Saturday, June 22, 2013

Off and On

Well, I am finished with my hissy fit.

Upon mature reflection, me getting pissed off because the government was exposed doing what everyone knew that they were doing all along is silly.   If people are discovered doing what you expect them to do, the response should be a sad resignation, not some shrill hissy fit.

I still don't agree that the government should be snooping everywhere and on everyone.  Hell, Orwell's world would have been drooling over the capabilities.  The Angela Merkel and her old retiree buddies from the Ministerium für Staatssicherheit  hanging around the currywurst stands in old Berlin would just sigh and think that they missed out on an opportunity.

The security state apparatus being formed here in the US is not the sign of a healthy culture.  It is a unholy alliance between the bigots and zenophobes currently lodged in the right-wing of the American political spectrum, the fear-laden kumbaya crowd imbedded in the left-wing, and the military-industrial-congressional complex that feeds the middle class.

Look folks, whether you like it or not, the fourth amendment has been killed.  The fifth amendment is on its way out, the first amendment is under attack.  I have attached a plain language explanation of the bill of rights at the end of this article.  Take your time, indulge in a little self-reflection, and then tell me honestly that you are not guilty of supporting the government taking an axe to one of these little gems at some time in the past twenty years.


Congress can’t make any law that:
  • Favors one religion over another religion, or no religion at all, or opposes any religion;
  • Stops you from practicing your religion as you see fit;
  • Keeps you from saying whatever you want, even if you are criticizing the President of the United States;
  • Prevents newspapers, magazines, books, movies, radio,  television or the internet from  presenting any news, ideas, and opinions that they choose;
  • Stops you from meeting peacefully for a demonstration or protest to ask the government to change something.


Congress can’t stop people from having and carrying weapons.


You don’t have to let soldiers live in your house, except if there is a war, and even then Congress needs to pass a law and set the rules.


Nobody can search your body, or your house, or your papers and things, unless they can prove to a judge that they have a good reason for the search.


Except during times of war or if you are in the military:
  • You can’t be tried for any serious crime without a Grand Jury meeting first to decide whether there’s enough evidence against you for a trial;
  • If at the end of a trial, the jury decides you are innocent, the government can’t try you again for the same crime with another jury;
  • You  cannot be forced to admit you are guilty of a crime and if you choose not to, you don’t have to say anything at your trial at all;
  • You can’t be killed, or put in jail, or fined, unless you were convicted of a crime by a jury and all of the proper legal steps during your arrest and trial were followed; and
  • The government can’t take your house or your farm or anything that is yours, unless the government pays for it at a fair price.


If you are arrested and charged with a crime:
  • You have a right to have your trial soon and in public, so everyone knows what is happening;
  • The case has to be decided by a jury of ordinary people from you are, if you wish;
  • You have the right to know what you are accused of doing wrong and to see and hear and cross-examine the people who are witnesses against you;
  • You have the right to a lawyer to help you. If you cannot afford to pay the lawyer, the government will.


You also have the right to a jury when it is a civil case (a law case between two people rather than between you and the government).


The government can’t make you pay more than is reasonable in bail or in fines, and the government can’t inflict cruel or unusual punishments (like torture) even if you are convicted of a crime.


Just because these rights are listed in the Constitution doesn’t mean that you don’t have other rights too.


Anything that the Constitution doesn’t say that Congress can do, is left up to the states and  to the people.


NoHype said...

1 + 1 = 2.

That's why you experienced a sudden onslaught of emotion.

1. You may not have approved of OWS, but you knew something was amiss when they went suddenly and eerily silent.

1. You may not have quite understood the Boston overreaction, or how story was "managed" so instantly and effectively despite the glaring inconsistencies.

2. Snowden stood up and said, "This is how they did it. It's not theoretical. It's right here, right now. Today. Your ability to resist ceased some time ago, probably well before you had the vaguest inkling anything had changed."

For the time being, technology has outpaced the ability of old social constructs to prevent humans from beating each other about the head and shoulders, as they are wont to do.

The Bill of Rights you posted was a reaction to several hundred years of technological changes that allowed the aristocracy of England to run amok -- literally all over the globe. It's no accident that the French followed suit soon thereafter.

We live in a mature society with institutional myths that will inform the next big change. Don't be surprised if the nation-state as we know it goes the way of the dodo bird, and people begin to form their governance structures around associations (corporations are legal associations) rather than geographic location.

^ That's an easy prediction to make because we'll probably both be dead by then. :)

Mayberry said...

Well, to paraphrase you from posts past, you can't count on any "consteetooshun" anymore. It really died in 1865, and the PTB danced on and pissed on its ashes in 1913. Took a dump on it in 1934. Been wiping their asses with it ever since. Because We the People let them. Doesn't look like "we the people" (not capitalized on purpose) don't intend to do much about it, so "we" will continue to get what we deserve. The rest of us, well, we get to suffer because our Constitutional Republic has devolved into the very democracy our Founders warned us about.