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Posts Tagged ‘Charles Rangle’

constfree

The U.S. Constitution has apparently been suspended in parts of America in an effort to protect its borders from everything from illegal immigration to terrorists.  Rightful to protect its border, except that the border has been seemingly redefined to include a 100 mile wide strip that goes around the entire “external boundary” of the entire United States.

“The extraordinary authority that the U.S. government possesses at its borders is spilling into regular American streets, affecting large populations of its citizens. Nearly two-thirds of the entire population of the country now lives within 100 miles of the U.S. land and coastal borders, an area that has been designated by the government as a “Constitution Free Zone”.  http://www.naturalnews.com/024734.html  and posted similarly at  http://www.dailykos.com/story/2008/10/22/163652/37/734/638977

Could all liberties are put aside if you are rightly or wrongly id’s as having done something wrong?  Would there will be no guarantee of The Bill of Rights protection, no referring to case law and no lawyers to argue on your behalf? 

The ACLU lays claim that “Border Patrol agents are not remaining confined to a border security purpose.”  http://www.aclu.org/privacy/37293res20081022.html and it’s blog http://blog.aclu.org/?s=constitution+free+zone says that “U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) is allowed to exercise extraordinary authority that would not normally be permitted under the Constitution.

(ATS) traveler risk assessment program, identity and tracking systems such as electronic (RFID) passports, the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative (WHTI),  Secure Border Initiative Network (SBINet) or “virtual border fence” and unmanned aerial vehicles (aka “drone aircraft”) all monitor movement.   

The Department of Homeland Security is in itself, necessary.  Agents of the FBI, CIA, NSA must cooperate to protect the homeland, but using the word ‘homeland’ outside of a historical discussion of Germany has allowed law enforcement authorities access to broad powers and is just a creepy reminder of Gestapo tactics.  To assume an abuse of power is fear mongering, but fair minded caution must be exercised.  The Patriot Act, Military Commissions Act, and FISA-Protect America Act were enacted post 9-11 for good reason and have been tweaked numerous times to keep America Safe with as little intrusion as possible.

It becomes paramount that we question how secure the technology is in foreign countries and in our own country.  http://electronicintifada.net/v2/article9930.shtml  The Shadow Factory: The Ultra-Secret NSA from 9/11 to the Eavesdropping on America author James Bamford writes about how spying on American citizens has been outsourced to companies closely linked to Israel’s intelligence services. “With unrivaled access to sources and documents, Bamford details how the agency has conducted domestic surveillance without court approval, and he frames it in the context of the NSA’s ongoing hunt for information about today’s elusive enemies. http://www.amazon.com/Shadow-Factory-Ultra-Secret-Eavesdropping-America/dp/0385521324

The Department of Homeland Security “claims that data gathered for law enforcement purposes will be “in compliance with privacy and civil liberties laws and policies of the United States,” the GAO found that “by broadly sharing information with non-federal users, who are not bound by the Privacy Act, personal information could be at risk of being used in ways not specified when it was originally collected.” Considering that some 70% of U.S. intelligence assets are employees of private security and defense contractors, NAO is a civil liberties disaster waiting to happen.” http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=viewArticle&code=BUR20081109&articleId=10864

The far side would have us believe that we have a ruling oligarchy that professes an agenda of militarism, corporatism, and socialism that encroaches itself upon citizens at the expense of the general population with more domestic control and intimidation.  Maybe the far isn’t so far off? Obama has proposed a mandatory civilian force http://www.rightpundits.com/?p=2318 with equal funding to the military which is already on active duty on our soil http://www.armytimes.com/news/2008/09/army_homeland_090708w/, Charles Rangle has a Draft Bill just lying in wait http://www.talkleft.com/story/2006/11/19/152217/04  , “The Bailout” has the government owning banks and Obama’s policies in waiting have been compared to Marxism. http://louisproyect.wordpress.com/2008/10/01/are-bailouts-marxist/

For now, we will wait to see what decisions Obama makes to shield our country from danger and protect her citizens.  “Let’s be clear here and shed whatever illusions one may have about the outcome of last Tuesday’s election. Despite the overwhelming rejection of the Bush administration and their surrogates by the American people, the incoming Obama administration will pay lip-service to civil liberties and the rule of law. This however, will amount to no more than a better public relations campaign, image management and product roll-out. America rebranded.” wrote Tom Burghardt  http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=viewArticle&code=BUR20081109&articleId=10864  His blog can be found at http://antifascist-calling.blogspot.com/

