Sunday, May 30, 2010


So on Tuesday morning I will be leaving to go to Zambia, Africa on a missions trip! There will be no posts during this time, though I have enlisted someone (my mother) to make sure all comments are published. Thank you, and pray I don't fall into the Atlantic Ocean. :P

A Rant on Paul

Rand Paul is the country's new up-and-coming. The savior of the liberty movement. The amazing, awesome, splendiferous son of Ron Paul, the almighty one.

Alright, maybe not that bad. But you'd think it, with the reaction he's getting in some circles.

I know several people who are known for berating the Republicans and Democrats for lemming behavior. Then they do this: vote for a name like 'Paul', without thought to the actual beliefs of said Paul.

However, I will not support Rand. Why? The reasons are simple: I just don't agree with him. At all. He supports the war in Afghanistan. He supports measures like the PATRIOT act. He is for banning of abortion and granting person hood to unborn children. He has even said he is not a Libertarian, and doesn't want to be identified with the group.

So why in the world are Libertarians falling for him?

And many are- I know several. I think it can be traced back to the issue of his last name and his parentage. Yet do we really want a dynastic Congress? Really?

Furthermore, I think many Paulite Libertarians have fooled themselves into thinking Rand is lying for the purposes of political expediency, for which there is no proof. Could he be lying? Certainly. However, Rand has no record whatsoever. We don't know how he will vote. Hence, I must assume that what he says is what he truly believes. And frankly, what he says I don't agree with.

So I find the willingness to give him the benefit of the doubt a bit puzzling. I know that his positions don't align with some of the beliefs of my friends. So why are they following him so ardently?

Monday, May 17, 2010

Yet Another Blow...

Against civil liberties is being proposed. On the heels of the latest proposal (to take away Miranda rights) comes this gem- if a person is suspected of being in collusion with a foreign terrorist organization, he or she will be stripped of their citizenship and detained indefinitely. By the military.

Oh joy.

Let's forget Constitutionality- again- and do what is needed to keep us...'safe.' Sort of.

This is so wrong, I don't even know where to begin. For starters- what part of 'inalienable' and 'not infringe' did you not understand?

Secondly, in America we have this wonderful thing that sets us apart from a lot of other countries (especially those ones we style as 'the enemy' and berate practically every day)- innocent until proven guilty. This has been a fundamental tenet of the American legal justice system for a long time. Apparently though, even that goes by the wayside while we're on a quest for this elusive 'safety.'

In closing, I'd like to bring attention this little tidbit-
"Citing with approval news reports that President Obama has signed a secret order authorizing the targeted killing of a radical Yemeni-American cleric, Anwar Al-Awlaki, Mr. Lieberman argued that if that policy was legal — and he said he believed it was — then stripping people of citizenship for joining terrorist organizations should also be acceptable."

Oh nice. Let's take one piece of bad decision-making, turn it around, then use it as justification for another piece of bad decision-making! Oh, I like it.

Only in the government...

Saturday, May 15, 2010


Word of warning- this was written Friday when I was half-asleep. Staying up till 3am is not a recipe for excellent blog posts. Trust me.


So I liked the title. This will be quite a bit more than sound-bytes.

On that subject, just a word on sound-bytes. I hate them. Absolutely detest them. I especially detest people that speak for sound-bytes. Like Sarah Palin or Obama. Palin is quite conceivably worse than Obama because she doesn't have a polished manner to pass off her sound-byte-speaking-ness as good speech-making. It's like every time the woman opens her mouth, a sound-byte comes out. It's annoying. ^.^


On the Miranda warning issue I wrote about the other day- this is an excellent op-ed piece on the issue. Quite good. ^.^

Increased Regulation = good, apparently

Mm-hmm. Now, I'm all for a certain bit of regulation. There are certain things that have to be regulated for our safety. For instance, immigration. Should be regulated. Imports and exports. Should be regulated, within reason. Corporations should be held in check to some extent, I think. There is a time and a place for government in business.

