Posted by sss1977 in General Discussion: Presidential (Through Nov 2009)
Wed Dec 05th 2007, 01:32 AM
I just finished watching it and was blown away! This is the kind of interviewing that is sorely missing from the mass media! Amy Goodman and Juan Gonzalez showed how professional journalism is done, and seeing it compared directly to Lou Dobbs was astoundingly dramatic. Not once did Amy or Juan resort to any kind of character attacks or name calling, and yet Lou fell back on it over and over again. Amy corrected herself multiple times in the broadcast, in contrast to Lou's complete omission of coming clean about things on his own broadcast. He continually rudely interrupted them. He strong-armed the discussion at every point.
In what world is it that Lou Dobbs has a massive audience and a resounding voice for his anti-immigration agenda, and the names of Amy Goodman and Juan Gonzalaz are only even known by a small percentage?
Watch the interview for yourself here:
Or read the transcript:
Here's one of the more choice excerpts after watching a clip from his show:
AMY GOODMAN: So, Lou, you said a third of the prison population are illegal aliens.
LOU DOBBS: Right.
AMY GOODMAN: The fact is, it’s something like 6% of prisoners in this country are non-citizens, not even illegal, just non-citizens.
LOU DOBBS: Right.
AMY GOODMAN: And then a percentage of that would not be documented.
LOU DOBBS: Well, it’s actually—I think it’s 26% in federal prison.
AMY GOODMAN: But you said of all prisoners.
LOU DOBBS: I said about—yes, but I—and I misspoke, without question. I was referring to federal prisoners.
AMY GOODMAN: But you didn’t say that, and so it leaves people with the impression—
LOU DOBBS: Well, I didn’t, but then I just explained it to you.
AMY GOODMAN: But you have a very large audience on CNN.
LOU DOBBS: I have a very large audience and a very bright audience.
AMY GOODMAN: And you told them that a third of the population of this country are illegal immigrants. 6% , which is under the population of immigrants—
LOU DOBBS: 6% , right.
AMY GOODMAN: —in this country, of prisoners—
LOU DOBBS: In state prisons.
AMY GOODMAN: —are immigrants.
LOU DOBBS: In state prisons. In state prisons.
AMY GOODMAN: No, 6% overall are immigrants. You said 30% are illegal.
LOU DOBBS: Well, I think we’ve established—we could sit here and say this all day, Amy. The fact is, the number is 26% in federal prisons. That’s what I was referring to. I did not—I misspoke when I said “prisons.” I was referring to the federal prisons, because that’s the federal crime: immigration. And that—
AMY GOODMAN: Have you made a correction on your show to say that 30% of—?
LOU DOBBS: I’m sure we have. We’ve reported—absolutely.
AMY GOODMAN: We didn’t see it.
And if this topic is already being discussed somewhere, I apologize. I looked and found nothing. I'm telling you this interview was fricking great! I wish I saw interviews like this done on a daily basis, or at minimum, at least weekly. With all the channels and time given to "news", you wouldn't think it would be asking too much.
Instead we get shit like today, where Bush gives a press conference, lying through his fucking ass, and no one in the room asks something along the lines of, "wait, are you serious?"
Dear KIA Veterans,
You may not have noticed, most likely because you're dead, but we have recently instituted a program of charging injured vets the cost of their enlistment bonus for being unable to fulfill the agreed upon terms. It's bad enough they want so much free health care after returning home, at least you had the decency to die and save us all that money.
However, money is money, and just because you saved us money by dying, doesn't mean you still don't owe us money for not completing the terms of your contract. Just as your debts don't just go away when you die, neither does your government. So we just wanted to inform you we will be charging your next of kin the cost of your enlistment bonus. Remember, there's a War on Terror out there, so every penny counts, except for the billions we don't track of course. But a penny is so much different than a billion, you just can't compare them.
Thank you for your service to the oil companies, I mean to your country and for freedom of course. However, just so we're straight, if your next of kin won't pay us what we are due, we will seek legal action against them. You can thank Gonzales for that.
You may be wondering how we got this message to you. Well, we'll just say, you don't send as many people wholesale to the other side as we do, without gaining some perks.
