I have found an issue with which I and the pro-war pro-Bush groups actually agree on.
First, the "Breasts not Bombs" protesters...I understand the idea behind it, I understand there is a "wow look at this!" aspect to it, and the whole notion of decency versus indecency with regards to our puritanical views about nudity versus the war mongering acceptance of violence. Its a cute idea. Unfortunately, the women bringing this idea to the public are not cute.
Honestly...please ladies, put them away. I have respect for their unabashed views of their own bodies, that is something I do not yet posses....but sometimes its best not to get too proud of one's body when it hasn't been taken care of
at all properly. I fully support the full support of an over the shoulder boulder holder. Thankyouverymuch.
Then there was the flag un-burning.
Intent? Check! Passion? Check! Common sense? Not so much....not only did they manage to not burn the darn thing, but when the kid held the flag up, apparently hoping it would burst into flames he was holding it with bare hands.
Good God people, if you're going to do something as symbolic and emotive as a flag burning, learn how to do it properly! Or leave the flag burning to the real Anarchists, but thanksferplayin' anyway.
Even someone like myself has to sit back and shake my head once in a while, wondering "What on Earth?"
Come on people, lets not make this a three ring circus, Kay?
I support the protests against this administration. I want change as much as the next person. I want to see these people take their good ideas, and use them. But for goodness sake, Think before you act. Or undress.
I have found an issue with which I and the pro-war pro-Bush groups actually agree on.
Posted by Anok at 8:17 PM
I've taken some time this week, while I was sick to do a lot of watching, reading, listening and observing of our country, our government, and our citizens. First I should state, again, that I am not a 100% Anarchist. In this country I am willing to make exceptions and compromises to a true Anarchist state of being because I full well understand that A) not everyone here is an Anarchist, and B) our country couldn't handle Anarchy in its ideal form right now, or anywhere near the distant future. We simply are not ready for it. That said, I have been formulating harder ideas and ideals about how our government should change, and what should be done to alleviate the problems in our country.
First and foremost the full restoration of Constitutional Rights to each and every citizen is of the utmost importance to the rebuilding of our country. We must prevent the progression to a Fascist and Totalitarian State at all costs.
Second, the separation of Federal rights and State rights. Some things should be regulated on a state by state basis, other things, in my opinion should be federally regulated for the protection of the citizens. (Keeping in mind of course, that civil rights are still a top priority in all matters of governance). There are things that all citizens in this country require to live. Housing, Healthcare, Food, and Energy/Utilities are the main ingredients for the health and well being of our country and every person in it. These areas should, no need to be regulated on a Federal level. The prices should be regulated to stay fair, and access needs to be made available for every citizen. Whether the government decides to simply regulate prices and practices, or go into a full scale Socialist style regulation of provisions for every single person by the government on a sliding scale - it needs to be done. It needs to be done now. Other issues such as wage gaps, minimum wages, employment practices, laws and the like can be regulated by the states on an individual state level. But I do think that there should be a wage cap! Even staunch Capitalists of yesteryear are warning us about the dangerous route Capitalism has taken in the last century. No longer is it about a free economy, it is now about the almighty dollar above everything, and everyone else. Wage gaps between workers and CEO's are staggering, and growing wider. The exponential wealth of a very few while everyone else is getting poorer by the minute is astounding, and this is all directly related to the type of Capitalism we now have, as well as the industries we now use as the major form of making money.
Bring back neighborhoods. I was watching a republican debate the other night and Alan Keyes actually said something I agree with. Every neighborhood should take care of its own problems on a local level, with people from the neighborhood. People like Justices of the Peace could and should handle disputes between local people to alleviate congested courts, and promote fairness in the justice system. I would add that police patrolling neighborhoods should be from that specific neighborhood, local businesses should be allowed to pop up, and people need to use them!
