Journalist under criminal charges for filming Katrina evacuees

A journalist and a TV producer working on a piece about Katrina refugees have been charged with the crime of videotaping a “critical national security structure” in Louisiana… Palast Charged with Journalism in the First Degree:

On August 22, for LinkTV and Democracy Now! we videotaped the thousands of Katrina evacuees still held behind a barbed wire in a trailer park encampment a hundred miles from New Orleans. It’s been a year since the hurricane and 73,000 POW’s (Prisoners of W) are still in this aluminum ghetto in the middle of nowhere. One resident, Pamela Lewis said, “It is a prison set-up” — except there are no home furloughs for these inmates because they no longer have homes.
To give a sense of the full flavor and smell of the place, we wanted to show that this human parking lot, with kids and elderly, is nearly adjacent to the Exxon Oil refinery, the nation’s second largest, a chemical-belching behemoth.
So we filmed it. Without Big Brother’s authorization. Uh, oh. Apparently, the broadcast of these stinking smokestacks tipped off Osama that, if his assassins pose as poor Black folk, they can get a cramped Airstream right next to a “critical infrastructure” asset.
So now Matt and I have a “criminal complaint” lodged against us with the feds.

Dectective Pananepinto, in justifying our impending bust, said, “If you remember, a lot of people were killed on 9/11.”
Yes, Detective, I remember that very well: my office was in the World Trade Center. Lucky for me, I was out of town that day. It was not a lucky day for 3,000 others.
Yes, I remember “a lot” of people were killed. So I have this suggestion, Detective — and you can pass it on to Mr. Bush: Go and find the people who killed them.

Continue ReadingJournalist under criminal charges for filming Katrina evacuees

Freedom From Religion – Jewish family flees Delaware school district’s aggressive Christianity

This news article about a Jewish family being harassed “Jewish family flees Delaware school district’s aggressive Christianity” is a great example of why our first amendment is supposed to guarantee not just freedom of religion, but also freedom from it.

A large Delaware school district promoted Christianity so aggressively that a Jewish family felt it necessary to move to Wilmington, two hours away, because they feared retaliation for filing a lawsuit. The religion (if any) of a second family in the lawsuit is not known, because they’re suing as Jane and John Doe; they also fear retaliation. Both families are asking relief from “state-sponsored religion.”

The behavior of the Indian River School District board suggests the families’ fears are hardly groundless.

The district spreads over a considerable portion of southern Delaware. The families’ complaint, filed in federal court in February 2005, alleges that the district had created an “environment of religious exclusion” and unconstitutional state-sponsored religion.

Continue ReadingFreedom From Religion – Jewish family flees Delaware school district’s aggressive Christianity

Random Acts of Freedom

It’s been a tough year for Americans. We’ve endured one of the worst events in our nation’s history — the stealing of an election by a man who didn’t win the office. We’ve also had to deal with a terrible terrorist attack on our own shores… something we never imagined could happen. And since then, the liberties we’ve enjoyed as American citizens have been systematically dismantled under the guise of "Homeland Security." Now more than ever (oops, that’s a cliché, isn’t it?) celebrating our Independence Day is very important.


In celebration of the Fourth of July this year, why not do something other than just shooting off fireworks? Why not do something that truly says, "I’m a free human being living in the United States of America, and I believe in the founding principle of my country: Liberty!"

Do something (anything) to exercise one of the freedoms guaranteed to you in the most important document that belongs to our country–the Bill of Rights (reprinted here for you to peruse).

Removing God From Your Money

Also, Here’s something you COULD do. I’m not saying I do this, but you could do it, if you wanted…. Considering the recent hullabaloo about the unconstitutionality of the phrase "under God" in the Pledge of Allegiance, a number of people on both sides of the issue have pointed out that we celebrate God on our money with "In God We Trust." The religious right wants you to believe that our founding fathers were responsible for including references to God on our currency and in other government institutions, but the reality is that this happened during the red scare in the 1950’s. Prior to 1956, our national motto was "E Pluribus Unum" (Out of Many, One), not "In God We Trust."

Take any bill of currency, find the phrase "In God We Trust" and cross out the word "God." Yep, cross it right out. He’s not supposed to be here anyway. (See Amendment I below.) Then, above the word "God" write in the word "Freedom" or the word "Liberty."

Is this illegal? Is defacing money against the law? Only if you deface the money in such a way and with the intent that it can’t be recirculated. If you tear it, cut it up, make it unreadable or in some way that it cannot be used any longer. Simply crossing out the "God" on your money doesn’t make it impossible to pass on to someone else. In fact, that’s really the point, isn’t it? Passing it on to someone else so they see it and spend it, too. Writing on money is just an expression of the First Amendment.

However, there are some cases where federal officials have harassed people who defaced money and otherwise threatened or intimidated them. Which is why I personally am not defacing any money. No siree.
"Not enough" you say? This is too small to make a difference? Well here are some other suggestions for things you can do to protest the erosion of your basic freedoms.

  1. Register to vote
  2. 2. Contact your elected officials
  3. 3. Donate money to your political party of choice
  4. 4. Check out other non-violent protests and use them as a model.
Continue ReadingRandom Acts of Freedom