United States Department of Defense
I recently finished reading Naomi Wolf's The End of America and was inspired to summarize her points, in combination with quotes and passages from each chapter along with photos and pics, into something that might perhaps inspire others to also read the book. So here goes...
The Ten Steps to Fascism:
1. Invoke an External and Internal Threat
"What matters to a fascist leader is not to get rid of the enemy, but rather to maintain an enemy." p.37
"A foreign enemy's actions will always be unpredictable. But you can also identify a more reliable domestic enemy in need of surveillance: us." p.44
2. Establish Secret Prisons
"Hitler sought legislation that retroactively protected the SS from prosecutions for acts of torture" p.69
3. Develop a Paramilitary Force
"Blackwater's business model plans increasingly to deploy its unaccountable private army in the U.S.-in the aftermath of natural disasters, and also in cases of "national emergency." p.76
"We haven't had members of a mercenary army on our streets since we won our independence." p.80
4. Surveil Ordinary Citizens
"That is why surveillance is effective-even cost-effective: You don't actually have to monitor citizens--just let them know they might be monitored." p.82
"In that atmosphere, dissent stifles itself before it can develop. Surveillance leads to fear and fear leads to silence. And silence is un-American." p.88
5. Infiltrate Citizens' Groups
"Before the Republican convention in New York in 2004, the police department's intelligence team sent detectives throughout the city to infiltrate groups planning to demonstrate peacefully at the convention. When the New York Civil Liberties Union asked to unseal the records of this undercover spying, lawyers for the city argued that the records should be kept secret, because the news media would "fixate upon and sensationalize them." p.91
6. Arbitrarily Detain and Release Citizens
"In 2003, President Bush had the intelligence agencies and the FBI create a "watch list" of people thought to have terrorist intentions or contacts. These agencies gave the list to the TSA and the commercial airlines. 60 Minutes got one copy of the list: It was 540 pages long. That list of people to be taken aside for extra screening had 75,000 names on it. The more stringent "no-fly" list had 45,000 names; before 9/11 there were just 16 names." p.96
"The United States detained Arar when he was changing planes at Kennedy Airport in 2002. He was "rendered" to Syria. Security forces there kept him in prison for over a year, beating him repeatedly with a heavy metal cable. The Canadian government pursued a two-year investigation and concluded that it had all been a terrible mistake--Arar actually had no terrorist ties whatsoever." p.97
"In Yee's case a United States citizen innocent of the initial charges was kept in solitary confinement, this time for 76 days. His name was destroyed, his family humiliated--and he can't talk about it or he will be arrested again." p.100
7. Target Key Individuals
"In a fascist shift, while entertainers are the most visible, civil servants are the most vulnerable to being targeted with job loss: They work directly for the leadership... Victor Klemperer writes of a senior district attorney at the High Court in Berlin who was not a Party member. The government fired him, calling the move 'temporary retirement.' Independent district attorneys across the nation were purged as well, and replaced by lawyers who were loyal to the regime." p.112
8. Restrict the Press
"The U.S military in Iraq imprisoned Pulitzer Prize-winning AP photographer, Bilal Hussein in April 2006, claiming that he was a security threat. Bilal Hussien's images of women and children suffering in the war are famous. But U.S. authorities have never filed charges or allowed a public hearing." p.119
"On a U.S. Army website in 2007, the media is listed as another threat, alongside al-Qaeda, warlords, and drug-cartels." p.121
9. Cast Criticism as "Espionage" and Dissent as "Treason"
"Three years after Ann Coulter's book asked us to imagine this possibility, on October 12, 2006, the Justice Department charged the first American in more than half a century with treason. Adam Gadahn, a young Southern Californian who is accused of helping al-Qaeda create videotapes urging violence against the United States, was charged in a sealed indictment in a California federal court. As in Padilla's case, officials do not claim to have evidence that Mr. Gadahn has taken part in planning terrorist attacks against the United States. His words are his crime." p.138
10. Subvert the Rule of Law
"Is it reasonable--is it really a matter of common sense--to assume that leaders who are willing to abuse signing statements; withhold information from Congress; make secret decisions; lie to the American people; use fake evidence to justify a pre-emptive war; torture prisoners; tap people's phones; open their mail and e-mail; break into their houses; and now simply ignore Congress altogether--leaders with currently a 29 percent approval rating--will surely say, come 2008, 'The decision rests in the hands of the people. May the votes be counted fairly'?" p.143
"Vermont Senator Patrick Leahy warned, though few paid much attention, that the 2007 Defense Authorization Bill would serve to encourage a President to declare martial law." p.147
"If Fascist Germany--a medium sized modern European state--could destabilize the globe in a matter of a few years, and it took a world war to overcome the threat, what force on earth might restrain an America that may have abandoned the rule of law...?" p. 152
"In our own nation, in times of eclipse, patriots have become rebels again and said: 'No; the nation is not going down, not on my watch.'
