Monday, January 21, 2013

The illegal enemy combattants

The assumption since King John, since 1215, is that responsible authorities need a reason, a rationale, for jailing a person. King John, a tyrant, signed off on this idea, much to the chagrin of the other tyrants, who stopped taking his phone calls.

What is the legal status of the prisoners in Guantanamo; what is our rationale for holding them?

The original term, illegal enemy combatant, expressed the claim that the US is at war with an enemy, that the prisoners belonged to that enemy, and that the prisoners used methods that violate the laws of war.

It is said that all things are fair in love and war. In war, the USA has proclaimed that some things are not fair: chemical, biological, and nuclear weapons. Any other methods are ok; that is, are methods that we ourselves would use, including blending-in by disguising ourselves as a polio eradication team, and thereby setting back the cause of polio eradication in Waziristan.

The notion that we are now engaged in World War III is never expressly said, and if the government does not dare to say it, it can hardly need to be denied.

Governments jail people in peace time and in war. Peacetime prisoners have been tried in court, and go home after a while. Prisoners of war go home, often when the war is over, except some of the higher-ups get tried for war crimes, for violating the laws of war. Holding others is neo-kidnapping, not generally accepted even if you paid money.

Our founding fathers, in the Bill of Rights, listed God-given rights of Englishmen; rights not given by the government. Recently we realized that those rights apply to all people, not just the men of England. You know the rights: the right to a fair trial, to be faced with your accuser, to reasonable bail, to be free from enhanced interrogation. And the Declaration of Independence listed among the abuses of another tyrant, King George, that he “transported us beyond the seas to be tried for pretended offenses”. This is a close description of the rendition of people to Guantanamo. And makes our George a tyrant.

Wishful thinking, delusion really, has put us in this legal nightmare. The way out is to shake it off.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

A Metro System for Palestine

The so-called "settlers" drive through Palestine on expressways. The Palestinians do not have expressways; they have only local roads, and need to stop frequently at checkpoints, and have permits. The checkpoints make travel within Palestine difficult, and in the case of medical emergencies, the delays can be life threatening.

This injustice could be fixed; fixed by money.

Naftali Bennett proposes linking the areas, that are now separated by checkpoints, by creating a metro system for Palestine. This should connect Gaza to the West Bank as well. This plan is independent of the further theft of land from Palestine, which is also part of Bennett's plan. YouTube

A community organizer in Gaza has also explored the idea of a subway for Palestine, and has received positive responses from those who have seen it. Reaction on YouTube
Artist's prtfolio of stops here.
System map -

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Chuck Culhane on prisons

Political Trial in Buffalo

A trial is political if it protects the interests of the powerful. The government says that there are no political trials, since that claim protects the interests of the powerful.

However, examples of political prosecutions abound; a readily accessible one is the case of Tommy Chong, of Cheech and Chong, as documented in the film "AKA Tommy Chong", available in the usual places.

Our case in Buffalo is the case of Nate Buckley, arrested for trespassing, what else, during a demonstration in front of M+T Bank on April 8th, 2011, and obstructing the administration of justice. Here is a video of that event and arrest, from YouTube.

A trial was held for three defendants. Two were acquitted on a bench trial, but the jury phase, for Buckley alone, resulted in a mistrial, due to juror misconduct. A motion to dismiss the charge against Buckley in the interests of justice was granted by the judge. Here is the judge's ruling.

The District Attorney, Frank Sedita Jr., son of a former mayor, is appealing the dismissal. He intends to prosecute, despite the judge's written opinion that a conviction would represent a miscarriage of justice.

Note that besides the existence of political trials, there are political not-trials; people "too big to jail".

Monday, January 07, 2013

DC, Dupont Circle, Rally

People spoke about the ongoing hunger strike of Samer Issawi. People in the West Bank are released in Gaza, making it impossible for them to see their famlies. Children are arrested for throwing rocks at tanks.
part 1 - Tighe Barry
part 2

Thursday, January 03, 2013

The First Amendment

Here are some prominent people who believe that the first amendment protects the commercial press; protects a business enterprise: Huff Post
ie: bloggers don't count; in fact speaking doesn't count.
Here is the text in question: "or of the press"

Ok, we know

Israel, with the approval of the US, plans to strangle Palestine.
To death.