A Stand Against The Darkness

We interrupt your browsing for the following public service message. We will return to the normal BabCom web pages at the end of this page.

On Thursday February 8, 1996, President William J. Clinton signed into law the so-called Telecommunications Decency Act. This bill, which governs all publically-accessible material on the Internet, is the most broad censorship act passed by the United States Government since World War II - or possibly some time before. It makes any speech, on any electronic medium, that anyone in a position of authority chooses to call indecent, into a Federal crime.

This unconstitutional law amounts to revocation of the First Amendment right to free speech.

On Friday April 19, 1996, President Clinton followed this by signing the so-called Anti-Terrorism Bill, more aptly known as the Government Terror Bill. Under the Terror Bill, habeus corpus is comatose; the Bill of Rights is all but dead. The Terror Bill is touted as a response to terrorism, an attempt to prevent a repeat of the Oklahoma City bombing; but there is not one thing in the Terror Bill that would have, or could have, prevented Oklahoma City. The target of the Terror Bill is not the terrorist; it is the law-abiding citizen.

Under the Terror Bill, the Government can tap your telephone because someone who they had under observation visited you or spoke to you. You are then under observation, and if you visit your grandparents to celebrate their wedding anniversary, or visit your children to see your new grandchild, the government can then tap their phone too. The FBI wants to have the ability to simultaneously tap one of every hundred telephone lines in the US - which is probably close to tapping every telephone call - and President Clinton has no objections.

Under the Terror Bill, President Clinton can arbitrarily declare any organization to be a terrorist organization. If you are accused of being a member or supporter of a terrorist organization, you can be arrested and tried in a court without a jury, in which neither you nor your attorney (if you're permitted one) have the right to know the specific charges against you, to know the evidence presented against you, or to confront witnesses against you.

President Clinton says that patriots are criminals. He says that criticism of the Government is sedition. He says that the Constitution is obsolete. He says that defending yourself or your loved ones against a criminal is a crime. In his eyes, if you speak out in favor of individual freedoms and personal responsibility, and against the ever-growing welfare state, it is sedition and hate speech.

Morris Dees of the Southern Poverty Law Center, who has the ear of Attorney General Janet Reno, President Clinton's favorite enforcer and thug, has already published a 71-page paper listing the enemies of the State and describing how to spot them and what to do about them. According to Morris Dees, you are a right-wing extremist and a terrorist sympathizer, if not a terrorist yourself, if you...

...or any of a sizeable list of other qualifications. You don't have to meet all of them; just one. According to Morris Dees' criteria, 80% or more of Americans are enemies of the State.... and Attorney General Reno thinks his words are gospel.

How long before they start arresting us?

"My country, right or wrong ... When right, to be kept right; when wrong, to be PUT right."

Our nation's government and capital are rushing headlong towards the abandonment of every value, every principle, every freedom that makes this nation what it is, in the constant quest for more power for themselves. It is time to put our country right.

Thomas Jefferson said,

"When the government fears the people, there is liberty. When the people fear the government, there is tyranny."

Today, in the United States of America, we are on the verge of tyranny. We have bartered away our freedom, little by little by little, for empty promises of security on which the Government never delivered. Each new "improvement" has made things worse, not better. As Benjamin Franklin observed in 1759,

"They that can give up an essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety".
And, as Jeff Poling observed,
"Those who trade a little freedom for a little security will soon find out that they have none of either."
The apologists in our Government who have steadily increased the power of Government throughout this century, those who wrote and sponsored the Terror Bill, those who fear and resent ordinary citizens having the same freedoms they guard so jealously for themselves, tell us that all of these encroachments upon our freedom are necessary for our safety and the safety of our country. And too many of us believe them.

But this isn't a new argument. It has been used many times before, and its moral bankruptcy and inherent falsehood has been recognized and exposed many times before, perhaps best by William Pitt, who said:

"Necessity is the plea for every infringement of human freedom. It is the argument of tyrants; it is the creed of slaves."
Abraham Lincoln, even in the tumult and turmoil and division of the Civil War, had this to say on the subject of encroachments uopn our freedom, and of the subversion of the Constitution by the men we elect to uphold and defend it.
"Our safety, our liberty depends on preserving the Constitution of the United States as our fathers made it inviolate. The people of the US are the rightful masters of both Congress and the courts - Not to overthrow the Constitution, but to overthrow the men who pervert the Constitution."
Those we elect to national office swear a solemn oath, as they take office, "to uphold and defend the Constitution against all enemies, foreign and domestic." Yet scarcely have the echoes of the oath died away before many of them are calling for blatantly unconstitutional new laws. Our current President is no more than the most visible example of many such flouters of their oaths of office. To such men and women, their oath of office is a mere formality, empty words, part of a boring ceremony that has to be gotten out of the way before they can join the elected aristocracy and start exercising the power they have just won, to build or strengthen their own little empires. They don't even stop to think of what the words mean, and the thought of actually adhering to their oath or being bound to it never for one moment crosses their rapacious, self-centered minds. Hypocrisy and lies are a way of life to them.

These are the people we choose as our leaders? Where did we go wrong? If we can truly find no better to lead us, then we deserve to be the slaves we have allowed them to make us. Ours is supposed to be a government of the people, by the people, for the people. Our representatives are supposed to be public servants - but we have elected masters instead.

In the words of Daniel Webster,

"Good intentions will always be pleaded for every assumption of authority. It is hardly too strong to say that the Constitution was made to guard the people against the dangers of good intentions. There are men in all ages who mean to govern well, but they mean to govern. They promise to be good masters, but they mean to be masters."

Though I was not born in this country, I made it my country by choice. I chose to live here because of the principles of freedom and self-reliance that America has traditionally stood for, the principles that made this nation great and free. I will not abandon those principles, and I will not forget the many who have sacrificed their lives to create this nation, to free it from foreign rule, to make it strong, and to uphold the principles of freedom that it stands for through two centuries, two world wars, a civil war, and all the troubles of this century.

I will not abdicate personal responsibility for my own life and well-being. I will not meekly stand in line for my hand-out and be told what to think and when to think it. And I will not be silent at the behest of a draft-dodging, pot-smoking, cowardly traitor who forgot his oath of office the instant the last syllable left his lips, and who thinks that Americans have too much freedom.

It is time for courageous Americans in all walks of life, who still love their country and what it stands for, to take a stand against the growing darkness in our nation's capital.

I have taken my stand. If you love freedom, join me.

Phil Stracchino
The Renaissance Man

This page is blood-red on black in protest against the unconstitutional Terror Bill, and against the illegal and unconstitutional actions of the President and of the Congress. It will remain in place, and remain red on black, until our Government is brought back into line and back into compliance with the Constitution, or until I am forcibly silenced.

If you choose to add this message to your own pages, I request that you do NOT simply add a link to this page. I ask, instead, that you physically COPY this entire page to your own site, and install it there as a separate physical file. If this site goes down, the other copies will remain.

You can download an archive in either zip or tar.gz format, containing this document and the Blue Ribbon icon, from ftp.babcom.com. (Please update this link if you place these archives on your own FTP site, and send me email to let me know the new site.)

See Also:

Free Speech Online Protest [Button] David Branson Essay

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