For the Week of January 16, 2006
No tyrant considers themselves evil. No supporter of tyranny thinks they're supporting any such thing. The same goes with their supporters, who follow those tyrants to hell.
Yet throughout history great nations and great ideas have been corrupted and turned into evil, usually by men and movements driven by fear. Fear of the bosses. Fear of the Jews. Fear of the Americans. Fear of the Muslims. Yet, America's history replies, "we have nothing to fear but fear itself -- nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror which paralyzes needed efforts to convert retreat into advance."
How far down the road must an Administration go before its citizens realize they have become mere subjects, and that their only recourse may indeed be to what Abraham Lincoln called in his First Inaugural "their revolutionary right."
When is the line crossed? How many have to die before the line is crossed? Some 3,000 innocents were murdered on 9/11. It was evil, the work of evil men who saw their cause as justification for mass murder. Yet how many innocent Iraqis and Afghans have we murdered since then? I won't count those killed by "the enemy" - how many innocents are dead of our hands? How many are enough? How many other governments are we about to overthrow in the name of fear?
You're either with us or against us. That's what Stalin said. That's what Hitler said. That's what Pol Pot said. It's what Mao Zedong and Bin Laden said. This is always the cry of evil men. It is never the cry of good men, only peoples united in righteous might against such black-and-white choices.
Slowly, realization dawns on larger numbers of people. Men and women who were compliant and complacent begin to speak up. Mere entertainers begin to berate the powerful, seemingly out of nowhere.
And each time it happens, the hammer comes down harder.
The checks and balances of the American system are there for a reason. They exist to prevent the utter destruction of those in power, and the utter destruction of the country. Even in war these checks exist. There are steps Abraham Lincoln refused to take during the Civil War that this Administration has taken. There were steps FDR refused to take against Hitler that this Administration has taken. There are steps Richard Nixon refused to take that this Administration has taken.
And still, there are apologists. Still, there are even advocates.
At what point does the evil done in the name of your cause spill into your soul? The answer, in the movie Judgement at Nuremberg, was the moment you condemn a man to death whom you knew to be innocent.
We don't know that this has happened. But we can't know it hasn't happened, because we can't get at the evidence. It's all secret. The snooping, the arrests, the trials, the torture, all secret. So how can you know, as a supporter of this Administration, that the fatal step has not been taken already, in your name? How can you claim that it has not been taken many times, while you cheered it on or jeered those who warned against it?
Back to Lincoln for a moment. "While the people retain their virtue and vigilance no Administration by any extreme of wickedness or folly can very seriously injure the Government in the short space of four years."
Your virtue, your vigilance are what sustain the Government. This is the ultimate check on power, and the time has come to impose it.
Give me liberty or give me death. That's the American cry. That's the American way. The trade of liberty for security is the way of evil.
Will you now stand for liberty? Are you afraid to? When the final judgement is made of this era, all those who supported evil will be destroyed in the righteous fury of those they oppressed. And if that makes me your enemy, know that it also makes you America's enemy.
I've got a new job. I'm now editor of Atlanta voic.us, a Web start-up aimed at building a community Web platform with a real business model. I'm also all alone in writing the Open Source Blog for ZDNet. (When this started there were three of us.)
My last non-fiction book, "The Blankenhorn Effect" won the Computer/Internet category in the 2003 Independent Publisher (IPPY) awards. Write me for a PDF copy of my latest novel, "Baptists are for Dunking."
On my Mooreslore blog I've written a new novel, "The Chinese Century." It's a story told in real-time, with real characters, but entirely fictional, dealing with the consequences of the falling dollar. I'm beginning a sequal, "American Diaspora," exploring the themes of the first book but with more fictional characters. It's a true alternate history, but set in the present day.
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Best of the Week
Page knows that Rule One for winning at Risk is, "Don't Tap a Horde." Don't attack those squares adjacent to the first kid's horde of pieces until everyone else is swept away. Don't fight the final battle until its result is foreordained.
How else do you explain Google supposedly heading to $600/share? How else do you explain a company with $500,000 in revenues over its entire lifetime thinking it can go public at $270 million? How else do you explain rumors of Google replacing the phone company with WiFi or bringing out its own PC? Where else do you get rumors of Microsoft offering $80 billion for Yahoo, and Yahoo (worth under $60 billion currently) saying no?
There are enormous claims of movement this week at CES, where Intel built a booth that would have made its former Comdex managers blush, and changed its slogan besides. But is Intel really leading? Or is it following?
The story is that old file-sharing sites are closing up shop. The RIAA beat them. But what really beat these shops was technology.
The big hoarders of spectrum -- phone companies -- are choking on what they already have. Prices are going to be down.
Schwartz is fascinated with the expense of Morgan's set-up, and the requirement to have an engineer on staff. I think more of the fact that Edison's set-up ran Direct Current, and it was the replacement of DC with Nikola Tesla's AC which made the present grid possible.
Folks who were wondering how Rupert Murdoch and Fox would try and capitalize on the purchase of MySpace over the summer don't have to wait any longer. They're doing it by trying to break network neutrality, from inside a Web site.
ZDNet Open Source
Clued-in is the partnership between the US Patent Office and open source advocates aimed at helping the government find prior art on patent filings.
Clueless is . Both sides lost.
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