Tuesday, December 27, 2011

With a tear in my eye, I say good bye to the Bill of Rights.

I never thought I’d become political. I used to turn a blind eye to elections, mainstream news and the various bills and laws passed. I put my energies into other things. This business of politics, war and economics overwhelmed me. So let me apologize in advance for posting a political article in a health blog. But I just can't help myself.

I never trusted the news. Sensationalizing, biased and paid for, I felt the news would only skew the facts and give me a false truth to base my opinions on. So I got my news through the various takes my friends had on what was happening in the world. I rely on my husband to tell me if anything really big happens.

As for elections, I believe that lying is a big part of politics, so how could I trust what any politician says? How do I know who to vote for without a crystal ball to see what they will really do in the future, not what they promise to do. It became an impossible task for me to guess who might be of their word, or who is just romancing me for their vote, and will never call me in the morning.

And economics? Forget it. I've never balanced a checkbook in my life. (OK, we don’t have checks anymore, but you know what I mean.) And world economics, with stock markets up and down on a whim, countries going bankrupt (what does that even mean?) and other countries that can’t seem to even feed their own population are lending out all that money… well, it just doesn’t add up to me.

So I chose to not be involved. That’s right. It’s a choice. We chose what we educate ourselves in, what we listen to, and what we believe in. BUT, and here’s the kicker, if you chose to not be involved, or to only be half involved, then you also choose to accept the consequences. I guess that’s when I sort of woke up. I was not willing to accept what might happen, and specifically what might happen to me. The stakes are just too high now. And although I’m not an American (I’m Canadian, living in New Zealand) the world is becoming smaller. Tiny in fact.

So I have been educating myself, reading multiple sources, talking to people who know much more than I do (not hard) and not ignoring radical so-called “crazy” opinions. Because what’s actually happening is crazier than anything anyone could make up. It’s like watching a horror movie and then finding out it’s based on a true story.

I’m writing this article today, because I just found out that Senate Bill 1867, or the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) has passed. It’s gone through the Senate, and the House, and Obama and it’s a done deal. As of Dec 14th, 2011.

You may ask: What is this bill? If it's so important, why haven’t I heard of it?

Both are excellent questions.

As far as I can tell, the bill in essence negates the American Bill of Rights. I say as far as I can tell, because the bill is just under 700 pages long. I have read books that long before, and it’s taken me months to get through them. This bill was presented and passed in such a short time that I can’t imagine the Senators and Congress actually had time to read the bill. Even if they did nothing else but read. Maybe they had a team of people, each reading different parts, and giving them the Coles notes version. That’s what I have; the Coles notes from various sources. And they say this:

It’s a new security law that allows the military to indefinitely detain without trial American terrorism suspects arrested on US soil who could then be shipped to Guantánamo Bay.
From: http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/dec/15/americans-face-guantanamo-detention-obama

But wait, for all you non-Americans, even living in other countries… The bill defines the world - the entire world - as a war zone, meaning that anyone can be detained anywhere in the world and they can be said to be on the battlefield of the "war on terror". And they can be held until the end of the hostilities. Hostilities in this case being the “war on terror” which of course, could have no end.

Basically, there is no more “due process”, or “reading of your rights” upon arrest, or a phone call, or lawyer, or speedy trial, or any trial, or jury of your peers, or set punishment. There’s indefinite detention without cause or trial, weather they’re American citizens or not.

Sen. Rand Paul, Ron Paul’s son, actually had to fight against Sen. McCain defending due process. Rand Paul gives a thought provoking address, fighting for the Bill of Rights here:


"There are laws on the books now that characterize who might be a terrorist: someone missing fingers on their hands is a suspect according to the department of justice. Someone who has guns, someone who has ammunition that is weatherproofed, someone who has more than seven days of food in their house can be considered a potential terrorist," Paul said. "If you are suspected because of these activities, do you want the government to have the ability to send you to Guantánamo Bay for indefinite detention?"

