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State Rights

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You mean the Obama Administration is upholding the constitution?
You know, after all these years, I finally figured out what the Republicans meant by "The Rule Of Law." They want a police state. They are not interested in constitutional rule of law, they simply want the police to rule.

CNN

(CNET)
-- Republican politicians on Thursday called for a sweeping new federal law that would require all Internet providers and operators of millions of Wi-Fi access points, even hotels, local coffee shops, and home users, to keep records about users for two years to aid police investigations.
The fight has only just begun. I understand many people believed that the passing of this new FISA law was going to signal the end of our Constitutionally created country. But the passing of a law -- hell, the passing of an amendment -- is not set in concrete. The only thing set in concrete is the existence of the will of the people.

Hope people. Hope. The Fourth Amendment has not been repealed. It is just a law that was passed. They get struck down quite a bit.

Barrier-Free Blogging

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Commercial Appeal

Memphis blogger Thaddeus Matthews is nobody's idea of an objective reporter. But local authorities should follow the same set of rules in dealing with bloggers as they would follow with established media.

Like him or not, Matthews is among a growing cadre of Internet savvy communicators who are using the Internet to democratize journalism. When he obtained and gave his readers a draft statement from the suspect in the murder of police officer Edward Vidulich, he was using a common journalistic tool. Snatching that tool from the hands of journalists of any stripe ultimately damages the public's ability to hold the government accountable.

Offered without comment.

By way of Blue Girl, Red State:

New York Times

Jose Padilla, the American citizen who was held in military detention for more than three years as an enemy combatant, filed a lawsuit Friday against a former Justice Department lawyer who helped provide the legal justifications for what the suit says was Mr. Padilla’s unconstitutional confinement and “gross physical and psychological abuse.”

The lawyer, John C. Yoo, now a law professor at the University of California, Berkeley, wrote or helped prepare a series of legal memorandums on interrogations and the treatment of detainees after the Sept. 11 attacks.

A lawyer for Mr. Yoo, Eric M. George, called Mr. Padilla’s suit “a political diatribe” that “belongs, at best, in a journal, not before a federal court.”

Mr. Padilla, 37, was transferred from military custody to the criminal justice system in 2006, and in August he was convicted of terrorism-related charges in Miami. He awaits sentencing.

The new lawsuit, filed in federal court in San Francisco, seeks only one dollar in damages. “That’s what Padilla directed us to ask for,” said Jonathan M. Freiman, one of Mr. Padilla’s lawyers. “At bottom, this isn’t about money. It’s about right and wrong.”

I hope the son-of-a-bitch is hung out to dry by Padilla and his legal team. And wouldn't it be just grand if a memo from the President was discovered that directed Yoo to write those heinous legal opinions.
Washington Post

Verizon Communications, the nation's second-largest telecom company, told congressional investigators that it has provided customers' telephone records to federal authorities in emergency cases without court orders hundreds of times since 2005.

The company said it does not determine the requests' legality or necessity because to do so would slow efforts to save lives in criminal investigations.

In an Oct. 12 letter replying to Democratic lawmakers, Verizon offered a rare glimpse into the way telecommunications companies cooperate with government requests for information on U.S. citizens.

Verizon also disclosed that the FBI, using administrative subpoenas, sought information identifying not just a person making a call, but all the people that customer called, as well as the people those people called. Verizon does not keep data on this "two-generation community of interest" for customers, but the request highlights the broad reach of the government's quest for data.

So, we find out that more and more of the telecom corporations have collaborated with BushCo™ and ignored our constitutional rights. You know, I seem to remember a section of the constitution addressing the existence of corporations. Somehow, their ability to ignore our constitutional rights is not a part of that section.

But, I doubt the drunken members of congress are going to do anything about this situation, they being overly intoxicated with the money tossed liberally by corporations.

Oh, and this:

Verizon and AT&T said it was not their role to second-guess the legitimacy of emergency government requests.

Is fucking bullshit. What they hell do you pay all those lawyers for if not to make sure you are not breaking any laws?

Ah, ya, that's right. It's to keep from having to actually suffer any consequences as a result of breaking laws. My bad.

CNN

PORTLAND, Oregon (AP) -- Two provisions of the USA Patriot Act are unconstitutional because they allow search warrants to be issued without a showing of probable cause, a federal judge ruled Wednesday.

U.S. District Judge Ann Aiken ruled that the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, as amended by the Patriot Act, "now permits the executive branch of government to conduct surveillance and searches of American citizens without satisfying the probable cause requirements of the Fourth Amendment."

Portland attorney Brandon Mayfield sought the ruling in a lawsuit against the federal government after he was mistakenly linked by the FBI to the Madrid train bombings that killed 191 people in 2004.

The federal government apologized and settled part of the lawsuit for $2 million after admitting a fingerprint was misread. But as part of the settlement, Mayfield retained the right to challenge parts of the Patriot Act.

Finally! Some constitutional sanity after nearly 6 years of dictatorial madness. Now, if some Democrats in congress can suddenly remember they swore to uphold the constitution, and move to impeach that chimp emperor at 1600 Pensylvania Ave., I'd be a happy man.

The Ignorance Of The Masses

Blue Girl, Red State

  • Only 15% of Americans can identify the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court (John Roberts). To contrast: 66% know at least one of the judges on American Idol.
  • Only 30% realize that the Supreme Court is the last stop on the litigation train. 32% believe that Supreme Court decisions can be appealed, and 38% either "didn't know" or "weren't sure."
  • 55% do not know that when the Supreme Court rules 5-4 on a case, that decision is the law of the land and must be followed.
  • 14% believe that 5-4 decisions are sent back to congress for further consideration, 7% believe it goes back to the lower courts, and 34% simply "don't know."
I'm siding with BG, RS on this. The ignorance of the American populous scares me as much as any overt attempt by BushCo™ to overthrow the constitution. If you do not understand the makeup and duties of the Judicial Branch, then of course you are not going to notice the erosion of your civil rights. All things said and done, it's the Judicial Branch that is responsible for upholding the law of the land. And that law originates with the Constitution.

Know the Constitution, understand the rights it gives us citizens, then you can recognize when Congress passes laws that infringe upon those rights. That allows you to be able to better enter a court room, where your rights are ultimately upheld, or taken away.

But many public schools boards across the country have been overrun with religious zealots intent on gutting the Constitution and establishing a theocracy. They don't give a damn about civil rights. The look for a return to the days of intolerance and religious persecution. So, as a result, they have weaken the teaching of important subjects, such as the Constitution and "unalienable" rights, and instead are mired in controversies involving separation of Church and State, or worse, wasting time teaching students how to pass a NCLB test.

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