Saturday, June 16, 2018

Friend Patrick O'Neill's "Insanity Defense" For Damaging A Nuclear Weapons Base In Georgia

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Last Night's Dinner With Peace And Justice Friends At Buah Thai Cuisine, Durham, NC

Dear Patrick,

Thanks for sending this article!

At first blush, it seems to me that Ms. Wood opens a door for criticizing the government's position (in defense of nuclear weapons) when she says  “(The justices) start by reminding us, of course, the First Amendment protecting speech really is only needed for ugly things. You don’t need a First Amendment to talk about unicorns and butterflies and love and apple pie. The First Amendment really only comes into play to protect ugly things. That’s what it’s there for.”

What could be uglier than having to tell people -- in fact, having to tell the overwhelming majority of people -- that they are insane and the apparently "insane" are not only sane but prophetically obligated to proclaim Truth?

I just want to plant this seed while the thought is fresh.

In the unthinking minds of "the pretty people, all drinkin', thinkin' that they got it made" (to quote Bob Dylan) Truth is ultimate ugliness.

And so they use the techniques of denial to live in deliberate darkness. 

And in that self-imposed darkness, The Light actually becomes a threat. 

For when at last The Light shines in the darkness, it will be painfully, stabbingly, cuttingly bright for those who have contented themselves with living in The Dark.

Pax tecum


PS Another line of argument occurs to me. In "One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest," Randall McMurphy's lobotimization spotlights our need to protect "the ugly things" through the First Amendment. Following his lobotomization, Jack Nicholson is "an ugly thing," an empty shell relegated to mere survival -- uncomplaining and unnoticed -- in the apparent calm of the asylum's back ward. For decades-to-come Nicholson's lobotomized fate is now sealed --  featureless, unfeeling, vacant. This is how "normality" manifests within the ""established care-giving system" of Cuckoo's Nest (just as it manifests in pay-to-play healthcare and, most recently, the Trump administration's beyond-satanic argument that it is unconstitutional for Obamacare to cover pre-existing conditions). And so, Chief Bromden exercises his freedom-of-speech on behalf of Nicholson (who can no longer speak for himself) by taking Nicholson's life. It is clear to everyone who knows the fullness of this story that Nicholson's apparent "murder" is, in fact, the rough justice of righteous rebellion. Chief Bromden will not let Nicholson be punished-in-perpetuity by the lobotomist's knife, an act of worse-than-murder violence, an act authorized by The System's legally-untouchable "professional," Nurse Ratched, whose moral degradation (which is to say The Central Corruption Of The System Itself) can only survive -- can only put an end to Nicholson's "free speech" -- by addling his pre-frontal lobes. And so, through Nurse Ratched, the intrinsic moral disorder of The System does its damndest to retain the appearance of unimpeachable normalcy by using its built-in rationale-and-justification for taking an essentially innocent man's "Life."  

On Sat, Jun 16, 2018 at 11:38 AM, PO wrote:

Judge discusses American flag, rights, protest

U.S. District Court Judge Lisa Godbey Wood speaks to a gathering of Daughters of the American Revolution chapters Wednesday during a Flag Day event at Brunswick Country Club.
To allow injury or disrespect to the American flag is to protect the freedom it represents, U.S. District Court Judge Lisa Godbey Wood said Wednesday to the Daughters of the American Revolution at their annual Flag Day luncheon.
Wood spoke on two U.S. Supreme Court cases, including West Virginia State Board of Education v. Barnette, decided 75 years ago today.
“In a 6-3 decision, announced, I am sure, not coincidentally on June 14, 1943 — yes, on Flag Day — Justice Robert Jackson writing for the majority … penned for the court a decision that held, in essence, that our country is strong enough, tolerant enough and free enough that we can withstand having a 9-year-old and a 7-year-old not stand up to say the Pledge of Allegiance because of sincerely held religious beliefs,” Wood said.

Attorneys for the state argued that recourse already existed in that the Barnette family, who were Jehovah’s Witnesses, could seek changes of the law and policy through elections and school administrator appointments.
“Justice Jackson said, not in our country — there’s no star so bright in the constellation of the Bill of Rights, there’s no principle more important, (that) some rights are too important to leave to the whims of popularity,” Wood said. “Freedom of life, liberty, freedom of expression, freedom of religion. Those don’t depend on the ballot box. Those are enshrined in the Constitution.
“You see, demanding a pledge of faith, that’s at best futile. It’s at worst, sinister. That’s a little too much like what Hitler was doing, isn’t it? Demanding faith. That’s no faith at all, to demand a pledge. Punishing dissenters is not too far off from eliminating dissenters. A demand for consensus leads to the graveyard.”
The other case, Texas v. Johnson, challenged a state law in Texas that forbade things like the burning of an American flag, which a communist activist proceeded to do outside the Republican National Convention in Dallas in 1984. Similar laws were on the books in 47 other states.
“And a week after Flag Day, in (1989) — June 21, (1989) — the Supreme Court decides 5-4, with Justice Antonin Scalia being that key anchor vote, the fifth vote, the yes,” Wood said. “(Joey) Johnson has a First Amendment right to say the ugliest things. He has a First Amendment right to press that Zippo lighter and send the American flag up into flames.
“(The justices) start by reminding us, of course, the First Amendment protecting speech really is only needed for ugly things. You don’t need a First Amendment to talk about unicorns and butterflies and love and apple pie. The First Amendment really only comes into play to protect ugly things. That’s what it’s there for.”
Wood referenced a column by Time magazine’s Walter Isaacson that ran weeks after the decision, in which he wrote, “Reverence for the flag is ingrained in every schoolchild who has quailed at the thought of letting it touch the ground, in every citizen moved by pictures of it being raised at Iwo Jima or planted on the moon, in every veteran who has ever heard taps played at the end of a Memorial Day parade, in every gold-star mother who treasures a neatly folded emblem of her family’s supreme sacrifice.”

It’s for those reasons, Isaacson said, the court ruled the way it did — as Time’s Lily Rothman recounted 26 years later — the flag is so revered that it represents the freedom to use or abuse it in protest.

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