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Posts Tagged ‘Rule of Law

Congress defaults, Obama struts, innocents will die

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  Watching the British House of Commons and Prime Minister debate the situation in Syria and decide their course in full public view puts our own withdrawal from any form of democracy in stark contrast.

Congress continues to default on their sworn duty, lazes on vacation and relies on former actions taken to avoid responsibility. Members refuse to take their role in Constitutional government seriously, while the Executive has assumed dictatorial powers.

Any attack on Syria (vile as it may be) without Congressional action  is an act of War, and clearly illegal. The fact that former presidents have made similar moves changes nothing. There is no clear objective in Syria at this time beyond Obama’s face saving, which only makes the situation more craven and self-serving.

NO TO WAR IN SYRIA

Written by laudyms

August 30, 2013 at 6:00 am

Unlawful detention suit dismissed in name of national security

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Unlawful detention suit dismissed in name of national security  

…The American Civil Liberties Union issued a statement criticizing the ruling:

“Today is a sad day for the rule of law and for those who believe that the courts should protect American citizens from torture by their own government,” said ACLU National Security Project Litigation Director Ben Wizner, who argued the appeal in court. “By dismissing this lawsuit, the appeals court handed the government a blank check to commit any abuse in the name of national security, even the brutal torture of a U.S. citizen on U.S. soil. This impunity is not only anathema to a democracy governed by laws, but contrary to history’s lesson that in times of fear our values are a strength, not a hindrance.”……………

Written by laudyms

January 31, 2012 at 8:41 am

Turley: 10 Reasons The U.S. Is No Longer The Land Of The Free

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Ron Paul is the only Presidential candidate in recent memory to speak up for freedom and the Constitution. Below Turley lists the incredible and increasing powers of the Executive to ignore the Bill of Rights, due process and the rule of law. These Stasi-like and draconian powers will not go unused.

Meanwhile we have two political parties united in their support of Corporate domination and citizen submission. Clearly only those who bow to these powers are (usually) allowed to run.

Jonathan Turley   January 15, 2012

Below is today’s column in the Sunday Washington Post.  The column addresses how the continued rollbacks on civil liberties in the United States conflicts with the view of the country as the land of the free.  If we are going to adopt Chinese legal principles, we should at least have the integrity to adopt one Chinese proverb: “The beginning of wisdom is to call things by their right names.”  We seem as a country to be in denial as to the implications of these laws and policies.  Whether we are viewed as a free country with authoritarian inclinations or an authoritarian nation with free aspirations (or some other hybrid definition), we are clearly not what we once were.

Every year, the State Department issues reports on individual rights in other countries, monitoring the passage of restrictive laws and regulations around the world. Iran, for example, has been criticized for denying fair public trials and limiting privacy, while Russia has been taken to task for undermining due process. Other countries have been condemned for the use of secret evidence and torture.

Even as we pass judgment on countries we consider unfree, Americans remain confident that any definition of a free nation must include their own — the land of free. Yet, the laws and practices of the land should shake that confidence. In the decade since Sept. 11, 2001, this country has comprehensively reduced civil liberties in the name of an expanded security state. The most recent example of this was the National Defense Authorization Act, signed Dec. 31, which allows for the indefinite detention of citizens. At what point does the reduction of individual rights in our country change how we define ourselves?

While each new national security power Washington has embraced was controversial when enacted, they are often discussed in isolation. But they don’t operate in isolation. They form a mosaic of powers under which our country could be considered, at least in part, authoritarian. Americans often proclaim our nation as a symbol of freedom to the world while dismissing nations such as Cuba and China as categorically unfree. Yet, objectively, we may be only half right. Those countries do lack basic individual rights such as due process, placing them outside any reasonable definition of “free,” but the United States now has much more in common with such regimes than anyone may like to admit.

These countries also have constitutions that purport to guarantee freedoms and rights. But their governments have broad discretion in denying those rights and few real avenues for challenges by citizens — precisely the problem with the new laws in this country.

The list of powers acquired by the U.S. government since 9/11 puts us in rather troubling company……..read entire article

Written by laudyms

January 16, 2012 at 7:57 am

INSIDE JOB- criminals are still running American finance

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“Inside Job” won the 2011 Academy Award for best documentary on Sunday night. The film’s director used his acceptance speech to deliver pointed criticism of Wall Street and the financial industry.

“Inside Job” director Charles Ferguson subjected Wall Street players, economists and bureaucrats to a fierce cross-examination to depict the economic crisis as a colossal crime perpetrated on the working-class masses by a greedy few. His film examined the financial crisis of 2008. His speech lamented the lack of accountability three years later. “Forgive me, I must start by pointing out that three years after our horrific financial crisis caused by financial fraud, not a single financial executive has gone to jail, and that’s wrong,” Ferguson said.

