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OpEdNews Op Eds    H4'ed 9/15/11

The Big Book of Freedom

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From the Big Book of Freedom
From the Big Book of Freedom
(Image by Really Big Coloring Books Inc.)
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We live in strange times, but then, you don't need me to remind you of that. We are dissipated and scattered, sermonized and patronized and intellectually euthanized. These are revolutionary times though some don't believe it; some won't accept it and some will only whisper about it in the dark.

We are no longer what we once were; we have become something which our past would despise. I remember in that halcyon little Chicago suburb of my youth buying cigarettes in a local liquor store during the Vietnam War. On the back of the cash register facing the customers a sign read, "Draft beer, not students." A private store owner expressing his personal displeasure at American foreign policy, a small statement certainly, but it was open and public.

At the same time when the local church a minister gave a sermon in support for the Vietnam War the congregation answered him with angry shouts of "then send your son!" Some got angry and walked out, never to return. These were the symptoms of a society in conflict, but a society functioning in conflict.

In those long ago days our soldiers were referred to as our brave boys serving their country, today they are called only heroes. The irony has not escaped me that some of my friends served in Vietnam and now my son's friends who serve in Iraq / Afghanistan and they return home damaged and broken just as mine did. This is generational carnage of puppets pawns and policy, of fighting commies or Islamic revolutionaries for nondescript illusionary national goals.

The dead, the wounded, the carnage and the cash matter, but even more so let us look at what has become of us as a people. In the recent Republican debate Ron Paul was booed into silence as he attempted to tell the faithful why we must end these wars of aggression. What Democratic candidates would have such courage? Yet Paul doesn't believe in the Department of Education either. He believes in the insane notion that if you just leave corporations alone we could achieve a national nirvana. Noam Chomsky agrees with Paul in this foreign policy point just as Barack Obama now channels George W. Bush in his war talk of terrorists.

Last month the defense department tested a "Hypersonic Technology Vehicle" this is a high speed glider which sits atop an intercontinental ballistic missile. The program was originally the brain child of the Rumsfeld Pentagon; ostensibly the idea was to load the glider with a conventional warhead which would be able to strike any point on planet Earth in 60 minutes. Even during the Bush administration this project was controversial within the Pentagon because adversaries or potential adversaries would have no way of knowing for sure the destination or the payload of such a weapon.

This weapons system's purpose is clearly offensive and not defensive; it is by definition a first strike nuclear weapons delivery system. America's nuclear policy for over forty years was never to be the first to use nuclear weapons. That national policy of nuclear deterrent was changed under the Bush administration and continues now unabated under the Obama administration. It is no longer the policy of this nation not to use nuclear weapons first.

What would we think of China or Russia building such a weapons system? But this is from that other America, the one that doesn't look in the mirror much any more, an addict who hides its addiction to violence in flags and homilies. I asked a Catholic Priest once about why he didn't speak out against the war and he answered, "We are forbidden to speak about it by the Bishop." Curiosity and anger compelled me to ask, "Would Jesus have listened to the Bishop?" Later the following year I attended my wife's church on Easter Sunday. On the altar directly behind the minister was an American flag on a staff. I was morally offended by that, as god plays no favorites. Then as the minster began his sermon he spoke of our heroes defending our freedom in Iraq and Afghanistan. This was his message on Easter Sunday and I realized then that good atheists are not born-- they are made.

A co-opting of church and state and even of language but more devastating is the co-opting of thought. When I first saw this news story I thought that perhaps it was a joke. Then when I realized that it was not a joke I thought of the Crosby Stills and Nash tune "Teach your Children."

Stars & Stripes -- "The publisher of a new children's coloring book, called "We Shall Never Forget 9/11: The Kids' Book of Freedom," says it is the latter. Really Big Coloring Books Inc. publisher Wayne Bell says the book is intended to be educational.

"It's really designed for older kids, not preschoolers," said Bell in a phone interview. "It's designed to be a teaching and learning tool for parents and teachers to use with their children."

From the text of "The Kid's Book of Freedom"

"Being the elusive character that he was, after hiding out with his terrorist buddies in Pakistan and Afghanistan, American soldiers finally located the terrorist leader Osama Bin Laden. Many people had helped secure his safety for nearly 10 years.

Dubbed code name Neptune Spear, the operation lasted 38 minutes, included 23 SEALs and a dog named "Cairo," no one wanted detainees. Once the American military confirmed and identified Bin Laden, President Barack Obama had previously issued a kill order to SEAL team 6 to shoot Bin Laden. In Bid Laden's house in Pakistan Osama used his wives and children as shields as he tried to escape from the American military. But the coward Bin Laden could not escape. He was killed hiding behind the dress tail of a young woman. On May 11, 2011, Bin Laden was shot dead and the American military wrapped him in a white blanket and buried him at sea by throwing his body overboard. Throwing his body into the sea showed him more respect than he showed to the people who died on 9/11.

Children, the truth is, these terrorist acts were done by freedom-hating radical Islamic Muslim extremists. These crazy people hate the American way of life because we are FREE and our society is FREE. We must be prepared to know and understand the truth, America is FREE. Ask you mother and your father, your teacher, your preacher what this really means. What does it mean to be FREE? Why are we a FREE people?

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I who am I? Born at the pinnacle of American prosperity to parents raised during the last great depression. I was the youngest child of the youngest children born almost between the generations and that in fact clouds and obscures who it is that (more...)

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