07 June 2008

I Need Your Help Again!

Take a look at the post and comments below, then come back and explain something to me.
Since Chimpy McHitlerBush has been President, the opposition has been chanting loud and long about "Loss of Freedoms!"

Can someone please explain to me why we are now ready to surrender extraordinary freedoms to someone who, by the way, has
little real-life experience, and ABSOLUTELY NO Executive experience whatsoever?

What car you drive.
How comfortable you can be in your home.
How much, and maybe what... you can eat!

Where the Hell are we headed?
(That's rhetorical, no need to answer 'cause I've read about this kind of behavior in my history books!)

22 comments:

Rodolfo said...

You of all people should be railing against this President for what the *opposition* describes as our country's loss of freedoms. That's what we're all about right? Defending our freedom. Yet when the guy you helped to elect actively strips the freedoms and liberties that matter most from under your feet you're more concerned about Barry's insistence that we should all try to eat/drive more conservatively? Heck you wanna go mudding in your SUV with gas prices the way it is go for it. I don't see any profit in that.

Scoon said...

Hey mate,

Just thought I'd drop you a line, not about the current post but just to say how much I enjoy reading your blog.

Not so much for the political commentary (I'm in Australia, and don't really follow US politics much) but moreso for the chopper-talk.

After wondering what the hell career was for me for a few years after leaving high school, one day the light bulb lit up - CHOPPERS! I went for a trial flight and it was everything I had hoped for and more. One of the most amazing experiences I've ever had.

Unfortunately however our culture lies to us when we are told at a very early age that we can do anything we want in life. Due to a hereditary kidney condition, the civil aviation authority here in Aus told me it was a no-go.

Every time I see a helicopter on tv or flying past, my heart sinks when I think of the amazing career I could have had.

I don't know your story well enough to know if you had any choice in joining the army, but I do get the impression that you realise how much of a lucky son of a bitch you are being able to hop into one of those machines every day.

Keep up the stories, I love reading about the adventures. And if you ever have the inclination, I'd love to hear about some of the experiences you had while learning to fly.

the golden horse said...

Love your topics GB...
You think it is bad now, this is the same person that said Iran isn't a threat since it is a small country. OUCH.
There is no sign of stoppage of the fuel prices with the IMF and World Bank making astounding profits. More than the oil companies. We have enough oil on the North Shore of Alaska to produce enough oil to last us years at the price of about $1.50 per, but are forbidden to put it into play for fear of collapsing the American dollar. I am not sure where they think it is now.
When the IMF and the WB forgave the third world countries their debt, they have to get the money from somewhere, US...taxation at it's best.
So, GB, to answer your question does this guy have a clue, I think not. He will be the scapegoat when it all falls and doesn't even see it coming. I mean, gosh, how many hours has he actually attended to his job??

cary said...

Oddly enough, anytime I have directly asked one of these liberal lefty Republican blamers just what, exactly, freedom has been removed from their tenuous grasp, they can't seem to come up with an answer.

I still have the right to speak freely, gather peaceably, worship freely, bear arms freely, vote freely, go about my daily business freely...

cary said...

Rodolfo said:
Yet when the guy you helped to elect actively strips the freedoms and liberties that matter most from under your feet

So, R, let me ask YOU directly - which freedoms, exactly, have been stripped from you?

Greybeard said...

And to Cary's comment I'd like to ask-
What choice did we have in the last election, Rodolfo? You yourself have admitted that Kerry is a schmuck.
I'm not happy with much of what W has done.
What choice did the Democrat party give us in '04?
What choice are they giving us now?!!

Greybeard said...

Scoon-
Thanks for contributing!

Answering your questions, I was drafted in 1966, but decided to make lemonade from lemons. Do I feel blessed? You bet. This is unquestionably the most satisfying job I've had... there is work that would pay me more, but I continue flying EMS. I still enjoy coming to work even though I could retire.

Does your kidney condition preclude you from flying altogether?