However, there are also times it goes overboard. And things like this happen-
"For example, the F.D.A. announced in October that it intended to ban the sale of raw, untreated oysters harvested from the Gulf of Mexico in warm months. Fifteen deaths a year are attributed to eating oysters with a cholera-like bacteria."

Now, I am absolutely convinced no possible health benefits could arise from eating fish. No, I don't care what some health expert says. I don't like fish. (Of course, one of my friends is convinced I am going to learn to love fish, but that's another discussion.) So if you're stupid enough to eat oysters when they're not in season, you deserve what you get (does that sound cruel?).

In all seriousness, I don't see why we should be regulating that. If people eat them and get sick, well, they should know the risks. You can't regulate stupidity. It never works, trust me.

Like I said, there are certain times we need regulation. Regulation has its place. But that place isn't micro-managing every facet of the production, distribution, and use of products.

Afghans Distrust us?!! What?!

Unfortunately yeah, they do. More properly, they distrust our puppet government. I can't imagine why they would...I mean, it's just full of corruption, and was set up by Americans who attacked their country without just cause and who keep destroying their reason at all to distrust the government!!

However, what are we worried about?

Not that the Afghan people distrust us and our government, or that they might be getting sick of us...instead, we're worried about what effect said feelings will have on our strategy.


The problem can't be with our strategy. Our strategy is fool-proof. We are Americans. We are supreme. We know all. The problem is with the people. They just don't know what they want. They need to be happy. We freed them!! From a repressive regime!

Ignore the problem. It saves worry-power.

In all fairness though, it does seem like our military might possibly be trying. Of course...once again, another faction of the population doesn't want our help. This time, it's Karzai himself, who is of course, skirting the issue just a bit so as to avoid offending his American sponsors. In an effort by our forces to ease corruption, we're trying to get solid local governments set up.

Karzai doesn't want our help. That would imperil his own power.

One of the main reasons the Taliban was not a good government was because they did not make an effort to understand the dynamics of Afghanistan. They imposed their own system without discretion. How different are we, really? We want to impose freedom, democracy, American ways without thought to how well the Afghans will acclimate to that system.

Throughout history, foreign meddling has only put the Afghan system off-balance. They are a people that are very resourceful and can take care of themselves. Leave them alone, and they will find a balance. Americans need to get over the idea that only we can bring stability to the world.

America, exit stage right.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Taking Away Your Rights...

So the terrorists can't destroy them!

It works. It's awesome. We should try it.

Of course...we are.

Under a measure currently being discussed around the White House Round Table, Miranda RIghts might be, shall we say...modified. Or rather, the mode of administering them will be. You see, in the ten seconds it will take to tell a suspect he has the right to silence and a fair trial, we might be in imminent danger of a terror attack.

Oh, and don't forget the fact that they might actually like, take advantage of those rights. And that would be bad.

According to Eric Holder, we need more "flexibility" to deal with terror suspects. Which, of course, naturally means being able to delay the ritual reading of the rights. (Not that that would pose a problem to someone informed of American law- all you have to do if arrested is demand your rights as a prisoner. Quite simple, but I digress.)

This springs, I believe from a misconception that the reading of Miranda Rights automatically means that the suspect will stop talking to us- which is a pretty serious error. History is full of people who had their Miranda Rights read to them, then proceeded to talk. Like, it happens every day.

Of course, precedent is somewhat established...from the article-
"Under the current public safety exception, statements obtained before issuing the Miranda warning may be used in court -- including to charge suspects -- if it is determined that police needed to obtain information quickly to prevent further crimes. Once an immediate threat is ruled out, the Miranda warning must be read, under current law."

Oh goodie. So if there's a suspicion you might be on the verge of a terrorist attack (or any other kind of crime) they can delay reading you your rights because of it. (Even though, technically, you still have the right to remain silent. I wonder, what would they do if some terror suspect refused to talk under such auspices?)

