a conservative heretic commenting on hypocrisy and stupidity in a world with too much of both
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Guest Contributors

Guest Contributor Sue Ferguson Ross On The Circus Surrounding The Impending Royal Birth

It’s a big week for royal watchers. Three applicants for Canadian citizenship have gone to court in an attempt to have the allegiance to the Queen removed from the citizenship oath but the even bigger story is that Prince William and The Duchess of Cambridge are about to become parents.

That’s not news, pretty much the entire world knows that the royal womb was inseminated nine months ago by the royal scepter and a royal offspring will pop out any moment now. The media are in countdown mode. London bookmakers are taking bets on everything from date and time to weight, names and the date in the future when the royal offsrping gets caught drinking under age. The excitement is palpable and people around the globe are waiting breathlessly, snapping up cheap and tacky looking memorabilia to commemorate the big event.

There hasn’t been this much excitement since the anticipation over what Kate Middleton’s wedding gown would look like. 

One commentator went so far as to suggest that there was every possibility that Kate’s delivery might change how women have babies.

Guest commentator Sue Ferguson Ross thinks that enough is enough. Continue reading

Guest Contributor Cory Morgan – How To Achieve Greater Accountability From Those We Elect

Cory Morgan has been writing about politics and social issues on his Blog – Ravings and Rantings since April 2008. He He first came to my attention last year when I stumbled on his writings about the Occupy Calgary Movement, a somewhat pathetic and half-hearted attempt by a small but annoying group of wanna-be protesters in downtown Calgary, Alberta.

Cory was fed up with the City’s lack of courage in dealing with the vandalism and disruption caused by this ragtag group so he decided to do a little ‘occupying’ of his own and drove his truck down to the city park and ‘occupied’. The city eventually harassed and ticketed his truck but in the end, he won. The media attention he brought to the  hypocrisy of the City’s actions against one protester  compared to its cowardice in dealing with Occupy, eventually forced the City’s hand and Occupy was booted out of the park.

Like Cory, I wrote extensively about the Occupy Movement but unlike him, my words never got translated into the kind of creative action he brought to his city and I admired that. I have been following his blog ever since.

Before Christmas, I invited him to write a guest-post on any topic that suited his fancy and he accepted the invitation. What follows is a thoughtful look at why transparency in any organization but especially in government is so necessary.

To read more of Cory Morgan’s thoughts on the brave new world in which we are now living, check out Cory’s blog at  Ravings and Rantings Continue reading

The Goth Sings

When I was a teenager, the British Invasion was underway. Long hair, bell bottoms, rock music with heavy guitar solos and tie-dye and flowered shirts were the rage. Our parents and the rest of the older generation thought we looked like bums at best or hoodlums (their description) at worst.
I still remember the first time my mother saw The Beatles perform. “Well, at least they wore suits,” was the only positive thing she could say and she was virtually speechless the first time she saw The Stones on Ed Sullivan.
You would think that as I got older, I would have remembered how people looked at us for our pseudo-rebellious appearance back then and be a little more tolerant of the different fashion expressions of successive generations but you’d be wrong. As each new generation came along, I found myself raising an eyebrow over some of the things kids were wearing.
Basically, despite my best efforts to the contrary, I was turning into my parents.
I was quite scornful of Mohawk haircuts, piercings, tattoos and gangsta clothing, with the crotch of guy’s jeans somewhere around their knees. I hated the backward baseball hat or even worse, guys who wore a baseball hat brim facing the front but who never took the time to curve the brim. To me, they looked like they were wearing a duck on their heads.
The look I particularly scorned was the Goth look. I thought the over-the-top black make-up, the black leather, the shower curtain ring piercings up and down one ear and the Doc Martin boots were just plain stupid. In fact, I had become so intolerant that I considered these folks lazy, self-indulgent and just plain silly.
Well……….I got slapped for that attitude tonight. I got slapped hard and deservedly so.
A young man dressed in black, with heavy black Goth make-up, an oily hair style and Siberian Husky eye-like contact lenses, walked out on the audition stage of America’s Got Talent and reminded me of just what an ass I had been.
I don’t know what any of us would expect if we saw someone who looked like a cross between Marilyn Manson and Chris Angel walk out onto a stage ready to sing but whatever it is, it definitely wasn’t this.

