There may have perhaps have been a time when America was a land of at least some brave people. although arguably a nation that celebrates as heroic a history that features lots of people with modern guns and cannons conquering and destroying another people who were living in the stone age and fighting back with bows and arrows, and that built its economy on the backs of men and women held in chains certainly has a tough case to make. What is clear though is that there is nothing brave about modern-day America.
Whatever we were, we have degenerated into a nation that finds glory in deploying the most advanced high-tech, high-explosive weaponry against some of the world’s poorest people, that justifies killing women and children, even by the dozens, if by doing so it manages to kill one alleged “enemy” fighter. A nation that exalts remote-controlled robot drone aircraft that can attack targets in order to avoid risking soldiers’ lives, even though by doing so, it is predictable that many, many innocent people will be killed. A nation that is proud to have developed weapons of mass slaughter, from shells laden with phosphorus that burns to death, indiscriminately, those who are contacted by the splattered chemical to elaborately baroque anti-personnel fragmentation bombs that spread cute little colored objects designed to look like everything from toys to food packages, but which upon contact explode, releasing whirling metal or plastic fleschettes which shred human flesh on contact.
The Marines who battled their way up the hillsides of Iwo Jima, or the soldiers who struggled ashore under withering fire on the beaches of Normandy would be appalled at what passes for heroic behavior in today’s American military. But that’s not the worst of it.
The worst of it is back home in the USA, where millions of citizens who bitch about their taxes and who pay as little attention as possible to the fact that their nation is deeply mired in two wars, routinely refer to those who do their fighting for them as heroes, but then want nothing to do with the consequences of those wars (or for that matter the people who actually fight them).
One particularly telling consequence of those wars is that the US now has several hundred prisoners, mostly at the prison camp on the US Naval Base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, whom the American people don’t want to have moved to their shores. And why won’t we Americans accept the responsibility for incarcerating and trying these captives? Because we are so afraid that their comrades will strike back at us with acts of terrorism if we bring them here.
First of all, a moment of rational thought, please. Does anyone seriously think that the radical Islamic groups and independence fighters who are battling American forces in places like Somalia, Iraq and Afghanistan are so symbolically obsessed that they would only attack places in America where their fellows are actually being held? Do people actually think that such people would not attack some place in the continental US right now if they could, in retaliation for people being held at the inaccessible base in Guantanamo?
Please. Let’s get real.
Moving captives from Guantanamo to prisons in the US, pending trial, would merely make the job of agencies like the FBI easier by narrowing the list of likely terrorist targets in the US from thousands to dozens. But even then, is there any reason to think that a prospective terrorist group would be more likely to bomb Leavenworth Prison or the town of Leavenworth than the White House or the Pentagon to protest the holding of people at Leavenworth? Of course not.
The goal of a terrorist action is to cause as much fear and disruption as possible, and bombing some remote commuity where a federal prison is located isn’t going to do that. You want to bomb a transportation or communications hub, or a major population center. So bringing prisoners to the US from Guantanamo doesn’t really do anything to raise the risk for anybody.
But we Americans are irrational, panicky cowards. We worry that the terrorists will come and get us.
My guess is that a lot of this is mass guilt. Whether people admit it or not, I suspect most people know on some subconscious level that we Americans have been living off the rest of the world’s misery. We know we’re stealing oil from the people of nations like Iraq and Nigeria. We know that our toys, our electronics devices and our fancy name-brand running shoes are being made by people who cannot afford to buy them themselves. We know that for decades we have been overthrowing elected governments and propping up fascist dictatorships to keep the exploitation going so that we can buy cheap goods and extract cheap resources (As Marine Medal of Honor hero Smedley Butler long ago admitted, that’s what our “heroes” in uniform are generally doing overseas).
The whole thing is sickening—a kind of nausea-inducing feeling that comes on me whenever I hear the last screeched line of the “Star-Spangled Banner”—but there is something particularly pathetic about this latest bout of collective wussiness on the part of the American people.
I mean, even if you bought all the tripe about our soldiers having to kill and occasionally die in Iraq and Afghanistan so we can “fight the terrorists there instead of here,” even the charlatans in the White House and the Pentagon are claiming that keeping captives in Guantanamo is generating hatred abroad and putting US troops at greater risk, so you’d think it would be the least that this “home of the brave” could do to close that base and accept some of the added risk—if there even were any—of bringing those prisoners here.
