Choking Out the Opponent

In a sudden and shocking move, the Lake Sun Leader has changed its online site.  No longer is the news available for free online.  Now, full access to Lake Sun content will cost you $10.99 a month.  You can still comment freely on articles specifically chosen by the Lake Sun’s editorial staff and content manager, as they will choose what appears on their Facebook page, thus open to the public.  Only those pieces they choose.

The timing of such a move is curious, to say the least.  At a time when the Lake Sun’s own comment sections were alive with debate concerning local issues and matters of politics and current affairs, it makes the move to a pay-for-content site.  This restricts access for many Camden County readers, many of whom are having difficult enough times making ends meet than to be asked to pay for information.  Being an informed citizen, an informed voter, is at the heart of a democracy.  It is our protection against corruption and the forces that would collude to keep us in the dark.  Our local, rural media is the key to unlocking our view of the world.  It is supposed to be based on truth, honor and dignity.

Our local paper is intended to inspire debate and discussion.  Not division.  Not exclusivity.  The Lake Sun, with both their track record and under the cover of the bottom line, has made a move to restricting access and comment.  With their history, it is not surprising.  It serves as a book end to their history of distorting facts, misleading the public and publishing propaganda in support of the lunatic fringe views of the hard right.  It fits a pattern of recent, overt behavior that can only be called disturbing.

Last fall, I began submitting letters to the editor of the paper.  One of them, titled ‘Hartzler’s Folly’, was printed in the Lake Sun.  It had to do with the arrest of a Missourian in her office for deciding to wait for a meeting with the Congresswoman.  The Lake Sun ran a response from the office of Rep. Hartzler and a few letters critical of me and my submissions.  They chose not to print my reply to Vigilant Vicky’s office, although it was sent within 24 hrs of her rebuttal seeing print.

I realized what we were up against at that point.  It wouldn’t be about promoting views, no matter how well researched, how well written. Keith Broekemeier had the same experience, as his critical letters stopped seeing print as the August election drew near.  He was frustrated.

He wasn’t alone.

I began working exclusively on the internet.  I wrote about the Lake Sun and their parent company, Gatehouse Media.  I wrote about the run to privatize Missouri’s education system.  I wrote about the police state that has been formed around us, with the help of a silent media.  I wrote about Anaheim.  I wrote about a girl in St. Louis who was tazed in a shopping mall.  I wrote about Cliff Luber, the Ayatollah.  I wrote about Vigilant Vicky Hartzler.

I wrote about the Lake Sun’s unscrupulous behavior.

First reported here, on American Spring, the Lake Sun Leader was caught manufacturing support for then GOP Presidential candidate Rick Santorum in the lead up to a caucus process that was contentious, to put it mildly.  They were caught misstating the amount of supporters at the fringe candidate’s rally, held in Osage Beach.

They lied.

They left a trail in black and white.

When writing an online piece about Cliff Luber, when his candidacy for Camden County Commissioner was announced, I went through the Lake Sun opinion archives.  I was in search of a letter the Ayatollah had written, in which he was calling for pastors to preach politics from the pulpit.  I initially couldn’t find it.  It had been removed from the archive.  After making a bit of a ruckus, the letter re-appeared.  I even thanked the paper for making it available in another installment of a series I did about religious extremism and the media’s role in perpetrating it in Missouri.

They removed the letter.

It was damaging to the Ayatollah.

While being critical of Vigilant Vicky Hartzler and her voting record, I experienced strange glitches on my phone that have led me to believe it is being monitored.  I wrote about this here, and sent it for publication to the Lake Sun.  I was told that it needed to be ‘toned down’ to run in the paper.  That’s puzzling, as it was a discussion about the Big Brother systems of government.  I would have thought freedom lovin’ folks would have an interest to hear about that kind of theft of our liberties.  I was wrong, apparently.

They wouldn’t print the letter.

It needed to be ‘toned down’.

I was frustrated.

I wrote more.

The Lake Sun then ran the first of three articles promoting the idea of a ‘conspiracy theory’ of an anonymous ‘smear campaign’ against the Ayatollah.  The theory was based on the reader’s ability to suspend disbelief.  To take the Lake Sun’s version of events, we should imagine that the ‘smear campaign’ was mere invention.  It was ‘Chicago-style politics’.

It was a police report.

Instead of reporting fact, the staff of the Lake Sun indulged in writing a bit of tawdry, sad fiction.  They focused on casting Cliff Luber as a victim, instead of reporting the facts associated with the claims of ‘anonymous smear campaigns’.  They then wrote a self-congratulating piece, applauding themselves and the virtuous Ayatollah on his glorious triumph.  They followed that up later in the week, attempting to add an exclamation point to the end of their tale, with questions of ‘Who Done It?’.  After all, the bigger the lie….

It was propaganda.

It was creative fiction, designed to confuse the existence and significance of a police report with Luber’s threats contained in its pages. I called for the Editor of the Lake Sun Leader, Joyce Miller (joyce.miller@lakenewsonline.com) and reporter @Spreeness to resign.  I said they were dangerous and engaged in deceit.

I did not expect that letter to see print.  It didn’t even receive a reply calling for me to ‘tone it down’.

I decided to try again.  “The Party Is Over”, which did run in the Lake Sun,  was an appeal to all thinking men and women in the reach of the paper to understand that they are united against us.  The politicians work for whomever writes the checks, not the rest of us. Those who write the checks intend to increase their profit margins and to hell with the rest of us. Both the RNC and DNC showed that democracy and its processes and procedures are meaningless to the corporate state.  They both shrugged off the will of the people in servitude of another master entirely.

It is common ground for all of us.

Then, the Todd Akin piece ran.  The LACC piece ran.

This is thanks, in no small part, to a clamor on the comment boards on the Lake Sun’s web site.  The pressure generated by the simple act of commentary on our local media, frightens them.  They understand they are holding someone else’s bag, pushing the propaganda of the lunatic fringe.

Dissent will not be tolerated.  It will be silenced through any means necessary.

While the Lake Sun was transitioning their site this afternoon, an email made its way to my inbox.  This email was regarding apparent censorship of certain comments on their articles.  The people who were attempting to post were supporters of the Ayatollah’s competition.  The Lake Sun dismissed the questions as being a ‘technical issue’, but when one considers their history, can that really be trusted?

The comments in question were from a political opponent of Luber’s, Don Barrett. After repeated inquiries, Mr. Barrett was ‘assured’ by Joyce Miller that it was only a glitch associated with the creation of the new pay for content site.

It would appear that the Lake Sun is instead making a rush to attempt to shut off commentary that doesn’t fit their narrative and restrict access to content at the editor’s discretion.  Given Joyce’s predisposition, as documented in the pages of her paper, do we dare allow her to decide what is available for mass consumption?

The Lake Sun is attempting to silence dissent.  They intend for the voice of rape, murder and hatred to win his seat.  They intend to nip any sort of opposing opinions from their pages.

Their intent is obvious.

They will further shrink our scope of knowledge and awareness until only the lunatic fringe are interested.  They will reduce our conversations to those of passion, not those of logic.  These changes and obvious examples of malpractice illustrate clearly whose side the Lake Sun is on.  It sides with the lunatic fringe.

Dissent will not be tolerated.

It will be choked out.

Ironically, a gentleman made the comment, in jest, that we should ‘occupy the lsl’ on the Lake Sun’s site, over the weekend, just before the change.  It seems they have given us no choice.

Comments like that are EXACTLY what they are afraid of.

Who’s up for an occupation?

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Ayatollah Luber

Cliff Luber, candidate for Camden County Commissioner, believes the lines between church and state need to be eliminated. 

 

He has, through his own words, promoted the concept that politics should be dictated from the pulpit.  He has also, through his affiliations, shown that he is in favor of a society wherein the majority of us must sacrifice so that a very few can enjoy better bottom lines. He has, through his public support, embraced a hard line, right-wing agenda that includes forcing women to capitulate to the decisions of their employer’s authority where her health choices are concerned.

 

Who knew that Cliff Luber held the same rigid beliefs as the Ayatollah and those who adhere to Sharia Law?

 

These radical beliefs are not limited to Islam, as the women inAmericaare fast learning.  

 

Mr. Luber has repeatedly and publicly supported politicians and policies that reflect his narrow point of view.  He has been vocal in his support of Vicky Hartzler, whose votes in favor of stealing our rights have been well documented here.

 

This includes an article this week that pointed out the connections between local lumber and hardware dealer, High Brothers Lumber and Home Center and Hartzler’s continued siege on our liberties while she cuts rules for business. It was no surprise of course, that the day after that piece appeared, Mr. Luber was at High Brothers, as if to emphasize the nefarious connections between his politics and Hartzler’s.

 

It becomes important to look then, at those similarities, as Luber appears to be in lockstep with Vigilant Vicky.

 

One doesn’t have to search long for an example of this religious extremism, as illustrated by one of Vicky Hartzler’s largest contributors, Eagle Forum.

 

Eagle Forum supports the enforcement of religious dogma via the state.  This is clear in their rhetoric throughout their site.  A tour through the mission page is a glimpse at a theocracy, NOT a democracy.  They would seek to replace things like the ‘Imperial Judiciary’ with the teachings of the bible, which once again begs the question:

 

Do they realize they are mirroring dreaded Sharia Law?

 

As referenced earlier, Luber has been outspoken in his beliefs that politics should be preached from the pulpit.  Last fall, Mr. Luber wrote a letter to the Lake Sun that emphasized just that, calling on local pastors to infuse their sermons with a political agenda. 

 

When doing research for this piece, I went to the Lake Sun’s web site. While many of Luber’s less controversial letters appeared there, the submission in which he made this appeal was not found.  Given the editorial direction of the Lake Sun and their documented manipulation of facts surrounding other politicians, this comes as no surprise.  They appear to be very much in tune with this radical, extremist wing of politics.  Their inflated support of Rick Santorum’s campaign clearly demonstrates an empathy with those who would see the lines between church and state obliterated. 

 

This would turn our country into, of all places, Iran. 

 

I suspect that most of us, Mr. Luber, do not see the enforcement of religious dogma via government as a good thing.  Most of us instead, see it as the danger it is.

It is the same danger the first Americans saw in jolly ol’ England. 

Know what we did then?

High Brothers, Hartzler and Hatred – The theft of your rights

Much has been made of corporate influence and corruption in Washington politics.  It is understood now, in our post “Citizens’ United” world, that money donated directly equates to access to and influence over, politicians.  There have been generic cries of outrage over a system that favors oligarchs, but we are rarely offered a hometown look at these relationships and the repercussions they have on the community at large.  Fortunate then, that as I was sitting at a traffic light, staring me in the face was the perfect example of this destructive parasitic relationship.

High Brothers Lumber and Home Center has been a member of the Camden County business community since 1979.  While no one can say for certain how long ownership has endorsed stealing the liberties of their clients and customers, it can be said that their recent enthusiasm for these extreme ideas is bubbling over.  A trip to their place of business, located on South Hwy 5 just outside of Camdenton, Missouri, finds one under the Gadsen flag, the chosen symbol for Tea Partiers in the area. 

Its slogan, ‘Don’t Tread on Me’ matches the view of High Brothers Lumber and Home Center ownership perfectly, as I learned sitting at the aforementioned traffic light. In front of me was one of High Brothers’ trucks, painted up in a gaudy style that resembled a NASCAR machine.  On the left side of the rear bumper however, was something that stood out like a blazing neon sign.  There, displayed proudly for all to see, was a sticker endorsing Vigilant Vicky Hartzler of Missouri’s 4th District and her ongoing war against liberty. 

Hartzler has voted in favor of making it a felony to protest anyone under Secret Service protection.  She has voted in favor of the NDAA, which allows the government to apprehend and detain you indefinitely without charge or warrant.  She has voted to extend the Patriot Act. 

She has had Missourians arrested in her office. 

Her town hall meetings, with the doomsday projections of our debt, armed police guard and threats have the look and feel ofGermanyin the late 1930’s. 

No gays.  No contraception.  No abortion.  No Medicare.  No Medicaid.  No Social Security.  No rules for business, at all.  No public post office or education.  No public welfare, only corporate.

No peace.

Yes, to the constant state of war.  Yes, give more breaks to Big Oil.  Yes, impose a religious belief through legislation.  Yes, sell off government holdings to private companies.  Yes, shred the Constitution and the Rights bestowed upon us by birth.  Yes to oppression.  Yes, allow big banks to go unpunished for the theft of our treasury while writing laws to allow for even more fraudulent practices (JOBS Act).  Yes, cut tax rates on corporations and the wealthy.  Yes, pass that burden on to the rest of us via a 10% income tax no one is exempt from.  

We expect no more from Vigilant Vicky Hartzler, who was paid $1,485, 076.00 to run for office and then to cast votes in favor of the aforementioned positions.  In fact, of all Vicky Hartzler’s top contributors for the above time frame (2010 election and voting through mid 2011) with one lone exception, were from OUTSIDE Missouri’s 4th.

 From them, I would expect such impersonal treachery.

 High Brothers Lumber and HomeCenter is the local face of Vicky Hartzler, while she is whoring out our country and legislating us all into submission.

 From them,  I would expect better.