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State of Unrest 29 September 2006

Posted by marisacat in Inconvenient Voice of the Voter.

     Walker Evans: Parked Car, Small Town, Main Street, 1932

Gingrich[from Arcturus]

WASHINGTON (AP) – Supreme Court decisions that are “so clearly at variance with the national will” should be overridden by the other branches of government, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich says.

“What I reject, out of hand, is the idea that by five to four, judges can rewrite the Constitution, but it takes two-thirds of the House, two-thirds of the Senate and three-fourths of the states to equal five judges,” Gingrich said during a Georgetown University Law Center conference on the judiciary.

It takes approval by two-thirds of Congress and three-fourths of the 50 states to adopt an amendment to the Constitution, the government’s bedrock document.

Gingrich, a Republican who represented a district in Georgia,  

[can we note that please?  A single, god damned, fucking district in GA – despite rising to Speaker once in DC – MCat]

noted that overwhelming majorities in Congress had reaffirmed the Pledge of Allegiance, and most of the public believes in its right to recite it.  

[most of the public is functionally sub par – I don’t normally engage in “sheeple” language – and the issue was the late (1954, iirc) and spurious addition of “under god” – MCat]

As such, he said, “It would be a violation of the social compact of this country for the Supreme Court to decide otherwise and would lead, I hope, the two other branches to correct the court. [snip]

Except!… where they are headed is executive overdrive.  The inhabitant of the Oval to have the right to over ride the SC.  Congress, a self-serving miserable assemblage on a good day, just fell to cockroach level.  They won’t be asserting anything.

A short translation from Le Monde at Nur al-Cubicle… and since we are the perpetrator of the horror in essence, hold on tight I’d say.

Hundred of suspects arrested by Pakistan in the scope of the War on Terror have disappeared according to a report on human rights by Amnesty International. Those arrested, including children, were tortured and literally sold to the USA by bounty hunters.

The organization can prove the direct complicity of CIA and FBI officials in the wave of disappearances that have swept Pakistan.[snip]

I heard Sensenbrenner pushing this am for the legislation to pass so the “interrogators are protected” and the “interrogations can begin again” for “our safety”.  hmm Heil and Achtung.

More to come.  No doubt.


And even before I hit “Publish” …

Arcturus took the wonderful State of Exception by Giorgio Agamben for a simply beautiful post at Constellations:

The Italian philosopher Giorgio Agamben, building on Hannah Arendt’s insight that the Enlightenment’s notion of the “Rights of Man” pretends to apply to all peoples but in practice applies only to “citizens” granted those “rights” by the State, argues in his work that the “state of exception” (or emergency) not only tends to become the norm but that democracy tends to converge with totalitarianism.

It is time to stop looking at the Declarations of Rights from 1789 to the present as if they were proclamations of eternal, metajuridical values that bind legislators to respect them, and to consider them instead according to their real function in the modern state. In fact, the Rights of Man represent above all the original figure of the inscription of bare natural life in the legal-political order of the nation-state. . . . Nation-state means a state that makes nativity or birth (that is, of the bare human life) the foundation of its own sovereignty. This is the (not even very obscure) sense of the first three articles of the Declaration of 1789: only because it wrote the native element into the core of any political association (arts. 1 and 2) could it firmly tie (in art. 3) the principle of sovereignty to the nation (in accordance with its etymon, natio originally meant simply “birth”). The fiction implicit here is that birth immediately becomes nation, such that there can be no distinction between the two moments. [snip]

Madman has a lovely post up at LSF… I think I see a symbiosis in the photos for his post and mine, not in the atmosphere but in the psychology of each photo…  Restless nation.  What is to become of us.  I know I know, after all we have done, we nearly have no right to wonder for ourselves…

[W]e’ve never applied it completely, of course. Tom Shipp and Abe Smith, dragged out to the hanging tree, weren’t people who could apply the writ to the mob reducing them to strange fruit hanging from the bent bough. Big Foot’s cries for the charges against him would not have been recognized by any court. The internees at Manzanar weren’t considered worth the paper to bring the matter before the magistrate.

