Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Slimed Again for Telling the Truth

A new nation was hurting. A bunch of hopeful hoodlums on this side of the Atlantic decided to break the "law" of the land. Thirteen colonies on what would someday be called "the East Coast" were doing their colonial thing, yet feeling the crunch of a controlling mofo homeland. We had the colonies, and we had the British crown, led by one incredibly immature king tyrant.

So, what to do? What to do? Beyond brilliant, beyond genius, inspired by the divine or perhaps something higher, some fatherly folks chose to create a declaration of independence and then a constitution to reign over a republic for this United States of America.
What would be of import was FREEDOM, staring with men (mostly white) and then ultimately women and all sentient beings (well, not animals yet, but coming soon I bet). That freedom would include a Bill of Rights (inalienable from what I recall) that included freedom of religion and press and speech. Guarded tightly was this freedom, especially because of a well-documented and nasty tendency of egotistical individuals and megalomaniac governments to become tyrannical in their control over others. In other words, we had to protect ourselves from our own government!

Freedom demanded it.

Now, let's flash forward a couple centuries for a present-day reality, a nightmare come true for the founders of our country, and the analogy of a burning flag … and the republic for which it stands. Though there are many ways our nation and Constitution are being chipped away at, the mayhem I wish to point out is related to our (yours and mine) freedom of speech. This freedom of speech is not just being threatened in our nation's societal landscape, but in areas we may have heretofore not considered. (This is called "foreshadowing.")

In days of old, as far back as the ancient historic times of 1974, a US President found to be supporting the spying, wire-tapping, and otherwise breaking of trust with the American people was taken off of his post.

Yet today, the mainstream media reports that our government, with its collective panties in a wad, has decided anyone pointing out such improprieties to be guilty of "treason" as a "defector," a felon and a traitor. And punitive actions will be taken for such people. That goes for all the Bradley Mannings and the Edward Snowdens of the world. That goes for you. You are all suspects in this game of chance, and must be watched ever so closely. And if you step out of bounds, you will be brought to justice. Whistle-blowers who may point out such insanity are now no longer safe to speak the truth in a society that one past leader would have labeled "repugnant" in its secrecy and non-transparency.

For we appear to have come to this: the more truth you bring, the easier it is for you to be the one who is "in trouble." The more you speak up and reveal the more challenging truths, the easier it is for you to be the one slimed. And it's not just before some hypersensitive politician, judge, boss, Catholic diocese, police or political machinery. Sadly, it has become the case in personal relations – with family and friends.

When was the last time you brought a grievance to a friend, and that friend replied with a grateful "thank you," full of appreciation? This latter sentence may even bring a laugh, for imagining such a scenario is so far from reality that it becomes a joke. Though consider the value in a friend noticing something amiss about your actions or deeds, and bringing such to conscious awareness for you. Would it not have value? Would it not give you some insight you may not already hold? Would it not take courage for someone to bring this insight?

He or she, if a friend, would most likely bring it to you in an act of support. As well, this person probably will be in a vulnerable state, risking relationship, risking attack, defense and retribution for a simple perception and act of kindness you may not comprehend.

But for those people concerned about any criticism coming their way from a friend, not to worry! And that is because this will not happen. For the environment has been set: people and governments are so afraid of the truth that they all have their defenses in place:
  • The government with its media-for-hire and jacked-up laws protecting nothing but their own fort.
  •  The common people with their egos, pride and handy pop psychology phrase of the day: "What someone thinks about me has nothing to do with me."

Yes I know we've all nodded our head along to this cozy concept. Yet, what does it protect us from? The truth has gone out of style, having so many people – veiled by their own BS, protected by an ego out for only glory and the superficial good-looking appearance – feeling out of sorts. But what do we give up by not allowing a friend to speak his or her mind on matters that may come across as critical? What do we give up by not allowing the people a place to assemble to oppose a doctrine or dogma?

We give up life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. We give up freedom.

Until a freedom of speech is alive and well within all our relations – whether it be relating to our family, friends or countrymen – we will all be prisoners of a controlling force dictating how everything should be. Until we can experience a free dialogue, there will be no conversation. Until we are free to speak our truth, there will be no truth.  

May we all do right by our friends and be a friend. May we all do right by our family and be a contributing family member. May we all do right by our country, and stand up and speak up for the principles that made it all worth fighting for in the first place.

James Anthony Ellis is a writer and producer who just used his “freedom of speech” in a country still free because of, in part, the still free Internet. He can be reached at

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