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Monday, July 14, 2014

July 14th in History: The first Sedition Act & the Modern Fear to Go For the Jugular

For most around the world, July 14th is remembered as Bastille Day or when the French Revolution began back in 1789..

We can only imagine how much more suffering and governmental corruption the French people of the day would have put up with if King Louis XVI was elected  by the populace to four-year terms in office with a limit of eight years.

Instead of rising up and overthrowing their haughty King and putting him and his conceited, arrogant wife to the guillotine as they did, the public response might have been more like, "Ehh.. He only has a couple more years in office.. Let's just patiently wait for the next election".

Then the people could have had more time to eat cake
The thing is, you can vote out of power a specific politician and even a specific political party, but you can't ever rid one self of politicians or political parties.

But July 14th was also important day in history here in the US

On this date in 1798, President John Adams pushed through and got passed the Sedition Act making it a federal crime to write, publish, or utter false or malicious statements about the United States government.

Of course who interpreted what is 'false' or 'malicious'?

Same entity one would criticize..
The Sedition Act was intended to protect National Security and prevent anarchy, as so was argued at the time..

In reality it was to muzzle people from speaking out against a deeply insecure little Massachusetts man and his political party, the Federalists

Some examples of that era of people being punished for expressing their Constitutionally protected thoughts and opinions in criticism of the Government:  (source: Wikipedia)
    James Thomson Callender  -- wrote a book entitled The Prospect Before Us (read and approved by Vice President Jefferson before publication) in which he called the Adams administration a "continual tempest of malignant passions" and the President a "repulsive pedant, a gross hypocrite and an unprincipled oppressor".

Callender, already residing in Virginia and writing for the Richmond Examiner, was indicted in mid-1800 under the Sedition Act and convicted, fined $200 and sentenced to nine months in jail.

**  $200 then was like paying $20k today..
Matthew Lyon --  He was indicted in 1800 under the Sedition Act for an essay he had written in the Vermont Journal accusing the administration of "ridiculous pomp, foolish adulation, and selfish avarice".  He was fined $1,000 and sentenced to four months in jail.

Benjamin Franklin Bache -- editor of the Aurora, a Democratic-Republican newspaper. Bache had accused George Washington of incompetence and financial irregularities, and "the blind, bald, crippled, toothless, querulous Adams" of nepotism and monarchical ambition.

He was arrested in 1798 under the Sedition Act, but he died of yellow fever before trial.
David Brown -- In November 1798,  he led a group in Dedham, Massachusetts in setting up a liberty pole with the words, "No Stamp Act, No Sedition Act, No Alien Bills, No Land Tax, downfall to the Tyrants of America; peace and retirement to the President; Long Live the Vice President".

Brown was arrested in Andover, Massachusetts, but because he could not afford the $4,000 bail, he was taken to Salem for trial in June 1799.

Brown pled guilty but Justice Samuel Chase asked him to name others who had assisted him. Brown refused, was fined $480, and sentenced to eighteen months in prison, the most severe sentence ever imposed under the Sedition Act.

Fortunately when Thomas Jefferson won the Presidency, the Sedition Act was repealed and thrown into the legislative trash bin but unfortunately it was merely the first time a President would crack down on his populace..
Lincoln did it during the War between the States via the suspension of Habeus Corpus, and Woodrow Wilson took it a few steps further during World War I, even expelling non-US born Americans who spoke out against the war and his policies.

Then of course 9/11 used as the perfect excuse to introduce the Patriot Act which a cowering, cowardly nation of sheep was more than happy to see introduced and then implemented with firmer and firmer grasp by two shit Presidents (W. Bush and 'black Bush') over the last 13 years..

It is amazing how much personal freedom and liberty one is willing to voluntarily give up in exchange for the feeling of being 'safer'...

And more amazing how few people particularly in public have the courage to genuinely criticize Obama the man..
Must be the 'black' thing though people do forget 50% of him is white and was raised by a white flake of a mother and white grandparents, meaning in terms of 'blackness', Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas is pure 'ghetto' in comparison..

Thus you'd think people could feel at least 50% comfortable mocking a very incompetent and insulated leader who based on limited governmental experience had no business even running for President much less being elected in 2008.

The PC police always seem to win though..

No one wants to be labeled that 'R' word and lose their job or what they built their lifetime creating and cultivating..  Not worth the aggravation..
Even Attorney General Eric Holder recently implied a lot of the criticism he receives is race based..

Tell that sob story to former Attorney Generals John Ashcroft and Janet Reno though of course it was totally acceptable in mainstream media to degrade Condollezza Rice and Colin Powell's blackness when they served under Bush

Powell magically got his blackness back in 2008 when he supported Obama for President..  

But we all know how the race game is played..

Can't be that people are viciously attacking an elected leader or appointed official because one hates and despises their policies, beliefs or overall attitude..
Nope..  Has to be race-based, right?

Obviously in this Matrix-like System we're all stuck in, no individual or even small group of individuals have the power to make genuine sustainable change for the better..

And obviously as long as there's the illusionary Theater called 'Elections' which allow people to believe they can create peaceful productive change, people will just keep tolerating things as-is..

But individuals still hold the power publicly and privately to criticize and disparage whoever is their leader(s) who they disagree with or feel personal animosity toward..
It may just be 'therapy' and not change much in the grand scheme but frankly there is too much respect, politeness and cordiality toward this President by a nation scared of taking the gloves off and making it personal like they did to W. Bush...

And that fear of being labeled 'racist' is a more successful deterrent to shutting up the masses than any jail time or excessive fine.

And you best believe they know this.