Charles Ferguson’s Oscar Speech Rips Wall Street: ‘Inside Job’ Director Levels Criticism During Acceptance

Where Are The Wall Street Indictments?

Charles Ferguson: The Financial Crisis and America’s Political Duopoly

The United States is now in the grip of a political duopoly in which both parties are thoroughly complicit. The current arrangement all but guarantees the continuing decline of the United States as a nation.

 

“Why aren’t more meltdown moguls indicted?” asks USA Today edit board: “If anyone acted and looked the part of a villain, it was the co-founder of Countrywide … The former managing director of credit rating agency Moody’s Corp. found a novel way to quadruple his company’s market share in rating mortgage-backed securities — he transferred, or fired, most of the analysts in the group … The former head of AIG’s financial products used the sterling credit of his parent company to quickly become the world’s largest insurer of the complex mortgage products Wall Street was churning out”

“You Have More Money In Your Wallet Than Bank Of America Pays In Federal Taxes” reports ThinkProgress: “…as politicians are asking ordinary Americans to sacrifice their education, their health, their labor rights, and their wellbeing to tackle budget deficits, some of the world’s richest multinational corporations are getting away with shirking their responsibility and paying nothing.”

LAT has the latest on the cost of the bailouts: “In mid-2009, [TARP] was projected to lose as much as $341 billion. That’s been reduced to $25 billion … Still, many people are worried about the long-term effects of the government actions [by setting] a dangerous precedent, opening the door to future crises … critics also said that hundreds of billions of dollars in bailout money … will not come back, mainly because of … Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, which combined have consumed $150 billion … most recent estimates of losses for all the various bailout efforts range from $238 billion to $380 billion. But Treasury officials think those estimates might be too high. They said the total cost of all the financial interventions is likely to be less than $140 billion … less expensive than the federal losses from the savings and loan crisis in the late 1980s and early 1990s…”

Silent Majority Faces Sad End

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I keep seeing articles written as if Obama might waken from his actual self and become the dream-self many thought he was. Why is it so difficult for many to face the current reality?

There was never any intention or even feint move to fulfill his supposed campaign promises. If we can’t get beyond that, we can never effectively stand up to the onslaught against the people by the banks and the mega-corps. The polls tell us the people’s views are being ignored with impunity. Because they can! The Lone Ranger isn’t coming this time.

This article is interesting for its statistics about people’s stand on issues. If only it mattered!

RICHARD ESKOW
The New Silent Majority
“Today there’s a New Silent Majority, and it looks very different from Nixon’s. The polling results are undeniable: This Majority is looking for somebody to fight the big banks, protect Social Security, and tax the rich to fund government’s vital role in society … If the President can let go of his attachment to his postpartisan self-image and embrace the policies most Americans want and need, they can be his North Star.”

exerpt:

The American majority must be suffering from whiplash. It’s not just the sudden reversal on the deficit. Now the story of the day is taxes – which was a top priority for only one voter in fifty.

What else does the “new silent majority” stand for, besides jobs, protecting Social Security, and taxes for the rich?

  • 72% want the government to crack down on Wall Street more than it has.
  • 81% want the government to do more to reduce poverty.
  • Eight out of ten oppose cutting Medicare.

Despite the widespread support for these views by members of both parties (bipartisanship at last!), the political and media landscapes are dominated by journalists and politicians who keep telling us these positions are “extremist” and politically unrealistic.

–read entire article here

End of Civil Rights: McCain & Lieberman’s “Enemy Belligerents” Bill

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Dissenters To Be Detained As “Enemy Belligerents”?

New bill allows U.S. citizens to be kidnapped and detained without trial indefinitely based on “suspected activity”

Paul Joseph Watson
Prison Planet.com
Monday, March 8, 2010

Since the establishment media is convinced that tea party members, 9/11 truthers, libertarians, Ron Paul supporters, and basically anyone with a dissenting political opinion is a likely domestic terrorist, they should be celebrating the fact that a new bill would allow the government to detain such people as “enemy belligerents” indefinitely and without trial based on their “suspected activity”.

The “Enemy Belligerent, Interrogation, Detention, and Prosecution Act of 2010,” introduced by Senators John McCain and Joseph Lieberman on Thursday with little fanfare, “sets out a comprehensive policy for the detention, interrogation and trial of suspected enemy belligerents who are believed to have engaged in hostilities against the United States by requiring these individuals to be held in military custody, interrogated for their intelligence value and not provided with a Miranda warning,” writes the Atlantic’s Marc Ambinder.

The full bill can be read here (PDF).

Read the rest of this entry »

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