In this manner, the people in each neighborhood would be taking care of each other. There would (or should) be less abuse of power and unjust criminalization of citizens based on bigotry and prejudices. I firmly believe that the sleepy bedroom communities that created suburbia hell have destroyed the very fabric of what a community should be.
To wrap this up I would state that our elected officials need to be reminded, in no uncertain terms that they are public servants. WE are their bosses, and we will not tolerate the kind of actions taken against American Citizens like the ones for the better part of the Bush Administration.
Posted by Anok at 11:51 AM
I'm going to be adding tons and tons of videos from YouTube about the September 15th protest to my sidebar, as I find them. There are so many coming out now its just incredible. What great shots and movies. I just need to go through them one by one and make sure I post them correctly. Come back often to see what else I've put up.
But here's a great one everyone should watch, posted by PisceanBeautyy Called Capital Hill Arrests. Before anyone asks - the song is "Paper Planes" by MIA. Its just an infectious groove if I do say so myself.
Warning This is audio crack. It is addictive. Side effects may include the increased desire to drive a low rider while thug sneerin', excessive bobbing of head and/or shoulders, and in the worst cases convulsions reminiscent of crunked up Kid 'N Play moves.
Posted by Anok at 10:43 PM
I was shocked today when I turned on the local infotainment channel and realized I was watching a debate about MoveOn.org's ad in the paper about Petraeus. Unbeknownst to me our government actually wasted time voting on an amendment to condemn the ad. All this blither blather about attacking the General's character and hurting the General's feelings swirled around in my head fro a few moments and I really thought I was going to be sick.
I say, call it like you see it. Its an ad, in a paper. Thats freedom of speech my friend deal with it. The government just can't handle it though. Truth be told the democrats fell over themselves pretty much to make everyone else happy about this too. Clinton didn't, and I commend her for that. Obama said what I was thinking - that his lack of vote was in protest over this ridiculous witch hunt.
Now the debate is whether or not MoveOn.org made a mistake in attacking a General, and not the President. I say they hit the nail on the head. Bush certainly deserves the insults he gets, but so too, does Petraeus. He is a full grown man able to make his own decisions about what is going on - and he chose to tow the party line, rather than to speak in honesty.
That is a betrayal. It betrays the citizens of the United States, it betrays the military, the men and women dieing for this President's war, it betrays the Gold Star families out there.
Petraeus had a choice, and he made it. MoveOn.org had an ad that let him and everyone else know in no uncertain terms that we were watching carefully and that we would judge him for his report. And judge we did. This is not an issue however, that should be used to waste the government's time and our resources.
Its just another smokescreen, just another wagging of the dog. And of course, yet another attack on freedom of speech.
I am currently scouring YouTube and other sites for news on the protests in DC this week. The usual suspects with regards to our typical "infotainment" channels have covered the march as little as possible, and of course as biased as possible. I love how the Faux News states there were only 5,000 protesters. If you look at videos of the actual march, you will see that it is a physical impossibility for there to have been only 5,000 people marching. Mass Rally and March, 1 of 2 and Mass rally and March 2 of 2. By many counts of protesters who were there, the numbers are rising as high as 500,000. I don't know if thats true or not, but the pictures are pretty darn impressive.
Thank the Gods for YouTube. If you just watched the news you'd think there were all of 1,000 anti-war protesters and bazillions of pro-war protesters. Which, by the way, were sorely outnumbered by some counts of 100 - 1 or more. You can see how sparse the pro-war mongers the
"Flock of seagulls" Gathering of Eagles were in this video here. There are what? Two or three of them spread out every three to five feet along the fence? Wow. Great turn out guys. Then you look at an entire width of a street jam packed with anti-war protesters as far as the eye can see....ahhh! What a sight to behold.
Another interesting note of interest if you look at this video ANSWER arrests you will notice something odd. Not only are there protesters as far as the eye can see, but while the police are arresting them, they are saying you "must disband". What? Really? A legal protest must disband? No, they weren't attempting to silence a protest there. You will also note that when more "vigorous" arrests were made, the police would form circles around the arresting officers so that A) they blocked the view of the cameras, and B) the peaceful protesters wouldn't be inspired to knock that flimsy excuse for a barrier down, and take over the capital.
