The case against tyranny

As some of you know and who are probably tired of reading my posts, I am a strong advocate of the American people's rights and of minimal government interference in our lives. But I believe the issue is serious and our freedoms are in jeopardy. Here is a timely article to think about.

"The George W. Bush administration responded to the 9/11 attack on the World Trade Center and Pentagon with an assault on U.S. civil liberty that Bush justified in the name of the “war on terror.” The government assured us that the draconian measures apply only to “terrorists.” The word terrorist, however, was not defined. The government claimed the discretionary power to decide who is a terrorist without having to present evidence or charges in a court of law.

"Frankly, the Bush administration’s policy evades any notion of procedural due process of law. Administration assurances that harsh treatment is reserved only for terrorists is meaningless when the threshold process for determining who is and who is not a terrorist depends on executive discretion that is not subject to review. Substantive rights are useless without the procedural rights to enforce them.

"Terrorist legislation and executive assertions created a basis upon which federal authorities claimed they were free to suspend suspects’ civil liberties in order to defend Americans from terrorism. Only after civil liberties groups and federal courts challenged some of the unconstitutional laws and procedures did realization spread that the Bush administration’s assault on the Bill of Rights is a greater threat to Americans than are terrorists."
.......................
"The PATRIOT Act’s infringements of civil liberty are serious, but they pale by comparison to the Bush administration’s assertion of executive power to set aside habeas corpus protection for both citizens and noncitizens declared by the executive branch to be “enemy combatants.” The Bush administration claimed and exercised the power to hold indefinitely anyone so designated without access to legal representation. In other words, the Bush administration claimed the discretionary and unaccountable power to imprison whomever it wished."
..........................
"A number of legal experts have concluded that there is no assurance that the [Military Commissions Act passed in September 2006 and signed by Bush in October] cannot be applied to U.S. citizens. Although language in the act refers to “alien unlawful enemy combatant,” other language in the document does not limit the act’s applicability only to aliens. Legal scholars have warned that the legislation defines enemy combatant in such broad language that the act applies to any person whom the executive branch declares has purposefully and materially supported hostilities against the United States. No evidence for the charge is necessary. By seizing the power to decide who is and who is not an “enemy combatant,” the executive branch has seized the power to decide who shall and who shall not be permitted the protections guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution. The Bush administration has resurrected the dungeons and torture chambers that Blackstone’s Rights of Englishmen banished from the English-speaking world."
http://counterpunch.org/roberts06032008.html

The article goes on. But if we have learned nothing from history and especially during the last century, we should at least understand that government is not always the benign friend that it pretends to be. Too many despots have risen to power and have enslaved its people while using the alarm of some special emergency.

I don't know whether we can reclaim our individual rights anymore. I see a draconian fist coming down on the American people -wear your seatbelts, don't drink, don't smoke, don't eat fatty food, get insurance, get rid of your guns, don't do this and don't do that or we'll throw you in jail and impoverish you. We're bigger than you and we'll crush you. Your rights mean nothing. And, by the way, we're sending off another billion tomorrow to the sands in the Middle East.

O.k., that's my rant for the day! I hope we can continue to pay our bills tomorrow and that the government doesn't decide that some of us are undesirables to be held forever without charges in some gulag.

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It's unconscionable that Bush/Cheney haven't been impeached yet.

Pink Slip

It's not just the Republicans and Democrats. It's everybody. I remember the Viet Nam War when everyone was out in the streets. Nobody is an activist anymore, even though our dollars and our economy are going out the window. Reminds me of a poem by T.S. Eliot... "Not with a bang, but a whimper."

We are the hollow men
We are the stuffed men
Leaning together
Headpiece filled with straw. Alas!
Our dried voices, when
We whisper together
Are quiet and meaningless
As wind in dry grass
Or rats' feet over broken glass
In our dry cellar

Shape without form, shade without colour,
Paralysed force, gesture without motion;

Those who have crossed
With direct eyes, to death's other Kingdom
Remember us - if at all - not as lost
Violent souls, but only
As the hollow men
The stuffed men.