This Goth freak was polite, soft-spoken and a classic counter tenor. It was an unbelievable performance by a young man who had never sung in front of anyone before, including his parents. 
And here’s the funny thing about what happened. By the time he finished singing, I didn’t see a Goth freak standing on that stage. I saw a very talented, somewhat shy young man. In those 90 seconds, his performance rendered his appearance and my biases irrelevant. 
Andrew de Leon’s performance wasn’t merely an incredible moment of singing; it was a reminder that people should be considered for who they are and not simply by what they wear or how they look.
That, by the way, goes for the beautiful and fashionable people too. 
We tend to forget that sometimes there really isn’t all that much that is very substantial under the designer clothes, fabulous hair and make-up of some of the beautiful people.

Well done Andrew. You accomplished a considerable amount in 90 seconds and it was more than just a great performance of remarkable singing.

The name Susan Boyle comes to mind.

© 2012 Maggie’s Bear
all rights reserved
The content of this article is the sole property of Maggie’s Bear but a link to it may be shared by those who think it may be of interest to others

Guest Contributor – EKKS: The Complexity of Free Speech

Today a commentary from guest contributor Ekks (her Twitter handle) who takes issue with a petition to have Twitter remove an account for tweeting offensive messages. I think she correctly identifies the issue. All across Twitter, people demand their right to freedom of expression but when they disagree with or encounter something they find offensive, then they suddenly support selective censorship. Isn’t that the very thing the Twitterverse is demanding the government not be permitted to do?

That’s the problem with free speech; at some point you’re going to bump into speech you really don’t like. How we deal with it will determine the kind of society we will have and just how committed we are to the concept of freedom of speech.

Here’s the petition followed by the response from Ekks.

Shut down the account of so-and-so because… why? 

Because they’re exercising what is left of our (American) amendment rights? 
Please…please…tell me I am missing something else.

While you prepare your silent rebuttal to this in your head, see if you can multitask and continue reading before you throw out some petition to have me removed from Twitter because I am publicly voicing opposition and distaste for your motion.
Let’s make one thing clear.  No, I do not necessarily share the same views as this ‘hateful’ user.  I have not read all of their Tweets, and I certainly do not agree on many of the Tweets that I have read which are filled with racial slurs that favour the black community as the target.  I also do not consider myself a person of Christian faith, therefor I do not necessarily agree with those Tweets, either.  However, I do not feel that they should be “shut down” for exercising their freedom of speech, freedom of the press, and right to a peaceful assembly which are protected by Amendment I.  Of course, there is fine print and deeper regulations within Amendment I.  Feel free to research the fine print and more via search engine.  I have, and yes… tricky, tricky.  Racism, sexism, or various hate speech are often permitted… as is the right to peacefully assemble and voice these opinions.  So, what sense does this petition make?
To me?  It makes no sense.  It makes no sense because of the obvious rights the user has as an American citizen.  Texan, I believe, to be more exact.  ‘The rights of a citizen’ defense speaks for itself, so I will take it to a less law abiding level.  Many petitioners are advocates for equality.  Perhaps advocates for less governmental control when it comes to the rights of individuals (i.e., women’s rights, rights of minorities, rights to privacy, rights to vote for the candidate of their choice, etc.), and I am almost positive would be unhappy if someone told them to to stop Tweeting because it goes against the opinions of others. 
There is a block button.  If you do not like what you see, block it.  Some say ignorance is bliss.  Or, better yet… speak out against it to that person.  Fight your own battles?  Shower the user with love.  Reach out to them.  If they do not accept your hand, well… let them be or try and try again.  This person is not a lawmaker, this person is not dictating what is and isn’t in your life, this person is not forcing you to share the same opinions as you.  Do not be a hypocrite and try and strip this person’s rights when you’re shouting at the same government & various companies for slowly stripping yours.  Instead, walk away and focus on yourself and becoming (or maintaining to be) a better person because of the trash you’re subjecting yourself to reading.
I am sure this user is basking in this attention.  This backlash of opposition is inflating their ego by the second.  This user knows people who didn’t even KNOW of their existence before today are now being subjected to the message the user is Tweeting.  Cause and affect.  Action/reaction.   Bad press is good press.  I am sure they also know that their chances of their account being ‘shut down’ is slim to none.  So please, by all means… carry on with your counter productive encouragement rather than walking the road too often traveled.
Without in-depth research, here’s something to think about.  If you wish to shut this person down for hate and racial slurs, be it 100% of their Tweets or not… you better start shutting down a lot of people.  Shut down the people that call things or people “retarded” so casually.  Remove all the faux public figure accounts that are constantly mocking the actual figure or society for a laugh.  Shut down all the accounts that have no religious affiliation, support same sex marriage, all the users that post porn, all the users that make sexist jokes, all the users that toss out fantasies and fetishes like sadism, murder, or fetish like it’s candy.  Remove all the users that have ever uttered the word ‘hate’ casually or with just as much passion as The KKK. 
Are you thinking, “Oh, but there’s a difference.  This user is constantly going on and on about it and I make jokes or casually something slips out, but that is different.  It is not about blacks, either.”  It isn’t different, actually.  Whether it takes 3384+ Tweets to advocate and inflict hate or intolerance upon someone or just ‘that one word that one time’, it is still the spreading of hate.  “A single grain of rice can tip the scale.  One man may make the difference.”
I am far from perfect.  I have said this and that, joked about him, her, you, them, and myself.  I am human… just like you.  Just like that user.  Am I hypocrite?  Aren’t we all in some fashion?  I dislike when people talk during a program, but the ears better be listening if I have something to say during it.  Am I racist?  I’ve never dated an Asian, by choice… and I am Asian.  Sometimes really natural tight curled hair freaks me out.  So, am I?  Perhaps.  Am I hateful in general at times?  Sure.  With all that being said (and more left unsaid), I am still not going to go all righteous and pretend I’m morally any better (overall) than another American citizen with the same rights, same imperfections… just because we have different views.  If we all felt the same what would we end up feeling?  Love & harmony?  No.  We’d probably feel a lot more emptiness and perhaps even nothing because… well, we’d be like robots.
The petition? Counter-productive & contradicting, to say the least.  The petitioners? Good for them for exercising their rights, too, by peacefully assembling.  However, just stop and think about it all for a moment.
And, if someone finally decides to Tweet back with why I should sign the petition… thank you in advance.  So far, no replies… just the continual passing of the link without rhyme or reason.
“Isn’t it ironic, don’t you think?”
© 2012 Maggie’s Bear
all rights reserved
The content of this article is the sole property of Maggie’s Bear but a link to it may be shared by those who think it may be of interest to others

