Posts Tagged ‘Constitution


Things Are Looking Up

I just bought a new iPhone today and like a lot of other owners, one of the first things I did was check out the applications that are available for it. I opened iTunes and checked the list of top 10 freebies and noticed that Constitution for iPhone was on it. I think that the Revolution is starting to stick in the minds of a lot of people.



The New Criteria

Just Googled:

Number of hits for “sarah palin” + style: 19,500,000

Number of hits for “sarah palin” + constitution: 229,000


The Suppression Of Dissent At The Democratic And Republican Conventions

George Orwell, Stop Spinning and Call Your Office

George Orwell, Stop Spinning and Call Your Office

From the United States Constitution, Amendment One, retrieved on 8/30/2008;

Amendment 1 – Freedom of Religion, Press, Expression. Ratified 12/15/1791

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

From a journalist friend in Denver comes a story about the Democratic National Convention that you probably haven’t quite heard;

This is a belated post after a night in the free-speech pen (“Gitmo on the Platte”), but on Wednesday at noon, Rage Against the Machine and Flobots held a free benefit for Iraq Veterans Against the War at the Denver Coliseum.

Performances were incredible, RATM brought out Wayne Kramer of MC5 to play guitar with them, and at the end of the concert, the bands and 60 uniformed vets led about half the audience (7000 people) on an unauthorized march through downtown Denver to the Pepsi Center, for IVAW to deliver a letter to Obama.

The cops shit their pants, they were going to use tear gas about four times on the route, then the DNC and Denver officials decided tear-gassing veterans would not be such a good idea, so they conducted negotiations and “held” people temporarily, then everyone went home.

From today’s Minneapolis Star-Tribune;

Executing search warrants on Friday night and Saturday morning, Ramsey County authorities raided a building in St. Paul and at least three homes in Minneapolis in an effort to head off disruptive protests of the Republican National Convention.

In a statement, Ramsey County Sheriff Bob Fletcher described the Friday night raid at 627 Smith Avenue South in St. Paul as targeting the RNC Welcoming Committee, a group he described as “a criminal enterprise made up of 35 self-described anarchists who are intent on committing criminal acts before and during the Republican National Convention.”

“These acts include tactics to blockade and disable delegate buses, breaching venue security and injuring police officers,” the statement continued. Fletcher’s statement said no one was arrested. “Numerous items were recovered,” the statement said.
In response to the raids, the RNC Welcoming Committee issued a statement denying any criminal intent and described the officers’ actions as “violence” that was a sign of more extreme police measures to come.

On Saturday morning, three people were arrested and detained for probable cause conspiracy to commit a riot following a raid at 3240 17th Ave. S. in Minneapolis after authorities executed the search warrant. Ten other people in the house were processed and released after about 90 minutes, said Bruce Nestor of the National Lawyers Guild.

Nestor said he has not seen documents that support a reason for searching any of the locations, but that the warrant, signed by a judge on Friday, seeks multiple items, including electronics and mp3 players, rags, jars, Molotov cocktails, communication between RNC Welcoming Committee members, urine and feces (emphasis mine.)

Utter, complete, transparent bullshit. Rough them up, intimidate them, confiscate all their materials, photograph them so they will have ‘prior’ arrests, by the time you get a hearing the moment is over, the RNC is over, freedom is over. “Oh, sorry, our bad, here’s your shit back, HAHAHAHAHAHA.”

The three arrested, two 23-year-old women and a 25-year-old man, could be held through the weekend, Nestor said. A judge will review their case within 48 hours.  Nestor said the conspiracy to commit a riot charges are vague.

“This is a charge that police use for preventive detention,” he said. “It requires that no actual criminal act be committed and borders on criminalizing political advocacy.”

BORDERS ON? Nestor is being far too kind, BORDERING on aiding and abetting this thuggery.

Via Infoshop Newsvideo of massive police assaults, including threats, intimidation, and confiscation of computers and papers, on alleged “potentially disruptive” protestors, charging them with “conspiracy”;

Glenn Greenwald documents this, he and a colleague were at two of the houses;

There is clearly an intent on the part of law enforcement authorities here to engage in extreme and highly intimidating raids against those who are planning to protest the Convention. The DNC in Denver was the site of several quite ugly incidents where law enforcement acted on behalf of Democratic Party officials and the corporate elite that funded the Convention to keep the media and protesters from doing anything remotely off-script. But the massive and plainly excessive preemptive police raids in Minnesota are of a different order altogether. Targeting people with automatic-weapons-carrying SWAT teams and mass raids in their homes, who are suspected of nothing more than planning dissident political protests at a political convention and who have engaged in no illegal activity whatsoever, is about as redolent of the worst tactics of a police state as can be imagined.