As to your thoughts about learning to fly, you gotta remember, that was 40 years ago! (There are vivid memories of initially learning to hover that are worth sharing if I can figure out how to put words to memories. I promise to work on that.)

I spent a week in and around Sidney in September of '69.
I walked completely around the Opera House while it was under construction and smile every time I see a picture of that famous structure now. I have very fond memories of your country and the people I met there.
Hope to hear more from and about you!

(And the political crap? It's a family squabble... ignore it.)

Rodolfo said...

Cary asked: So, R, let me ask YOU directly - which freedoms, exactly, have been stripped from you?

Let me preface by correcting what I wrote. The current administration is *actively* stripping our freedoms and liberties. This goes back to one of my first comments on GBs blog regarding FISA. When you got an administration that is consciously circumventing the courts to bypass required warrants that's a violation of our liberties don't you think? What's the big deal if they go through the courts?

Look, as long as our economy continues to tank that threatens our freedoms and liberties. How? Think about it. As we continue to lose our standing and influence around the world we essentially become vulnerable because we lose our trading power. I don't believe image is everything but it counts for something. The world looks at President Bush and they seriously think America is run by a retard. Now it's my firm belief that President Bush is no retard but simply an elected official we've allowed to make one too many mistakes.

Our country won't need another 9/11 to throw us into chaos. Don't you see? We're playing right into the Al Qaeda's hands. In a time of war we don't want the world community abandoning us while our enemies continue to unite. Just take a step back for a minute. We're a country divided. As the mightiest country in the world we're bogged down in sand. We're literally stuck in sand!?!?!? This is our situation. Why are we allowing a bunch of cave hiding medieval ***heads to dictate how we should fight them? Bin Laden wants us to perpetuate our failed Iraqi policy. The result is that instead of the majority of the 2 billion Muslims around the world empathizing with our war on extremism our Islamophobia produces an adverse reaction by alienating potential allies.

Greybeard asked: And to Cary's comment I'd like to ask- What choice did we have in the last election, Rodolfo? You yourself have admitted that Kerry is a schmuck. I'm not happy with much of what W has done. What choice did the Democrat party give us in '04? What choice are they giving us now?!!

I think if Jesus Almighty himself ran as a Democrat you and Cary will still label him radical and far left.

Nobody put a gun on your head to vote for Bush. YOU made that choice. My conscience after this election will be clear because I'm not simply voting *against* someone but *for* someone.

Greybeard said...

Cary asked,
"So, R, let me ask YOU directly - which freedoms, exactly, have been stripped from you?"

Greybeard asked,
"What choice did we have in the last election, Rodolfo? You yourself have admitted that Kerry is a schmuck."

I've looked and looked, but find no answer to our questions.
Darn!

cary said...

Aw, ya beat me to it, GB.

R - you said freedoms had (past tense) been stripped.

Typical liberal speak - make a statement as fact, then claim you misspoke.

And, if Jesus Christ were to run for office, it wouldn't be the true Jesus, who never has, never had, nor ever wanted, any part of terrestrial government. Don't speak on a subject you aren't ready to debate intelligently on, rodolfo.

Rodolfo said...

Aw c'mon now. So the two of you are admonishing me for pointing out the attacks on our civil liberties by this current administration while providing *NO EVIDENCE* that Barry will do the same.

Cary wrote:speak freely, gather peaceably, worship freely, bear arms freely, vote freely, *go about my daily business freely.

*this I'm not aware of. What exactly do you mean by this? Freedom to be greedy is okay?

Show me evidence that Barry will strip these and I will concede your point. So far you've pointed out quotes that he's encouraging Americans to drive/eat smarter. Do you really thing even *I* will allow anyone to *force* me to change. You have to discuss this issue reasonably. What's the reason for city dwellers to buy mudding trucks when they can't afford them? What's the reason our culture encourages *super size me* value meals when diabetes and obesity inflict our children? Again govt need not make a law *forcing* Americans to be responsible but should reward those who choose to do so. I have yet to see any legislation that Barry has proposed *forcing* anything.

