State Secrets or Unlimited Power

“Yes, you are right–I am a moralist in disguise; it gets me into heaps of trouble when I go thrashing around in political questions.” Mark Twain

STATE SECRETS

The Bush administration’s continued use of the state secrets privilege to stomp on dissent in the courts is evil. It is most often conjured up in response to allegations of criminal conduct on the part of the government. They are challenges to the present administration’s new theories of unchecked executive power.
By using the state secrets privilege the administration avoids having to give an accounting of its conduct. And if the administration continues to succeed in this-the administration will have succeeded in creating a precedent of insurmountable immunity, which can be invoked against any legal claim that the tactics and constitutional abnegations used in the “war on terror”, violates the law. The standard administration response to any plaintiff who asserted such criminal charges would be, quite simply, that it’s a secret.

The Bush administration has fought to limit scrutiny or restriction of its conduct since the war on terror began. Unless courts begin to reject his assertion, the administration may have found in the state secrets privilege, the ultimate tool for making its actions invincible to all challenges, and making us the new communist power.

President Bush’s arguments about his national security powers, and his use of ‘state secrets’ immunity threaten the concept of checks and balances, as it has been understood in America for over 200 years. Bush and his lawyers contend that the president’s powers in these matters are unlimited.

Since the war on terror is currently scheduled to run practically forever, the executive supremacy they’re asserting won’t be a temporary condition.

Write your Congressperson or Senator.

http://www.congress.org/congressorg/dbq/officials/

Thought Crime, Hate Crime, Doublespeak, etc., etc.

“The symbol of the race ought to be a human being carrying an ax, for every human being has one concealed about him somewhere, and is always seeking the opportunity to grind it.” Mark Twain

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Excerpted from the ‘International Covenant 0n Civil and Political Rights‘ (ICCPR) of United Nations. The US is a signatory, in 1992, to this international agreement on human rights.

Article 18, paragraph 1
Everyone will have the right to freedom of thought, conscience, and religion….there is more, but it dwells on religion. The parts I am interested in are thought and conscience.
Article 19, paragraph 1
Everyone shall have the right to hold opinions (thought) without interference….The thought part is my interjection.
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In today’s world, the US government does not recognize these principles anymore. We are evolving into a state that will not allow thought to differ from the stated goals of the Federal Government. If you disagree with the President too loudly, they’ll get you, and they won’t need a warrant to do it. You probably won’t have the right of Habeas Corpus either.

If you express your thoughts or opinion that differ too far from mainstream thought, whatever that is, you will be penalized, whether by social ostracism out of fear of association, or job firing, or arrested for ‘disturbing civil order’, as I believe they call it in China.

As I have written before, I believe it won’t be long before the stuff I am writing now will be illegal. There are now projects underway to control expression (thought) on the Internet, in democratic countries. It is, as you know, controlled in many parts of the world now. My only crime so far, is thought.

Since the Federal Government got (seized) the right for *warrantless searches and wiretapping they have started to use it in going after civil and criminal, non-terrorist, activities. *This is specifically prohibited in our Constitution.

“The “most systematic invasion of privacy of every American citizen that has ever been taken in this country” has been taken with the expanded use of wiretapping and secret court proceedings as part of the United States’ War on Terror….

…. We have always held out the shibboleth of Big Brother as a nightmarish vision of the future that we’re going to avoid at all costs. . They (Bush and Cheney, et al) have now taken the most fateful step in the direction of that Big Brother nightmare that any president has ever allowed to occur.” Al Gore


“To this computerized dossier on your private life from commercial sources, add every piece of information that government has about you – passport application, driver’s license and bridge toll records, judicial and divorce records, complaints from nosy neighbors to the FBI, your lifetime paper trail plus the latest hidden camera surveillance – and you have the supersnoop’s dream: a ‘Total Information Awareness’ about every U.S. citizen.” William Safire. Note from me: It does not stop with Muslim’s; it is already starting on all of us. See:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/06/13/AR2007061302453_pf.html

Once the US Government has a law in place for ‘special circumstances’ they do not hesitate to use it for other circumstances. Me

Now one more quote from a very perceptive writer:
“One shudders at the possibility that the day may come when the mere thought of committing a crime will carry its own punishment. We already have laws against “terrorist threats,” where the mere suggestion of violence carries a prison sentence. How long before this notion becomes twisted into a law prohibiting “criminal thoughts,” where merely thinking about a violent act carries a prison sentence?” Robert A. Ross at: http://www.davidross.info/current2.html

A side note: I believe this is already a principle of law in the UK. See: https://thewordofme.wordpress.com/2007/12/06/thought-crime-in-england
It is also a crime in England to “collect information, without reasonable excuse.” But, I digress.

