APRIL 26, 2012 7:26AM

"The United States has never been freer than it is today"

Rate: 11 Flag

Someone made this utterly baseless and inane statement on LibbyLiberalNYC's last (GREAT, as usual) blog post, soI'd like to present the view from both the left and the right.


From the right



Obama Is A Clear And Present Danger To Our Constitutional Rights


"By action and words on myriad occasions, Obama has indicated that the Constitution cramps his style. Exuding arrogance and narcissism, he readily indicates that he will blatantly disregard its restraints and promulgate whatever legislation he so desires, whether it be the Federal government takeover of healthcare, industries or even firearm and munitions restrictions.

Obama has shown particular disdain for and has challenged with legislation the First, Second, Tenth and Fourteenth Amendments. We, the American people, need to be eternally vigilant and vigorously oppose his each and every attempt to abrogate our Constitutional rights and freedoms.

Obama must be stopped!"





"Not surprisingly, a CNN/Opinion Research Corp. survey released last Friday revealed that 56 percent of Americans think the federal government has become so large and powerful that it poses an immediate threat to their rights and freedoms.

Thomas Jefferson explained the pre-eminence of this amendment in 1791: "I consider the foundation of the Constitution as laid on this ground: That 'all powers not delegated to the United States, by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States or to the people.' To take a single step beyond the boundaries thus specially drawn around the powers of Congress, is to take possession of a boundless field of power, no longer susceptible of any definition."

The point is that based on the 10th Amendment, when it comes to legislating and controlling our health care, the federal government doesn't have a constitutional leg to stand on. And even its past violations of the 10th Amendment by implementing government health care services have proved to break more national legs than they have to mend them. The proof is in the pudding. How many times does it have to be pointed out to Washington? Medicare is going bankrupt. Medicaid is going bankrupt. Case closed.

 In so doing, the president established a rationale and justification for disregarding the Constitution. Even worse, he placed himself above the Constitution and those "blind Framers," who just couldn't see the big picture as he does today. After all, he's the constitutional scholar, and the Framers were just, well, the creators of the document!"

(more at the site on the 10th) 



From the left:




Nat Hentoff covers bipartisan state backlash to BHO's indefinite-detention law

" . . . there may well be Americans who are unaware of the strong reaction to Barack Obama’s signing of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2012. The law impelled Kenneth Roth, the executive director of the respected Human Rights Watch, to declare:

“President Obama will go down in history as the president who enshrined indefinite detention (imprisonment) without trial in U.S. law” (“U.S.: Refusal to Veto Detainee Bill a Historic Tragedy for Rights,” hrw.org, Dec. 15, 2011).



This includes U.S. citizens."


"Just as ignited is Judge Andrew Napolitano, the senior judicial analyst at Fox News, who, irrespective of his ultimate employer, is TV’s most compellingly informed protector of the Constitution. He warns:

“Essentially, this legislation would enable the president to divert from the criminal justice system, and thus to divert from the protections of the Constitution, any person he pleases” (“Can Congress steal your constitutional freedoms?” WND.com, Nov. 30, 2011).

As if he were our king."

Sounds like typical election year bombast, doesn’t it? But as I reported last week, the president, without going to court, can cage a U.S. citizen only “suspected of association” with our terrorist enemies (“Congress, Obama Codify Indefinite Detention,” Sheldon Richman, The Future of Freedom Foundation, fff.org, Dec. 27, 2011)."




"The Tenth Amendment Center adds: “The indefinite military detention of any person in the United States without charge or trial violates the Fifth and Sixth Amendments of the Constitution of the United States (and) Article III of the Constitution of the United States” (“NDAA: Liberty Preservation Act,” tenthamendmentcenter.com)."


Among the growing number of resisters to Obama’s new, radical authority to scrap our liberties, Republican Brian Nieves is sponsoring a bill in the Missouri State Senate that would establish the Missouri Liberty Preservation Act, which says:

“The state of Missouri will be prohibited from participating or providing material support for the implementation of sections 1021 or 1022 (which have been summarized in this column) of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2012″ (senate.mo.gov).

Resistance to what I would call an un-American law is also active in the Missouri House, where Republican State Rep. Paul Curtman has introduced his version of the anti-NDAA law. What may irritate President Obama, who counts on a strong majority of Democrats in Congress to support his monarchical wishes, is this report from Rep. Curtman:

“My fellow veterans in particular are very aware of the dangers posed by the NDAA, but this issue is obviously crossing (political) boundaries” (“Resistance to NDAA kidnapping in Missouri growing,” Bryce Shonka, blog.tenthamendmentcenter.com, April 6)."




