Archive for July, 2010

Talking with Americans from the perspective of the left I am considered a Tea Bagger, interesting as I have always held considerable views on politics like most, and I attempt to write from a center perspective although I can lean further left than most Americans including Obama would ever dare go. 

Ms. Sherrod was treated in the most appalling manner by Fox and the Whitehouse without question, she is a human being and race is not an issue, manipulation and spin from the right is the issue, there was no balance in the reports and millions hung her, guilty as charged, without due process. A travesty by any other name is still a travesty and this good woman was maligned. 

That is the reality of politics in America today, manipulation from both sides distorted, twisted and dishonesty building zero credibility and integrity in anything the republicans or democrats say or propose because, in the back of my mind I somehow believe it is nothing more than a grand lie repeated over and over again until it sounds like truth.

As a replacement for open debate it is easier to label me a racist, neo con, left loony or tea bagger, I may need a doctor to sort out where I stand as the left and the right do not want me. I have found approaching both sides with a reasonable attitude in a respectful manner shows you the door in a civil polite fashion. 

The country argues over semantics analyzing each word spoken by people pushing garbage agendas to incite rather than engage and we each buy into a philosophy of politics that honestly only divides rather than unites the country and play right along instead of saying enough! 

We have not become angry sufficiently to hold the people who drive this hate and divide between the people of America into accountability for their actions; we embrace it and make averages Americans our enemy speaking to each other in language we would not tolerate from our children in a playground.

Many people from the Left, Right and Center have valid opinions benefiting debate with no conflict, are we not an intelligent enough species to understand that race is not a measuring stick on capability and intelligence? After reading many articles and blog posts, I truly believe no one cares and the issue is gunmanship and the truth is what the national parties and media spin it to be. 

Americans negotiate this minefield looking for leadership; any sign of hope that Washington cares and find disappointment and a substantial abyss of self-serving elitists or ethics violations, is it any wonder apathy and disillusionment infects the majority of Americans. 

I am not a racist so I cannot be a republican or tea bagger and I am too conservative to be a democrat! 

Therefore, if anyone is interested, I am paper trained and adoptable, oh yes and I am in denial.

America The Lost

Posted: July 24, 2010 in freedom, Human Rights, Politics

As the November elections approach and Americans become increasing more engaged and polarized on issues, many from the right and left have kicked up the predictable repertoire of slime that permeates national and state elections. The focus on Congressional and senate performance as individuals seems lost in the national debate and is reminiscent of a family fighting over the last will and testament of a wealthy deceased loved one.

Politics in America has become a national pastime of vulgarity and lies and we seem to focus predominately on what divides us and forget what unites us as a country with vast responsibilities of not only national importance but also international importance. The hypocrisy of the very few who have remained active in national and international affairs and parties that have governed this country continuously for over two centuries are directly responsible for the current state of affairs as we find America today, rudderless and drifting further and further away from what this country once was.

It has been a distinct pleasure these past few weeks of talking with proponents from the left, right and the center, all have engaged in eloquent and amicable discussions with focus on policy and yes unfortunately, race. There is not a white elephant in the room on this issue; it is overt and at times downright nauseating to witness. The policies of both the left and the right have harmed America and government has increased in size by 11% while millions of Americans have become homeless and the very institutions created to protect the American consumers from predatory lending practices failed destroying the dreams of millions, black, white, yellow or pink; destitution knows no race.

Each of these families was sold a bill of goods with the complete blessing of those currently in political office and encouraged to live the American dream fully. America is about hard work and the opportunity for the little person to start with nothing and become whatever he/she can be, free spirit and an entrepreneurial drive with hard work and your opportunities are limitless.

Millions neither lived beyond their means nor lost everything, yet at every step of the way state nor federal agencies curtailed the predatory practises of the banks and allowed the markets to collapse, creating a new generation of the disenfranchised who bought into the mass consumerism. Although many of us thought, we had protected our investments we still managed to lose sizeable portions of our portfolios in the blink of an eye, so where exactly did this money go? If it was indeed real wealth, it moved somewhere else but where, who or what benefited from the collapse or was the money truly nothing more than just numbers in a digital data base with no hard assets backing the investment and a ponzie scheme created to transfer wealth.