These scenarios are scary. It’s is as we were living in pre-1991 Soviet Russia, or any of the Communist states that still hang on to it’s principle’s. We are fast evolving into a society where political correctness is the supreme law, and to break from this is thought crime.

Do you think this is a good thing?

Write your Congressperson or Senator.
http://www.congress.org/congressorg/dbq/officials/

Corrupt Government?

Do you believe that Vice-President Dick Cheney is not profiting from the hiring of Halliburton as a “no-bid-no oversight” contractor for support services in the Iraqi war?

Having worked in the oil business in West Texas, I know how that ‘Good old boy’ network works. You can bet your bottom dollar that there was a lot of fishy, underhanded signing of illegal contracts going on at the beginning, and probably going on now…that Blackwater deal comes immediately to mind.

The following links will give you an idea of how many dollars were/are changing hands:

http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2003/09/26/politics/main575356.shtml

http://rawstory.com/news/2005/Cheneys_stock_options_rose_3281_last_1011.html

http://www.commondreams.org/views03/0403-10.htm

More recently we have learned that Cheney along with Rumsfeld and Paul Wolfowitz, buddies since the 1970’s Ford administration (Ford’s Secretary of Defense (Donald Rumsfeld) and Chief of Staff (Dick Cheney), misrepresented intelligence in 2002 to send us into Iraq which greatly increased the wealth of cronies in the Military/Industrial complex, and added the burden of over 3,000 dead American servicemen and women, as many as one hundred thousand wounded, and probably well over a hundred thousand dead Iraqis, also added was a level of worldwide instability not seen since the run-up to World War Two.

Another interesting thing I came across is a former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld’s ties to the Tamiflu fiasco of the last few years. Immediately before hiring on with George Bush he was Chairman of the Board of Gilead Sciences (1-97 to 1-01). Now Gilead is the developer of Tamiflu, a drug that George W. Bush urged Congress to pass $7.1 Billion in emergency funding to purchase, to prepare for a possible Bird Flu pandemic. This was in 2005 and Donald was still employed by ol’ G.W.

Federal disclosure forms indicate that Rumsfeld owned over $5 million dollars worth of Gilead Sciences stock at that time. The resultant rise in stock prices alone was thought to have added over $2.5 million bucks to his net worth.

The Donald at a press Conference at NATO Headquarters, Brussels, Belgium, June 6, 2002
“Now what is the message there? The message is that there are known “knowns.” There are things we know that we know. There are known unknowns. That is to say there are things that we now know we don’t know. But there are also unknown unknowns. There are things we don’t know we don’t know. So when we do the best we can and we pull all this information together, and we then say well that’s basically what we see as the situation, that is really only the known knowns and the known unknowns. And each year, we discover a few more of those unknown unknowns.”
Boy, that’s real leadership, a clear-eyed vision of reality, by one of the Bush family’s favorite buddies and trusted leader of our countries military, in the most important endeavor of the new century.

Boy is our country suffering. We really need a change of leadership, an end to corrupt politicians, and wide-ranging investigation into what is going on in the internal workings of our federal government.

And, just maybe…indictments.

Write your elected officials.
Senate: http://www.senate.gov/general/contact_information/senators_cfm.cfm
Congress: http://www.house.gov/writerep/

Vermont Activists want to arrest President and VP

Activists in a small town in Vermont want to arrest and prosecute George Bush and Dick Cheney for violations of constitutional law.

“A group in Brattleboro,VT is petitioning to put an item on a town meeting agenda in March that would make Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney subject to arrest and indictment if they visit the southeastern Vermont community.

