• Trolling with Trolls, Whistleblower Edition

    July 11, 2013 // 11 Comments »

    I promise myself I won’t do it again, then some idiot on the Internet says something so stupid that I end up commenting. Here’s one recent example. I hate myself already, don’t judge me.

    The Troll: The problem has been around for a long time. Did you hear about the time Lincoln suspended habeas corpus? In this day and age, however, the threats are magnified and the opportunity to conduct surveillance is magnified. When one of you comes up with a way to protect my liberty and my security fully and equally, please share.

    A whistleblower who reveals something that is clearly illegal according to our own laws, such as torture, is one thing. A whistleblower who reveals the inner workings of a program that is highly disturbing in its scope but is nevertheless the law of our land is another. And if by revealing this information, he cripples our capacity to protect ourselves and exposes our intelligence resources (as in people) to danger, then I am not so sanguine about him and the whistle he rode in on. Heh.

    Me: (Deep sigh) Is the internet broken at your house? Let me help.

    Lincoln’s suspension of habeas corpus was strictly provided for in the Constitution by the Founders, in cases of rebellion or invasion (Article One, Section 9, Clause 2). What he did was fully Constitutional, if controversial, and was during a clear state of declared war in response to a specific problem. He reinstated habeas as soon as possible. The draconian measures you believe are protecting you (By the way, exactly how does the NSA spying on our EU partners protect you from terrorists?) have been in place for twelve years, following a single attack on the U.S., the perpetrators of which are all in jail or dead. None of these measures have been allowed to be tested in open court.

    I dream of a president someday who is brave enough to stand with Lincoln, fighting the fight when required and then returning our great country to peace as soon as practical. Terrorism? It is nothing– for God’s sake 3000 people died on 9/11, while 51,000 died at Gettysburg alone. Get off Facebook and look it up.

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    Posted in Democracy

    Inauguration Day for Mr. Lincoln, Dr. King and Barack

    January 21, 2013 // 24 Comments »

    Four years ago, we had hope. We thought he would right the wrongs of eight horrific years.

    During those eight years we lost ourselves. Following a singular day– one day– of terror attacks, we set fire to the whole world. Willingly, almost gleefully, we invaded Afghanistan and Iraq, the former on the promise of bloody revenge and the latter based on flimsy falsehoods that today seem as real as childhood beliefs. But we wanted to believe and so it was easy to lie to us, just like with the Tooth Fairy.

    Worse yet, we turned on ourselves. With a stroke of a pen, we did away with 200 some years of bitterly fought for civil rights– silence the First Amendment and do away with critics and whistleblowers, rip open the Fourth Amendment and allow the government to spy into our lives. Plumbing for the depths of evil, we as a nation tortured men, created an archipelago of secret prisons, a regime of indefinite confinement and renditions to feed our concentration camps, hungering for flesh. How much would be enough for revenge? When even that was not enough, we unleashed death from the sky, smiting people who bothered us, maybe occasionally threatened us, often times simply people who were near by or looked like our possible enemies. In the calculus of the day, we would kill them all without a concern that any deity would sort the bodies out later.

    Then in 2008 hope we were sold and we slobbered over it like the pigs we had become. He was a king, awarded a Noble Peace Prize simply for not being George W. Bush. He could have turned it all around, in those first weeks he could have asked the rivers to flow backwards and they just might have. He could have grounded the drones, torn up the Patriot Act, held truth commissions to bring into the light our tortures, re-emancipated America in ways not unlike Lincoln did in the 1860s. Slam shut the gates of Guantanamo, close the secret prisons that even today still ooze pus in Afghanistan, stop the militarization of Africa, bring the troops home, all of it, just have done it. What a change, what a path forward, what a rebirth for an America who had lost her way so perilously.

    Today, this day, four years later we are left with only ironic references to where we were and what we had been. We re-elected him mainly just because he wasn’t the other guy, everybody’s reluctant guilty choice. We now today go though the motions of a celebratory inauguration like an old married couple dutifully maintaining civility where joyous lust once was. We are raising a second generation who accept that their nation tortures, invades, violates and assassinates, all necessary evils requiring us to defame democracy while pretending to protect it.

    People who saw the movie Lincoln were struck by the personal anguish the president then brought upon himself ordering men to their deaths in support of a moral cause, ridding this nation of the horrors of slavery, human bondage, once and for all. That president enduring many necessary evils in pursuit of a goal he knew to be noble, the unfinished work of creating a truly democratic and just nation. On this same day we celebrate the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, who wrote to us all from a jail cell in sweltering Birmingham to remind that injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. King’s guidance in that letter was that the “means we use must be as pure as the ends we seek.” We cannot fight wrongs by committing wrongs.

    So you Barack, who so shallowly call forth Lincoln’s legacy, for what cause do you condone our modern necessary evils? For what noble crusade do you allow the torturers to walk free? To claim the right to kill people, even Americans, anywhere in the world simply because you can do so? Why do you prolong the war, long ago not just lost but rendered pointless, in Afghanistan? On what crusade do you keep your enemies in Guantanamo?

    Lots of talk today, inauguration day, Martin Luther King Day. But those are the questions Mr. Lincoln and Dr. King would demand answers for from their graves, Mr. Obama.

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    Posted in Democracy

    Prove it: Close down the PRTs in Afghanistan. Open PRT Detroit and PRT New Orleans.

    June 23, 2011 // Comments Off on Prove it: Close down the PRTs in Afghanistan. Open PRT Detroit and PRT New Orleans.

    blah blah hope and change, shit, wrong script blah blah move some “surge” troops out, keep 70,000 there anyway forever blah blah continue to spend two billion dollars a week in afghanistan blah blah nation building at home but no money for that, just words blah blah desecrate Lincoln’s eloquence in trying to end america’s bloodiest war by tying that to the abortion in afghanistan blah blah.

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    Posted in Democracy