Thursday, September 28, 2006

HR 6166, S 3930, and the trashing of an already trampled Constitution

Jonathan at Irregular Times has this to say about HR 6166 and S 3930:
The legislation (HR 6166 and S 3930) currently moving through the Congress to give President Bush the powers of a dictator through severe attacks on the freedom guaranteed in the Bill of Rights is so important to President Bush’s agenda that he has personally visited the Senate to push the vote on S 3930 to go through as soon as possible.

In a short speech to the Senate, George W. Bush announced that “Our most important responsibility is to protect the American people from further attack.”

No, President Bush, your most important responsibility is not to protect the American people from further attack.

Senators, please remember today that you have taken a solemn oath of office, the same oath that the President of the United States of America has taken. That oath was not a promise to make the American people secure. It was a promise to protect the Constitution of the United States of America from enemies foreign and domestic.

George W. Bush has become a domestic enemy of the Constitution of the United States of America. It is the sworn duty of every United States Senator to defy Bush, and to vote NO on his request for new totalitarian powers.


Another Day in the Empire asks: Are You an Enemy Combatant?
Slowly but surely, the Bush neocons and their perfidious allies in Congress are cobbling together a secret police apparatus that will eventually mirror Hitler’s Gestapo, Stalin’s NKVD, East Germany’s Stasi, and Chile’s Dirección Nacional de Inteligencia, to cite but a few examples.

“The United States could detain more foreigners as enemy combatants under legislation Congress will debate this week after a last-minute change in the bill, lawmakers said on Tuesday,” reports Reuters. “Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham, a key negotiator on the bill, said enemy combatants would now include those who provided money, weapons and other support for terrorist groups as well as those involved in actual operations.”

Of course, many would argue that the key word here is “foreigners” and this legislation poses no threat to Americans. However, considering previous comments of “key negotiator” Lindsey Graham, we can likely expect this legislation to be used against “fifth columnists,” as the good senator from South Carolina deems all who oppose the neocon doctrine of forever war.

As Graham told the Senate Judiciary Committee in February, “the administration has not only the right, but the duty, in my opinion, to pursue fifth column movements…. And let me tell folks who are watching what a fifth column movement is. It is a movement known to every war where American citizens will sympathize with the enemy and collaborate with the enemy. And it’s happened in every war,” never mind that this particular war is undeclared. Naturally, for the neocons, simply opposing the “war” in Iraq and the parallel “war” against terrorism at home is an act of sympathizing with the enemy, that is to say “al-Qaeda,” the black op pseudo gang crafted by the CIA and the Pentagon.

“Graham said U.S. citizens could not be deemed enemy combatants under the bill, but several human rights advocates said the language was so broad that they believed Americans could be detained under it. The Center for Constitutional Rights said even attorneys representing Guantanamo inmates could be deemed enemy combatants,” Reuters continues.



Back to Irregular Times, Jim also discusses the issue: Republican Torture Bill Draws In More People With Less Proof, Buggering the Constitution
That’s right. A committee drawn up by George W. Bush or Donald Rumsfeld gets to decide whether you are an “enemy combatant.” And if they decide you are, you are. And if they so decide, may whatever deity you believe in have mercy on your soul, because the USA will show no such mercy.




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Saturday, September 23, 2006

A brief Bush, Torture, Constitution, War round-up

A few articles from the Irregular Times worth checking. First read Jonathan's
September 11 Was Nothing Compared to This:

Think that the attacks of September 11, 2001 were bad? Three thousand dead civilians. That’s pretty bad, right?

Still, that’s nothing compared to the attacks the people in Iraq have suffered as a result of the American invasion and occupation there. A new report from the United Nations indicates that 6,500 civilians in Iraq have been killed, and many of them tortured first, in the last two months alone.

If we unleashed a global war seeking vengeance for our 3,000 dead, what will the desperate Iraqis do now?

Someone come on here and talk to me about how war is a good tool for solving problems. Come on. Do it. I really want to see what kind of twisted argument pro-war people are coming up with now.


Then there is Jim's write-up regarding the torture authorized by Bush and the logic of Fox News' John Gibson: Gibson: It’s Not Torture Because I Say So? It’s Torture Because The Law Says So.:

John Gibson wrote a column for FOX News yesterday that I’d like you to read in its entirety.


