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You Keep Using That Word, I Do Not Think It Means What You Think It Means

Cross-posted from Eclectablog.


With the reelection of Barack Obama and the subsequent resurgence in tea party rhetoric about "tyranny", stoked white hot by talk of enacting a handful of sensible gun regulations, I've been thinking a lot lately about how our present-day "patriots", and I use that phrase very loosely, have perverted the meaning of the word tyranny and the philosophies of our Founding Fathers.

Although it is widespread across the nation, one particular example of it here in Michigan really ignited my thinking on this. A tea party state Senator, Patrick Colbeck, has taken to posting passages from the Declaration of Independence on his Facebook page this week. That, in and of itself, is no big deal, of course. However, the quotes he has chosen make it clear that he is making a direct comparison between the King of England during the period before the American Revolution and our current President, Barack Obama.

This one is from last Wednesday:

The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.

He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.

This one was posted yesterday:
He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.
And, finally, this one from this morning:
He has refused to pass other Laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of Representation in the Legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.
The comparison is, franky, offensive and points out just how distorted the truth about our American history has become in the minds of people like Colbeck and his tea party brethren. I probably don't need to, but I feel compelled to point out how ludicrous it is for a sitting Senator who is part of the majority party that controls our entire state as well as the U.S. House of Representatives to be complaining about tyranny when he is a living embodiment of the democratic republic created by our Founding Fathers.

In the period leading up to the American Revolution, we experienced true tyranny in this country. Our citizens had absolutely no say in their own lives, no ability to govern themselves and were actually forced to provide housing and food to an occupying military force from England. The Declaration of Independence includes 27 "Abuses and Usurpations", three of which Sen. Colbeck has published this week. Here's a good description of what they are:

The first 12 abuses involve King George III's establishment of a tyrannical authority in place of representative government. The foundation of representative government is the power of the people to make laws for the public good. King George III interfered with that process by rejecting legislation proposed by the colonies, dissolving colonial bodies of representation, replacing colonial governments with his appointed ministers, and interfering with the naturalization of citizens in new regions. King George III extended his tyrannical control by interfering with the objective judicial processes and the civil rights of the colonists. King George III prevented the establishment of judicial powers in the colonies and made judges dependent on him for their jobs and salaries. King George III further established tyrannical control by maintaining a strong military presence under his direct command. The King is a tyrant, because he keeps standing armies in the colonies during a time of peace, makes the military power superior to the civil government, and forces the colonists to support the military presence through increased taxes.

Abuses 13 through 22 describe the involvement of parliament in destroying the colonists' right to self-rule. The king has "combined with others" to subject the colonists to legislation passed without colonial input or consent. Legislation has been passed to quarter troops in the colonies, to shut off trade with other parts of the world, to levy taxes without the consent of colonial legislatures, to take away the right to trial by jury, and to force colonists to be tried in England. Additionally, legislation has established absolute rule in a nearby area, taken away the authority of colonial governments, and forbidden further legislation by colonial governments.

The last 5 abuses, 23 through 27, refer to specific actions that the King of Great Britain took to abandon the colonies and to wage war against them. The King has attempted to suppress the colonial rebellion through violence and military means. He sent the British military to attack colonists, burn their towns, attack their ships at sea, and destroy the lives of the people. He hired foreign mercenaries to fight against the colonies. He kidnapped American sailors to force them into British military service, refused to protect the colonies from Native American attack, and has caused colonists to fight against each other.

THAT is what tyranny looks like.

What our present-day "patriots" call tyranny is, in fact, simply childish whining about not getting their way in this democracy of ours. If they don't like laws that are passed, they cry to the heavens about their freedom being taken away and about our tyrannical government. If Thomas Jefferson, George Washington, John Adams and the other Founding Fathers were alive to see their theatrics, they would be mortified.

Perhaps one of the most egregious perversions of our country's history is the misinterpretation of the words of Thomas Jefferson. Tea partiers like Colbeck frequently cite his statement that "The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants." This, they say, is evidence that they must take up arms against our government because they disagree with it.

The exquisite irony in this perversion of his quote is that Jefferson was actually talking about ignorant people like today's tea partiers, people without education or adequate knowledge. He was writing to William Stephens Smith about an early draft of the U.S. Constitution. In this early draft was a provision for what would essentially be a "president for life".  This was included to deal with what some were calling "anarchy" in the colonies, the only example of which was Shays' Rebellion which took place in 1787, two years before George Washington became president. Jefferson told Smith that the uprising was the result of poorly educated rural farmers. It was okay, Jefferson said, however, because better that they push back against things they disagreed with than to succumb to lethargy. Here's an analysis by Douglas L. Wilson of The Atlantic:

People who are aggrieved have a right to protest, but do they have a right to rebel? The "tree of liberty" letter is presumably Jefferson's moment to say so, but he does not. He speaks rather to the question of ignorance. "The people cannot be all, and always, well informed. The part which is wrong will be discontented in proportion to the importance of the facts they misconceive. If they remain quiet under such misconceptions it is a lethargy, the forerunner of death to the public liberty." The part of the population that is wrong, in this case the farmers in western Massachusetts, can be expected to act on their misconceptions, and that, says Jefferson, is a good sign, for to be silent about your grievances is a portent of true calamity, "death to the public liberty." {...}

Jefferson next calculates, in his characteristic way, the true rate of rebellion in America in order to put Shay's isolated affair into mathematical perspective. "We have had 13. states independant 11. years. There has been one rebellion. That comes to one rebellion in a century and a half for each state. What country before ever existed a century and half without a rebellion? And what country can preserve it's liberties if their rulers are not warned from time to time that their people preserve the spirit of resistance?" Here again Jefferson's concern is public liberty -- the preservation of the liberties of the country at large -- which he says in turn depends on "the spirit of resistance," the continued willingness of aggrieved citizens to resist.

What, then, is to be done about instances such as the isolated one in Massachusetts? Jefferson is direct: "Let them take arms. The remedy is to set them right as to facts, pardon and pacify them. What signify a few lives lost in a century or two? The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants. It is it's natural manure." What follows immediately after this famous passage is intended to remind his correspondent of its context: "Our Convention has been too much impressed by the insurrection of Massachusetts: and in the spur of the moment they are setting up a kite to keep the hen-yard in order. I hope in God this article will be rectified before the new constitution is accepted."

So Jefferson was talking about the righteousness of letting the ignorant speak out against that which they disagree with and did so in the context against arguing against a president with unlimited tenure. He was clearly not advocating violent overthrow of the government when people don't get their way, a military temper tantrum when democracy doesn't work in their favor.

The irony in Senator Colbeck's situation is that he introduced a bill this week that actually requires students be taught American history one week out of the year:

Yesterday , I introduced SB 120 and 121. These bills are known as the American Heritage Act and Celebrate Freedom Week Act respectively. SB 120 would prohibit censorship of education material on the basis of religious content. SB 121 requires the instruction of core American principles during Constitution Week for public school students in grades 3-12. Many wonder why our nation is divided and experiencing negative economic growth. I would submit that it is because we have lost an understanding of the core principles that made us great and wandered from the execution of thes [sic] principles. Article VIII, Section 2 of the Michigan Constitution states clearly that the purpose of education is to develop good citizens. These bills will help to ensure that we adhere to this mission.
Senator Colbeck and his tea party followers should take their own advice and correct their mistaken impressions regarding some important parts of our country's past. I'd encourage them to look into the Boston Tea Party, as well, since they clearly have no conception about the meaning of that event.

Tyranny must be fought with everything we have, even if it means spilling blood. However, what we have in this country today is so far removed from tyranny that those ranting against it simply reveal themselves as the ignorant hypocrites that they are.

[Jefferson Memorial photo credit: Anne C. Savage, special to Eclectablog]

Originally posted to Eclectablog - eclectic blogging for a better tomorrow on Sat Feb 02, 2013 at 05:59 AM PST.

Also republished by History for Kossacks.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (127+ / 0-)

    "Back off, man. I'm a scientist."
    -- Dr. Peter Venkman


    Join me, Anne C. Savage & LOLGOP at Eclectablog.com.

    by Eclectablog on Sat Feb 02, 2013 at 05:59:13 AM PST

  •  Cheap and ignorant historical (39+ / 0-)

    comparisons drive me batty. These are most often made by the RW. They are going down. They know it, and that's why their rhetoric is getting more hysterical.

    It's here they got the range/ and the machinery for change/ and it's here they got the spiritual thirst. --Leonard Cohen

    by karmsy on Sat Feb 02, 2013 at 06:19:40 AM PST

  •  I am more afraid of anarchy (40+ / 0-)

    caused by nut cases who don't want health insurance, or who believe that not allowing high powered weapons to be sold any where any time, equals Kristallnacht, than I am of any actions of the US government.

    In modern times, it seems those that claim tyranny really just want anarchy - to allow them to be the tyrants.

    Here is an article fromThe Atlantic the puts some of this in perspective.

    After the Republicans burn down the world, they will prove the Democrats did it.

    by jimraff on Sat Feb 02, 2013 at 06:20:53 AM PST

    •  No, they want to replace what they perceive as... (31+ / 0-)

      "tyranny" with their own tyranny.  They want to force their minority fundamentalist views on the majority of people who voted against such views/ policies/ dictates.  

      They really don't want the lawlessness of anarchy.  They want to subjugate the majority to the rules of the radical minority.

      •  I see both of you here, (3+ / 0-)

        but jimraff has a point.  

        They want unlimited and unfettered use of assault weaponry and body piercing ammo...

        They want to rape any woman they want and not be bothered by the consequences...

