Tag Archives: USA

I Plead the Fifth, Don’t Detain Me Bro

National Defense Authorization Act. Just taste those words for a moment.

Now that you’ve experienced what a pile of shit tastes like, let’s get down to business. For those of you who do not know what this act is, here is a small breakdown for you.

In 2001, immediately following the 9/11 attacks, an amendment to the (now) 48 year old NDAA was made. This amendment was called “Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Terrorists”, or AUMF for short. What this amendment did to the NDAA was that it granted the President of the United States the authorization to use any force necessary against those who either planned, or was involved in the September 11 attacks. Under this act any terrorist suspect is allowed to be held indefinitely without a trial, this is why there are people in Guantanamo Bay that have never had a trial. Included in this bill was also the authorization to wirelessly wiretap any suspect at any time, whether inside or outside of the United States. Related to this, the USA PATRIOT Act (aka The Patriot Act) was also passed shortly after the attacks. This act granted law enforcement agencies the right to search any phone calls, any email, any communication whatsoever foreign and domestic, regulating financial transactions foreign and domestic, and it also expanded the definition of the word ‘terrorism’ to include domestic terrorism. Now, fast forward to December 15th 2011 where the US Senate approved an add-on bill to the NDAA that not only maintains the authority to hold a terror suspect indefinitely without a trial, but now also includes the little change that that said suspect can be an American citizen.

These are the exact words from the fifth amendment of the U.S. Constitution:

No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offence to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.

How anyone can say that the 2011 provision of the NDAA is not unconstitutional is beyond me. It’s right there: No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury. 

The United States has also promised to keep up the treaties established by the Geneva Conventions, of which the third and forth branches talkes about “Grave Breaches” against the treaties. These Grave Breaches include: willfully depriving someone of their right to a fair trial if accused of a war crime, unlawful transfer, confinement and deportation. So not only is the United States breaking the laws of its own constitution, but it is also going against the treaties established by 149 countries during the Geneva Conventions with the passing of this bill.

I really shouldn’t have to say anything else beyond what I have said about this whole thing, but knowing how some people are going to defend this unbelievable infringement of freedom to the day they die, I think I need to say some more things. The main argument people have when defending this bill is the exact same argument that people had about the Patriot Act: “If you’re not doing anything wrong then you have nothing to worry about”. Well, who is to say what is wrong and what is right? I think most people have a pretty basic understanding of what’s right and what’s wrong: Working is right, stealing for a living is wrong. Helping people is right, hurting people is wrong, etc. But what about the more murky subjects, such as protesting? Of course I’m talking about Occupy Wall Street as it is the biggest protesting movement out there. A lot of people seem to think that the OWS movement should not have the right to be out protesting and will do anything to stop it. However, probably an equal amount of people think that what they are doing is excellent and that they should keep the protesting up. In this case, who is to decide what is right or what is wrong? The answer is of course that the people with the power are the ones who decide, and I think most people know what they have decided. With that said, what is to say that an American protester is not all of a sudden considered a terrorist?

There are some horror stories coming from people being detained at OWS camps all over the country, police brutally beating them, hurting them, and then detaining them for the maximum allotted time a person can be detained for with just misdemeanor charges, without any chance of getting out regardless of bail having been posted or not. These stories are so unbelievable that it’s hard to believe that they are not coming from North Korea. Simply reading these stories makes me think that these peaceful OWS protesters are already considered as being terrorists and enemies of the state. What if that actually is the case? What if the government all of a sudden tells the protesters that they will be considered as being terrorists if they show up to protest? Will you still support this act that is already passed by the senate and signed by the president?

All of a sudden the term “I plead the fifth” has a whole other meaning.


The Fascist State of America

Put your tiny foil hats on for a bit, I just need to get something out. Recent events have truly made me think that this country is actually going towards a totalitarian fascist state. I know it’s a cliche by now, but sometimes it really feels as if I’m living in a Orwell novel. Let’s start with the most obvious thing that happened recently, the crackdowns on the Occupy Wall Street camps around the country.

The crackdowns have taken place all over the country, and they have all had a very similar pattern. They all happened at night, with no previous warning or demand for protesters to leave, and they all happened by force. On top of that there have been reports that the Department of Homeland Security have participated in a meeting with 18 mayors from all around the country to discuss how to suppress the protesters. Unless it’s not clear, that is against federal law. Going a little deeper and looking at specific events it’s pretty clear that police did everything in their power to suppress the protesters, most likely not by their own will or thought, but by orders from their superiors. Pepper spraying non-violent defenseless people that, sure, were occupying a space, but did not show any signs of force whatsoever. In fact one of the biggest mantras of these protesters is peace, not force. Or the use of tear gas to clear people out, some that hit people and severely injure them. I know that some of you will shake your head and say that these people had it coming, and that they are just lazy bums that wants a hand out, and all I have to say to you at this point is open your eyes. It’s very clear what the OWS movement is after by now, it’s not about getting a handout or the inability to get a job, it’s about three very specific things. 1) To hold the banks responsible for their very large part in the economic crash. 2) To minimize the growing inequality gap that exists in the U.S. (i.e. save the middle class from vanishing). 3) Get the money out of politics. This mainly refers to the fact that corporations can now donate as much money as they like to any candidate they want, and in effect buy a candidate. Money apparently rules everything, so with enough money, big corporations can buy themselves any type of freedom they like to have. Which gets me to another point. How is it that it’s ok for people to camp out in public waiting for stores to open for black Friday, or to go and see the new Twilight movie, or a Justin Bieber concert, but not ok for people to camp out in protest of the wrongs that is going on in this country? Well, the answer is very simple to me, even if the answer is truly fucked up: Capitalism. The occupiers aren’t camping out to buy anything like the other groups of people are. It’s clear what this country is going towards, and it’s not the rights of the people, but the rights of the corporations, so of course every effort to suppress a movement that is against that will be taken.

