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"Joyful Curmudgeon" An oxymoron?
No! I see all the beauty of God's creation and I'm joyful.  At the same time, I see all the suffering and corruption going on in the world, and feel called to help expose and end it so that we may have true peace and compassion.


Erosion of Freedom by Dribs and Drabs – 7 January 2008
By Mary T. Hoffman

As I mentioned at the beginning of yesterday’s Blog, on weekends I like to watch Bill Moyers Journal and NOW on PBS.

As usual, Bill Moyers’ program (4 January 2008) was thought-provoking. His guests were Kathleen Hall Jamieson, co-author with Brooks Jackson of the book “Unspun: Finding Facts in a World of Disinformation”; and two presidential hopefuls, Ron Paul, the Libertarian running as a Republican, and Dennis Kucinich, who is a Democrat.

The fact that Dennis Kucinich, a former mayor of Cleveland, six-term member of Congress, and progressive champion was excluded from speaking in the Iowa caucus by the sponsor, the Des Moines Register; and was also excluded in a New Hampshire debate by ABC, tells you something about the self-serving arrogance and power of the media. As Kucinich said: “Disney, which owns ABC, has had executives contributing to some of the candidates in this race. It's a very serious matter here.”

During the program this statement by Ron Paul, which he had previously made on “Meet the Press,” was replayed:

“We’re not moving toward Hitler-type fascism, but we're moving toward a softer fascism. Loss of civil liberties, corporations running the show, big government in bed with big business. So you have the military industrial complex, you have the medical industrial complex, you have the financial industry, you have the communications industry. They go to Washington and spend hundreds of millions of dollars. That's where the control is. I call that a soft form of fascism, something that is very dangerous.”

Please notice that Ron Paul said nothing at all about the huge, powerful meat and dairy industries! Could it be that he is beholden to them in some way?

Also worth repeating are these words by Ron Paul during his conversation with Bill Moyers:

“Now we're living in an age today in this post-9/11 atmosphere where our civil liberties are being undermined constantly. All in the name of safety and security we're supposed to give up our rights for our privacy? We're allowed now to accept the idea of secret prisons and secret renditions, and the loss of habeas corpus. This is very, very dangerous. And I don't want to get to the point where it's hard to reverse. Matter of fact, right now it's getting more difficult everyday to reverse this trend, because the American people seem to so often say, ‘You know I want to be-- I can't be free, if I'm not safe. So, I want my government to make me safe.’ And they're willing to give up their liberties. And I'm convinced that you never have to give up liberties to be safe. I think you're less safe when you give up your liberties.”

When Bill Moyers asked Ron Paul if our two party system had run its course, Ron Paul answered:

“Well, it's meaningless. And I think you know, we send boys over there to promote democracy in Iraq. But we don't really have democracy here because, you know, if you're in a third party-- if you're in the Green Party, or Libertarian Party, you don't get any credibility. You can't get on debates. You can't get on the ballots hardly at all. And it's very, very difficult. And the two parties are the same. You don't really have a democratic choice here. So yes, I think we have a long way to go to set good standards here.”

When only those who are controlled by corporate contributions qualify to run for office, everyone loses in the end. I think that freedom is being hijacked (just as Christianity has been hijacked) by dribs and drabs, so that people don’t notice what is happening – until it’s too late. And in the process, millions of humans and billions of nonhumans suffer.

For my previous Blog about Bill Moyers Journal, visit:

Go on to: Rewarding Criminals – 8 January 2008
Return to: Dirty Politics – 6 January 2008
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