        The future with these ideas prevailing are indeed anarchy, and that is, pretty much, what I've been hearing from them through this election cycle to now.  What rights do we have, those of us who believe that fun has an equal importance in our lives as work, family, friendships, you know, the stuff that gives our lives meaningfulness?  We have none.  They want to do what they want when they want and tough to us.  And you are right, also.  They want to subjugate us to their world.

        •  they want to live in 1958 when white men (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          elwior, LilithGardener, jimraff

          could lynch blacks, beat their wives and children with impunity, rape without consequences, foul the water, poison the air, buy guns without an ID, and generally piss all over anyone and anything that wasn't pleasing to them.  

          We are a vastly better nation today on multiple fronts.  The only people who have a serious problem with the 21st Century are those who know they're no longer protected from competition in the workplace, who are no longer demigods in their homes, are no longer guaranteed first choice of everything they desire.  Short form:  WATBs

          I'm not looking for a love that will lift me up and carry me away. A love that will stroll alongside and make a few amusing comments will suffice.

          by I love OCD on Sat Feb 02, 2013 at 03:05:17 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Brings to mind how spontaneously Mitt Romney's (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            elwior, I love OCD, jimraff

            son blurted out that at family dinner's Mitt is always the first one through the Buffet line, which he promptly tried to diffuse by pointing out the parents (Mitt's sons and their wives) needing time to help the children with their plates, and so on.

            That told me all I needed to know about the Romney family values and what is considered orderly and legitimate social structure. Mitt decides, everyone else abides.

          •  I'm pretty excited about the 21st century (3+ / 0-)

            It's been cool to live through the changes of the 60s and witness "progress" to now...as much as I loved the 50's, (I was born in 53 so I didn't know about the dark side until way later) I am totally psyched about this century.  We will probably see more of this anger and gun lust for awhile, who knows, but when we've gotten through it, it might just be the world we envisioned earlier...collaboration, cooperation, multi-racial, multi-ethnic, a fairer society, a planet and it's wildlife respected and sustainable...maybe...and maybe I'm wanting this so badly I can't see through to the clearing.  There is this idea that said, adapt or die...

            •  Love your optimism, and am inclined to see (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              boomerchick

              collaboration, cooperation, ingenuity, and many other reasons to hope that the vocal minority will get tired of hearing themselves and each other LOOOOOOOONG, LOOOOOONG, LOOOOOOONNNNNG before the rest of us do.

              While I'm disappointed with some of Obama's decisions and policies too, I think that he picks his battles.  

              In particular, I see his voting record and his decisions re the military and the MIC as thoughtful, measured, and willing to risk total failure on some cherished values, to begin trimming and dismantling significant fat from the defense sector.

              While I think the drone program is atrocious, he is willing to risk permanent criticism for failing on those civil rights issues in order to bring the troops home and begin spending some of those billions investing here at home. The MIC is an enormous ship that won't be turned in one Administration, or even two. It will take a long and concerted effort, and cutting off General Petraeus' path to the White House was a significant decision, IMO.

              I also know that he went against many people with his decision to intervene in Libya (for which there was little upside at the time, except the purely humanitarian ideal of  sparing a million lives). Without Obama's willingness to make a decision there would be no Banghazi. There would be another million people dead or displaced, their homes and city destroyed, another failing country on the African continent destabilizing the whole region.

              •  I think I see where you are (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                LilithGardener

                ...and agree that optimism is a long term project; I remember being very upset with Pres. Obama for awhile, but at the same time, I don't understand all the inner dynamics of Washington politics, either.  He sure had a divergent cabinet working with him, with Geitner on one hand and Stephen Chu on the other.  I share your feelings about Gen. Petraeus, on the other hand, I'm not sure about Brenner.  

                That said, we have lots of work to do, of course, and we both know what it entails.  Things are really heating up, shaking up everywhere; it could go in many different directions, and I'm glad that Obama is in office, considering we'd be looking at a John Boltan-style cabinet if things had worked out differently.  That in itself leaves a lot of room for optimism!

      •  Depends on usage... (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        elwior, LilithGardener, jimraff

        I know you're using the word anarchy in the sense of no organization or order, but Anarchy in the classic sense of anarchist theory simply means no ruler. In other words, no single person or group of persons has unchecked authority over others. It doesn't imply chaos.

        I only point this out because so many are confused and misinformed about the different usages of the term.

        So, the meaning of the word depends on usage and context. Social Anarchism is actually highly organized and efficient, and is far more democratic and people-directed than representational democracy. It is self-management by the community, collectively.

        I would rather people used a different word when they want to describe the chaos of the dog-eat-dog conditions of lack of organization, which is not really Anarchism (as an ideology) but rather rulership by whomever is the accepted strongman on the block.

        Anarchist society doesn't permit individuals to have unjustified power over the community. No thug is allowed to run wild doing as he/she pleases. Instead, the people govern themselves by processes of consensus and direct democracy, which is actually highly organized and effective.  

        "In times of universal deceit, telling the truth will be a revolutionary act." -George Orwell

        by ZhenRen on Sat Feb 02, 2013 at 12:44:57 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Idjut (19+ / 0-)

    If he had been taught history properly, he wouldn't have these batshit stupid ideas.

    One thing, Electablog. It's SHAYS' Rebellion. Remember Christopher Shays from Connecticut? THAT family name, although I have no idea if Daniel and Christopher are related.

    -7.75, -8.10; . . . Seneca Falls, Selma and Stonewall (h/t cooper888)

    by Dave in Northridge on Sat Feb 02, 2013 at 06:28:26 AM PST

  •  You should tell that to some of the diarists here (18+ / 0-)

    who keep saying that we currently live in a fascist state.

    •  You are SO right (5+ / 0-)

      Just look at any diary with Occupy in it, and certain consistent diarists, and if its not in the diary, its all over the comments.
      Fascist tyranny is the least of what the USA gets called.

      So who's right?  This diary or everyone on dailykos who keep insisting we live  in a police state?

      Happy just to be alive

      by exlrrp on Sat Feb 02, 2013 at 06:45:48 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  It depends on your frame of reference. (15+ / 0-)

        If you compare the current situation to the ideal of democracy then sure, we are far from it. But if you visit actual dictatorships (as I do every once in a while for personal reasons), you will see that we are not really at that level. And even those places I wouldn't classify as full-blown police states.

        •  Anyone who thinks USA is a police state (18+ / 0-)

          has never been in one and is trivializing the sufferings of those who are in one.

          Lest anyone think I am mistaken about people here calling it a police state, I'm posting a few comments from this diary that are not untypical

          Police state, run by banks
          Kind of answers the question why Obama never prosecuted any of them.
          i.e. fascism
          This makes me want to protest but just saying that puts me in the cross hairs of a sniper rifle.
          Gun control advocates, take note of this one:
          How can anyone read this diary and then go on to say that citizens should no longer be allowed to own assault rifles but that the police can?
          It's time to demilitarize the police and take away their big guns if rights are to be taken away from us. If you are reading this and are serious about gun control, let's start with those actively considering assassinating citizens.
          R.I.P. Democracy (19+ / 0-) Can we call it fascism now?
          The Government Created (95+ / 0-) This huge "counter-terrorism" infrastructure -- and then, of course, turns it against its own people.
          The President: "Eric, what's going on with Occupy?"
          Eric Holder: "Don't worry. We've got the FBI taking care of it."
          belkieve me, I could pull 2 dozen more out of that along the same vein, ive given the ref
          SO: is it true when the RW says We're a tyranny or is it true when Dailykos says it (note the recs)

          Or is it true when the diarist says we're not?

          Happy just to be alive

          by exlrrp on Sat Feb 02, 2013 at 07:10:14 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  This comment (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            NancyWH, elwior, LilithGardener

            deserves a diary response.  Unf'ingbelievable.


            "Justice is a commodity"

            by joanneleon on Sat Feb 02, 2013 at 07:12:56 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  WTF?! (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Hey338Too, elwior, LilithGardener

            Somebody advocated assassinating citizens in a comment in this blog?!  That should be reported straight away.

          •  As long as the Patriot Act stands, it is. (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            a2nite, elwior

            The fundamental definition of a police state is they have absolute power over the people and there is no leagal recourse.

            The Patriot Act says that if a state official declares you to be a terrorist, you can be locked up for the rest of your life without any possibility of trial. This is real, the 4th amendment is gone.

            These abuses do not have to be wide spread for the police state description to be accurate.

          •  But then, as many of us futilely try to explain (11+ / 0-)

            to folks like you, Fascism is not about dictatorship, or jackboots, or blackshirts: It is about corporate control of the economy and the culture.

            And we have that, sonny, whether you admit it or not.

            We lack the obvious oppression of the stereotypical police state simply because we don't really need it. We are all too slack-jawed and cow-like, too frightened of the implications of losing a job or missing a mortgage payment, to represent any meaningful danger to the Way Things Are. Nonetheless, they do go to some lengths to keep things that way -- thus, the Orwellian "Free Speech Zones", for example, and the random false arresting of people attempting to exercise their various rights of assembly, petition, and speech, the obviously illegal persecution of whistleblowers, etc., which are followed by the pointless lawsuits in which The People sue The People for the malfeasance of their political and judicial officials. That'll show them!

