Whistleblowing: Exemplary Patriotism

Stephen Lendman

America's dark side threatens everyone.

Whistleblowing reflects doing the right thing. It exposes wrongdoing. It does so because it matters. Edward Joseph Snowden follows a noble tradition. Others before him established it. Daniel Ellsberg called his NSA leak the most important in US history. More on him below.

Expressions of patriotism can reflect good or ill. Samuel Johnson said it’s the last refuge of a scoundrel. Thomas Paine called dissent its highest form. So did Howard Zinn. According to Machiavelli:

"When the safety of one's country wholly depends on the decision to be taken, no attention should be paid either to justice or injustice, to kindness or cruelty, or to its being praiseworthy or ignominious."

Tolstoy said:

"In our day the feeling of patriotism is an unnatural, irrational, and harmful feeling, and a cause of a great part of the ills from which mankind is suffering; and…consequently, this feeling should not be cultivated, as is now being done, but should, on the contrary, be suppressed and eradicated by all means available to rational men."


Deniz Erkmen

When There Is No Other Way But Resistance! - A Personal Account Of The Early Days Of #Occupygezi

Tarihinde Yayımlandı: This is a piece -her personal story- written by my dear friend Deniz Erkmen on the recent Social Protest Movement (Occupy Gezi). If you are still curious about what is happenning in Istanbul (well by now it is whole Turkey) please keep reading! Thank you so much for your support!

At home in Istanbul, grading student papers while trying to follow a continuous facebook updates of events, I am getting more and more anxious to leave. It is impossible to concentrate. I read few lines from the paper, stop and think “do I have vinegar at home”?

I read a few more lines, stop and wonder “does the pharmacy sell gas masks?” Not able to sit any longer, I call, text and facebook message a few friends; a marine biologist first, a graduate student in history second, then a film director and an environmental engineer… Everyone is planning to head to the Taksim square. I pack some vinegar and a bandanna into my backpack; I make sure I wear sneakers so I can run fast and I leave home not quite sure what is ahead of me.

One Thing Leads to Another

Eric Peters

Kevin Bailey, 22, got into a fatal shootout with Solon, Ohio cops the other day. It all began over a minor traffic violation – failure to signal before changing lanes. Once he had Bailey pulled over, the cop claimed he “smelled marijuana” – and it went bad from there. Bailey took off, ran off the road and – as the cops closed in on him, fired his gun at the cops. The cops were better shots and Bailey was killed at the scene.

Natürlich, the cops are portrayed as “heroic” – and have been exonerated of any wrongdoing.

Arguably, it was actually heroic – if foolishly so – for Bailey to have attempted to get away from the costumed enforcers who ultimately killed him. This will shock some readers, no doubt. Having been conditioned from youth to reflexively kowtow to authority (however constituted) they instinctively side with authority whenever there is a confrontation. But, consider: What was Bailey’s initial crime? Had he done anything to justify being waylaid by costumed enforcers? Oh, yes – a “law” was (allegedly) ignored. But who did Bailey harm by not using his turn signal before changing lanes? Obviously, the answer is – no one. Yet this was – is – sufficient pretext for costumed enforcers to begin a “harass and collect” traffic stop. (Which, by the way, now entitles the costumed enforcers to forcibly take a DNA sample as well as perform a strip search. Before you have been convicted of anything. The Supreme Court has ruled both measures to be “constitutional.” See here and here.)

If we lived in a free country – one in which people were free to go about their business without being stopped and fleeced at gunpoint by costumed agents of the state – Bailey would never have been stopped in the first place.

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