Apr 18, 2008

The Mantra of this Imperial Presidency: We Don't Need No Stinkin' Badges!

But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security...

After a long series of serious abuses, amnesia might set in, or avoiding reality may be a natural response to deal with the pain. I hope that we are not completely numb and that we'll maintain enough energy to rise to the occasion this election year. We have to throw the usurpers out, hold them accountable, and ask for a better social contract from our new government.

I am not trying to saturate the senses or overwhelm the mind with whatever bungles it, but it's important to record the political offenses and the abuses perpetrated by the Bush administration. It's a patriot's duty to do so; it's common decency for common people to refuse to be indifferent and let the violators act with impunity.

There's hope, as long as people care and realize that the bizarro world of BushCo must end. Here's a recent example of the paranoia and the absurdity of this regime.
From Think Progress:
In a recent briefing with Canadian press (which has yet to be picked up in the U.S.), Chertoff made the startling statement that fingerprints are “not particularly private”:
QUESTION: Some are raising that the privacy aspects of this thing, you know, sharing of that kind of data, very personal data, among four countries is quite a scary thing.
SECRETARY CHERTOFF: Well, first of all, a fingerprint is hardly personal data because you leave it on glasses and silverware and articles all over the world, they’re like footprints. They’re not particularly private.

Gloves, anyone? We also must be crazy for throwing our DNA carelessly around! No privacy, said the Big Brother. Is this crazy or what?

The Fourth Amendment (you know, that one about warrants and proper cause) has been grossly violated under this imperial presidency. We don't need no stinkin' badges seems to be the new mantra. Oh, and since Congress insists upon passing new laws, el presidente has a secret weapon: his signing statements! He says, fine you want to play with me, I'll sign this law, but this what I think of it.... [the law doesn't apply to him!] And, who can forget this trick of ..redefining torture!

Here's another gem from a stalwart of conservatism:
Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich visited Drew University in New Jersey, where he took questions from 20 political science majors there. When one asked him how the government could justify stripping rights from Americans in such pieces of legislation as the Patriot Act, Gingrich said that the government has a “right to defend society,” and when under threat, “people will give up all their liberties"

Well, do you think Gingrich is right that most Americans would be willing to give up all their freedoms for promise of safety? I hope we're better than that. And, I hope if the answer is "no" is not because the people know how incompetent this administration is, but because freedom is an essential condition for us to remain a great country.

Those who would give up Essential Liberty to purchase a little Temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.
Ben Franklin