Georgia State Senate: “Right To Abridge Constitutional Freedoms Of Religion, Press And Speech”

What in blazes is wrong with these people?  Does the North need to head south, and clean house on them again?  No one can make this crap up!

In fact, Senate Resolution 632 did a lot more than merely threaten to end this country. It stated that under the Constitution, the only crimes the federal government could prosecute were treason, piracy and slavery.

“Therefore, all acts of Congress which assume to create, define or punish [other] crimes … are altogether void, and of no force,” the Georgia Senate declared.

In other words, in the infinite, almost unanimous wisdom of the Georgia Senate, Michael Vick is being imprisoned illegally, Bernie Madoff should serve no time for stealing $60 billion and the Unabomber must go free. In fact, the federal penitentiary in Atlanta should be emptied of its inmates.

But wait, there’s more.

The resolution goes on to endorse the theory that states have the right to abridge constitutional freedoms of religion, press and speech. According to the resolution, it is up to the states to decide “how far the licentiousness of speech and of the press may be abridged.”

The resolution even endorses “nullification,” the legal concept that states have the power to “nullify” or ignore federal laws that they believe exceed the powers granted under the Constitution. That concept has a particularly nasty legacy. It helped precipitate the Civil War, and in the 1950s and early ’60s it was cited by Southern states claiming the right to ignore Supreme Court rulings ordering the end of segregation.

Finally, the resolution states that if Congress, the president or federal courts take any action that exceeds their constitutional powers, the Constitution is rendered null and void and the United States of America is officially disbanded. As an example, the resolution specifically states that if the federal government enacts “prohibitions of type or quantity of arms or ammunition,” the country is disbanded.

In other words, if Congress votes to restore the ban on sale of assault rifles, the United States is deemed to no longer exist.

This, your Georgia state Senate voted 43-1 to endorse.

What  alter-universe exists in the land of  inbreeding and three thumbs…..

Congressman Mark Kirk Suggests Shooting Illinois Governor

When I wrote  in some comments on this blog about the absurdity of the tea parties, and the vile emotions that are conjured up by such rabble-rousing groups, I forgot to mention the angry white men who provoke the simple-minded  masses.

Here is another example.  This time from Congressman Mark Kirk.

I think that the decision to raise taxes by 50 percent in Illinois is political suicide,” Kirk said of Quinn’s proposal to raise the tax rate to 4.5 percent from 3 percent, coupled with an increase in the personal deduction. “I think the people of Illinois are ready to shoot anyone who is going to raise taxes by that degree.”

I am sure that all my conservative friends (readers) will step up and pounce on this truly disturbing statement.  Or am I to assume that this is the style of political speech that we can expect from the party that got soundly booted from national government?

 Wonder if  Mark Kirk needs a new fitting for a brown shirt?

America Should Not Use Torture, Our World Image Needs Repair

I know all too well that it is easy for the other side to snipe at guys like me who argue against the use of torture on those who are captured in the ‘war on terror’.  I have heard the endless arguments about ‘what if a bomb was in the city and…..” until I am sure that there are no more cities that can be used as examples by those who think torture is a legitimate use on those who are against us.  But for me  there is a bottom line when saying that torture is not the route my nation should be using on enemy combatants.  For me it is about the shame and dishonor that torture brings with it, and the  way the world community looks at us as a result.

We are better than those in the world who do employ such tactics.  I am still one of those who actually does think my country, even though we have made some grievous errors, is still a truly remarkable place, and a sign of hope to many others around the globe.  To lower our standards and employ the most degrading and dehumanizing methods to illicit information, which very well may be faulty and unusable, is a vile exercise. 

The latest release of a memo from the Bush White days, is a dramatic way to hold ourselves accountable.  I applaud President Obama for releasing this memo, though the contents makes me ill.  The details in this memo is not the way I want the Middle Eastern nations to see us.  I do not want my tax dollars going to this activity.  I want my country to again be the good guys in the white hats.  I do not think we are beyond the point of repairing our torn image.  The first place is to admit our wrongs. This memo being released is a start.

The next thing is to make a turn in the road, and not return to the place that has soiled our image.  President Obama needs to be single-minded in his desire to see these methods of torture ended.

Interrogation tactics such as waterboarding, sleep deprivation and slapping did not violate laws against torture when there was no intent to cause severe pain, according to a Bush-era memo on the tactics released Thursday.

To violate the statute, an individual must have the specific intent to inflict severe pain or suffering,” said an August 2002 memo from then-Assistant Attorney General Jay Bybee to John Rizzo, who was acting general counsel for the CIA.

“Because specific intent is an element of the offense, the absence of specific intent negates the charge of torture. … We have further found that if a defendant acts with the good faith belief that his actions will not cause such suffering, he has not acted with specific intent,” Bybee wrote.

Other memos allowed the use of such tactics as keeping a detainee naked and in some cases in a diaper, and putting detainees on a liquid diet.