"And dig this, President Obama, from Rep. Curtman, a Republican:

“Every one of the dozen or so Democrats I’ve showed this to say they’ll vote for it. That is a huge change from what I’m used to.”

Let’s see if this Tom Paine-like bipartisan courage of citizens in the Missouri House spreads to other state legislatures.

The Tenth Amendment Center suggests that those Missourians “who agree … have a critical opportunity to sound the alarm among their friends, family and neighbors.”

And, anticipating how difficult it has become for Democrats and Republicans to agree on anything, even if their nation’s Constitution is in danger, the Tenth Amendment Center urgently adds:

“Now is the time to raise awareness of the Missouri Liberty Preservation Act and to make it known that in this case, a bill introduced by Republicans may be worth the support of Democrats and Republicans alike.”

Gee, what a revolutionary idea these days!"




"I suggest that all Americans who oppose Obama’s denuding the citizenry of its heritage of self-government spread the ACLU’s incisive exposure of what the NDAA is doing to this and future generations:

“The law does not require even an allegation that a detained person caused any harm or threat of harm to the United States or to any U.S. interest. Mere allegation of membership in, or support of, an alleged terrorist group could be the basis for indefinite detention.

“Under the American justice system, we don’t just lock people up indefinitely based on suspicion” (“Talking Points: 2012 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA),” aclu.org, Feb. 22)."



"The First Amendment underlines our rights to “peaceably … assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.”


"Then, it’s our “freedom of speech, or of the press” that gives us the means to rescue ourselves from the National Defense Authorization Act.

Remember: “Men (and women) are truly free only when they do not have to ask themselves whether they are free” (“The Bill of Rights: Its Origin and Meaning,” Irving Brant, New American Library, 1967).

Do you feel free now, knowing that our president can lock away Americans based on a mist of suspicion?"




The oath to be taken by the president on first entering office is specified in Article II, Section 1, of the Constitution:

I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States.

Read more: The Presidential Oath of Office — Infoplease.com http://www.infoplease.com/ipa/A0878064.html#ixzz1tC9XC3ae 


Citizens Resist King Obama By Nat Hentoff



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"Do You feel free now,?"

Do You feel that Obama has done his best "to . . .preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States?"
I think Obama has did a great disservice to the constitution and the citizens of the US Mark.

Yeah, we are so free.
A man never knows the length of his chains unless he tries to move...

And don't forget, Obama has now declared the US has the right and ability to target anyone anywhere for preemptive targeted assassination by drone.

Or detention with no redress....

Oh yeah, we are so free...
Thanks for being the first to visit, Mission.

From the right, above: "Obama has shown particular disdain for and has challenged with legislation the First, Second, Tenth and Fourteenth Amendments,"soy's, I feel more free andy that obama has done his best (which isn't saying much) to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution (considering that he's a cunning liar and smooth {like a snake, talker}).

Thank for visiting, Mission.
"The United States has never been freer than it is today"? I'm curious about the basis of that statement. Not an assertion I'd make at the moment.
The quotation mark and intro to my post indicate it is a direct quote from a commenter on Libby's latest post, Kosh.

Thanks for visiting.
I went over and found it. Again, I'm surprised by it. For one thing, I have no idea how it would hold up the first time it's challenged, given that there are objections from both sides of the spectrum.
I just read Libby's blog- amazing how "liberal" (Free) minds from both ends of the political spectrum can agree on "Free Will", "Honor" and "justice", or the lack thereof- I don't know what local conditions are in Okinawa ( your part of Japan?) but it must be interesting to watch the current US power grabs.

I don't have a lot of time these days, but I still try to keep up, the "small town" view is not quite so bad- we are looking to repel invaders, not suffer our own community break up.

I'm still writing on Mike's situation, with reference to Reason, and how we can "Correct" our "Correctors" with Reason and "Kindness"


I'd appreciate your input. -R-
I suppose the question is when the US was more free than now. I on't know, but those who portray us as not free should probably be ready to tell us when we were freer than we are now, and why.
I guess we're pretty free. I mean, I can call the President a cocksucker and as long as I don't do it near him or the Secret Service and I kind of whisper it like, "pssst...President is a cocksucker.....but shhhhh....don't tell him I said that!" I won't be sent off to some detention camp in Ohio.

Also, as long as I don't say it on the Internet...oh wait....strike that....I LOVE YOU AMERICA....:D

Seriously, I do, no better country other than Canada and only because Canadians seem to like me better than USA. :D
Nor do I, Kosh, which is why I blogged about it and referred to it as inane.

Thanks for the return visit, Kosh.
Thanks for coming by, Herr Rudolphus der Rude. As I mentioned, the last time You commented, I am still praying for Your friend and will, now visit Your site, as soon as possible.