The measure asks: “Shall the Selectboard instruct the Town Attorney to draft indictments against President Bush and Vice President Cheney for crimes against our Constitution, and publish said indictment for consideration by other municipalities?”

“This petition is as radical as the Declaration of Independence, and it draws on that tradition in claiming a universal jurisdiction when governments fail to do what they’re supposed to do,” said Kurt Daims, 54, a retired machinist leading the drive.”

Vermont’s Senate voted earlier this year to support impeachment of President Bush, and “Impeach Bush” stickers are on the bumpers of many cars in the state.

Of course this won’t really go anywhere, but it’s nice to see people realizing what the present Administration is trying (and sadly, mostly achieving) to do with our country.

Violent Radicalization and Homegrown Terrorism Prevention Act of 2007 Redux

H.R. 1955: Violent Radicalization and Homegrown Terrorism Prevention Act of 2007
Here’s how the political parties voted in the house in Oct, 07
These are your congressmen/women voting away your rights

Totals & Party Breakdown
Total                                        Democrat     Republican     Independent
Ayes: 404 (94%)                         219               185                     0
Nays: 6 (1%)                                    3                    3                     0
No Vote: 22 (5%)                          10                  12                     0
Required: 2/3 of 410 votes (274)

I have already written my Senators about HR 1955 and I will continue to urge
others (you) to write and tell their Senators that they strongly oppose this bill.

HR 1955 will effectively strip HALF of the Bill of Rights from our constitution.
This bill is an end run around the constitutional law of our country and is very
close to making certain ‘thoughts’ a crime.

Don’t take my word for it….surf the internet and see what others are saying about
this proposed law….it really is frightening.

You will not have to be a Muslim to feel the affects of this law.

I know I have posted on this subject before, but it’s really important to try to
defeat this law and I’m afraid that many young people will not even care….Till later.

Heres how to contact your Senators:
http://www.senate.gov/general/contact_information/senators_cfm.cfm

Help, does anyone know how to make tables work in WordPress ? Can’t seem to make
the voting results table work right.

Gimme More Taxes!!!

Did you ever think of how many taxes you pay? Trick question! I was reading a news article about rich people and the lower percentage of tax they pay in relation to income.

Warren Buffet (second richest man on EARTH) pays less tax, percentage wise, than his own employees. Proof again that the Politicians screw over (polite phrase for F___ over) the middle class, while talking out of both sides of their mouth.

Did you catch that a few years back when Bush lowered our taxes? No, not OURS, those people making over $250,000 a year. Those making less, payed more.

Think of things on this list….no matter what they are called in your state, they ARE taxes.

Auto Tire Excise Tax
Building Permit Tax
Cigarette Tax
Beer and Alcohol Tax
City Business License Tax
Corporate Income Tax
Dog License Tax
Federal Income Tax
Federal Unemployment Tax (FUTA)
Franchise Tax
Fishing License Tax
Food License Tax
Food Tax-some states
Fuel Permit Tax
Gasoline Tax
Hunting License Tax
Inheritance Tax
Inventory Tax
IRS Interest Charges–tax on top of tax
IRS Penalties–tax on top of tax on top of tax
Luxury Tax,
Marriage License Tax,
Medicare Tax,
Personal Property Tax
Property Tax
Real Estate Transfer Tax,
Service charge taxes
Social Security Tax–Tax on what you pay in?
State Business License Tax
Road Usage Tax (Truckers),
Sales Taxes,
Recreational Vehicle Tax,
School Tax,
Smog inspection Tax
State Income Tax,
State Unemployment Tax (SUTA),
Tax on your Coffin
Tax on your burial plot–refer to inheritance Tax
Tax to dispose of your used auto oil and tires
Tax to enter State or Federal Parks (admission fee)
Telephone Federal Excise Tax,
Telephone Federal Universal Service Fee Tax,
Telephone Federal, State and Local Surcharge Tax,
Telephone Minimum Usage Surcharge Tax,
Telephone Recurring and Non-recurring Charges Tax,
Telephone State and Local Tax,
Telephone Usage Charge Tax,
Toll Road Charges/Tax
Utility Tax,
Vehicle License Registration Tax,
Vehicle Sales Tax,
Watercraft Registration Tax,
Workers Compensation Tax.