II

Eyes I dare not meet in dreams
In death's dream kingdom
These do not appear:
There, the eyes are
Sunlight on a broken column
There, is a tree swinging
And voices are
In the wind's singing
More distant and more solemn
Than a fading star.

Let me be no nearer
In death's dream kingdom
Let me also wear
Such deliberate disguises
Rat's coat, crowskin, crossed staves
In a field
Behaving as the wind behaves
No nearer -

Not that final meeting
In the twilight kingdom

III

This is the dead land
This is cactus land
Here the stone images
Are raised, here they receive
The supplication of a dead man's hand
Under the twinkle of a fading star.

Is it like this
In death's other kingdom
Waking alone
At the hour when we are
Trembling with tenderness
Lips that would kiss
Form prayers to broken stone.

IV

The eyes are not here
There are no eyes here
In this valley of dying stars
In this hollow valley
This broken jaw of our lost kingdoms
In this last of meeting places
We grope together
And avoid speech
Gathered on this beach of the tumid river

Sightless, unless
The eyes reappear
As the perpetual star
Multifoliate rose
Of death's twilight kingdom
The hope only
Of empty men.

V

Here we go round the prickly pear
Prickly pear prickly pear
Here we go round the prickly pear
At five o'clock in the morning.
Between the idea
And the reality
Between the motion
And the act
Falls the Shadow
For Thine is the Kingdom
Between the conception
And the creation
Between the emotion
And the response
Falls the Shadow
Life is very long
Between the desire
And the spasm
Between the potency
And the existence
Between the essence
And the descent
Falls the Shadow
For Thine is the Kingdom
For Thine is
Life is
For Thine is the

This is the way the world ends
This is the way the world ends
This is the way the world ends
Not with a bang but a whimper.

They are out there, different than the 60's and 70's, though, I remember watching Dem Convention in Chicago, on TV, and the protesters getting skulls cracked up by police.

We have not reached a point similar as the 60's. People are still too convinced that we need to protect ourselves from the world, all the while we sell arms and supplies to countries that further repress their people.

We are feed a near daily dose of, we need to protect the world and our selves from those that wish us harm, and war in some part of the world is just around the corner, with combatants that we have supported in some sense.

THAT's why we don't see activism any more. People are far too busy minding their little financial universes.

That's why the blatant lies of CheneyCo (Bush is only a puppet) have passed muster for so many years. America really isn't paying attention. America outsourced politics to the corporations, who hired the cheapest and most inept crooks they could find.

Luckily, this problem has as lifespan, and it will end in the Great Depression II that we're now entering.

There are more activists out there than say 8 years ago, as the result of bad government.  But this occupation in Iraq doesn't nearly rile people up, like Vietnam did for one reason---the draft.  If there was a draft now, people would be rioting in the street over this.  As it is, most people aren't directly affected by it (other than their pocket book).  And the corporate media has the populace fooled into thinking everything's fine.  Distract 'em with stupid TV shows half the time, and lie to 'em the other half.  A good recipe for apathy. 

Pink Slip

Also the death toll of U.S. troops in Vietnam was greater. And in some ways the reasons given in the Vietnam war was an alleged attack on U.S. war ships, the Gulf of Tokin incident and the alleged weapons of mass destruction in Iraq.

But, the mission was completed in Iraq, we were told and then it morphed into a war on terror.

If seems we are now engaged in another idealogical conflict, sorta like stopping the spread of Communism in Southeast Asia, after the French with drew from the area.