When that happens, there is no power that can hold these patriots back. I hope this emboldens you." p.155
Thank you Naomi Wolf for your letter of warning to all of us young patriots.
May we take heed before it's too late.
Posted by sss1977 in General Discussion: Presidential (Through Nov 2009)
Thu Nov 15th 2007, 01:38 AM
It's been awhile since our Constitution has been amended, and I think it's about time we implement what we've learned through our 200+ years of history as a nation to reinvigorate our government's contract with the people.
It seems obvious to me at this time, the Executive Branch feels it is above the law, and above the Constitution itself. Bush himself has referred to our nation's highest law as "just a goddamned piece of paper". Our country seems addicted to wars. Corporations have more influence than individuals, and politics seems to be run by dollars instead of votes. Congress has the tools to correct course, but refuses to take action. Government seems broken.
Is there something we can do after we've finally reversed the fascist trends in this country to better avoid it ever happening again?
I propose the following Amendments:
Amendment 28 - Amendment 16 Repealed
Amendment 29 - Aspiring sincerely to an international peace based on justice and order, and the right of the next generation of Americans to not shoulder the belligerency of the present generation, we forever renounce war as a sovereign right of the nation and the threat or use of force as means of settling international disputes. Military forces will be maintained, but will only be used in self-defense in response to an attack first by another sovereign nation, or with unanimous support of the international community to enforce international law in cases of genocide and imperialism. The cost of any military action will be paid for with reasonable taxes and never through means of credit.
Amendment 30 - A national debt will not be maintained. The United States may not carry any debt for a period longer than ten years.
Amendment 31 - No law shall allow for the murder of any person as punishment for any crime.
Amendment 32 - The equal rights of the citizens of the United States shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of race, gender, or sexual identity.
Amendment 33 - No citizen of the United States shall be denied medical care. All citizens have the right of access to preventive health care and the right to benefit from medical treatment.
I'd like to include some kind of public financing amendment for elections to ensure the principle of "one person, one vote", along with something that could reign in the power of banking and corporations, but I have no idea how best to word them. I just know I'd like to see such things added.
If you have any Amendments in mind of your own, or wish to make adjustments to those I've proposed, please add them in reply.
What do you feel would serve to improve the Constitution if anything at all?
"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness. That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed. That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness."
Naomi Wolf has written in The End of America, "those words at the time they were written were blazingly, electrifyingly subversive. If you understand them truly now, they still are."
So, have you ever wondered what happened to the signers of the Declaration of Independence for writing these words down on paper? I have, and today I thought it might be nice to remember just what signing that world-changing document meant to them.
Carter Braxton of Virginia, a wealthy planter and trader, saw his ships swept from the seas by the British navy. He sold his home and properties to pay his debts, and died in rags.
Thomas McKeam was so hounded by the British that he was forced to move his family almost constantly. He served in the Congress without pay, and his family was kept in hiding. His possessions were taken from him, and poverty was his reward.
Vandals or soldiers or both, looted the properties of Ellery, Clymer, Hall, Walton, Gwinnett, Heyward, Ruttledge, and Middleton.
Perhaps one of the most inspiring examples of "undaunted resolution" was at the Battle of Yorktown. Thomas Nelson, Jr. was returning from Philadelphia to become Governor of Virginia and joined General Washington just outside of Yorktown. He then noted that British General Cornwallis had taken over the Nelson home for his headqurt, but that the patriot's were directing their artillery fire all over the town except for the vicinity of his own beautiful home. Nelson asked why they were not firing in that direction, and the soldiers replied, "Out of respect to you, Sir." Nelson quietly urged General Washington to open fire, and stepping forward to the nearest cannon, aimed at his own house and fired. The other guns joined in, and the Nelson home was destroyed. Nelson died bankrupt.
