Friday, November 9, 2007

Why The Left Fears the Right

Yesterday, I wrote about how the left has abandoned the people. In my twisted little way, that article was prompted by thinking about who on the left was stills standing up for populism. Largely because of the right's successful branding of populists as "humanists" (a super-dirty word to all the evangelical dominionists who form the far religious right) and "socialists" (anyone who thinks that government money should be used to further social programs) and the further branding of anyone who speaks for military reduction and true diplomacy instead of embargo or attack as a soft wimp.

Still, as I was thinking yesterday morning, there are a few lefties who still stand their ground. They are the ones the Democratic party should be listening to and following. They are the ones who are sometimes found standing alone in the empty chambers of the Congress reading their objections to our national neuroses into the Congressional Record. They are Dennis Kucinich, Robert Byrd, John Conyers, Charles Rangel, Patrick Leahy, and Daniel Patrick Moynihan.

As a great example of this, Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vermont) stood last month to object to yet another move by BushCo to enable easy declaration of martial law.

It is this area of law that most scares those of us on the left, and it is also in this area that the radical right most vehemently condemns anyone who speaks out against it. In the time that Bush has been in office, the right has passed and/or tacitly allowed so many infringements upon the rights of the people that this last act , Public Law 109-364 - the "John Warner Defense Authorization Act of 2007 was seen by Leahy as actually encouraging the declaration of martial law.

Such a declaration is, to the left, the most disastrous possible way that an American government could act. Martial law is the complete antithesis of democracy and as such should only be possible under the most strident attempts by enemies of the state to take our nation down. The big threat arises now because enabling easy declaration of martial law is just the cap on a pillar of earlier legislation that step-by-step made it easier for the Executive branch to declare persons enemies of the state.

The risk of martial law is greatly enhanced when the president can declare individuals to be enemies of the state without due cause as enabled by the Patriot Act. That risk is also made more imminent when the president can authorize surveillance of individuals without judicial oversight. It is worsened when the courts can be sidestepped by virtue of the Military Commissions Act of 2006.

And now, Leahy says, the last barriers to the use of the military to supplant civilian police officers are being removed by the Warner Defense Act.

Historically, the government has always been barred from using the military as domestic police. The Insurrection Act (10U.S.C.331-335) and the Posse Comitatus Act (18U.S.C.1385) have worked to prohibit such action. But the John Warner Defense Authorization Act of 2007, signed into law by President Bush on October 17, 2007 removes the bars. Acting in conjunction with the Military Commissions Act which allows torture and detention abroad, this law makes the same allowances at home.

Read more about this and the detentions centers in place to imprison declared enemies of the state in this article: Bush Moves Toward Martial Law and be prepared to shiver from the chills it will run up and down your spine.

Next week, more about our loss of freedoms and the motivations behind the far right movement to advance its interests by infringing upon yours. In the meantime -- thank any politician you know who stands up for your rights and thank your stars that they are there.

Be the change you wish to see in the world. -- M. K. Gandhi

Individually we have little voice. Collectively we cannot be ignored.
But in silence we surrender our power. Yours in Peace -- BR

The reason for going was to keep the crude flowing and raise a false flag abroad. – from a poem by Jack Evans titled 3500 Souls

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