Sunday, April 21, 2013

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was not read his Miranda Rights

According to a rule the Justice Department wrote for the FBI—without the oversight of any court—called the “public safety exception.” the surviving suspect of the recent Boston Bombing can be held and questioned  with out having been read his Miranda rights. This is a rule that troubles me, not because of the scary Big Brother idea of how this rule can be applied. That is pretty evident with out going too much into it. what scares me is that it is we are bending one of the core ideals of what it means to be a citizen in this country.  Everyone should be treated equally under the law. This also includes how laws are applied. We can not say that in this case a person doesn't get this right, or that since they did this they this rights do not apply to them.  These are RIGHTS not privileges that  can be given and taken away based on the nature of how one behaves.  We have a duty, to treat every person suspected of a crime under the same laws of everyone else.  We are not coddling suspects, in this case we are insuring that they are treated according to the laws and values that we hold dear. This is not something that diminishes us, it does not make us appear weak. It shows that we as a nation can rise above fear and anger, and appeal to the better angels of our nature. and ensure that will always keep and abide by the values of our country.  A value that caves under pressure was never a value, it was at best a whim, or an idea we had, I "wouldn't it be nice if." and we if we are to continue to grow and flourish as a nation we need to have more then whims to guide us.

Friday, November 11, 2011

In honor of Armistice Day

 "It is good that war is so terrible less we grow too found of it"
                           - Robert E Lee.

Bent double, like old beggars under sacks,
Knock-kneed, coughing like hags, we cursed through sludge,
Till on the haunting flares we turned our backs
And towards our distant rest began to trudge.
Men marched asleep. Many had lost their boots
But limped on, blood-shod. All went lame; all blind;
Drunk with fatigue; deaf even to the hoots
Of tired, outstripped Five-Nines that dropped behind.
Gas! Gas! Quick, boys! – An ecstasy of fumbling,
Fitting the clumsy helmets just in time;
But someone still was yelling out and stumbling,
And flound'ring like a man in fire or lime. . .
Dim, through the misty panes  and thick green light,
As under a green sea, I saw him drowning.
In all my dreams, before my helpless sight,
He plunges at me, guttering, choking, drowning.
If in some smothering dreams you too could pace
Behind the wagon that we flung him in,
And watch the white eyes writhing in his face,
His hanging face, like a devil's sick of sin;
If you could hear, at every jolt, the blood
Come gargling from the froth-corrupted lungs,
Obscene as cancer, bitter as the cud
Of vile, incurable sores on innocent tongues,
My friend, you would not tell with such high zest 
To children ardent for some desperate glory,
The old Lie; Dulce et Decorum est
Pro patria mori.*

*it is sweet and right to die for your country.

 -Wilfred Owen

Friday, February 18, 2011

Wyoming Bans Gay Marraige.

Today Wyoming has passed a law that not only bans the union of same sex couples with in the the  state, allows the state to not recognize same sex marriages that occurred in other states.  Meaning that the marriage contract that was sign in a state that allowed two men or women to get married in any other state is not valid once you cross over you are no longer married. This is interesting because that it states in the Constitution, under the full faith and credit clause that each state is required to honor public contracts from other states. " Full Faith and Credit shall be given in each State to the public Acts, Records, and judicial Proceedings of every other State."  Marriage is some thing that i would argue falls under the banner of  public acts or records. So then denying marriage that was valid in another state would be unconstitutional.   If you are married in Vermont  the law of the land says that no matter where you move in the US  that you have to be treated as though you are married.

Also on related note that just drips of rich pancake smothering irony did you know that  one of  Wyoming's official names is the equality state, and their state motto is"Equal rights." 

Good show Wyoming good show.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

In some very saddening and shocking news, Gabrielle Giffords the Representative from Arizona was shot yesterday outside of a  Safeway while attempting  to listen to the concerns of the people in her district.  there are conflicting reports as of now of wither or not she was killed and how many other people were killed or injured in the attack.  The gun man was brought into police custody and at this time his motives for the attack have not been  released.
Gifford was a Democrat and was "targeted" by Sarah Palin on her take back the 20 campaign. In this campaign she wanted to make sure the Representatives were held accountable for voting for the Obamacare health plan. she said
"I launched my “Take back the 20” campaign, focusing on 20 congressional districts that John McCain and I carried in 2008 which are or were represented by members of Congress who voted in favor of Obamacare. They need to be held accountable for those votes. They voted for Obamacare. Now we can vote against them. We need to replace them with representatives who will respect the will of the people."
The recent language of the the extreme right has been something that  has been worrying me of the last few months,  Palin has been telling the people to lock and load, prepare for war and to take back what is theirs.  In the mind of Palin these are harmless metaphors to stir the emotions of her cause. But then something like this happens and these words have a haunting resonance.

As easy it would be to blame this attack on the language of the right we still do not know the motives behind this shooting. this could have been a random act of violence or the shooter could have private motives of his own that have nothing to do with the political stance of the Representative. to make any assumptions at this point would be doing the same thing that the right has been accused of.  it would be the same as when  Glen Beck blames all of Islam for  something blowing up in the middle east.  I know this would be a perfect time to shout i told you so , but screaming it now  before the facts are in will just give the right power they don't need. 