Francis Lewis's Long Island home was looted and gutted, his home and properties destroyed. His wife was thrown into a damp dark prison cell without a bed. Health ruined, Mrs. Lewis soon died from the effects of the confinement. The Lewis's son would later die in British captivity, also.
"Honest John" Hart was driven from his wife's bedside as she lay dying, when British and Hessian troops invaded New Jersey just months after he signed the Declaration. Their thirteen children fled for their lives. His fields and his grist mill were laid to waste. All winter, and for more than a year, Hart lived in forests and caves, finally returning home to find his wife dead, his chidrvanished and his farm destroyed. Rebuilding proved too be too great a task. A few weeks later, by the spring of 1779, John Hart was dead from exhaustion and a broken heart.
New Jersey's Richard Stockton, after rescuing his wife and children from advancing British troops, was betrayed by a loyalist, imprisoned, beaten and nearly starved. He returned an invalid to find his home gutted, and his library and papers burned. He, too, never recovered, dying in 1781 a broken man.
William Ellery of Rhode Island, who marveled that he had seen only "undaunted resolution" in the faces of his co-signers, also had his home burned.
Only days after Lewis Morris of New York signed the Declaration, British troops ravaged his 2,000-acre estate, butchered his cattle and drove his family off the land. Three of Morris' sons fought the British.
When the British seized the New York houses of the wealthy Philip Livingston, he sold off everything else, and gave the money to the Revolution. He died in 1778.
Arthur Middleton, Edward Rutledge and Thomas Heyward Jr. went home to South Carolin tight. In the British invasion of the South, Heyward was wounded and all three were captured. As he rotted on a prison ship in St. Augustine, Heyward's plantation was raided, buildings burned, and his wife, who witnessed it all, died. Other Southern signers suffered the same general fate.
More here: http://www.whatreallyhappened.com/RANCHO/P...
These men were willing to die for the cause of true freedom, not the "freedom" being falsely packaged as such and bombed onto sovereign nations today. True freedom is the most valuable resource in all the world, and our revolutionaries placed the rewards of their hard fought victory in the hands of those they'd never meet, ourselves.
I urge you to read the following words again on this day with new eyes, and truly realize just how revolutionary they were, and to this day, still are...
"God forbid we should ever be twenty years without such a rebellion. The people cannot be all, and always, well informed. The part which is wrong will be discontented, in proportion to the importance of the facts they misconceive. If they remain quiet under such misconceptions, it is lethargy, the forerunner of death to the public liberty. ... What country before ever existed a century and half without a rebellion? And what country can preserve its liberties if their rulers are not warned from time to time that their people preserve the spirit of resistance? Let them take arms. The remedy is to set them right as to facts, pardon and pacify them. What signify a few lives lost in a century or two? The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants. It is its natural manure." -Thomas Jefferson 1787
You know what else is a natural manure? How about the words continually piped to us from our own White House, and through the mainstream media that is now the voice of a powerful handful of giant corporate interests. Shake off the media-induced stupor. Hear the words of Henry David Thoreau in Civil Disobedience.
"Don’t just wait passively for an opportunity to vote for justice. Voting for justice is as ineffective as wishing for justice; what you need to do is to actually be just. This is not to say that you have an obligation to devote your life to fighting for justice, but you do have an obligation not to commit injustice and not to give injustice your practical support. Cast your whole vote, not a strip of paper merely, but your whole influence. A minority is powerless while it conforms to the majority; it is not even a minority then; but it is irresistible when it clogs by its whole weight."
Please wake up, I beg you. The revolution is always.
Posted by sss1977 in General Discussion: Presidential (Through Nov 2009)
Mon Nov 12th 2007, 05:26 AM
This far and no FURTHER!
