Secret Courts and Forbidden Speech

Submitted by Bill St. Clair on Sat, 10 Jan 2004 13:00:00 GMT
From root:
"Inasmuch as the pretended 'constitution' was never signed, nor agreed to, by anybody, as a contract, and therefore never bound anybody, and is now binding upon nobody; and is, moreover, such a one as no people can ever hereafter be expected to consent to, except as they may be forced to do so at the point of the bayonet, it is perhaps of no importance what its true legal meaning, as a contract, is. Nevertheless, the writer thinks it proper to say that, in his opinion, the pretended 'constitution' is no such instrument as it has generally been assumed to be; but that by false interpretations, and naked usurpations, the gang of terrocrats has made in practice a very widely, and almost wholly, different thing from the intended 'government' the supposed 'constitution' itself purports to 'authorize.' He has heretofore written much, and could write much more, to prove that such is the truth. But whether the pretended 'constitution' really be one thing, or another, this much is certain - that it has either 'authorized' such a 'government' as we have had, or has been powerless to prevent it. In either case, it is unfit to exist." -- Lysander Spooner

From kaba:

"If you think of yourselves as helpless and ineffectual, it is certain that you will create a despotic government to be your master. The wise despot, therefore, maintains among his subjects a popular sense that they are helpless and ineffectual." -- Frank Herbert

From The Federalist:

"Why did God give Howard Dean a mouth? So he'd have some place to put his foot." -- James Taranto

# IowaHawk - Why I Am a Democrat - satire. Hehe. [madogre]

I am a Democrat because I fervently believe in tolerance. Tolerance is critical in our diverse society, and if you have a problem with that, mister, then I will inform the authorities and I bet that after a few hours in their "special room" you too will agree that tolerance is critical.

I am a Democrat because I believe that we should take our noses out of other people's bedrooms. I say we move the noses to their banks and storage sheds and scout troops, and so forth.

# Sunni Maravillosa at Liberty Round Table Update on Hunter; and Thanks - his truck has been released from impound, but there's no word on its condition. He has until 1/12 to pick it up and get back to New Hampshire. Lots of people are giving lots of help; money, time, encouragement.

This article doesn't say this, but some discussion lists I read (e.g. here) invite people to a breakfast this morning (9am) in Ashland, Ohio. Hunter plans to pick up his truck today and drive back to New Hampshire (if it still drives).

# George Paine at Warblogging - Secretary Ridge on Civil Liberties - John Ashcroft wanted a list of everyone staying in a Las Vegas hotel over New Year's Eve. All but one hotel gave it to him. That one was slapped with a "National Security Letter" under the new law declaring that hotels are "financial institutions". Decorating a lamppost with Mr. Ashcroft would be much too nice. [warblogging]

In a recent interview with the BBC, Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge was asked "whether the US-led war on terror was undermining Western freedoms."

Mr. Ridge responded by saying "I think that is explicitly a danger and we can't afford to let [it] happen. If we undermind the basic liberties and freedoms we've enjoyed for centuries, the terrorists achieve victory."

Indeed Mr. Ridge. But we have already undermined these basic liberties and freedoms. The government already holds American citizens in prison without charges, without access to attorneys, without redress to courts. The government already can get your financial records, your travel records, your telephone records, your Internet records and more without ever asking a judge. The government already can break into your home and search it without your knowledge and without a traditional court's permission.

The government is already sifting through detailed profiles of thousands upon thousands of American citizens, trying to fit us into slots: "Terrorist," "Non-Terrorist", "Dissident"... American liberals are already running awry of the system. Ralph Nader's 2000 campaign director isn't allowed to fly because the TSA says he isn't safe to let on an airplane. The government is already compiling lists of those it considers immoral.

That danger has already come to pass, Mr. Ridge. Now is the time to stand up, to admit it, to demand change of your government. Prove that you are a man of character, Mr. Ridge. Tell Mr. Ashcroft and Mr. Bush what you told the BBC. Tell them that things must change.

# - Taft Signs Concealed Handgun Bill - as promised, Ohio Governor Bob Taft signed the new CCW bill into law. It goes into effect in 90 days, though it will take longer than that to get the programs certified that provide the required training. I read in another article yesterday to expect six months before the first permit is issued. Again, here's the text of HB 0012. [kaba]

Ohioans who apply to carry a concealed weapon will have to give fingerprints, a background check, go through 12 hours of training and three hours of training on a firing range. They also will have to acquire special holsters for smaller guns -- the most popular of which conceal firearms in a belt.

The bill also makes the names of permit holders in each county available to reporters who ask a sheriff's department for the names. Taft's insistence on this provision derailed the bill late last year after House lawmakers balked. But House Speaker Larry Householder this week agreed to go along with the requirement, which the Ohio Senate had already informally agreed to.

# William Hershey at Dayton Daily News - Concealed-carry bill gets Taft's signature - more on CCW in Ohio. [lrtdiscuss]

# Angel Shamaya at - OH: Newspaper commits to publishing identities of permit holders; KABA will return fire - The Cleveland Plain Dealer has promised to publish the identities of Ohio CCW holders. Mr. Shamaya promises to publish the names, phone numbers, and home addresses of every person on the staff of any newspaper that does this. [kaba]

# Rick Stanley at Liberty for All - Police State or Free America: Stories from Jail - I read this a while back in Stanley Scoop email, but it's nice to see it on a more-travelled web site. Rick tells the story of 8 fellow inmates, imprisoned, as he is, for crimes against the state. [kaba]

There are cases of men in here, where they did something wrong. They robbed, stole, or harmed another, or destroyed property. They are guilty as charged, know this to be true, and accept their sentences, eager to start again when their sentence has been completed. This article isn't about them. They comprise 40% percent of the jail population. The rest are here for crimes against the state, that would never have been crimes 100 years ago in a free America.

