Steve Kurtz was acquitted

I got an e-mail from Christine Kristen (a.k.a. LadyBee) that contained a press release announcing the conclusion to the case against Steven Kurtz that I blogged about in January and actually got news that Kurtz was cleared a while back through a post at Glob-a-log titled "The Steve Kurtz case finally dismissed (Another political trial, another pathetic witch hunt: Just business as usual in Bushland)". (If you're curious, it's at the end of this post after the fold).

I gather that the press release was to promote the art show Seized at The Hallwalls Contemporary Arts Center (341 Delaware Ave., Buffalo) which documents the materials involved in the case (it's on display from June 7, 2008 through July 18, 2008). But way way down at the bottom of the press release was the key part: the [clearly ironically named] Department of Justice had no business even bothering to bring up charges of mail and wire fraud because (as I said before) it's a civil dispute so it requires one person to accuse another of fraud — not a criminal one where the state can bring charges against someone. They clearly overstepped their bounds as part of the Judicial Branch of the U.S. government, as they were acting on behalf of the Executive Branch to execute the laws, then they even did that wrong by misapplying the law.

The thing that bothers me so much is that when I consider why the Department of Justice did this, I can't come up with a reason, other than those with evil purposes.

What crime — of the United States or against anyone or against humanity — did Kurtz commit by his artistic protests? I say there was no crime committed, and I'm left to believe that the Department of Justice was trying to put an innocent man in jail. Why would they do that? Perhaps to justify the "War on Terror" by staging arrests of fake terrorists? I don't know, but it all smells evil. [And let me also reiterate what's not been said enough: "terror" is a concept, not a group of people so it's at best a Quixotic move to try and wage war against it.]

Perhaps they're working to block dissent to the war and to questionable corporate efforts — both topics that Kurtz and his group rallied against. But in a free country … nay, the free country? When dissenters are rounded up and put in prison in a dictatorship, I can at least understand it, but when it happens in a country that prides itself on inalienable freedoms? So maybe the Department of Justice's goals were to steer the United States toward a more totalitarian government. Again, evil.

When I try to apply Occam's Razor, most relevant evidence points to a big conspiracy: that government is trying to bias the delivery of news for purposes of manipulating the will of the people through false information.

It's a thought that I can't bear to stare straight into. I welcome comments that disprove my theory.

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Just War

I woke up in the middle of the night, and as often happens, the demons in my head took hold and won't let me get back to sleep. This time it's that I'm trying to reconcile killing someone for my own convenience.

The United States is at war with Iraq. What that means is that there are people sent by the U.S. who are encouraged by us to stay. There are a lot of people in Iraq, on the other hand, who want those people to leave. We sent our people there with all sorts of weapons so they can kill the people who want us to leave — and likewise, the people who want us to leave try to kill the people who we sent.

This will continue until our President shakes hands with somebody and people sign some papers and then the people we sent will come back home.

So switching to the concrete, there is someone in Iraq right now whose direct relative has been killed by an American. That is, there is someone whose brother, sister, father, mother, husband, wife, son, or daughter has been killed by an American.

There is no way anyone can convince me that this is a good thing.

The reason that person was killed is because the U.S. sent someone there who killed them. If that American were never there, then that person would not have been killed.

I pay my taxes and I will continue to do so. If I don't, I'll go to jail. My life will be disrupted in an unfavorable way, but there is pretty much no risk that I'll die if I don't pay.

However, those taxes have been used to fund the war. If I had not spent that money, perhaps there would be one person who didn't go to Iraq. And because they wouldn't have been there, then some person in Iraq wouldn't be dead tonight. And their living relative would not have to experience the unbearable loss of their kin.

That's the nature of the faulty logic of my sleepless mind.

However what keeps me from going back to sleep is that someone is dead — and more importantly that someone is being killed right now, and tomorrow it will happen again. And again and again.

Think about the person you love the most in the whole world right now.

Now bang: they're dead.

Somewhere there's a person who knew this was going to happen. What he did to stop it was to write a couple letters to people telling them he thought it would be a bad idea. But he also sent those people money — a lot of money — knowing full-well that they intended to use it to kill your loved-one. To be completely fair, that person would have his life disrupted — he'd go to jail if he didn't pay the money.

So on the one hand, you've got the corpse of your loved-one. And on the other, you've got someone who wasn't willing to spend a couple years in prison to stop it. Both are cases of lost years, but in one case it's the absolute remainder of one's life and in the other, a few years of my life.

I can't figure out the morality of the whole thing, but I sure feel terrible that someone's loved-one is dead because I didn't want to stop it.

Now maybe I can shrug and go back to sleep.

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