Guest Contributor Old Marine – Sometimes History Needs a Push

I’m pleased to turn the page over to an old friend today, I say old because he calls himself Old Marine although I doubt he’s much older than I am and can probably do far more push ups in a single session than I can do in a week.

I wrote yesterday about fear being one of the primary causes of our anger and Old Marine sent along this post which he thought was a good companion piece to what I had written. I agree. I don’t always agree with Gunny but I do in this particular case and whether we agree on an issue, he always does his homework. If he quotes a fact….you can take it to the bank as truthful.

It’s what I most admire about him. He not only believes in things like truth, duty and honour; he lives them every day. He loves his country and always takes the time to research and consider issues before he reacts or responds. I admire that about him as well. Whether you agree with his opinions or not, you could learn much from his approach to issues……we all could.

Sometimes – History Needs a Push

Caution to readers, this editorial may offend some, not for language, but because it will hopefully make you think, and as the saying goes, “Thinking hurts”. All remarks and/ or opinions expressed are mine and are not that of Rebuilding Freedom or other administrators. Now, if you are still me, let’s take a journey to the weird side.
A trend began in the late 1960’s, a trend that has developed into an almost overwhelming distrust of the federal government. Now, let’s get this up front, has our government done some under handed things? YES. Has our government lied to the American people? YES. Has distrust been earned, perhaps nurtured it? MAYBE people in and out of the government have nurtured this distrust; if so is there an ulterior motive? Have the American people become so distrustful they will believe anything they hear / see / read on the radio, on  T.V. or on the internet. Has this distrust become so overwhelming that people have suspended / lost commonsense. Unfortunately, for some, I have to say yes and I feel that these people are inadvertently aiding our enemies in bringing on the downfall of America.
I could begin with some of the early examples of the distrust in the government, the JFK assassination, U.F.O’s , 9-11 and many more, but time and space will not allow it. I would like to stay more in the present.
I would like to begin with the current controversy with the current Defense Authorization Act. For some reason, the web and twitter went crazy how Americans will be detained without trial if “suspected” of being

“or part of, al-Qaeda or an associated force that acts in coordination with or pursuant to the direction of al-Qaeda; and (B) to have participated in the course of planning or carrying out an attack or attempted attack against the United States or its coalition partners.”