Crimes against the state are enriching private corporations, of which the stockholders are judges who have conflicts of interest in sentencing these citizens for "victimless" crimes, to private for profit jails, private for profit halfway houses, private for profit classes and therapy, and the list goes on and on.

Is America a Police State or a Free State? To make an informed decision, talk with your friends and neighbors, many of whom have been trapped by this system themselves already, or know someone who has. A crime used to have a victim. Not any more, not in America. America has the highest percentage of ANY country in the world of jailed men and women. Aren't we lucky to live in the worlds most free nation? Or is that an illusion, perpetuated by the government and the media?

# Charley Reese - Talking Trash - on the danger, and immorality, of playing the race card.

A lazy, rude, inconsiderate, unhygienic bum is a lazy, rude, inconsiderate, unhygienic bum, regardless of his race, religion or ethnic origin. A racist who hates all whites is exactly the same as a racist who hates all blacks. A Jew who hates Gentiles is the same as a Gentile who hates Jews. You would think that by now people would have figured out that life is too short to waste it hating categories, which are nothing more than intellectual abstractions.

All people come into this world as flesh-and-blood individuals. Simple justice requires that if we are to be judged at all, we should be judged by our own words and deeds, not on the basis of some half-baked abstraction floating around in somebody's brain. Prejudice against groups is both fallacious and unjust, because no group is composed of identical individuals.

I believe every human being is entitled, as a gift of birth, to respect and dignity until he or she forfeits that right by his or her own bad behavior. No respect is due to those who don't respect other people's lives and property. No respect is due to those who shirk responsibility or try to live by exploiting other people.

# It CAN Happen Here is an essay by a WWII survivor, an uncle of whom died in the Nazi camps. My title. [lrtdiscuss]

So why, now, when I hear GWB's speeches, do I think of Hitler? Why have I drawn a parallel between the Nazis and the present administration? Just one small reason -the phrase 'Never forget'. Never let this happen again. It is better to question our government - because it really can happen here - than to ignore the possibility.

So far, I've seen nothing to eliminate the possibility that Bush is on the same course as Hitler. And I've seen far too many analogies to dismiss the possibility. The propaganda. The lies. The rhetoric. The nationalism. The flag waving. The pretext of 'preventive war'. The flaunting of international law and international standards of justice. The disappearances of 'undesirable' aliens. The threats against protesters. The invasion of a non-threatening sovereign nation. The occupation of a hostile country. The promises of prosperity and security. The spying on ordinary citizens. The incitement to spy on one's neighbors - and report them to the government. The arrogant triumphant pride in military conquest. The honoring of soldiers. The tributes to 'fallen warriors. The diversion of money to the military. The demonization of government appointed 'enemies'. The establishment of 'Homeland Security'. The dehumanization of 'foreigners'. The total lack of interest in the victims of government policy. The incarceration of the poor and mentally ill. The growing prosperity from military ventures. The illusion of 'goodness' and primacy. The new einsatzgrupen forces. Assassination teams. Closed extralegal internment camps. The militarization of domestic police. Media blackout of non-approved issues. Blacklisting of protesters - including the no-fly lists and photographing dissenters at rallies.

# Ann W. O'Neill at The South Florida Sun-Sentinel - Miami federal court has 'secret docket' to keep some cases hidden from public - Miami has court cases with secret dockets. You can't even tell the case is being prosecuted. There is no place in a free society for secret courts. If procecuting someone threatens national security, then the government has to choose between doing that and letting them walk. It's that simple. [claire]

# Edgar J. Steele - Hate Speech: Anything Jews Hate to Hear - as usual with Mr. Steele, a little two jew-centric for my taste, but a warning worth noting anyway.

Free speech is a funny kind of concept. Used to be, free speech was anything that didn't physically hurt others. Don't yell "Fire!" in a packed theatre, for example, unless there really is a fire, of course. Truth always won out then.

Then laws developed about libel and slander, where words could hurt one's ability to make a living or move freely in the world. Again, truth always won out - if you called someone a whore and could prove they had sex indiscriminately, you went free.

Now we see speech laws morphing into bans on "hate speech." Problem is, the further into the rhetorical woods we go, the murkier the visibility becomes. And truth no longer provides a defense.

Today we focus on one's intent with the current breed of American hate crime laws. For example, blacks who say "nigger" are just funnin' around with their homies. Whites who say "nigger" are racist bigot crackers and put in jail. I have a client out of jail right now, pending his appeal for that very "crime." See my essay, "Attorney for the Damned" for an overview of his "crime" (

What's more, today's hate crime laws protect only certain groups of people: blacks, jews, homosexuals, women, certain minorities - after all, it is still ok to tell the most reprehensible jokes about lawyers (I'm one), rednecks (I'm one) and whites (I'm one), but when was the last time you heard a Rastus and Liza joke?

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