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I’m really sick today.. You see, when I was growing up, I was a history buff. I read childhood biographies of famous people, usually with the book behind the textbook while the teachers droned on and on, but once as a tyke, who upon seeing the obligatory National Park Film in the Williamsburg Visitors Center, after Patrick Henry sat down, I swore, I would always fight to protect the Constitution…. At that moment, even little as I was, I think I understood that I was temporary… But the Constitution like God, needed to be around forever…
With childish enthusiasm I imagined myself at times on the bridges of Lexington and Concord, roaming the swamps of South Carolina, and firing my muskets at King’s Mountain, and most importantly, crossing that line in the dirt on December 31, 1776 when no one else wanted to, to enlist till the end of the war.. . When it made the real difference, I said, I would step up at my own peril..
Today, I feel as George Washington must have, perched upon his horse on the New Jersey banks of the Hudson, watching the British inhabit New York and knowing there was nothing he or anyone else could do about it… Overmatched, the cause of freedom had taken a body slam.
Perhaps it is more like going back 2000 some years though. And being full of great optimism and hope for a burgeoning empire, a group of city states destined to prosper and rise, one whose morals would be impeccable, and suddenly without warning, ones best friend pulls out a knife and shoves it into your flesh and others pull out theirs, opening wounds where they can.
The Fourth Amendment to the US Constitution states that …. oh damn, here it is in it’s entirety.
“The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.”
Granted there have been times, particularly at war, when protecting Americans meant going against the grain of this… If someone is about to shoot you, I mean, it certainly would help if you know about it first…..
The problem with too much accumulation of information, is that once you have it, it can be used. Assurances along the lines of “I’ll never do that”… always down the line get replace with platitudes of…. ” I did it because I could…” or… ” I needed to.”
So having every thing you’ve ever done electronically in a file instantly accessed by simply typing in your name, can be a bit disconcerting… It’s a catch 22. If you have not a single demerit because you lead such a bland life, you get castigated for being a wallflower and uninteresting. On the other hand, if you take risks to live life fully, you get castigated for the errors you made… Either way, those with the power will use it to castigate you for something…. And though disguised as their trying to put you in your place, it is really their effective attempt to prove to others they wield power…
Today’s Senate voted overwhelmingly to continue the FISA Admendments Act. Like ACTA or CISPA or any other internet freedom restricting acts, had opposition been organized, it may have demanded another outcome. But today’s bill arose out of nowhere, and leadership demanded it pass, and pass it did….
Numb today, I understand the implications. It is like we chose to keep Japanese interned in concentration camps after the war was over. It is that bad.. If we are doing it for the Japanese, eventually someone argues, why not anyone else? And really, how else can one answer such an argument except to expand the offense to a greater scale?
I didn’t find about the attempted coup until waking up 3 am today. I did see outrage that Zuckerman’s picture was Twittered off a private feed! The silence over government taking our freedom, and the outrage over the release of privacy, is a stunning comparison. It begs the question: what is wrong with all of us? Shouldn’t the outrage be the other way around?
For the first time that I can find, we as a nation, have chosen to continue a war-powers act, on into peace-time. 9/11 is gone. Bin Laden is dead. We’ve preditor’d out Al Qaieda’s 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th, in command. We are out of Iraq. We will soon be out of Afghanistan. We are not in a war for our nation’s survival. So why does the government need access into every American’s email, facebook account, twitter, photo’s? Why does the FBI need to show up at your facebook friends home, with a letter stating that you are under surveillance and then asking questions of their relationship with you, then forcing their silence by telling them that they can be prosecuted themselves if they even reveal to you that they’d had contact with government officials? Gee, did you ever had a friend get weird on you suddenly, like for no reason?
Should our government be allowed to do that?
According to the text of the Fourth Amendment listed above…. Absolutely Not.
And it was over before the child in me could even get his powder cartridge out of his gunnysack…
MegaUpload said they had tried to comply with all of the copyright requests, and they had…
Listen how the Obama Justice Department twists that into a crime.
Courtesy of the LA Times.
MegaUpload provided no index or search function to the public, and sister site MegaVideo filtered its search results to remove copyrighted content. Wait, doesn’t that sound like good thing? Wait, see how the Obama justice department twisted that around….. The indictment contends that it’s a bad thing because it made it harder for copyright holders to see how much piracy was occurring on the service. WHAT?