Now, I fully understand that this could be interpreted as a violation of our Constitution, and people should be outraged if it were,  but it seems that no one on T.V., radio and the Web wants to read any further. 

In the same section for all to see and read, if they have a mind to is the statement,

“The requirement to detain a person in military custody under this section does not extend to citizens of the United States and (2) LAWFUL RESIDENT ALIENS. The requirement to detain a person in military custody under this section does not extend to a lawful resident alien of the United States on the basis of conduct taking place within the United States, except to the extent permitted by the Constitution of the United States.” 
Why do people seem to want to omit these particular statements in their postings or discussions? Is there a possibility of abuse, definitely, just as there is a possibility of abuse of the Constitution (Commerce clause as an example), but you have to ask yourself why this statement concerning the Constitution is not mentioned? Is it too inadvertently to further distrust in our government? Is it to gain viewers / listeners / readers? Is it part of an agenda to actually create more distrust in our government? Or an agenda by the administration, the ACLU and Amnesty International  , who are opposed to this bill in order to, I believe, bring prisoners here to American soil for trial? 
I had a friend say to me, “If the ACLU, Administration, Amnesty International is against it, then I’m for it.”  Well, I’m not it that camp; I want to look at it more closely. Something, I feel too many people aren’t willing to do.
Needless to say, following closely on this came “Obama’s Plans to Imprison 500,000 Americans”. Now, this goes into the “FEMA Camps” and the site even gives a “nice”,  if not colorful map about locations of  said camps. A little more on FEMA Camps later. As one reads this “article”, the author cites and builds on the “The Violent Radicalization and Homegrown Terrorism Prevention Act” of 2007. Strange, the author does not cite any references to this act or even a link where people can read it for themselves. A point to remember, there is nothing done in the Critter corral that does not go into the Federal Record, except security briefings, and even then with the proper clearance they are accessible. Did the writer take the American people for stupid, naïve’ or both? 
Now with a few keystrokes, a search engine we can discover what actually happen to this bill. Like the very simple question, “Did it pass? Was it signed into law?” Was the writer just trying to “make a name for himself” (take a look at the writer’s name) or was it to foster more distrust of the government. Well, I did what any clear thinking person should do. I read, dissected the article and then checked the “status” of the bill. 
To begin with, YES it was introduced in the House in 2007, remember, Obama was a junior senator at the time. Now, here is the most important thing, WHAT happened to this “bill”, seems the author of the article bothered to say, and no one took a few minutes to check it out before spreading the rumor or engaging in fear mongering. This bill went to house committee and passed the house then it DIED! . Now, look at the party who introduced it and remember what party was in control of congress in 2007 and why wasn’t it brought up in the senate? Then ask yourself, how Obama could use a law that wasn’t even passed to violate the people’s rights. Yes, he could attempt to use Executive Orders (EO’s), but hopefully that would be challenged. Why would someone want to develop further distrust in the government? To what purpose?
Speaking of EO’s, which Obama is completely out of control on their use and Congress does nothing, they seem to be the basis of the ever popular FEMA camps fear campaign. as they were during the Bush administration.
The first thing when someone says something about FEMA camps, a person should ask, “Does the government REALLY believe that 500,000 Americans will go peacefully into the night?” If the answer is yes, thenAmerica is in a bigger trouble then I feel we are. Now, let’s use one particular site, where a page titled “American Concentration Camps”.
The page has some interesting photos and video clips, particularly the one at the top of the page. It appears to be a perimeter defense, complete with guard towers, however there is no caption, no information, BUT people will believe that this is a FEMA camp. Why, because the distrust of our government has been so imbedded into people’s minds and sadly, basic commonsense has disappeared. There is also a very interesting video, that uses  the idea of a U.S. Army unit serving as U.N. peacekeepers in Kosovo and later working with allied troops, German and French (who happen to be NATO allies), in Arkansas. People, please stop and think, the U.S. has worked with and trained our ally troops here in Americaand overseas for years, I’ve personally worked with British, Australian, Korean, Japanese and others.  Now, just because the video shows Urban combat training, why the assumption of  the worst, based solely on a video clip(s)?
