Wednesday, July 29, 2009

And The Fear Just Keeps On Coming.....

As we move further into the Obama era, we find ourselves as a culture facing both the possible chasm between promises and reality as well as the fallout from the Dubya years that we thought wouldn't surprise us. It turns out the betrayal of trust from Shrub, Dick the Dick and company flirted even further with dictatorship than we thought.

First up is Dick Cheney wanting to use U.S. troops to arrest terror suspects on U.S. soil. Cheney claimed the President had the power to use troops to arrest people in the U.S. (a violation of the Posse Comitatus Act). Ironically Bush decided to use the FBI to arrest the Lockawanna Six, but this is yet another reminder of how reckless the previous administration wanted to trash the Constitution and create a possible police state.

However, it may appear that the military has already violated Posse Comitatus Act when activists in Olympia, WA filed a Freedom of Information Act request and discovered a military operative was spying on them. The guy claimed to be a civilian employee at Ft Lewis but was actually a member of Ft. Lewis' Force Protection Service. While activists try to figure out what happened, the damage is done.

Some in Congress want hearings into U.S. intelligence activities and their possible abuses. If they happen, we should also ask how much of this occured under Obama's watch as much as from the known war criminals of the previous administration.

What happens next is too early to tell. However, as the title of this post suggests, teh fear just keeps on coming. So much for transparency.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

R.I.P. - Walter Chronkite

When I got to where I was crashing Friday night I was coming back from the Sonic Youth concert in St. Louis and wanted to see what was up. It was then that I learned that TV news legend Walter Chronkite had died at 92.

While we've all heard or read the memorial pieces about him, this piece from Glenn Greenwald was the best piece on Chronkite I'd come across. It mentions the apparent difference between what Chronkite did and what journalism (especially on the telly) has become today.

I hope you find it as interesting as I did.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Catching Up - The Topics Edition (Part One)

Hey, I know it's been a while. Sorry for not posting in a while but I got distracted between all the things going on as well as trying to get some personal things dealt with (trust me - you don't want to know). With that in mind, I'm going to try my return here with a multi topic post that I hope doesn't fall flat.

First up is the murder of Dr. George Tiller a month and a half ago. While I think anyone regardless of their views on abortion find the way he died repulsive, I'm especially sickened by the way some in the anti choice/pro forced pregnancy movement have made his killer Scott Roeder into some potential martyr, with some assholes even claiming that he's a hero sent by god. What the fuck are these people up to?

It's obvious that Roeder ain't no damn hero. It can also be said that, since Roeder was caught vandalizing a clinic the day before that it's possible this could have been avoided.

However, we can't change the past. I do wonder though why the system gives more leeway to an asshole like Roeder, who claims his jail conditions are "barbaric" than it does to some animal rights activists and environmentalists sentenced to CMU units inside U.S. Prisons. This is still a story in progress so I have a feeling I'll be going back to this topic now and then for a while.

Now let's move on to the Sonia Sotomayor Supreme Court hearings in Congress. Like many people I saw a bit of news footage but hadn't seen the whole thing because I have things to do. However, am I the only one that thinks the Republicans bringing up the "Wise Latina" comment is beyond tired? Yes I know the neocons (which the GOP has been pretty much reduced to after eight years of these people gone wild over the Constitution) are playing race issues as often as possible, but this is ridiculous. Between this and the usual playing politics, the news clips would be entertaining if these people weren't serious. Hell Pat Buchanan wants race brought up more as a wedge issue.

So why do the Republicans keep bringing up race and the "wise Latina" comment? Mainly 'cause they know if they repeat something out of context enough times they can get people to believe it. Add to this Sen. Tom Coburn (R, OK) and his imitation of Ricky Ricardo and I'm amazed that Sotomayor has stayed calm. Most likely she'll get confirmed to the Court, but nothing surprises me with the neocons.

There is one thing that should be brought up in the Sotomayor case: the fact that a wrongfully convicted inmate (later cleared by DNA evidence) had his appeal denied by Sotomayor. This should be brought up and discussed, if for no other reason than transparency.

While I do worry that Sotomayor might move the Supreme Court further to the right,it's obvious she's more qualified than some of the people Dubya appointed.

So what next? I don't know. But this should be a start for now.