Jefferson Schools Palin

Posted by Jason | Posted in Foreign Policy, History | Posted on 08-11-2010

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Beck: O’Reilly, you will not out neocon me.

Posted by Jason | Posted in Miscellaneous, Video | Posted on 15-05-2010

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While catching up on my Google Reader subscriptions, I came across this debate between Glenn Beck, who claims to be a libertarian and Bill O’Reilly, who claims to fight for the little guy, but I think just wants the little guy held at bay by a large police state.

To start O’Reilly says not reading Miranda rights to someone suspected of terrorism should be the law of the land, and it’s for public safety. So, what would be the difference with someone suspected of murder? What if you bust the guy in the act of murder? Do you ignore his Miranda rights for public safety? How do you know he’s not a terrorist? You may find out later he’s a Muslim. Doesn’t that automatically mean he’s a terrorist because he’s a Muslim and committed a murder? Ok, I’m rambling here, but I think you see what I’m getting at. You cannot immediately classify someone as a terrorist, and say they shouldn’t have their Miranda rights. I might have missed it, but I’m pretty sure this guy in New York did not have his “I’m a terrorist” name tag on.

When the debate begins, Beck sounds like he’s heading down the right path, but he quickly veers off into “Citizens, Bill, Citizens”.  So how do you know someone is a citizen at the moment of arrest? Shouldn’t everyone be read their Miranda rights if they are going to be tried? Now, I know this guy was arrested after they knew he was a citizen, but what if he was arrested in the act? How would the police know he’s a citizen? Beck then gives the correct point of, “When does a citizen become guilty. I thought we had to prove that.” Ah, he gets it! We can’t just take the government’s word that someone is guilty and say “to the gallows with this one”. The government must prove someone is guilty beyond a reasonable doubt, or you might as well not have a constitution protecting your liberty, because you have none.

After O’Reilly starts challenging Beck though, it quickly seems like Beck is looking for an out. He’s not going to be out neocon’d by this clown O’Reilly.  How does he hedge it? He says “We’re treating this like a police action”, so until Obama starts treating it like a war, which apparently he has no problem with, he thinks we must read Miranda rights and uphold the Constitution. I guess if Obama changes it back to The War on Terror, Glenn is game for taking liberties and trashing the Constitution. Even when O’Reilly brings up Lincoln’s suspension of habeas corpus, Beck says until Obama declares war, don’t talk to me. What? O’Reilly is fine with suspending habeas corpus now, and Beck is OK with it when Obama declares war? Lincoln also declared total war on his fellow citizens. He burnt entire towns to the ground, and did things that horrified the rest of the world. Is this supposed to be our example of how to treat citizens when it comes to terrorism? Of course Beck, who seems completely inconsistent, falls by the way side.

Finally, Beck goes on to describe what these powers could be used for ultimately, which is against the American people when they finally tell the government “Your time is up.” O’Reilly quickly poo-poos him, and instead of Beck arguing his point, he just starts laughing and giving O’Reilly verbal nuggies. What could have been a great debate was thus lost by neocon status envy. Maybe O’Reilly will have on someone who really cares about the Constitution one day, like the Judge. I doubt it though. That would be the shortest segment in O’Reilly history.

Hot Air » It’s on: Beck vs. O’Reilly over Miranda rights.

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Is It Even Possible To Win Hearts and Minds Militarily?

Posted by Jason | Posted in Foreign Policy | Posted on 13-04-2010

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Is it even possible to make more friends than enemies in Afghanistan?

With each civilian death, an entire family, a group of friends, neighbors, and other sympathetic Afghans probably turn anti-American and anti-occupation.

The New York Times had an article yesterday about our troops opening fire on a bus of civilians. How many minds did this turn away?  Can you even win the hearts and minds of a population with military action, when the main function of a military is force and violence(Don’t mean this condemningly. This is what militaries are for.)?

KABUL, Afghanistan — American troops raked a large passenger bus with gunfire near Kandahar on Monday morning, killing as many as five civilians and wounding 18, and sparking anger in a city where winning over Afghan support is considered pivotal to the war effort.

The American-led military command in Kabul called the killings a “tragic loss of life” and said troops fired not knowing the vehicle was a bus and believing that it posed a threat to a military convoy clearing roadside bombs from a highway.

The deaths triggered a vitriolic anti-American demonstration, infuriated officials and appeared likely to harm public opinion on the eve of the most important offensive of the war, in which tens of thousands of American and NATO troops will try to take control of the Kandahar region, the spiritual home of the Taliban, this summer.

