RSSCategory: law and order

Common Sense, Grammar, and Original Intent

April 8, 2013 | By | 1 Reply More
Common Sense, Grammar, and Original Intent

According to recent polls, a growing number of Americans believe that the Second Amendment was put in the Bill of Rights in order to guarantee that our government will not impose any kind of tyranny upon us. That an armed populace is a bulwark against government oppression. [More . . . ]

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China hesitates to employ rough justice drone attack

April 6, 2013 | By | Reply More

Glen Greenwald reports that when the Chinese government sought out the murderer of 13 Chinese citizens, the use of drones was not an option:

What kind of weak, soft, overly legalistic government worries about trivial concerns like international law and “sovereignty issues” when it comes to drone-killing heinous murderers for whom capture is difficult? Why not just shoot Hellfire missiles wherever you think he might be hiding in weaker countries and kill him and anyone who happens to be near him? Or if you are able to find him, at least just riddle his skull with bullets, dump his corpse into the ocean, and then chant nationalistic slogans in the street and at your political conventions. Who would ever want to give a trial to such a heinous and savage foreign killer of your citizens, particularly if it means risking the lives of your soldiers to apprehend him? What China did instead was conduct what the NYT this morning calls a “methodical and unyielding” law enforcement investigation over the course of six months.

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Checkpoint refusals

March 22, 2013 | By | 5 Replies More

These drivers really know the law, to the consternation of these border patrol agents.

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Insanity and Rights

December 16, 2012 | By | 4 Replies More
Insanity and Rights

Doubtless whatever I say, someone will find fault, take offense, withdraw into positions, place guard dogs at the gates and lookouts in the towers. We are a people enamored of the idea of violence.  We like the idea that when it gets down to the proverbial nitty gritty we can and will kick ass and take names.  Americans are tough, not to be messed with, ready to exact justice by knuckles or 9.mm. . . .

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The real problem with Guantanamo

July 23, 2012 | By | Reply More

Glenn Greenwald spells out the real problem with Guantanamo:

What made Guantanamo controversial was not its physical location: that it was located in the Caribbean Sea rather than on American soil (that’s especially true since the Supreme Court ruled in 2004 that U.S. courts have jurisdiction over the camp). What made Guantanamo such a travesty — and what still makes it such — is that it is a system of indefinite detention whereby human beings are put in cages for years and years without ever being charged with a crime. President Obama’s so-called “plan to close Guantanamo” — even if it had been approved in full by Congress — did not seek to end that core injustice. It sought to do the opposite: Obama’s plan would have continued the system of indefinite detention, but simply re-located it from Guantanamo Bay onto American soil. Long before, and fully independent of, anything Congress did, President Obama made clear that he was going to preserve the indefinite detention system at Guantanamo even once he closed the camp.

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How much is digital piracy hurting content producers?

July 19, 2012 | By | Reply More
How much is digital piracy hurting content producers?

Here is an infographic with some surprising numbers.

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Seven ways for an American citizen to get detained indefinitely

May 26, 2012 | By | Reply More
Seven ways for an American citizen to get detained indefinitely

This article at Huffpo summarizes seven ways for an American citizen to get detained indefinitely. These concerns are not made up out of thin air. They are based on positions taken by attorneys for Barack Obama’s Department of Justice during the litigation brought by author Chris Hedges and others. Here is Hedges’ recap of why he got involved with the suit:

In January, attorneys Carl Mayer and Bruce Afran asked me to be the lead plaintiff in a lawsuit against President Barack Obama and Defense Secretary Leon Panetta that challenged the harsh provisions of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). We filed the lawsuit, worked for hours on the affidavits, carried out the tedious depositions, prepared the case and went to trial because we did not want to be passive in the face of another egregious assault on basic civil liberties, because resistance is a moral imperative, and because, at the very least, we hoped we could draw attention to the injustice of the law. None of us thought we would win. But every once in a while the gods smile on the damned.

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Oh, no O(bama) . . . Tell me it ain’t so!

December 19, 2011 | By | 2 Replies More
Oh, no O(bama) . . . Tell me it ain’t so!