But enough about the OWS situation, there is enough information about that for anyone to find, and if you don’t want to find it then keep your eyes closed and forever be a sheep. There is something else that I really want to talk about and that is something that happened this past weekend. It’s not really a big deal, that is, unless it wouldn’t have become such a big deal. A girl tweeted (to her staggering 65 Twitter followers) that she said mean things to the governor of Kansas in person. See, not a big deal right? It’s what happened next that is the big deal. Somehow someone in the governor’s office sensed some fowl words being said about her boss, and decided to bring it to the girl’s boss’ (i.e. her high school principal’s) attention. The principal called the girl into his office and demanded that she wrote the governor an apology letter and told her that she had put the whole school and the state to shame by tweeting what she did. Really? First of all, she is an 18 year old girl tweeting to 65 of her twitter friends… no one cares. Second of all, she has the right to say whatever the fuck she wants about whoever the fuck she wants. What’s funny to me is that the person in the governor’s office that contacted the principal has as her main job to monitor negative comments that are being said about the governor on social media sites. It’s like some type of gestapo lap dog sniffing out teenagers who disagrees with the governor’s policies. Well Ms. Lapdog, sniff out this: GOVERNOR SAM BROWNBACK IS A FUCKING ASSHOLE AND SHOULD NOT BE IN OFFICE. Are you gonna call my mommy on me? Stupid bitch… Sorry, back to the point. The fact that a governor has someone that not only monitors social media in order to find negative comments about him, but also goes to such an extent as to pretty much intimidate anyone that expresses their views to retract and apologize is just first hand fascism. I guess Kansas is the new Sicily…

Ok, pull down your foil hats even further now because here comes the big one. Within a minimum of 20 years there will be devices out there that can read our minds. This is not a joke, nor is it a crazy conspiracy theory, it’s fact. If you don’t believe me just click on this link: THIS ONE, RIGHT HERE!!! Sure, it does not say anything about any projection of true mind reading being finalized within any specific time frame, but just think about it. If today’s technology is so good that it can recreate images a person is looking at using only readings of that said person’s brain activity, it’s 99.999999% certain that within 20 years the technique will be perfected. Why do I bring this up? Well, in 20 years you won’t have anyone scanning the social media web for ‘disloyal’ teens, you will be scanning buildings for disloyal thoughts. And anyone with those thoughts better watch out, or your boss will call you into his office…

If you take away some very fundamental rights, rights that America and most of the developed countries, are based upon such as the right to protest, the right to free speech, and in the future, the right to free thought… then what is left is a fascist state almost identical to the one George Orwell predicted would come true in 1984, just a couple of decades late. I could go on and on about other things that show big signs toward this type of state becoming a reality, but I’ve already ranted on for over 1100 words, and frankly I’m tired.

Bin Laden is Dead, Now What?

Numerous conspiracy theories, a deep recession, and ten years later, Osama Bin Laden has been found and killed. So, let’s take a look at what this really means. First of all, it’s a great boost of confidence to the people of the U.S. It’s something that people have been waiting for ever since the twin towers fell that September 11th morning. Second, this will bring some type of justice to the families of the people who got killed in the attacks, and it will also bring a sense of justice to the American people. Furthermore, this will bring a sense that the two (or three if you count Libya) wars this country is engaged in have some type of legitimacy to them. Up until this point many people have had no real idea why the U.S. has been engaged in Afghanistan and Iraq, and while many questions still remain about America’s engagement in Iraq, the fact that something concrete has actually been done brings a sense of victory to the mess that has been these two wars. When the troops start retracting back home later this year, they will do so with a sense of victory, not a sense of abandonment.

With all that said, I can’t help but wonder about two major things. Number one, what will the retaliation be? These Talibans haven’t been happy with the U.S. so far, this will only anger them even further. With all the extra security measures that is in place I doubt that there will be another terrorist attack anytime soon, however I think that there will be a lot of angry Talibans tomorrow and they will find a way to express that anger. Number two, now that one of the biggest elements of the American people’s anger is gone… will more attention be paid towards (maybe) more significant things? Will focus be turned away from the feeling of being nonsecure and the fear of the boogyman that has been terrorism and instead turned toward things that may be more immediately threatening to society? There will always be people that wants a lot of defense and focus on military, but maybe a few people will turn nationally and see what is wrong inside the country, and shine a light on the domestic terrorists that is the people that brought this country into a recession.

I’m hoping that this focus on fear and not feeling secure because of what a few crazy arabs did will go away. Fear only leads to stupidity and the making of big mistakes (Iraq is an example of this). A sense of urgency over a situation is different, but being scared can only lead to bad things and bad decisions. I’m really hoping that the news of Osama Bin Laden’s death will rid the American people of this fear that has been dominating people’s everyday life for the past ten years. This is a good thing, and I don’t say that about news of people that just died often.