Impeachment is not only morally necessary, it is imperative to the correction of course needed for this once great nation. The Executive branch has pushed too far and must be pushed back. The three branches of government are co-equal and they all must answer to one thing, the Constitution. We are a country of laws, where all must answer. No one is above the Constitution, no one.
Vice President Cheney and his office are responsible for the most egregious crimes that have occured in this Administration, and these crimes must be investigated. This is something that cannot wait. This is something that cannot be held "off the table". And this isn't even only about treason within our own country, we're talking international laws here. International treaties are being ignored, war crimes we once admonished are now being actively pursued.
There is nothing more important, NOTHING, than investigating and bringing to justice those responsible for the most heinous of crimes, the systematic destruction of our once revolutionary form of government.
- We were lied into this war on purpose.
- Over a million innocents are dead.
- We now unconstitutionally authorize torture.
- We unconstitutionally approve of extraordinary rendition.
- We now unconstitutionally wiretap our own citizens.
- Almost every law is signed using an unconstitutional signing statement.
- An agent of the CIA was outed as punishment by the Executive branch, treason.
- Bush practically pardoned Libby for protecting Cheney, unconstitutional.
- Federal judges were fired for disagreeing with the political views of the Executive branch.
- Cheney is now again working to fix the intelligence to get us to unconstitutionally invade yet another sovereign nation, Iran.
The list goes on and on and on, almost without end.
Stand up for what is right.
Protect your oath.
Defend the people and the laws you represent.
Restore the greatness of this nation.
IMPEACH for the past.
IMPEACH for the present.
IMPEACH for our future.
You too can send spread the word in getting the impeachment ball rolling. Support H.Res 333!
Guess we need to rewrite the song. Oh shoot, but all the writers are on strike, let me help.
It's a world of dinner
A world of fries
It's a world of shakes
And a world of pies
There's so much that we eat
That we never see our feet
It's smaller world after all
(drop that sandwich and sing along now everyone)
There is just one cake
And one cinnamon bun
And more frosting means
Weighing a metric ton
We're too fat for this ride
And our asses are wide
It's a smaller world after all
I happened upon an article recently that involved an event I'd never even heard of, so I thought I'd share it for those of you like me who didn't know such an event ever occured in our past.
Also this is my first actual post here now that I finally have the ability to post instead of just reply.
Location: New York City, Wall Street
Date: September 16th, 1920
At approximately one minute after twelve o'clock, the abandoned wagon's timer reached zero in the pleasant afternoon sun. A bomb consisting of one hundred pounds of dynamite packed with five hundred pounds of cast-iron slugs violently vomited red-hot shrapnel and destruction in every direction. A number of passers-by were instantly vaporized by the extreme heat and pressure. The blast sent a nearby automobile careening through the air as countless jagged iron fragments ripped through the crowd. The nearby structures trembled as the shock wave slammed into their outer walls with tremendous force, shattering windows and turning lobbies into lacerating hailstorms of glass. Many of the cloth awnings which overlooked the street burst into flames. Within a half-mile radius thousands of plate-glass windows burst in the city's tall buildings, peppering the streets of Lower Manhattan with razor-sharp glass shards.
Sounds like an effective little IED...
Thirty people had died in the first few moments, and ten were mortally wounded. Some 300 other men, women, and children were injured. Many staggered towards the Trinity Church to escape the choking smoke. Another wave of panic rippled through the crowd as word spread that another bomb was set to go off nearby, but the rumor proved untrue. News of the disaster spread quickly, and within thirty minutes the street was filled with hundreds of New York City policemen and Red Cross nurses who had rushed to the scene by horse, car, subway, and on foot.
As always, our first responders show their courage and dedication...
The Washington Post referred to the bombing as an "act of war," though no one could be certain who the enemy was. The newspaper also wrote, "The bomb outrage in New York emphasizes the extent to which the alien scum from the cesspools and sewers of the Old World has polluted the clear spring of American democracy." Though the anarchists had not been proven responsible, the US government's ongoing anti-radical Palmer Raids were increased in intensity as a consequence of the bombing. Immigrants were aggressively targeted, especially Italians, Russians, and Jews. Thousands of citizens were detained in the name of national security, though most of them clearly had nothing to do with the Wall Street terror plot. Ultimately, the orgy of misguided justice resulted in the deportation of about 10,000 such "radicals."
