Thursday, November 25, 2004

The Ayatollas on the Right in America

As most who know me are aware, I am an amateur photographer. Some days I am a very good photographer. Other days ... well ...

And as a person interested in photography I follow what others do. Mostly on the internet nowadays, since we have high speed connections and can trade high resolution photos on various websites, email, and newsgroups.

But I am dismayed at what is happening today, under the name of "family values" or the quaintly named "Patriot Act", which any patriot of 1776 would have hanged the one who thought it up.

Photographers have been detained, arrested and harrassed across the country for taking photos. I even have my own horror story. The Federal Medical Center for Prisoners is located in the middle of a Springfield, MO. It sits on a large tract of ground -- bare, dull, boring and ugly -- except for about 1/3 of a mile of driveway from the street to the facility itself. There, they have planted Oaks, Maples, and ornamental trees to break the monotony of the starkness of the outside and the inside of the facility. I like to take photos of those trees in the fall.

Except for the fall of 2002 that is.

I had stopped inside the driveway about 100 feet and was preparing to take some photos of the trees. A janitor -- a fucking janitor -- stopped his pickum'up truck truck to tell me I couldn't take any pictures. I don't recall my exact words, but I suppose I left no doubt in his mind as to what he could do with his ideas of whether or not I could take a photo of a tree.

Janitor-boy was pissed.

And so he called goon-boy, who usually works as the plunger handler, while they are interrogating a prisoner.

Goon-boy, tries to tell me I can't take photos. Goon-boy gets much the same response as janitor-boy. Goon-boy doesn't want to use his plunger in public, so calls boss goon-boy.

Boss goon-boy is mightly impressed with his own importance. Unfortunately, since he has neither an ID or a badge .... his importance does not impress me, because I am not lying on my stomach, handcuffed, in a secret room, with an ungreased plunger being pointed at me.

Goon-boss demands that I give him my film. Since I remember stuff like the search and seizure laws I am provided in the US Bill of Rights, I ask Goon-boss if he has a warrant. Goon-boss allows as how he don't need no stinkin' warrant -- gimme' the film. Screw you -- or words to that effect I say.

Gonn-boss orders goon-underling who has accompanied him to accost the person clearly with the ciminal intent of taking photos of trees, to open my camera and confiscate the film. Goon-underling clearly doesn't know how to get my camera open so asks me to help him. My response to goon-underling is roughly the same as to goon-bossboy and goon-janitor.

After much fiddling goon-underling gets the film rewound and takes it away -- no receipt for the confiscation, thankyou -- I hope they had fun looking at the photos of the Volleyball game -- because that was all that was on the roll of film.

Other photogs has been arrested for taking a photo of a bridge. One friend of mine was arrested in Baton Rouge for photographing two models in a fountain in the middle of the day -- his $7000 camera was confiscated for two months until the cops found the only photos on it were the two flatfoots who accosted him in the first place.

But now, considering the 51% mandate for Dubya, the crazies from the pulpits are coming out in force ... even though the support reported for "family values" has dropped over the past 20 years according to the Guardian in Great Britian. Nevertheless, they think they got the power, and they are gonna' use it -- right now.

Consider the following which wou can find the full part here.

As the pietistical pose becomes the single stance in public life, brace yourself for the specially nauseating form of hypocrisy which is religious hypocrisy. The phony reverential attitude, the lowering of the eyes, the clasping of the hands in a way which denotes piety and pure living, the formulaic braying and the unarguable deference for any inanity so long as it comes from a religious source—it all follows. Perhaps the worst consequence which comes with elevating religion to a place of such importance is empowerment of the clergy.

Ain't it the truth ...

The Christians and their churches, which are using their temporary, strategic, electoral-minority position to gain majority dominance, will live to wish that they hadn’t labored so long to put "people of faith" in the driver’s seat. Other than dogmatism and a built-in resistance to reason, logic and science, sectarian religions have nothing in common except a potential antagonism for each other—one which holds the threat of someday ripping the country to shreds. "Religion" and "faith" are pushing ahead on a common front now, but in due course they will fall on each other with mortal fury. History teaches that the one thing religions hate more than secularism is other religions. With each year that religions are encouraged and given a preferential place, they become more demanding and more truculent in claiming more power and deference. As more members of more religious organizations adopt peculiar and distinguishing forms of dress, headgear and hair, the lines harden and the probability of physical conflict between these groups of faith-based fanatics grows.

Time to take the old AK-47's out of the closet, clean the rust off, test fire them, and be ready to do to the crazies on the right what the French hoi-ploi did in 1792.


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