If we can’t even handle that, we’re simply going to have to write a new ending for the national anthem:
“…Oh say may that Star-Spangled Banner yet flap
O’er the land of the weak, and the home of the sap.”
Thanks to dlindorff
"A legislative rule of society given the force of Law by consent of the governed"
This is the commonly used definition of the word 'Statute'. It raises some questions as most of us live our lives according to the rules of our various statutes and Acts they derive from, and yet in no part of that definiton does it suggest that it is a Law. Rather it is a rule. Aren't rules made to be broken? I would certainly say so; the more rules you break, the more you have to pay to the court!
Rather than finding the precise source, lets discover whether this much used definition is acceptable. So, can this much quoted
definition be either disproved and discarded or confirmed and accepted?
First, let’s look at a sourced definition of “statute”.
statute. An act of the legislature as an organized body. Washington v Dowling, 92 Fla 601, 109 So 588.
The written will of the legislative department, expressed according to the form necessary to constitute it a law of the United States or of the state, and rendered authentic by certain prescribed forms and solemnities.
In a broader sense, inclusive of an act of the legislature, an administrative regulation, or an enactment, from whatever source originating, to which the state gives the force of law. 50 Am J1st Stat § 2. (Ballantines, 3rd edition, Page 1212)
Let’s now use this as our base to work from …
In a broader sense, inclusive of an act of the legislature, an administrative regulation, or an enactment, from whatever source originating, to which the state gives the force of law.
act,n. A thing done or established; a deed or other written instrument evidencing a contract or an obligation. A statute; a bill which has been enacted by the legislature into a law, as distinguished from a bill which is in the form of a law presented to the legislature for enactment. Anne 5 ALR 1422. (Ballantines, 3rd edition, Page 16-17)
legislature. Broadly, any body having legislative power. 49 Am J1st States § 28. (Ballantines, 3rd edition, Page 724)
regulation. Control or direction by restriction or rule of something permitted or suffered to exist. 30 Am J rev ed Intox L § 22. Any rule for the ordering of affairs, public or private, whether by statute, ordinance, or resolution. Kepner v Commonwealth, 40 Pa St 124, 129. Ballantines, 3rd edtion, Page 1081)
state. A body politic or society of men united together for the purpose of promoting their mutual safety and advantage by their combined strength, occupying a definite territory, and politically organized under one government. McLaughlin v Poucher, 127 Conn 441, 17 A2d 767. … a political community of free citizens, occupying a territory of defined boundaries, and organized under a government sanction and limited by a written constitution, and established by the consent of the governed. Coyle v Smith, 221 US 559, 55 L Ed 853, 31 S Ct 688. (Ballantines, 3rd edition, Page 1210)
An act of the legislature = legislative
An administrative regulation = a rule
The state = a political community, organized under a government, established by the consent of the governed.
In a broader sense, inclusive of an act of the legislature (legislative), an administrative regulation (rule), or an enactment, from whatever source originating, to which the state (political community established by the consent of the governed) gives the force of law.
Connect the dots;
A legislative rule, given the force of law by the political community established by the consent of the governed.
Compare this to;
A legislative rule of society given the force of law by the consent of the governed.
A pretty close match.
Thanks to TPUC visit their site for more information
In his latest column for the New Statesman, John Pilger describes the power of advertising - from the effects of smoking to politics - as he reaches behind the facade of of the first 100 days President Barack Obama.
The BBC's American television soap Mad Men offers a rare glimpse of the power of corporate advertising. The promotion of smoking half a century ago by the “smart” people of Madison Avenue, who knew the truth, led to countless deaths. Advertising and its twin, public relations, became a way of deceiving dreamt up by those who had read Freud and applied mass psychology to anything from cigarettes to politics. Just as Marlboro Man was virility itself, so politicians could be branded, packaged and sold.
It is more than 100 days since Barack Obama was elected president of the United States. The “Obama brand” has been named “Advertising Age’s marketer of the year for 2008”, easily beating Apple computers. David Fenton of MoveOn.org describes Obama’s election campaign as “an institutionalised mass-level automated technological community organising that has never existed before and is a very, very powerful force”. Deploying the internet and a slogan plagiarised from the Latino union organiser César Chávez – “Sí, se puede!” or “Yes, we can” – the mass-level automated technological community marketed its brand to victory in a country desperate to be rid of George W Bush.
