civil liberties

Home » civil liberties

Labor Day News Roundup

Many of us are not able to camp outdoor cookout today because of heavy rains. The rains are welcome.

These rains are helping the swamp fires in southern Louisiana.

The EU and NATO believe that we are safer 10 years after 9/11. I think they’re probably right.

New survey shows that almost 70% of Americans believe that we’re in a serious to moderate recession. This should be no surprise. With tens of millions of Americans either unemployed or underemployed and the economy stuck in neutral Americans are feeling the squeeze.

The New York Stock Exchange is closed today but stocks opened much lower in Europe.

Pakistan and America are trying to make nice.

The Washington Post has published the five myths of 9/11. Take a look. See what you think. #5 is that US civil liberties were decimated after the attacks. I think this point is somewhat questionable. I think there’s no doubt that we’ve given up some freedom, everywhere from more invasive screening at airports to warrantless wiretaps. Have these government powers been abused? Have we, the American citizens, suffered? Only time will tell.

Conservatives decided that the failure of that solar plant that the Obama administration had so publicly supported means that it is time to jump on the anti-solar power bandwagon, again. Some in the conservative media have even pushed the idea that solar power doesn’t work. Moronic. (How conservatives decided to embrace nuclear power but shun solar power?)

I simply don’t understand how anybody can embrace more corporate tax cuts. Corporations, major corporations, are sitting on billions of dollars in profits. Some still believe, though, that if we give these corporations even more money that will somehow make them decide to stop hiring people overseas and begin to hire Americans here at home. The idea is complete nonsense.

Sarah Palin believes that the Tea Party is winning. Winning what exactly? The Tea Party is more unpopular than ever.

On Labor Day, let’s take a quick look at Labor. Labor seems to be working harder and getting less. From the BLS report – In August, average hourly earnings for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls decreased by 3 cents, or 0.1 percent, to $23.09. Decrease? We need an increase in take home pay. Period. Any decrease has to be seen as a huge setback. We as a labor force, are already behind the 8-ball.

Post Office is running into a money crush. To be honest and nonpartisan for just a second, I have no idea how the post office stays open. I receive most of my bills via e-mail. I pay most of my bills via e-mail/Internet. I can’t be the only one who’s doing this. This must account for a huge decrease in volume in US mail. Has the US Post Office made adjustments with service? Have they streamlined? Are they more efficient in this more competitive environment?

Finally, from the Associated Press – Today in History:

By |2011-09-05T15:39:34-04:00September 5th, 2011|Economy, Pakistan, Party Politics|Comments Off on Labor Day News Roundup

9/11 – My Beginning

I’ve spent most of today reading and reflecting on my education over the last decade. I don’t remember the first time I heard the word Al Qaeda. I don’t remember the first time I ever heard the name Osama bin Laden. I do remember where I was on September 11, 2001. I had been up most of the night taking care of trauma patients and I was sleeping in the morning. The phone rang and it was my mother-in-law. She is and was the Sentinel. She was always scanning the news. She called to tell us to turn on the TV. She said something terrible happened in New York. I thought she was crazy and misunderstood what she had seen. I handed the phone to my wife as I grabbed the remote control and turned on the television.

I’m sure over the next several days that there’s going to be lots of blogs and television shows which are going to reflect on what has happened in the last 10 years. The New York Times is already started the series on 9/11. I just want to revisit some of the information and data that we’ve learned over the last 10 years. I’m not going to spend much time talking about the Patriot Act and how it has been abused over the last decade. I’m not going to talk about civil liberties and how Republicans have taken advantage of 9/11. I’m sure that these topics will be adequately covered by many others in the blogosphere.

In my opinion, the key to understanding the failure of 9/11 lies in the arrest and interrogation of Ramzi Yousef. Ramzi Yousef was the mastermind behind the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center. Once he was captured, authorities began to see into the mind of a Muslim extremist. Ramzi Yousef was associated with Osama bin Laden. The uncle of Ramzi Yousef was Khalid Shaikh Mohammed. After escaping the country in 1993, Ramzi Yousef attempted an assassination of Benazir Bhutto in the summer of 1993. He then attempted to bomb an Israeli embassy in Bangkok, Thailand. These attempts failed. Yousef, a Sunni Muslim, bombed a Shiite holy site in Iran in June of 1994. He then made his way to Malaysia, where he began to plot the Bojinka plan (also known as the Manila plot). He and Khalid Shaikh Mohammed planned to blow up 12 US airliners as they flew over the Pacific Ocean. As they were preparing their 12 bombs, a fire broke out in Yousef’s apartment. One thing led to another and authorities got a treasure’s trove of information from his apartment.

At the very least, authorities have an opportunity to see what one man was capable of doing around the world. The mistake that was made was that everyone assumed that this was just one man and not a movement. Only a few in the intelligence community understood that he was one of many. It wasn’t until 1998, the embassy bombings, that many in the United States began to take notice that this was a serious threat. For some, it took until 2000, the USS Cole bombing before they believed that Al Qaeda would stop at nothing.

Ramzi Yoursef is currently in a maximum-security prison in Colorado.

How did you first become aware of Al Qaeda or Bin Laden or the fact that we were a serious target? Where were you 10 years ago?

More tomorrow on 9/11 and Al Qaeda.

By |2011-09-04T21:02:13-04:00September 4th, 2011|9-11, Al Qaeda, Bin Laden, National Intelligence|Comments Off on 9/11 – My Beginning

Supporting freedom

The Right is very fond of talking about freedom and liberty. The people of Egypt have lived under a dictatorship for years and it now appears they have asked for freedom. They are protesting in the streets to overthrow their own government. This hearkens to the “redress of grievances” part that our founding fathers stated in the first amendment and that the Right continues to talk about. Now that the people of Egypt have spoken, why are the conservatives not supporting them?

From TP:

As ThinkProgress reported earlier today, a number of high-profile right-wing figures have risen to the defense of the embattled Hosni Mubarak government in Egypt. Yet as thousands of Egyptians continue to fight for their freedom, the eyes of the international community are falling squarely on the Obama administration.

Today, the Egypt Working Group — “A bipartisan group of former U.S. officials and foreign policy scholars” that includes CAP’s Brian Katulis — released a statement calling on President Obama to suspend military and economic aid to Egypt until the government endorses free and fair elections and ends its crackdown on civil liberties and civil rights:

Only free and fair elections provide the prospect for a peaceful transfer of power to a government recognized as legitimate by the Egyptian people. We urge the Obama administration to pursue these fundamental objectives in the coming days and press the Egyptian government to:

– call for free and fair elections for president and for parliament to be held as soon as possible;
– amend the Egyptian Constitution to allow opposition candidates to register to run for the presidency;
– immediately lift the state of emergency, release political prisoners, and allow for freedom of media and assembly;
– allow domestic election monitors to operate throughout the country, without fear of arrest or violence;
– immediately invite international monitors to enter the country and monitor the process leading to elections, reporting on the government’s compliance with these measures to the international community; and
– publicly declare that Hosni Mubarak will agree not to run for re-election.

We further recommend that the Obama administration suspend all economic and military assistance to Egypt until the government accepts and implements these measures.

The position of the Obama administration has been unclear. While administration officials have condemned abuses of civil liberties, they’ve also fallen short of endorsing Mubarak’s ouster or ending support for the regime, with Vice President Joe Biden even going as far as to say that Mubarak isn’t a dictator.

By |2011-01-29T22:33:04-04:00January 29th, 2011|Foreign Affairs|Comments Off on Supporting freedom
Go to Top