Saturday, March 01, 2003

I work at home a great deal and have CSPAN on a lot of the time. I have seen dozens of protests ranging from a few thousand people here in the states to over a million in some European countries. I have yet to see a single instance of any lawfully gathered protest being "quashed" anywhere. I have seen 'some' protestors arrested by 'some' police officers but not once have I seen a protest disbanded by authorities. So where did this "quashing" occur? And keep in mind that any group who wishes to convene a large gathering must adhere to local ordinance and permit requirements, whether it's to protest the war or get Lynnard Skynard in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. So tell me, where has a legally convened protest been "quashed"?

Regarding civil liberties, where did each of you stand when President Clinton signed a bill elevating non-violent civil disobedience to a felony under the Rico Statutes? I recall an overwhelming lack of teeth-gnashing and garment-rending from Democrats over that, and you all know why. The bill was designed from the ground up to intimidate and "quash" Pro-Life protest. Did any of you write a letter to the editor decrying the death of civil liberties? Did you once say to a friend during a drunken bull-shit session, "You know, maybe the threat of hundred-thousand dollar fines and twenty year jail terms is a bit harsh for blocking a sidewalk or harassing a women seeking an abortion." Well, did you? And don't even try that 'freedom of access to a medical clinic' rationalization. The only 'medicine' that takes place in a Family Planning Clinic is non-emergency elective procedures; no one goes because they have blood in their urine or a screwdriver stuck through their neck. A woman seeking an abortion has no more right to be unharassed or unimpeded than a woman seeking to buy a mink coat at a department store. And those who are harassing and impeding whether it be PETA, Earth First or Operation Rescue have a reasonable expectation of reasonable punishment for engaging in non-violent, civil disobedience. It wasn't until businesses started using the act against groups like PETA and Earth First that democrats began quietly and with little fan-fare to seek to have it nullified. You can all thank the conservative-dominated Supreme Court for recently overturning this disgraceful law. By-the-way, just for the record, I am staunchly pro-choice.

As for the "give the inspectors more time" crowd, you do realize that if not for George Bush there would be no inspectors. It is an unfortunate historical tenet that despots and dictators are more responsive to rattling sabers than shuffling papers. It is difficult to comprehend the vitriol and hatred directed at the President when Bill Clinton, in 1998 and part of 1999, tried to warn the world about Hussein's continued defiance of the U.N. and on many occasions suggested the use of ground forces, if necessary, to bring him into compliance. Was he a warmonger? Was he a moron? Was he just after the oil? It is too bad that President Clinton was not more committed to his belief. Had he pushed the issue then, I seriously doubt we would have seen the current level of democratic hand-wringing and hate-speech. And, just maybe, there would be a Hussein-free Iraq that was actually able to feed it's children and provide some modicum of civil liberties to it's citizens.


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