For now though our Bill of Rights are safe.  In an all too plausible court case, The Supreme Court in a 5-4 decision narrowly “ruled to uphold the Bill of Rights, the very tenets upon which American society is based. “After carefully considering the relevance of the 10 inviolable rights that comprise the ideological foundation on which our nation is built, the court finds that these basic freedoms remain important for the time being, and should not be overturned,” read the majority opinion authored by Justice Anthony Kennedy, who cast the tie-breaking vote. “Until such time as it can be definitively proven that citizens no longer require the protections provided by the Bill of Rights, it shall remain the principal legal guidance for the United States of America.” The Supreme Court’s latest decision comes on the heels of last month’s 6-3 ruling to abolish the pursuit of happiness from the three inalienable rights guaranteed by the Declaration of Independence. http://www.theonion.com/content/news_briefs/supreme_court_upholds_bill?utm_source=onion_rss_daily   Kudos to Justice Anthony Kennedy for saving The Bill of Rights and shame, shame, shame on those Justices who sought not to protect the Bill of Rights and who did solemnly swear to uphold those rights. From Wiki-  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oath_of_office#Federal_judicial_oaths

For readers are not familiar with The Onion, the Supreme Court Ruling is a satire and did not occur.  No Court has had issue with the Constitution Free Zone, yet.  When standing behind, beside or in front of the ACLU, keep in mind it may not stand up to protect all of The Bill of Rights either, “ACLU doesn’t mean all of the original 10 amendments because its policy No. 47 says, “Except for lawful police and military purposes, the possession of weapons by individuals is not constitutionally protected,” thereby ignoring the Second Amendment.”  http://www.stoptheaclu.com/archives/2008/09/06/aclu-very-selective-in-upholding-bill-of-rights/

Defending our borders, The U.S. Constitution and our privacy laws is a balancing act that will require Obama’s political vision be clear and forthright through out his entire Presidency.   Good luck with that theory of  a President being forthright though. Obama himself has barred the public from seeing his birth certificate, college transcripts, medical background, etc., so I’d say Obama’s privacy has been protected pretty dang well here in America.

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Russian Sub Put Together Like Humpty Dumpty

Over 20 people have been killed after a firefighting system went off during sea trials on board the Nerpa, a nuclear submarine in Russia’s Pacific Fleet. The sub was on a test run in the Sea of Japan with 208 people aboard 81 of whom were servicemen. Submariners and ship builders were killed, the AP reports.

It appears that Russia was leasing Akula II class boats to India recently and I believe it might be this one http://en.rian.ru/russia/20081027/117976941.html provided by the Russian News Agency, RAI Novosti. 

“The construction of the Akula II class Nerpa nuclear attack submarine started in 1991 but has been suspended for over a decade due to lack of funding. Akula II class vessels are considered the quietest and deadliest of Russian nuclear-powered attack submarines. The submarine, built under a contract with the Russian Defense Ministry, has been moved from the shipyard in Komsomolsk-on-Amur to a maintenance facility in the Primorye Territory and fitted with all necessary equipment. At present it is undergoing sea trials,” a spokesman for the shipyard told RIA Novosti. Indian media have reported on various occasions that the construction of the submarine was partially financed by the Indian government. India has reportedly paid $650 million for a 10-year lease of the 12,000-ton submarine.  Nerpa is expected to join the Indian navy under the designation INS Chakra in the second half of 2009.”

Construction on this hunk of steel was halted for 16 years for lack of funding and then put back together again like Humpty Dumpty.  http://en.rian.ru/russia/20081027/117976941.html  I am reminded of, why did the Kursk sink? http://www.wps.ru/en/pp/kursk/2002/03/19/1.html The three torpedoes aboard the Kursk had a storage time of which, at the depot had elapsed and detonated early.  Sound Familiar? 