I was rather disappointed that the latter didn't happen. There were enough protesters to take on the police; mace, tear gas, rubber bullets and all. I guess they wanted to keep it peaceful though. Civil disobedience as it were is done a particular way and rioting over the police just isn't in the protester's handbook. Oh well. Perhaps us more violent Anarchist types need to get together in mass numbers, unannounced so that coward Bush doesn't have enough time to run away to Camp David to avoid all the "unpleasantness" of the protests and calls for HIS impeachment, like he did on Saturday. I bet Cheney was hiding under a bed somewhere with wet underpants.
More to come on this subject folks, more to come as more filters on to the ever more popular internet. Please note, the photo shown in this post is not from the Sept. 15th protest. It was just so nifty and summed up the idea behind it all so well, I felt I must post it.
After watching just a portion - just a portion of the Petreaus report tonight I am outraged and angered and ARGHHHHHHHHH. I'm so upset I can't even remember the names of the representatives right now. I'll edit it in later when my head has cleared.
After Chairman Skelton spoke came a wonderful address by democratic representative to his right - a man who respectfully
blasted and discredited disagreed with the General's report on Iraq and stated that it wasn't enough to remove a brigade or two from Iraq, and that the Iraqi's will not stand up on their own if we continue to occupy stay in Iraq. He stated that we must remove the troops and end this war NOW. That is what the majority of congress wants, and that it is what the majority of Americans want. He spoke up for US and for military families who have already sacrifice too much for this exploitation of greed and power lust war.
Then came the republicans to the left of Mr Skelton. Both of them used up most of their time telling the General and Ambassador which representatives said what about them, lambasted the press and anti-war movements and stated that this type of speech should be silenced. SILENCED. The man who spoke first admitted that "I know your report is the truth, I haven't read it, but I know its true." And the woman stated, quite clearly that the anti-war groups like moveon.org, its affiliates and representatives that agree with their political stance are intolerable and should not be allowed to voice this opinion. She demanded apologies for taking out ads about the report in the paper, and insinuating that the Petreaus report was indeed biased and a betrayal of America.
At which point I was so enraged that I broke into a spontaneous and hardcore workout - in between grunts and counts I was heard to be yelling "FASCISM! FASCISM! BLEEEEEP EXPLETIVE! FASCISM! WE CALL IT LIKE WE SEE IT BITCH! BLEEEEP!" The string of obscenities that came out of my mouth has not been heard from the likes of me in years - not since the last time my husband did something so bad that it all just came out, unedited, unapologetically nasty mean and offensive.
After Petreaus' report was over I was so angry to hear Mr. Skelton have members of Code Pink dragged out of the room screaming and he said "War protesters will be prosecuted".
You better bet your sweet rosy red asses that I am preparing for this country to go to hell in a hand-basket and fast.
Posted by Anok at 10:57 PM
In light of particular and recent online communications I feel it is of the utmost importance to address a behavior that is a plague on society. Blind obedience. We are taught, from a very early age to obey our elders, to obey authority, and to obey anyone who has a piece of paper stating they are an expert in some field or another. We are taught not to question.
From the standpoint of a parent, in very young children this is taught and used as a matter of protection of our children. Very young children (up to ages5-7) have little understanding of cause and effect, choice and consequence - so it lands in the parent's lap to protect them from themselves and others by ordering blind obedience from them. "Because I said so" is the typical phrase uttered from the mouths of weary parents. But when a child comes of an age and is able to comprehend the ideas behind cause and effect, choice and consequence the time for "because I said so" has come to an end, although obedience in lieu of life experience should still take place in the form of mentoring - not control.