However, to recognize human beings as legal persons, with this most fundamental of rights, is the light with which enlightened Democracies illuminated their way. It has been there for centuries, flickering off above the far horizon, a guide to making a more just and fair society possible.  [snip]


UPDATE, 8:00 pm on the Pacific Ocean, across the Bay from Berkeley….

A very good post from Chris Clarke:

[F]or all its manifold faults, for all its history steeped in racism and genocide, for all its wars of empire and Know-Nothing heritage, this country was manifestly founded on the notion that a just government bases its authority in the consent of the governed.  Now the Bush administration has declared that the interests of this country are coincident with, and limited to, the short-term interests of the administration and its corporate backers, and the most basic, most essential Constitutional rights of the citizenry be damned, not by the odious exceptionalism of privilege that marred this country’s history, but across the board. All of us are three-fifths of a person now, granted the privilege of full protection only if we do nothing that requires protection, unless we are unlucky enough to be falsely accused. And I withdraw my consent.

I withdraw my consent. I am no one: a cog in the machine Mario Savio described. [snip}

    Mario Savio 1964 Free Speech Movement, Berkeley CA

”There’s a time when the operation of the machine becomes so odious, makes you so sick at heart, that you can’t take part, you can’t even passively take part, and you’ve got to put your bodies upon the gears and upon the wheels, upon the levers, upon all the apparatus, and you’ve got to make it stop! And you’ve got to indicate to the people who run it, to the people who own it, that unless you’re free, the machine will be prevented from working at all!”


UPDATE, 9:30 am

Oh that Law and Order Finger being shaken in our facesGonzales weighs in with a warning to the judiciary:

Washington – Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, who is defending President Bush’s anti-terrorism tactics in multiple court battles, said Friday that federal judges should not substitute their personal views for the president’s judgments in wartime.

    He said the Constitution makes the president commander in chief and the Supreme Court has long recognized the president’s pre-eminent role in foreign affairs. “The Constitution, by contrast, provides the courts with relatively few tools to superintend military and foreign policy decisions, especially during wartime,” the attorney general told a conference on the judiciary at Georgetown University Law Center.

    “Judges must resist the temptation to supplement those tools based on their own personal views about the wisdom of the policies under review,” Gonzales said. [snip]




1. D. Throat - 30 September 2006

Gee nothing like a sex scandal to divert the attention away from the Democrats approving torture…no less than EIGHT front page stories on Daily Kos.

2. marisacat - 30 September 2006

Not to worry. LOL Hastert got over being queasy… they said, pretty quick, they’d be lookin’ for more of the same.

Reformation Era. Brought to you by the screw-ups, both parties.

3. Madman in the Marketplace - 30 September 2006

I’m sure the timing of this announcement had NOTHING to do w/ taking the heat off of the torture vote.

Apparently they knew about it for quite some time.

4. marisacat - 30 September 2006

This is a hoot. A list of less than Morally Upstanding Republicans. all caught in the wrong bed, wrong sex phone line, etc. The print is tiny (for me) but I squinted and read anyway… LOL

The Dems should get busy.

Extra… I think (sad to say) that the Dem who was challenging Foley is another one of those ”former” Repubs recruited by Rahm. Think I recall him from a diary by Floridagal months ago when he entered the race. And another self funder too.

5. marisacat - 30 September 2006
6. Madman in the Marketplace - 30 September 2006

Well, now we know how Foley KNEW that.

7. Arcturus - 30 September 2006

That section of the constitution Gonzalez references — where the Supremes divine presidential “judgement” while adjudicating constitutional issues, a judgement that trumps any problematic stare decisis issues — must be the one written in invisible ink.

8. CSTAR - 30 September 2006

Disconcerting. Fredonia or Gilead? Any other possibilities?

9. James - 30 September 2006

I was reading last night that the latest pro-torture legislation was passed around the 60th anniversary of the Nuremberg sentences.

10. marisacat - 1 October 2006

There is a new post October 1 but so far it has trouble showing up on the FP with all the other posts.

Link to it.

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