            Where we most clearly see the shadow structures of the police state, though, is in the lives and lifestyles of brown people. You don't think it's a police state, because you aren't afraid of being randomly chosen as a victim of state power; but that doesn't mean there aren't people who are such victims, it only means that most of us know that if we lie low and don't create any real trouble -- don't insist, for example, on exercising various rights that have been curtailed by the Patriot Act -- we will be left alone. That kind of lying low is a lot harder to do if you're a Latino living in Sheriff Arpaio's jurisdiction. Or if you happen to be a Latino on the BART at the wrong moment. On the other hand, if you choose not to lie low -- say, by singing songs in the Wisconsin State Capitol, or walking through the Capitol wearing a shirt suggesting disapproval of the current administration -- you may begin to appreciate the growing threat of the surveillance state, particularly when the levers of power find their way into the hands of amoral criminals like Dick Cheney or Scott Walker. In the post-911 context, under which almost any sort of resistance at all to an order to stop saying or doing things in ways that were once taken for granted as rights enumerated by the first amendment, you have exactly as much freedom as a handful of mostly horrible people decide to grant you at any given moment.

            What makes the Tea Partiers cries of "Tyranny" comical is not that state power is not getting out of hand, it is that the Tea Partiers are simultaneously paranoid of state power while doing everything possible to enable it, all the while advocating solutions (ARM YOURSELVES!) that aren't solutions at all. Yeah, they like Ron Paul -- but they'll still vote for any Republican over any Democrat, because Democrats are evil sociamalistic one-worlders bent on such astonishing abuses of state power as collecting taxes to pay for people to see a doctor. What is comical is that they think Obama is a Marxist. A Marxist! What is comical is that they stockpile private arsenals against the day when the gubmint comes to take their guns -- thus hastening the day when the gubmint righteously comes to take their guns, given that they're seriously armed and dangerous -- despite the fact that whether they have nothing but a Daisy Red Rider or a basement full of munitions, there can be only one outcome of that eventual confrontation.

            What makes the Tea Partiers cries of "Tyranny" comical is that they are fighting the wrong battle against the wrong enemies, because they are too fucking stupid and ignorant to realize it.

            To put the torture behind us is, inevitably, to put it in front of us.

            by UntimelyRippd on Sat Feb 02, 2013 at 08:39:40 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Ding! Ding! Ding! - You win (7+ / 0-)
              What makes the Tea Partiers cries of "Tyranny" comical is not that state power is not getting out of hand, it is that the Tea Partiers are simultaneously paranoid of state power while doing everything possible to enable it, all the while advocating solutions (ARM YOURSELVES!) that aren't solutions at all.

              There has never been a protracted war from which a country has benefited. The supreme art of war is to subdue the enemy without fighting. - Sun Tzu

              by OHeyeO on Sat Feb 02, 2013 at 08:57:39 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

            •  Fascism. (7+ / 0-)

              http://oxforddictionaries.com/...

              Definition of fascism
              noun
              [mass noun]
              an authoritarian and nationalistic right-wing system of government and social organization.
              (in general use) extreme right-wing, authoritarian, or intolerant views or practices:
              this is yet another example of health fascism in action
              The term Fascism was first used of the totalitarian right-wing nationalist regime of Mussolini in Italy (1922–43); the regimes of the Nazis in Germany and Franco in Spain were also Fascist. Fascism tends to include a belief in the supremacy of one national or ethnic group, a contempt for democracy, an insistence on obedience to a powerful leader, and a strong demagogic approach
              I defy you to explain how a government whose President just endorsed marriage equality for the first time in an inaugural address is an example of a right wing autocracy. Explain to us how that is culturally fascist.
              •  Yes, thank you for the pedantic response. (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                elwior, ZhenRen

                But you know what? Mussolini defined Fascism, not the editors of the OED -- and he defined it explicitly in terms of corporatism: l'estato corporativo. This has all been explained over and over and over and over and over and over again. The ability of the corporatists to shift public understanding away from what Fascism actually was represents one of the great PR successes of the 20th century. As an ideology of economic organization, Fascism was in a win-win situation in WWII: The allies won the war by emulating the centralized corporatism of the axis, and once the war was over, the corporatists were entirely in control.

                Meanwhile, since you're quoting the OED, perhaps you can explain, how does the OED explain the etymology of the term?

                To put the torture behind us is, inevitably, to put it in front of us.

                by UntimelyRippd on Sat Feb 02, 2013 at 10:29:02 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  History might help you get a more (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  elwior, LilithGardener

                  balanced view of our current status.  The monied have ALWAYS and everywhere fought to have all the power.  The media has NEVER been honest and dedicated to truth.  Corporations are relatively recent (and self-destructive) vehicles for controlling the populace, the desire to control is ancient and uniform.  

                  We win when we quit playing their game and start playing our own.  Citizens United did not defeat citizens, united.  ALEC has no power if we focus on local and State elections.  We dropped the ball for several decades, now we're paying the price.  Pick up the ball!  Don't wait for some almighty power to punish the bad guys, organize the good guys and decide what you want.

                  As long as we waste energy being furious about what we don't want we'll never figure out how to get what we do want.

                  I'm not looking for a love that will lift me up and carry me away. A love that will stroll alongside and make a few amusing comments will suffice.

                  by I love OCD on Sat Feb 02, 2013 at 03:22:54 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  I'm not sure what in your comment contradicts or (0+ / 0-)

                    takes issue with anything I said. I'm fully aware that corporatism is just the latest expression of the plutocratic impulse to power, self-aggrandizement, and self-indulgence at the expense of the mass of the population.

                    Your point is well-made, BUT if you want to fight the power, it is my belief that the first step is to properly identify what it is you are fighting, and to speak truthfully and honestly about it. Pretending that our enemies are less horrible than they are, pretending that this is all just about normal US politics as defined by our Constitution, pretending that we can all be polite to one another when they are at war with us ... that's not a plan for success.

                    To put the torture behind us is, inevitably, to put it in front of us.

                    by UntimelyRippd on Sat Feb 02, 2013 at 04:40:45 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  My point is mostly that they're (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      LilithGardener

                      not so powerful as they think they should be.  They're pissants, chicken hawks, armchair warriors who benefit when we fear them and their money.  

                      They are freaking scared right now because we beat them when they had the money, the media, and their voter ID bullshit.  We won bigger and wider than we've ever won, with splendid Progressive candidates running on liberal ideas.  

                      They're revealed for who they really are, thanks to some brilliant gamesmanship from Pres. Obama and his team.  Just don't start worrying too much about our dreadful media or the cash they flash.  We're stronger, smarter, and by gosh we like ourselves!  Laughter is their kryptonite.  

                      I'm not looking for a love that will lift me up and carry me away. A love that will stroll alongside and make a few amusing comments will suffice.

                      by I love OCD on Sat Feb 02, 2013 at 06:08:43 PM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                  •  ^^^^ This - 1000x rec (0+ / 0-)

                    ball in hand, fired up, ready to go.

                    Go local that is...

                  •  Go local economically, as well as politically nt (0+ / 0-)
            •  That was excellent (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              elwior
            •  I wanted to say that but you put it better. (0+ / 0-)

              Winner.

          •  Thanks for that link, I missed that diary (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            elwior, joanneleon

            ❧To thine ownself be true

            by Agathena on Sat Feb 02, 2013 at 09:22:33 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  Problem is that some people are living in the (0+ / 0-)

            movie that's running in their heads, so they see everything in grand, dramatic, theatrical terms. And that is how they speak. I grew up with a parent like that, and the result was to just relish the same old, ordinariness of daily living.

            Often when I see comments like that, I suspect grandiose delusions of some kind, (or unfocused drive for story-telling).

        •  So is this our new bar? (7+ / 0-)

          Dictatorships?  Is this the bar you want to use to defend the local, state and federal policies and your president?  If Obama is not like the worst dictators out there, we're doing fine?


          "Justice is a commodity"

          by joanneleon on Sat Feb 02, 2013 at 07:11:56 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Are you saying Obama is a dictator?? (6+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            fou, Onomastic, Cinnamon, vcmvo2, emelyn, elwior

            Thats what the right wing says too.

            Happy just to be alive

            by exlrrp on Sat Feb 02, 2013 at 07:25:39 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  No she isn't, she is responding to this comment (9+ / 0-)

              which you read, so don't take her comment out of context and compare joanneleon to a rightwinger.

              If you compare the current situation to the ideal of democracy then sure, we are far from it. But if you visit actual dictatorships (as I do every once in a while for personal reasons), you will see that we are not really at that level. And even those places I wouldn't classify as full-blown police states.
              I take her comment to say that we shouldn't have dictatorships be the new bar on how low our government should go before we are legit in our protests.
            •  No, that's not what I said (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              elwior

              I asked you a question, which obviously you dodged.


              "Justice is a commodity"

              by joanneleon on Sat Feb 02, 2013 at 12:05:03 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

            •  I find it amazing (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              BradyB, elwior

              that 6 people (so far) rec'd that comment.  It's obviously a dodge and obviously a misrepresentation of my comment.  It's dishonest and misleading.

              But  people who tend to be haters just like to rec comments, no matter what they say, if they think it is in any way opposing the commenters they don't like.  And often it's the same people, over and over again, some of whom flaunt themselves elsewhere on this site as such gracious, kind and caring people.  But that's only in their words.  

              My unsolicited advice for dkos users, something I've learned over time, by experience (especially if oddly, the same people or others they tend to clique with, tend to show up frequently you are disagreeing with someone else) If you ever want to know what a person is really like and are curious to know if they are a total f'ing phony, just check their comment recs, not their words.   You should especially use this technique if they are a member of one of the cliques who are always lamenting the lack of civility at this site, and how desperate they are for things to change.    You'll often find out what a dkos person is really like by doing that.  