Cary wrote:
Don't speak on a subject you aren't ready to debate intelligently on, rodolfo.

So finally we've come full circle. I'd be happy to have a debate on this. (This is my favorite by the way) Let's see how well you really know your Messiah. I think you have your own blog so I'll comment there out of respect for GB.

Greybeard said...

How about not avoiding the questions?

Rodolfo said...

I didn't avoid your question. You asked me what were your choices GB.

A. Bush

B. Kerry

C. NONE OF THE ABOVE

Many people will choose to exercise their right NOT to vote this year. You should have exercised yours.

cary said...

You are welcome to come by and comment on any post I've made, my rules are simple: stay on topic, respect others.

Now, can you please back up where I have said anything about the Obamanation taking anything away, either? He wants to control how we live - he said so himself, by stating that we, as a nation, cannot keep our houses at the temperature we want, drive the vehicle we want, eat what we want - we have to start answering to the whole world about our habits. Why? As long as we can support ourselves in the fashion we have become accustomed, why can't we continue?

I will give you one point - people who drive vehicles THEY DON'T NEED are wasting resources, and not being good stewards, but again, there is no law against that.

I drive an SUV - it gets terrible mileage, but my old and achy butt appreciates the comfort of the leather seats and soft ride afforded by the QX4 while allowing me to transport my dogs (five of them at last count, smallest one is 45 pounds and then the weights jump up from there). The Obamanation would have me not drive that vehicle anymore, and instead try to get by with something like a Prius. I've driven a Prius, cross country, actually, and while it gets great mileage there is no cargo room and the ride is kind of stiff and choppy for me.

As for what I mean by going about my daily business freely, I don't have to show my papers whenever I move from one area of the city to another, or from one neighborhood to another.

Now, since I have pretty much answered your concerns, can you please stop avoiding the question, and I'll even take it a step in your direction, and only ask for clarification of your statement:

What civil liberties has "this administration" attacked?

GB, sorry for the hijack, if you want us to take this elsewhere, I will be more than happy to host this discussion on my blog.

Rodolfo said...

Cary,

You and I have no chance of seeing eye to eye if you don't acknowledge the reality of dwindling resources and climate change. Put aside your fear of govt control for a second. What Barry's proposing is that U.S. car companies *COMPETE* with foreign companies in increasing gas mileage efficiency. I'd love to drive my old Cherokee around if I could get decent mileage out of it. But our automakers have been *SLOW* to respond to global competition. We need American ingenuity designing SUVs that run more efficient than Priuses. We need to lead in this otherwise other countries will fill the market. I don't want the govt telling you that you can't transport your pups. Not at all. We should all have that right. But we need to do it in a way that saves you the consumer money *and* our precious resources.

I stand by my point that our way of life will always be threatened if our economy is in a recession. Put aside the economic models and theories it simply boils down to consumer confidence. When you got people who believe the prospects are bleak the stocks go down. But here's something a bit more specific for you.

From Wikipedia: Caims the Military Commissions Act is an unconstitutional suspension of Habeas Corpus

A number of legal scholars and Congressional members—including Senate Judiciary Committee Ranking Member Arlen Specter (R–PA)—have said that the habeas provision of the Act violates a clause of the Constitution that says the right to challenge detention "shall not be suspended" except in cases of "rebellion or invasion."[18]

In the House debate, Representative David Wu of Oregon offered this scenario:

Let us say that my wife, who is here in the gallery with us tonight, a sixth generation Oregonian, is walking by the friendly, local military base and is picked up as an unlawful enemy combatant. What is her recourse? She says, “I am a U.S. citizen”. That is a jurisdictional fact under this statute, and she will not have recourse to the courts? She can take it to Donald Rumsfeld, but she cannot take it across the street to an article 3 court.[19]

One Bush administration critic has described the Act as "the legalization of the José Padilla treatment"—referring to the American citizen who was declared an unlawful enemy combatant and then imprisoned for three years before finally being charged with a lesser crime than was originally alleged.[20] A legal brief filed on Padilla's behalf alleges that during his imprisonment Padilla was subjected to sensory deprivation, sleep deprivation, and enforced stress positions.[21] He continues to be held by the United States.