With forty of the 1000+ bases stationed on this island, 1/10th the size of NJ, I'm not sure "interesting" is the first adjective that springs to MY mind, and I'd think with a thousand bases, we are far from deficient in repelling invaders.

Thanks for stopping by.
Jonathan, all I have to say is minimally we were more free BEFORE obama decided to put the wrecking ball to the Constitution.

Thanks for stopping by.
When I last visited canada, which granted WAS some time ago, I certainly did feel more free than in america. I've engaged in all sorts of progressive causes here, and haven't been arrested yet, so I guess I feel more free than I did in america.

Having said that, I DO feel that Japan is surveillance- hopped up country and that nothing I type or say on-line, goes unmonitored.

Thanks for stopping by, Tink. Long time - no see.
Well, it's freer than ever for SOME people, if not for me and thee. Oh wait a minute, I live in Canada.
Glad I was so inspirational, Mark.

I'm still wondering when the golden age of Constitutional purity reigned in the United States.

I see a type of thinking that is both ahistorical and hysterical that, at 2 a.m. seemed worth pointing out.

As usual, even though I disagree with Libby, it wasn't her post so much as the lemming like positive commons that struck me as over the top.

I've been to a police state (Myanmar), and the US simply isn't remotely similar to one.

Normally, I just ignore stuff I disagree with. But it is really kind of boring to simply comment only on stuff you agree with.

The fact that you can make a case that both the left and the right are angry with Obama strikes me as true, but doesn't do much to address my opinion that history is trending toward more rather than less freedom, both globally and also in the US.

The US has suspended Habeas Corpus more than once and then subsequently strengthened it. The American public are serial suckers for governmental excesses in response to frequently ginned up national security threats. But, they generally come to their senses and reverse course. Simply speaking historically.
Ha, Myriad.

As a Canadian, your opinion simply doesn't count.
Myriad, I just said good night at Phyllis's, so excuse the brevity.

I'd love be LIVING in Canada RIGHT NOW.

Thanks for visiting.
nick, I purposely refrained from not referring to your name out of respect, but simply put, I who have lived I suspect in many more places than you find the ten words of yours that I chose to entitle this post with complete and utter drivel.
Good ol' Nick - like many, many others - lives in a fantasy world - much as the right wingers did under Bush, calling him "God's choice". Now we see the left wing version with blind Obama worship. It's just as frightening and just as lethal.

With eyes wide shut, any behavior can be justified. Habeas Corpus is revoked so we can make it stronger! The economy is saved by stealing from the poor and working class! Creating enmity around the world makes us safer! The doublespeak is staggering and becomes so commonplace as to be accepted as mainstream thought.

But the truth cannot be kept down forever and one day this sort of thinking will be revealed for the utter suicidal insanity that it is.
Yes, obama has, RW, but those who refuse to see, do so willfully, and, in reality, no matter how many scribes or dimensions we present them, they continue to see ONLY what they wish to see.

Thanks for the visit.
Harry, it REALLY is a pleasure and honor to have You visit. I regret that we don't have more discourse, as I know You are one of the few with EYES WIDE OPEN.

I left nick a "gentle," yet typically mij vituperative response to his bringing Myanmar into the discussion and closed comments, while I got
a couple hours shut-eye, but in a mutual ceasefire deleted it, when I re-awoke.

As I say to libby, I wish I'd see more of You, here, as You are one of the few who give me the strength to, as I view it, speak truth to delusion.

In any case, it is TOTALLY my pleasure to see You visit, especially this morning (almost 9 AM, here, now).

Thanks for coming by.
mark, appreciate your spotlighting this.

a good sign that those defending the Obama status quo and MINIMIZING the unminize-able are being called out and showing their defensively indignant but hollow colors and of course are continuing to deny what danger their DENIAL AND COLLUSION is having on the country (have I used the word denial enuf? I don't think so). AS IF THEY ARE NOT PART OF THE DEADWEIGHT OF THE PROBLEM, some looking down their bullying noses at those who are simply saying the proverbial BUT THE EMPEROR HAS NO CLOTHES. More aptly, maybe, Mark, we should be calling out this PRESIDENT should not be presuming to wear the clothes of an EMPEROR and allowed to by a passive passive citizenry and Congress with a totalitarian assumption of power.

The high and mighty too cool for school ones with their enabling of this shredding of our constitutional rights spit on people who are already incarcerated or suffering at the hands of the new amoral and anti-constitutional policies and on how many foreign people and our own troops dead from combat or from suicide or maimed thanks to Obama's Bush carryover and enhancement of pre-emptive striking for corporate agendas. Their enabling and support of Obama's lesser evilism in the name of pragmatism makes me want to cry!

