Obama signs the NDAA and ends American Democracy: RIP America (1776-2011)

I had such high hopes for this man when I voted for him. I was so tired of seeing white men in office, even being white myself, that I wanted him to show people that they needn't conform to societal stereotypes. But he was a Trojan horse, and has now done more harm to this country than anyone President before him. I can no longer call him my president, as he has sold me into bondage. He has transformed the home of the free into a military dictatorship. It is now perfectly legal for him to come arrest me for even saying this; to lock me up without charge, detain me without recourse to trial or access to an attourney, even torture and assassinate me. And you as well, for reading this. Welcome to the rise of tyranny, my friends. I encourage you to disavow the rogue government and establish your own communal governments and police forces. No one in Washington, or commanded by them is any longer 'for the people, by the people.'

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Comment by matthew greenberg on January 6, 2012 at 8:35am
Comment by John Camilli on January 4, 2012 at 1:58pm

Yeah, matthew, over a dozen states have adopted those laws already, and I'm sure others are in the midst of filing their paperwork. More evidence of the rampage of authoritative tyranny in this country. It absolutely galls me that anyone could vote in favor of making it illegal to film public servants doing their public service, in public. There are even some cases of people getting into legal trouble for filming or audiotaping police who had entered their homes. That's just insane to me; I can't understand it.

 

Glen, I feel like those laws are redundant because they fall under the category of illegal search and seizure, and due process. It only stands to reason that if police ignore those rights they should not be able to introduce evidence against the person they violated. I suppose I must concede that the brutality has, in some respects, declined, but it also seems to me that more of it is being legalized, rather than eliminated. It's like they were able to get away with it for a long time because either no one was watching or because no one would listen to the minorities they were brutalizing, but now that it's being noticed more and more, it seems they just decided to say 'fuck it! It's legal now because we refuse to quit doing it.' So while they were ignoring the law before and keeping it under wraps, now that they can't keep it under wraps, they are changing the law to permit their abuses. I have to say I think the latter process is scarier, though perhaps my tune would be different if I were a minority. Perhaps I would feel that not much was changing, except that white people would now have to endure what I had already been enduring. Either way, it's disturbing to me.

Comment by Glen Rosenberg on January 4, 2012 at 12:52pm

Actually John, police brutality in US is not as significant as it used to be. There is a line of evidentiary cases which make it illegal to introduce evidence obtained after beating the hell out of the suspect. You are probably familiar with Miranda v Arizona. Then there are the so called fruit of the poisonous tree cases which make it illegal to introduce evidence which relates to the initial illegal grab bag.

Those cases were a matter of judicial activism to address the brutality cases which mostly relate to confessions under duress. Historically it was especially rough on blacks and minorities. Even today when blacks are pulled over many will have there hands in plain view to avoid being shot.

I think history is always instructive. And as I pointed out we have a populace who will in significant measure embrace fascism. And all the gov needs is real civil unrest and or terrorism.

Comment by matthew greenberg on January 4, 2012 at 12:32pm

"even allowing for the natural inflation of reports due to the preponderance of video-capable cellphones and other surveillance. Most states are now regularly spending several hundred million dollars a year settling police brutality and misconduct cases."

 

perhaps they are, but possibly not for long.  many states are busy making "eavesdropping laws" that make it illegal to video/record any public official.  the punishments are quite severe, in some cases it's punishable for up to 75 years in prison.  i'm no expert on the law, or even this issue, but rapists get a proverbial slap on the wrist in comparison. 

Comment by John Camilli on January 4, 2012 at 12:26pm

Okay, I see what you're saying. We each had a misunderstanding. I am not for imprisoning people for being victimized any more than you are for being apathetic about this bill.

 

I suppose the only area we have a difference of opinion then, is in the root cause of the police brutality, and where it's headed (and keep in mind that I do know other countries have much worse brutality right now, but I don't like to use other places as a benchmark for comparing the state of our civil liberties. I like to use our constitution as the benchmark). The reason I think it will get worse is because of several factors: one is the increased frequency with which the brutality has been occuring, and the other is the response to it. It's impossible to keep track of it all, but even a cursory look at recent incedent reports shows me that police misconduct is occuring at a highly increased rate, even allowing for the natural inflation of reports due to the preponderance of video-capable cellphones and other surveillance. Most states are now regularly spending several hundred million dollars a year settling police brutality and misconduct cases.