The list of the “Top 100″ files at MegaUpload is edited to exclude copyrighted works. Wait, that sounds like a good thing…. The indictment, however, asserts that it “makes the website appear more legitimate and hides the popular copyright-infringing content that drives its revenue.” WHAT?
Users could not stream a file on the affiliated MegaVideo site for more than 72 minutes unless they were paid subscribers to MegaUpload. (72 minutes is too short to copy a copyrighted movie) The indictment contends that the point wasn’t to discourage illegal movie viewing, but rather to monetize it. WHAT?
The Conspiracy made no significant effort and the company is being faulted for not monitoring what each of its users did on its service, not inspecting content as it was being uploaded for copyright violations, and not combing through its servers for infringing material. But that’s inconsistent with the rulings from several federal courts, which have held that online companies have no duty to police their services to prevent infringements or detect them after they occur.
Justice David Souter wrote, “in the absence of other evidence of intent, a court would be unable to find contributory infringement liability merely based on a failure to take affirmative steps to prevent infringement, if the device otherwise was capable of substantial non infringing uses.”
This indictment was done in haste and is not a condemnation of MegaUpload, a COMPANY THE INDICTMENT ITSELF, CONFIRMS WAS TRYING TO COMPLY WITH EXISTING COPYRIGHT LAWS……
This was served in Federal Court in Richmond. The same court that says that National Health Care is unconstitutional, even though a number of courts have ruled opposite.
This is a rogue court. This court has proven twice, it is not representative of America, and New Zealand should suffer for not questioning the authority of the order it was given… Injunctions across America need to be filed immediately in more circumspect courts, all aimed halting this injunction issued by this rogue court.
Compiled by the FBI….
Rightwing extremists may be gaining new recruits by playing on their fears about several emergent issues. The economic downturn and the election of the first African American president present unique drivers for rightwing radicalization and recruitment.
The consequences of a prolonged economic downturn—including real estate foreclosures, unemployment, and an inability to obtain credit—could create a fertile recruiting environment for rightwing extremists and even result in confrontations between such groups and government authorities similar to those in the past.
Rightwing extremists have capitalized on the election of the first African American president, and are focusing their efforts to recruit new members, mobilize existing supporters, and broaden their scope and appeal through propaganda
The current economic and political climate has some similarities to the 1990s when rightwing extremism experienced a resurgence fueled largely by an economic recession, criticism about the outsourcing of jobs, and the perceived threat to U.S. power and sovereignty by other foreign powers…. During the 1990s, these issues contributed to the growth in the number of domestic rightwing terrorist and extremist groups and an increase in violent acts targeting government facilities, law enforcement officers, banks, and infrastructure sectors.
Reminds me of another president, who joked with reporters while holding a document plainly titled: Bin Laden Seeks To Attack US… That was August 6, 2001….. 35 days later, the Twin Towers were rubble.
Here is the blog that has been quoted recently by the mainstream press, especially after the video went viral, and they had to scramble to cover up the fact they originally tried to whitewash the incident.
“DUMB COLLEGE KIDS”, the right wing pundits squeal…
Try an Assistant Professor in the Department of English, who organized the peaceful demonstration.
Or try an Associate Professor of English, who was grabbed by her hair, thrown on the ground.
Or try Associate Professor Geoffrey O’Brien who was injured by baton blows.
or try Professor Robert Hass, former Poet Laureate of the United States, National Book Award and Pulitzer Prize winner, who was also struck with a baton.
I wonder how this child’s mom feels right now: One of them, forty-five minutes after being pepper-sprayed down his throat, was still coughing up blood.
Or the dad who was there, bedside, to welcome this bundle of joy into the world.
Or the Grandparents of these children… When students covered their eyes with their clothing, police forced open their mouths and pepper-sprayed down their throats.
What’s the point? What were you trying to prove, Mr Rogue Policeman? Ohhhhh, that you were sooooooooo tough… I bet all the women flock to you now, don’t they?
What were you trying to prove, Chancellor Katehi? That you have an iron will? Or that you didn’t care? You had to appease the wealthy donors. The tents were such an eyesore and had to be removed, even with the potential for a loss of life?
What were you trying to prove, Republicans? Cutting taxes. Underfunding institutions of learning. Trimming school budgets so the wealthy wouldn’t have to pay their fair share of the cost of living in American society…
Go ahead. Save them a couple of pennies…. Beat the student’s senseless.. Fill their lungs with pepper spray… Ram their lower abdomens with your batons. Make them unable to ever bear children…. Do it for your wealthy master. All so millionaires can save one more penny on the dollar they’ve already taken from us…
Oh, no… Wait… Why didn’t we think of that before… If you kill us all off now, you won’t get back your student loans we borrowed from you at those exorbitant amounts of interest you so graciously parted your money for….