The lack of opposition to the outrageous and bloody decisions made by the Obama administration is stunning. Most of the 8 million of us who voted him in gave him the mandate to stop the wars. Instead he has multiplied them. We wanted to end the corporate cronyism out of control of the Bush regime. BP made $26 billion bonus last year, as one example of cronyism and getting juicy government contracts hand over fist as the BP Disaster drops down the memory hole and Obama really gave impunity and rewarding for that mass destructiveness. Obama minimized and had his operatives minimize the BP disaster (Obama and the government operatives should have been serving the citizenry and NOT BP). And he LIED LIED LIED. OBAMA KEEPS ON LYING AND BOBBLE HEADED AMERICANS AND MEDIA LET HIM and tell those objecting to "grow up" and defend him for it.

Obama promised to close GITMO. Yeah, look at that. And I have no doubt the black ops evil has escalated and will also come home or already is home to roost with us. Look at the military budget when our citizenry is in desperate straits because of the 1 percent and Obama is out there helping Israel trigger WWIII.

Obama in his senator days pretended to support single payer and only some of us get how craven Obamacare really is. Riddled with loopholes to worsen the plight of citizens. The mandate to enlarge corporate coffers, not to ensure all Americans are protected since the insurance most of us will be able to afford will be crap and inadequate.

Obama doesn't care about reality. He cares about serving out his lucrative and ego-gratifying puppetry to the one percent patriarchal sociopathic daddies and keep shallow benign appearance going, and why not, Mark, since so many of America has gone ostrich. I don't know if the media has so hypnotized America and if the media doesn't declare the nightmare of the constitution shredding, then who cares or it can't be serious. They have seduced us to identify more as consumers than citizens. If the tree falls in the forest and only the citizens not MSNBC sees it, did it really fall? Apparently not.

Who said the citizenry will clean up the lack of habeas corpus above. Nick? Putting that toothpaste back into the tube????? Is he serious??? And implying that it is the citizenry that is at fault that we lost habeas corpus and NOT THE OBAMA REGIME AND THE COCKROACHES OF THE BUSH REGIME, INCLUDING BUSH IS DISGUSTING, ALTHOUGH NOW THAT IT IS GONE I DO BLAME THE CITIZENS FOR NOT SCREAMING OUR HEADS OFF COLLECTIVELY. But raise your hand if you thought Obama would do some post-Bush ethical cleanup!!! I mean, to clear the bar of incompetence and corruption of the Bush regime you don't even have to move your feet. Yet, Obama has not cleared that bar, he has done even worse. He isn't just locking up innocent people, he is willing to assassinate them on "intelligence" he deems correct. Intelligence, there is an ironic word. and look at what incorrect intelligence got us into the Iraq war but that was the craven point to invent convenient intelligence. Lying should be called out by the citizens. They shouldn't look the other way.

Not only did Obama shamelessly never even acknowledge ALL THE DROPPED PROMISES FROM HIS CAMPAIGN TRAIL but the stenographer media lap dogs never uttered them. Except maybe Helen Thomas and look what happened to her.

Obama is the American Judas. But how many enabling apostles he has found among obtuse Americans.

I don't get it. I just don't get it. Post-Morality America is where we are at.

Talk morality and you get accused of being bullying and naive. What arrogant crap.

This phrasing got me: "Obama’s denuding the citizenry of its heritage of self-government" ... says it so well.

and the line about Obama can do what he wants with only a mist of suspicion.

Obama is only warm and fuzzy and overly "forgiving" (really rewarding) when it comes to corporate and/or war criminals. Whistleblowers is a whole other Orwellian side of Obama.

Power and ego. What is that expression about how many million Frenchmen can't be wrong? How many million Obamacrats are still functioning (and I use the word functioning loosely) and are so tragically and dangerously wrong to the present and future of this country!!!!

Thanks for being awake, my friend.

Best, libby
I meant to say 80 million of us who voted for Obama not 8 above. typo.

I wonder how many millions of us are willing to unbelievably reward him in November? Lesser "evil" no biggie apparently, and to me it is not lesser at all. Obama is doing a lot of evil heavy lifting for the 1 percent as he smiles amiably to the cameras and lies and spins his golden rhetoric that really isn't golden any more.

best again, libby
Libby, it's gotten to the point where although I did read Your comment, I almost needn't; so similarly do we view things.

An OS woman is having a hard time of it in the states and awaits a Skype condo with me, so maybe I'll be able to reply in more detail later.