Jim has also written a good bit regarding Bush's continued abandonment of the the Constitution and the willingness of the GOP to go along:
The New York Times reports tonight that the members of the Republican Party in Congress and George W. Bush have agreed on legislation, with enough votes to pass, that will bring two formerly illegal Bush administration practices under the law:

1. People accused of being terrorists will be tried under military tribunal, rather than through a trial by jury.

2. In these tribunal proceedings, people accused of being terrorists will not be able to confront witnesses when the identity of those witnesses are classified, and will not be able to obtain any classified evidence for their own defense.

Well, excuse me, but whatever became of the Sixth Amendment to our very own United States Constitution?

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Tuesday, September 19, 2006

More steps taken towards the next illegal war

Not a surprise at all. With each day it looks like Bush and his fellow war criminal lunatics are moving closer to the next stupid war of aggression. Of course the corporate media, as they did with Iraq, is going along for the ride. No sir, no need to question anything, just faithfully regurgitate the talking points.

From what I'm reading the war has already started. Not the big bombing phase of it but on the ground preperation. Insanity. Bush and co. are starting another war even as Iraq continues to go from low intensity civil war towards all out civil war. Afghanistan is by no means stable. Where's the money going to come from to support these wars? Oh, and there's this little matter of a military stretched far, far beyond its capacity.

I'm not sure what's more insane, Bush and Co. or his loyal gotta kill the tarrists at all costs supporters. While his supporters and the supporters of war seem to decline in numbers they're still out there and they're scary.... they seem incapable of reason. They want blood and violence, they support torture and war crimes because they're dear leader tells them it is needed to defend America. These folks will believe anything at all as long as dear leader tells them it is so. It's not just scary, it's sad.

A few articles of note, both from the Booman Tribune:

Iran: "The plan has gone to the White House"

According to retired USAF Colonel Sam Gardiner, as interviewed by Wolf Blitzer on CNN yesterday, Bush has received from the Pentagon its plan to attack Iran. Read the transcript (courtesy Think progress)

US Navy Told to Prepare to Blockade Iran

It's looking more and more as if Bush's October surprise really will be war with Iran. From the current edition of TIME magazine: The first message was routine enough: a "Prepare to Deploy" order sent through naval communications channels to a submarine, an Aegis-class cruiser, two minesweepers and two mine hunters.…

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Friday, September 15, 2006

American Stupidity and Willful Ignorance

The Martian Anthropologist, in discussing Keith Olbermann's recent ‘How Dare You, Mr. President,’ has this this to say about his fellow Americans:
I’d like to add that it is not only the President who is to blame; it is the majority of Americans. The older I get, the more I realize how stupid U.S. citizens really are. They are beyond moronic. Instead of taking an interest in their country, they watch Nascar and reality TV. They can endlessly quote football statistics, but almost half of them still believe there is a connection between Iraq and the September 11 attacks. They have more channels on their TV than they have books in their home.


When Bush and Cheney decided to attack Iraq, they supported them blindly like the sheep that they are. When the President told them that they were attacked because “they hate our freedoms”, they applauded loudly — and then uttered not a word of protest as he took their freedoms away. When their President squandered the surplus left by the previous administration, they barely noticed — and then hired him again in 2004.


I could not agree more. And to prove the point made by the Martian we get this comment by "Ottman" who faithfully repeats what he's heard via the corporate media, probably FOX given the flavor of it:
Funny how you go against the president but fail to mention how the Iraqi’s and Arabs danced in the streets on 9/11 after innocent people fell from skyscrapers attacked by Islamic terrorists’.

Who’s freedoms were taken away? Like Joe Wilson, you’re blowing smoke for the anti-American leftist fanatics who side the enemy.


Whether it's stupidity, willful ignorance, media distraction or some combination of those, the citizenry of the New America has lost control and given up responsibility.

Now seriously, enough talk about the responsibilities of citizenship, let's get on to more important news. Have you heard about this deadly spinach, tainted by E.coli?? You could be at risk! Even more urgent, have you heard about Anna Nicole Smith's son? CNN is reporting that there may be a second autopsy. Thank you CNN for keeping me up to date on the news that really matters.