According to Bill Goodman, Legal Director of the Center for Constitutional Rights, and Joanne Mariner, from FindLaw, this bill redefines unlawful enemy combatant in such a broad way that it refers to any person who is engaged in hostilities or who has purposefully and materially supported hostilities against the United States.

This makes it possible for US citizens to be designated unlawful enemy combatant because it could be read to include anyone who has donated money to a charity for orphans in Afghanistan that turns out to have some connection to the Taliban or a person organizing an anti-war protest in Washington, D.C.

As such, habeas corpus might be denied to US citizens.[22] Jennifer Van Bergen, a journalist with a law degree, responds to the comment that habeas corpus has never been afforded to foreign combatants with the suggestion that, using the current sweeping definition of war on terror and unlawful combatant, it is impossible to know where the battlefield is and who combatants are. Also, she notes that most of the detentions are already unlawful.

The Act also suggests that unlawful enemy combatant refers to any person who, before, on, or after the date of the enactment of the Military Commissions Act of 2006, has been determined to be an unlawful enemy combatant by a Combatant Status Review Tribunal or another competent tribunal established under the authority of the President or the Secretary of Defense.

Some commentators have interpreted this to mean that if the President says you are an enemy combatant, then you effectively are.[24]

Patrick Leahy, United States Senator:

Passing laws that remove the few checks against mistreatment of prisoners will not help us win the battle for the hearts and minds of the generation of young people around the world being recruited by Osama bin Laden and al Qaeda. Authorizing indefinite detention of anybody the Government designates, without any proceeding and without any recourse—is what our worst critics claim the United States would do, not what American values, traditions and our rule of law would have us do. This is not just a bad bill, this is a dangerous bill.

From Wikipedia:

Claims the MCA is an unconstitutional ex post facto law

Another criticism is that the Act violates the Constitution's prohibition against ex post facto laws. Pro human rights group Human Rights First stated that "In violation of this fundamental tenet of the rule of law, defendants could be convicted for actions that were not illegal when they were taken." [26] Joanne Mariner, an attorney who serves as the Terrorism and Counterterrorism Program Director at Human Rights Watch, described the issue this way:

The MCA states that it does not create any new crimes, but simply codifies offenses "that have traditionally been triable by military commissions." This provision is meant to convince the courts that there are no ex post facto problems with the offenses that the bill lists. In Hamdan v. Rumsfeld, however, a plurality of the Supreme Court (four justices) found that conspiracy—one of the offenses enumerated in the MCA—was not a crime triable by military commission. The bill's statement that conspiracy is a traditional war crime, does not, by legislative fiat, make it so.[27]

Law professor John P. Cerone, the co-chair of the American Society of International Law Human Rights Interest Group, adds that the Act "risks running afoul of the principle against ex post facto criminalization, as recognized in international law [(article 15 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights) as] well as US constitutional law."

From MSNBC: Death of Habeus Corpus

Supposedly this is some sort of *inalienable right* is it not? Well being detained without trial you lose your freedom of speech. While in prison you can't bear arms or prevent unlawful seizures by the guards. Grand jury and due process out. Speedy trials out. Bails out, etc.

cary said...

Rodolfo:

From wikipedia:

Sec. 948b. Military commissions generally

(a) Purpose— This chapter establishes procedures governing the use of military commissions to try alien unlawful enemy combatants engaged in hostilities against the United States for violations of the law of war and other offenses triable by military commission.

(emphasis mine)

Alien - meaning, not a citizen of the United States. So, yes, in the examples given, once citizenship is declared, then the onus is on the arresting body to prove that the detainee is NOT a citizen and subject to the Act.

Will there be abuses? Always - because humans are involved.