Needless to say, as I said to harry moments ago, I'd be bereft without the few thinking souls like You and precious few others who are regulars, here.

Thanks for taking the time.
Mark, the more I think about it - especially after hearing Michael Parenti talk about his new book The Face of Imperialism - the more I'm convinced that Obama's narcissism isn't the problem. Just like Reagan's senility and George W's dim wit wasn't the problem. All these bastards knew exactly what they were doing.

Bottom line the Obama administration is preparing to defend themselves against violent insurrection - as more and more Americans becoming jobless, poor and hungry. There ain't no recovery in the US.

By the way, don't eat the rice. Dr Helen Caldicott has just done a great update of the extent of radioactive contamination in Japan (and the US).
Forgot to insert the link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dIoCh9YZ1DA
Dear Dr.

Thank You for taking the time to visit. Needless to say, both Mr. Parenti and Dr. Caldicott are, also, people I've met personally through my, long ago, affiliation with Pacifica-WBAI.

I admire them both greatly and never miss a chance to hear them here via various websites. No disrespect to Mr. Parenti whom I hold in great esteem, but Dr. Caldicott is enshrined in my Pantheon of heroes. What a remarkable, knowledgable and articulate woman!

There isn't a word in Your first two paragraphs that I would take issue with.

One thing I might add is that regardless of voter sentiment, obama is dangerously close to being dumped by the Big Boyz, as I repeatedly read on the economic blogs I follow. These guys want the money and they are getting impatient that obama is NOT getting the job done sufficiently, nor quick enough.

Clues as to which way the big money will flow will be indicated in tomorrow's GDP report and the next two unemployment reports. By then, it will be time for the PTB to make their decision as to whom the next puppet will be and to direct the money accordingly.

As we all know, the key lesson of Watergate was to follow the money, which is why I spend much time on economic sites and forums. As You well know, rice is THE staple here (along with soy products).

I was successful in converting my wife from worthless white rice, and we have had monthly deliveries of organic brown rice ever since.

Removing rice from my diet would be no problem. For the most part I am on a low carb diet anyway.

How in the world would my wife survive with no rice?

Japanese are relentlessly corrupt. In the beginning, weekly reports of what not to eat caused us to discard extremely costly fruits and vegetables every week. Then they stopped printing contaminated foods, which essentially indicated that EVERYTHING was contaminated.

One last point of relevance regarding the degree of Japanese corruption: for a while, uncontaminated food was imported to the island and mainland, but then the ever greedy food conglomerates started to see shrinking sales, so now foods of all sorts are mislabeled as to their points of origin.

How does one combat that?

Sorry to lean on You with two heavyweight questions, but there seems to be no escaping this disaster, which in reality, unbeknownst to most, gets worse daily.

Thanks, as always for Your consistently valuable and pithy visits (and thanks for the link).
I keep posting but it wont stick. Wow
What's odd is how Presidents perceived as liberal democrats often get a "pass" on issues like this. Its as if we have an elite that rules over the political establishment, and when they want certain policies passed, they try hard to have either a Democrat or a Republican to win the election, because they know that this person, from said party, would have an easier time selling said bill to the American public.

Kind of like "Nixon going to China."

My studies of history show that some of the most horrible infringements of civil rights in US history have actually come about under liberal Democratic administrations.

1. Woodrow Wilson--we often see him as a progressive president devoted to international peace and the principles of the League of Nations, but he had a dark side.

a. The first red scare and the Palmer raids took place under his watch, in the wake of the First World War.

b. Massive gvt sponsored racism and bigotry against German Americans took place, with the collusion of the Justice Department. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anti-German_sentiment#United_States


c. Internment of German Americans in special camps during WW1

d. Massive support for the KKK.

2. Franklin Roosevelt: a great man, but because of his progressive credentials, many bad things were done in his name and during his watch that weren't adequately challenged by Progressives, who blindly gave him and his administration the benefit of the doubt.

a. Internment of Japanese Americans during WW2.

b. Internment of Italian Americans during WW2

c. Internment of German Americans during WW2

3. Harry Truman---a great man who fought hard, fought MacArthur and integrated the armed forces. His Truman Doctrine may have represented a sell-out to the Military Industrial Complex and inaugurated 50 years of conflict with the Soviets, all in the name of perpetuating an American economy based on arms manufacturing and sales. FDR's approach to the Soviets may have been less belligerent and may have caused us less grief had he not died.

a. The 1952 Steel and 1946 Coal Strike: despite Truman being a New Deal Democrat, when the Unions went on strike, he tried to nationalize the mines and threatened to draft the striking workers into the army in order to stop the strike and help the companies. Not what you'd expect from a liberal Dem.
4. Lyndon Johnson--> The man who inaugurated the Great Society. That said, he infringed upon the rights of countless anti-war protestors and left wing activists throughout his administration, had mob ties and stole countless elections.

