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 The act was repealed years later but not before it created such a chilling effect on the Fourth Estate and its role as government watchdogs.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.

 

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.
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Guidance from Above seen from a distance

Are there moments in our life when we can see God’s fingerprints or the Will of the Universe directing us along our path? I’m talking about seeing such a Divine event as it is occurring or upon hindsight years later.

That’s the question raised by a group of my friends at the Spiritual Sharing Circle that meets once a month at the Center for Contemporary Mysticism in the Chestnut Hill section of Philadelphia. Continue reading

The printer’s life for Ben Franklin and me!

“Here lies Ben Franklin — a printer” is the message gracefully displayed at the gravesite of my favorite Founding Father in the City of Philadelphia.  He was ambassador to both England and France as well as a signer of the Declaration of Independence and contributor to the US Constitution. He was also an inventor, a philosopher and creator of the first library, the first zoo and the first fire company in the New World. Continue reading