I remember taking a course at Saint Louis University in International Law with Professor Jean-Robert Leguey-Feilleux Ph.D. in my college days in the late 1970’s and early 1980’s. The course included a discussion of terrorism. Dr. Leguey-Feilleux told us one of the issues before the United Nations and the international community was a definition of “terrorism.” The best definition of “terrorism” I remember, and the one my instructor endorsed, was “the taking of innocents for political purposes.”

Terrorism is not necessarily killing, but may cause death and certainly fear. Terrorism is political. In another college class, political science professor and author David Easton defined “politics” as “the authoritative allocation of values.” So “terrorism” is the taking of innocents in an attempt to influence how people or peoples allocate their “values.” The primary motivator in any terrorist effort is fear. The absence of fear negates the intent of the terrorist. But fear may motivate others to seek gain from the tactical terrorist efforts for strategic purposes. I believe such was the goal of the Bush administration and still remains that of the Republican Party in the United States. I now fear we may have to add President Obama to the fold of those which have sacrificed basic American values and democratic freedoms to short term political expediency.

During the 40 or so years of the Cold War, the Republican right could be counted upon to rant about Democrats being “soft on Communism” and take electoral victories in the White House which was only interrupted by Kennedy’s “missile gap,” Johnson’s “Great Society” (following JFK’s assassination) and the blip of Jimmy Carter after Watergate. After the rise in expectations after the growth and success of the Solidarity movement in Poland, due in large part to Pope John Paul II, and similarly after Democrats like Sen. Scoop Jackson (D-WA) forced increased emigration from the old USSR (which wanted “most favored nation” trade status) and Jimmy Carter’s “human rights” focus upon US foreign policy, the Cold War ended.

Now there was a conundrum for the right. No more “soft on Communism” to run national elections strategies upon anymore. There ensued two terms of President Bill Clinton.

President Bill Clinton infuriated the right into heretofore unseen levels of spastic fits of yobbo yapping and a renewed commitment by the right and its corporatist supporters to an electoral victory in 2000. After nearly a billion dollars of campaign spending to support a candidate which the corporations invented and called “George Bush,” Bush v. Gore ensued. “W” was then anointed president thanks to the one vote of Sandra Day O’Connor, along with the rest of the Republicans on the US Supreme Court. But “W” was an unproven commodity and he foundered in his early days in the Presidency, until 9/11.

George Bush liked to repeat the mantra “9/11 changed everything” and he’s right. 9/11 gave the political Right an opportunity to claim Democrats are “soft” on terrorism just as they had in the past claimed Democrats were “soft” on Communism. George B. Shaw said; “Everyone is entitled to his opinion, but no one has a right to be wrong on the facts.” Let’s look at the former Soviet Union and its satellites as a threat and compare them to our latter day foes in the “Global War on Terror (GWOT)”.

At a minimum, the Soviet Union had hundreds of thousands, maybe a million or so, of soldiers, sailors and airmen in arms. The Soviet Union had hundreds of thousands of tanks, planes, ships and submarines. The Soviets had some 15,000 nuclear warheads, most targeted on the US. Their nukes actually worked. We may not now know where they all are, but there were some 15,000.

The Soviets had numerous substantiated chemical, nerve and biological weapons. In short, real weapons of mass destruction (WMD) existed.

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Martin Luther King: Three methods of dealing with oppression

December 18, 2011 | By | Reply More
Martin Luther King:  Three methods of dealing with oppression

Martin Luther King eloquently asserts that non-violent resistance is the best approach to oppression. He asserts, though, that he is not advocating “anarchy,” and there is such a thing as an “intelligent” use of police force. The backdrop to this discussion was the ongoing struggle to desegregate Little Rock Central High School.

In the following conversation with Dr. Kenneth Clark, King disagrees with the criticisms of Malcolm X, emphasizing that non-violent resistance is “powerful” and it is not at all the same thing as “non-resistance,” which is to be avoided, because it “leaves you in a state of stagnant passivity and dead-end complacency.”

Here is a transcript of this conversation.

The above video is mislabeled. It is not a discussion involving Malcolm X, but it is about the differences between Martin Luther King and Malcolm X. It includes excerpts from a speech by Malcolm X, as well as numerous historical and entertainment clips.

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