In any case, this seems silly. Let's say we catch a suspect on the verge of blowing up a bomb, as in the case of the Pakistani-American bomb suspect we caught last weekend. The threat is easily seen (not that his bomb was much threat). So do we delay reading rights under this exception with the excuse that there might be other threats?

"The goal of revisions would be to give law enforcement officials greater latitude to hold suspects within the criminal justice system and interrogate them for long periods of time -- without having to transfer them to a military system or designate them as enemy combatants, officials said. "

Oh nice. And once again, the Obama admin pulls a Bush- instead of following the rule of law, we'll do what's convenient, circumvent the Constitution, all in the name of safety for La People. (Do they ever ask us if we want to be kept safe in such a manner? Of course not.)

According to the Washington Post, the changes may take a different form- instead of changing the public safety exception, the statute limiting how long a prisoner can be interrogated without coming to trial.

Which isn't any better.

Maybe (and here's a novel idea) we should just leave the system like it is and instead like, work within it. And do things right- in other words, Constitutionally. If you don't want to try terror suspects in civil court, put them in military tribunals. Of course, we can't do that because they're not part of a uniformed military. So hence, they are civilians and should be tried so.

What are we afraid of that we can't do that? That we've detained a bunch of innocent people?

Maybe we should examine that just a little...

Sunday, May 9, 2010

And This is Called Blowback

Surprise, surprise.

Imagine this amazing concept- we do things and, like, the Middle Easterners want to do things back! It's like, totally weird.

In all seriousness, I don't understand the surprise here. We did things- pretty big things. Like, oh, messing in the politics of the region, keeping bases open all over the Middle East, invading two of their countries, threatening to invade two more, fanatically upholding a nation that has done some pretty horrid stuff over the years...

But all that has nothing to do with our current situation. Oh no. Our bombing of their countries has nothing to do with the current soaring recruitment numbers, not at all.

And this is what we call Doublethink, children.

What we do has an effect on what they do. What we do always has an effect on someone else's actions. The same principle applies here. (It's called blowback, BTW, if you were wondering...)

Oh and another note- Obama is going to get us all killed. He's so soft on those evil terrorists, after all.
"His first year in office he authorized more Predator strikes — more than 50 — than President Bush did in his last four years in office. In December, accepting the Nobel Peace Prize, Mr. Obama stated that sometimes peace requires war. “I face the world as it is, and cannot stand idle in the face of threats to the American people,” he said. Negotiations “could not have halted Hitler’s armies. Negotiations cannot convince Al Qaeda’s leaders to lay down their arms.”"

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Here and Now...

Well, it's about that time again. It gets to where there's so much going on that I don't know where to start, so I don't post, and I just make things worse for myself (I'm a terrible procrastinator, and you'd think I'd learn), and then end up having to condense everything into three paragraph blurbs and combine them into one rather longish post that deals with more than one issue.

So yes. Here we go.

The Oil Spill

Yes, yes. The oil spill that is going to kill lots of little animals out in the ocean and endanger fishing livlihoods all over the US. Well...I never liked fish, so that's no skin off my nose. I haven't been following this story very much, mostly because oil is of absolutely zero interest to me.

But looks like the new opening up of offshore drilling places (you see how horribly ignorant I am of this issue?) is going to be postponed because of this spill. However, this spill has also (according to some members of Congress) made it politically unfeasible to try to pass energy and climate legislation- probably because any plan that'll get in good with the Republican minority will have to include something increasing offshore drilling, and the environmentalists aren't going to go for that right now...

And I sort of agree with them. Let's see...we just had a huge oil spill that may or may not have been caused by poor security or safety practices, and we want to add more cooks in the kitchen? o.0 Yeah. That's smart. Not.

