Ten years ago.
On October 26, 2001 President George W. Bush signed the USA PATRIOT Act into law. This bill authorized warrantless wiretapping, “sneak and peek” searches of American property without notification, and the seizure of “any tangible thing” relevant to a terrorism investigation in addition to many other provisions. This bill was renewed and expanded in scope by President Barack Obama on May 26, 2011. Since its inception and to this day, independent reporting has revealed that the authority granted by the bill has been abused in almost every possible dimension.
Ten years ago.
On November 13, 2001, President George W. Bush signed the Military Order on the Detention, Treatment, and Trial of Certain Non-Citizens in the War Against Terrorism. This order authorized the creation of secret military tribunals for the detention, treatment and trial of non-citizens deemed “terrorists” or “enemy combatants” in the war on terror. These tribunals are appointed at the discretion of the President. Further, the President granted his office the sole authority to determine who is subject to these tribunals via designation as a “terrorist” or “enemy combatant”. Both these tribunals and the designation of “terrorists” or “enemy combatants” operate without public knowledge or independent scrutiny.
Five years ago.
On June 29th, 2006 the Supreme Court ruled that such military tribunals were unauthorized under existing federal law and were in conflict with the Geneva Convention. Less than five months later, on October 17, 2006 the United States Congress and President George W. Bush created and formalized such authority by passing and signing the Military Commissions Act of 2006.
Three years ago.
On December 1st, 2008 the Department of Defense planned to train and deploy over 20,000 troops across the continental United States for potential future civil unrest, peacekeeping, and “mass-casualty” scenarios. The target year for deployment is 2011.
On September 30th, 2011 an American citizen abroad in Yemen was killed by a predator drone at the order of President Barack Obama. No charge, trial, or evidence has been provided or promised by the President.
One month ago.
On November 17th 2011, Occupy movements across the country were simultaneously violently dismantled and evicted by local authorities. It was later revealed that President Barack Obama, through the Department of Homeland Security, had coordinated and advised mayors around the country on how and when to best suppress their own people.
On December 1st, 2011 the United States Senate passed the National Defense Authorization Act of 2012 that designated the territorial United States as a militarized “war zone”. Section 1031of the NDAA permits the President to detain ANY UNITED STATES CITIZEN indefinitely without evidence, charge, or trial so long as they are named a terrorist in the secret and inscrutable process named above. Should a citizens detained as such ever actually be charged and tried, they would go through a secret military tribunals rather than a United States court. This militarization of civil law would be the final act in the long degrading of the 133 year old Posse Comitatus Act which was passed to separate the military from domestic law enforcement.
President Barack Obama has threatened to veto the NDAA but not out of concern for the citizenry’s civil liberties. This is not accurate. President Barack Obama’s administration specifically requested the removal of protection for United States citizens from such detention powers and claimed anything less would interfere with his office. Rather, the President’s veto threat is “because the extraordinary powers it would hand him are in some cases less sweeping and more constraining than what he has asserted for himself via frustratingly secret Office of Legal Counsel memos”.
On December 7th, 2011 the United States House of Representatives voted to close hearings on the NDAA’s controversial provisions from public viewing or record. The bill is expected to pass without serious opposition.
On December 8th, 2011 I learned that the pentagon has given over $500M in military weapons to city police this year for FREE, military drones are planned for domestic surveillance in the near future, and that even PBS is openly questioning whether we live in a police state.
I don’t know what fresh attack the government will bring upon the people of our country tomorrow but I do know that it is coming. Join your friends, family, and countrymen in resistance so that our government may remain for, of, and by its people.
“THESE are the times that try men’s souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; but he that stands it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman. Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph. What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly: it is dearness only that gives every thing its value. Heaven knows how to put a proper price upon its goods; and it would be strange indeed if so celestial an article as FREEDOM should not be highly rated.”
- Thomas Paine, The American Crisis No. I (published 23 December 1776)
Since 1986 the Salvation Army has engaged in five major assaults on the LGBT community’s civil rights and attempted to carve out exemptions that would allow them to deny gays and lesbians needed services as well as employment.
- When New Zealand considered passage of the Homosexual Law Reform Act in 1986, the Salvation Army collected signatures in an attempt to get the legislation killed. The act decriminalized consensual sex between gay men. The measure passed over the charity’s objections.
- In the United Kingdom, the Salvation Army actively pushed passage of an amendment to the Local Government Act. The amendment stated that local authorities “shall not intentionally promote homosexuality or publish material with the intention of promoting homosexuality” or “promote the teaching in any maintained school of the acceptability of homosexuality as a pretended family relationship.” The law has since been repealed, but it led many schools and colleges to close LGBT student organizations out of fear they’d lose their government funding.
- In 2001, the organization tried to extract a resolution from the White House that they could ignore local non-discrimination laws that protected LGBT people. While the commitment would have applied to all employees, the group claimed that it needed the resolution so it “did not have to ordain sexually active gay ministers and did not have to provide medical benefits to the same-sex partners of employees.” After lawmakers and civil rights activists revealed the Salvation Army’s active resistance to non-discrimination laws, the White House admitted the charity was seeking the exemptions.
- Also in 2001, the evangelical charity actively lobbied to change how the Bush administration would distribute over $24 billion in grants and tax deductions by urging the White House deny funding to any cities or states that included LGBT non-discrimination laws. Ari Fleischer, White House press secretary, issued a statement saying the administration was denying a “regulation sought by the church to protect the right of taxpayer-funded religious organizations to discriminate against homosexuals.”
