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warpath

The GOP Memorandum.

You can read it here as well as that site[ThinkProgress.org]’s commentary here.

The attacks we witnessed that day serve as a reminder of the dangers we face as a nation in a post-9/11 world. We can no longer expect oceans between us and our enemies to keep us safe. The plotting and planning taking place in terror camps protected by rogue regimes could no longer go unchecked or unchallenged. In a post-9/11 world, we could no longer allow despots and dictators like the Taliban and Saddam Hussein to ignore international sanctions and resolutions passed by the United Nations Security Council.

So, during this debate we must make clear to the American people that the United States had to take action in the best interests of the security of our nation and the world community. As Republicans who supported military action against Saddam Hussein and terrorists around the globe, the United States had to show our resolve as the world’s premier defender of freedom and liberty before such ideals were preyed upon, rather than after standing witness to their demise at the hands of our enemies.

This is the part I’m mainly concerned over. Let’s examine and get the facts straight. First, this “post-9/11 world” business. What the hell are they talking about? We lived in the post-9/11 world before 9/11. It’s not like Al Qaida had not attacked us before that. It’s not like we didn’t have the intelligence we needed to thwart that attack. The only things that changed on Semptember 11, 2001 was the Manhattan skyline, the lives of tens of thousands of people directly affected, and a completely ill-held false worldview that many still cling to the tattered remnants of today. pre-9/11 was post-9/11, and post-9/11 is not some new era where America does things right, it’s one where America continues to misdirect our resources and efforts in a way incompatible with our laws and our hopes and dreams.

We never could depend on “oceans” to keep us safe. That was why we formed a government: to coordinate our efforts and resources in order to benefit us all. Well, I know I’m not the only one who noticed the failure of that government on 9/11, before 9/11, and after 9/11. But I am not the least bit surprised that the majority of people in the government as well as those who support it blindly are willing to give a pass for that misappropriation of resources. As far as I can tell the only people that responded correctly in the wake of that disaster as well as the disaster in New Orleans last year, were individuals and groups of individuals that were allowed to do their jobs. Firefighters and hospital workers, police and utility workers, were the people that got out and did their work. The leaders act like their hands were tied, and while I admit our leaders are pretty kinky, I’m pretty sure any one of them could have about 100 of their personal aids show up with a key to the handcuffs on a moment’s notice.

As for the UN’s sanctions and resolutions for stemming the behavior of evil, you really have to admit, GOP, that you are playing a game of “I spy.” You say “I spy this government over here is disobeying the international community,” which translates to “we need to police them.” Meanwhile the dozen other violators are allowed to continue their same behaviors. You are not censuring Saudi Arabia for their involvement in terror. You are not implicating yourselves for violation of international law. Where does the buck stop, except for where you point with your giant foam finger made out of $100 bills?

Okay, finally I want to look at this label of “world’s premier defender of freedom and liberty.” Not to piss on your parade, but your “Awesome colossal world’s superhero for shopping and private industry” rhetoric is laughable. First you say we have allies, then you say it’s all us. First you say Saddam was involved in 9/11, so we run to war, then you admit he wasn’t, but we should have gone anyway because Saddam was bad. There’s a far cry between the two. One poses a threat of attack. The other makes his own people suffer. While both are bad, there’s a lot of other places making their own people suffer that you’ve not once suggested we jump headlong into. Meanwhile, again, what about Saudi Arabia? When are we going to bring them to bear for their involvement in the support and funding of terror?

And one thing you don’t state in the memo, GOP. Why all this new invasion of privacy? Why the wiretaps and nipple-clamps? You’ve not shown these will do any good, yet they cost money and weaken the rights of citizens. We with eyes to read and see, we know that you had the information needed to stop 9/11 and fumbled the ball. So why the hell should we think you won’t do it again, even if you have all the information in the world? It seems very dumb and misguided. But don’t be discouraged. I’m sure my fellow citizens don’t feel the same. You’ll all be gladly reelected to your posts in Congress to represent us. Your rhetoric is too strong for the feeble-minded, because more than anything they want to believe that your actions are right, that America is Superman, and all that jazz.

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warpath

Love the Invisible Laws.

Just a brief note here. We’ve got domestic spying. We’ve got secret warrantless wiretaps, no court oversight. We’ve got the NSA puffed out like blowfish ready to explode their venemous spikes if we so much as try to find out the truth. We’ve got complicity from AT&T and other major carriers; companies that care so little for their customers they sell them out without so much as notice or explanation.

But it gets worse: we’ve got invisible laws. The argument from the government when suits are brought to try to force oversight of these secret programs? “We can’t tell you why, but trust us, it’s completely legal.” That in itself is either a lie, a crime, or both. There is a very good reason for transparency in government, for transparency in law. The reason? While “ignorance is not a defense” if the laws are visible, invisible laws are not .. well, lawful. If a police officer gave you a ticket for speeding, but didn’t indicate your speed, it would be in your interest to contest the ticket. If he got up on the stand in court and said “I can’t disclose the speed this person was ticketed for,” the ticket would be dropped. It is simply not compatible with a free and open society to have this sort of situation.