Supreme Court Appointments and You

So with Justice Stevens retiring, that leaves another spot open on the Supreme Court. Meaning Obama gets to appoint another Justice. Which obviously means that we'll have to be subjected to a repeat of last year's Sotomayor Fiasco, with accusations whirling, counter-accusations being shot back, and underneath it all, the absolute certainty on the Right that Obama is an evil socialist who wants to enslave us all.

Hence this lovely quote- "Senate Republicans said they would be watchful for a nominee who made decisions based on his or her "own views and political agendas," in the words of Sen. Jeff Sessions (Ala.), the ranking Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee..."

Translation: "We're going to absolutely flip over any nominee you send us who isn't Republican and making decisions based on our views. Because anything less is absolutely unamerican."

And of course, being the civil rights geek I am, I was wondering exactly what the potential judges think about said rights...which, of course, means this caught my eye.

What exactly do the potential Justices think about executive power? Their records are vastly dissimilar in many ways, but I must say this woman talks some sense-
"Of the three, Judge Wood, of the appeals court in Chicago, has the clearest record in favor of protecting civil liberties and taking a skeptical stance toward executive power. In a 2003 essay, she spoke out against approaches to counterterrorism that she said posed “a significant threat to the continued observance of the rule of law” — like giving noncitizens fewer due process rights than citizens and sacrificing individual privacy to foster intelligence-gathering.

“In a democracy, those responsible for national security (principally, of course, the executive branch) must do more than say, ‘trust us, we know best’ when they are proposing significant intrusions on liberties protected by the Constitution,” Judge Wood wrote."

Thank you, Ms. Wood. One of the other prospective nominees (another woman, Ms. Kagan), I feel more iffy about. She has a known record of siding with the White House when it comes to executive power...and that's not a good thing. The other front-runner, one Merrick Garland, also has a mixed record which means he could go either way when it comes down to a decision on the issue.

Now I know very little about all the prospective nominees, but the NYTimes did a piece giving a brief blurb about each. Check it out.

Israel and Nukes, oh me oh my....

So it's happened. Finally, the IAEA is looking into Israel's nuclear capabilities. After ignoring her lapse for years in favor of jumping all over non-nuclear countries that are trying to proceed with their own programs, somebody has finally blown the whistle on Israel and asked for an investigation.

Sort of.

Israel is eighth on the agenda. Tentatively. Of course, if Israel and her allies (us) throw a big enough fit, she'll be struck off the agenda, probably never to return. Which would be wrong.

I thought the UN was about the world working together to reach common goals. I thought the UN was about us all knowing what everybody else was doing, so that nobody gets ahold of something they shouldn't (which kind of makes the whole world sound like a playdate...). So why shouldn't Israel's nuclear arsenal be discussed?

We've consistently yelled at Iran about their nukes (which they don't have). We went to war in Iraq over nukes (which they didn't have). We've consistently lambasted North Korea for their possession (and testing) of nukes. Yet somehow, our allies and ourselves are immune to this wave of criticism against the Big Bad Boy Bomb.


Ah yes. The difference. Iran would use nukes, and we never wou- Uh....wait...

Iran would use nukes, but Israel never would. Ever.

And we know both of these things for certain because we read the minds of their leaders. Uh-huh. Tell me how that works out for ya'.

How Convenient- Pakistan and the 'Square Bomber

So after the bomber-that-wasn't, our Government has decided Pakistan is the new Enemy of the State. Which of course means that the most obvious course of action is to invade their country, or, in the nice language of our President, "put more boots on the ground."

You almost have to wonder how this could happen so conveniently. Obama is looking for a way to invade Pakistan (for purposes of "national security", naturally), and hark! A bomb! Driven by a dummy who was trained in a Pakistani Taliban camp! He's a Pakistani Talib! Help!! Invade Pakistan!!

Of course.

Now naturally, the Pakistanis don't want us invading their nice little country. But that's okay. That's why we've been really nice to Islamabad lately. That way Pakistan will like us. Or maybe not. We'll just have to get hit with another attack, that's- oh wait. Did we say that out loud? ^.^