a. Stolen Election: 1948. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lyndon_Johnson#1948_contested_election

b. Gun Control Act of 1968: LBJ wanted to restrict civilian access to guns, due to the assassinations of JFK, MLK and RFK.

c. Fell prey to military industrial contractors, like Brown & Root, whom LBJ helped nurture from an infant company when he was a freshman Congressman in Texas, by feeding it naval contractor contracts from the gvt during WW2. This company became one of his largest political contributors and it became a major profiteer from the war in Vietnam.

d.Gulf of Tonkin Resolution---gave President the ability to wage war in SE Asia without Senate oversight or approval.

e. Great Society was aimed at forestalling radicalism among poor and minorities, not out of a true sense of noblesse oblige or altruism.
5. Bill Clinton

a. Waco: Congress censured the Justice Department and Trial lawyers sued the ATF and FBI as well. There was no evidence that the Branch Davidians fired first, or that there was sex abuse at the compound. It was potentially a giant, precedent-setting situation against an unliked group, aimed at establishing a precedent of paramilitary force being permissible against US citizens.

b. Ruby Ridge: same thing. Gerry Spence, a great liberal lawyer, represented Randy Weaver and won. The FBI used snipers to kill 2 members of his family, even though they were unarmed and Weaver didn’t commit any crimes. Nobody on the left cared, though, because Weaver was a White Supremacist. The government intentionally looks out for people like this, so they can establish Constitutional-altering precedents. Since most liberals hate Nazis, the gvt knew it would face very little opposition when it infringed on Weaver’s rights. The thing is, once those rights are violated and it goes to court, and if the gvt wins, a legal precedent is established that can be used against mainstream Americans, liberals, progressives and the like. This is a normal tactic the government uses. They go after hated groups because they know that nobody will protect them, and that in going after them, they can acquire a legal precedent they can use against the rest of us.

Basically, Dems can get away with more civil rights abuses, and foreign policy excess, because they can claim they are doing it for “just” reasons, which serve to whitewash the cynical motives we always suspect at being behind most Republican actions. This is the great strength of a Democratic President, in a way, because liberals believe him when he claims he is violating a right to stop a “nazi” or a “child molester,” or that he is invading a foreign country to stop “communists” or “terrorists.” He uses popular bogeymen that liberals hate, and we give him a blank check to do as he likes, without looking further into what he is doing.

Certainly, Republicans have their fair share of civil rights abuses. But they are called on them by the left. The left almost never attacks a liberal President for his abuses. Indeed, when abuses are shown, we either buy the Presidential rhetoric at face value, like good little partisans, or we suspect that all the accusations are nothing more than trumped up right-wing propaganda.

If I was a member of a multinational corporation and desired US military and intelligence agency support for my nefarious schemes abroad, I would always want a Democratic President at my disposal. His progressive rhetoric and small record of liberal legislative proposals would serve to sanitize and provide a credible mask for the more imperialistic and hard-core schemes that he would be required to impose on both the United States, as well as its vassals and allies abroad.
There is a principle source of confusion here, and Wolfman alludes to it, above.

What do we mean by "free?"

On the one hand, blacks, Jews, hispanics, homosexuals and the disabled have more freedom and opportunity in America than they have ever had. People are more free to discuss non-Christian religions, to pursue alternative life-styles, to engage in non-traditional family relationships, sexual practices than they have ever been in the history of time.

On the other hand, many writers state that 4th Amendment Search and Seizure laws are the loosest and most pro-state they have been in over 100 years, especially if the government can articulate a vague suspicion of "terrorism," not whether you belong to one, but even sympathize with a terrorist group.

I was taught in law school that to be found guilty of a crime, one must be found guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. Yet, in many indictable criminal cases that take place in municipal and low level courts in many states, there is such a high volume of petty drug possession cases, traffic cases, and misdemeanor cases, that I often see highly sloppy approaches in the way the state proves their cases. The higher level courts are neater and more professional in this regard. But the low level courts, where 80% of the defendants have their interaction with the criminal justice system, there is much confusion and arbitrariness, which I find upsetting.

For example, a police officer is considered, in municipal court, to be a neutral, third party witness, rather than a biased agent of the state who has an interest in procuring a conviction. This is odd, because there's a totally different presumption about police in higher level courts. They are seen as human. In low level courts, they are seen as infallible Gods.