              "Justice is a commodity"

              by joanneleon on Sat Feb 02, 2013 at 12:19:09 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Or maybe you find out that not everyone (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                LilithGardener

                agrees with your take on things.  Maybe you find out that even Democrats have a wide range of opinions and beliefs, and that if we disagree with people you agree with it's possible we have a right to disagree.  We could even have something of value to add to the conversation.

                I'm not looking for a love that will lift me up and carry me away. A love that will stroll alongside and make a few amusing comments will suffice.

                by I love OCD on Sat Feb 02, 2013 at 03:27:51 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  I have no problem with (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  elwior

                  people who don't agree with me.  I love an honest debate and can easily agree to disagree if that's the best path.  That is not what I am talking about at all.  I'm also aware that there is a spectrum of politics in the Democratic party.  I did always believe that there were some core beliefs though, and a platform.  In recent years, some of that has been pretty well blown out of the water.  Even then, some of those things are manageable.  Some aren't and cause deep divides.  But again, that's not what I was getting at.  I was getting at the hypocrisy and the factionism here in the prog blogs people who publicly object to that but in other, less visible ways, are prime examples of it.


                  "Justice is a commodity"

                  by joanneleon on Sat Feb 02, 2013 at 03:37:58 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  People on blogs tend to be passionate. (0+ / 0-)

                    We also tend to not see our own blind spots.  It's true on all sides of every issue.  

                    I find it amusing, for instance, that bloggers rail against corporations on corporate owned blogs, using corporate ISPs to post messages generated by corporate created devices.   They make great points, they forget that they benefit from a culture they call evil.  

                    I also find it amusing that we rail against a police state on public blogs with little fear of being jailed or executed for roundly criticizing our government, once again using technology that's often built in countries that would imprison us for doing what we do freely here.

                    J. Edgar Hoover's America scared me a lot more than Obama's America does.  Obama at least has the courage to say what he's doing.  Cold War politicians lied to us and created the clusterfuck we're stuck in now.  

                    One last thought.  I'm pretty sure spying on Americans is not new business.  It seems to me that Dominionist Americans, neo-Nazi Americans, NRA gun- running Americans have waived some or all of their right to hide behind citizenship.

                    I'm not looking for a love that will lift me up and carry me away. A love that will stroll alongside and make a few amusing comments will suffice.

                    by I love OCD on Sat Feb 02, 2013 at 06:31:49 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

          •  I'm not saying that I completely agree with every (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Eclectablog, elwior

            single local, state and federal policy. But occasional violations of civil rights don't mean that we live in a fascist state.

        •  The US was never meant to be an ideal democracy (7+ / 0-)

          It's a constitutional republic. Even a pure representative democracy (which the US is not) would be far from a pure democracy. Personally, I have no interest in tyranny by the majority.

          •  Yep (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            elwior, Agathena

            Tyranny of the minority is so much better. Most people in government on the national level are quite wealthy.

            For example, Hillary is now worth 30 to 50 million.

            There are forms of direct democracy that avoid the pitfalls of tyranny of the majority.

            Representational democracy was designed to keep out everyone except the ruling class of land owners. In the early U.S., women, non-whites, and those without land were not allowed to vote, which reduced the voting population to a small fraction. This especially eliminated the poor.

            "In times of universal deceit, telling the truth will be a revolutionary act." -George Orwell

            by ZhenRen on Sat Feb 02, 2013 at 01:00:47 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  Who gets to say (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            elwior

            ...what the the US is/was/will be meant to be?

            Jefferson had a little diatribe about one generation not being able to bind the next generation.  It seems to me that at least one of the folks who pondered what it was meant to be left the door quite a bit open.

            And then when did "democracy" get conflated with "tyrrany by the majority"?

            50 states, 210 media market, 435 Congressional Districts, 3080 counties, 192,480 precincts

            by TarheelDem on Sat Feb 02, 2013 at 04:07:59 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

      •  Wow (11+ / 0-)

        You can look back on the Occupy protests, the stop and frisk practices in NYC (hundreds of thousands stopped and frisked in a year), the police departments getting riot gear, other militaristic equipment like BearCat swat/tanks, drone surveillance, police departments clamoring for drones that would have the capability to be weaponized in the future, the FBI entrapments, the fusion centers, the new National Security Counterterrorism Center data base populated with data from innocent citizens, the airport x-ray machines and security checks, the fact that all of our electronic communications are being hoovered up and stored and that a huge data center is being built in Utah... I could go on and on and on.

        And yet you are going to deny that we are living in an increasingly police state?  How would you characterize all of those things?  Just paranoid conspiracy theory?

        It amazes me that people can just pretend certain things aren't happening or pretend it is a partisan thing.  

        Wow.  I didn't even get into half of the things that I could have and didn't even touch on the Bush era policies that this president codified or is in the process of codifying, the obsessive crackdown on whistleblowers, the NDAA, FISA, SOPA/PIPA.  It would take me all day to produce a reasonable list of all the ways that we're becoming a police state and our rights are being eroded.

        But, oh, nothing to see here! I guess.  Amazingly poorly informed or denial, I don't know which.


        "Justice is a commodity"

        by joanneleon on Sat Feb 02, 2013 at 07:10:24 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I said people here say its a police state (7+ / 0-)

          And you just proved my point again
          No this is not a police state and I can tell you never lived in  one

          Happy just to be alive

          by exlrrp on Sat Feb 02, 2013 at 07:28:06 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Let's not get into "is this right now a police (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            caul, Dirtandiron, elwior

            state".

            How would you characterize the above?

            Necessary for democracy?

            Or going against the grain of democracy?

            •  You clearly don't understand what a police state (9+ / 0-)

              is, or a democracy for that matter. If you think that a democracy is a place in which such abuses never happen, then it's no wonder you think we live in a police state.

              The difference between our very robust democracy and a police state is that a police state prohibits victims of abuses of power from seeking any kind of redress.  Our democracy is no guarantee against abuses of power. What it does guarantee is the voice of its citizens.  Your ability to wonder aloud whether or not we live in a police state is itself evidence that we do not.

              •  Explain indefinite detention then (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Agathena, elwior

                Allowing someone to be held forever without trial does fit your above definition of prohibiting victims from seeking redress.

                There is no such thing as "a little bit of cancer". It will always spread, and the NDAA is a malignant tumor.

                •  I replied to you above. (0+ / 0-)

                  You are misinformed about the Patriot Act. Indefinite detention is not codified in our law by the Patriot Act.

                  •  You still have to explain it (3+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Agathena, Flying Goat, elwior

                    Fine, I'm wrong, it's not the Patriot Act. But whatever the law is called, it's on the books and the government can do it.

                    Now will you explain how that's still not a police state?

                    •  There is no law of which I'm aware that codifies (3+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      Eclectablog, vcmvo2, elwior

                      indefinite detention. Our Congress has never passed such a law, and last I checked, our elections are free and fair. Indefinite detention is an example of an abuse of power that can be (and has been in the case of Jose Padilla) redressed by the courts.

                      You claim that there is "whatever law" (of which you don't offer an example) is problematic. Instead of insisting that I explain how an imaginary law isn't an example of a police state, why don't you do some research and provide us with a real example of your claim.
                       

                      •  Here it is, the NDAA signed by Obama (2+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        Simplify, elwior

                        http://www.huffingtonpost.com/...

                        Now the article says the indefinite detention provisions can be waived. But that doesn't mean they will be waived. If the military calls you a terrorist, they can hold you forever.

                        The law is also being challenged in court and sanity may prevail. But if it does not, we have real problems.

                        Also, the fact that Jose Padilla's case was addressed by the courts doesn't excuse what happened. Padilla was diesels by the police state, there is no argument against that.

                      •  In case you haven't noticed, Jose Padilla (3+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        Simplify, elwior, Dogs are fuzzy

                        was completely destroyed by his persecution. I'm sure that whatever redress was "available" to him came as small comfort.

                        The bottom line is that they can do whatever the fuck they want to you, and by the time you can get redress, it's too late -- which means the redress isn't in fact redress, it's the equivalent of a show-trial in reverse. It's just theatre. Meanwhile, only a crazy person would openly defy them, understanding the price that will be paid.

                        To put the torture behind us is, inevitably, to put it in front of us.

                        by UntimelyRippd on Sat Feb 02, 2013 at 02:08:24 PM PST

                        [ Parent ]

                    •  Norm, who are you saying is indefinitely detained? (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      elwior

                      I'm not arguing it doesn't happen, but I think you need some specific examples, here.

                      Part of the issue - an important part - is that we are housing enemy combatants. I know of no law, domestic or international, that requires the release of enemy combatants before hostilities in which they were involved are concluded. (The Geneva Conventions apply to their treatment, release and repatriation. In light of cell-group/terrorist/non-state sponsored hostilities, I hope the Geneva Conventions are reexamined, for they may be anomalous in these times.)

                      That said, specific examples of "indefinite detention" will move the discussion better, I submit, than a fast track to declarations that a police state exists because of what our government can do.

                      2014 IS COMING. Build up the Senate. Win back the House : 17 seats. Plus!

                      by TRPChicago on Sat Feb 02, 2013 at 09:29:02 AM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  The law allows it, period (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        elwior

                        We don't need to have specific examples to address a law that violates the 4th amendment. But l'll use the Jose Padilla example. His constitutional rights were violated. And if they're willing to do it once, they can and will do it again given an NDAA law that allows it.

                        •  I do not - for a second - approve of Padilla's ... (2+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          Norm in Chicago, elwior

                          ... treatment as a prisoner. That was the Bush administration at its worst, among a lot of worsts. And I think Bush & Co's post-torture treatment of him was cruel and unusual.

