Sunday, April 27, 2008

Deleted post

I deleted the post with the picture of Gwyneth Paltrow because the picture wasn't available anymore. Since the whole point of the post was to show the picture, there wasn't any point in having the post up anymore. Sorry if you missed it; I think you can find it on Perez.
In more serious matters, check out this piece from the NYT. It's about Laura Berg's 2005 letter to her local weekly alternative paper, The Alibi (think Jackson Free Press-style paper). Berg is a psychiatric nurse for the VA and is being threatened with charges of sedition. Sedition? That's right, sedition. As in promoting rebellion against the government. Those of you who remember anything from high school American history will recall the Alien and Sedition Acts from 1798, which were basically just the Federalists' way to silence the voices of opposing factions, namely, the Democratic-Republicans, as well as to get rid of foreigners living in the US that voiced discontent with American policies.
Anyway, so this nurse wrote a letter to The Alibi voicing her extreme displeasure with the way the Bush Administration had handled the Katrina disaster and the ongoing Iraq conflict. You can read the text of the letter here. Someone at the VA didn't like what she had to say and, under the pretense that she was using her VA computer to write this letter, initiated an investigated. So this letter got passed along to the powers-that-be and it wound up in the hands of the FBI, which investigated Berg for sedition. Sedition? I think not. Just an everyday person who had the courage and the eloquence to say what many of us (myself included) have been thinking the whole time. The point of all this is that she's been awarded $10,000 by the PEN/Katherine Anne Porter First Amendment Award for her letter and subsequent struggles. Good for her.

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