The Bybee opinion was sought on 10 interrogation tactics in the case of suspected al Qaeda leader Abu Zubaydah.

On waterboarding, in which a person gets the sensation of drowning, the memo said, “although the waterboard constitutes a threat of imminent death, prolonged mental harm must nonetheless result” to violate the law.

The memo also authorized keeping Zubaydah in a dark, confined space small enough to restrict the individual’s movement for no more than two hours at a time. In addition, putting a harmless insect into the box with Zubaydah, who “appears to have a fear of insects,” and telling him it is a stinging insect would be allowed, as long as Zubaydah was informed the insect’s sting would not be fatal or cause severe pain.

If, however, you were to place the insect in the box without informing him that you are doing so … you should not affirmatively lead him to believe that any insect is present which has a sting that could produce severe pain or suffering or even cause his death,” the memo said.

Authorities also were allowed to slap a detainee’s face “to induce shock, surprise or humiliation” and strike his abdomen with the back of the hand in order to disabuse a detainee’s notion that he will not be touched, the memos said.

Bybee noted in the memo that the CIA agreed all tactics should be used under expert supervision. Other memos said waterboarding can be used only if the CIA has “credible intelligence that a terrorist attack is imminent” and if a detainee is believed to have information that could prevent, disrupt or delay an attack, and other methods fail to elicit the information.

Another memo to Rizzo, from Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Steven G. Bradbury on May 10, 2005, noted that nudity could be used as an interrogation technique.

“Detainees subject to sleep deprivation who are also subject to nudity as a separate interrogation technique will at times be nude and wearing a diaper,” it said, noting that the diaper is “for sanitary and health purposes of the detainee; it is not used for the purpose of humiliating the detainee and it is not considered to be an interrogation technique.”

“The detainee’s skin condition is monitored, and diapers are changed.

Emily Mills’ Insight Into Madison Tea Party Great Read

Many reasons to read Emily Mills today as she has a nice write-up on the tea party at the Statehouse yesterday.   She also snapped some pictures that are well…pretty indicative of what lives under rocks.

President Obama: Train Travel Is The Future

Even if some are still caught in the past  glory of gas guzzling cars, and ever more paved land with concrete the forward leaning thinkers know what the future holds for transportation.   It is trains…..and more trains.  Someday even WIBA will agree.

A high-speed rail corridor through the industrial Midwest – linking Toledo, Detroit, Chicago and more – is one of the potential recipients of billions of dollars in funding in federal grants announced this morning by President Barack Obama.

Speaking in Washington before departing on a trip to Mexico, Obama said the United States is putting itself at a competitive disadvantage by not embracing the potential of high-speed rail to link parts of the nation, saying France, China and other countries are already ahead of us. He pledged $8 billion in funds from the stimulus bill passed by Congress this year and another $1 billion a year for five years.

“I know Americans love their cars and no one’s talking about replacing the automobile,” said Obama. “But this is something that can be done.”

The White House replaced a plan for funding investment in high-speed rail, identifying 10 corridors which could receive federal funding. Among them are:

• A Chicago Hub network, which Obama called “something close to my heart” in reference to his adopted hometown, linking much of Midwest, including Toledo and Detroit with Chicago, Milwaukee, Minneapolis-St. Paul, St. Louis, Kansas City, Cleveland, Cincinnati, Indianapolis and Louisville, Ky.

• A California corridor, from Sacramento and the San Francisco Bay area to Los Angeles and San Diego.

• A southeast corridor, linking Washington, D.C., with Atlanta and Jacksonville, Fla., and other points along the way.

• A northern New England corridor, from Boston to Montreal but with links to Portland, Maine; New Haven, Conn., and elsewhere.

Other corridors include those designated in the Pacific Northwest; in the south central United States; along the Gulf Coast; through Florida; across Pennsylvania, and from New York City to Buffalo, N.Y.

There is also a chance the existing northeast corridor running from Washington, D.C., north to Boston could receive additional funding through the program.

(2 of 2)
Obama said the idea is to get states and local communities to put together plans for networks of 100- to 600-mile-long corridors, which will compete for the federal dollars. The federal grants could begin going out as early as September.

Said Obama, in a prepared statement: “My high-speed rail proposal will lead to innovations that change the way we travel in America. We must start developing clean, energy-efficient transportation that will define our regions for centuries to come.”

He also said it could create thousands of construction jobs over many years.

“High-speed rail is long-overdue, and this plan lets American travelers know that they are not doomed to a future of long lines at the airports or jammed cars on the highways,” he said.

The first round of grants is expected to focus on projects that can be completed quickly, creating jobs quickly. Those programs might include improvements which would take lines where train speeds are already 70 miles per hour and increase them to more than 100 m.p.h. The following rounds of funding would then help fund proposals for comprehensive high-speed programs along the identified corridors.