Furthermore, when that person is an adult, with not only a theoretical understanding of the concepts, but experience and practical application of said concepts the time for blind obedience should stop completely. The idea that one should simply obey an order even if it is an unlawful and baseless order is so pervasive in our society that it has come to allow the deterioration of our rights and freedoms. "Let the courts sort it out!" is often heard. Why should we burden the court system when the issue can be solved at its most basic level?
"Arguing with police over an unlawful arrest is stupid", or so I've heard. "The doctor is always right" is another pervasive fallacy I can't stand. Blind obedience does more than just cause problems in courts and create sheep like behavior. Its downright dangerous. I once had a pediatrician tell me that when my child refuses to sleep, I should allow the crying and fits of hysteria to go on indefinitely. "Even if the child vomits" she said "just let it go, let the child sleep in the vomit." I wasn't the only one who received this advice from this doctor. My first response was to tell the woman she was out of her mind, and then further filed a formal complaint about her for giving advice that could endanger a child. The other mother who received the same advice (Whom I'm acquainted with personally) followed the advice, to the T. When I spoke to the mother I asked her why on earth would you do that? Do you have any idea how dangerous that is? Never mind cruel, unusual, unsanitary and plain old disgusting?
Her response was "Well the doctor told me to do it." Who cares what the doctor said! I asked her why she wouldn't put pillows and blankets and toys in the crib at night, her response "Well thats dangerous, he could suffocate, and the doctors told me not to." I said well numb-nuts a person, particularly a baby can just as easily aspirate on vomit. I asked her what she would have done had her son suffocated on his own vomit in the middle of the night and died. "What would you do then?"
"Oh" she said "I hadn't thought about that." Well no shit Sherlock. If she had thought about it, even for a minute, she wouldn't have done it.
This kind of mentality extends to police force and authority as well. People seem to have the impression that if a police officer or other law enforcer says "Jump", we should say "How high, Officer?" When society lends the kind of control that blind obedience allows to a group who already has more power than the average citizen (police, military) you create a Police State. At that point intimidation and corruption can freely thrive.
Think about this for a moment. If society in pre-Nazi Germany had thrown off the ideals of blind obedience (or similar ideologies) do you think that Hitler's Germany would have gotten very far? I think there would certainly have been a civil war - but had the people stood up to the Police State and collectively said "Like hell are we going to build concentration camps!" They probably would never have been built.
Now, it's not fair to play the "what if" game about Nazi Germany. People are too emotive about it, and rightfully so. The thought however still looms, and it can't be ignored completely.
At what point is it OK to stand up and fight? At what point is it OK to argue about a particular action, and with whom? At what point will we, as a society learn to "Just say no" - when it comes to abuse of power? At what point does it change from blind obedience to mindless obedience, to outright enslavement?
When will people learn? Has history not laid itself out plainly for all to see the mistakes of the past? Or are people simply ignoring it, with the "It'll never happen here or to me." mindset?
Goodness gracious, people need to learn that its OK to think for themselves. Its OK to question authority - even right in the moment, and its OK to outright disobey unlawful, unconstitutional or inhumane orders.
I saw this video courtesy of enigma4ever over at Watergate Summer. Thanks enigma. This video was not what I expected at all. I've heard a few Pink songs, didn't think they were bad at all, but I wasn't a fan. This song blew my socks off. I literally cried. I don't mean a little teary eyed, but an all out solid cry. That doesn't happen often from a song.
Posted by Anok at 10:01 PM
The whole "Bin Laden" issue is surrounded by mystery and conspiracy theory. It should be addressed however, because I think that some thought about the role(s) of our government, terrorists and everyone in between affects us locally, nationally and globally. Lets take a little trip on a hypothetical logic train, shall we?
