Current Observations Home Current Observations Home Current Observations Home

A Broad Look At Recent Events

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

I've been trying to think of something to write about this morning, but I'm not particularly drawn to any one thing. I've read dozens of articles and thought about commenting on each one, but quickly realized that each comment wouldn't amount to much. Who wants to write up a story to be finished before it even really starts? I know I don't. I've finally decided that I will comment on a number of things in a "collage format"... whatever that is.

The State of Our Ruin... wait. That's not right. Let me start again.

The State of the Union address went off without a hitch, if you ignore Cindy Sheehan and Beverly Young being ejected for expressing themselves. The DC police claimed they were "unlawfully conducting" themselves--whatever that means. After reading their accounts, I'd say that they were victims of the fashion police. Cindy Sheehan chronicled her events for us. (Thomas Paine's Corner has a copy.) From her account:
My ticket was in the 5th gallery, front row, fourth seat in. The person who in a few minutes was to arrest me, helped me to my seat.

I had just sat down and I was warm from climbing 3 flights of stairs back up from the bathroom so I unzipped my jacket. I turned to the right to take my left arm out, when the same officer saw my shirt and yelled; "Protester." He then ran over to me, hauled me out of my seat and roughly (with my hands behind my back) shoved me up the stairs. I said something like "I'm going, do you have to be so rough?" By the way, his name is Mike Weight.

The officer ran with me to the elevators yelling at everyone to move out of the way. When we got to the elevators, he cuffed me and took me outside to await a squad car. On the way out, someone behind me said, "That's Cindy Sheehan." At which point the officer who arrested me said: "Take these steps slowly." I said, "You didn't care about being careful when you were dragging me up the other steps." He said, "That's because you were protesting." Wow, I get hauled out of the People's House because I was, "Protesting."
Amazing, no? And what was the message that caused such a ruckus? 2245 Dead. How many more? Oh, the horrors!!! Why, that one little question she posed could upset modern-day democracy as we know it. What about Ms. Young's attire, you ask? Her's was even more egregious: Support the Troops. It's nice to know that our government will violate our right to free speech regardless of your political stance. Here's a question that just occurred to me. If Sheehan was arrested for making her statement and Young was arrested for making her statement, why wasn't Bush arrested for making his statement? Are we not afforded "equal protection" under the law?

The Electronic Frontier Foundation is bringing a class action suit against AT&T for helping the government, specifically the NSA, to eavesdrop illegally on Americans. From the article at

The suit (.pdf), filed by the civil liberties group in federal court in San Francisco, alleges AT&T secretly gave the National Security Agency access to two massive databases that included both the contents of its subscribers' communications and detailed transaction records, such as numbers dialed and internet addresses visited.

"Our goal is to go after the people who are making the government's illegal surveillance possible," says EFF attorney Kevin Bankston. "They could not do what they are doing without the help of companies like AT&T. We want to make it clear to AT&T that it is not in their legal or economic interests to violate the law whenever the president asks them to."

Good for the EFF. When they're done with this suit, they should go after Yahoo, AOL, MSN, and anyone else who turned over access to their search engine databases to the Department of Justice. (For more info, read DOJ Underestimates The Size Of Google's... Googles?)

Let's see. What else... I saw this headline: Police officer shoots man dead. It seems that a fellow in Australia allegedly didn't pay for his fuel after pumping. The station called the cops to go after him. I know in my state (Washington), if you don't pay for gas they'll take your driver's license from you. I guess Down Under, they take your life. Ok, a little harsh. It seems that the man got into a bit of a scuffle with the cop and this is what led to his demise. I love this quote from the article:

"We understand that the deceased had received one or two of those rounds," said police media spokesman Ian Hasleby.

Really? Could it be that this is why he is dead? The way they say that, "...received one or two of those rounds," like they were a gift or something. He was shot. Come on, Hasleby. You can say it. Your officer shot the suspect.

If you get a chance, take a look at Larry Pratt's recent article, Betrayed By The Bench. So you know, Larry Pratt is the Executive Director of Gun Owners of America for 27 years. GOA is a national membership organization of 300,000 Americans dedicated to promoting their second amendment freedom to keep and bear arms. His article discusses a new book, Betrayed by the Bench by John Stormer, that looks at the creeping problem of case law supplanting natural law in America.

In Betrayed by the Bench, Stormer traces the lawlessness of so many of today's rulings to the revolt against the common law that is Christian through and through. The revolt was led from the Harvard Law School by professors such as its Dean, Roscoe Pound. The replacement was the tyranny of case law.

The case law preferred by Pound and his followers allowed them to slip out from under the constraints of the timeless and universal precepts foundational to the Common Law. Case law allows judges to "make law." One of Pound's followers, Chief Justice Charles Evans Hughes, made this amazing statement: "We are under a constitution, but the constitution is what we say it is."

Equally as amazing as Hughes' assertion was the failure to impeach him for violating his oath of office. But as Stormer points out, the idea of absolutes binding men died in the pulpits before it died in the civil realm.

Stormer calls the result of judicial lawmaking "an on-going Constitutional Convention." I would call it a coup d'etat. This coup has been hard to spot because the judges did not have a bunch of colonels circling the seat of government with tanks. We have witnessed a coup by increments-- something that is much harder to detect.

Interesting stuff. His article concludes with this pearl of wisdom: Until "We the People" remember that we only gave the crowd in Washington a very limited amount of power to do only a very few things, we will continue to be ruled by unelected and unaccountable politicians wrapped in black robes. Truer words were never spoken.

And that brings me to my last highlight for this post. Mark has an excellent post at South Puget Sound Libertarian. He takes a hard look at the tyranny of the state democracy, brought to you by popular election of the ignorant masses. From his post:

When Bush and the media talk about spreading democracy, their definition of democracy is: popularly elected government. Somehow, democracy alone is supposed to lead to, or is synonomous with the good of the people. Nothing could be further from the truth. The rise to power of a terrorist organization like Hamas in Palestine is quite consistent with democracy. It is not democracy that is good but the protections afforded to individual liberty by any form of government.

That last sentence really resonates with me. It's one that should be quoted every time you hear the President selling us on the merits of spreading Democracyâ„¢ the world over. It reminds me of that other famous quote: secure these Rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just Powers from the Consent of the Governed.

Well, that's about all I got. The clock on the wall says that I'm needed at work, again. Better get my "rusty-dusty" in gear...

Have a great day!


Blogger Mark said...

With regard to the lawsuit by the EFF against AT&T, apparently the EFF is contending that AT&T acted as an agent for the government and violated the First and Fourth Amendment rights of its customers.

That will be hard to sell to a court. The real effect of the suit will be to shame companies that comply with open-ended search "requests" from the government by publicizing their actions.


3:34 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home

Powered by Blogger |



Who Links