                          But ... Padilla was convicted of conspiring to kill people and to fund and support terrorism. Earlier, a Federal Court of Appeals recognized that his detention as an enemy combatant was justified but held that the US did not have power to detain a citizen arrested in the US and outside a combat zone as an "enemy combatant." It was not a constitutional decision as I understand it, but one resting on lack of congressional authority to do it.

                          These are arguable legal points, to be sure. I think the Patriot Act was far overreaching and I am dismayed that Congress did not oversee it during the Bush years and that the Obama administration does not propose cutting it back in significant ways.

                          But we are a nation of laws. When otherwise civilized people claim it's OK to wave guns around as an answer to laws they don't like, they're just plain wrong.

                          2014 IS COMING. Build up the Senate. Win back the House : 17 seats. Plus!

                          by TRPChicago on Sat Feb 02, 2013 at 09:53:01 AM PST

                          [ Parent ]

                      •  Yep (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        elwior
                        ...we are housing enemy combatants
                        And have ever since 1865...but did not get around to passing a law until 2001.  Funny that the US seemed to survive very well in dealing with enemy combatants before then.

                        Maybe we would be better to drop the extraordinary (that have now become too ordinary) powers and get back to a rule of law in which there are actual warrrants and due process.  A good listen at what Colleen Rowley has to say might be worthwhile; she had some significant experience in dealing with enemy combatants.

                        50 states, 210 media market, 435 Congressional Districts, 3080 counties, 192,480 precincts

                        by TarheelDem on Sat Feb 02, 2013 at 04:14:26 PM PST

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  Enemy combatants don't get Due Process. (0+ / 0-)

                          Nor are they entitled to all the other processes of American criminal law.

                          2014 IS COMING. Build up the Senate. Win back the House : 17 seats. Plus!

                          by TRPChicago on Sat Feb 02, 2013 at 06:38:47 PM PST

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  Says what authority besides George W. Bush? (0+ / 0-)

                            Either enemy comabants get due process in US courts or they get due process as prisoners of war.  Until 2001 there were only two operative standards.  Both required due process.

                            Any other way of handling it opens up the process to arbitrary decision about who is an enemy combatant and arbitrary decisions (star chambers and kangaroo courts) about the handling.  Which is exactly what the Bush and Obama administrations have wound up doing.  And arbitrary justice is not justice.

                            50 states, 210 media market, 435 Congressional Districts, 3080 counties, 192,480 precincts

                            by TarheelDem on Sat Feb 02, 2013 at 08:12:15 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  And the enemy combatants (0+ / 0-)

                            ...from 1865 were restored to full citizenship even after they engaged in domestic terror campaigns.

                            50 states, 210 media market, 435 Congressional Districts, 3080 counties, 192,480 precincts

                            by TarheelDem on Sat Feb 02, 2013 at 08:14:41 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

              •  How about a plutocracy then? Police state puts (6+ / 0-)

                it into too black and white terms.

                A growing oligarchy.

                Pick your term.

                But we certainly are developing a two tier justice system.

              •  seeking redress (4+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Agathena, Dirtandiron, a2nite, elwior

                takes expertise, which takes money and/or influence

                those who are abused by the police, the criminal "justice" system, landlords, employers, etc. don't have any of the above

                and even if eventually they get help from organizations like Legal Aid, they've probably lost more than they'll ever gain

                •  Agreed (3+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  a2nite, elwior, joanneleon
                  those who are abused by the police, the criminal "justice" system, landlords, employers, etc. don't have any of the above
                  Yes, if it's your word against that of a police officer, the judges tend to give the police the benefit of the doubt. So that is their end run around your rights. (I am not implying all police are bad, just explaining how the ones that are that are get away with it). Also, police can be very intimidating, which gets people to consent to searches when they might not want to. (or sign confessions, etc.)
                   

                  Where are all the jobs, Boehner?

                  by Dirtandiron on Sat Feb 02, 2013 at 09:26:33 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                •  There are some things that can't be redressed. (3+ / 0-)

                  It is one of the mythologies of the Right and of Libertarians that all damages can be redressed. That's why the Objectivist "solution" to pollution is post-hoc fines, rather than preventive regulation.

                  It's fucking fantasy. The average American will be completely ruined if locked up for more than about 3 weeks. There will be no redress for that fall into the underclass.

                  To put the torture behind us is, inevitably, to put it in front of us.

                  by UntimelyRippd on Sat Feb 02, 2013 at 02:11:02 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

              •  Well, I guess now that you have your (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                elwior

                working definition:

                The difference between our very robust democracy and a police state is that a police state prohibits victims of abuses of power from seeking any kind of redress.
                ... you can support your assertion.

                On the other hand, since your working definition is an arbitrary criterion pulled out of your own id, it doesn't carry much freight with me, or a lot of other here.

                To put the torture behind us is, inevitably, to put it in front of us.

                by UntimelyRippd on Sat Feb 02, 2013 at 02:04:59 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

            •  While there are many issues there...... (6+ / 0-)

              that are worth discussing and i know we wlould  have some agrement on, I do not agree with people who insist this is a police state.
              My frame of reference is the year I spent in South Vietnam observing what was and is arguably the most corrupt police state in the world at that time.

              There is a whole body of agreement on Dailykos---proved above and provaable 100 times over that we live i  apolice state, fascism, tyranny.
              We do not.
              Step away fromn the computer, go out into the fresh air. Ask the first 50 people you run across if we live in a police state. I wager a lot they look at you blanklly

              I would characterize much of what is said above as Right Wing Paranoia Drsssed Up As Liberalspeak.
              Notice the RW meme: we live--or are becoming in a dictatorship, a police state!! How is that different than whatv the RW says?  If she's not for free guns for everyone then there's some inconsistency there.

              Is this real? Sorry, I live in Oregon,  an almost ALL blue state where every single person I can vote for in a partisan office, from State Rep to President IS A DEMOCRAT!!!!
              I AM A DEMOCRAT!!! (see profile, liberal too)
              I do not live in a police state and neither does anyone else in America. Anybody who says we do is just parrooting the RW meme posted herer

              that will be it for this diary for me.

              Happy just to be alive

              by exlrrp on Sat Feb 02, 2013 at 08:00:33 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Question (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                BradyB, ZhenRen, elwior

                When you say this:

                I would characterize much of what is said above as Right Wing Paranoia Drsssed Up As Liberalspeak.
                what exactly are you referring to?  I would like you to cite the exact things above that you are making this very strong accusation against as being "Right Wing Paranoia".  And because it's such a strong accusation, you are obligated to cite exactly where it is and who said it.  Back it up or retract it now.


                "Justice is a commodity"

                by joanneleon on Sat Feb 02, 2013 at 12:33:50 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

              •  Apparently (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                elwior, Dogs are fuzzy

                You never bothered to demonstrate in Portland and thus never were chemically attacked by your own "liberal" government for marching in the streets.

                Here's a photo of a person I'm acquainted with who was attacked for no reason other than exercising first amendment rights.

                Obama cheers for Arab Spring, while sending in DHS to evict protesters here doing the same thing.

                My partner from Iowa never questioned the authority of police until being in a peaceful protest in "liberal" Portland which was attacked by brutal Portland police dressed in riot gear. The irony is there was no riot or violence except that initiated by violence-prone cops.

                Now she worries about whether or not we have dossiers on us in police files, since FOIA evidence indicates Occupy protesters are considered possible terrorists in this country, and are spied upon. Recently in Portland people were arrested as suspects in local breaking of windows of banks for simply having books on Anarchist political theory.

                Free speech? It really isn't all that free.

                Call it what you will, but we don't have anything close to the freedoms people imagine, and civil rights depend much upon the class of society to which one belongs.

                Try finding a "legal" place to sleep if you're without a house. It is illegal to exist in the U.S. if you're homeless.

                PB031400

                PB031411

                "In times of universal deceit, telling the truth will be a revolutionary act." -George Orwell

                by ZhenRen on Sat Feb 02, 2013 at 01:45:49 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  Notice that "violent" gray haired elderly woman (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  elwior

                  in the photo... oh my, isn't she dangerous!

                  And Cameron, the African American in the photo is one of the calmest, friendliest, most non-violent persons you will ever meet.

                  But the police, and those whom they enable and protect from protest (the wealthy class of either party) deem these citizens to be a threat to democracy the capitalistic corporatocracy.

                  "In times of universal deceit, telling the truth will be a revolutionary act." -George Orwell

                  by ZhenRen on Sat Feb 02, 2013 at 01:53:46 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

              •  Uh huh. (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                elwior

                You once lived in one, so now you are an expert on everything that comes within the compass of "police state".

                Does it not occur to you that this is ... illogical?

                You claim to be a liberal. I've read a lot of your writing here, including various descriptions of your military career. I don't follow you, or stalk you, so you may have expressed regret and remorse for what you chose to do, to whom you chose to do it, and upon whose orders ... but if you have done so, I never saw it. The fact that you were, once upon a time, a voluntary, self-enlisted, and apparently enthusiastic elite agent of state violence against a bunch of people who, by any reasonable "liberal" analysis, were no threat to you or to anybody who might have mattered to you prior to your enlistment, and that it still doesn't seem to have occurred to you that you shouldn't have done that, is not great testimony to your liberalness. It also suggests a bit of a blindspot with respect to the shortcomings of your "homeland".

                You insist that "we" don't live in a police state -- but again, your perception is entirely about you, your experience, etc. etc. Sure, most people would blankly stare at you if you asked them whether we lived in a police state, but then most people would blankly stare at you if you asked them what habeas corpus means.