Although we may never fully comprehend what happened there is one definitive truth, the current elected politicians with the exception of the President as he inherited this from Bush, are responsible for the growing numbers of homeless and a generation of Americans white, black, Asian, pink whatever, who have lost everything they have worked for. That is the true tragedy that has polarized America; the national parties both failed America and want us to believe they can fix it, I am sorry but you have had two hundred plus years to get it right and their sense of entitlements far outweigh what is right for America.

As the nation implodes from within, we find ourselves bombarded daily with the media supporting the left and the right playing the political games arguing over less and less meaningful debate and attacking what is essentially nothing more than political fluff offered as issues of critical national importance.

International monetary markets are becoming increasingly nervous of Americas credit worthiness as out of control spending is threatening the USD as the benchmark world currency. This wasteful spending of public monies and the current Presidents belief that throwing money at every problem will fix things clearly proves a misunderstanding of economics.

Not only at the Presidential level but also at the senate and congressional levels as well. Professional politicians have become addicted to wasting our money to the complete detriment of America and her people. The taxpayer base is shrinking as millions are out of work and losing homes daily, the government grows and restricts our rights as poverty increases and the disenfranchised population grows. America is not working anymore, the politicians, no, the Republicans and Democrats are each guilty of bringing ruin into the lives of each of us through poor oversight and pork in each bill passed and neglect issues affecting the lives of millions of Americans.

The Presidents handling of the Gulf of Mexico’s environmental disaster is an epic fail that his administration owns outright, he has literally left the arson in charge of the fire as his direct refusal to accept help from the outset of this disaster has now threatened the economic security of many millions of Americans.

Attacking Arizona for responsible actions on curbing illegal immigration in numbers that are beyond comprehension while allowing free zones for illegal immigrants to live and work is clearly a violation of law and this is owned by this President, race has nothing to do with his inaction on protecting Americans and the constitution.

Arizona’s legislation may be discriminatory but in exceptional circumstances that may only be temporary, you protect the citizens from threats by the means necessary to uphold the law.

Warrantless wiretaps and the electronic gathering of information on Americans by the NSA is also illegal and this President has had time and failed to remove the illegal acts of the federal government, so he owns this as well, policies he has within his power to change and refuses to do so.

These are valid arguments and the color of skin has nothing to do with it, Bush and Cheney were both culpable in creating this attack on the rights of Americans and the current President, seems eerily comfortable with continuing the agenda of the Republicans in the name of security, the biggest piece of horseshit ever created.

You cannot find Bin laden so why not make the citizens who value the constitution enemies of the state, after all, we allowed the middle class to be decimated and they were the voting threat. The America of yesterday is gone, veterans are considered potential enemies because they are held to their oath to protect the constitution and citizens of the United States, from foreign and domestic threats, so obviously the government considers them a threat, why else would a free an open country with a growing government declare them as threats?

The time for political grandstanding is over; the hour of accountability is here, the government’s agenda in the past nine years has attacked our civil rights, black, white, yellow, it makes no difference and considers patriots who fought and served this nation as potential enemies.

The agenda of the government is heading directly into State and civil confrontation and unless changes are made by the people of America, dark days are indeed ahead for this one great nation.

NAACP VS. Tea Party

Posted: July 22, 2010 in freedom, Human Rights, Politics

An interesting read Enjoy

The recent dust-up between the NAACP and the Tea Partiers over charges of “racism” appears to be yet one more instance of blacks accusing whites of insensitivity, real or imagined. In reality, however, these exchanges reflect far deeper animosities that will not vanish with “clarifications” or expelling “racist” Tea Partiers. The NAACP and its numerous allies have for decades led the charge to expand government power, including intruding into areas once considered absolutely off-limits to local government, let alone Washington. Tea Partiers are not libertarians, but they’ve had enough with government power run amok. This disagreement is, to use Thomas Sowell’s words, an unbridgeable conflict of visions: the Tea Party’s agenda, even stripped of any racial component, contravenes the NAACP’s raison d’être, so when the NAACP complains about insensitivities, it is just saying, “You intend to destroy us.”

Begin by recognizing that the post-1960s civil rights agenda has been the single most powerful force in expanding Washington power. Nothing comes even remotely close. During WWII, Washington set prices, rationed consumer goods, and limited business profits, but this infringement was correctly understood as temporary and was universally welcomed as vital to national survival (and it was soon ended). Neither the environmental movement nor consumer protection legislation has penetrated so deeply into the everyday life of Americans. Documenting this expansion is endless. In education, for example, the push to integrate America’s schools has affected the lives of millions, especially those who fled cities to avoid forced busing, while judicial degrees have shaped everything from tax rates to the racial composition of school staffs. Urban demographics were radically altered by forced integration, and this remains true today. The 1964 Civil Rights Act brought federal intervention into local restaurants and movie houses and even constrained people’s ability to choose their neighbors.

