Thursday, December 1, 2011

When Your Government Sells You Out...

What happens when the law becomes illegal? When the government, in an act that can only be described as a proto-fascist power-grab, way over steps it's bounds and, as an end result, threatens to imprison anyone, indefinitely?

The United States is the proto-typical police state. I know there's a lot of readers out there in the developing world who scoff at that, but the U.S. has always been this way, since it's very founding. Our police have been militarizing since the birth of the so-called "War on Drugs" - we have an almost military-like police, if not a military police system in place, accountable only to it's own and nobody else. The legal system is turning from a legal system against people because of their skin color to against people because of their economic class. On top of all this, theofascists have been trying since the beginning of the Civil War and even earlier to inject their pitiful little god into the government.

Well, today, the U.S. Senate sold us out.
An amendment that would limit military detentions to people captured overseas failed on Thursday afternoon. The Senate soundly defeated a measure to strip out all the detention provisions on Tuesday.

So despite the Sixth Amendment’s guarantee of a right to trial, the Senate bill would let the government lock up any citizen it swears is a terrorist, without the burden of proving its case to an independent judge, and for the lifespan of an amorphous war that conceivably will never end. And because the Senate is using the bill that authorizes funding for the military as its vehicle for this dramatic constitutional claim, it’s pretty likely to pass.
It would be one thing if the military was clamoring for the authority to become the nation’s jailer. But to the contrary: Defense Secretary Leon Panetta opposes the maneuver. So does CIA Director David Petraeus, who usually commands deference from senators in both parties. Pretty much every security official has lined up against the Senate detention provisions, from Director of National Intelligence James Clapper to FBI Director Robert Mueller, who worry that they’ll get in the way of FBI investigations of domestic terrorists.

For certain groups of the population in this country, rights have never mattered anyway. They rarely got to see the end result of them, thanks to how this country was founded. We weren't founded with egalitarianism in mind; as much as I love the Enlightenment and all that comes with it, it's important too acknowledge that the original enlightenment, as is popularly recognized, was an aristocratic movement in Europe; and it spread from there. It makes a certain degree of sense when you consider the time and place - only aristocrats were educated enough and had enough time to explore these things, and the vast majority of Europeans at the time were anything but enlightened or educated - but it still had a huge impact on the way that the Enlightenment perceived the world and was perceived by the world at that time, and the way it's still perceived (rich, White, male and privileged ideologies. I've heard those accusations leveled against atheists before - the only atheists are White males. Therefore, atheism is racist. Science is received as being "white" and "male" even though it's nothing of the sort. Of course, there are certainly scientists who don't help, and the current state of it doesn't help at all). This country, founded by Enlightened ideals, was still founded by men who were White and European. We can dress this up anyway we want to, but many of the founding fathers were shameless racists. Some of them even owned slaves. They were men of their time. This isn't to excuse any of it; bigotry is bigotry regardless what period it was in and needs to be viciously condemned. But it does explain why.

This country was DOA. We were never founded to handle egalitarianism. Those divides are far too deep, and they provoke far too visceral a reaction. So not, for a long time now, entire segments of the American population have heard stories of these mythical "rights" but never see anything of the sort.

This is just a spread of that. That cancer - the ease with which we denied a segment of the population basic civil rights for so long - has set in and is beginning to spread. Now the people in power have seen it, and they're determined to spread it. And they're trying like hell to make it legal in the process. That's what this is - this is a twisted monument of human decay; a display of just how far removed from the ideals this country was founded on it has become. And it hasn't moved very far. It's just spread the circle a little bit. They really don't need to make it legal because, in the words of mom, they've been doing it for years.

We were never close to sharing privilege with the underprivileged as a country. We were never close to egalitarianism. We were never close to achieving anything great, beyond being the world bully who clings to a rose-tinted view of the past where we didn't stand by and let the Holocaust or Holodomor (a word itself not even recognized by my spell checker) happen when we had proof. Where we didn't act in our own interest, provoked into the war by a Japanese attack that we promptly used to attack our own citizens. No, we were the brave and bold heroes who won World War II, kicking Nazi ass and taking names. Not because, you know, at one time Hitler was insanely popular in the United States. Not because we had help from Britain, Australia, France, Poland, Canada and the other allies. Not because our Senate shot down the League of Nations, which ended up leading to World War II. Not because unregulated markets didn't create a Black Friday that had Global Repercussions in the Great Depression. We were the Heroes. We saved the day. Our record is spotless - World War II was our shining star.

Even if President Obama vetoes this bill, which he's promised to do, I think this is a huge warning sign. This is a big red flag. We've got nothing but fascist corporate-coprophages in there now, and it's been that way for a long time. I was initially shocked by the bill, but now that I've had time to think it over, I realize that there's nothing special about it. Entire groups in our country - Blacks and Latinos most prominent - have been undergoing something similar to it for a long time. This is the privileged furiously reasserting their privilege, and redefining the boundaries of that privilege.

This is mess. But this is the end result of a country that was built on broken ideals. The intentions in the Constitution are two-faced. The entire nation is two-faced. Freedom and liberty for some, but not all. Well, the "some" in that just shrunk, but it's the just proof that the more things change the more they stay the same. We're broken. The only difference between today and yesteryear is that today, being broken and two-faced affects far more people.

**CAUTION: Irony in Use

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