                Riddle me this, batman: Are we an empire, or not?

                To put the torture behind us is, inevitably, to put it in front of us.

                by UntimelyRippd on Sat Feb 02, 2013 at 02:25:00 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  You never know what rights you have (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  elwior

                  Until you try to excercize them.  Ask 50 nazis if they live in a police state.  Most of them will stare at you blankly.

                  "Goodnight, thank you, and may your God go with you"

                  by TheFern on Sat Feb 02, 2013 at 03:44:49 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  You could ask 50 Amish the same question and (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    TheFern

                    they too might stare at you blankly.

                    •  That (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      LilithGardener

                      At least would be worth the effort, rewarded with wisdom perhaps.  

                      "Goodnight, thank you, and may your God go with you"

                      by TheFern on Sat Feb 02, 2013 at 05:34:11 PM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  They firmly believe in exceptional protection (0+ / 0-)

                        under the law, reject the very idea of equal protection under the law. They believe they are bound by God's laws, not by the laws of man, and have conducted various successful campaigns of civil disobedience over time. They are exempt from a variety of laws, school curriculum to name one, and social security tax, to name another.

                        The reason they are generally law abiding, is because they seek to be ignored, to keep a low profile.

                      •  But realize, the Amish, who enjoy exceptional (0+ / 0-)

                        protection under the law here in the US, (the Amish in Europe, and those who fled to Russia did not survive, they assimilated), are among those who agree with President Ahmadinejad, "What did you say? Gay people? There are no gay people in Iran."

                        We have people with those views right here among us, who believe there are no gay people in the Amish.

                        No, we have abuses of power, and in some industries, extensive corruption, and we have a highly militarized police force, but we do not live in a police state. A friend who grew up in a dictatorship told me that before 9/11 people he knew wanted to live and work here, but didn't want to become US citizens. It was looked down on. Since then, they all want to become US citizens if they can; still have the most coveted set of rights and freedoms in the world.

                        •  The principles of the Amish aside (2+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          UntimelyRippd, LilithGardener

                          And they seem to be, if nothing else, very principled people. Though I admit I know very little about them.  My point is:  If we claim to be a free people, or at least if we claim to have the rights afforded to us by our governing documents,  then these rights should be on display when people actually take to the streets and exercise them.  The OWS saga demonstrated something else.  When the people took to the streets with a legitimate grievance they were met with state resistance and, oftentimes state violence.  This being the case,  you don't have guaranteed rights.  You have cherished principles.  The state (government, banks, industry) is only on the people's side if the people comply.  You have every freedom imaginable if you never use your freedoms.  If you get a face full of mace and a court date for redressing a legitimate grievance, well, you should question your freedoms.

                          "Goodnight, thank you, and may your God go with you"

                          by TheFern on Sat Feb 02, 2013 at 06:28:32 PM PST

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  The point of my posing the Amish as a (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            TheFern

                            counter point to your example is that every society has a range of participants and it's easy to judge FROM OUR OWN CULTURAL vantage point and from what we read in news and in history books.

                            And they seem to be, if nothing else, very principled people.
                            They are highly sincere, for the most part, but I'm not sure what you mean by "principled." They have a full range of social ills as the wider society does. Part of their stability, as a culture, is that people who don't toe the line are kicked out or made miserable enough that they leave "voluntarily."  

                            They are also extremely restricted. Are they a police state? No. Do they tolerate ANY dissent? Hell, no!

                            It is a culture in which there is no art, no musical instruments, no creative writing, no science, no literature, no statistics, no calculus, no formal teaching of deductive reasoning, no statistics, no research, (I could go on and on). Most importantly there is no approval for anyone challenging of authority (except to challenge outside authority in a few well-proscribed ways).

                            There are NO gay people in the Amish, and there are NO options for women except marriage and motherhood. There is NO religious tolerance. There is no tolerance of independent thought. If you disagree you are kicked out.

                            They are an example of your point that freedoms not used can be completely lost, to the point of not being aware of what freedom could be.

                            And they are also an ironic study of the co-existence of extreme authoritarian control and American religious tolerance ("freedom" depending on where you fall on the religious practice spectrum), co-existing in a single culture, neither of which requires police or a military to maintain.

                          •  okay (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            LilithGardener

                            "Goodnight, thank you, and may your God go with you"

                            by TheFern on Sat Feb 02, 2013 at 08:24:26 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                        •  For starters, please stop equating dictatorship (0+ / 0-)

                          with police state.

                          For seconds, the enthusiasm some people have for our rights and freedoms is not necessarily reality-based. People who have lived in other highly-developed western democracies find this particular variety of American self-congratulation particular tedious. Ask the average Canadian whether she "covets" American rights and freedoms. Or the average Swede. Or Parisian. Or Nederlander. You'll be right back there in blank-stare country. People from banana republics covet a phony hollywood version of our rights and freedoms, and know nothing about how those rights and freedoms compare with the rights and freedoms of citizens of other countries -- starting with, but hardly ending at, the right to see a doctor when you're sick.

                          To put the torture behind us is, inevitably, to put it in front of us.

                          by UntimelyRippd on Sat Feb 02, 2013 at 06:38:41 PM PST

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  Neither the Amish nor the other group the (0+ / 0-)

                            commentor mentioned are "average" in anyway.

                            In a country as diverse as the US "average" doesn't mean a whole lot. Even on a smaller scale, what does "average" New Yorker mean? Go ahead if you dare to answer your own question, where does an "average" New Yorker fall on the "reality based" spectrum of appreciation for realized freedoms?

                            The personal anecdote made a different point than the one you are harping on, and doesn't equate what you suppose it does. I suspect you and I might agree with much, but I find your style to be __.

                            I left it blank since you seem to be good at projecting your perspective into any comment. You probably call that "reading between the lines."

                          •  I'm sorry, but I was responding to something (0+ / 0-)

                            very specific in your comment. If I misinterpreted the point being made by this:

                            A friend who grew up in a dictatorship told me that before 9/11 people he knew wanted to live and work here, but didn't want to become US citizens. It was looked down on. Since then, they all want to become US citizens if they can; still have the most coveted set of rights and freedoms in the world.
                            please clarify.

                            To put the torture behind us is, inevitably, to put it in front of us.

                            by UntimelyRippd on Sat Feb 02, 2013 at 09:15:58 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

        •  It's like the cuts to Social Security (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Dirtandiron, elwior, joanneleon

          People will deny it until it actually happens. Warnings are not only not heeded, they are rejected outright. Like Social Security," there will be no cuts" until there are cuts.

          It's too late then.

          ❧To thine ownself be true

          by Agathena on Sat Feb 02, 2013 at 09:04:28 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  In general (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        isabelle hayes, Sylv, elwior, FiredUpInCA

        I accept that we have fringe elements on the left, and there are fringe elements on the right.  The right is just overburdened, and their ship is tipping over.  

        Hyperbole gets nothing from me.  If someone makes outlandish statements, regardless of where they come from, I can't value that person as a source of opinion or information after that.  

        Streichholzschächtelchen

        by otto on Sat Feb 02, 2013 at 08:21:43 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  "fringe elements on the left" (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          elwior

          is a pretty outlandish definition used to refer to people you disagree with in your own party.

          ❧To thine ownself be true

          by Agathena on Sat Feb 02, 2013 at 09:13:15 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  outlandish? (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            FiredUpInCA, Eclectablog

            If something is near the edges, it's fringe, right?
            It's hardly outlandish to recognize that a movement is comprised of many different parts of the spectrum.  

            Streichholzschächtelchen

            by otto on Sat Feb 02, 2013 at 12:22:28 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  It has a well known (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              elwior, Agathena

              connotation.  If you mean left of center, then say it.  If you mean extremist, which is generally what people mean when they want to demean or discredit someone by characterizing them as "fringe", then indicate that.  


              "Justice is a commodity"

              by joanneleon on Sat Feb 02, 2013 at 12:36:39 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  It connotes nothing to me (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Eclectablog

                It means that every movement is made up of various parts.

                If someone wishes to take offense, feel free.  

                However, what you may not do is put your own words into my mouth.  That would be extreme.

                Streichholzschächtelchen

                by otto on Sat Feb 02, 2013 at 12:47:39 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  Extremists (3+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  joanneleon, elwior, Agathena

                  in our country these days are the centrists who have no problem with murder of innocent civilians in our drone attacks. Being in the mainstream does not indicate lack of extremist views.

                  And for that matter, the so-called "fringe" may be the sanest people around. Simply being in the accepted middle is no guarantee of moderation, any more than being on a fringe is a guarantee of extremism. It all depends on where you're standing.

                  Extreme, from where I stand, is the wanton destruction of the planet, the rendition and torture, the perpetual state of war, the bloated, monstrously large military state that sucks up the citizen's treasury, the capitalistic exploitation of labor, the economic inequality, the tolerance of homelessness, the lack of true universal health care, the enormous personal wealth typically required to become elected to national government, all enabled by the complacent status quo.

                  "In times of universal deceit, telling the truth will be a revolutionary act." -George Orwell

                  by ZhenRen on Sat Feb 02, 2013 at 02:20:23 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                •  If (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  elwior, Agathena

                  is a very significant and powerful word.  In your defensiveness, it seems that you missed that significant and powerful word in my comment.  Twice.

                  However, what you may not do is put your own words into my mouth.  
                  Maybe you should read it again.
                  That would be extreme.
                  Meant to be clever, probably.  If so, that would be a fail, sir.