The 1965 Voting Rights Act and subsequent extensions now make every city and town in America vulnerable to Justice Department oversight if their election system slights minority representation. Employment-based affirmative action has exploded from a narrow presidential directive targeting federal government contractors to a bureaucratic colossus. There is scarcely a person alive, from professors to blue-collar cops and firefighters, whose life-chances have not been shaped by government race policy. There is no escape — those in rural Idaho seeking a mortgage will probably experience the repercussions of the government’s push to promote home ownership among blacks and Hispanics. Yet, thousands of civil rights successes aside, the political appetites of groups like the NAACP seem insatiable. It is no exaggeration to say that they believe that government is sufficiently powerful, if only vigorously prodded, to level outcomes across nearly all of human existence.

 This faith-based relentlessness soon resembles the classic gambler’s fallacy — if one lawsuit does not bring racially proportionate equality of admission to law schools, file two, and if that comes up short, file four, and eventually, it is believed, victory will arrive. Scarcely a day passes without some civil rights group going to court to challenge an exam that allegedly hinders black job applicants or demanding that Washington forcefully intervene to protect poor blacks from allegedly discriminatory financial practices. At some point, even those sympathetic with the civil rights agenda — and this undoubtedly included most Tea Party fans — will recognize that this relentless craving for government-imposed racial equality is deeply antithetical to limited government.

In the final analysis, then, the NAACP and its allies are on a collision path with the Tea Party movement. Put more formally, given what is already on the books and vigorously enforced, new civil rights measures serve only to expand government, with scant payoff for intended beneficiaries. The point of diminishing returns on political pressuring was reached long ago. In a nutshell, the very existence of the Tea Party is a message to the NAACP: Stop. Make no mistake: Civil rights groups are not the only fans of big government. There are those who would radically expand defense budgets; others demand gargantuan expansion of social welfare. Further add nanny-state meddlers obsessed with our diets. But what makes the civil rights agenda so contrary to the principles of limited government, over and above its ceaseless character, is its penchant for invading what was heretofore politically off-limits.

It is one thing to demand free universal medical care, but quite another to attempt to micromanage the workplace to root out any vestiges of alleged discrimination. To those unfamiliar with this Kafkaesque madness, consider just one of hundreds of anti-discrimination strictures from the U.S. Equal Employment Commission: For example, a “no-beard” employment policy that applies to all workers without regard to race may still be unlawful if it is not job-related and has a negative impact on the employment of African-American men (who have a predisposition to a skin condition that causes severe shaving bumps). There are also rules about non-job social events, so, for example, a firm that favors golf outings may be guilty of racial discrimination if its black employees prefer basketball to golf. A firm might also risk lawsuits if refuses to promote a white person who has a black spouse or if the white employee socializes with blacks, or if the firm’s insurance policy had a race-related illness as an excluded existing precondition.

The list of prohibitions and requirements is not only far-reaching and murky, but navigating them requires legal staffs trained in the equivalent of Talmudic interpretation. Who would have ever guessed that firms must now consider shaving bumps when setting grooming standards? Or must inquire about the race of an employee’s friends or spouse before announcing layoffs? No, these are not hypothetical illustrations. The NAACP/Tea Party conflict would vanish if the NAACP and its allies suddenly abandoned their infatuation with federal coercion and instead embraced a strategy more in tune with the non-political approach of Booker T. Washington or Father Devine — working one’s way up the economic ladder via self-help. So, instead of piling on yet more made-in-Washington rules and regulations to exorcise the demons racism and discrimination in education, civil rights groups would, for example, create after-school cram academies to help struggling students earn a legitimate high school diploma. And I’d guess that they would have no problem recruiting Tea Party sympathizers to help teach these courses.