Coming soon–Taxes on all your Internet transactions–all taxing authorities in the various States are salivating over this–they think they have a GOD GIVEN RIGHT to extract ‘juice’ from this goldmine.

How many hundred did I miss?? Junk Taxes Never end.
One thing a lot of people don’t think about is that some of the taxes they pay are caused by their demand for services. Try being more self sufficient, don’t ask for more, ask for less.

Genocide in Iraq

If tyranny and oppression come to this land, it will be in the guise of fighting a foreign enemy.” – “It is a universal truth that the loss of liberty at home is to be charged to the provisions against danger, real or pretended, from abroad.” – “No nation could preserve its freedom in the midst of continual warfare.” – James Madison

The American war strike and occupation in Iraq has resulted in the deaths of anywhere from 100,000 to over 1 million Iraqi people and the probable displacement of perhaps 4 million from their homes….depending on who you believe. But, they’re only Iraqi’s, who cares….the oil is there.
http://www.justforeignpolicy.org/iraq/iraqdeaths.html

Of course a lot of these deaths were Iraqi to Iraqi violence (maybe 25%) that was brought about by our killing the people in charge of the infrastructure, and the consequent rush to fill this power vacuum. We, of course, knew this would happen and had good plans to counter it…But, the oil is there.

Iraq is now pumping more oil than they did pre-war…We have dibs on it…We have augmented our national strategic reserve…Who directly profits from this fact?

There are some rumors floating around the Internet that the Bush White House is playing loose with the numbers of our soldiers killed in the war. But, we have taken out a threat to our country, who had Weapons of Mass Destruction…Right?

Hey, if your son or daughter comes back in a coffin how do you keep track of the others that came back the same. There is no transparency about this matter, we have to trust our government to tell the truth. But, we have taken out a threat to our country, who had Weapons of Mass Destruction…Right?

We have made the area more stable and now have many friends there….Right?
We have made the world safer for our children, haven’t we?

Now we will be staying there for the foreseeable future, spending untold Billions of dollars on top of the near Trillion dollars we have already spent….But, the oil is there. Who directly profits from this fact?

Could it be the 2 oilmen in charge of our country….Naw…..we know they are honorable men.
They would never mislead us, lie to us, or sell us out to Big Oil. It’s not their fault that gas is over $3.00 a gallon.
They are honest men and will look out for us….Right?
Those rumors about Daddy Bush, the Saudi’s, and The Carlyle Group weren’t true….Right?
Those rumors about Halliburton weren’t true….Right?

We can trust our leaders….Right??

Consent of the Governed.

An early notice about upcoming elections

We hold these Truths to be self-evident, that all Men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness. Keep this in mind when voting. Some politicians will be trying to take these away from you in near future.

That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just Powers from the Consent of the Governed. Don’t fritter away these powers. Some politicians want unlimited power for the federal government.

That
whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these Ends, it is in the Right of the People to alter or abolish it, and to institute a new Government, laying its Foundation on such Principles, and organizing its Powers in such Form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient Causes; and accordingly all Experience hath shewn, that Mankind are more disposed to suffer, while Evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the Forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long Train of Abuses and Usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object, evinces a Design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their Right, it is their Duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future Security.
Just remember that we don’t have that right anymore. It all has to be done by your voting. Your vote will count– eventually.

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18 USC Section 2385 – US Code:

Whoever knowingly or willfully advocates, abets, advises, or
teaches the duty, necessity, desirability, or propriety of
overthrowing or destroying the government of the United States or
the government of any State, Territory, District or Possession
thereof, or the government of any political subdivision therein, by
force or violence, or by the assassination of any officer of any
such government; or
Whoever, with intent to cause the overthrow or destruction of any
such government, prints, publishes, edits, issues, circulates,
sells, distributes, or publicly displays any written or printed
matter advocating, advising, or teaching the duty, necessity,
desirability, or propriety of overthrowing or destroying any
government in the United States by force or violence, or attempts
to do so; or
Whoever organizes or helps or attempts to organize any society,
group, or assembly of persons who teach, advocate, or encourage the
overthrow or destruction of any such government by force or
violence; or becomes or is a member of, or affiliates with, any
such society, group, or assembly of persons, knowing the purposes
thereof –
It goes on about punishment, etc….