- In 2004, the Salvation Army threatened to close all their soup kitchens in New York City to protest the city’s decision to require all vendors and charities doing business with the city to adhere to all civil rights laws. The organization balked at having to treat gay employees equal to straight employees.
The NYPD provides Fox News’s midtown Manhattan studios 24/7 protection, The Daily Beast reports, more than any other media organization in the city.
ABC, NBC and CBS pay for their own private security details whereas, according to one security expert, Fox News’s around-the-clock protection by the boys in blue costs city taxpayers at least $500,000 a year. Reached for comment, NYPD spokesman Paul Browne told The Beast “Each of the networks gets police coverage to varying extents based on threat information.” But the other major New York-based media outlets had no knowledge of the offered protection, and one employee at ABC commented, “I would love the special favors.”[FULL STORY]
No one is going after banks for foreclosing on active duty troops. Are banks too big for the law?
Who the hell did they think was handing the produce? Should have thought of that before backing up the assholes putting this into effect, eh?
and they are “being offered inmates” huh? LMAOOOOOOOOO not people. these are tools, right? “HEY BUDDY! U WANNA BORROW MY TRACTOR? IT’S 6’4”, BOUT 260, REAL DARK BUT HEALTHY AND IT’LL WORK TIL THE SUN GOES DOWN”
Ahhh the convict leasing system… FASHIONABLE SINCE 1865
Billions of it was supposed to go to troops on the battlefield. But instead, it went to record profits for makers of fighter jets.
(Source: Mother Jones)
If you’re under the age of 25, it’s likely that the most expensive product you’ve ever purchased is a car. And by “most expensive”, we’re probably talking an easy 10-15 times the next most expensive thing. If you didn’t need a car, that’s easily a couple hundred extra dollars in your pocket each week after fuel, insurance, registration, and repairs. Now imagine you’re at the poverty line with two kids and you make roughly $430 a week before taxes and the bus starts to become a much more appealing option. Unfortunately in America, unless you live in a small handful of large metropolitan areas, you absolutely need a car to get around. While some of this isn’t anyone’s fault since America isn’t really as geographically concentrated as, say, Seoul, we have a long history of not giving a shit about properly funding public transit, while throwing billions upon billions at building the public infrastructure necessary to support our $50,000 odes to American independence. On top of this, mass transit, especially rail, is significantly more cost-effective in the long run than building or maintaining more roads. As if you needed any more reasons why the poor tend to stay poor, imagine everyone has a “Being an American” tax of at least $1500 annually no matter their income, and if they didn’t pay it the IRS bolts them to the ground, preventing them from going to work.
If you’re under the age of 25, it’s likely that the most expensive product you’ve ever purchased is a car. And by “most expensive”, we’re probably talking an easy 10-15 times the next most expensive thing. If you didn’t need a car, that’s easily a couple hundred extra dollars in your pocket each week after fuel, insurance, registration, and repairs. Now imagine you’re at the poverty line with two kids and you make roughly $430 a week before taxes and the bus starts to become a much more appealing option. Unfortunately in America, unless you live in a small handful of large metropolitan areas, you absolutely need a car to get around.
While some of this isn’t anyone’s fault since America isn’t really as geographically concentrated as, say, Seoul, we have a long history of not giving a shit about properly funding public transit, while throwing billions upon billions at building the public infrastructure necessary to support our $50,000 odes to American independence. On top of this, mass transit, especially rail, is significantly more cost-effective in the long run than building or maintaining more roads. As if you needed any more reasons why the poor tend to stay poor, imagine everyone has a “Being an American” tax of at least $1500 annually no matter their income, and if they didn’t pay it the IRS bolts them to the ground, preventing them from going to work.
McConnell is offering a philosophical response to a practical problem. It gets back to what we discussed last week — the right simply cannot fathom a pragmatic approach to governing. Democrats see a jobs crisis, want to save hundreds of thousands of jobs, craft a plan that works, and find a straightforward way to pay for it. Republicans see a jobs crisis and ask, “Are those public-sector jobs? What does our ideology tell us about aid to states? Unemployment, schlumemploymet — how does this affect the size of government?”
The GOP line doesn’t address the underlying problem because, as McConnell explained yesterday, Republicans don’t care about the underlying problem. What matters is the integrity of conservative ideology, not keeping teachers and cops on the job.
Notice, McConnell didn’t say the Democratic jobs bill would be ineffective. He knows — everyone knows — the measure would keep those Americans working, which would not only help the workers and their families, but also the local economies and those who benefit from their services. But for the Senate Minority Leader, whether the legislation would be effective or not is irrelevant.
Bringing down unemployment isn’t McConnell’s priority. Winning a philosophical argument is.
With DADT done, could the next military culture war be waged over atheist chaplains? (And isn’t “atheist chaplain” a contradiction in terms, anyway?)
Mother Jones talks with the Iraq vet who’s spearheading a humanist movement in the ranks:
(Source: Mother Jones)
The modern campaign poster is a slick thing, with message-tested taglines and occasionally trendsetting design. But it’s nothing like its early forebears. As an element of political culture, the campaign poster has taken a long road to its present form.
See more campaign posters at The Atlantic
The more you know…
Here’s the NY Times article referred to above
(Can’t reblog these so I did the next best thing)
Exactly what I wanted. For future reference…
So Bush was also an illusionist.
Wow, so Bush was hiding $2.7 Trillion in debt. The price of honesty.