President jails reporter critical of re-election

The headline above could be something we’ll see in the not too distant future but actually occurred more than 200 years ago in the United States of America.

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 Prior to the 1800 presidential election, John Adams and his cronies in Congress made criticism of him to be unlawful. The executive branch of government actually threw violators in jail under what was called the “Alien & Sedition Act.”

Adams was facing Thomas Jefferson, the leader of a states rights political party calling itself  “Republicans.” The second president of the USA repeatedly attacked the press that sided with the author of the Declaration of Independence, claiming newspaper stories critical of him were seditious writings. The act was repealed years later but not before it created such a chilling effect on the Fourth Estate and its role as government watchdogs.

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 History seems to be repeating itself today. The Justice Department yesterday charged Julian Assange with such “so-called” crimes as publishing secret or classified materials. Progressives have little love for what Assange did with stolen documents that Russia allegedly provided him against Hilary Clinton during the 2016 election. But the 17 charges under the Espionage Act against the WikiLeaks publisher have nothing to do with 2016 but with the year 2010 and Assange’s “active” role with the intelligence operative Chelsea Manning in obtaining and publishing secret military and diplomatic documents.

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Arrested for speaking truth to power

Some commentators believe that the use of the Espionage Act for such charges may open the door to criminalizing activities that are crucial to investigative journalists. They could be arrested and imprisoned for reporting on such things as the Pentagon Papers or the Gulf of Tonkin resolution which was based on lies that lead to the major escalation of the Vietnam War.

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   Could such an action be used as a precedent against the media publishing a leaked version of the un-redacted and classified sections of the Special Counsel Mueller Report? Will someone be labeled a traitor for reporting what a whistle-blower with the Justice Department provides the Press? Particularly when such action would be deemed as efforts to insure re-election by a president?

   Stay tuned. 
   Only time will tell.

 

Karma enlightens Groundhog Day movie

Groundhog Day” is the movie starring Bill Murray who visits Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania, where he is destined to live each day over and over for what seems like eternity. It’s message is one of Karma and reincarnation, particularly when one realizes that the director and co-screen-writer was a practicing Buddhist named Harold Remis. Continue reading

GI Bill to celebrate its 75th anniversary!

I would not have gone to college had it not been for the GI Bill which is marking its 75th anniversary on June 22, 2019.
My father, who was born on a small Greek Island, never went beyond sixth grade. My mother, daughter of Hungarian refugees, was the first in her family to graduate from a high school in New Jersey.
And I had barely made it through Dobbin’s Tech, a trade school, having transferred from a Catholic high school after I got caught playing hooky and ordered to go to summer school for religion. No one – including myself — saw college in my lifetime.
Continue reading

‘Welcome Home’ this Veterans Day 2018

One hundred years ago peace-loving people throughout the world commemorated the “War to End All Wars” by institutionalizing a holiday that morphed into Veterans Day in America.

World War I, as historians have named it, did not end all of the wars and in 20 years the nations of the earth faced the worst world war mankind has ever known. Continue reading

‘False in One, False in All’ never failed me!

“False in one, false in all.”

That’s the jury instruction I’d request a judge to provide when a witness at a trial said one thing one time and another thing at another time. Also, when one or more witnesses said something different than what the first witness had sworn to tell the truth about while sitting on the witness stand. Continue reading

Blast from the past: the nuclear bomb desk

I will never forget my old wooden desk in grade school and the drills we held in order to protect us from a nuclear blast. The nuns from St. Ludwig’s Catholic School ordered us to get out of our seats and to curl up beneath the desks where we practiced the silence of Benedictine monks. Someone had pulled down the shades over the wide windows of the second-floor room and we sat for long minutes that felt like hours. Continue reading