                  "Justice is a commodity"

                  by joanneleon on Sat Feb 02, 2013 at 02:57:23 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Why do you insist? (0+ / 0-)

                    It's really strange.  

                    It's a normal way for things to be.  

                    You can't have a middle without edges.  Edges set the context for the what the middle will be.

                    In order for change to take place, bold ideas have to come to the fore. Without people who are willing to say things that are not common in the general public, the middle will not know those ideas exist.  

                    These are parts of the whole.  It's incredible to me that you insist that I must use your context for an idea that I've come to on my own.  

                    Streichholzschächtelchen

                    by otto on Sun Feb 03, 2013 at 08:55:46 AM PST

                    [ Parent ]

            •  I guess from the authoritarian center everything (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              elwior, BradyB

              is a fringe.

              To thine ownself be true

              by Agathena on Sat Feb 02, 2013 at 03:43:26 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

      •  it's an exaggeration to say "any" diary with (4+ / 0-)

        Occupy in it.

      •  Broad unsubstantiated accusations against (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        joanneleon, BradyB, elwior

        "certain diarists" is never right.

        To thine ownself be true

        by Agathena on Sat Feb 02, 2013 at 12:13:40 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  My favorite example is a diary entitled ... (10+ / 0-)

      (something like) "This is What A Police State Looks Like." The diary featured a story about a 7-yr old who had been handcuffed and interrogated by police.  The story originally appeared in a tabloid with a big, blaring headline and a picture of the kid in cuffs. At no point did it occur to the diarist that there would no such sensational outrage in a police state. Not only that, it's unlikely we'd even know about it if this were a police state. And of course the comment thread was peppered with the usual anti-Obama invective.

    •  Those diarists are like tea partiers. (4+ / 0-)

      Every abuse of power is an example of Obama's excess. If some random cop abuses protesters, that's an example of the scary betrayer's increasingly autocratic leadership. The Tea Party do the same thing with Fast and Furious.

      Fear of Obama is an epidemic it seems.

      •  Whenever I read about a government mistake (6+ / 0-)

        I hear the voices of the right in my head condemning all government, or at least condemning the current government.

        It is interesting when I see instances like that kid being extrapolated up to the office of the president.  

        I would say that it has more to do with the tendency of police officers to head towards the right wing of the building, and to use selective memory to justify radical positions.  

        Streichholzschächtelchen

        by otto on Sat Feb 02, 2013 at 08:27:09 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  And when they act like anyone who has mixed (0+ / 0-)

        feelings or criticism of any OWS group or initiative is somehow betraying them.  

        They seem to identify so strongly with THEIR OWS experience, that they forget that OWS is not monolithic, by any standard, or stretch of the imagination.

  •  All I can think of is (13+ / 0-)

    "... rejecting legislation proposed by the colonies, dissolving colonial bodies of representation, replacing colonial governments with his appointed ministers...."

    Doesn't sound like Michigan's Emergency Manager law at all.  Nope nope nope nope nope.

    -----
    Tom Smith Online
    I want a leader who shoots for the moon. The last time we had one, we got to the moon.

    by filkertom on Sat Feb 02, 2013 at 06:47:33 AM PST

    •  When is someone going to mention requiring... (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      filkertom, elwior, Sylv, FiredUpInCA

      ... transvaginal ultrasounds? Or commanding what doctors and health professionals say and don't say to their patients? Or limiting access and funding for health care recognized as standard medical practice, such as women's health screenings?

      You want examples of tyranny? Of basic freedoms denied? Efforts to nullify 40 years of Federal law in states like Mississippi and North Dakota are pretty good examples, yet civilized people are using the legal system to address these.

      (Uncivilized people threaten abortion providers, sometimes killing them.)

      2014 IS COMING. Build up the Senate. Win back the House : 17 seats. Plus!

      by TRPChicago on Sat Feb 02, 2013 at 09:36:19 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Same thing with persecution... (12+ / 0-)

    ....I role my eyes every time one of my Christian friends complains when they don't get their way.

    "I Welcome Their Hatred." - FDR

    by dehrha02 on Sat Feb 02, 2013 at 06:49:39 AM PST

  •  Good diary, but a couple of quibbles (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    caul, elwior

    One:  Sparknotes?  Really?  Ugh.  Try this: http://www.archives.gov/...

    or this:

    http://www.ushistory.org/...

    Two:  The colonies had some gripes, but these hardly met the level of true tyranny.  Remember, the DofI was a document intended to sway potential allies that the cause met the standards of Just War Theory of the day (as had been expounded on by Hugo Grotius in the previous century).  As a document intended to persuade its audience (esp. France and Spain), Jefferson throws around a lot of hyperbole.   In the end, his argument is based more on the Lockian social contract than Grotius, setting forth that contract and how it had been (allegedly) broken.

    Canada certainly had the same governance as us, but did not see it as tyrannous.  

    To be free and just depends on us. Victor Hugo.

    by dizzydean on Sat Feb 02, 2013 at 06:59:23 AM PST

  •  Sounds More Like the Kochs and Chamber nt (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Smoh, Onomastic, Sylv, a2nite, elwior

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Sat Feb 02, 2013 at 07:01:07 AM PST

  •  Cherrypicking the Constitution to make a weak case (6+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Smoh, Eclectablog, Onomastic, Sylv, a2nite, elwior

    Senator Colbeck... what a man!

    "Please don't dominate the rap Jack, if you got nothing new to say." - Robert Hunter

    by WSComn on Sat Feb 02, 2013 at 07:06:10 AM PST

  •  Colbeck's emails always set me off (7+ / 0-)

    Unfortunately Colbeck is my state senator so I email him frequently hoping that eventually maybe he'll do something right. The return emails from his staff are evidence that he is a true bagger. As I told my sister just yesterday, "I hate this asshole."

  •  Did teapartiers ever hear of Whiskey Rebellion? (24+ / 0-)

    The self-described "patriots"--the tea party drama queens keep throwing around the word "tyranny", especially when it comes to the federal government levying taxes.  Yet they seem to be ignorant of how the man described as the
    Father of Our Country, George Washington,  dealt with tax rebels:  

    In January 1791, President George Washington's Secretary of the Treasury Alexander Hamilton proposed a seemingly innocuous excise tax "upon spirits distilled within the United States, and for appropriating the same."1 What Congress failed to predict was the vehement rejection of this tax by Americans living on the frontier of Western Pennsylvania. By 1794, the Whiskey Rebellion threatened the stability of the nascent United States and forced President Washington to personally lead the United States militia westward to stop the rebels...

    Though the tea partiers dramatically swoon over talk of higher taxes and threaten rebellion, they are deliberately ignorant of the responsibilities of citizens in a democracy.  

    They also ignore the inconvenient fact that the founders dealt with fist waving rebels in what the tea partiers might describe as a "tyrannical" manner.  

    The tea partiers are very lucky that Gen. Washington isn't the current POTUS--one who just might deal a little more directly with their seditious threats of secession.  

    The ignoramous caucus are the real tyrant wannabees.  They are the ones trying to overturn the will of the majority in a democracy and attempting to replace it with the dictates of a fanatical minority.

    •  Great comment (10+ / 0-)

      Thanks for this.

      "Back off, man. I'm a scientist."
      -- Dr. Peter Venkman


      Join me, Anne C. Savage & LOLGOP at Eclectablog.com.

      by Eclectablog on Sat Feb 02, 2013 at 07:53:05 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Colbeck (6+ / 0-)

      drives me nuts.  He's my state sen. and sends all kinds of infuriating replies to me.

      This one on the abortion bills that went through made me madder than any other reply I've ever gotten from any of my reps:

      Dear Ms. XXXXX:

      Thank you for contacting the office to express your concerns about House Bill 5711.

      As you know, HB 5711 was passed by the House and the Senate and was signed into law as Public Act 499 of 2012.

      To read the bill, find a bill analysis, and follow the bill as it makes its way through the legislative process you can check out the public legislative website at   http://www.legislature.mi.gov.

      For example, you can follow this particular issue by typing "5711" into the "Bill Number" search field.

      After being elected, Senator Colbeck was approached by a constituent who expressed concerns that women were being coerced into having abortions.  Senator Colbeck believes that no woman should be forced to do something against her will.  Because of this, he voted in support of this legislation.

      Thank you for taking the time to contact our office.  Please write us again if you have further questions or concerns.

      Sincerely,

      Theresa Jasko
      Office of Senator Patrick Colbeck
      (517) 373-7350
      1020 Farnum  
      P.O.Box 30036
      Lansing, MI 48909
       

      •  Things are in a sad way in MI legislature, aren't (6+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Alma, Eclectablog, fou, Sylv, elwior, LilithGardener

        they?  People worked very hard to recall the odious Paul Scott and finally managed to have him be the first MI legislator recalled in 28 years. Only to have him replaced by the just as bad, if not worse, Graves.

        I would be furious over that response from Colbeck too.  He doesn't seem to have any problems with preventing women from making their own healthcare choices though, does he?

        BTW, good to hear from you. Hope all is going well (except for having a jerk for a state senator, that is ;-)

        •  As Sylv (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Sylv, kurious, elwior, LilithGardener

          emailed me yesterday in our thread about Colbeck:

          Snyder's updates on how fabulously everything is going are driving me nuts. How in the world did Michigan become Mississippi of the north?
          Sometimes I just can't believe all of the crap going on here.  How did so many nuts get into our legislature?

          All's good here and I got my calendar last week so I'll be emailing you soon.

