Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Silly Bits III

Having all but exhausted myself with a rant earlier in the week, I was reticent to attempt to annoy everyone with another bit of nonsense this week.  There were however, a couple of things continuing to annoy me like an itch that I couldn't scratch.  There are therefore going to be two weekday efforts this week (and don't you feel fortunate that this is so).

As I mentioned earlier this week rather briefly (he offered sarcastically), the President was doing a bit of public prodding of the Justices of the Supreme Court for doing their job in reviewing the Constitutional nature of the 'Patients Affordable Healthcare Act' (which of course, he and his spin masters are now hinting never really happened).  While I believe that I probably said enough about most aspects of that subject, I would like to add a couple of related comments to the previous effort, since as the week has developed the President has added even more to his list of those who he's apparently not happy with.

Oil companies were early on the list, as the President once more attempted to attack subsidies and tax breaks granted 'by law' to companies that seem to be rather profitable.  It seemed strange that he wasn't demonizing car companies that had likewise returned to profitability, and that continue to owe the government considerable sums of money, but perhaps it's because high priced cars never kept an incumbent officeholder from being re-elected, but high priced gas most surely has.  It was also curious that the President wasn't demanding that Congress remove the subsidies from Corporate farmers or institutions of higher education who are likewise dining at the government trough while maintaining their profitability.

I also found it interesting that while he was more than willing to chide SCOTUS (Supreme Court of the United States) for fulfilling its Constitutionally mandated responsibilities, he seemed unwilling to castigate a Democratically controlled Senate for failing to do theirs.  The Senate is after all supposed to be submitting an annual budget, but has failed to do so for over 1000 days.  I suppose that he might be holding back in doing so, lest the Senate take up the question of the President's most recent recess appointments.  Such backroom agreements between the President and Senate Majority Leader, both Democrats, call for (as Secretary of State Hillary Clinton once said as a Senator to General Patraeus about the Iraq War) "a suspension of disbelief".

On a completely separate but equally important note, I find myself continuing to be dismayed at the diminution of freedom in this country that has apparently fallen off the radar screens of the media and citizens.  We continue to expand the government's ability to do warrant-less wiretaps and searches, apparently have no problem with deploying federal troops to perform law enforcement functions in violation of the Posse Cumitatus Act of 1878 (as long as it's done on Federal Interstate Highways), see little problem with deploying unmanned drones to perform surveillance on its citizens, see less of a problem with killing US citizens overseas without due process (or even filing charges), and preventing citizens from speaking freely within zones of 'protection' provided by the Secret Service.

Perhaps never in this country's history has the Bill of Rights been so grossly infringed upon.  Oh sure, Lincoln suspended habeus corpus during the Civil War, shut down newspapers and exiled Congressman who said things he didn't like.  Sure FDR rounded up and imprisoned US citizens whose ethnic background he felt threatened by.  But you could at least you could say that we were in a 'state of war' declared by Congress.  And while many will try to make the case that the war on terrorism is just as much a danger as those previous conflicts, no such war has been legally declared by Congress (and certainly not one on US soil).  Beginning with the Patriot Act, and with continued assault on the Bill of Rights in what may be the only current example of continuing bi-partisan support, this nation can be said to have entered no less than a de facto state of martial law.  It seems, at least according to Democrats and Republicans in our current ruling class, that the only way to protect the freedom we hold dear is to surrender it a piece at a time.

If this were not despicable enough on its face, our current foreign policy is one demanding sanctions against those in other nations seeking to infringe upon the freedoms of their citizens in the very ways our own government is doing to us.  That it goes largely unnoticed by the mainstream media is tragic.  That it goes unmentioned and unchecked by leading members of both major political parties during an election year is criminal.  That it goes largely uncared about by the citizens whose freedoms are being compromised is .... just more Silly Bits.

No comments: