By The Dying Fire

We are standing here, like Revolutionary soldiers next to a dying fire on the eve of battle.  We have felt the weight of our responsibilies on our shoulders, we have felt their noose as it has begun to tighten, choking off a way of life.  We have seen first hand, tyranny’s black hand draw closer and closer into a fist.  We have watched as our will, the will of the people, has been exchanged in a series of back room deals by unscrupulous politicians and dirty benefactors.  We have watched as the illusion of democracy has begun to fade like a distant dream.  It knows no bounds.  It is blind to party alignment.

There is a prevailing sense of calm around our campfire.  One look around and you will see weariness.  You will also see resolve, enthusiasm and determination.  We know the feelings of our forefathers, when the winds of change began to blow.  We know ours is a long road.  The way is hard.  Seldom is the right path the easy one.

There have been defeats.  Despite best intentions, there have been failures.  Though they discourage us, they do not define us.

Our cause is righteous.  It is just.  It is good.  From that noble cause comes the cold, uniquely American steel in which we are all formed.  All of us, each citizen, have a birthright that is also uniquely American.  Whatever we have become, whatever has been done in our names, behind closed doors, Americans are born of rebel blood.  Revolution is our birth right.  It is our greatest legacy.  Patriots, of different backgrounds, religions and beliefs joined together against a tyrannical government.  Against taxation without representation.  Our Founding Fathers’ shrugged off the chains of oppression, the machinations of power and gave full throated voice to their cause.  They knew it was better to die free than to live as a subject.

Through defeat comes understanding and from that understanding, confidence.  Confidence that we will defend our common ground with a common purpose against common threats.

I have made mistakes.  I have lashed out against those who would seek to protect our children from initiatives such as Common Core.  I did so without better understanding what the three school board members were standing in opposition to.  I did so without taking the time to pay attention.  I was guilty of ignoring what was right in front of me.  For that and for shouting ‘obstructionist’ without being better educated, I am truly sorry.  I acted no better than those I seek to hold accountable.  I was looking at the world through partisan glasses.

To Laura Martin, I apologize.  While I appreciate the more concice nature of a lantern, we need you in the sunshine.  I apologize for any blisters I may have caused you and your family. To Mr. Beckett and Mr. B, I offer my humble apologies as well.  I was wrong.

From that defeat however, the most glorious rebirth.  From those losses suffered during a bloody election battle, we have found that we stand back to back.  From these lessons, we have learned and, we have learned well.

Those of us who would stand together on this smoky battlefield are unbeatable.  We are undeniable.  We the people, the 99%.  Together, in this place, at this time, we are righteous in our anger and we embrace its fury.

Forces are gathering against us, we know them all too well.  We know their tools, of intimidation, of desperation.  We understand that they will bring them to bear.  It justifies our actions, replaces our fears and trepidations with the fire of purpose.  It allows us to stand here together, against all odds.  The same as it was for the Founders, it is for us.  Those of us who would stand together, under one banner, for one cause are united.  United as one, divided by zero.  Invincible against those who would seek to take our liberties and our way of life.

Those of us who would stand together, to fight for our freedoms and our children, understand the ideas expressed by the Forefathers.  Liberty or death.  Patriots dissent. Those who would give away security for liberty deserve neither.  We understand we are out-gunned and out-financed.  We know it doesn’t matter.  This is about all of us.  It isn’t about them.  We know that now. We have seen behind the curtain.  We know the truth.

If we can stand together, we cannot fail.

We clad ourselves in the armor of our loved ones, we put down our banners.  We pick up our swords.  We fulfill our birthright and bring about a revolution in thinking.  A revolution of knowledge.  A revolution built on truth.  A revolution of understanding.

The time to stand is now.