Protesters here in Minneapolis have been targeted by a series of highly intimidating, sweeping police raids across the city, involving teams of 25-30 officers in riot gear, with semi-automatic weapons drawn, entering homes of those suspected of planning protests, handcuffing and forcing them to lay on the floor, while law enforcement officers searched the homes, seizing computers, journals, and political pamphlets. Last night, members of the St. Paul police department and the Ramsey County sheriff’s department handcuffed, photographed and detained dozens of people meeting at a public venue to plan a demonstration, charging them with no crime other than “fire code violations,” and early this morning, the Sheriff’s department sent teams of officers into at least four Minneapolis area homes where suspected protesters were staying…

As much as I hate to write this, I must agree with professor Michael Rozeff, who writes in an article about the E-Gold prosecution on today, the government of the United States of America has descended into a police state. Here’s hoping the Rally For The Republic fares better.

Like the opponents of Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal, we have arrived at the realization that, as vigilant as we think we have been about preventing the emergence of such a state, we have found ourselves, as Garet Garett wrote, with that revolution already behind us.

We’re sorry. We tried, we really tried.

(photo from thorough Denver Post article via the blog)


IFC Film – “Larry Flynt: The Right To Be Left Alone”

Larry Flynt In Happier Times

Larry Flynt, In Happier Times

Growing up a good Catholic boy, I learned to despise pornographers like Al Goldstein, Bob Guccione, and Larry Flynt (a not AHEM entirely unhypocritical position.) Coming of age in the confused-but-prosperous 1980’s, I was further encouraged (by the now-burnt-out women’s movement) to despise porn and pornographers as somehow primarily responsible for the oppression of women. The good Catholic liberal in me righteously grunted in assent, if not exactly approval.

I finally awoke from this fog of illogic when I read that some feminists believed and wrote not only did porn cause sexual assaults of women, but that, incredibly, some of them seriously proposed that there was no such thing as volition involved in sexual relations between men and women. This pretty much vaporized any remaining credibility of the “women’s movement” for me, standing in opposition to even my somewhat limited experience.

Yet I retained enough residual revulsion for Mr. Flynt and his ilk to be vaguely disgusted by the hagiographic film “The People vs. Larry Flynt”, a response not helped at all by the casting of the addled-yet-smug Woody Harrelson as Flynt, and the walking trainwreck that is Courtney Love as Flynt’s now-late wife.

Later, Flynt, in response to the wrongheaded and politicized impeachment of President Clinton, offered a reward for evidence of sexual impropriety on the part of a sitting member of Congress. I was, having over several years quietly absorbed the political and culture-war rhetoric of talking heads like Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity, still more disgusted by Flynt, as well as his cultural and spiritual alliance with Clinton, exactly according to the plans of the people who were conducting psy-ops on me and no doubt many thoughtful, small-l liberal people, who were nonetheless not fans of the Clintons.

But after the terrorist attacks of 2001, and particularly after the ‘WTF?’ moment I had a couple of days after Bush’s infamous “Mission Accomplished” speech, all the Bush Administration bullshit and lies that had been foisted off on us as a people to get us to support and agitate for what was now ever more clearly an unjust, criminal war in Iraq, started to collapse for me.

I started peeling back the layers of the onion, so to speak, canceling my subscription to the War Street Journal, turning off Fox News, and removing the presets that once delivered me to Limbaugh and the now-appallingly bad Hannity (I had been a fan since his local-show days in New York, where he at least still had a shred of decency about him). I started to read Lew Rockwell’s site, and

I got turned onto alternate news sources, read everything I could about what was REALLY going on in the world, helped start this blog, and became a warrior (mostly cyber) for Liberty, free markets, and freedom of association and expression. I began to see that even among people with very different cultural, moral, and spiritual views than me, there still existed real dedication to those founding ideals, and that shared devotion to freedom and liberty was far more important than differences on matters of personal morality. This is embodied in the fundamental, negative right to be left alone, easily deducible from the non-aggression axiom. This was a central lesson of Ron Paul’s recent presidential campaign. As Murray Rothbard said;

It should not be surprising, therefore, that there are libertarians who are indeed hedonists and devotees of alternative life-styles, and that there are also libertarians who are firm adherents of ‘bourgeois’ conventional or religious morality. There are libertarian libertines and there are libertarians who cleave firmly to the disciplines of natural or religious law. There are other libertarians who have no moral theory at all apart from the imperative of non-violation of rights. That is because libertarianism per se has no general or personal moral theory. Libertarianism does not offer a way of life; it offers liberty, so that each person is free to adopt and act upon his own values and moral principles. Libertarians agree with Lord Acton that ‘liberty is the highest political end’ – not necessarily the highest end on everyone’s personal scale of values.

And so, we come around to our old nemesis Larry Flynt. The Independent Film Channel has just aired a new documentary, “Larry Flynt: The Right To Be Left Alone”, video here, which finds Larry and I in almost eerie concord with regard to the natural rights that inhere in our persons, aptly summarized by the subtitle. It turns out that, at least on matters of freedom of speech, expression, association, and the use of government force to commit war and destruction on people, as well as the aforementioned liberties, I have to confess I’m beginning to find a lot to like about the old smut-peddler.

(link from Independent Film Channel via our pal violet)

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