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 krs
 
posted on November 29, 2001 05:38:04 PM new
Are you a terrorist? If you don't know, you'd
better find out fast. Because Uncle Sam's
made a list and he's checking it twice -- "40 to
50 countries" targeted for possible "U.S.
action," according to America's
securely-located vice president, Dick "Chicken
Hawk" Cheney. As the man says, a hard rain's
a-gonna fall.

So here's a simple test to check your moral worthiness and see if you can escape God's
-- sorry, Bush's -- all-devouring wrath. Have you ever gone out for a beer and bought a
Stella Artois instead of a Bud? Then you, my friend, have engaged in a conspiracy to
cause "adverse effects" to the economy of the United States. And that makes you one
of the evildoers.
So says the great Oval Object in his latest executive order, in which he grants himself
the power to have anyone he designates as a terrorist to be tried by secret military
tribunals and executed without appeal. Bush's dread edict -- which of course takes
effect without any input from that useless appendage of a bygone era, the U.S.
Congress -- covers anyone who "causes, threatens to cause" or even "has as their
aim" to cause "adverse effects" on, among other things, the American economy or U.S.
foreign policy.
As always, Bush alone retains the right to decide who is and who is not a terrorist, just
as he alone decides what constitutes an "adverse effect" on the United States. Could
be a bomb, a boycott, a protest, a tariff -- or the wrong beer: it's his call.
The edict gives him the power to seize any
non-U.S. citizen, in any country on earth, and to
subject him or her to secret summary justice.
There is no outside check or oversight of this
exercise of universal dominion, and no legal
recourse for the accused -- not even to the laws
of their own country.
Never has a single person in the history of the
world laid claim to such absolute power -- and
commanded the military might to back it up. For
we should also note that Bush now has the
authority to launch attacks against any nation he
chooses, at his own discretion, without a vote by
Congress or that other withered appendage, the
United Nations.
And if you don't like it, pal, you can tell it to the
judge. The military judge. Just before he puts a
bullet in your brain.

http://www.themoscowtimes.com/stories/2001/11/23/107.html


 
 plsmith
 
posted on November 29, 2001 05:44:08 PM new

Shouldn't you be in your potting shed recreating the Indian Mutiny, or something?


 
 rawbunzel
 
posted on November 29, 2001 06:03:34 PM new
It looks like I am a terrorist using that as a guideline. Darn. Time to get my "Evil-Doer" T-Shirt.

PLSmith ~ Did you mean "potting" or "potted"?
[ edited by rawbunzel on Nov 29, 2001 06:09 PM ]
 
 Antiquary
 
posted on November 29, 2001 06:30:30 PM new
The familiar relationship between Bush and Putin with his KGB background is no longer so puzzling as it was initially. Though it has to be the epitome of irony that Russians are appalled by the centralizing of American power in the executive wing of government.

These excerpts from the article are also worth noting:





The terrorist attacks on American liberty are coming so fast these days you can't keep track of them all, and so your inundated Eye is reduced to making mere lists of a few recent developments:


Bush insiders begin pushing the idea of using regular Army troops to "keep order" among the general populace -- the kind of thing that once drove terrorist leaders like George Washington and Patrick Henry to violent rebellion.

A rightwing group founded by the vice president's wife, Lynn Cheney, issues a list of dozens of academics it considers "short on patriotism" for making critical comments about American policy. The group plans more "naming and shaming" of individuals who are "out of step" with the "Homeland."

Ashcroft orders the interrogation of an additional 5,000 young Arab men who entered the country legally during the past two years. With a straight face, Ashcroft denies singling out anyone on the basis of race, creed, or national origin.

And finally, some good news: Billy Bush, radio DJ and the president's first cousin, finds work after being canned by a small Virginia radio station for low ratings. He's been hired by CNN.
---------------------------------------------

It's the last in the list, the good news, which was the scariest to me because it indirectly confirmed my opinion of the role that CNN has chosen to play in its news coverage. Even Fox with whom I'm not particularly politically compatible has more integrity. In fact, Billy may be overqualified for a position at CNN today if he can do anything above reading prepared scripts from the White House.

 
 krs
 
posted on November 29, 2001 07:19:05 PM new
rawbunz,

"Did you mean "potting" or "potted"?

I do not drink.

 
 rawbunzel
 
posted on November 29, 2001 07:24:53 PM new
Well, I do so I must be the potted one.