Hundreds of demonstrators poured into the area around a station where the damaged bus was taken on the western outskirts of Kandahar. They blocked the road with burning tires for an hour and shouted, “Death to America” and “Death to infidels” while also condemning the Afghan president, Hamid Karzai, according to people in the area.

This does not sounds like future friends of ours.

The Kandahar governor, Tooryalai Wesa, called for the commander of the military convoy who opened fire to be prosecuted under military law.

“If you want to stop the bus, it should be shot in the tires,” Mr. Wesa said. “Why shoot the people inside?”

This is a very good point. By no way would I criticize our troops actions, for I cannot image the pressure and daily fear they must deal with. Unfortunately, the Afghans are not going to be sympathetic to our troops when they fear our troops and have to worry about being killed for doing nothing wrong.

Two people who had been on the bus said that an American convoy 60 to 70 yards ahead opened fire as the bus began to pull to the side of the road to allow another military convoy to pass from behind.

“An American convoy was ahead of us and another convoy was following us, and we were going to pull off of the road, and suddenly the Americans opened fire,” said one, Nida Muhammad, a passenger who suffered a shoulder wound.

“We were not close to them, maybe 60 yards away from their convoy,” Mr. Muhammad said. A helicopter came for some wounded, he said.

“This bus wasn’t like an a suicide bomber, and we did not touch or come close to the convoy,” he said. “It seems they are opening fire on civilians intentionally.”

Again, I wouldn’t blame our troops, but it is not good if Afghans think we are “opening fire on civilians intentionally.” All blame should be directed towards our leaders at this point. To this day, there still seems to be no end in site. Our interests are not being served by a long and increasing unpopular occupation.

Civilians Killed as U.S. Troops Fire on Afghan Bus – NYTimes.com.

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Sotomayor the voice of reason?

Posted by Jason | Posted in Foreign Policy, Government | Posted on 24-02-2010

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While many of my conservative friends won’t agree with me, I must say I was surprised to see Justice Sotomayor being the voice of reason on the court when it comes to the government going after terrorist abettors.

The Supreme Court wrestled to find the line between First Amendment rights and the fight against terrorism Tuesday during oral arguments over a law barring people from providing “material support” to foreign terrorist organizations.

Prosecutors favor the material-support charge because it is broad enough to cover a range of activities linked to terrorist organizations, from collecting funds to shouldering a rifle. But by making it a crime to provide “training,” “personnel” and “expert advice” to such groups—even for, say, peaceful ends such as disaster relief—the law sweeps too far into the rights of U.S. citizens to speak and associate freely, critics say.

Highlights are mine. Prosecutors love broad laws, because all they care about is convicting someone. The truth is not their concern. Most of them are looking for higher office, and the more convictions they get, the tougher they can claim to be on crime. Let’s not pretend the ultimate goal is to get to the truth.

The lawsuit was filed in 1998 by people who wanted to offer what they view as benign support to the Kurdistan Workers Party in the Middle East and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam in Sri Lanka, which the U.S. designated as foreign terrorist organizations in 1997.

Though neither group has targeted Americans, justices were aware of the case’s implications.

“Suppose the group is not the two that we have here, but al Qaeda and the Taliban?” Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg asked David Cole, a Georgetown University law professor challenging the law.

Ah Oh! The boogieman. Maybe the geniuses in congress could pass a law with the names al Qaeda and the Taliban in them, so you could fix this problem. Besides, in my naive view of the Supreme Court, I thought their job was to determine constitutionality of laws. Where was al Qaeda, Taliban or terrorist for that matter written in the constitution? You could use this argument from Justice Ginsburg in regards to any activity. Next time the second amendment comes up, what if Ginsburg says “Suppose we don’t have these two people here, but al Qaeda and the Taliban? Do we want them to have guns?”

“It would pose a very different constitutional question,” Mr. Cole said, as lending support to groups taking up arms against the U.S. could be considered akin to treason or aiding the enemy.

Hey, here’s a thought. The constitution actually addresses treason, and if we are at war with the Taliban and al Qaeda, helping them would fall under treason.

Mr. Cole’s clients filed suit seeking a court ruling that their intended activities, such as helping the Tigers get aid following the 2004 tsunami in Asia, were not covered by the law. “It is advocating only lawful, peaceable activities,” Mr. Cole said.