Courtesy of Night Swim
Marriage is between a man and a woman. It is natural law. Natural law is the organic basis of the Declaration and the foundation of our Constitution. You can use whatever basis you want to justify a law. The only question is does the law itself meet constitutional muster.
I don’t care if a ‘talking flower’ tells you to pass a law, if the law turns out to be constitutional, common sense, and the majority believe it to be good policy, there is no reason to oppose it. I may want to check your medication, but I won’t oppose the law. (Written by Delaware’s Republican Emeritus: David Anderson)
Obviously Christine O’Donnell is the talking flower to which David is referencing. He seems to be saying that despite it being her that initiates the anti gay law that is to come about soon, if the anti gay law gets offered even by her, because he deems it to be a Natural Law, it will be passed and the majority of people will rejoice that being anti gay now has legal sanction.
Ok, I understand where he’s coming from, and could support his premise on Natural Law.. For example, if we were talking about the restriction of murder, I would think his argument would apply… Murder is not specifically mentioned in the Constitution. However, the killing of another for sport or pleasure would violate some type of Natural Law, and therefore, even though it is not mentioned in the Constitution, the fact that it is not mentioned in the Constitution, cannot be used to make it legal to murder for sport and pleasure…
Where he errs … is in his interpretation of Natural Law. What is natural law? One must take the root, the word nature and look there for answers… He states that natural law is between a man and a women. I’m sorry, but Homo sapians is the only species that marries. Single cells divide. They procreate without sex. They are natural, Therefore cloning, which is the procreation without sex, shares enough similarity to be natural too. Therefore Natural Law, demands that cloning be endorsed by the Constitution.
Then there is same sex relationships, often involving ejaculation. In the plant kingdom, there are self fertilizing plants that propagate their single line of genes. They, of the same gender actually have the equivalent of sex, they share their pollen. They are natural. Therefore by Natural Law, the human equivalent, two females in proximity, can also share the equivalent of sex. Since our Constitution is run by Natural Law, there is no reason to refute it.. Therefore Natural Law, demands that two females having sex, be endorsed by the Constitution.
Recently I saw the funniest thing. A little dog and a big dog. The little dog had his paws on the big dogs head and was just humping away on the big dogs head while the big dog was giving the little dog the sniff over.. Both were males.. and both were wagging their tales, so obviously they both enjoyed it. since neither of them knew how to read, it would be a safe bet to say their action was sanctioned by Natural Law. They were doing what nature intended.. especially when they aren’t making babies. Since two males having fun sex is in nature, it is Natural Law that they be enabled to, and therefore…. The Constitution, being founded on Natural Law, thereby fully endorses the mutual enjoyment of sex between the same gender.
Anyone who says otherwise is an activist judge.
Marriage, however is not found in the natural world. I can only think of one species, owls, that mate for life.. there may be others, but their numbers are dwarfed by the numbers of species that have random sex. In fact, random sex seems to have the upper hand in Natural Law, much more than marriage.
In fact, if you use Natural Law as the basis for the Constitution, then, you must accept the argument that cloning and homosexuality have far more traction with the Constitution than does the institution of marriage. In fact, according to Natural Law, the argument of marriage being sanctioned under the Constitution is rather weak…
So we come down to this point. Banning gay sex, even banning gay marriage, has nothing to do with Natural Law. It it your law. There is nothing natural about it. It is simply put,. your law that you are imposing upon the rest of us..
One would think that as more and more Americans look at this issue each time you bring it up, and abandon your party and support instead, the right of every American to pursue sexual happiness in their own way, even getting married, , that the idea would begin to occur to you and your shrinking party, that perhaps you are wrong.
Perhaps it is not natural to limit marriage to a combination that one has to search nature high and low, even to find one example of it.. Quite possibly you are wrong on this. Natural Law would certainly imply it.
During WWII, Gen. Eisenhower wanted to weed his military of homosexuals. He was all set to do so until his administrative right hand, said, “uh.. excuse me Dwight, I’m homosexual.” And that was the end of that. Unlike today’s Republicans, Eisenhower was a wise man.
So Dave, if you want to keep losing more elections, keep touting marriage as Natural Law. We will pound your party into smithereens… as we have ever since your party began this nonsense in ‘06…
You have a Herculean task before you… Essentially to clean up what Republicans have left behind.