I didn't know you potted [plotted?]in your potting shed . I learn new things every single day. You, a gardener. Who woulda thunk it. Do you tomato?

 
 krs
 
posted on November 29, 2001 07:45:52 PM new
Some more on the whacked-out 'second lady':

http://www.msnbc.com/news/663403.asp?0dm=C11QO&cp1=1

 
 antiquary
 
posted on November 30, 2001 05:27:45 PM new
Lynne Cheney's a Phylis Schlafly wannabe. If she continues to allow factual and reasoned argument to deter her pursuit of paranoic delusions, as witnessed in the link above, she'll never score a guest spot on the 700 Club. If she were truly dedicated to the New Normalcy, she would latch onto some respectable hardcore bigotry, fluff it up, stick a couple of bows on it, add a whiff of My Sin, and become a star.

 
 plsmith
 
posted on November 30, 2001 06:01:53 PM new

Aside to Antiquary: are you getting enough iron?


 
 antiquary
 
posted on November 30, 2001 06:47:19 PM new
Iron? As in age? Surely we haven't regressed that far already.

Oh, you must be speaking in supplements. I quit making Geritol in one of the spare bathtubs, but Vitamin E more than compensates.

 
 plsmith
 
posted on November 30, 2001 07:12:49 PM new

Alas, no, kind sir. I meant enough iron in reference to your good wife applying sufficient amounts of this to your backside every week





 
 antiquary
 
posted on November 30, 2001 08:21:38 PM new
Oh, that kind of iron! I'm sure that there's one here somewhere but the last known connection between the two was when she's referred to ironing hair during high school in the early seventies.

 
 antiquary
 
posted on December 1, 2001 04:24:22 PM new
I thought that this assessment of the crises that we face as a free people gives as positive a view as it's possible for me to entertain at present.



Moments of crisis do not merely create emergencies. They also create temptations.

Many see the central issue before us as how to balance civil liberties and national interests. This is wrong. The danger we face today is not that government officials will make hasty decisions out of fear or that they will strike the wrong balance between liberty and security. It is that they will use a national crisis as an opportunity to make themselves more powerful and less accountable for what they do--not because they are corrupt and venal but because they are so utterly convinced of their uprightness.

In times of fear, authoritarian impulses are less constrained and people feel less able to complain about them. After all, no one wants to be thought unpatriotic when the country is in such grave danger. And when there is no check on government officials certain of their own rectitude, the temptation for them to act unilaterally and arbitrarily becomes irresistible. Such is the problem we face today, with a president and an attorney general who have dedicated themselves to stamping out all evildoers both outside the country and within it.

An increasingly authoritarian tone is pervading the Bush administration. We have seen it in the so-called USA Patriot legislation hastily pushed through Congress. We have seen it in the presidential order authorizing military tribunals without traditional due process protections and without a right of appeal to anyone but the president himself. We have seen it in new federal policies that permit eavesdropping of confidential communications between attorneys and their clients. And we have seen it in new regulations that allow the attorney general to imprison noncitizens indefinitely, even if an immigration judge has ruled that there is no evidence to justify holding them against their will.

Little by little, the basic elements of procedural fairness that keep democratic governments from acting arbitrarily are being chipped away. No apology is offered for these actions. Those who seize power always feel perfectly entitled to it. Instead, they blame their critics for failing to recognize the seriousness of the situation or for being soft on terrorism, as in the past other critics were blamed for being soft on communism.

The authoritarian impulse is justified, as it always is, through paranoia. The more fearful Americans are, the more they are willing to give their officials a free hand. It is no accident that the same attorney general who has withheld information about who is being detained and why has also repeatedly warned in ominous tones that more terrorist attacks are just around the corner. Secrecy lends credibility to paranoia, which in turn justifies increased secrecy and increased power.

Officials who want greater authority always prefer to work in secret so that they cannot easily be called to account. And when complaints are raised, lack of available information makes it all the more difficult to prove that violations have occurred.

Thus, it is entirely predictable that the current administration has made a fetish of secrecy, for secrecy increases power, not only overseas but in our own country.

Authoritarianism never attacks the institutions of freedom at their strongest point; it always attacks them at their weakest. Even before Sept. 11, the country's immigration laws were often arbitrary and highhanded. Therefore it is no surprise that the administration's latest grabs for executive authority have targeted noncitizens, who have no right to representation and no natural constituency to defend them. The present conflict may not be a war on Islam. But it is increasingly turning out to be a war on noncitizens.

