Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Salazar votes for torture, against Constitution

WASHINGTON, D.C. – United States Senator Ken Salazar released the following statement after voting for legislation that would create a military tribunal system.

“The bill I voted for today was the best bill we could reasonably expect in this highly charged political environment. I am relieved that Senators McCain, Warner and Graham, former Secretary of State Collin Powell, and others helped preserve the fundamentals articulated in the Geneva Convention; a cornerstone to preserving America’s moral high ground in the global efforts against terror.

“Due to the many controversial and far-reaching implications of this bill, I believe it would be appropriate to force Congressional review of this bill in five years. I have concerns with this bill, but on balance it meets my personal view of what America needs to get the job done.”

Given my statement below, which I support, Salazar must go, too.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Musgrave Votes For Torture, Against Constitution

See here. Musgrave votes to approve the Torture Bill (which also wreaks havoc on the right of Habeus Corpus). This bill as presented directly violates two Constitutional provisions; from Article I, Section 7:
The privilege of the writ of habeas corpus shall not be suspended, unless when in cases of rebellion or invasion the public safety may require it.

And, as detailed below, the 8th Amendment:
Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.

Musgrave Must Go

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

What Part of the 8th Amendment Don't You Understand?

Here is the entire text of the 8th Amendment to the US Constitution:
Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.
Note that this is a blanket prohibition. Nothing in this Amendment says "on the People" or "by Congress". Therefore, cruel and unusual punishment is absolutely forbidden. You cannot torture citizens. You can not torture non-citizens. You can not torture convicts. You can not torture suspects.

I urge you to call your Congressional representatives and ask them whether they plan on supporting the oath or affirmation they gave when they took office, as Article VI of the Constitution requires:
The Senators and Representatives before mentioned, and the members of the several state legislatures, and all executive and judicial officers, both of the United States and of the several states, shall be bound by oath or affirmation, to support this Constitution; but no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States.
If they approve the President's request to give him "permission" to torture, they have clearly violated their oath or affirmation, and should be removed from office at the first possible opportunity.

And if you have any doubt that this government is performing cruel and unusual acts, see these images.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

The Road to Recovery From 9/11

I finished watching 90 minutes of this "docudrama" and alternated between being bored and being frustrated, and will not watch any more of it. I was bored by the director's and/or editor's amateurish obsession with artsy framing shots of people's lower eyelids and nostrils. And bored by the interminable "smoke filled office" scenes. I was frustrated by the obvious political message of the producers.

Although not as bad (in those first 90 minutes) as I feared, it was still pretty bad in places. At least twice, characters voiced the opinion that "this was a different kind of war" and that our Constitutional freedoms (i.e. freedom from warrentless searches) were preventing us from "catching bad guys" and were keeping us from being safe.

If this really is the view of the majority of the country, the terrorists have already won. Even if it's not, those who hold and promote this view are veering perilously close to collaborating with the terrorists to sow terror.

Our Constitution was written in a time of extreme insecurity - we had just finished a bloody War of Independence - we were engaged in various frontier terrorist skirmishes - and we still existed at the mercy of many larger European nations. And, yet, our Founding Fathers still saw fit to list some of our most basic rights, in very clear language. For a country that survived that period, and survived the Civil War (which is quite definitively the worst tragedy this country has experienced, well surpassing 9/11) to pee its collective pants about "terror" just shows how far our country has fallen.

I hope to see it get back up again. Please remember to vote in the 2006 midterm elections, and vote for Senators and Representatives who will remember and support Congress's Constitutional role in restraining an out-of-control exectuve.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Moore Elementary off the chopping block?

PSD press release

Quote: "Dr. Wilson met Tuesday after school with Moore Elementary School’s staff to assure them he will not recommend that their school be closed."

This looks like a victory for the many community activists who attended the various forums across the District, and peppered the Coloradoan with letters. The diversity and vitality of Moore Elementary was well worth defending. In that same article, it documents that the "enrollment steering committee" is recommending building two schools: one in Wellington and one in SE Fort Collins. I suppose the one in Wellington is reasonable, but I hope Dr. Wilson and the School Board consider the SE school with a skeptical eye - it seems hard to me to support building a new school when there are so many vacant seats across the District. I'm somewhat encouraged by this quote from the press release, "His recommendation may vary from that of the committee."

Thursday, November 24, 2005

Happy Thanksgiving

I hope you all are having a happy thanksgiving with your friends and loved ones. There are many things in Northern Colorado I am thankful for this year, including:
  • The health of my family
  • Colorado quality of life
  • Accessibility of services for those in need
  • Strong public schools
  • Preservation of open space in Larimer County
  • A gorgeous Colorado fall day (see #2)
Politically, I'm also thankful for the passage of Referendum C and the continued Democratic control of the Legislature. Although there is much that remains to be tackled in Northern Colorado, it is good to pause and give thanks for what we have. Happy Thanksgiving!

Friday, November 18, 2005

"Treason" label reveals more than intended

Hearing our national Republican leadership and pundits call dissent "treason" is revealing. Treason is generally defined as "giving aid and comfort to the enemy". What this means is that these people believe that discussion and debate are either "aid" or "comfort". Only somebody who thinks that "There, there, it will be OK" is an acceptable level of aid or comfort could consistently believe that. This explains a lot about the Republican response to disaster relief, poverty, indigent medical care, and public education. There, there. It will be OK.