Lets say, just for poo and giggles, that America has wanted to expand or exert control over most of the world, or at the very least the world's most influential countries for monetary gain, political propriety and paramountcy. Lets also say, for example, that some of the more influential countries or areas that need to be dominated by our country include south America and the Middle East, for the natural resources which are so valuable to modern day society. Because areas like South America had little in the way of development and financial stability, gaining political alliances and control was as simple as offering them the modern world on a platter. The Middle East however, is a slightly tougher customer. Generally speaking, most of the areas in the Middle East have their own money. If they wanted to develop into an ultra modern world, they would. So the promise of a better land through large loans with high interest rates that aren't likely to be paid back isn't really a great offer. Tact and foreign relations are the way to go. Manipulation of foreign governance and support of less than desirable leaders help maintain political alliances, and eventually (hopefully) the ascertainment of political control of said region. As noted by and discussed by Informed Comment.
When all else fails, war is the result. But We the People don't buy into a war without just cause. (OK, to be fair, most of us don't buy into a war sans justification). Therefore, justifications must be made. Enter the terrorist attacks of September 11th. Engineered by the fundamentalist group in Jihad, al-Qaida and leader Osama Bin Laden. Everyone was terrified (also grieving, broken and any number of other earnest and normal emotions). But terror was the word of the day. Terror was the motivator. We were so terrified in fact, that we began giving up our rights almost immediately. So let's say, hypothetically of course, that our government had ties with Bin Laden and his terrorist cells. Connections with the CIA perhaps. Lets just say that for a shot in the dark, our great president appoint - I mean elect - needed a reason to invade the oil rich regions of the Middle East. His guys know this little group, they've worked with them before and use him for propagandist material whenever it suits them. Like the new tape set to be released soon. Convenient timing? Perhaps, but it always seems so convenient, doesn't it?
reality our hypothetical situation, Lets say, again just for fun, that our President was called upon to continue the legacy of hard work to gain political and economical control over the world. The globalization, or New World Order was left in his capable hands, a legacy of his father to be finished by the son*. Bush Jr, AKA "Dubya" being the dolt that he is, was unable to maintain control over anything, much less over foreign governments. What more could be expected of a man who has bankrupted every company he's touched? A key part in taking over the world, as it were, is maintaining political manipulation to gain, keep and control the support of the people. Popular opinion must be held in the highest of regards, a failure in public relations equals political devastation for all entities. Bush Jr. had a rocky start as president. Between questions as to the validity of his election, and rumors about him brushing off presidential duties in lieu of lavish vacations, his popular support started dwindling just about the time as his inauguration.
However, Dubya had the support of the people just shortly after the Twin Towers fell. Not just from our own country, but sympathies from around the world came rolling in like thunder on a hot summer day. There's nothing like a "[...]common enemy to unite us." As brilliantly pointed out by National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice. It didn't take long however, for his popularity to slide down the proverbial drain once again. More questions came about his vacation habit when he should have been looking at National Security alerts and international threats by terrorists. Even more questions came about the event itself, the man Osama Bin Laden, and how the president handled the tragedy. The probe into Iraq as both a hotbed of al-Qaida activity and Saddam having weapons of mass destruction were thinly veiled attempts at a justification for war.
What would the logical, hypothetical reaction be to such a public relations nightmare? The Patriot Act, of course! Let's monitor our citizens, find out what they're really saying. It was passed in 2001, granting our law enforcement the right to tap phone lines and monitor internet usage. The next great thought from the Bush administration was to slip the John Warner National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal year 2007 in 2006, section 1042. That is, the use of martial law, at Bush's discretion. Martial law is a frightening thing, and has been limited in its use by Congress for that very reason. This new law, passed in 2006 overturns the 1878 law Posse Comitatus, which prohibits the use of regular military inside US borders. The Intellegence Daily has a wonderful article about this law.
With these new laws in place the hypothetical scenario of a New World Order is looking like its back under control of the government. But wait! The people of the United States have really begun to wake up to the lies in record numbers, and is screaming for impeachment at best - and to have the president and vice president charged with war crimes at worst. Well, our government can't have that, now can it? Five years after the start of the war, on or around the anniversary of that tragic day, September 11th, 2001, surfaces our old friend, Osama Bin Laden.