The NAACP/Tea Party conflict over limited government cannot be resolved, though it is all too easy to paper it over. Tea Party fans are not anti-black or anti-civil rights; they certainly do not favor repealing civil rights legislation or enfeebling the Justice Department. They just prefer limited government to pursuing an aim — racial equality — that appears unreachable. It is one thing to expand government during wartime, when national survival is at stake, or to achieve a worthy and reachable goal; but to empower Big Brother and accomplish nothing other than bigger government is hardly an acceptable sacrifice. When confronted with the inevitable charge of racism, Tea Party folk should resist the urge to fight the battle on these acrimonious grounds. Battling a civil rights group over “racism” is an unwinnable, pointless battle. Blacks will always claim the high ground of moral authority to define “racism.” The debate should be about sustaining a bedrock principle of our Republic — limited government — versus some egalitarian dream. This is a classic clash of principles and transcends who said what when. It is, moreover, about time that the virtues of limited government enter the public debate next time the NAACP or its sympathizers demand yet more government intrusion into private life.

 Of the utmost importance, African-Americans should be reminded that, after all, they are a minority, and the purpose of limited government is to prevent tyranny, especially the tyranny of the majority over the minority. In the long run, African-Americans — like all Americans — should dread an out-of-control government no matter how seductive that government’s mission. The NAACP has, sad to say, forgotten perhaps one of the most basic lessons of American governance. Doubters should just observe what happens elsewhere in today’s world when government power is unchecked.

 There is an oft-repeated Jefferson quote that captures this dilemma exactly: “A government big enough to give you everything you want is strong enough to take everything you have.”

The dust-up is about power and tyranny, not insults.

Robert Weissberg is Professor of Political Science-Emeritus, University of Illinois-Urbana. His latest book is Bad Students Not Bad Schools. badstudentsnotbadschools.com

Lawful Rebellion

Posted: July 19, 2010 in freedom, Human Rights, Politics

Either America is in trouble or doing fine, it just depends on whom you are talking to, we are moving too far to the left or we are still too far to the right, many diverse opinions and steadfast support for both sides of the political spectrum exist. The passion and vulgarity that each side demonstrates in their support for their party’s position is as divisive to America as the dysfunctional congressional and senate members have been to the country. 

Democrats and Republicans act as divorced couples who hate one another, and yes hate is a very strong word but that is what it boils down to, dividing Americans over a philosophy while backroom deals are made at the expense of individual Americans, hurting the country and doing very little to solve the problems this once great nation faces. 

What is missing is debate, open and truthful debate in a responsible manner void of emotionally charged opinions and name-calling, which has reduced any attempt at reasonable engagement to a level of contempt that borders on the insane. Many of the supporters from each party have closed their minds to listening and just talk at one another leaving no real room for meaningful dialogue. 

Republicans and Democrats are equally responsible for the disorder America is now facing and there is no escaping this fact, both parties have governed this country and both have equally screwed it up and there is no arguments that can be prepared to defend this fact, the senate and congress have left very little doubt on this issue. 

The dissatisfaction in government has lead to the creation of the Tea Party, another political organisation rising to challenge the status quo and much maligned by the media and both national parties. I am not a supporter of the Tea Party or any other political party in America but that does not preclude me from having opinions on matters important to the country. I am not alone in this either and supporters of the national parties explain if I wish to be heard I must join a political party to express my views, excuse me? 

Both national parties have had over two centuries to govern this nation and it has become increasingly apparent they each have grown into a culture of entitlement at the expense of American citizens and the dysfunction they have each brought to government in the past thirty years is a national disgrace. Examining voter turnout after elections is a telling story of the apathy citizens have on Election Day speaking volumes of the disconnect both national parties have with the majority of Americans

It has become increasing important for political parties to appeal to minority groups who vote in blocks to ensure continuance of power further dividing the American people, what happened to equality for all and the greater benefit to the America people and not just special interest groups. Politics has become a vocation of filth and deceit with hypocrites on both sides of the coin so convoluted with slandering each other the nation suffers and becomes derelict. 

It is exactly the course national parties have stayed and continue to worship keeping the majority of Americans disinterested from actively participating in the affairs of this country creating a deepening sense of apathy and therefore avoiding any real scrutiny and accountability to the true power of America, her people. 

The America media fixates on appreciative or vilification of policy and individuals with innuendo and spin supporting one side or the other believing they are giving you information that is relevant and factual in a thirty second sound bite. Whether it is Olberman or Bill O it truly matters not, both have agendas and dam if the truth gets in the way. 

The main consequence that both the Democrats and Republicans have self inflicted is becoming increasingly evident with the falling subscriptions in news papers and the demise of viewership of national news shows, Americans in the majority are turning away in large numbers and seeking alternative media sources, and this is causing deep concern in both national parties. 

