Thursday, December 14, 2006
CDs in Play: Super Furry Animals, Rings Around the World. David Bowie, Low.
The Freedom to Silence Others
Perhaps you have heard something about the controversy surrounding whosarat.com. (if you want to see the site itself, Wikipedia has a link to it) The site was created as a means of "outing" informants and agents. Started by a guy named Sean Bucci, who has been in court on dealing charges, the site claims that it is not promoting violence against informants, just putting their info out there so people (I would assume people in the "alternative economies" specifically) would know who to avoid, etc. It seems an interesting way of using the First Amendment to shut people up.
Someone is going to end up dead because of this site. The site says that they want listings tied to non-violent crime, but come on... Bucci is fighting charges related to marijuana dealing - how many deaths have occurred in the US (and in Canada) related to dealing? Having met dealers in the past, they are not all bad guys - some are down right descent human beings actually. But they were small-time hippie types and violence is a fact even in the marijuana trade. Cross the Hells Angels and see how forgiving they will be. Shop someone connected in with the Angels, get your file and photo posted on whosarat.com and see how long it is before you get bumped off.
And in what some will see as a hypocritical turn, Augusto Pinnochet is dead and the world is a richer place for it. Too bad it didn't happen back in the 1970's, thus preventing the loss of thousands of lives. There isn't much I can say about Pinnochet that hasn't been as eloquently, articulately or as succinctly put by others so I am not going to bother. My one regret in his dying is that he won't serve any time for his crimes - embezzlement and money laundering, allegations of chemical and biological weapons production and proliferation, allegations of cocaine trafficking and more importantly thousands of people murdered, kidnapped, tortured and disappeared. Margaret Thatcher and George W. H. Bush are both known supporters of Pinnochet, which shouldn't be so surprising. But are free market economies really worth so much in terms of the suffering, misery, bloodshed and loss of life? The moral answer is no.
Should God choose to show Augusto Pinnochet mercy, then so be it. But I cannot find it within me to feel anything but disgust and revulsion for monsters like Pinnochet, Jorge Rafael Videla, Alfredo Stroessner, Luis García Meza Tejada, Anastasio Somoza García, Efraín Ríos Montt and so many other.