4th of july


CAN YOU IDENTIFY PROPAGANDA?



When We Furnish the Means By Which We Suffer

“Some writers have so confounded society with government, as to leave little or no distinction between them; whereas they are not only different, but have different origins. Society is produced by our wants, and government by our wickedness; the former promotes our happiness positively by uniting our affections, the latter negatively by restraining our vices. The one encourages intercourse, the other creates distinctions. The first is a patron, the last a punisher.

Society in every state is a blessing, but government, even in its best state, is but a necessary evil; in its worst state an intolerable one: for when we suffer, or are exposed to the same miseries by a government, which we might expect in a country without a government, our calamity is heightened by reflecting that we furnish the means by which we suffer.”

-Thomas Paine, Common Sense, 1776

post script,

Thomas Paine used all of his profits from the sales of Common Sense to purchase mittens for the Continental Army whom were to invade English-occupied Canada in the cold of winter.



A Police State Can Only Exist Through Willful Ignorance and Civic Indifference

 

This is video footage of a pastor being beaten and tazered by border patrol agents after this pastor requested the police officers to abide by constitutional law and honor this individual’s civil liberties.  This video made me cry.  I get really upset when I see individuals who took a sacred oath to uphold the U.S. Constitution acting like ignorant, jackboot thugs with no inkling of understanding concerning constitutional law.  I get really upset when I see innocent American citizens beaten by people whose job is to “protect and serve the public.” It shouldn’t be possible.

It is not well enough for you or me to individually understand our civil liberties and constitutional law. We must educate every American around us.  We need to educate our neighbors who are police officers, soldiers, teachers, everyone.  I carry a U.S. Constitution in my purse, I carry one in my work uniform.  My coworkers laugh at me but I play the role of the clown. I make self effacing jokes but I assure you this, my coworkers are well aware that last week the 6th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution was eroded by a 5-4 Supreme Court decision that states attorneys are not required to be present in police interrogations in “certain situations.”  I may play the clown, but my coworkers, from the busboys to the servers to the bartenders to the cooks to the managers, know that eroding our Bill Rights creates a slippery slope which can only lead despotism.  My coworkers are learning. Teach your neighbors, teach your coworkers, bring a constitution every where.  The christians carry their Bibles and memorize biblical script, shouldn’t we carry the U.S. Constitution and memorize constitutional law if we are going evangelize to the American people the virtues liberty and constitutional republicanism?



Senate Votes to Block Funds to Close Guantanamo, 90-6

 
Sunbathing at Camp X-Ray

Lindsey Graham, not Lady Liberty>
Lindsey Graham, not exactly Lady Liberty

 

Senate Votes to Block Funds to Close Guantanamo, 90-6

I’m not sure what to make of this news just yet but some of the quotes from our federal representatives and mainstream media sources is disappointing. This situation is fresh and the motives of our elected officials are not yet clear but here’s some quotable tid-bits:

In recent weeks, Republicans have called for keeping Guantanamo open, saying abuses at the facility are a thing of the past and describing it as a state-of-the-art prison that’s nicer than some U.S. prisons. And they warn that terrorists who can’t be convicted might be set free in the United States.Yahoo! News, May 20, 2009

People who swear a sacred oath to uphold and protect the Constitution of the United States “warn” that individuals who cannot be legally convicted through fair trials might be set free?! That’s how the rule of law works, dummies (not you, the Republican lawmakers). All individuals are considered innocent until proven guilty. If guilt cannot not be proved beyond reasonable doubt, the accused individual must be set free. But don’t just take my word on it, read what the U.S. Constitution states:

Amendment V of the U.S. Constitution
No person shall be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law.

Amendment VI of the U.S. Constitution
In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial by an impartial trial.

Amendment VII of the U.S. Constitution
No… excessive, cruel and unusual punishment punishment shall be inflicted.

Now tell me how Camp X-Ray at Guantanamo Bay does not directly conflict with the articles as written in our constitution? Tell me how our elected officials, the ninety senators who voted to block shutting down Camp X-Ray, tell me how those individuals are upholding their sacred duty of protecting and executing the law as described in our constitution? Quite simply, they are not.