The usual means of popular opinion control have thus far failed our incompetent president, so terror and confusion is all they have left to use against the citizens of the United States, in a last ditch attempt to keep us in line. The reasons for going into Iraq, and now Iran have become so convoluted over the years that no one really knows why we went in the first place. Was it to stop terrorism and bring Bin Laden to justice? Was it to stop a dictator bent on using [imaginary] weapons of mass destruction? Was it to bring al-Qaida, the all encompassing evil group from taking over the Middle East? Some say yes to one, but not the others. Some say yes to all, and some maintain that we are still there fighting al-Qaida who are still somehow keeping a large stronghold over the Middle East. This last bit of theory is widely debated. A.J. Rossmillier has some thoughts about that on AMERICAblog. As does Andrew Tilghman as posted at Washington Monthly Back to the theory of world domination, what purpose would this new tape and new threats serve? Control. Bin Laden, whether alive, dead or comatose doesn't really matter to our government, and never really has. His face, and its connection to terror and tragedy serves up the much needed fear entree to solidify our reasons to maintain a war. The threat of a "special gift" is enough to rattle the boots of the most staunch Pro-Superior-Fire-Power-American. Of course, another purpose for an attack would be to enact the martial law already put into place.
Our rights are being restricted in this administration faster than the last century of congressional overrides. Martial law would be the nail in the coffin for Americans. But at least the Bush and Cronie critics would be silenced and prevented from using their rights of redress and even to overthrow a corrupt government if need be. The government that has total control over the military with no regard for laws and Constitutional rights, wins. Or so they think. History has proven otherwise in that regard.
Lets get on this logic train and ride it like its stolen, a recap. American government is corrupt and desires control of the world. It uses money, power and military force to get most of what it needs to attain power. Bush administration loses control of domestic and foreign manipulations, works with known terrorist to create a State of fear and panic, also justifies the invasion of stubborn country. The government again loses control of popular opinion domestically and globally, creates Patriot Act and overturns Posse Comitatus law. The government again creates a video of terror and possible new threat to US citizens from terrorists which will allow for the actual use of martial law, to control citizens. Dos that about sum it up?
Remember, this is all just hypothetical folks. If I were to speak to the president however I would ask him one question. "To what ends Mr. President, to what ends?
*Although the climb to global power and corporotacracy started long before Bush Sr. was president, This fact should be noted.
"Leading up to the first Gulf War, on September 11, 1990, President Bush addressing a joint session of Congress stated: "Out of these troubled times, our fifth objective — a New World Order — can emerge: a new era"
With these words President Bush gave the order to start the military action which would later be known as the Gulf War."
The fact that the attack on the Twin Towers happened exactly 11 years to the day of the initial attack on the Middle East by our Government does not go unnoticed. In fact, the bombings of Iraq had never really stopped from the Gulf War to the Iraq War.
Of course I had to comment on the new video set to be released shortly by Osama Bin Laden, labeled the supposed "Enemy Number One" by our ever so competent government that has failed to continue looking for the man. The blogs are a-buzz about this - even without the full context of what is in the tape. I caught a piece about it tonight on News Hour with Jim Lehrer. It wasn't too bad, the questions were good, but the experts were a little too pro-American for my taste. That is to say neither one addressed the real issues about the apparent about face Bin Laden has taken with his public and political persona. Why is Bin Laden now making statements that are more akin to socialist, Marxist, anarchist or general anti-state ideologies, rather than the usual fundamental drivel?
Where did the focus for anti-capitalist rants come from? The "experts" on News Hour said it had to do with an over all frustration with his leadership of Al Qaida, the (supposed) success of America in Iraq, and most of all, they labeled it as a new recruiting tool. Basically, they are saying he's grasping at straws. I disagree. Although I would certainly agree that the new improved version of Bin Laden is an attempt to cast a wider net to the general public, I also think it is a way to change popular opinion about him from "terrorist" to "freedom fighter". As far as I'm concerned, the only difference between the two depends only on what side you're on.