Both houses attempted to pass a bill that would tax electronics and alternative media sites to support the failing newspaper industry, a groundswell of complaints from the majority of Americans defeated this bill before it ever reached the floor. The impact that alternative media is causing has also come under the scrutiny of Joe Lieberman in his bill to have the internet declared a national asset, this would give the president the ability to shut down the internet for four months without congressional approval. 

Can anyone see the potential for abuse here? The disconnect is evident in this bill, today’s generation is the most viral connected generation in American history. Good luck shutting it down Mr. President who ever you may be, the protesters in the streets would make the sixties look like a minor league warm-up and you will open up a Pandora’s Box of fury never seen in modern America regardless of the spin.    

The system is broken and many disenfranchised Americans are waking up as millions have lost their homes, jobs and families, the people who suffered from apathy on Election Day, their fury has started to structure in new parties such as the Tea party, threatening the status quo who will stop at nothing to maintain control and power. The spin-doctors are out in full force, party members are surfing the blogs and spewing hate as a new class of voters was created through the economic meltdown. 

The incestuous relationship that each party has with large multinational corporations has been documented proving that political agendas harmful to the American people and the nation are on track with very little deviation from one administration to another. Civil rights are abused daily through the patriot act and institutions have more value than the individual, clearly stated by the current President when firing a general who disagreed with his policy. Regardless of the general’s position, when a president states institutions have more value than the individuals, America is broken and rudderless. 

America is waking up indeed and the status quo is no longer a viable option as the silent majority is unable to stomach the entitlement and corruption that has become Washington, although it may only be in its infancy, it has started, Americans have had enough. 

Welcome to the Lawful Rebellion.

Diversity

Posted: July 15, 2010 in freedom, Human Rights, Politics

I have recently discovered how much fun it is to surf the blogs here in word press and read the viewpoints of many excellent bloggers writing on countless subjects from political to the farcical. 

The young and old have much to say and I am guilty of playing devil’s advocate in some of my comments and the replies are as diverse as the writers on word press leading me to the conclusion that reality is only a perception and is more often than not a political view of the left or right. 

The fracture in America today is a direct result of the political views of both national parties and what strikes me is the deficiency in critical thinking as many of us differentiate the same ideological spin the lame stream media displays in their reporting. This leads to the same message the national parties put out with either an educated or a nonprofessional spin to it and truly makes for great reading. 

I applaud each of you bloggers for defending your viewpoints and engaging in dialogue with the people who comment on your blogs whether they agree or disagree with the viewpoint expressed by the author. The complement paid to you on your writing through the comments section is a testament that you have struck a nerve or dare I say, ignited an emotional response from your readers achieving the end result you desired. 

We each have a responsibility as commenter’s and writers to defend the position we have taken in an open and fair exchange without resulting to derogatory name calling and questing the gene pool of our ancestors. This is the easy way out for a weak argument and degrades the debate to childish standards. 

For the record, I am not affiliated with any political party I am not a racists or some comfortable white person blogging from home profiling illegal aliens while I build Fema detention camps during the day. 

That about covers it, oh one more thing, keep up the good work out there and I will see you in the comments!

America the Eroding

Posted: July 11, 2010 in freedom, Human Rights, Politics

I have been blessed throughout my life, traveling across this wonderful nation from coast to coast meeting American’s from every lifestyle in rural and city setting alike. The love for country is evident in the hearts of the many people who have engaged in conversations with me unmistakeably patriotic chasing their share of the American dream. The concept of what is America and the traditions we still keep and honor lends creditable weight that America is still strong and vibrant in the hearts and minds of the people who sacrifice daily to provide for their families needs. 

As one who cares deeply for people it pains me genuinely knowing that a new class of homeless families have been created during an engineered monetary and mortgage crisis, people no different than you and me once middleclass are now the new disenfranchised. It is easy to accuse them of living beyond their means and fault each of them for their current state of misery, but that would be immoral as that is the end result of something much greater that was perpetrated against each of us with the full complicity of the very people we entrusted to protect us.

There are very few in this country that have not felt the effects of this crisis and families have dissolved over it, destroying safe and loving environments for the children making them victims of corporate greed potentially fostering a new generation of troubled individuals in the millions who will fall through the cracks into a sub-culture of exploitation and death. Some will survive becoming stronger for the challenge and contribute to their communities, making their little piece of America better for their experience, others will not fare so well. 

