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About Peabody

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  1. As a "flaming liberal," whose being forced to move out of the United States just because I am one, I have to speak out on a few things that I've been reading here. First, I no longer "believe" in the United States as a beacon of "freedom, liberty and justice for all" as I once did. For reasons that I won't go into in this forum (but will be happy to discuss privately), I will say that I've long since become disillusioned with the hypocrisy of many of the people running the government whose name is on my passport. Second, while I am voluntarily exiling myself, that exile isn't completely voluntary. I've been subjected to harassment and intimidation by the current American administration simply because I don't agree with it. It's been made clear to me that if I don't love America, I should get out. Well, they've robbed me of that love, so I am. Yes, it's really happening in America. I've never commited a crime and have never been arrested. Yet I'm still a target and I'm still being harassed. Rather than serve the interests of an oligarchy, Costa Rica's 1948 constitution was written specifically to meet the needs of its people and protect their rights, and to institutionalize checks on the kind of abuse of power that I have been subjected to here in the "land of the free and the home of the brave." That's one reason I'm going there - my sense of the Tico people is that they are, unlike Americans, still commited to democratic (small "d") ideals, and take their rights seriously and watch their government with a healthy skepticism. Perhaps it is because they have been witness to what has happened in neighboring nations in recent decades. I realize that Costa Rica is far from perfect. I've been there, and have traveled around the country, and have seen it, warts and all. And its democracy, as well as its human rights record, is neither perfect, nor secure. But in the end, a people who cherish their freedom and liberty, who view their government with skepticism and an attitude of vigilance, and who watch closely those who govern them, are far more likely to remain free than are a people who take their freedoms for granted, and simply assume that whoever is in power is serving their needs and governing with their best interests in mind. Ticos only need look around their region to realize that doesn't always happen. That is why I have chosen to throw in my lot with them. And for that reason, I'm a firm supporter of the ban on the military that exists in the 1948 constitution. It has served Ticos well over the decades, and has been largely responsible for much of the progress that Costa Rica has made against the inequality, poverty, squalor, disease and turmoil that has afflicted its neighbors. Costa Rica has been without a military for 55 years, and has proven that even a small and highly vulnerable nation surrounded by highly militarized and occasionally politically hostile regimes, can still survive - indeed, not only survive, but prosper - and prosper to an even greater extent than her enemies. And so it is my promise, that as an American moving to Costa Rica, I will support those ideals and help Costa Ricans fight for them and maintain them, against the growing influence of foreign political men and ideologies that seek to militarize a peaceful - and peace loving - nation, and seek to undermine its democratic values and turn the power of its government to the service of a powerful few rather than the interests of all. I view with admiration what Costa Rica has accomplished in spite of all its problems and limitations, and I am proud of what it has proven to the world about war and about militaries. I just wish the rest of the world would learn from its example. The framers of the 1948 constitution, flawed though it may be, were truly men of vision. May we, the inheritors of that vision, have the wisdom and the courage to implement it worldwide. It is evident to me why it was that when a site was being sought to build an international university dedicated to the furtherance of peace, Costa Rica was the nation that was chosen. Peabody
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