Although continuing legislation since the 1700’s have made it hard to make real changes by voting, it is still possible, but only by concerted long term commitment and speaking up to candidates and writing to your reps. Constantly let them know how you feel about currant affairs. Politics are one of the most important things in your life, they affect your life in so many concrete ways. You should never ignore what’s going on.

Your vote is your expression of the power of the people.

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Government Censorship, Free Speach, Bill of Rights

  • First AmendmentEstablishment clause, freedom of religion, speech, and press, and peaceable assembly as well as the right to petition the government.
  • Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

“Censorship is the suppression of ideas and information that certain persons—individuals, groups or government officials—find objectionable or dangerous. It is no more complicated than someone saying, “Don’t let anyone read this book, or buy that magazine, or view that film, because I object to it! ”
Censors try to use the power of the state to impose their view of what is truthful and appropriate, or offensive and objectionable, on everyone else. Censors pressure public institutions, like libraries, to suppress and remove from public access information they judge inappropriate or dangerous, so that no one else has the chance to read or view the material and make up their own minds about it.
The censor wants to prejudge materials for everyone.” From the American Library Association Website

Institutions and private business (Such as the American Library Association and local library’s, bookstores, Amazon, etc.) receiving National Security Letters (NSL’s) are forbidden to inform anyone about the search. Without a warrant they can research your records of checked out book’s from libraries, books, and magazines you purchase. These libraries and business who receive the NSL’s are forbidden to talk about it to anyone, let alone tell the suspect.

  • Fourth Amendment – Protection from unreasonable search and seizure.
  • 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.

Upon the issue of a National Security Letter against a individual, government agents are allowed (Warrantless search) to enter their home on the sly, search the house, search all papers and download all contents of computers on the premises. They leave and the suspect is not notified that a search took place. They may search all records, public and private, wiretap and record phone calls about a person and forbid anyone who knows whats going on from talking to anyone about the search.

See:

NSA warrantless surveillance controversy

USA PATRIOT Act

1000+ lawyers say Bush is Wrong on laws

Over one thousand lawyers – including former Governor Mario Cuomo and former Reagan administration official Bruce Fein – have signed on, to an action demanding wide-ranging investigative hearings into unconstitutional and potentially criminal activity by the Bush administration.

“Michael Ratner*, president of the Center for Constitutional Rights and winner of the 2007 Puffin/Nation Prize for Creative Citizenship, said: “The majority of lawyers in this country understand that the Bush administration has really gone off the page of constitutional rights and off the page of fundamental rights, and is willing to push the Congress to restore those rights.” Ratner said he was “dismayed” that a Democratic majority has failed “to push on key illegalities… the torture program, and now the destruction of the tapes involving the torture program; the warrantless wiretapping, the denial of habeas corpus, the secret sites/rendition program, special trials, and of course what we now know is the firing of US Attorneys scandal…. The minimal that absolutely is needed to get us back on the page of law is to have serious investigative hearings that go up the chain of command and figure out who is responsible for what.”

Have for years felt that what was going on with the Patriot Act and the Presidential Actions was just wrong. We have been at war with many peoples and countries in our 200+ year history without having to violate Half of the Bill of Rights, without having to activate the Storm Troopers, without spying on what library books we read, for God’s sake. What the Bush Administration has pushed pass the legislative branch is purely criminal.

The Constitution of the United States is THE law of the country. It is THE bedrock of our legal system and is not meant to be bypassed or broken, except by the process of Amendment. To do otherwise is fundamentally illegal….

Also, the only other countries that violate the concept Habeas Corpus, as we do now, are dictatorships and fascist.

With the imminent passage of HR 1955, “The Violent Radicalization and Homegrown Terrorism Prevention Act,” you will lose more freedoms. This is another attempted end run around Constitutional law and makes you substantially responsible for ‘thought crimes.’ Do we really want to go there.

“Michael Ratner* is the president of the Center for Constitutional Rights and the Skelly Wright Fellow at Yale Law School. He has been involved in many cases trying Human rights offenders, such as generals, state officials, etc.”