Postal Service seeks to cut jobs at Columbia’s processing center – Columbia Missourian

http://www.columbiamissourian.com/a/159950/postal-service-seeks-to-cut-jobs-at-columbias-processing-center/

The Shock Doctrine – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Shock_Doctrine#section_1

The Paywall Argument

Recently, the Lake Sun Leader went to a paywall web site.  This paywall has a limit of ‘free’ views (15) and encourages those who wish to view the paper’s site regularly to pay a subscription fee of $10.99 per month.  This allows for full use of their web site and the daily print version of the paper delivered to your home.  While there are many arguments against such a paywall, it was an inevitable transition, one we should have expected.  It was likely made above the head of Editor Joyce Miller and was a decision based on profitability.  There are other underlying factors, to be sure, but Gatehouse Media’s decision to utilize paywalls as a source of revenue has the undeniable ring of the bottom line.  Gatehouse faces a balloon payment in 2013 that looms over the corporation like Damocles’ sword.  The company’s balance sheet shows it’s assets to be valued at less than half the amount of the balloon payout.  Gatehouse Media is working short-term, attempting to solve an immediate business problem.  One way to do that is to implement a paywall for access to the digital version of the Lake Sun Leader.

The staff of the Lake Sun are simply doing their jobs by installing it.

Corporate media, such as Gatehouse, have to satisfy Wall Street and the debts they owe them.  The paywall works to the corporation’s benefit in ways that go beyond the bottom line.  As our Congress continues to take vacations on their march toward the neo-liberal economic goal of deregulating corporations, restriction of information becomes necessary.  In a democracy, in order to push through an agenda of this type, you MUST have control of the media.  The agenda of deregulating corporations is contrary to the good of the citizens of the country.  Destroying social safety nets, enacting legislation that requires we purchase health insurance or else, allowing Wall Street and Big Banks to raid our treasury unpunished, waging endless war via remote-controlled drones in far off lands, without debate, to benefit the military industrial complex and corporate resource, allowing for the silent creep of the police state and its surveillance networks; all of these require the silence of the media.  If these stories were reported in a concise way in the media, the public would see a clearer picture of the sins being committed in their names. We would see the grand illusion exposed, the sickening corruption of our democratic process by corporate lobbyists and interests.  We would have the information, the facts, to act against those who would continue their daily crime sprees.  We would see the Wall Street control of our government end.  We would see the corporate control of policy end.  We would see a return to peace as we would understand that we are the world’s leading exporter of terror.  We would understand the corporation unleashed is bad for us, as it will continue to drive down wages as we ‘must compete in the global market’.  We would see that England and the European Union are enforcing austerity right now, the will of Wall Street and their neo-liberal conspirators, against the will of the people.  We would see the pictures of police shooting into crowds of protesters in Spain, as they resist the decisions of government ‘leaders’, who are acting much like our own ‘representatives’.  We would know Greeks have had back-breaking taxes assessed on them through their electric bills, even in winter months.  We would see that the world is being pushed toward forced austerity at the end of a gun.  If we had information like that, ‘We The People’ would stand up as one and raise our voices, demanding the crime spree ends.  We would rise like a divine chorus, shouting that justice be done.

But that doesn’t serve the bottom line.  That doesn’t serve the corporate interest.  Therefore, information must be restricted, dispersed, glossed over, hidden.  If the public were well-informed, the corporate agenda would not be allowed to continue.  We would not let them destroy our children’s future.

Our Lake Sun staff was recently honored by the Missouri Press Association.  They were honored five times for their work.  Content Manager Eric Dundon received two awards for his design work, yet he might be the first to tell you that his artistic license was limited.  It was limited by Gatehouse’s decision earlier this year to centralize its operations.  Creativity, in corporate, cookie cutter media, is stifled in the name of ‘streamlining’ the processes to become more profitable.  It takes less work to have similar layouts for groups of papers.  That Mr. Dundon’s work was so well received is a high honor for him.  Perhaps his will be the vision for one of the cookie patterns.

We are lucky that we have a staff this well decorated.  Their awards are well-earned.  While I might not agree with all of their viewpoints or editorial decisions, I will give credit where credit is due.

