Submitted by Bill St. Clair on Wed, 30 Jun 2004 12:00:00 GMT
# Doc Russia - A Shitty Little "War" Story - a short story about winning against impossible odds. [geekwitha.45]

# Kim du Toit - New Acronym - For idiots who blow themselves up to make some kind of political point: FREDS (Fucking Retarded Explosives Delivery Systems). Hehe. [kimdutoit]

# Larry Dudley Hiibel at The Christian Science Monitor - He fought the law, and the law won - the plaintiff in the latest block robed desecration of the right to privacy tells his story, and tells it very well. [smith2004]

Here's why this was so important to me: I don't believe that the authorities in the United States of America are supposed to walk up to you and ask for your papers. I thought that wasn't lawful. Apparently I was wrong, but I thought that that was part of what we were guaranteed under the Constitution. We're supposed to be free men, able to walk freely in our own country - not hampered, not stopped at checkpoints. That's part of what makes this country different from other places. That's what I was taught.

And it's not just because it's in the Constitution. It's something that you just kind of know. It's kind of obvious. If you haven't committed a crime, you shouldn't be harassed by the police. If they suspect you of something, I don't see why they shouldn't explain it. I wasn't violent. And it was proved later in court that I hadn't committed any crimes.

These days, it's as if we're all guilty until proved innocent. You walk into an airport and everybody's a suspect. Like the way people were treated in Soviet Russia, in Red China, in Castro's Cuba.

We don't want the US to become that.


I'm very disappointed by this decision. I think a basic freedom has been lost. What bothers me the most is that my children and grandchildren are going to have to live with this law. It moves us a step closer to control of the people by the government, and I don't think that's a step forward.

# Libertarian Party Press Releases - Attack on 'Fahrenheit 9/11' shows 'Constitution is on fire' Badnarik says - guess what folks, Fahrenheit 9/11 is a movie, just a movie. Unless you're dead set on destroying the first amendment, keep that in mind. [smith2004]

Under an advisory opinion from the Federal Election Commission (FEC), Moore may be prohibited from advertising his controversial new documentary, which is sharply critical of President Bush, after July 30. Under McCain-Feingold, corporate-paid radio or TV ads that identify a federal candidate are illegal to broadcast within 30 days of a primary or 60 days of a general election.

Since Moore has publicly stated that his goal is to help defeat Bush, Democrats and Republicans are waging partisan warfare over "Fahrenheit 9/11."

But Badnarik -- who teaches classes on the Constitution -- says a much larger issue is at stake: Every American's freedom of speech.

"The truth is that Democrats and Republicans committed a bipartisan crime against the First Amendment when they passed the McCain-Feingold law," according to Badnarik.

"This law allows politicians to determine what their critics can say, when they can say it and how much they can spend in the process -- which is exactly what's not supposed to happen in a free country."

Noting that the First Amendment clearly states that 'Congress shall make no law . . . abridging the freedom speech,' Badnarik asked: "What part of the words 'no law' doesn't the government understand? The First Amendment doesn't contain exceptions for advertisements that might offend the president or cost him his job -- and it certainly doesn't authorize federal movie police.

# Daniel Patrick Welch at Strike the Root - Good for Business, Bad for the People - Mr. Welch liked the film a lot more than he expected. I'm still waiting for the video. [smith2004]

It's funny. I'd seen all this stuff before--I mean it isn't as if there was anything really new here for anyone who's been paying attention for the past few years. And yet, I cried. Maybe it's the deprogramming of having at least some of what we've seen replayed with any decent focus for One Brief Shining Moment, beyond the self-imposed straitjacket of a docile and dangerously inept US press. Maybe it's just the oxygen given to all those impulses so many of us have kept in check, all those shoots of anger, sadness and embarrassment blossoming into full blown consciousness.

My own thought process in response to Michael Moore's new film reminded me of one of those dessicated sponges you put in water--a few hours later and voila: Your tiny piece of foam has bloated into a full blown fish, or frog, or palm tree ten times its original size. Or maybe like opening an archive, unzipping a million saved files at once. My brain fairly exploded with repressed anger going back to the Florida recount disaster: things I had known in much more detail before Moore scratched the surface again and brought it all flooding back.

In fact, as soon as we got home, my wife and I started searching through old folders of emails from that period tucked away, too important to throw away, yet too disheartening to face on a more regular basis. This is the potential power of "Fahrenheit 9/11": rousing the natural, inevitable rage against the machine of war, lies and fabricated videotape. Of course, many people will be exposed to new (for them) truths or aspects of the current crisis they haven't fully thought through. But more, I suspect, will be nudged into acknowledging nagging feelings that something is terribly wrong in this country, feelings they have been harboring but afraid to express.

# Paul Armentano at AlterNet - Your License, Your Urine - commentary on H.R. 3922, the "Drug Impaired Driving Enforcement Act of 2004", which would create a model law to push on states punishing primarily smokers of cannabis who are not under its influence at the time. Folks, any law that requires you to provide a sample of hair, sweat, spit, piss, breath or any other part of your body is a blatant violation the Fifth Amendment's prohibition on coerced self-incrimination. Any legislator who proposes or votes for such legislation is a criminal. [unknown]

# Mike Tennant at Strike the Root Blog - Meet Your Friendly Neighborhood Slave Traders - commentary on this glowing report from the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review on draft board volunteers. [saltypig]

Imagine any newspaper today running a puff piece on the slave traders of the 17th, 18th, and 19th centuries--or perhaps those who are currently plying the trade in Africa and Asia. These people were (or are), after all, doing their part to help the economies of the countries in which their slaves were (or are) employed. Why shouldn't they be profiled cheerily, too?

Come to think of it, the people who sit on draft boards can't be the sharpest knives in the drawer. While they could be making money hand over fist trading slaves in the Sudan, for example, they're sitting back here in the U.S. doing it for free--and worse, paying Uncle Sam for the "privilege" of doing it!

# Jacob G. Hornberger at The Future of Freedom Foundation - How Hitler Became a Dictator - a little history lesson, summarized from The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich, by William Shirer. Today's assignment: compare and constrast with twenty-first century America. [lew]

In addition to the People's Court, which handled treason cases, the Nazis also set up the Special Court, which handled cases of political crimes or "insidious attacks against the government." These courts
consisted of three judges, who invariably had to be trusted party members, without a jury. A Nazi prosecutor had the choice of bringing action in such cases before either an ordinary court or the Special Court, and invariably he chose the latter, for obvious reasons. Defense lawyers before this court, as before the Volksgerichtshof, had to be approved by Nazi officials. Sometimes even if they were approved they fared badly. Thus the lawyers who attempted to represent the widow of Dr. Klausener, the Catholic Action leader murdered in the Blood Purge, in her suit for damages against the State were whisked off to Sachsenhausen concentration camp, where they were kept until they formally withdrew the action.
Even lenient treatment by the Special Court was no guarantee for the defendant, however, as Pastor Martin Niemoeller discovered when he was acquitted of major political charges and sentenced to time served for minor charges. Leaving the courtroom, Niemoeller was taken into custody by the Gestapo and taken to a concentration camp.

The Nazis also implemented a legal concept called Schultzhaft or "protective custody" which enabled them to arrest and incarcerate people without charging them with a crime. As Shirer put it,
Protective custody did not protect a man from possible harm, as it did in more civilized countries. It punished him by putting him behind barbed wire.

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