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Thursday, September 14, 2006

'Drastic' shrinkage in Arctic ice

Richard Black reports for the BBC:


A Nasa satellite has documented startling changes in Arctic sea ice cover between 2004 and 2005.
The extent of "perennial" ice - thick ice which remains all year round - declined by 14%, losing an area the size of Pakistan or Turkey.


The last few decades have seen ice cover shrink by about 0.7% per year.
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September 2005 saw the lowest recorded area of ice cover since 1978, when satellite records became available.
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“The change we see between 2004 and 2005 is enormous.” - Son Nghiem

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Saturday, September 09, 2006

Saddam, 9/11, and the effects of propaganda

Wouza. This is great clip.

As reported by a recent poll, nearly half of America still believe the Bush propaganda that Saddam was connected to 9/11. This guy correctly nails the corporate media in their role for allowing this to persist. This is a must watch. Watch Young Turk's righteous anger over CNN poll (video):
Here's your red meat for the day. Cenk Uygur of the Young Turks demands that every editor be fired over the fact that half of America still believes 9/11 and Saddam are connected.

For the record, they are not. At all. In any meaningful way.
I could not agree more. The corporate news media have, for many years, served no purpose but to misinform and distract through "entertainment". Celebrity babies and breakups keep people distracted while the Constitution is shredded. Democracy in America has been nothing but a facade since the founding but even the facade is no longer respected.

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Friday, September 08, 2006

The Great Turning: From Empire to Earth Community

Still on the question of choices that we must make, over at Yes Magazine, David Korten discusses another choice before us though he presents it differently and with a greater scope of time than Jonathan.

The Great Turning: From Empire to Earth Community:
By what name will future generations know our time?

Will they speak in anger and frustration of the time of the Great Unraveling, when profligate consumption exceeded Earth’s capacity to sustain and led to an accelerating wave of collapsing environmental systems, violent competition for what remained of the planet’s resources, and a dramatic dieback of the human population? Or will they look back in joyful celebration on the time of the Great Turning, when their forebears embraced the higher-order potential of their human nature, turned crisis into opportunity, and learned to live in creative partnership with one another and Earth?

A defining choice

We face a defining choice between two contrasting models for organizing human affairs. Give them the generic names Empire and Earth Community. Absent an understanding of the history and implications of this choice, we may squander valuable time and resources on efforts to preserve or mend cultures and institutions that cannot be fixed and must be replaced.

Empire organizes by domination at all levels, from relations among nations to relations among family members. Empire brings fortune to the few, condemns the majority to misery and servitude, suppresses the creative potential of all, and appropriates much of the wealth of human societies to maintain the institutions of domination.

Earth Community, by contrast, organizes by partnership, unleashes the human potential for creative co-operation, and shares resources and surpluses for the good of all. Supporting evidence for the possibilities of Earth Community comes from the findings of quantum physics, evolutionary biology, developmental psychology, anthropology, archaeology, and religious mysticism. It was the human way before Empire; we must make a choice to re-learn how to live by its principles.

Developments distinctive to our time are telling us that Empire has reached the limits of the exploitation that people and Earth will sustain. A mounting perfect economic storm born of a convergence of peak oil, climate change, and an imbalanced U.S. economy dependent on debts it can never repay is poised to bring a dramatic restructuring of every aspect of modern life. We have the power to choose, however, whether the consequences play out as a terminal crisis or an epic opportunity. The Great Turning is not a prophecy. It is a possibility.

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Do the right thing?

It's been a month, eh? Thought I'd poke my head out for a looksee. Actually, I was motivated by this movie created by my friend Jonathan over at Irregular Times.

We have a very serious choice to make about our future. It's a choice I've been writing about for a good long while, choice between citizenship or consumer, between responsibility or neglect. As Jonathan puts it:
Yesterday, the President of the United States announced that he has set up a secret system of prisoner of war camps in which people are being interrogated using torture techniques. He also asked the Congress to undo the Sixth Amendment to the Constitution, an essential part of the Bill of Rights which guarantees us all the right to confront our accusers when we are put on trial. Bush asked for the right to convict people of crimes using secret evidence that the accused and their lawyers never get to see.

Things are getting very, very frightening here in America. Yet, many Americans don't seem to care, no matter how much I write about how our government is being transformed into a totalitarian regime.
What will you do?

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