The truth of the matter is we need each other; all of us like in nature are dependent on the labor of others to build our dreams and celebrate our traditions to keep America as the framers of the constitution had intended her to be, Strong and free from oppression. At every step in our lives, we need the permission of other to accomplish the dream we have the opportunity to create, but we need the labor of others to assist us in completing our individual dreams. 

We are no longer in it for ourselves, recent events have dictated that clearly and the “me generation” has come to a crashing and devastating end. Materialistic pursuits seem trivial when children are sleeping in parks, under bridges in ravines and any other dark place you may think of because corporate greed and the need to accumulate wealth at any expense, a crime with no one held responsible was allowed to run unchecked. The decimation of this voting bloc is another attack on the rights and freedoms of the American people who watch news delivered by comfortable millionaires with little concept of the true hardships that seem so conveniently forgotten. As we move from one crisis to another with no real direction on solving the problems there is a vacuum in national leadership at all levels crippling this country. 

“A nation that continues year after year to spend more money on military defense than on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual doom, all labor that uplifts humanity has dignity and importance and should be undertaken with painstaking excellence.” Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. 

I am neither a socialist nor a visible minority but his words have truth in them, we are only as strong as the person standing beside us and the time for each of us to wake up to this fact has come as none of us has been untouched by this national shame. 

The politicians are easy to blame for this mess, I too am guilty of it but the reality is each of us is to blame, we failed to act when Presidents without the approval of congress sent our sons, daughters, mothers and fathers off to war. We failed to listen to congressmen/women who were ridiculed in the press warning us of what was to come. We failed to act in the voting booth when our civil rights were attacked under the patriot act. We the people failed to act and demand accountability for the erosion of the economy and the untold billions paid to the very same people who created this national crisis. 

We the people have failed to protect the most important document of this country the Constitution of the United States of America, which has remedy in it for what is taking place at this very moment. 

We the people have failed to take note of the direction of America and left it to the incompetent professional politicians. 

It is We the People who are to blame for the Eroding of America and the values and traditions we so cherish. 

History will have to record that the greatest tragedy of this period of social transition was not the strident clamor of the bad people, but the appalling silence of the good people.
Martin Luther King, Jr.

President John F. Kennedy
Waldorf-Astoria Hotel
New York City, April 27, 1961

Mr. Chairman, ladies and gentlemen:

     I appreciate very much your generous invitation to be here tonight.

     You bear heavy responsibilities these days and an article I read some time ago reminded me of how particularly heavily the burdens of present day events bear upon your profession.

     You may remember that in 1851 the New York Herald Tribune under the sponsorship and publishing of Horace Greeley, employed as its London correspondent an obscure journalist by the name of Karl Marx.

     We are told that foreign correspondent Marx, stone broke, and with a family ill and undernourished, constantly appealed to Greeley and managing editor Charles Dana for an increase in his munificent salary of $5 per installment, a salary which he and Engels ungratefully labeled as the “lousiest petty bourgeois cheating.”

     But when all his financial appeals were refused, Marx looked around for other means of livelihood and fame, eventually terminating his relationship with the Tribune and devoting his talents full time to the cause that would bequeath the world the seeds of Leninism, Stalinism, revolution and the cold war.

     If only this capitalistic New York newspaper had treated him more kindly; if only Marx had remained a foreign correspondent, history might have been different. And I hope all publishers will bear this lesson in mind the next time they receive a poverty-stricken appeal for a small increase in the expense account from an obscure newspaper man.

     I have selected as the title of my remarks tonight “The President and the Press.” Some may suggest that this would be more naturally worded “The President Versus the Press.” But those are not my sentiments tonight.

     It is true, however, that when a well-known diplomat from another country demanded recently that our State Department repudiate certain newspaper attacks on his colleague it was unnecessary for us to reply that this Administration was not responsible for the press, for the press had already made it clear that it was not responsible for this Administration.

     Nevertheless, my purpose here tonight is not to deliver the usual assault on the so-called one party press. On the contrary, in recent months I have rarely heard any complaints about political bias in the press except from a few Republicans. Nor is it my purpose tonight to discuss or defend the televising of Presidential press conferences. I think it is highly beneficial to have some 20,000,000 Americans regularly sit in on these conferences to observe, if I may say so, the incisive, the intelligent and the courteous qualities displayed by your Washington correspondents.

     Nor, finally, are these remarks intended to examine the proper degree of privacy which the press should allow to any President and his family.