I see government surveillance of individuals to be the highest in America now, than it has ever been, thanks to the internet, satelite communications, cell phones, On-Star, GPS tracking devices and cameras on every street corner. Not to mention the fact that credit card companies share all their data with the gvt, so they can see everything you buy, your purchasing habits and the like.

When private companies formulate psychometric profiles about you, the consumer, nothing stops them from sharing this with the gvt for a profit. This gives the US gvt more information about its citizenry than the Nazis or Soviets had about their citizenry.

The private sector is the medium that is engaging in the greatest degree of surveillance and privacy intrusions since the dawn of human history. As of yet, it hasn't been overtly malignant in nature. But we have given them the keys to the house. They have disarmed us and blindfolded us. The only thing that's preventing them from totally taking advantage of us is trust. There is really nothing to stop them from doing that, if they so chose.

The gvt? They own it.

During the early days of the Roman Empire, Augustus granted many rights to various non-Italian ethnicities and religious groups throughout the empire, and his successor, Tiberious, did the same thing. Tiberius gave the Gauls the right to become Roman citizens and vote and hold membership in the Senate. So in this sense, their "rights" increased.

But in another sense, Gaul was by then even more fully subjugated and oppressed by Roman Imperial rule. It had legions spread throughout its lands, its people were enslaved and put in the circus. It had no independence, no self-determination. The liberties the Gallic Tribes once enjoyed were squashed under the brute force of Roman majesterial law.

So, there were more rights, but within the over-arching imperial system that was imposed upon it.

For example, many liberals today say that Native Americans have more rights today in America than they ever had.

I disagree. They had more rights prior to Manifest Destiny. Then they were conquered and oppressed and now they live on Reservations. So what if they can vote and run for office now and join mainstream American society? Is that much of an improvement over where they were 100 years ago? Only slightly, because they are still subservient to the "system" that dominates them. They've been co-opted.

This is why Tribal Independence is so important and will play a key role for Progressive Movements in the future. I have heard that certain North American native tribes want UN recognition. This will be interesting.

Anyway, ethnic, religious, disability, elderly and sexual rights have increased. These are all basically forms of dividing up the economic pie and ensuring that different identity or ability groups get equal access to the economic pie.

But at the same time, LEGAL rights against government oppression and intrusiveness can simultaneously diminish.

A hypothetical government can give you the right to get an abortion and have gay sex, as well as marry an ethnic minority, but at the same time put a camera in your house, monitor your every economic transation and book you read and curtail your right to resist unconstitutional searches, seizures and detentions. So, some "quality of life" rights have increased, but simultaneously, key legal liberties that defend citizens from an oppressive state have declined.

We may not fully be there yet, but I think we may be on our way.

We need to keep this distinction in mind. Sometimes, the Establishment makes us think we are winning rights, and doing better, because they grant us new ones while simultaneously retracting old ones.
What a great series of posts, RW;mho so true.

Synchronicity: I spent a good portion of today listing to interviews on antiwar.com concerning the whitewash of Ruby Ridge.

Tangentially, there was an investigation concluded today, concerning water boarding. When Congress conducts an investigation, it means the coverup is in action.

Anyway, back to Your point, one of the interviews was with Jesse Trenedue:

"Jesse Trentadue, attorney and brother of Kenneth Trentadue (who was probably tortured and killed by FBI agents mistaking him for Richard Lee Guthrie – a.k.a. John Doe No. 2 – in the wake of the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing), discusses the new book Oklahoma City: What the Investigation Missed-and Why It Still Matters by Andrew Gumbel and Roger Charles; the June 15th court deadline for the FBI to explain why the Murrah Building surveillance tapes are missing; allegations that FBI agents tried to sell the tapes in 1995 – which is why LA Times reporters were able to see two men, Timothy McVeigh and John Doe 2, exit the Ryder truck; the FBI’s PATCON program of infiltrating and probably provoking the radical right; how the FBI’s media informants help kill stories and manage the news cycle; and the lack of Congressional hearings on the single largest terrorist attack in US history (in 1995)."


Trenedue says quite clearly that anyone who thinks the order to storm the Davidian Compound came from janet reno, is likely, drink apisa-infested water.

Clinton was the potus, and Trenedue maintains, quite logically that the orders came directly from the big kahuna.

Furthermore, when I first met John Kerry, then a freshman senator conducting the guns for hostages Congressional hearings and asked him why John Hull's ranch in Honduras, the major trans-shipment point was never mentioned in the hearings, he looked at me incredulously and said: how do you know about John Hull?

In so many words, I replied (Duh???) that Pacifica radio's transmitters were located on top of the Empire State building and millions of people knew.

Sheepishly, he admitted that if he ever so much as mentioned the name of John Hull in the hearings, his career would be terminated.