The members of this administration do not want to be dictators. They simply do not want anyone getting in their way. They do not want to be autocrats. They simply do not want to be second-guessed when they know that they are right. They do not want to be antidemocratic. They simply want to be able to act unilaterally in the interests of righteousness. If we would merely allow them to go about their business in secret, and with as much authority as they feel they need, they will take care of things for us.

In times like these, it is a tempting offer, but we should refuse it. For what profit has a country if it shall control the whole world and lose its democratic soul?


By JACK M. BALKIN, a professor of constitutional law and the 1st Amendment at Yale Law School


 
 hjw
 
posted on December 1, 2001 06:16:57 PM new

"The members of this administration do not want to be dictators. They simply do not want anyone getting in their way. They do not want to be autocrats. They simply do not want to be second-guessed when they know that they are right. They do not want to be antidemocratic. They simply want to be able to act unilaterally in the interests of righteousness. If we would merely allow them to go about their business in secret, and with as much authority as they feel they need, they will take care of things for us."

I have a problem accepting this. LoL!


Helen

 
 krs
 
posted on December 1, 2001 09:07:22 PM new
Thomas Jefferson wrote in comments about the conduct during war of some guy named Adams (coincidentally elected over Jefferson because of the behind the scenes purchase of sufficient votes by his father--a previous president) that:

"Our rulers will become corrupt, our people careless... the time for fixing every essential right on a legal basis is [now] while our rulers are honest, and ourselves united. From the conclusion of this war, we shall be going downhill. It will not then be necessary to resort every moment to the people for support. They will be forgotten, therefore, and their rights disregarded. They will forget themselves, but in the sole faculty of making money, and will never think of uniting to effect a due respect for their rights. The shackles, therefore, which shall not be knocked off at the conclusion of this war, will remain on us long, will be made heavier and heavier, till our rights shall revive or expire in a convulsion."


 
 krs
 
posted on December 1, 2001 09:53:52 PM new
Thomas Jefferson wrote in comments about the conduct during war of some guy named Adams (coincidentally elected over Jefferson because of the behind the scenes purchase of sufficient votes by his father--a previous president) that:

"Our rulers will become corrupt, our people careless... the time for fixing every essential right on a legal basis is [now] while our rulers are honest, and ourselves united. From the conclusion of this war, we shall be going downhill. It will not then be necessary to resort every moment to the people for support. They will be forgotten, therefore, and their rights disregarded. They will forget themselves, but in the sole faculty of making money, and will never think of uniting to effect a due respect for their rights. The shackles, therefore, which shall not be knocked off at the conclusion of this war, will remain on us long, will be made heavier and heavier, till our rights shall revive or expire in a convulsion."


 
 hjw
 
posted on December 2, 2001 05:40:50 AM new

This law professor appears to be bending over backwards to give some credence to the motivation of the Ashcroft regime but I can't buy it.

It's not a "tempting offer" as he suggests but rather a frightening offer. As the quote by Jefferson indicates, the time to stop Ashcroft is now.

The quote from Jefferson is great! It makes poor Jack M. Balkin, a professor of constitutional law and the 1st Amendment at Yale Law School , appear foolish. To even consider the thought of giving Ashcroft and Bush as much authority as they feel they need so that they will "take care of things for us" is crazy. Maybe he is just being facetious.



Helen



ed
[ edited by hjw on Dec 2, 2001 06:25 AM ]
 
 krs
 
posted on December 2, 2001 08:09:16 AM new
Helen,
<br />

<br />
It's pretty clear from his closing "In times like these, it is a tempting offer, but we should refuse it. For what profit has a country if it shall control the whole world and lose its democratic soul?"
that your take on Balkin's treatise is not what he intends it to be.

[ edited by krs on Dec 2, 2001 08:10 AM ]
 
 krs
 
posted on December 2, 2001 08:11:23 AM new
Who is inserting all of these breaks?

 
 enchanted
 
posted on December 2, 2001 08:16:52 AM new
I believe it is done by the Thread Police in black helicopters.

Seriously, it's a glitch that happens when you edit.

My personal theory is that it's intentional to discourage us from editing.


 
 hjw
 
posted on December 2, 2001 11:02:28 AM new

Krs

Yes, I was wrong about that opinion. The last sentence clarifies his point.

Helen

 
 
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