     If in the last few months your White House reporters and photographers have been attending church services with regularity, that has surely done them no harm.

     On the other hand, I realize that your staff and wire service photographers may be complaining that they do not enjoy the same green privileges at the local golf courses that they once did.

     It is true that my predecessor did not object as I do to pictures of one’s golfing skill in action. But neither on the other hand did he ever bean a Secret Service man.

     My topic tonight is a more sober one of concern to publishers as well as editors.

     I want to talk about our common responsibilities in the face of a common danger. The events of recent weeks may have helped to illuminate that challenge for some; but the dimensions of its threat have loomed large on the horizon for many years. Whatever our hopes may be for the future–for reducing this threat or living with it–there is no escaping either the gravity or the totality of its challenge to our survival and to our security–a challenge that confronts us in unaccustomed ways in every sphere of human activity.

     This deadly challenge imposes upon our society two requirements of direct concern both to the press and to the President–two requirements that may seem almost contradictory in tone, but which must be reconciled and fulfilled if we are to meet this national peril. I refer, first, to the need for a far greater public information; and, second, to the need for far greater official secrecy.

The very word “secrecy” is repugnant in a free and open society; and we are as a people inherently and historically opposed to secret societies, to secret oaths and to secret proceedings. We decided long ago that the dangers of excessive and unwarranted concealment of pertinent facts far outweighed the dangers which are cited to justify it. Even today, there is little value in opposing the threat of a closed society by imitating its arbitrary restrictions. Even today, there is little value in insuring the survival of our nation if our traditions do not survive with it. And there is very grave danger that an announced need for increased security will be seized upon by those anxious to expand its meaning to the very limits of official censorship and concealment. That I do not intend to permit to the extent that it is in my control. And no official of my Administration, whether his rank is high or low, civilian or military, should interpret my words here tonight as an excuse to censor the news, to stifle dissent, to cover up our mistakes or to withhold from the press and the public the facts they deserve to know.

     But I do ask every publisher, every editor, and every newsman in the nation to reexamine his own standards, and to recognize the nature of our country’s peril. In time of war, the government and the press have customarily joined in an effort based largely on self-discipline, to prevent unauthorized disclosures to the enemy. In time of “clear and present danger,” the courts have held that even the privileged rights of the First Amendment must yield to the public’s need for national security.

     Today no war has been declared–and however fierce the struggle may be, it may never be declared in the traditional fashion. Our way of life is under attack. Those who make themselves our enemy are advancing around the globe. The survival of our friends is in danger. And yet no war has been declared, no borders have been crossed by marching troops, no missiles have been fired.

     If the press is awaiting a declaration of war before it imposes the self-discipline of combat conditions, then I can only say that no war ever posed a greater threat to our security. If you are awaiting a finding of “clear and present danger,” then I can only say that the danger has never been more clear and its presence has never been more imminent.

     It requires a change in outlook, a change in tactics, a change in missions–by the government, by the people, by every businessman or labor leader, and by every newspaper. For we are opposed around the world by a monolithic and ruthless conspiracy that relies primarily on covert means for expanding its sphere of influence–on infiltration instead of invasion, on subversion instead of elections, on intimidation instead of free choice, on guerrillas by night instead of armies by day. It is a system which has conscripted vast human and material resources into the building of a tightly knit, highly efficient machine that combines military, diplomatic, intelligence, economic, scientific and political operations.

     Its preparations are concealed, not published. Its mistakes are buried, not headlined. Its dissenters are silenced, not praised. No expenditure is questioned, no rumor is printed, no secret is revealed. It conducts the Cold War, in short, with a war-time discipline no democracy would ever hope or wish to match.

     Nevertheless, every democracy recognizes the necessary restraints of national security–and the question remains whether those restraints need to be more strictly observed if we are to oppose this kind of attack as well as outright invasion.

     For the facts of the matter are that this nation’s foes have openly boasted of acquiring through our newspapers information they would otherwise hire agents to acquire through theft, bribery or espionage; that details of this nation’s covert preparations to counter the enemy’s covert operations have been available to every newspaper reader, friend and foe alike; that the size, the strength, the location and the nature of our forces and weapons, and our plans and strategy for their use, have all been pinpointed in the press and other news media to a degree sufficient to satisfy any foreign power; and that, in at least in one case, the publication of details concerning a secret mechanism whereby satellites were followed required its alteration at the expense of considerable time and money.