If you really have a justification for these spying programs, you need to get off your asses, into a FISA or other closed-hearing court, and outline your reasons there. Any judge that simply accepts the argument “we have reason, but we can’t say,” is not doing their job. Not by a long shot.

That is all.

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warpath

Gay Marriage Amendment in Alabama

Yesterday Alabama became the nineteenth state to constitutionally ban same-sex marriage at the state level. Meanwhile the proposed federal amendment has fizzled by a vote in the Senate.

All of this talk about the “defense of [straight-]marriage” is completely ludicrous. Let’s ponder the meaning of _defend_. Defend is to protect and relieve from attack. Do these statutes and amendments in any way “protect” or “relieve” straight-marriage? They do not. Do they protect the family? Children? Nothing of the sort.

What do they do? Almost nothing. Every state that has constitutionally banned same-sex marriage already had a statute that did the same thing. The claim is that “activist” judges could overturn the statutes through “activist” interpretation of the law. Is that no longer an option that these have become constitutional? Hardly. Judges are still responsible for interpreting the constitutional laws of states. When two or more parts of a constitution come into conflict with one another, the judge or judges then must examine the conflict, and make a ruling about which part of the law is more essential, is more entwined and necessary in the fabric of the law. Further to the point, a judge can still rule that accomodations have to be made for some other form of civil union, distinct but equal to marriage. Of course, federal law can also trump as well.

So, then, what do they do? They are nothing but a showboat. This is a dispicable parade of bigotry in which the people of a state can proudly march to their respective voting booths, and boldly proclaim, “I hate homosexuals.” That is all that is being done. Rather hypocritical when you consider the bulk of the impetus of these amendments comes from Christians. So much for “Love thy neighbor as thyself.” So much for faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.

These that call themselves Christians are anything but. Charged with the task of cleaning up their messied room, they do nothing more than spit in their parents face and shove their toys hastily in a closet. They pat themselves on their backs saying “we are righteous, we have stood up to the ills of our messy room,” meanwhile they have soiled their pants and their Bibles. Welcome to Murka, indeed.

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warpath

Mexico’s Plight is its Neighbor

Several weeks ago the US had a hand in coaxing Mexican President Fox to hand a bill that would decriminalize minor possession of drugs back to the Mexican Congress.

Put in context of this story it is a curse for them to have us as their big brother. To wit:

A poll published Friday in Excelsior newspaper found 50 percent of respondents feared the government was on the brink of losing control. The polling company Parametria conducted face-to-face interviews at 1,000 homes across Mexico. The poll had a margin of error of 3 percentage points.

Sure. Contest the accuracy of polls. You can’t contest the fact that drug lords have a heavy hand in Mexico, and that isn’t going to change the way we’ve tried to. Making it illegal will not make it go away. Only had they passed the decriminalization would the linchpin be pulled, the tensions eased. Mexico has a drug problem. Their drug problem, like ours in the USA, is illegalization. If you decriminalize, you greatly reduce the black market, and with that you reduce the violence. Had that law passed it would not be surprising to see Mexico turn around in many ways. Their economy would certainly be better for it.

If Mexico’s economy did improve, we would see less illegal immigration. They aren’t coming here to bother us. They are coming to earn money. When the economy of Mexico is strong, they will come as tourists. When the economy of Mexico has been put right, we will be setting up partnerships, and tearing down the fences that the shortsighted “leaders” who helped stop Mexico’s salvation from taking place will put up.

Mexico’s plight is the myopic United States political scene. And so the USA reaps what it sows.

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warpath

Los Estados Unidos

Call me crazy, but I think people should sing the National Anthem in the language they identify with. Time and again I hear this rhetorical nonsense about assimilation of culture. I listen dumbfounded at the postured and imbecilic words of the leaders and fellow citizens over the debate about immigration.

It’s entirely inevitable that some of the culture will combine and become homogenized; that said, the entire concept of culture is very dear to us all. To threaten a man’s culture is to threaten his very essence in most cases. You gape your mouth at the violent backlash over what you consider to be mere cartoons, a mere expression of free speech. Yet you also gape your mouth and clench your fist at the notion of someone burning your flag in protest; a flag you are quick to remind many sacrificed their lives for.

And then you requite the imposition that immigrants will remain only through the justification it would be too costly and even then impossible to fulfill the wish to remove all of the illegal aliens.

No, nein, nyet. Unless you are a First Nationer, you have to admit to being here illegally. Grant yourself amnesty, but grant amnesty for those that are here under good faith to work. The criminals are not of one citizenship and legal status. The illegal Mexican worker is in most ways helping, and ought not be taxed at those wages even if they were to be taxed. The legal citizen CEOs are far more damaging in their reckless choices to lie, cheat, and steal for their stock prices.

Until we recognize that making something illegal has never once made it go away, and until we actually try to come up with an elegant solution rather than a rash backlash, we will continue to suffer by our own hands.

So, to me, if a Hispanic American wishes to celebrate their cultural identity through song, and in doing so establish a new cultural identity that embraces the new land of these United States, I will gladly listen, learn, and sing along. The rest of you can shove your fingers firmly in your ears and refuse to acknowledge that this is not a gesture of disrespect, but one of friendship and kinship.