You are currently browsing the daily archive for August 12, 2007.

Thank you anonymous for the link!

I kept waiting for “Shut Up and Sing” to pop up on the “new releases” marquee at the video rental I patronize. When I asked, an employee told me that the store had abstained because of the film’s controversial theme.

I tried to confirm this assertion with a regional manager. I found that getting ahold of someone who would confirm or deny this assertion was like asking to interview Dick Cheney without Fox News credentials.

So, I started calling a succession of Waco’s video stores, mostly chains. No “Shut Up” for rental. Hmmm. I did find two copies for purchase at separate retailers. That’s the $19.95 I had no intention of surrendering. What to do?

One problem is that I no longer knew how to contact my friend Jerry. He’s the one-time convenience-store employee who supplied for me a copy of Martin Scorcese’s “Last Temptation of Christ,” in a brown envelope, back in 1988.

That controversial film was stopped at every port in our landlocked city — not shown in theaters; couldn’t rent it; couldn’t buy it; the cable company blocked it on Showtime.

Apparently Michael Moore doesn’t fare any better.

Courtesy of Greg. What’s very interesting about this resolution is that it references a right winger (Corsi) and a left winger (Chossudovsky), not to mention the libertarian/conservative think tank CATO, and the ACLU.


RESOLUTION OPPOSING BUSH EXECUTIVE ORDERS THAT VIOLATE U.S. CONSTITUTION and CALLING FOR PUBLIC ACTION

WHERAS, President George W. Bush has issued two executive orders and the CIA has published a National Intelligence Estimate during the past three months that could lead to an extraordinary, unprecedented and unconstitutional taking of legislative and judicial branch prerogatives at great costs to personal rights hard-won by generations of Americans, and

WHEREAS, on May 9, 2007, Bush issued a major presidential National Security Directive (National Security and Homeland Security Presidential Directive NSPD 51/HSPD 20), which would allow him to “take over all government functions and direct all private sector activities” (1) and “suspend constitutional government and instate broad dictatorial powers under martial law in the case of a “Catastrophic Emergency” (2), defined in the Directive as “any incident, regardless of location, that results in extraordinary levels of mass casualties, damage, or disruption severely affecting the U.S. population, infrastructure, environment, economy, or government functions,” and

WHEREAS, National Emergencies Act (50 U.S.C. 1601-1651) requires the President to declare formally the existence of a national emergency and to specify what statutory authority, activated by the declaration, would be used; and provides Congress with a means to countermand the President’s declaration and the activated authority being sought, according to a Congressional report (3), and

WHEREAS, the May 9, 2007, Directive “appears to supersede the National Emergencies Act by creating the new position of National Continuity Coordinator without any specific act of Congress authorizing the position” and “makes no reference whatsoever to Congress” (4), and

WHEREAS, on July 11, 2007, the CIA published its “National Intelligence Estimate,” which pointed to an imminent Al Qaeda attack on America, a second 9/11, and which, according to the terms of NSPD 51, “would immediately be followed by the suspension of constitutional government and the instatement of martial law under the authority of the president and the vice-president,” if the President declares a “Catastrophic Emergency,” (5), and

WHEREAS, on July 17, 2007, Bush issued “Executive Order: Blocking Property of Certain Persons Who Threaten Stabilization Efforts in Iraq,” which provides the President with “the authority to confiscate the assets of whoever opposes the US-led war,” serving to criminalize the antiwar movement and making opposition to the war an illegal act, (6) by “authorizing the Treasury Department to freeze and confiscate the assets of anyone determined “‘to have committed, or to pose a significant risk of committing’ acts of violence with the ‘purpose or effect’ of hindering the Iraqi government or reconstruction efforts,” authorizing “the freezing of assets of anyone who provides ‘material support’ to such a person or group, whether or not the person’s support was knowing or intentional” and by “expressly prohibit(ing) even donations of ‘food, clothing, and medicine intended to be used to relieve human suffering,'” (7) and

WHEREAS, the American Civil Liberties Union believes the Order’s “sweeping provisions pose risks for residents of the United States and for humanitarian work in Iraq,” “could have a serious chilling effect on charitable contributions intended to ease the suffering in Iraq,” “reaches far beyond criminal activity to activity that may be entirely innocent,” and that a “person may find herself inadvertently in violation of this order and there is no provision for judicial review,” (8), and

