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I was thinking about using "Dear Leader, May I Please Leave the Country, Sir?" as the title to this diary... but I decided against it. Not really in a satirical mood right now, I guess. Besides, what this diary is about deserves all the serious attention it can garner.

We should have known it would happen. After all, every time a card-carrying member of the Bush administration talks about some new national security directive applying only to people outside this country, you can bet on two-things:

*    it's bound to be illegal or unconstitutional, or both.
*    sooner or later it'll apply to Americans as well.

More below

Lately, I find myself wondering if we're really going to pull this off - the whole "taking our government back in November" mantra. Don't get me wrong, I'm stoked! Oh, I have my share of bad days when I can feel the icy fingers of authoritarianism reaching ever deeper into my everyday life. Still, most days are good ones, such as when I hear of another Republican scandal, or when I catch myself daydreaming about the Democrats capturing a "veto-proof" majority in both Houses of Congress. These daydreams usually last (along with an idiotic expression on my face) until I hear about more troops killed in Iraq or, I see the chimp-in-chief on TV, or hear his voice on the car radio.

Yesterday morning brought what I thought would be one of those aforementioned good days. It started out great - got plenty of sleep last night - sun was shining, temperature was mild, for Florida anyway. I should have just gone outside and mowed the lawn like I had planned. But no, instead, I had to peruse the blogs first. DKos, first of course... I scan the diaries here real quick before heading off to the HuffPost and eventually, Crooks & Liars. I kinda wish now that I hadn't checked out the latter website.

My day went downhill from there.

The title: "Want to Leave or Enter the Country?" instantly caught my attention. "Now, what in the hell does that mean?" I asked both myself and my wife who happened to be walking by at the time on her way to the kitchen. "Illegal immigration, perhaps?" she answered mid-stride before she disappeared around the corner. I shrugged and read on. I was growling out loud before I finished reading the article.

Crooks & Liars included a link to an article at Hullabaloo written by tristero. The article was cross-posted over at Orinicus.

Here's the first paragraph:

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security has proposed a system which will in essence make it mandatory for you to have permission before leaving or entering the country, effectively putting everyone on a no-fly list unless the government says otherwise. Interestingly, the proposal does not seem to cover personal travel, only that on some sort of carrier like an airline or cruise vessel.

Catch your attention?

How does this grab ya? (posted by Sara Robinson at Orinicus)

In the guise of an NPRM [Notice of Proposed Rule-Making] alleged to propose a change only in the required timing of transmission of information already required to be provided to the Bureau of Customs and Border Protection (CBP), the CBP has actually proposed a fundamental regulatory change with far-reaching (literally and figuratively) legal, policy, and logistical implications: The NPRM would replace a requirement for ex post facto notice to the CBP of information about who is on each vessel (ship or plane) with an unconstitutional system of prior restraint of international travel, entirely unauthorized by statute and inconsistent with the U.S. obligations embodied in the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.

Tristero stopped short of calling this a fascist program. I won't. This is definitely a fascist program.

Just another outrage; just another reason to grab everyone you can fit in your car and head out to the polls on Tuesday!

[Updated] with link to Federal Register ster Here's the link to Hullabaloo. The article is called The F Word by Tristero.

Orinicus Article written by Sara Robinson

Originally posted to Flirtin with Disaster on Mon Nov 06, 2006 at 02:44 AM PST.

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