No one knew what the new brand actually stood for. So accomplished was the advertising (a record $75m was spent on television commercials alone) that many Americans actually believed Obama shared their opposition to Bush’s wars. In fact, he had repeatedly backed Bush’s warmongering and its congressional funding. Many Americans also believed he was the heir to Martin Luther King’s legacy of anti-colonialism. Yet if Obama had a theme at all, apart from the vacuous “Change you can believe in”, it was the renewal of America as a dominant, avaricious bully. “We will be the most powerful,” he often declared.
Perhaps the Obama brand’s most effective advertising was supplied free of charge by those journalists who, as courtiers of a rapacious system, promote shining knights. They depoliticised him, spinning his platitudinous speeches as “adroit literary creations, rich, like those Doric columns, with allusion...” (Charlotte Higgins in the Guardian). The San Francisco Chronicle columnist Mark Morford wrote: “Many spiritually advanced people I know... identify Obama as a Lightworker, that rare kind of attuned being who... can actually help usher in a new way of being on the planet.”
In his first 100 days, Obama has excused torture, opposed habeas corpus and demanded more secret government. He has kept Bush’s gulag intact and at least 17,000 prisoners beyond the reach of justice. On 24 April, his lawyers won an appeal that ruled Guantanamo Bay prisoners were not “persons”, and therefore had no right not to be tortured. His national intelligence director, Admiral Dennis Blair, says he believes torture works. One of his senior US intelligence officials in Latin America is accused of covering up the torture of an American nun in Guatemala in 1989; another is a Pinochet apologist. As Daniel Ellsberg has pointed out, the US experienced a military coup under Bush, whose secretary of “defence”, Robert Gates, along with the same warmaking officials, has been retained by Obama.
All over the world, America’s violent assault on innocent people, directly or by agents, has been stepped up. During the recent massacre in Gaza, reports Seymour Hersh, “the Obama team let it be known that it would not object to the planned resupply of ‘smart bombs’ and other hi-tech ordnance that was already flowing to Israel” and being used to slaughter mostly women and children. In Pakistan, the number of civilians killed by US missiles called drones has more than doubled since Obama took office.
In Afghanistan, the US “strategy” of killing Pashtun tribespeople (the “Taliban”) has been extended by Obama to give the Pentagon time to build a series of permanent bases right across the devastated country where, says Secretary Gates, the US military will remain indefinitely. Obama’s policy, one unchanged since the Cold War, is to intimidate Russia and China, now an imperial rival. He is proceeding with Bush’s provocation of placing missiles on Russia’s western border, justifying it as a counter to Iran, which he accuses, absurdly, of posing “a real threat” to Europe and the US. On 5 April in Prague, he made a speech reported as “anti-nuclear”. It was nothing of the kind. Under the Pentagon’s Reliable Replacement Warhead programme, the US is building new “tactical” nuclear weapons designed to blur the distinction between nuclear and conventional war.
Perhaps the biggest lie – the equivalent of smoking is good for you – is Obama’s announcement that the US is leaving Iraq, the country it has reduced to a river of blood. According to unabashed US army planners, as many as 70,000 troops will remain “for the next 15 to 20 years”. On 25 April, his secretary of state, Hillary Clinton, alluded to this. It is not surprising that the polls are showing that a growing number of Americans believe they have been suckered – especially as the nation’s economy has been entrusted to the same fraudsters who destroyed it. Lawrence Summers, Obama’s principal economic adviser, is throwing $3trn at the same banks that paid him more than $8m last year, including $135,000 for one speech. Change you can believe in.
Much of the American establishment loathed Bush and Cheney for exposing, and threatening, the onward march of America’s “grand design”, as Henry Kissinger, war criminal and now Obama adviser, calls it. In advertising terms, Bush was a “brand collapse” whereas Obama, with his toothpaste advertisement smile and righteous clichés, is a godsend. At a stroke, he has seen off serious domestic dissent to war, and he brings tears to the eyes, from Washington to Whitehall. He is the BBC’s man, and CNN’s man, and Murdoch’s man, and Wall Street’s man, and the CIA’s man. The Madmen did well.
Thanks to John Pilger