Now, what about the “Executive Orders associated with FEMA that would suspend the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. These Executive Orders have been on record for nearly 30 years and could be enacted by the stroke of a Presidential pen:…”
EO 10990 – “allows the government to take over all modes of transportation and control of highways and seaports.” This was signed in February, 1962, At the height of the Cold War. A side note, FEMA was not even around during this period. FEMA was established in 1979 by Carter, another Democrat. This EO was eventually revoked by EO 12196.
EO 10995 – “allows the government to seize and control the communication media.” Again, during the Cold War, it was REVOKED by 11556 in September, 1970.
EO 10997 through 11005 – These cover various functions, again all concerns that the President and the nation had during the height of the Cold War. They were all revoked by EO 11490,October 28, 1969.
I could most likely go through and research all of the EO’s featured on the page, however, I feel I have shown that eleven of the fifteen EO’s mentioned had been established BEFORE FEMA was created, roughly 17 years before, during the height of the Cold War (and those who live through that period remember it well) and there were later revoked.
To get this information, it only took a few keystrokes to check these Executive Orders out. I have to ask, “Why haven’t others? Why are people so quick to believe in the worst of our government? Why do people insist on spreading “rumors” an evoking fear of our government?”
The final “headline” that seemed to make its way around Twitter and the net that I’m going to discuss is “Obama Declare War on Iran (Plans to Attack Iran) Declare Martial Law and Suspend Elections” (I apologize, but I lost the links to this and believe it has been scrubbed), seems funny I believe I heard this before. Like “Bush to AttackIran, Suspend Elections, and Declare Martial Law???” from July, 2008. I guess if it fostered fear and distrust back then, why not use it again?
I can not in good conscience say that we are not in danger, particularly with what has been going on within our country, the world and even the government over the past thirty plus years? However, I will continue to attempt to look for a reason or reasons that people will start and push these various conspiracy theories. I will also look for reasons why some people will continue to believe and spread these theories even in the face of evidence to the contrary.
As to the latter, why people will believe in and continue to spread rumors, there are as a many reasons as there are people, I can list a number of them, but I am conscience of people’s feelings and will not do that.
Now, as to the former, Lenin said, “Sometimes – History needs a push” and I feel that IF enough distrust in the federal government is developed, maybe, just possibly, someone on the very extreme left or right, will take action and attempt to do something about it. How many times has a person seen or read something about a “new” revolution? Not at the ballot box, but in the streets. But please remember this, though our form of government may be flawed, so far it is the best one and does anyone want to take a chance on something else.
Now, who has everything to gain if there is an attempt to change our form of government? The list is fairly long. Is there a person, a group who benefits from the building and fostering of distrust in our government? Please remember what Sun Tzu said, “Be extremely subtle, even to the point of formlessness. Be extremely mysterious, even to the point of soundlessness. Thereby you can be the director of the opponent’s fate.” and fear can make even rational people do strange things.
Or it could be as simple as someone wants attention, wants to make money (I see nothing wrong with that, hey that’s the American way) or maybe they are just good storytellers who are counting “there is one born every minute”. Maybe it’s all three. I just wish people, would take the time to think, use some commonsense and most importantly check things out.
What are your thoughts?
Semper Fi,
© 2012 Old Marine / Maggie’s Bear
all rights reserved
The content of this article is the sole property of Maggie’s Bear but a link to it may be shared by those who think it may be of interest to others

