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Published On: Thu, May 17th, 2012

Slowly Regaining Our Sanity, Bit by Bit

But I'm an American...

A ruling by U.S. District Judge Katherine Forrest in Manhattan struck down a portion of a law giving the government wide powers to regulate the detention, interrogation and prosecution of suspected terrorists, saying it left journalists, scholars and political activists facing the prospect of indefinite detention for exercising First Amendment rights. She said in a written ruling that a single page of the law has a “chilling impact on First Amendment rights.”

This has been an uncomfortable law, right up there with the “Stop and Frisk” law in New York, that dances around the cherished first amendment rights of U.S. Citizens. Ever since the odious “Patriot Act” enacted after 9/11 our civil liberties and our privacy rights have been slowly eroding. This is the only Ron Paul thing I agree with, dump the Patriot Act. Not good for the country. It’s bad enough that if you have the money you can get into a “special” security line at the airport (Class warfare?). Anyway, these laws have bothered me for sometime and I hope they are struck down before we turn into Syria of the West.

The first which addresses “indefinite detention” is so bad it harkens back to the Internment period of Northern Ireland. Civil rights be damned. These interment periods, without charges and without representation preceded the Diplock courts where a “defendant” was tried before a judge without a jury and without a defense lawyer. The idea being, the police or army arrested you so you must be guilty. We are close to that situation already. Now dozens of journalists and bystanders have been arrested at protests over the past several months. Their “crime”? Taking photographs and videos of political protests in public spaces. What are the police trying to hide? Free speech and free assembly. I remember one summer in Northern Ireland I took a picture of a police land rover. Within seconds three armed police jumped out of the vehicle and demanded what I was doing? They made me pull the film out destroying the “evidence” that they were on the street, presumably. Then they went on their way.

The Republican politicians keep harping about liberty and government overreach. I wonder what type of liberty? Is it for the common citizen or for those who can pay for it? By the way, maybe it’s only me, but does anyone else think Scott Walker is cross eyed? Just wondering…

and so it goes…

About the Author

- A little song, a little dance, a little coffee down your pants... Many, many years in the classroom and now on my own. A chance to think about stuff and how it affects everyone, not just me. Now residing in the Czech Republic