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View Diary: To the self-described "patriots" of 2013: My friends, this is NOT what tyranny looks like (177 comments)

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  •  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.

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