Apparently what we should have done is to go hunting for Russian terrorists in caves, and then go obliterate Italy. A single terror attack is enough to declare war on entire sovereign nations, isn't it?
Wall Street soon became a symbol of patriotism in the eyes of the country, and stock trading came to be viewed as an act of defiance against the terrorists. Before the attack a number of outspoken citizens had decried the unchecked growth of power underway on Wall Street, but many of those voices fell silent in light of the new public sentiment. Those critics who continued to voice their concerns were denounced as supporters of violence and terror, a trend which rapidly smothered all public debate on the matter.
It all looks pretty familiar doesn't it? How did we as a country survive the next 81 years without passing the USA Patriot Act, wiretapping citizens, and resorting to torture? Must have been some kind of freak accident we made it this far without all these vital new tools...
Full article here ----> http://www.damninteresting.com/?p=847
We've become so entrenched as a television nation, we've forgotten how news used to be disseminated. It all comes down to word of mouth, one person telling another person. All TV allows is one person to tell it to many all at once, but people still talk about it afterwords, that's how information works. It multiplies, it spreads, and the bigger the truth is, the more viral it is. All the truth needs is a voice, and those who want the truth will hear it and pass it on.
Youtube and its peers are worldwide. Do you really think something this big could be squelched on a worldwide basis? Who among you hasn't seen the picture of the man and the line of tanks?
I think it's wise of her to start in this way after having exhausted her legal options. There's no way an MSM outlet would carry this, but by making this kind of offer, here WE are talking about it. The hook is in, and now she has that much more leverage to allow her legal channels to cave. And if that doesn't work, it will be time to release it directly to the people who will be calling out for it, chomping at the bit to hear it and pass it on, and once that happens, it cannot be stopped.
"If you are an Independent, why are you still here? This is Democratic Underground, not Independent Underground, and I have alerted a mod about this."
Wait a second, this comment was so ludicrous, I can't tell if it's facetious or not. Are you seriously suggesting this site is purely for the blind support of the label "Democrat", and not for democracy itself as a concept and its inherent principles? If that's actually true, I need to stop visiting this site and reading mindless drivel like this. I get enough of that in the mass media thank you very much.
And as a side note, the next time someone offers you two ways to choose your own death, you go right on ahead and make your decision for the least painless option of the two. But personally, were I in that position, I'd rather invent a third option, like I dunno, kicking him in the balls maybe?
Just because you're given two options, doesn't mean those are the only options that exist.
I love this site, but sometimes I start to wonder if I can't even call this place home. How could anyone with over a thousand posts be blaming the student in this for not being smart enough to not resist arrest? What the hell? Since when is the purpose of life to not resist and not get hurt? Is that your definition of intelligence? Cops can't just go around throwing people to the ground, and then arresting them for resisting a police officer when they fight back. That's very similar to another recent discussion where people actually thought you give a police officer probable cause to search your person without cause, when you deny it to him. Saying no does not itself make you guilty of a crime. Fighting back does not itself make you guilty of a crime.
You know what the true crime is here that I haven't seen a single person mention? Why are the people in that audience relieved of all responsibility? They bore witness to something and just watched. That's exactly one of our main problems right now. We don't unite spontaneously in the face of something we are against. I guarantee there were more people than cops in that auditorium who felt the cops were in the wrong. All it takes is one person to stand up and express their disagreement for others to do the same. Yes Kerry should have been more commanding of the situation and more clearly expressed his desire to let the man go so he could answer his questions. But we can't count on others to do what's right. We can only count on ourselves.
Do you really want to be a person who watches things happen, only to write your disagreement with it later? Imagine how powerful a message it would have sent if instead of this video capturing a student being wrongly manhandled, it would have shown a crowd standing up for our rights and liberties and non-violently forcing the cops to stand down. Now that would be something to see on Youtube...
At first, while reading this story, I thought it was silly for him to not show his bag, but after reading the entire thing and then reading the hundreds of responses to it, I'm extremely proud of him for what he did. Don't you get it? There are no small battles. All this pick your battles wisely crap is just that. He knew his rights and he stood up for them. No matter how small a "battle" that is, he's still doing more to protect his own rights and by extension all of ours, than those of you who willingly give them up for convenience. And I think it's even worse that we should so willingly even call it a battle at all, to not have your rights violated.