It could also be a ploy to help further the divide in America, those groups like the Gathering of Eagles, Move America Forward and Michele Malkin's groupies (not to mention our control hungry government) now have all the ammo they need to equate a difference of political opinion with an act of terrorism. Fantastic. I haven't seen anything yet from blogs like Michelle Malkin where these people tend to hang out, but I'm sure it'll come up. The sad part however is when you look through the comments, everyone is worried about his beard. (Although I am relieved to not hear the typical "you're an anti-American libtard" rhetoric so eagerly tossed around from the war mongering groups).
My other theory however, is that if he's been hiding out away from normal day to day society, he may have actually come to embrace the ideals of a non capitalistic society, through experience. This, to me, is interesting.
Other crazed blog reports and news articles if you want to read more about this new tape, and the "special gift" are: (and please note, I do not agree with most or all of the content on the right-wing conservative sites, I will add more like minded blogs - most of whom are already in my blogroll, as I come across them).
Stop the ACLU
As well as your regular news sources.
Political Radar ABC Blog
In other news, our government is so upset by citizens who are about to protest its actions, they've begun arresting people. Unconstitutional? You betch'ya.
Crooks and Liars
I have already mentioned the disturbing notion of a possible dictatorship in America, but it is so very important that I thought I would go through it in more detail. One way to establish a successful dictatorship is to take away the rights afforded to individuals like you and me. One of the reasons I am posting on this is because in light of recent online communications it is becoming ever clearer that American citizens simply do not care when rights are threatened or taken away (unless it affects them). Some do, but from what I am reading and hearing, most are missing the point. Either their heads are so deep in the sand they'll never see, or their blinders are too tight, or perhaps they are simply "waiting it out" in hopes that nothing bad will happen. After all, election year is coming up and quickly.
What nobody realizes is that no matter who we elect into office this country is up poo creek without the benefit of a paddle. Then again, after Bush and Cronies are done massacring our Constitution, we'll need a tug boat just to pull ourselves out.
First, everyone should read this excellent essay by Naomi Wolf Fascist America in 10 Easy Steps It is frighteningly astute in observation, frank, and to the point. I'll get back to that later.
The Constitution includes a Bill of Rights, that is to say a list of unalienable rights afforded to American citizens, granted by our government, laid out by our forefathers. Bill of Rights
Now, lets see how our government has sought to undermine, ignore, change or outright disregard these rights.
The first amendment: I'll start by the most obvious issue, freedom to speak, redress the government and assemble peaceably.
Our government has sanctioned, and the supreme court agreed that the set up of "free speech zones" at political functions is legal. This is typically only enforced on the strictest level on anti-government protest groups. The secret service and police routinely set up "anti" protests far away from the function, the government officials, and the press, while the "pro" groups get to stand on the motorcade paths, closer to the function, and the media. Often times "anti" protesters are arrested for nothing more than being in the wrong place. Look at the court cases of Bill Neel in Pittsburgh, Brett Bursey in South Carolina, and arrests or attempted arrests at protests for wearing anti-Bush T-shirts. The ANSWER coalition is currently engaged in a lawsuit over freedom of speech regarding the advertisement of an anti-war protest on Sept 15, 2007.
The rumor mill is spinning and it is being noted that corporate entities that operate for or are subsidized by the government have been routinely asking employees if they have participated in anti-war or peace protests (or any event that speaks out against Bush) and are being punished by their employers in a manner of ways, such as suspension without pay up to and including termination. Other corporate entities, such as airlines are asking passengers similar questions, and peeling those that answer "yes" and having them searched or held by security under the pretense of national security.