          •  I've wondered the same. When... (4+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Alma, elwior, Sylv, LilithGardener

            ...my old district, represented by Bill Ford, union-supporting Dem for over 30  years, (& then Dem Lynn Rivers) ended up in the hands of fraudster Thad McCotter, I knew things were not going well in MI--and it's only gotten worse since then.

            I'll looking forward to hearing from you.

    •  And interestingly, the Whisky Rebellion (0+ / 0-)

      happened in a colony, that formed and extended out of Penn's Woods, which itself had been founded and populated by pascifists, who had previously, and somewhat patiently purchased or negotiated each parcel of land from the respective Indian tribes, as the colony expanded west. It was a colony founded on religious tolerance. Oh, the irony of local history.

      The ignoramous caucus are the real tyrant wannabees.  They are the ones trying to overturn the will of the majority in a democracy and attempting to replace it with the dictates of a fanatical minority.
  •  Kinda "surprising" how many of those (9+ / 0-)

    complaints have their analogues, not in Democratic governance but in Republican governance.

    Refusing to pass laws of immediate importance? Filibuster much?

    Refusing to pass other Laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of Representation in the Legislature? Gerrymander much?

    Bankrupting the economy to pay the onerous burden of a bloated military? Uh ... yeah.

    Etc.

    To put the torture behind us is, inevitably, to put it in front of us.

    by UntimelyRippd on Sat Feb 02, 2013 at 07:59:56 AM PST

  •  ah the dangers of selective quotation w/o context (10+ / 0-)

    a dear now-departed friend used to joke about the man who would open his bible to a random page to guide him in making decisions for his life.  If the first passage was unclear, he would do it a second time.

    So he opened his bible and read "And Judas went and hung himself."    Being puzzled, he did it a second time, this time turning to the end of the Parable of the Good Samaritan, where he read Jesus's final words to the lawyer:  "Go thou and do likewise."

    "We didn't set out to save the world; we set out to wonder how other people are doing and to reflect on how our actions affect other people's hearts." - Pema Chodron

    by teacherken on Sat Feb 02, 2013 at 08:15:11 AM PST

  •  Very interesting stuff (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    a2nite, Sylv, elwior

    Too subtle for the likes of this senator, of course. No use fooling ourselves that his ilk will never 'get it'.

  •  The Patriot Act is the real tyranny. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Agathena, elwior, Dogs are fuzzy

    The 4th Amendment is gone, and anyone of us can be disappeared down a dark hole for the rest of our lives simply by some official declaring us to be a terrorist.  No lawyer, no trial, no rights of any kind.

    Unfortunately, I think we are infected with the lethargy Jefferson warned about. It was simply far too easy for our elected leaders to use fear to violate the constitution. And if our leaders never fear our resolve, never fear a backlash of any kind, then our rights are gone for good.

    Indefinite detention has worsened under Obama, this is not a left-right issue, both sides are compromised. Which individual election is going to turn this tide?  Will it even be possible to overturn the Patriot Act through the ballot box?  Our leaders no longer seem to care about the 4th amendment at all, and that is very scary to admit.

  •  The Declaration is embarrassingly disingenuous (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    a2nite, Sylv, elwior, LilithGardener

    My two favorite points are:

    • For abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighbouring Province, establishing therein an Arbitrary government...

    This refers to the fact that after taking over Quebec from France as a result of the Seven Years War, and initially imposing British law and religion, Parliament granted the request of the Québecois to restore the familiar French system preferred by almost everyone there, and to allow Catholics the freedom to worship as they chose. So, why were the insurgents complaining about this? Hmmm? Freedom of religion? Governing by the will of the People?

    • He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us...

    This refers to the fact that the Crown emancipated some slaves in the colonies (in 1772, the Somerset Decision had established England itself as slave-free). Yes, they wanted the freed slaves to help the British, but given all that has transpired since then (including the Emancipation Proclamation, which did exactly the same thing on a much larger scale), that particular complaint is rather revealing of certain little known underlying priorities of the insurgents. (This is not even to mention the fact that the American Revolution itself was a much larger and more terrible “domestic insurrection” from the point of view of loyal subjects of the Crown.)

    But the best of all is simply to read this document, a point-by-point rebuttal of every accusation in the Declaration by a contemporary British pundit:
    http://ia700401.us.archive.org/...

  •  Much Too Polite (7+ / 0-)
    ... misinterpretation of the words of Thomas Jefferson.
    I think "malicious distortion" or "deliberate misrepresentation" would be more accurate.

    "Facts are meaningless. You could use facts to prove anything even remotely true." -- H. Simpson

    by midnight lurker on Sat Feb 02, 2013 at 08:28:44 AM PST

  •  You are ignorant of the small signs (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Agathena, elwior

    Just because today's tyranny doesn't like 1984 any more (which was actually 1948's version, transcribed by Orwell#s artistic license) doesn't mean there is none.

    And just because the US isn't there yet, that doesn't mean it is endlessly far away from it.

    As for "there is no tyranny", tell that to the Gitmo inmate, who is there without die process, charge, crime and without any legal rights.

    As for "there is no tyranny",  ask the Americans - as well as foreigners - whom the USD president designates for summary execution without any court or trial, sometimes for actions that are even, on paper, perfectly legal (like preaching that the US is Satan and must be fought - first amendment).

    As for there is no tyranny, please kindly look not at the motions the US government goes through, but look at the results of government action, and then as yourself if it is The People who govern or somebody else.

    As for there is no tyranny, please kindly look not at the motions the US government goes through, but look at the results of government action, and then as yourself if it is The People who govern or somebody else.

    No, the US is no tyranny.

    Yet.

    ______
    "Und wer nicht tanzen will am Schluss - weiß noch nicht dass er tanzen muss", Rammstein, "Amerika"

    by cris0000 on Sat Feb 02, 2013 at 08:31:56 AM PST

    •  Agree, tell that to Aaron Swartz's family (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      elwior

      their son was hounded to his death by a US Attorney who involved the Secret Service in his case. Talk about tyranny.

      ❧To thine ownself be true

      by Agathena on Sat Feb 02, 2013 at 08:54:22 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  More details (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      elwior

      Would it be possible for you to identify the individuals who are assassinated just for saying that the US is the devil?

      Blake: I am an enemy of the Federation but it is corrupt and oppressive. I will destroy it if I can

      by GideonAB on Sat Feb 02, 2013 at 09:08:15 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Anwar al-Aulaqi (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        cris0000

        The administration also alleged that he was actively working with al-Qaeda. Since the government never makes mistakes or lies, there was no need to present their evidence and subject it to the scrutiny of a jury.

      •  some details (0+ / 0-)

        To quote Greenwald form one of these:

        Every now and then it’s worth pausing to reflect on how often we talk about the killing of people by the U.S. Literally, the U.S. government is just continuously killing people in multiple countries around the world. Who else does that? Nobody — certainly nowhere near on this scale. The U.S. President expressly claims the power to target anyone he wants, anywhere in the world, for death, including his own citizens; he does it in total secrecy and with no oversight; and this power is not just asserted but routinely exercised. The U.S., over and over, eradicates people’s lives by the dozens from the sky, with bombs, with checkpoint shootings, with night raids — in far more places and far more frequently than any other nation or group on the planet.

        ______
        "Und wer nicht tanzen will am Schluss - weiß noch nicht dass er tanzen muss", Rammstein, "Amerika"

        by cris0000 on Sat Feb 02, 2013 at 07:17:26 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  This is my favorite example of tryanny today (8+ / 0-)
    ...dissolving colonial bodies of representation, replacing colonial governments with his appointed ministers...
    Tea Party favorite Rick Snyder's emergency managers law in Michigan, anyone? Replace colonial with municipal/county.

    There has never been a protracted war from which a country has benefited. The supreme art of war is to subdue the enemy without fighting. - Sun Tzu

    by OHeyeO on Sat Feb 02, 2013 at 08:51:40 AM PST

  •  Damn, Anne captured the feeling of freedom (7+ / 0-)

    in her photo of the Jefferson Memorial.

    I have been there many times & seen it in many moods but, wow, she found an amazing mood in that shot.

    I feel sad for those Tea Party ladies. Democracy is not the freedom to impose your group's religion and values on the rest of America.

    look for my eSci diary series Thursday evening.

    by FishOutofWater on Sat Feb 02, 2013 at 09:33:42 AM PST

  •  If you go by the classical definition of "tyrant" (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    elwior, LilithGardener

    it would be anyone governing without the consent of the traditional ruling elite.  

    the purpose of the second amendment is to promote a well-regulated militia, in the same sense that the purpose of the first amendment is to promote a well-informed electorate.

    by happymisanthropy on Sat Feb 02, 2013 at 10:53:12 AM PST

  •  Article 1 of Constushun is un-Constushull (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    LilithGardener

    See, ain't no damn need for this damn bunch of government bureaucrats to pass a bunch a laws what ain't already in the Constushun.

    If'n the Founders had wanted a law, they woulda just wroted it in the Constushun.

    And any damn tyrant Prezdent what tries to enforce them un-Constushull laws which was passed by 'Congress' even though them laws wadn't already wrote in the Constushun when they signed it, well, he's un-Constushull too.

  •  Demonstrators in cages are a symptom (0+ / 0-)

    Look up pictures of some "free speech zones". Check out the guy who spent months in a prison camp for making fun of Clinton in a newspaper. Count the number of people detained at the border for making critical films or developing privacy software.

    Look up what happens to people who make too much noise about police misconduct.

    Redress is only available if judges do their jobs. I cite the Fourth Circuit in the Padilla case as an example of redress attempts failing.

    Feel free to argue that the US hasn't quite yet been turned into a police state, but it's not for lack of trying.

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