After The Storm – A Rainbow’s Rant

There is a dirty little secret about abuse and the damage it does. There are too many victims but not everyone is content to remain a victim. Some, sometimes with help, sometimes alone, overcome the gift that keeps on giving. The truly brave ones bring it out into the light, not in a search for sympathy, but to expose to the light the darkness thrust on them by someone else.

I invited today’s guest contributor to share her story, not the petty details but the dark side the abused go through in order to find the life we were meant to have. She kindly consented and I admire her for the courage it takes to expose yourself to the world without reservation or apology.

She has a real name but I met her as Rainbow Woman and she will remain Rainbow Woman to me. She exemplifies what life can be like after the storm and I admire her courage and for the optimism she reclaimed in her life.
The Rainbow Woman
Not long ago I visited a Shaman for the usual reasons; life was seriously messed up and it seemed like something someone more qualified should take care of.  During the wondrously kooky session Bandana Shaman referred to me as “a great she-bear protecting her family.”  Perhaps it is from this element of myself this piece is written for A Bear’s Rant.   The weekly words for this blog come from a passionate and aware human and mine are in an effort to bring 3D light to his tireless effort to make people look at what’s under the wrapping paper.
     As a child I could have been described as Chicken Little warning villagers.
     “The sky is falling!”
     “I am being kicked, punched, demeaned and molested!”
     Shhhhh.  It’s a secret.
Mayhem swirled around the wee girl while no one spoke or offered a hand, leaving her to search for those who would show great courage.  Grandma Lupe stood at the door of her run down castle in East Los Angeles, smelling of bacon grease and roses offering comfort when there was none.  
A middle school teacher, Mr. Curtis showed there are safe and kind males mentoring other people’s leftovers.  Junior year, Mrs. Paulsen impersonated Miss Haversham from Great Expectations, presenting a book world full of truth and hope to a young girl with nothing left to lose.  
Later, my husband stood still and didn’t run when the tidal wave of childhood haunted every aspect of life, threatening to consume all light.  Gabrielle rode the wave alongside, listening to ugly words about pain and horror, showering me with friendship.  Dr. D. the wise sage heard stories no one should have to hear and held the hand of a human enduring the agony of review.
Heroes are those who see and act.  They don’t sit behind a reefer hiding from truth or ignore what’s happening in the neighborhood because things could get messy if someone got involved.  Those two teachers provided hope of possibility and for that to happen it was nurtured inside them against the onslaught of adult reality.  
Grandma stood at the door of a ramshackle house after a lifetime of abuse, decades picking vegetables for farmers or working a factory line while raising six kids unassisted by church or government, accompanied by a drunken gambler.  Yet standing before a broken child her spirit managed to well forth sprinkling the hope of possibility.  
The man I married couldn’t possibly have imagined the putrid stew which lay hidden under the white dress as I walked toward him at the altar.  When mayhem reactivated, he faced it with eyes wide open holding my hand, asking me to hang onto hope and possibility.  Gabrielle and Dr. D. didn’t shy from what emerged before them, each took time and care to scrape what was left of me from the bottom of my shoe, all while encouraging to look for hope and possibility.  
     Each person in this story took a risk.  It is difficult to stand in vomit and not want to take a shower or cover the smell.  Under the illusion of the “pursuit of happiness”, life is being missed while people bathe reality away.
     “Does facing reality destroy the pursuit of happiness?”
Yes, because it is the carrot on the stick dangled in front of a tired half dead animal dragging a gaggle of tourists through dirty city streets.  Put the reefer, illusion, the pursuit down and stand in the vomit.  Hiding eyes in the middle of a horror movie doesn’t make the sounds go away or action stop, it merely saves the nightmare for bedtime.
As a child I searched for heroes, people to step out of the fray and give me a reason not to quit.  Life is ridiculously hard and surprisingly beautiful.  Each layer of flesh laboriously debrided brought healing.  It is difficult to fathom the importance of healing when it is considered under the downy comfort of delusion.  Hope and possibility are not about happiness, the wrong words were put together all those years ago or our interpretation is flawed.  A wounded people arrived in America to heal from subjugation and create something from nothing.  The forefathers came from pain and over the centuries all people have continued to create more in a pointless pursuit which is killing the possibility for hope.  
Ignoring mayhem doesn’t make it go away, the nightmare unfolds without ceasing.  Careful, thoughtful agonizing debridement lights a path towards healing.  Beat up, fucked up and lost, people reached out and wiped the blood from my knees.  
Today, I am called Rainbow Woman.  I believe in the bridge between horror and healing.  The vibrant colorful arc is called awareness.  Bear is a hero standing in the vomit pointing out truth, humans need to put on the hip waders and start cleaning up the mess.
To read more from Rainbow Woman:  http://20gurusandadog.com
© 2012 Maggie’s Bear
all rights reserved
The content of this article is the sole property of Maggie’s Bear but a link to it may be shared by those who think it may be of interest to others