In 2003, eleven people died on a Russian sub being taken out of service sank in the Barents Sea. Even with this new failure, Russia has seen success. From SEVEROMORSK, October 11 (RIA Novosti) – A Russian submarine has for the first time test launched the Sineva ballistic missile to its maximum range from the Barents Sea to an equatorial part of the Pacific Ocean.  The exercise drills involved more than 5,000 military personnel, eight surface ships and five submarines.  “The RSM-54 Sineva (NATO designation SS-N-23 Skiff) is a third-generation liquid-propellant intercontinental ballistic missile that entered service with the Russian Navy in July 2007. It has a maximum range of 8,300 km (5,200 miles) and can carry four or 10 nuclear warheads. http://en.rian.ru/russia/20081011/117682147.html

This serious naval accident and other SNAFUs like this, only remind us how unstable nuclear warhead missiles are in the hands of the Russians.  Had the explosion resulted in the launch of a nuclear torpedo, millions of people could be dead, accidentally.   This “mishap” comes as Russia is trying to restore it’s reputation and demonstrate it’s over all military prowess while Americans have elected a President Obama who projects a decrease in military spending.  https://ahrcanum.wordpress.com/2008/10/22/obama-demilitarizes-while-russia-modernizes-missiles/

Russia has been holding joint naval exercises with close U.S. neighbor Venezuela, snubbing America’s Monroe Doctrine http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Monroe_Doctrine  that was used symbolically when the Soviet Union began building missile launch sites in Cuba.

“Russia displayed its military strength in the Mediterranean yesterday after warships heading to Venezuela passed through the Strait of Gibraltar in the second deployment of Russian naval vessels in the waterway since the Cold War. The nuclear-powered missile cruiser Peter the Great, accompanied by the Admiral Chabanenko, an anti-submarine destroyer, as well as a reconnaissance vessel and a support ship, are destined for a maritime exercise with the Venezuelan navy.” Russia has also moved to intensify contacts with Venezuela, Cuba and other Latin American countries and has signed weapons contracts worth more than $4 billion with Venezuela since 2005 to supply fighter jets, helicopters and 100,000 Kalashnikov AK47 assault rifles. http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/europe/article4887728.ece

http://www.mnweekly.ru/news/20080926/55348681.html Moscow News outlines Russia’s display of its naval might at America’s doorstep, but notes that the ” Russian Navy’s state will not improve as a result of Moscow’s modified policies. Hopefully, the government will soon start restoring and rearming the Navy because any show of strength will otherwise prove ineffective.” 

No one will accuse President Obama of overbearing American supremacy while he reduces America’s might and increases his proposed “civilian national security force.”  Obama pledged: “We cannot continue to rely on our military in order to achieve the national security objectives we’ve set. We’ve got to have a civilian national security force that’s just as powerful, just as strong, just as well-funded.”  Obama’s selection of Emanuel, in his book, The Plan: Big Ideas for America, sketches out the same idea on how to “fight against the spread of evil and totalitarianism.” … by expanding the U.S. army by 100,000 more troops,” Emanuel suggests “we must protect our homeland and civil liberties by creating a new domestic counter terrorism force like Britain’s MI5.”

Charles Rangel’s National Service Act,   http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Universal_National_Service_Act which is languishing before Congress, provides for a universal draft with two years of service for virtually all persons aged 18-42, with no deferment for college. The purpose of Rangel’s bill is seems to reflect Obama’s desires:

“To require all persons in the United States between the ages of 18 and 42 to perform national service, either as a member of the uniformed services or in civilian service in furtherance of the national defense and homeland security . . . .”

Civilian service described in the bill (sec 102(b)):

a civilian capacity that, as determined by the President, promotes the national defense, including national or community service and service related to homeland security.

 

In more anti-military, environmental whacko, tree hugging jurisprudence, comes this article from http://www.ibdeditorials.com/IBDArticles.aspx?id=284688883235757 ,  A federal court has restricted the Navy’s use of sonar to defend America. Never mind that missiles fired from enemy submarines will harm the environment more than the sonar used to detect them. The Chinese are adding 2.5 new subs each year to their fleet, and former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld says the Chinese may have more subs than we do within a decade.

In the National 3:00 am call that we heard about from Hillary Clinton and others during the pre-election banter, comes this portrayal from the Department of Defense:

“This is the National Military Command Center.  We have detected the launches of two ballistic missiles out of Iran with projected impact in New York in less than 25 minutes.  Iranian President says he did not order this, it was done by a small radical group which explains our very limited indications and warning.  Iranian strategic and regional missile forces have now been ordered to full alert in anticipation of U.S. retaliation.  We have notified state and local authorities and are notifying allied governments. 

Mr. President, what are your instructions?”

http://www.mda.mil/mdalink/pdf/thirdsite.pdf

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