inform the common denial

E) Strategies to get the Prez impeached. If Congress refuses to cooperate, what can we do? Communal brainstorm needed.

I suggest that the resistance to impeach has to do with the Congressional voting record. Congresspeople have voted for so many unconstitutional bills, for so many power-grabs and violence, that if they impeached Bush they would in the end be impeaching themselves too. THat's why they won't do it. Such is my analysis. If that is correct, then what can we do about it? Please write your ideas of how we can pressure Congress into doing the right thing.

Another poignant matter which a Congressional Aide in my US Representative's office said:

"Conyers is not waffling about impeachment. He is being arm-twisted. He needs to hear from the public". Any information which you may have about this would be very helpful.

F) Work to replace this corrupt and fascist Congress:

Letters to the editor, posting to blogs/websites, and emails about Congressional voting record (your own local Senator/Representative). Campaign to challenge Congressional seats. Lawsuits. Fill in the blanks...the gyst of it is: Let's write about strategies to oust this fascist Congress and replace about 85% of them with people who actually give a damn. may be of help here.

G) Work toward campaign finance reform. How to overcome the corporate funding machine which would fight such a reform, tooth and nail?

H) Empowering our depressed nation with hope:

Perhaps a large part of the reason why Americans remain silent in the face of gross abuse and violations is due to a sense of helplessness. There is a feeling that whatever we do, Congress won't care, and it won't make a bit of difference. Does anybody have facts, statistics, true stories, or other forms of hope to offer and to help counter this feeling?

I) Have I missed anything? Please fill in the blanks.

I am asking that you thoroughly researched, courageous, ethical and smart journalists here please write many articles about these matters.

It' s my own personal feeling that, in particular, the civil liberties and Congressional voting records issues get the least attention not just from the mainstream press, but even from us truth-oriented bloggers. Please help to get these matters on the public radar:

A)Send out chain emails,

B) post to blogs and websites,

C) write letters to the editor, and ask other friends to do the same.

D) As you post to the web about these subjects, please ask any readers to write their own articles about them too. Word will spread and more journalists will get on board.

Then, finally, it's the hundredth monkey.

Thank you! PS links about civil liberties violations, below:
This link is the best one, in my opinion, to show people how it is ordinary citizens and not big fish in the pond are being affected by the civil liberties crack-down.
Imagine...bird watchers and do-good-ers being queried as "terrorists" by the FBI, on a repeated basis? Imagine...being shackled and jailed for purely racial reasons?
Please read this, pass it on and please ask journalists to cover the issues: Note who is affected and how. So important. Thank you!!
"Since when did feeding the homeless become a terrorist activity?" asked ACLU Associate Legal Director Ann Beeson. "When the FBI and local law enforcement target groups like Food Not Bombs under the guise of fighting terrorism, many Americans who oppose government policies will be discouraged from speaking out and exercising their rights."
"My National Security Gag Order" is a true story written in the Washington Post by a receipient of a National Security Letter (NSL) carrying a gag order with a penalty of five years in jail for telling. The country: Post-11 USA.
the ACLU's summary of who is being spied on (which cultural cross-sectors, such as environmental groups, religious and peace groups, etc)

News of the classified (FBI) bulletin (about FBI crack-downs on dissent) also comes on the heels of an ACLU lawsuit against the Secret Service for the continuing practice of allowing pro-Bush protesters to remain visible to cameras during presidential appearances, and corralling anti-Bush protesters into pens or designated areas far from the media.

Examples of California free speech/free association violations on ACLU National's website
Info about the ACLU free speech forum which was just held in September '07, including 25 page report
An actual declassified FBI document showing the FBI investigation of the Thomas Merton Peace Center, as represented by the ACLU. The religious profiling is of note.
This summarizes the ACLU's attempts (most of them stonewalled) to get information about the spying of the FBI on peaceful activist groups and religious groups. It also lists who they are, what the ACLU has done, evidence they managed to get in spite of stonewalling, etc.
This link takes you to the ACLU's statement that they, as an organization, are being spied on (more than a thousand FBI pages about the ACLU), as are other groups.
There is another FBI document shown on the ACLU's website, which was almost entirely blacked out by the FBI prior to being released. I couldn't find it when I searched the site: Maybe one of you can find it. I went to the "Search" box and entered FBI documents. It's interesting to see and shows, in living color, the attempts of this Administration to stonewall.
It's interesting to see what conservatives have to say about this, and read the legal analysis. Note how Gun Owners of America, the ACLU, Center for Constitutional Rights, Electronic Frontier Foundation, Common Cause, People for the AMerican Way and more all agree in their analyses of the Patriot Act. SEE ALSO AND NOTE HOW ALL THESE ORGANIZATIONS AGREE IN THEIR ANALYSES OF THE PATRIOT ACT:,, (enter Patriot Act Fact List into the search box), etc...
I heard that Bush tried to sneak through Patriot II into other bills, in little chopped-up pieces, because even this fascist Congress would not approve the bill. Anyone have specific information about this, and which portions of the bill were inadvertently passed into law?



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This quote summarizes the nature of my concerns and the content of personal experiences which stir my activism: "Necessity is the plea for every infringement on human freedom. It is the argument of tyrants; it is the creed of slaves". --Paul (more...)
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