The biggest reason that senators from both sides of the aisle overwhelmingly voted to block the president’s attempt to shut down Camp X-Ray is because the cowardly lawmakers blanch at the idea that accused terrorist might possibly be transfered to a prison in one of their voting districts. The electoral backlash would be two-fold: conservative voters would be disappointed Jack Bauer’s Holiday Inn was closed down and wormy liberals would be horrified that brown-skinned accused terrorists might actually be in close proximity to their picturesque suburbs. That would absolutely kill property values! Senator Lindsey Graham gets to wear the big dunce hat for the day with his attempt to seem tough and unafraid of the Muslim extremist boogie-men in his backyard:

Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, among the few Republicans joining former GOP presidential nominee John McCain of Arizona in calling for Guantanamo to be closed, scoffed at the idea that the government can’t find a way to hold Guantanamo prisoners in the United States. Graham noted that 400,000 German and Japanese prisoners were held during World War II.Ibid

Senator Graham, we are not at war. Congress has not lawfully declared a war. We have military occupations in two foreign countries, yes, but no official wars. I might seem anal with the semantics of this last statement but we cannot legally detain prisoners of war if we are not legally involved in a war. Has everyone forgotten that the two disasters happening in Iraq and Afghanistan are not technically wars because only congress has the privilege to declare war? This seems quite technical but law is a very technical creature by nature and requires strict attention to all the slippery legal verbiage. The politicians who have embroiled our country in these two idiot conflicts understand quite acutely this delicacy. If the accused individuals at Guantanamo are not considered P.O.W.’s, they do not receive the rights as guarenteed by the Geneva Convention as decreed for prisoners of war. But if the accused individuals imprisoned at Guantanamo are considered P.O.W.’s, then they can held until the end of this so-called war. It must be remembered that not only has the U.S. Congress not declared war, but our country is not directly fighting a war against either Iraq or Afghanistan. The leadership of both countries are operating in official cooperation, if not complete puppet-like deference, with the U.S. government. We are not fighting them, we are fighting with them. What is actually transpiring is a grand police action. The “War on Terrorism,” like the “War on Drugs,” is an ambiguous political title given to an ambiguous police action, not an actual war. And like the War on Drugs, a war declared and initiated by Ronald Reagan decades ago which has continued without concrete resolution, the War on Terror has no end in sight either. It is simply political word voodoo. Unfortunately for the accused individuals held at Camp X-Ray, since they are considered P.O.W.’s when it is convenient for the U.S. bureaucrats, they will be detained without trial until this so-called “war” is ended. This “war” is a farce like the War on Drugs has been a farce and there will be no end to this tragic comedy whose third act will know no curtain. Those prisoners will rot in their prison cells without trial unless the policies of our government are drastically reversed. There will be no surrender of a foreign government like there was in Berlin and Tokyo. We are not fighting a foreign state, we are not fighting a war, we are occupying two sovereign nations, undertaking a police action with no concrete objectives and simply chasing ghosts of our own collective imagination. If there is any parallel with prisoners from World War II, the prisoners of Guantanamo are not similar to WWII Axis P.O.W.’s, but rather, the Japanese-American citizens who were immorally and shamefully imprisoned with no legal rights in Californian concentration camps simply for having yellow skin and slanted eyes while America was at war with Japan. I doubt Lindsey Graham would understand the appropriate historic parallel though. He’s more of an “ends justify the means” type of guy and doesn’t begin to contemplate why liberty, justice and the creed that an individual is innocent until guilty must be enjoyed by everyone, even people who may have conspired and even executed plans to harm the American people. 2,974 Dead is not enough to abandon the U.S. Constitution and the respect for the rule of law and justice.

tanning at camp x-ray!
SPF 10,000

I believe Guantanamo Bay needs to be shut down. I also believe that the rule of constitutional law and habus corpeus needs to be restored in our republic immediately. Until then, lets stop pretending our leaders are patriots and defenders of the U.S. Constitution. Let’s start being honest about the direction that our country is actually headed in. If the constitution does not apply to one, it applies to no one. It is not enough to transfer these accused inmates to other prisons, domestic or foreign, and simply shut down the infamous Camp X-Ray at Guantanamo Bay with the bad press. These accused individuals must be tried under the law and able to face both justice and their accusers in an expedient way. If they are guilty, let them receive a death sentence as quickly as received their trials, but if our justice system, or a justice system of an international court, can not adequately find any of these individuals guilty of a crime beyond a reasonable doubt, then that individual must be set free immediately. If we are a country of laws then we must return to the rule of law. There can be no exception. Let justice reign. We’re Americans still, aren’t we?