 

The real problem, though, is how rarely any of the police receive criminal charges in these cases. Most times it is even rare to see any of them suspended. I'll give you a couple of examples: In Florida this year, Nick Christie was arrested and then, inside the police department, he was stripped naked, tied to a chair, gagged and pepper sprayed until he died of cardiac arrest. He was 62 years old. The coroner ruled his death a homocide, but the district attourney cleared the police involved of all charges. Another case in Arizona this year saw Phoenix police beat and choke Ernest Atencio to death while he was restrained in the police department. There's a surveillance video, in which he was clearly offering no resistance or threat to them, but over a dozen officers dogpiled him and pretty much crushed him to death. No charges. In another case, Chrystal Jolley and a friend were killed in a hit-and-run by an off-duty police cruizer going 90mph through a small town main street with a 35mpg speed limit. It was also nighttime and he had no headlights or siren lights on. When the girl's family showed up and learned what had happened they became irrate, at which point her father and three other relatives were arrested. Charges agains the relatives, no charges against the policeman.

 

I could go on through several character limits, but it becomes clear after a while that the mentality in this country has become 'the police are allowed to do anything they want, and there's nothing we can do about it.' They exist now to serve and protect themselves, and our government gives them the right to do it. This has become even more prevalent during the Occupy protests because of the available incidents for police to abuse their power. They do it wontonly and with abandon, because they know there will be no consequences. This tells me they have surpassed the threshhold of the slippery slope of power, and they will only keep sliding deeper into corruption until the people forcefully rebel.

Comment by Rob van Senten on January 4, 2012 at 7:55am

John Camilli,

I'm am quite critical of this law and have said so in this thread multiple times. I find it disturbing that indefinite detention is a part of this law for instance and that through it the normal checks and balances (trias politica) are being bypassed.

However, since I replied critically to your comment about deserving imprisonment it seems as though you seem to "know" what kind of person I am and what opinions or character traits I have, which frankly you do not. It seems as though you pushed me into a corner, in which, quite honestly, I don't think that I belong.

I am not a US Citizen, as such I worry about these kind of developments, but I do not feel that I have the option to really affect the outcome. As such I think that awareness is important and I would like to see that more US citizens are critical of this law. I cannot worry and actively fight all injustice all around the world, this is not a matter of being lazy, it's a matter of priorities. 

I do not know why but since I criticized you for your comment about deserving imprisonment it seems as though you feel that I'm criticizing the whole of your stance on this matter. This is obviously not the case, although I am less concerned then you are about current and (possible) future developments/outcomes of this law I am highly critical of the law in itself.

As i said earlier:

"the US is a long way from fascism but this bill does seem to be a mistake, to what degree and how many people will suffer because of it I'm not willing to speculate about" 

This is where you and I seem to disagree, I am afraid that this law will be misused and that people will be the victim of injustice because of it, you are convinced that this will happen. I'm not convinced that the violence against protesters for Occupy Wallstreet is anything more then stupid policemen being stupid, you seem to think that this violence is a precursor for worse atrocities.

We're not that far apart in our opinions, I think it's a pity that you seem to think so.

Comment by John Camilli on January 4, 2012 at 7:12am

Okay Rob, you're right. First off, I do have a crystal ball, and I can see the future, but for some reason no one ever believes me. My name is Cassandra.

 

Second, I'm a moral relativist who doesn't believe in the ontological existence of the thing we call "choice." I believe it's an epistemic illusion and that no one has any degree of control over anything they do, therefore no one is responsible for anything they do or don't do. No one deserves anything. I got overzealous in my attempt to warn people of what I perceive to be an impending danger, but of course I could not help myself, nor can you help that you do not believe me.

 

Only one of my above statements is a lie.

 

And, yes, it is debatable whether or not the rise of the American military dictatorship is "obvious." I suppose to someone who pays no attention to history it may seem completely novel and uncertain. But if, for instance, you had some awareness of the civil unrest in the 60's in America, you would see undeniable parallels between what happened then and what is happening now. The protests then were mostly about war, but were partially sparked by the economic frivolity with which the government engaged in those wars, as well as its blatant disregard for the safety of its citizens in sending them abroad to play 'world police.' The protests intensified because the people were being ignored, and the police began to response in increasingly violent fashion, culminating in the Kent State University shooting that killed 4 students and wounded 9 others, including one who was permanently paralyzed. Some of them had only been walking between classes and were not even involved in the peaceful sit-in.

 

To me, that all sounds scarily familiar. Already in the Occupy protests, peace has been met with escalating hostility. After being sprayed in the face and hit in the stomach by a police baton, Jennifer Fox miscarried. After being shot in the head by a teargas cainster, Iraq war veteran Scott Olsen was left without the ability to speak. Months later he is still recovering; you can hear it in his slow, deliberate and often confused speech. Authorized Press members are being arrested for photographing and videotaping the rallies (there's proof in their videos).

 

But, frankly, even if you haven't studied history, someone is here telling you about what's going on, and you are simply disregarding the warnings because you have a bug up your ass about something I said. Your priorities are messed up; you're more interested in contradicting me than you are in finding out if anything I've said is valid. Perhaps you should just ignore me and do some research of your own, but I get the impressino you are the kind of lazy seeker of the status quo who will be totally suprised when someone you love gets locked up for saying something they thought was included under free speech, but which now is an act of terrorism. Butm as I said, I believe you can't help it, so, no, you don't deserve any of it. I hope you find some vindication in that when the time comes.

Comment by Rob van Senten on January 4, 2012 at 5:52am

"if you are unwilling to pay attention and prepare yourself for what is very obviously going on, then you deserve what you get from it."


First of all, we can debate whether or not it is "obvious" what is going on, in effect you are predicting the future and this is where your opinion is quite different from others. Either you have a crystal ball that you didn't tell us about that allows you to look into the future, or it is not so obvious as you want it to be.

Secondly, there is a difference between warning a person for a falling tree and that person deserving to be crushed by it (perhaps you could argue that they deserved it to some degree) and to warn a person for another person's crimes. If John D for instance warns you that I'm a violent rapist that stalks people that I feel have offended me on the internet, do you honestly "deserve" to be violently raped by me because you (for instance) didn't protect your identity enough?

I mean, come on dude where do you draw the line? Where the Jews, gays and Jehova's Witnesses that stayed in Germany after Hitler came to power deserving of imprisonment? They "should have seen it coming?"

Comment by John Camilli on January 3, 2012 at 8:27pm

Matthew, this issue is on media blackout for a reason, because when people hear about it they are outraged that an entity that was supposed to be their government has just declared war on them. Freethinking people are now enemy combatants to the American government, and it's easier to subdue your enemies if they don't know a war is being waged on them.

 

"It does not matter if the war is not real, for when it is, victory is not possible. The war is not meant to be won, it is meant to be continuous. The essential act of modern warfare is the destruction of the produce of human labor. Hierarchial society is only possible on the basis of poverty and ignorance. In principal, the war effort is always planned to keep society on the brink of starvation. The war is waged by the ruling group against its own subjects."

 

Rob, you should recognize that quote; it's from 1984. Btw, you're reaching pretty hard to twist my words about imprisonment. I am not saying that anyone deserves to be imprisoned for a lack of fear. I am saying that if you are unwilling to pay attention and prepare yourself for what is very obviously going on, then you deserve what you get from it. You're standing in the middle of the road, a pair of headlights is barreling down on you, and you are not moving even though you are capable. I've done all I can for you; you can either get a move on or you can stay where you are and get rolled over. And to answer your question: it can get as 1984 as we let it. Power does not seek to limit itself but must be limited by other power. We must be that power, otherwise we may as well all give up and start worhsipping the American Regime.

 

It'll be Supreme Commander and Beloved Leader: Kim Jong Obama before long. There's a bit of hyperbole for you, John, but how much of an exaggeration is it really? The man's only objection to the NDAA was that it limited his power too much.

Comment by matthew greenberg on January 3, 2012 at 3:09pm

why isn't this being covered by the media? i just checked Fox News and CNN, google searched for NDAA news, and got nothing mainstream at all.  the Huffington Post is all over it, and Youtube has lots of videos of individuals discussing it, but nothing from National media.  and apparantly, this has been top news in Europe for weeks now.  something seems off about that. 

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