     The newspapers which printed these stories were loyal, patriotic, responsible and well-meaning. Had we been engaged in open warfare, they undoubtedly would not have published such items. But in the absence of open warfare, they recognized only the tests of journalism and not the tests of national security. And my question tonight is whether additional tests should not now be adopted.

     The question is for you alone to answer. No public official should answer it for you. No governmental plan should impose its restraints against your will. But I would be failing in my duty to the nation, in considering all of the responsibilities that we now bear and all of the means at hand to meet those responsibilities, if I did not commend this problem to your attention, and urge its thoughtful consideration.

     On many earlier occasions, I have said–and your newspapers have constantly said–that these are times that appeal to every citizen’s sense of sacrifice and self-discipline. They call out to every citizen to weigh his rights and comforts against his obligations to the common good. I cannot now believe that those citizens who serve in the newspaper business consider themselves exempt from that appeal.

     I have no intention of establishing a new Office of War Information to govern the flow of news. I am not suggesting any new forms of censorship or any new types of security classifications. I have no easy answer to the dilemma that I have posed, and would not seek to impose it if I had one. But I am asking the members of the newspaper profession and the industry in this country to reexamine their own responsibilities, to consider the degree and the nature of the present danger, and to heed the duty of self-restraint which that danger imposes upon us all.

     Every newspaper now asks itself, with respect to every story: “Is it news?” All I suggest is that you add the question: “Is it in the interest of the national security?” And I hope that every group in America–unions and businessmen and public officials at every level– will ask the same question of their endeavors, and subject their actions to the same exacting tests.

     And should the press of America consider and recommend the voluntary assumption of specific new steps or machinery, I can assure you that we will cooperate whole-heartedly with those recommendations.

     Perhaps there will be no recommendations. Perhaps there is no answer to the dilemma faced by a free and open society in a cold and secret war. In times of peace, any discussion of this subject, and any action that results, are both painful and without precedent. But this is a time of peace and peril which knows no precedent in history.

 It is the unprecedented nature of this challenge that also gives rise to your second obligation–an obligation which I share. And that is our obligation to inform and alert the American people–to make certain that they possess all the facts that they need, and understand them as well–the perils, the prospects, the purposes of our program and the choices that we face.

     No President should fear public scrutiny of his program. For from that scrutiny comes understanding; and from that understanding comes support or opposition. And both are necessary. I am not asking your newspapers to support the Administration, but I am asking your help in the tremendous task of informing and alerting the American people. For I have complete confidence in the response and dedication of our citizens whenever they are fully informed.

     I not only could not stifle controversy among your readers–I welcome it. This Administration intends to be candid about its errors; for as a wise man once said: “An error does not become a mistake until you refuse to correct it.” We intend to accept full responsibility for our errors; and we expect you to point them out when we miss them.

     Without debate, without criticism, no Administration and no country can succeed–and no republic can survive. That is why the Athenian lawmaker Solon decreed it a crime for any citizen to shrink from controversy. And that is why our press was protected by the First Amendment– the only business in America specifically protected by the Constitution- -not primarily to amuse and entertain, not to emphasize the trivial and the sentimental, not to simply “give the public what it wants”–but to inform, to arouse, to reflect, to state our dangers and our opportunities, to indicate our crises and our choices, to lead, mold, educate and sometimes even anger public opinion.

     This means greater coverage and analysis of international news–for it is no longer far away and foreign but close at hand and local. It means greater attention to improved understanding of the news as well as improved transmission. And it means, finally, that government at all levels, must meet its obligation to provide you with the fullest possible information outside the narrowest limits of national security–and we intend to do it.

 It was early in the Seventeenth Century that Francis Bacon remarked on three recent inventions already transforming the world: the compass, gunpowder and the printing press. Now the links between the nations first forged by the compass have made us all citizens of the world, the hopes and threats of one becoming the hopes and threats of us all. In that one world’s efforts to live together, the evolution of gunpowder to its ultimate limit has warned mankind of the terrible consequences of failure.

     And so it is to the printing press–to the recorder of man’s deeds, the keeper of his conscience, the courier of his news–that we look for strength and assistance, confident that with your help man will be what he was born to be: free and independent.

Listen to the speech http://www.jfklibrary.org/Asset+Tree/Asset+Viewers/Audio+Video+Asset+Viewer.htm?guid={51BCDE90-AF4F-4EE9-A68E-ECC4CDE97F76}&type=Audio