Justice Anthony Kennedy suggested that it could be difficult to draw such a bright line. “If you get tsunami money, that frees up your other assets for terrorist money, so why can’t the government forbid teaching how to get that money?” he said.

Solicitor General Elena Kagan, representing the government, said that was the law’s point.

“Hezbollah builds bombs. Hezbollah also builds homes,” she said, referring to the Lebanon-based Shiite Muslim faction that is also designated a foreign-terrorist organization. “What Congress decided was when you help Hezbollah build homes, you are also helping Hezbollah build bombs.”

This has to be the worst argument ever. Why should we be able to donate to the Red Cross then? If the Red Cross goes in to help Palestinians, then Hezbollah would not have to pay for the help that the Red Cross provided. Since they don’t have to pay, Hezbollah now has money freed up for building bombs.

Several justices seemed troubled by the claim that virtually any interaction with such groups could be prohibited. The government has said that even filing legal briefs on behalf of a designated organization would violate the law.

“Under the definition of this statute, teaching these members to play the harmonica would be unlawful,” Justice Sonia Sotomayor said.

As my title says, it’s amazing to me that the woman I didn’t want to make it to the bench is the voice of reason in this case.  While neocons think she’s an idiot for this (read comments on the Wall Street Journal) because they love big government when it comes to foreign policy and fighting boogiemen, I don’t trust the government with foreign policy and the taking of my rights in pursuit of their wrong headed foreign policy. Neocons don’t trust the government with domestic policies, but they give the government a blank check with their freedoms when it comes to any “war on….” insert latest war title here.

As I said above, there is a means to try treason written in the constitution. We do not need laws that take away our liberties at the whim of government prosecutors and bureaucrats. With laws like this, the government can imprison any group of people that challenge them. What if the government thought the teaparties were getting a little to powerful for them? They could easily label Joe Stack’s attack on the IRS as a terrorist act. Then in pursuit of terrorism look into and prosecute anyone who is speaking out too boldly against government taxation. They could label militia groups terrorists, and then go after anyone who sold militia guns or was ever involved in militia.

Do not trust the government with you liberties. They do not care about protecting you. All they care about is the perception of protection in order to get you to hand over your liberties.

The Supreme Court should rule in favor of the Humanitarian Law Project, and the burden should be heavily placed on the government to prove their was treason and harm to our country.

A decision in the case, Holder v. Humanitarian Law Project, is expected by July.

via Justices Wrestle With Terror Law – WSJ.com.

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Weekly Radio Addresses Highlight How Republicans Will Blow Chances In 2012

Posted by Jason | Posted in Miscellaneous | Posted on 14-02-2010

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So everyone thinks Obama has already blown his re-election. Republicans have been stacking up wins so far, and it’s expected for them to have a great year this year. What is the main issue voters are worried about? I think it’s safe to say the deficit and the economy, so although neither party cares or will do anything about either, who actually says something about it?

President Barack Obama praised lawmakers for restoring a measure that aims to bring federal spending under control in his weekly radio address Saturday, but expressed concern that politics may still get in the way of reducing the massive deficit.

Mr. Obama also vowed in his weekly speech to press ahead with an executive order to create a new bipartisan fiscal commission charged with recommending ways to reduce the deficit–a measure that has faced opposition from some Republicans.

“After a decade of profligacy, the American people are tired of politicians who talk the talk but don’t walk the walk when it comes to fiscal responsibility,” Mr. Obama said.

“It’s easy to get up in front of the cameras and rant against exploding deficits. What’s hard is actually getting deficits under control. But that’s what we must do.”

via Obama Touts Return of ‘Paygo’ – WSJ.com.

Lol, I know. Obama seriously must be the most arrogant human alive. To believe  you can spend deficits, which I think would have been unimaginable just two years ago,  and then expect people to believe you actually care or will do something about deficits, has to be the height of arrogance.

Well, at least we can count on the Republicans right? They’ll really go after the deficits.

Meanwhile Saturday, U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham (R, S.C.) in the GOP’s weekly address on criticized the Obama administration’s push to prosecute the accused mastermind of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and other co-defendants in a Manhattan civilian court.

Eh boy. Really guys? Everyone is worried about the economy and either the job they have or don’t have, and you are trying to ride this pony to victory again? Sorry, it is not going to work. This boogieman isn’t as scary as it once was, and it will not get you back into power. What do you think scares Americans more? The fact that our entire country is going to collapse under debt, or that the next underpants bomber might sneak through the strip show at the airport?