So, I thought (and you might have too) that Obama said he wouldn’t use the military against his own people. He wouldn’t break a 200 year old tradition of keeping the military out of domestic affairs. I thought that Obama and Congress and Senators all swore an oath to protect The Constitution. I thought that the whole basic idea of government was to protect and serve the people. To uphold the Bill of Rights. I thought we believed this so feverishly that we fought hard in other countries for their right to do the same. I thought that we just helped Egypt in their revolution to overthrow a government that had this exact same law that American government just passed.

What the… ???

And as for the question of news coverage, how is it possible for something as historical as this, as shocking, as life altering, doesn’t make headlines everywhere? It’s been weeks now (news has the ability to be Johnny-on-the-spot with something as irrelevant as a celebrity drunk at a bar for the love of God!). The progress of passing this bill, first with the Senate, then The House, and Obama’s own reversal of his veto vote, and nadda, nothing on the news. It’s been what’s called a “black out”, while the bill is quickly passed, so that people don’t know what’s happening until it’s too late. I guess the news is that corrupt after all. I can’t say I’m surprised, but I am deeply saddened by this confirmation.

That said, I am so grateful to the people who DO report the news. There are links below to articles, like Mike Adams of Natural News (Go Health Ranger!) and Phil Hirschkorn of CBS news, and Chris McGreal of The Guardian to name a few. Thank you sincerely.

But, well, it’s done now. Right? What can I do? What could I ever do? It’s too overwhelming. I don’t care. I don’t have time.

This attitude is why a bill has been passed that takes away the rights you and about 6 generations before you have lived by. I’m not pointing fingers. If I did, the first one I point would be at myself.

But I saw this and it made my skin crawl.

American Democracy: 1776-2011.

Why is this happening?

Well, the government says it’s for our protection, part of the “war against terrorism”, a term that has lost meaning in it’s overuse. A term we have accepted and become desensitized to. In fact, there is currently no imminent threat of terrorism. Some say that it’s a way that the government will be able to legally utilize force against any resistance. Some say that it’s a way to stop the inevitable rioting that happens in an economic collapse (which they say is also inevitable). Some say that it’s to be able to stop a revolution. Who knows? I guess ultimately, they are now prepared for any of the above.

So, what now? I care, but am in such a state of shock and dismay that I have no idea what happens now. What I can do?

For me, I’m writing this article. It’s all I can think of to do. But I think that this might be the first, most important step. Instead of saying I don’t care, I say this is wrong. I am not going to let the overwhelming facts put me into a state of a deer in the headlights. I will speak up, while I still can. It’s wrong. Dead wrong.

I think that if we simply say it’s wrong, we are in fact doing something. Say you don’t want this to be the way your world is run, that you are scared or angry or horrified. That you don't want this kind of government.

Feeling something IS doing something. What can you do? Simply say it’s wrong. There is power in that.

I have two theories as to why this is all happening, and where it might lead.

Theory one is depressing. I’m sorry. The government has been bullied or overrun or corrupted to the point that they are now against the people. This will lead to horrendous things, like the elimination of freedom of speech, and censorship (which from what I've read, might not be so far off with SOPA*).

Theory two is maybe a pipe dream. But maybe Obama and some of his government are tricking the tricksters, and going along with the corruption for the end result of pushing the American people to the point of a revolution. Maybe they see that it’s the only way to set things right.

In any case, it seems that there are limited outcomes. We either fight for democracy (like we encourage and support so many other nations to do) or we loose our rights and freedoms.

2012 is going to make history either way.


Bill of Rights: http://constitution.org/billofr_.htm







The voting results of the bill:

*Info on SOPA (Stop Online Piracy Act):  


  1. One world. Not the way I wanted to see it, lets hope 2012 brings in a shift of heart. Focus on the peace, huh. thanks Lyse, thought provoking and entertaining as always!

  2. Thanks Truly! Yes, lets hope that peace doesn't mean another kind of slavery, or come at the cost of civil war. Surely there's a third answer.

  3. Hi Lyse.
    You are right to be concerned; the gravity of this legislation is way out of proportion to the advertised threat and the degree to which it's generally known by the population. I use the word advertised consciously, as it's my personal belief that while we have security concerns, I'm not convinced that amplifying the concerns over some faceless threat (someone different) doesn't serve another agenda. It's fearmongering. But it's critical that we remain calm and informed. You ask what can you do? Be informed to the best of your ability. Be brave when someone looks at you like you are being an alarmist or paranoid and raise an objection. Speak up.