Now, as for the seeing eye to eye - I have acknowledged the dwindling resources. We, as a species, need to be a better steward of what resources there are, including the development of alternate energy sources.

As far as "climate change" - well, duh - the climate does, has, and always will change - and nothing the human race does will or will not affect that NATURAL CYCLE. We will continue to adapt to the changing seasons, and the cyclic nature of them. The whole "global warming/cooling" issue is a money-sucking event generated by bogus science and human greed.

If you would like a specific example of the cyclic nature, consider Greenland. Named such, by it's original inhabitants (well, named that in their language, not in English, obviously) because it was a source of farmland and the resources provided by it's temperate climate and fertile soil. Currently, the most recent Ice Age is still receding, and Greenland hasn't been uncovered yet. When it is, artifacts supporting it's farming history will be discovered, and then when the ice starts reforming again (as it will, remember the whole "cyclic" thing?) we will be told that the earth is being thrust into another ice age.

Remember the '70's, Rodolfo? We were told THEN that the earth was headed for an ice age. It was just a slight cooling trend, and then temps stabilized again.

Anyway - again, rights have not been "stripped" from anyone.

Greybeard said...

I'm sorry R, but using MSNBC as a resource? Isn't that the network of Chris "thrill down my leg" Matthews?
No credibility.
And Wikidpedia isn't much better.
Please don't waste others' time.

Rodolfo said...

Remember the 70s? Are you asking me? I was born in the 80s and I can barely remember that. LOL.

Abuses are one thing but constitutionality is another. I just don't it's even constitutional.

It's pointless to discuss climate change. You're a little bit more optimistic than I am in this area. Never before in our planet's history has it experienced a man-made industrial revolution. Do I know with absolute certainty that our species will continue to weather what nature throws at us? No. What I do know is that if I'm flying and there's a crack in the exhaust manifold I could die. What's my point? I care more about the survival of our species than the survival of our planet specifically because of the statement you provided. Long after we're gone this planet will still be here. I'm just not so sure our species will survive so I'm all about preparing for contingencies.

I'll stop using MSNBC if you stop referencing Neo-cons.

Greybeard said...

Neo-Con...
I've heard that's code for "Evil Jews".
You just dropped a notch in my eyes, R.

Rodolfo said...

No that's simply a word to describe an offshoot of the conservative movement. Define it what you want. these guys have gotten wrong prediction one too many and the fact that they're still allowed to make serious commentary on national television is scary. Now their leading the charge for a war with Iran. Unreal.

We're all Americans. Some are even great. But there's no such thing as a perfect American.

Greybeard said...

Okay, I'll define it the way some scholars have:
"First, 'neo-conservative' is a codeword for Jewish. As antisemites did with big business moguls in the nineteenth century and Communist leaders in the twentieth, the trick here is to take all those involved in some aspect of public life and single out those who are Jewish. The implication made is that this is a Jewish-led movement conducted not in the interests of all the, in this case, American people, but to the benefit of Jews, and in this case Israel."

That's from a Barry Rubin quote at your second favorite reference site, Wikipedia.
Do me a favor, R...
Let's not resort to any more name calling, okay?

Rodolfo said...

That's the first time I heard neo-con defined that way. I've seen interviews of self-professed neo-conservatives and they sure don't look Jewish to me i.e. Fukuyama. My lab partner in tech school for the past two years is Jewish and we get along just fine. I sincerely didn't mean to offend anyone of Jewish descent.

I'm viewed by you and your readers repeatedly as a left-winger regardless of the fact that I agree with the most basic of conservative values. I'm not talking about the conservatism that is now currently touted by modern day Republicans but the conservatism echoed by the greats of the past. Ron Paul is probably the one true conservative that is running yet the Republican party shuns him. I don't get it.

I won't guaranteed I'll never use what you perceive as an *evil* word but I'll keep your feelings towards it in mind the next time I do regardless if it's an accurate definition or not. Stereotyping is counterproductive and you calling me out proved it.