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“What Would It Take For Americans to Realize They Are Not Free?”

Posted by Jason | Posted in Government | Posted on 29-01-2010

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Just the other day I was having a discussion with my dad, where I said I don’t trust either party. I  said both parties want to take our liberties and control us. They are both bought and paid for by some special interest group. To this, my dad said I was becoming too cynical. In typical Neo-con fashion, he told me how evil the Democrats are and how Republicans are so much better.

A couple days later, I come across Bob Murphy’s post highlighting how George W. Bush and Barack Obama, a Republican and a “anti-war” Democrat, can care less about our Constitution. Despite the Bill of Rights, they believe all they have to do is label someone a terrorist, and they have the right to imprison the person without cause or trial. Now to take it one step further, they have the right to kill that person (could be you one day) based on their judgement alone. All they have to do is label you a terrorist or say you are helping terrorists and put you on their “hit list”. Considering how horrible they are at the no fly list, I hate to see how this list pans out.

Here’s Bob’s post.

What Would It Take For Americans to Realize They Are Not Free?

I was having lunch with someone today (name being withheld in case he doesn’t want this broadcast) and we were musing over the contradiction in the average American’s mind. On the one hand, if you asked Americans to rate professions in terms of their morality or decency, politicians would come in at or near dead last, and if they beat out lawyers, that wouldn’t be much help–most politicians are lawyers.

But at the same time, when it comes to the life-and-death decisions that U.S. politicians make, most Americans give them the benefit of the doubt–often ridiculously so. Sure, they might have made a mistake in, say, invading Iraq, but it really was always about protecting Americans and freeing Iraqis from a brutal thug. The CIA guys just goofed, that’s all.

So anyway, my buddy asked something like, “At what point are Americans going to wake up and realize they can’t trust their government?”

My answer, “When it’s too late for them to do anything about it.”

Note that I wasn’t just trying to say something dramatic, at which point the snare drums kick in and lightning cracks in the background. I meant it quite seriously: The people in charge have to keep up appearances so long as it’s necessary for the overwhelming majority to actually trust that the system basically works. In contrast, in more totalitarian regimes, a large portion of the population knows full well that the rulers are evil, and they are kept in place by fear and helplessness. (They also might think there are no better alternatives.)

So with that in mind, let’s quote from today’s post by Glenn Greenwald. We have already learned that Americans won’t revolt–heck, won’t even vote against an incumbent–just because of worldwide CIA secret prisons and systematic torture of POWs. OK fine. What about this?

The Washington Post’s Dana Priest today reports that “U.S. military teams and intelligence agencies are deeply involved in secret joint operations with Yemeni troops who in the past six weeks have killed scores of people.”…

But buried in Priest’s article is her revelation that American citizens are now being placed on a secret “hit list” of people whom the President has personally authorized to be killed…

Read the full post at Free Advice: What Would It Take For Americans to Realize They Are Not Free?.

So back to the question Bob posed in his title, “What Would It Take For Americans to Realize They Are Not Free?”  I am hoping that people are waking up to what our government has become, a corrupt, over grown, oppressive government of the bankers, by the bankers, and for the bankers.

It’s funny how people like my dad (his counterparts on the left do the same thing) will ascribe the most horrendous intentions to Democrats (some are justified), but he does not see the intentions of the Republicans. When I mentioned this article to him today and how easy it would be to label anyone a terrorist, he said, “Yeah, I can’t see that ever really happening.” Do you think it is just coincidence that our government found the perfect boogie man to get US citizens to give up their liberty, condone the suspension of habeas corpus and now kill off Americans at the President’s behest?

Like I said in my post about us living in the real world Matrix, this Democrat vs Republican scam is setup to get people to ignore what is really happening. By cheering on your team, you become too invested in winning to notice your team has the same intentions. Both teams want to take your liberty, enslave you to Washington and Wall Street, and all the while make you think it’s your choice.

So are you really free just because you get to choose between one party or the other, but you get the same result from both? Imagine if I said the following to you.  “You are free, baby. I don’t want to take your rights away. You are free to choose. I don’t care what three days a week you work for me, it’s your choice. Oh, and don’t worry about this gun pointed at you. It’s here to protect you from those evil people trying to harm what we got going on here. You sure are a lucky sum bitch to have me here protecting you like this. Ok, decide which days and get to work. I know I had to shoot one of our workers, but he was helping those evil people. I just know it. It was completely justified. Trust me.”

Would you still think you are free?

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