Wednesday June 19, 2013
What Happened to US?Rick Ames for Salem-News.com
Manifesto: "a written statement declaring publicly the intentions, motives, or views of its issuer." - Webster's dictionary
(SALEM) - I miss much of what happens in our society, or more accurately, many of the cultural changes that go on as our society changes and evolves. To that end, I ask you “What has happened to US, or more accurately to the U.S.” You see, I do not spend very much time consuming mass media of any type, and pretty much no time consuming the domestic version of it here in the States. With regard to the former, the decision to remove channels not deemed appropriate by “those in power” from the satellites has further reduced what little time I spend in front of the idiot box, and to the latter, well, it's why I call it the idiot box. I could say it's because I don't have time, but that simply wouldn't be the truth. I do have time, as do we all for various leisure activities, which, I imagine, could mean for some people, watching TV. Well, my time here is limited, and I'd rather act than watch others do so.
But this isn't why I write this article today. Today I write to address that which has transpired over the last days regarding one Mr. Chris Dorner and the LAPD, or at least my limited view of it. Despite the fact that I don't watch very much TV, or listen to much radio, it is almost impossible to miss the events surrounding this man over the last week or so. To that end, I did read most of his so-called "manifesto." That's an interesting word. Manifesto. I remember other manifestos from the past. Ted Kaczinsky supposedly had one, and I read much of that one too. Call me curious. Karl Marx had one of which most of us have at least heard. It's strange to me that these days it seems the only time one hears the word manifesto is when there is someone who is, at least as portrayed by the media, evil.
Such is the case with Mr. Dorner, at least according to what I've been able to gather from my limited view of the media's portrayal of him.
Webster's dictionary defines a manifesto as: "a written statement declaring publicly the intentions, motives, or views of its issuer." It would appear, that Mr. Dorner's document fits this definition.
From this we might infer that the Magna Carta was a manifesto, as well as other documents from history, like the Declaration of Independence, or perhaps even the U.S. Constitution.
I offer those three examples intentionally. You see, I don't know Chris Dorner, or perhaps a better way of putting that is, I didn't know him. As of this writing, it is being reported that he is now deceased, as a result of a gunfight and fire at the cabin where he was supposedly holed up. While I neither do, nor did, know Mr. Dorner, I do know that the three documents mentioned above, according to popular opinion, infer certain rights upon all of us, Mr. Dorner included. However, I like to look at those documents in a bit of a different light. I believe that those documents do not infer, confer, nor grant any rights to an individual, but rather acknowledge the limitations of governments, rulers, masters, or any other so-called superior in the face of rights that belong inherently to the individual. The Declaration of Independence acknowledges this fact with the words "...that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness."
If you're an atheist, well, credit whomever, or whatever you will with those rights, and know that I mean no offense if you happen to hold a different view from my own.
Furthermore, the very rights acknowledged by the U.S. Constitution also reflect this principle. In Mr. Dorner's case, he had a right to due process, at least according to the fifth amendment:
Where were the limitations of government in the case of Mr. Dorner? Where was he, by due process of law, deprived of happiness, liberty, and finally life? Did I miss something between the time that the media was reporting that there was a "rogue cop bent on revenge, waging war on the LAPD," and the events of yesterday where Mr. Dorner was deprived of all? Where were those limitations as members of the LAPD indiscriminately fired upon a pickup truck with two women in it, seriously wounding one of them? Where and when was the Grand Jury convened to indict Mr. Dorner on these charges? For that matter, where and when was his trial for the charges of which he was accused? Where and when was he convicted and sentenced to his fate?
We all know what we don't want to say out loud. We're all aware of the reality. Did Mr. Dorner do the things of which he was accused? I don't know, and most likely, neither do you. Maybe the LAPD know, maybe they don't. What I do know is that we are now living in a time and a reality where our rights seem to be nothing more than words on paper. In a time where the individual is subservient to, and subject to, the whims and abuses of power by those who, at least should be, and are supposed to be our servants.
Did Mr. Dorner murder those people he's been accused of murdering? I don't know, and I think most of us will never know. The one person with a vested interest in mounting a defense against those charges is now gone. Mr. Dorner will never be able to face his accusers in a fair manner as prescribed by law, because Mr. Dorner was forced to face his accusers in a manner that appears to be clearly outside the law. While they, those who participated in the hunt for Mr. Dorner, and finally in his demise, will at least have the time, and be given their due process, Mr. Dorner, most definitely will not.
Webster's dictionary defines the following:
Murder: "the crime of unlawfully killing a person especially with malice aforethought"
Unlawful: "not lawful : illegal"
Malice: "intent to commit an unlawful act or cause harm without legal justification or excuse"
Aforethought: "previously in mind : premeditated, deliberate"
Deliberate: "to think about or discuss issues and decisions carefully"
Did the representatives of the government accidentally arrive at that cabin in Southern California with all that military hardware? Did they accidentally surround that same cabin with all that military hardware? Did they then accidentally fire the ordnance that ignited that fire? Did they accidentally mobilize a civilian police force in a military manner and then proceed to open fire on two innocent women without cause or provocation? Did they act with malice when opening fire on a pickup truck suspected to be his, but which turned out to belong to, and be occupied by, two women out delivering newspapers? Was that same malice present when they finally destroyed the cabin in which he was holed up, thereby depriving him of any hope of his due process? Did they act within the bounds of the law as set forth in our founding documents, and reflected in the laws that supposedly govern this nation? Or did they plan and then unlawfully, and deliberately do those things?
Maybe someone needs to ask why. Maybe someone needs to learn what motivated such a ruthless and harsh campaign against one who was formerly one of their own. He was trapped inside a cabin, of what were they so afraid? Where was he going to go? All they had to do was sit and wait him out, eventually he's going to run out of food and water. Hunger and thirst are awesome motivators.
And lastly, it's in this time, and in this context, with abuses of power and authority such as these that I, and other, legal, law abiding gun owners are being asked to give up what firearms we have? Well, for the record, I don't like living in a world where firearms, or really any other weapon is necessary, but that's our reality, that's how it is. From that perspective, the elimination of all weapons meant for killing fellow human beings would be fine with me. From the perspective of reality, however, what worries me is what will come after OUR firearms are taken from us.
But that's another article entirely.
I've heard and read, as have most of you, the words from the Declaration of Independence that "Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed."
I'm still waiting for an invitation to my ceremony of consent. If you've been to one, please tell me what I should wear, and what to expect. I certainly did not, nor do not, consent to what was done to this man, and moreso what was done to our country and our rights yesterday.
_________________________________Rick Ames is a former native Californian, who found his way north to Oregon about ten years ago. During his life, he has been, or currently is a student, a musician, mechanic, cashier, IT professional, car stereo installer, U.S. Marine, sailor, hobbyist machinist, occasional welder, general tinkerer, metal caster and fabricator, amateur rock hound, amateur astronomer, guitarist, singer, writer, speaker. His most important roles, however, are those of a husband of almost 20 years to a most wonderful and intelligent woman, and father to two very special children.
Despite having no formal training in either journalism, or writing, Rick credits his writing ability not only to the fact that he is a voracious reader, but also in no small part to the way his Asperger's Syndrome allows him to view the world around him. While the latter may sound like a disability to some, it has allowed Rick to have a unique perspective on many issues. While his condition has a very real impact in how he's able to function socially, and to a lesser extent, professionally, it has also helped him to remain somewhat unaffected by the peer pressure that seems to lull far too many people into a place where they don't question the world around them. It is through the gifts of writing, and his so- called disability that Rick hopes to impact the world around him, and perhaps help to bring about positive change for the world his, and all of our, children will one day inherit.
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