It is a shame that we are being deprived the ability to view our paper without paying a monthly subscription fee.  It is a shame that their work it isn’t a part of the public record with access for anyone interested, instead of being restricted to those who can afford it.  It isn’t fair to us.  It isn’t fair to them.  The goal of any paper is circulation.  The unfortunate reality of the paywall restriction is that it won’t generate any raises for those who work at our papers.  Any increase in subscription dollars will go to the bottom line, not in their pockets.  They will be forced to make arguments about the value of their intellectual properties being worth something in cyberspace.  They will make them with straight faces.

The staff of the Lake Sun is just doing their job.

American Spring is going to do its job as well.

New email followers of http://www.americanspring2011.com will receive a free passport to information.  We will help anyone interested in being informed.  Simply go to http://www.americanspring2011.com and sign up to follow the blog.  You will receive updates to each new post straight to your email, twitter or phone.  You don’t have to agree with what you read there.  Just know that I’m happy you’re reading it.  It is a collection of articles and information from around the world and around the block.  It is free of corporate bias.  I have yet to receive a check from George Soros, contrary to popular assumption.  I am flattered, although I am not a ‘branch’ of Occupy Wall Street,  I sympathize with them.  I am a man who understands that when liberties are threatened, when our way of life is being undermined all around us in the name of a very select few, it is time to speak up.  It is time to tell the truth.  It is time for us all to have the information we need to make informed decisions based on our values and our children’s future.

It is time for us to stand.

We shouldn’t be deprived of the quality of our local newspaper because it will satisfy Gatehouse’s bottom line.  We should be able to support the Lake Sun’s staff’s work with our interest.

Truth shouldn’t come with a price tag.

Breaking the Post Office

Breaking the Post Office

Today, while sitting at home in solidarity with the National Day of Action the Occupy protests are engaged in, I can’t help but think of the Post Office and it’s announcement to begin cutting our services.  Maybe it’s the snow outside, reminding me of their tried and true motto: Come rain, snow, sleet or hail, the US Post Office will not fail.  Maybe it’s the nostalgia of the institution itself that stirs the pangs of pain I feel, as this Constitutionally guaranteed bastion of information exchange is whittled away before our eyes.

I can’t hide the anger I feel as I listen to them lie in order to justify this march

Small town Post Offices will soon be a thing of the past as Congress slowly strangles the USPS. In a desperate measure to stay afloat, the postal service will eliminate jobs and scale back services.

toward privatization on the nightly corporate news.  You see, the problem with the Post Office is Congress.  That’s all.  Nothing else.  Congress has passed legislation that has brought a lucrative public service to near bankruptcy.  There is no real downturn in demand.  The arguments about the internet causing the demise of the USPS are false.  It is complete and utter rhetoric pumped out by pro-corporate think tanks and public relations firms and replayed time and again on the pay-for-access corporate television and radio outlets.

The truth is the Post Office is going broke because Congress passed a law in 2006 that requires them to pre-fund the retirement accounts of their workers for 75 years into the future.  They are required to pay this off in ten years.  This is causing the Post Office to go broke and nothing else, as sales figures for the national parcel service were at record levels, with the Post Office posting record sales figures in recent years.  Demand hasn’t slowed down.  UPS and Federal Express continue to maintain strong, steady outlooks despite the economic woes.  People still have to ship things, after all.

The Post Office is going broke because Congress wants it to go broke.  There is no other reason.  Those companies who stand to see huge increases in profits if the public Post Office were eliminated have contributed enough money to the lying, morally bankrupt politicians to get what they want.  They have purchased the destruction of our Constitutionally guaranteed Post Office.

We must not allow this. As I said earlier, December 6 was a National Day of Action and members of Occupy St. Louis and Occupy Kansas City attempted to see our Representative Hartzler.  Apparently, the politician didn’t have time for them.  One of the protesters was even arrested for wanting to talk to OUR representative.  I called her office and registered a complaint with a staffer.  The Representative-For-Hire did not have time for me, either.  I presume this would have been different if I’d have written a fat donation check.

Their atrocious behavior cannot be tolerated any longer.  They must not be allowed to continue.  If we don’t take action now, we may not have a country left to rescue.