Thursday, January 21, 2010

Why is the Right so quick to give up freedoms?

This is a debate worth having because it is central to our way of life, rights, and freedoms as guaranteed by the Constitution of The United States.
The Bill Of Rights is not on the Table. The United States is different than Nazi Germany or the old Soviet Union. We are different from England before the Magna Carter. We have a Bill of Rights which has seen us through a Revolution, the war of 1812, the Civil War and two world wars. We have faced espionage during the Cold War and since then a series of bombings by home grown terrorists such as Timothy McVeigh, Eric Rudolph the Atlanta Olympics bomber, and all of the clinic bombings and shootings of doctors by other forms of terrorists.
Supreme Court Justice Robert Jackson who presided over the Nuremberg Trials in Germany after WWII said:

” The very purpose of a Bill of Rights was to withdraw certain subjects from the vicissitudes of political controversy, to place them beyond the reach of majorities and officials and to establish them as legal principles to be applied by the courts. One's right to life, liberty, and property, to free speech, a free press, freedom of worship and assembly, and other fundamental rights may not be submitted to vote; they depend on the outcome of no elections”.

What Jackson’s statement means is that the Bill of Rights cannot be voted in or out of power; it cannot be changed to make political points or to be applied on a case by case basis. The Bill of rights is there to protect us. “Us” is all human beings. Once a group in power can deny rights to other groups - the slippery slope is in play. Your group may be next.
We all want to stop terrorism. The debate should be about how we stop it. Make no mistake about it; terrorism never ends; to treat terrorism like a war is to employ incomplete thinking. “The war on terror” is a convenient shorthand phrase to make a point at best. The worst case scenario for classifying terrorism as a war is that our own constitution is in jeopardy of being dismantled out of fear. We have had the fear massages on full since September 11, 2001. Even if the fear is real, we do not have to give up the right of Habeas Corpus; to say that we need to in some cases or else the sky will fall - is a false choice.
Remember Richard Reid, he was the shoe bomber? On December 22, 2001 passengers on Flight 63 smelled smoke, much like the passengers on the aircraft December 25, 2009 when Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab failed in the same manner as Reid. Today, the shoe bomber is in a maximum security prison with no hope of parole. McVeigh has been executed. We expect that the courts will take care of Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab in a similar manner. We have a system that works. Our system is not broken; let’s not be too quick to throw away our rights.
Don’t let political demagogues scare you into giving up our precious “Bill of Rights” How many US service people gave up their lives in the world wars thinking that their ultimate sacrifice would ensure our freedoms? Our freedoms cannot be taken away by terrorists unless we want them to win. Do not let sloppy thinking and populous slogans seduce you into giving up the best safeguard in the world …our Bill Of Rights.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Re: the healthcare debate or debacle.

Is Obama’s problem with getting credible healthcare reform one of being forced to compromise the original plan into oblivion? Is anyone looking at healthcare reform from a macro level then zooming into / identifying the various elements which are obscured by total right wing attacks from every direction? First we had the inaccurate muddying of the waters of the Acorn nonexistent reason that the economy failed because black people made the govt. give them loans they could not pay back, then we had the Birthers, followed by the Tea Baggers who along with the numbskull Palin made healthcare reform something that was going to be forced down people’s throats with death panels and a new name: Obama-care. All while the preceding is taking place the feeble economy, left in shambles by Bush, and is promptly blamed on Obama, is the background that poisons the air for all the other programs. With so many cannonballs flying at Obama from every direction not to mention the Blue Dogs in his own party blocking healthcare because the conservatives in their district are too stupid to know what is going on, believe the Tea-Baggers from last summer and because of that, the need for a couple of Republican votes to get anything to pass- he has had to negotiate the healthcare bill down to a shadow of its original self. The question is: What should he do? Where is the advice? He will get no help from the Republicans who want him to fail according to their leader … Rush Limbaugh so they can get back into power. So what is the approach from those of you who can write clearly and who have a portal to get information into the hands of those who can use it? The whole attack from the right needs to be analyzed and presented as rational story and explanation that will be heard and calm the fears of those who believe the garbage that the right passes off as fact. The left is out gunned by the grip the right has on the media. Maybe that is the first thing that is exposed. The left needs to push back hard and fast. Write letters or email your congressman, tell how you feel about the issues they need your feedback - they need guidance.