By choosing the difficult route, and posting his story, it created a discussion that has prompted many responses for and against his actions, and these are exactly the kinds of discussions we need for things like this that we consider to be such an everyday violation of our rights, that we no longer care. Wake up people, you have rights, either fight to keep them, or give them up, but don't look down on others for fighting to keep them, no matter how small you feel those rights are.
There are two issues here that hopefully people will walk away from this story having permanently gleaned.
1) Of course the store has the right to request to see your receipt, but they can not force you to do so. It's good policy for them to ask, but that's all they can do. They hope you will do so, and if you choose to do so by actually making that choice instead of believing you have no choice, great, you are helping them. If you refuse, they must let you walk out the door unless they have some kind of evidence that you actually may have pocketed something without paying for. And I have to say in response to someone actually saying probable cause is refusing to show the contents of your personal possession... wow... just wow. For anyone to think that would be true, must mean they are so used to being searched they think declining a search shows evidence of guilt. That's just sad.
2) The cop obviously either didn't know he couldn't ask for the driver's license with no car involved, or he knew and did it anyway. Either way, the author did nothing wrong. He gave his name and then declined to show his driver's license. The cop did everything wrong by falsely arresting him.
Think about it. He knew his rights. He obviously has taken the time to study his rights. And not only that, he has decided to forego convenience to fight for them, all of them. He is an informed citizen. Now think of what the country would be like if there were more informed citizens? If everyone cared more for their "small" rights, do you think they'd be so willing as they are now to give up their "big" ones? Still feel like calling him an asshole or a loser?
However small an issue you may think this is, the receipt checker learned something new, the cop learned something new, and every single person to read the description of these events and the discussion it has caused in multiple discussion forums has learned something new.
I say bravo and thank you, both for the post itself, and the resultant discussion.
I've been an avid reader on this site for months now, and it's time I finally graduate to responding I figure thanks to this wonderfully written post by H2O. Thank you for it by the way.
As more than a few have mentioned, I think it's important to emphasize this isn't about revenge. This is about justice and the rule of law. Read that over and over until it sticks. Bush swore to uphold the Constitution. Read it for yourself:
"I, George Walker Bush, do solemnly swear that I will faithfully execute the office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States."
Now go ahead and Google the words "Bush Constitution" and you'll immediately learn the following if you haven't already read it somewhere else.
“I don’t give a goddamn,” Bush retorted. “I’m the President and the Commander-in-Chief. Do it my way.”
“Mr. President,” one aide in the meeting said. “There is a valid case that the provisions in this law undermine the Constitution.”
“Stop throwing the Constitution in my face,” Bush screamed back. “It’s just a goddamned piece of paper!”
The Constitution is just an obstacle for the Bush administration to find their way around. It always has been. Now this doesn't necessarily mean he's guilty of anything, but it certainly puts everything in context doesn't it? It's imperative we return our vital system of checks and balances to remind those elected that they serve us, not the other way around. This isn't about political maneuvering, this isn't about holding something in your pocket or over someone's head to get what you want, this isn't about the fear of losing what we've just gained in 2008. This is about preserving the Constitution and all it stands for. This is about reaffirming the framework of government to function within the boundaries the people have provided it.
It is vital and of great urgency, to begin investigations now that we can, and we can do this while we go about trying to reverse the messes created since the 2000 election, or at least stop them from getting worse. We don't have to choose one or the other. And if those investigations bring to light evidence that begs for impeachment, it must be done. The Constitution is not just a god-damned piece of paper, it is the framework of this country. When it is defied, by those we elect to preserve, protect, and defend it, they must be removed to make way for someone that can perform those duties.
People need to stop caring so much about what will happen or won't happen if they do or don't do something. This country has grown too much towards focus groups and poll numbers. We need to start holding our politicians to task, and part of that is ensuring impeachment as a vital tool of our democracy, and not as the perversion it was twisted into by the Republicans in the late 90s. It's high time we sharpen those tools lest we lose their intended functions.
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