However, it would be fair to warn you that my support for the Constitution of the United States of America, and my sworn duty to obey it to the best of my abilities, has me fearful of some the changes you propose for public safety. As an American, I have the right to live unsafely if I wish…
My ancestors had the same right.. They chose to come to America… and because of that… here we are today.. Our ancestors chose to travel west for opportunity, and because of it, here we are today.. Our ancestors chose to sign up and wear blue, to keep the grays from splitting us apart.. and because of that, here we are today…
I want that same right to maximise any opportunity that may present itself before me..
So, with fair warning, any criteria you propose to tame the Internet, which limits the right I hold so dear, the right to express my opinion with impunity, will cause you to lose the battle of public opinion… because I will fight you there..
The rules for engagement are as follows… YOUR PROPOSALS MUST FIT WITHIN THESE GUIDELINES… Once offered in high prose, but for everyone’s benefit today, I have put them in street language… For after all, that is where these values need to be upheld… on the streets of this great nation…
The ten basic rules are as follows…
1) You can’t tell me what to believe, or make me go home and shut up.
2) I’ll go armed and defend myself, thank you.
3) You can’t make me let someone else live in my house.
4) This is MY house; if you can’t demonstrate a compelling need to
snoop, stay the f*** out.
5) This is MY sh**; keep your greedy hands off it. And don’t go
accusing me of Evil without evidence.
6) If you’ve got evidence, lay it on the table. And no fair getting
a confession by pitchforking me in the ass.
7) I ain’t guilty just on YOUR say-so.
8) You can’t keep me in jail just because you want to.
9) As to the rest of my life, you can’t tell me what to do or not
10) And neither can your big fat uncle in Washington.
Keep these in mind.. As long as you remain within the parameter of what I have sworn to cherish and uphold, you will continue to have my support… especially the fourth, since it’s misuse directly applies to us bloggers….
Hi, this is an open letter to those at Quantico who have the unfortunate task of monitoring me. Yeah, I know that I am the most boring case you have had to deal with, but, orders are orders.
I hope in the short time you have been impressed by how much I love this nation, how exciting it is to see it grow. I know many of you had preconceived notions about bloggers, particularly those who disagree with your commander in chief, but I hope over time, you have changed your opinion.
As you know, I am a human, and have to deal with human issues…..such as needing more money than I have to raise a family. But still, life is good when you suscribe to a simple code: Duty, Honor, Country.
That is what I want to talk to you about…..You have jobs to do and you have been told that doing such will benefit our country. Hopefully you have come to understand that I love this country as much, if not more than you do…….. That arguing for a better way is not destructive to this country’s interests.
I guess the difference between you and I is that, as someone who himself must use people to accomplish my means, I can see when others are doing the same. It is one thing to do what I do in the context of making money, and sharing it with those who work for me. For when I am successful, so are they. But it is far different for someone to delude others into giving all, and then taking it for himself and disappearing.
As you have so sworn, you are there to defend the Constitution. As a matter of fact, that is why I am here as well. Following orders, makes you loyal to your commander in chief… That is fine except in this rare case. But what if …….he is not pursuing America’s best interests, which are those outlined in the Constitution? Do you still have a duty to protect the reputation of our president, or then does it become your duty to honor your country?
Most of you, who hail from a rural beginning, know what it like to take a walk in the woods. Most of you would give anything now to be back home, wandering around your homesteads. So in a sense we are working on the same line. You are working to keep America safe from external threats….That is your job and you do it well. Me, and those like me, are working to keep America safe from internal threats, often more dangerous in the long run, than those outside the country.
One must fight a bar bully and cancer in different ways. Being tough helps in a bar fight, but being sensitive, knowing exactly where the cancer is, can save ones life in this other fight. Both fights require great courage……
I know as youthful persons, you have the belief that you need to channel peoples attention away from what you are doing. You need to watch us in secret. But think for a minute of the real reason and of whom you are fighting for……Your commander in chief, or you mom and dad, brother and sisters, family and friends?……..
If your leaders actions endanger their safety, are you helping the right side?
Just questions only you can answer……But I hope as you plod through my boring epistles and phone conversations, that you keep in mind that sometimes , those in power can go a little too far off center for this country’s own good……..
And when something leans to far and starts to fall, it takes quite an effort to straighten and right it up again………..
Just keep it in mind, that’s all……