Congressional hearings are designed and stage-managed to shield us from the truth.

Thanks for stopping by, RW. You sure have brought much food (for thought) to the table.
We also can't forget how Jimmy Carter smashed the rights of the labor movement during his presidency. The United Mine Workers will never forgive him for his actions during the wildcat strikes of the 1970s.


This is a good article.

We have a major mythology in America regarding Ronald Reagan and Jimmy Carter, revolving around two key points.

1. That Reagan, not Carter, was responsible for the major arms buildup after our defeat in Vietnam. This is false. Jimmy Carter was responsible for ushering-in the major contracts for the A1-Abrahms Battle Tank, the Ah-64 Apache Attack helicopter and the M-1 Bradley Fighting Vehicle, the trio of ground attack weapon platforms that would help American military projection capabilities for the next 30 years.

2. That Ronald Reagan, not Jimmy Carter, was responsible for smashing the Labor Unions and ushering in the era of corporate greed. This is false, as the article above mentions. Jimmy Carter was virulently anti-union.

Basically, no Democratic President since Franklin Roosevelt has been friendly to unions. This is the basic truth we must accept. Unions have been challenged by the monied interests that lead both parties, at the Federal level, for the most part.

We also can't forget the weird peace deal he struck with Egypt and Israel at the Camp David Accords, whereby Israel and Egypt both became intertwined with massively produced US military weaponry, produced by our weapons contractors, and they became dependent upon our military industrial complex and thereby, it was believed, they would be less likely to fight eachother. Regardless, the deal pumped lots of US weapons into the region and helped pave the way for Mubarak.

It was a cynical peace deal, at least in terms of how the US military industrial complex viewed the situation.
Of course, that article is right-wing and its analysis is slightly off. Yes, the Dems engaged in massive union busting. But the article commits a major logical fallacy when it assumes that the economic malaise that the US suffered in the 1970s was due to the inefficiencies of the labor movement and labor/union dominated industries, and that once these were "busted" the economy rebounded.

Actually, the truth is that there was a "current accounts deficit" that was crippling the US economy, because our balance of payments system was linked to the Bretton Woods Gold Standard. As the US acquired a radically increasing trade deficit in the 1960s, mostly because of declining productivity and increasing shares of our economy devoted to war (not to mention the fact that we retooled our economic competitiors with the marshall plan and ignored reinvestment domestically) we fell behind. We experienced a net outflow of gold, because foreign nations could recall US owed debt in the form of Ft. Knox gold, per Bretton Woods. The US could go bankrupt.

At the same time, the oil shortage had massive inflationary influences.

These are the things that led to stagflation in the 1970s. The Dollar/Gold situation, declining US productivity relative to the world rising from the ashes of WW2, and the oil crisis.

It had nothing to do with Unions. But the right wing used the recession as an opportunity to smash unions, as did Jimmy Carter and his fellow travellers in the Democratic Party.

This discusses how Carter smashed the United Mine Workers during the Bituminous Coal Strike of 1977-78.
It looks like you answered the question quite well in the comments section. Two big reasons things will only get worse.

1. Too much has been done already. And everything has supporters as well as detractors. Somewhere in the blogosphere is a post the exact mirror image of yours, saying why all of this is good.

2. Lack of education in the general public, and I can prove it with the people I work with. They can list every participant on the current reality show but they had never heard of intravaginal probes. Total blank looks. The faculty, too.

The conclusion I have reached is that this world is on a path that we the people have zero control over. Globalisation has taken over. We have world leaders now, not leaders of countries. All being led by someone behind the scenes who has an agenda that is going to end up probably destroying the world, but we can't stop it. Ultimate power, baby. I think the local politicians over stepped this year, but all of that legislation will be back. (Another reason to be glad for menopause. Who knew.)

I think that all we the people can do is nibble at the edges and slow things down. Try our best to frustrate the man and try to get him to reveal himself. And stay low.

Good discussion here.
Thank You for Your patience concerning my tardy response, and I appreciate You overlooking the numerous typos in my sloppy comments.

Your second reason given has special resonance with me, as I have long felt that underestimating the capacity of the american people to remain WILLFULLY IGNORANT can be fatal in comprehending what really is happening.

We may be able to slow things down, but aside from the erosion of our liberties, the destruction of the earth is outpacing the destruction of our liberties; much as the printing presses of america, printing increasingly worthless dollars can only end in destruction.

Just as Afghanistan has been deemed the place where empires go to die; the history of the world has shown that printing infinite amounts of fiat currency ALWAYS ends in disaster.

Can menopause be shared?

Thanks for how You've enhanced this discussion, as has everyone who chose to comment did, save one.
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