A student from Juno Alaska lost a free speech case where the supreme court ruled against him, and for his school's right to restrict his freedom of speech, even though he was off campus. Bong Hits 4 Jesus
The press has also repeatedly spoken of the intimidation tactics used to force reporters into "spinning" the news. Granted, some journalists need no such prodding. Bill Moyers Journal Buying the War
I won't even get into the mess that is government and religion.
Second amendment, the right to bear arms;
Is consistently being torn down by more and more constrictive gun laws, in the name of public safety. Of course, all this has done is made it harder for law abiding citizens to get guns, while not preventing one darn homicidal criminal from owning, and using said guns. This is why I'm an anarchist. This lame brained attempt at law making illustrates the point beautifully. 'Nuff said.
Third amendment, quartering of soldiers.
This one has been largely left alone, although it got a little dicey with the "Solomon amendment" of 1996, stating that college campuses could be cut off from federal funding if they did not allow the military on campus for recruiting purposes. The supreme court, when challenged on this issue, ruled in favor of the government.
Fourth amendment, the right to privacy and reasonable search and seizure.
Over the years, this amendment has been torn to such tiny, itty-bitty bits it is no longer shocking, laughable, or unexpected in the slightest. Can anyone say the Patriot Act? How about the current legislation up for grabs, the "War on Saggy Pants"? Again, 'nuff said.
Fifth amendment, right not to incriminate oneself, due process, no seizure of property for public use, etc.
Two words. Eminent Domain.
There is also a school of thought floating around that because the criminal system is over burdened and overly-expensive that a person's right to due process is being infringed upon. I have to agree with this line of reasoning. The increasingly high cost of legal representation, the exceedingly long waiting times for criminal cases (unless you're a celebrity) and the ever increasing amounts of criminalization of frivolous activities ("War on Saggy Pants") is slowly bringing the wheels of our justice system to a halt.
Not to mention the heinous war crimes and total disregard to due process enacted by our president of anyone suspected of terrorism.
Two more words. Patriot Act. Again. The warrentless wiretapping and spying on of American Citizens doesn't violate only the fourth amendment. It also prohibits the right to due process and the prevention of being held for crimes without grand jury indictment. You can't, or shouldn't be able to indict a person without probable cause or evidence, which cannot or should not be attained illegally (via the fourth amendment). Really, its just a house of cards.
Sixth amendment, the right to a speedy and public trial
Again, I bring your attention back to the costly nature of legal proceedings, the trivial nature of many crimes being tried and the over burdened judicial system. On another note, what the government is not doing is prohibiting large corporate entities from stalling for unreasonable amounts of time during legal proceedings. Insurance companies, for example.
Seventh amendment, the right to a trail by jury, in common law proceedings where monetary amounts exceeds twenty dollars.
Obviously, the dollar amount has gone up, in fact "small claims" court goes up to five thousand dollars. (due in part to inflation). However, the notion that one has a right to a trial by jury for even small claims has gone by the wayside for private, out of court litigation complete with gag orders. In the case where it is a large corporate entity, the government does not make or help individuals with regulations to how long a litigation process can go. Nor does it do much in the way of preventing intimidation.
Eighth amendment, no excessive bail, fines or cruel and unusual punishment.
Must I spell it out? Abu Ghraib.
Ninth amendment, The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.
This is self explanatory. The violation of numerous rights violates this one.
Tenth amendment, anything not explicitly outlined or prohibited by the constitution will be dealt with by the state's constitution.
Another catch-all amendment that highlights state's rights. This is being tested a great deal, particularly seen in the battles over same sex marriages. The federal constitution does not outline or prohibit same sex marriages, so technically it should be left to the state's discretion. The attempt to pas a federal ban on same sex marriage is in direct violation of this amendment, and in indirect violation of the first amendment. (The idea behind the ban being religious based).
It should be noted that the dismantling of constitutional rights didn't just up and start with the Bush administration. It started long ago, with laws like the Sedition act of the late 1880's etc...It has been a slow evolution until the current administration who took to the constitution like a crazed butcher to a cow.
Posted by Anok at 8:18 PM