- Feature - Hell Just Got Louder
- Feature - Siem Reap to Bangkok by Taxi
- Feature - Martin Luther King, Jr.'s Road to the Mountaintop
- Feature - Campervanning Across New Zealand
- Feature - Sandy Does Swindlehurst
- Feature - Penn Jillette
- Feature - Black Cat and White Dog Search for the Meaning of Life
- > Columns
- TODAY'S NEWS AND HOOTS
- Notes From A Polite New Yorker
- The Guys You'll Meet on Earth, But Not in Heaven
- The Shameful Truth
- Pulling At The Fringes
- These Altered States - America Trying to Become Itself
- Tommy Digital's Pussy Cocktails
- Frankly Speaking
- Campus Croons From the Middle of Nowhere
- Writing for the Sake of It
- The Octopus Files
- Void Creation
- Wasims Rants
- Slippery Id
- > 2008
- > 2001 - 2007
- > January 2009
- June 2009
- Kotori Audio Pix - August 09
- Feature - DREDG : The KOTORI Video Interview
- > July / August 2009
- Feature - Fahrenheit 911: Is it all Just an Illusion?
- > October 2009 - 2010
- Feature - Citizens United and The Chamber of Congress
- Feature - Dreamend: The Kotori Interview
- > January 2011
- August 2008
- > September 2008
- CDz BOOKz and DVDz - September 08
- Black President (VIDEO)
- June 2008
- April 2008
- March 2008
- May 2008
- January 2008
- February 2008
- July 2008
- Feature - Richard Taylor To The Max
- RNC COVERAGE...SORTA
- Feature - Marty Beckerman's Amazing Testicles
- Feature - Brendan Canning
- > October 2008
- > November 2008
- Feature - Consent of the Governed
- Feature - The White Voters Burden
- Feature - McCains America
- Feature - Sen Dog
- CDz BOOKz and DVDz - October 08
- Art of Nancy Baker
- What's Bots & What's Rot
- Feature - Best Superhero Adaptations
- Feature - Tobacco Speaks
- Feature - Cinema 16 Returns For A Sequel
- Feature - Positive Vibration
- Feature - House of Cards
- Feature - All Together Now
- Feature - Roasting the Pigs of War
- Feature - Ex Post Facto
- Feature - Detroit is Burning
- Feature - Kottonmouth Kings
- Feature - The Paintings of Steve Smith
- Feature - The Beat Goes On
- Feature - 666 Reasons Sentient Citizens are Still Celebrating the Long Overdue Departure of George W. Bush
- Feature - The Real Kevin Coughlin
- Feature - Memorial Day for the U.S. of A.
- Feature - The Times They Are A-Changin'
- Feature - The Art of Victoria Horken
- Eating Like a Tibetan
- Feature - A Chat with Captain Puscifer
- Feature - 2010 Adult Entertainment Expo
Consent of the Governed
How can we stand by and watch our own pathetic demise and not flood our streets with outrage?
From Abu Ghraib to Guantanamo to Mr. Ng, is not anyone asking the horror we have become? Tuesday, August 12, 2008, The New York Times does a story on Hiu Lui Ng, an immigrant from Hong Kong who died in Custody on August 5, 2008. His story made me weep.
A year earlier Mr. Ng had been taken into custody. Mr. Ng had been a productive member of society. He had come to the U.S. when he was 17 and worked as a computer engineer; he had a house in Queens and two American- born sons.
There was an error on the part of the immigration office and a notice for a hearing in 2001 was sent to an unknown address. Mr. Ng never received the notice. When he showed up for his final Green Card Interview with his wife - a U.S. citizen- in July of 2007, he was taken into custody.
The details of the case are heart-wrenching: for a year he suffered from pain in his back and cancer growing in his body, but was told he was faking it and did not get help until he and his lawyer appealed to a federal judge. By the time he got an MRI - which showed a fracture in his spine and cancer rampant throughout his body- he was so sick that he died a few days later.
What we as citizens must own of this is beyond heart-wrenching.
Every society, every organization, and every community both shape and reflect their leadership in the social mores that are passed down. We are condemning Russia for their treatment of Georgia, but why can we not see the despicable acts we, ourselves, are committing? We have landlocked prisoners that we are torturing. It doesn't matter how we utilize our language to release ourselves from responsibility; it doesn't matter that some of these things happen in other countries though within our jurisdiction. They are happening within our territory, inside the walls of what we parade as Freedom and Justice.
It makes my stomach cringe just to say those words. Freedom. Justice.
Mr. Ng was not granted his civil rights; he was denied the Constitution. The Bill of Rights had become a vague fantasy circling around the Capitol Building while this man was unjustly arrested, abused by being denied medical care, and not given due process – even though he was entitled to it because he had been following the rules laid out for him by our system. The system made a mistake, and Mr. Ng died a brutal death because of this.
We can say, okay, there was a mistake, but how do we justify the treatment he was given? How would we justify this for any man woman or child, immigrant, resident, "terror" suspect, or prisoner of the enemy? How can we stand by and watch our own pathetic demise and not flood our streets with outrage??? Where is the democratic part of our supposed democracy? Where are the voices speaking out so that the government will have to listen??? Remember, every senator and congressman and presidential candidate care most about election and re-election. We do have power here if we threaten (and follow) to reroute our votes. Candidates will then surface who will speak to our democratic call for…justice. Justice, justice, justice has been besieged by fear. And we have allowed our democracy to be overrun by our own terror.
The greatest terror threat to our nation is the disintegration from within, for great nations fall because they do not utilize the information before them. In the words of Thomas Jefferson, "Information is the currency of democracy." We all know what is happening, the torture in Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo. We know that Mr. Ng and countless others like him have been subject to inhumane treatment and robbed of their constitutional rights. Why, then, are we not acting out in ponderous ire?!
Constitutional rights have become a privilege in this country, not a right, and the mortar that has held our society in place has corroded. We are each and all responsible for the torture, treatment, and loss of freedoms to anyone in our custody. We are the keepers of our democracy. Our nation was founded on the idea that power lies in the people. The Declaration of Independence was drawn up in reaction to a government that had misused its power.
"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness."
In a democracy, the people must approve the actions of their leaders.
If we consent to such grave injustices, we must accept the horror that we, the people, have become.