I think that his 'war on terror' that is costing this country so much money won't end, regardless of who is president - because it's not supposed to end, until the USA has control over the Middle East & the oil supply. Yes, 9/11 started it, but I don't think it's about terrorists so much as power & control. We went to war in Iraq searching for weapons of mass destruction. I've heard people say that there weren't any weapons of mass destruction in Iraq - but there were, we (Reagan) gave them to Iraq years ago. That we didnt' 'find them' doesn't mean they didn't have them. It's all about controlling the oil & the ports in the Middle East - and our country will keep spending huge amounts of money for this 'war', to give the ruse that we are helping the Iraqis, but I wonder if that's the real reason. At any rate - doesnt matter which candidate becomes president - they're just puppets in all of this, and they all know what this war in Iraq is really about. And while McCain scares hell out of me, I think with Obama or Clinton in office, more of our freedoms will be stripped, taxes & the price of oil will keep raising. They all have been caught in lies, and none of them really care about any of us - it's all about climbing that ladder, and power. Some would say I am cynical & apathetic - and I am anymore. But not one of them seems to be willng to stand up to secure our freedoms - all of them are backed by big pharma, etc. that stands to get wealthier as a side effect of stripping our freedoms (smoking bans, the next in line ban of alcohol, telling us what we can eat & weigh - the bi-product of all those, is big money made for Big Pharma re: the cures).

Ok, my rant is done.... billy started it. But billy is right - this country is going to hell, fast. It no longer even resembles the country I grew up in. It's become a farce of making legal acts, illegal - of the govt being given too much power over the masses. The purpose of govt. is not to protect us from ourselves, our choises. There is entirely too much govt interference with people's lives as it is, and it will get worse. Billy is right - there aren't activists today like there used to be. People used to get mad enough to protest, to stand up against a powermad govt. Now, it seems that people just accept that govt interference & control, no questions asked. Where is this generation's Abbey Hoffman????

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abbie_Hoffman
"Abbie" Hoffman (November 30, 1936 – April 12, 1989) was a social and political activist in the United States who co-founded the Youth International Party ("Yippies"). Later he became a fugitive from the law, who lived under an alias following a conviction for dealing cocaine.

Hoffman was arrested and tried for conspiracy and inciting to riot as a result of his role in protests that led to violent confrontations with police during the 1968 Democratic National Convention, along with Jerry Rubin, David Dellinger, Tom Hayden, Rennie Davis, John Froines, Lee Weiner and Bobby Seale. The group was known collectively as the "Chicago Eight"; when Seale's prosecution was separated from the others, they became known as the Chicago Seven.

Hoffman came to prominence in the 1960s, and continued practicing his activism in the 1970s, and has remained a symbol of the youth rebellion and radical activism of that era. In his 1980 autobiography, Soon to Be a Major Motion Picture, he described himself as an anarchist.....

Early protests
Prior to his days as a leading member of the Yippie movement, Hoffman was involved with the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), and organized "Liberty House", which sold items to support the Civil Rights Movement in the southern United States. During the Vietnam War, Hoffman was an anti-war activist, who used deliberately comical and theatrical tactics, such as organizing a mass demonstration in which over 50,000 people would attempt to use psychic energy to levitate The Pentagon until it would turn orange and begin to vibrate, at which time the war in Vietnam would end.[4] Hoffman's symbolic theatrics were successful at convincing many young people to become more active in the politics of the time.[4]

Another of Hoffman's well-known protests was on August 24, 1967, when he led members of the movement to the gallery of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE). The protesters threw fistfuls of dollars (most of the bills were fake) down to the traders below, some of whom booed, while others began to scramble frantically to grab the money as fast as they could. Hoffman claimed to be pointing out that, metaphorically, that's what NYSE traders "were already doing." "We didn't call the press," wrote Hoffman, "at that time we really had no notion of anything called a media event." The press was quick to respond and by evening the event was reported around the world. Since that incident, the stock exchange has spent $20,000 to enclose the gallery with bulletproof glass.

How is that possible? I remember being in an Air Force uniform, in NORAD, watching dumbfoundedly on shop monitors as the Berlin Wall fell.

Then Bush Sr talked about the "peace dividend".

Then I was out of uniform and in college, as the USA went into the Middle East in a big way and NEVER LEFT. {snort} The shortest peace dividend in history. We went from Cold War to Oil War.

So, who REALLY started this? Read Yergin's book "The Prize" and see that the WEST started all this, by considering the Middle East to be a resource territory that can be invaded at any time it pleases.

gz - you're right. What I meant, was that Bush Jr. used 9/11 as the reason to go to Iraq, which has evolved into this war. Yes, we've been in the Middle East for some time now. (had to secure those ports, so we could get our oil.)

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