Opinion » Columnists

For the record

The other day, an acquaintance asked what am I doing now, since my former job was moved to India. I told her that I was a guest columnist for PRAVDA.Ru.
She remembers back to the Stalin era Pravda and has not quite figured out that PRAVDA.Ru has reinvented itself and becoming a news agency.  Not many companies can do that successfully, but, Pravda is. 

This woman, in seething indignation, tried telling me that I am almost being un-American.  So, I want to lay the record straight. 

Journalism is a very difficult field to break into – PRAVDA.Ru, has opened the door for me.  My former profession of computer programming is very limited here in the US.  One also faces the reality that they might walk in the door only to hear their job has been relocated overseas, and their services are no longer required.  That is why I am not longer employed.  Pravda has literally handed me something I have wanted to do for a long time and that is write. I am grateful. 

I write as I see it.  I do not mince words – if it is raining out, I do not say we have a chance of rain, I say it is raining.   

When the American constitution was written, the very first right the framers provided for was freedom of speech.  This is important and not only is it a right, but a responsibility for every American to say what they think. That is how change comes about, change for the better. 

All too often, people’s concept of the First Amendment means saying only wonderful things about this country.  Had Thomas Jefferson felt and acted this way towards the British crown, we would still be under British rule. 

There are those organizations in the United States that would love nothing better than to see the First Amendment rights of their opposition forever silenced.  The far right wing has taken this country to almost draconian like mindsets.  The more liberal and the left wing are close to being branded as heretics. 

I am reminded of the Salem Witch Hunt trials in this country of the late 17th century.  Have the wrong look in your eye, phrase a sentence differently and you executed as a witch. 

The liberals and the left wing as close to being silenced in American mainstream as one can be.  We are being called ‘socialists’ by people who have no concept of what the word even means.  These people point at Hitler and say: see, that is a socialist.  Hitler was not a socialist, he was a homicidal dictator.  Trying to tie social responsibility with Hitler is like buying a bicycle for a fish.  

People like Michael Moore, and to a lesser degree, people like me, are doing responsible reporting and journalism.  If people like Michael Moore, and me, are not doing what is expected of us, then how can one explain the awards and accolades Moore is receiving from his peers, or Pravda is publishing my essays?  

I have been cursed at, received hate-mail, and been threatened.   Does that bother me – no, and for two reasons: 1.) I know that I am touching on sore spots and not hiding the truth.  2.)  The Pawnee Indians had a saying:  A man’s greatness is measured by the number of enemies he has.  

To those who disapprove of my writings, I can only say one thing: Kiss my grits. 

Michael Berglin

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