Friday, October 22, 2010

NOM Propoganda

I  recently was on the site of the National Organization For Marriage's  website and on this site they have place an  ad that i am assuming they are running in the state of Minnesota, in this ad they are vilify same sex marriage and the officials working for it by claiming that they are ripping it out of the peoples hands by not having the people vote on the issue. In this ad they invoke images of Martin Luther King Jr, and have his unmistakable booming voice claiming  "give us the ballot."  I find this very amusing myself, the idea of using a famed civil rights leader words to justify a policy of ongoing discrimination drips of an almost  Alanis  Morissette level of irony that is almost choking.

The words of King in this case are taken completely  out of context for what they were really meant to mean.  these words were words that were spoken from the soul of a group of people facing over two hundred years of oppression where society and the government had left them on the bottom of society and took massive steps to make sure that they stayed there. the process that made it well known to these people that there are two types of people in the nation and if you were not in the right group you didn't get to have the gold membership.  These where not the words of a group of people that had enjoyed the power and privilege of dictating the state as they saw fit.  These people where asking for the ballot to have some power of a system that in every way exploitative of them and their families. they where asking for the ballot for away to in someway be on equal footing in some way to people that had been untouchable in any another way.

This Organization should think more about the words of King, his message was not about voting, voting was a symbol for something greater.  To King having a ballot in the hand of everyone was a sign that they had a stake in the system, and his hope was that everyone would get beyond the distentions that separate us.  I am very unclear on how they could have missed this, I mean this not something that has been buried in the footnotes of history,  he stated his beliefs on this matter quite clearly on the steps of the Lincoln memorial in front of millions of people, 
"In a sense we've come to our nation's capital to cash a check. When the architects of our republic wrote the magnificent words of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, they were signing a promissory note to which every American was to fall heir. This note was a promise that all men, yes, black men as well as white men, would be guaranteed the "unalienable Rights" of "Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness... when all of God's children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual:
                Free at last! Free at last!
                Thank God Almighty, we are free at last!3

 So my advise for the National Organization For Marriage if you are going to invoke the names of a national hero to get your message across, do your home work and have a God Damn sense of history.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Dont Ask Dont Tell.

In the next few days there will be a vote in the senate regarding the policy of "Don't Ask Don't Tell." In order to figure out where one should stand on this issue is just a matter of asking what is the use of such a policy in the modern military.  One reason that i have found during my reading of reasons to keep the policy is that it will have profound ripple effects in the Organic Community of the armed forces.  It would be asinine to claim that the repeal of this policy would not have some effect on the forces as a whole, but the problem with this statement is that it implies that any change is bad for the military. Change in this way is almost always good thing, if all policies  were held up due to the fact that it is going to be a "period of adjustment" for the military then we should not have integrated the army.
Another objection to having openly gay men and women in the military is that openly gay soldiers will make the other members of the unit uncomfortable. One of the greatest things about the American military is that it is the people of this nation coming together and serving their country. As much as people would like to deny it, the military is pluralistic by the fact that it is made up of a pluralistic society.  If we are to not allow some one to be open about their sexuality for fear that it would make someone uncomfortable then it would stand to reason that the armed forces would have to ban any thing that would make other members uncomfortable, so then it would stand to reason that the armed forces would have to ban all public displays of worship.  this idea also answers the objection about the fact that army is about conformity and someone being gay will some how disrupt  that order is that has been created.
With this in mind there is no reason that being openly gay in the military would be a problem. If it is a matter of safety  for those individuals who are openly gay then steps must be taken to make it known that any harassment or violence towards other will not be tolerated.  A persons sexuality has nothing to do with their ability to serve as a solider. and of they feel that they must serve then they should be allowed to do so with out having to hide.

Saturday, September 18, 2010


"She seems to think that masturbation is really a huge problem, and I don’t think... it’s as huge a problem for Americans given all the other problems they’re facing, like unemployment, foreclosures, etc… When you have 10% unemployment, people have a lot of free time… Self-love is deficit-neutral."
– Arianna Huffington on Christine O’Donnell, the GOP nominee for Senate in Delaware (via youngleft)

This is a quote is rises some very troubling thoughts about the recent tea party candidate. Now I do understand that every campaign needs to run on both a mixture of social and political issues in order to win any election. But rising the issue of  wither or not masturbation is a big problem is like asking if someone washed the dishes in a burning house. The second part of this quote is right we do have greater economic and political problems that must be solved.  But what is coming to the surface here is that the Tea Party is moving away from the libertarian roots that it once touted so highly.  this has been a long time move away from these ideals starting with  Sarah Palin  becoming their golden goose and  Glen Beck Calling them Heroes.
Christine O'Donnell has appeared frequently on Bill Maher's Television show as a conservative talking head.  During her appearances she has spoken out frequently  against things like abortion, homosexuality and pre-marital sex.  This combined with Palin's heavily quoted comments on these issues are further evidence of the move away from the greatly valued lie and slogan of "Don't Tread on Me"
What is happening is that this movement that was at one time a movement of people who wanted to real in government spending has been taken over by the social agenda of the extreme right. But at the same time they have tried to keep the economic ideas that appealed to most of the moderates in the first place. So what has come about for the tea party is that they want to have their cake and eat it too. they want to keep their money. stating  the government has no right to interfere with the private realm of business. But the government is allowed to say that two people can not be gay, let states have comprehensive sexual education programs,  or keep a doctor and women to have the right to privacy. So the question is how much treading is this new Maverick party going to allow.