WHEREAS, the conservative Cato Institute has issued a Policy Analysis on “Executive Orders and National Emergencies” that states “Congress needs to take more effective action to check presidential usurpations of legislative power and restore the constitutional structure of government,” “if we are to be saved from …autocracy,” and “Congress has such power…to modify or revoke all presidential directives except those undertaken pursuant to constitutional powers, such as the power to pardon, that are vested in the
president, (9)

WHEREAS, the July 17 Executive Order “violates the First (guaranteeing freedom of speech), Fourth (prohibiting unreasonable searches and seizure without warrants based on probable cause) and Fifth (ensuring no person shall be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law) Amendments of the US Constitution” and “repeals one of the fundamental tenets of US democracy, which is the right to free expression and dissent,” (10) and violates the rule of law in America ensuring the innocence of the accused until proven guilty by empowering the Bush Administration to seize a person’s property, if found to “pose a significant risk of committing an act of violence,” even if no act whatsoever has been committed,

WHEREAS, together, these Orders and National Intelligence Estimate have been characterized by one expert as “ultimately geared towards repealing constitutional government and installing martial law in the event of a ‘national emergency,'” (11),

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the Humboldt County Democratic Central Committee condemns actions by George W. Bush to deprive the American people of their constitutional rights and bestow on himself the right to assume dictatorial powers,

AND FURTHER BE IT RESOLVED, that the Humboldt County Democratic Committee urgently requests United States Senators Barbara Boxer and Dianne Feinstein, Representative Mike Thompson and all other publicly elected office holders, regardless of political affiliation, to immediately commit the full strength of their resolve and influence to protecting the rights of all United States citizens by reversing these Executive Orders and constraining Presidential authority to within its constitutional limits by whatever legal means available.

REFERENCES



by Jerome R. Corsi received a Ph.D. from Harvard University in political science and has written many books and articles, including his latest best-seller, “The Late Great USA.”




by Michel Chossudovsky, the author of the international best seller America’s “War on Terrorism” Second Edition, Global Research, 2005. He is Professor of Economics at the University of Ottawa and Director of the Center for Research on Globalization.





“National Emergency Powers Updated,” Nov. 13, 2006.



(4) ibid, Corsi.



(5) ibid, Chossudovsky.



(6) ibid, Chossudovsky.



(7) “ACLU Says Executive Order ‘Material Support’ Provision Sweeps Too Broadly and Will Restrict Humanitarian Efforts in Iraq,” July 27, 2007, http://www.aclu.org/natsec/warpowers/31113prs20070727.html.



(8) ibid, ACLU.



(9) ibid, Chossudovsky.



(10) ibid, Chossudovsky.


From the NY Times:

John Edwards, the former North Carolina senator, would keep troops in the region to intervene in an Iraqi genocide and be prepared for military action if violence spills into other countries. Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton of New York would leave residual forces to fight terrorism and to stabilize the Kurdish region in the north. And Senator Barack Obama of Illinois would leave a military presence of as-yet unspecified size in Iraq to provide security for American personnel, fight terrorism and train Iraqis.

These positions and those of some rivals suggest that the Democratic bumper-sticker message of a quick end to the conflict — however much it appeals to primary voters — oversimplifies the problems likely to be inherited by the next commander in chief. Antiwar advocates have raised little challenge to such positions by Democrats.

Gov. Bill Richardson of New Mexico stands apart, having suggested that he would even leave some military equipment behind to expedite the troop withdrawal. In a forum at a gathering of bloggers last week, he declared: “I have a one-point plan to get out of Iraq: Get out! Get out!”

He’s not out of the mainstream like Kucinich. If the majority of Americans are really against the war, then where is their support for an antiwar candidate? Are the pollsters lying? Are the people polled unfamiliar with the positions?

Does this position of Obama’s conflict with his pullout resolution?

The photo comes from the Times article linked above.

….

In other presidential race news, here’s why Mitt Romney probably can’t win the nomination.

Thanks to someone off-forum for the link. I’ll say something more about it later, though there’s really not too much to say.

Friends of yours Stephen?

Addendum: On a related topic, here’s an articulate disillusioned Kossack who left the Daily Kos community. He explains why.

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