    People would say, "Oh, that couldn't happen here, this is the US' And that's exactly what people who passed this want: to be able to act freely, without regulation, without question, and then fall back on the justification that "Too bad, it's been passed. Live with it." But it HAS happened here. And more people on the street know about the Kardashians than that they could in theory be accused of suspicious activity and sent away without due process.
    It's important to hold onto the knowledge that laws are human constructs and as such, can be repealed. They are not immutable, despite what some might say.
    It's vital to find a frame of mind that allows you to read about this and inform others without it getting you so inflamed (angry or scared) that irrational thinking takes hold. Look at history: Nations can be caught up in a frenzy and a mob mentality can take over. Oppression and genocide can happen.

    We are fed a diet of Fear: it's xenophobia. And the people feeding us would exchange our freedom for the 'safety' they offer. Ben Franklin said: "Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety."

    The Terrorists are bought politicians making laws that affect the people whom they are 'elected' to represent. No public discourse and informed debate? Laws passed behind closed doors, at night, without every citizen being aware? I say Bull. To "Protect our American way of life?" Bull. Suspend our rights? Bull.

    What it means is that laws are being enacted to facilitate and further agendas that serve the interests of a self-appointed few. And these people are devising ways to silence opposition by brandishing labels (Terrorist! Communist! Socialist!). And why would a law that renders major civil liberties null and void (this is suspending the Constitution people...) be passed without extreme media saturation? This can happen because mainstream news media is a product of large corporations. And it doesn't serve their profit-making interests if people are informed. We systematically dumb-down the population and then it's possible to do something like enact the NDAA because people are more interested in pop culture than even considering the idea that their government might not have their best interest at heart. Because that runs counter to the notion of fairness and freedom we've been brought up to believe. And the 'justification' for all the wars (and it's propaganda) that we constantly wage. Wars make a select few lots of money. And it's in large corporation interests to keep a population fearful so they believe war is necessary. President Eisenhower warned of this in his 1961 Farewell Address regarding the Military-Industrial Complex. Check it out on Wikipedia and it'll give you an understanding of what he was warning us about. Read up on Halliburton and Blackwater. It's the same with Big Petroleum, and Big Pharmaceuticals.

    My post is too long and I'll have to create another following this.

  4. Following up on the NDAA:

    I heard about the NDAA a few weeks ago and no one in my circle of friends knew anything about it. Most people don't. The little I heard was some politician minimizing the impact of the NDAA and how it wasn't that bad. Yes, it is. It states that you or I can be accused of being a Terrorist if we say something that threatens to expose corruption or wrongdoing and we can 'disappear'. This establishes an environment of an oppressive police state.
    It's initially really frightening, but then it becomes absurd. So the Land of The Free is in lock-down? From within? Dealt by our own hand? So we'll be safe? And who are the people making these laws? Oh, those would be the ones claiming to want to protect us and our democracy.

    To be informed is critical. But be measured and circumspect: delving too deeply into this can derail you and suddenly one can end up in a mindset of endless catastrophe, Doomsday, and despair. That can make one as irrational as the those who think the way of preserving what The USA stands for is to destroy it: suspending freedoms, censoring free speech or quashing reasonable debate. Making the entire country a prison.

    What's a good, low-cost palliative? Talk to a well-informed senior citizen who has seen first-hand cycles of war, the passing of a few generations, and several economic cycles. You'll hopefully find that it WILL be alright, despite the reeling fear that we are on a treacherous path regarding our nation's future. The stakes are high, but I believe the more people know about this--and it will happen--the less of a threat there is. The architects of the financial collapse (the US banks) pose a much greater threat to us with interest rates, withheld credit, and financial machinations that perpetuate cycles of poverty are much more insidious forms of terrorism than any foreign threat.

    Something that I found written a few years back is certainly alarming, but provides a framework to measure where we are. Look up Naomi Wolf ) and her writing on the 10 steps of a closing society.

  5. Thank you for such a thought provoking post. Big hugs, Les! xx