Our State Of The Union
Well, theres so much to say and i have such little margin room to voice my thoughts, i'm going to try and keep bipartisan on all the issues here and
present some facts and perspectives from both sides, yes, i know, it hurts me too.
Mr. Moderator, Vice President William, members of ATS, distinguished citizens and fellow citizens: Every year, by law and by custom, we meet here to
consider the state of the union. This year, we gather in this chamber deeply aware of decisive days that lie ahead. But screw that, lets just look
back at the years we've had.
The Executive: Since the election of Bush we have seen the era of "big government" increase, the Government almost seems unreachable now from a
public point of view and this is a very bad thing, revolutions start when the Governments become detached from the people of a country, the
whitehouse's email page is nothing more than as auto-responder about the voluminous amounts of fanmail George W gets on a daily basis. Lets not
forget that the Presidents cabinet is nothing more than a collection of his daddies poker and drinking buddies, Rummy, Colonic, Little dick and so
The Legislative: Ok, time for my grumble about Congress, really, what have these guys been smoking over the past year? Firstly, we had the USA Patriot
act, and i'm sure we all know just how bad a thing that was..
"On October 26, 2001, President Bush signed the USA Patriot Act (USAPA) into law. With this law we have given sweeping new powers to both domestic
law enforcement and international intelligence agencies and have eliminated the checks and balances that previously gave courts the opportunity to
ensure that these powers were not abused. Most of these checks and balances were put into place after previous misuse of surveillance powers by these
agencies, including the revelation in 1974 that the FBI and foreign intelligence agencies had spied on over 10,000 U.S. citizens, including Martin
Luther King." (Courtesy EFF)
Some texts and analysis of the 342 page document:
Expanded Surveillance With Reduced Checks and Balances. USAPA expands all four traditional tools of surveillance -- wiretaps, search warrants,
pen/trap orders and subpoenas. Their counterparts under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) that allow spying in the U.S. by foreign
intelligence agencies have similarly been expanded. This means:
Be careful what you put in that Google search. The government may now spy on web surfing of innocent Americans, including terms entered into search
engines, by merely telling a judge anywhere in the U.S. that the spying could lead to information that is "relevant" to an ongoing criminal
investigation. The person spied on does not have to be the target of the investigation. This application must be granted and the government is not
obligated to report to the court or tell the person spied upon what it has done.
Nationwide roving wiretaps. FBI and CIA can now go from phone to phone, computer to computer without demonstrating that each is even being used by a
suspect or target of an order. The government may now serve a single wiretap, FISA wiretap or pen/trap order on any person or entity nationwide,
regardless of whether that person or entity is named in the order. The government need not make any showing to a court that the particular information
or communication to be acquired is relevant to a criminal investigation. In the pen/trap or FISA situations, they do not even have to report where
they served the order or what information they received. The EFF believes that the opportunities for abuse of these broad new powers are immense. For
pen/trap orders, ISPs or others who are not named in the do have authority under the law to request certification from the Attorney General's office
that the order applies to them, but they do not have the authority to request such confirmation from a court.
ISPs hand over more user information. The law makes two changes to increase how much information the government may obtain about users from their ISPs
or others who handle or store their online communications. First it allows ISPs to voluntarily hand over all "non-content" information to law
enforcement with no need for any court order or subpoena. sec. 212. Second, it expands the records that the government may seek with a simple subpoena
(no court review required) to include records of session times and durations, temporarily assigned network (I.P.) addresses; means and source of
payments, including credit card or bank account numbers. secs. 210, 211.
New definitions of terrorism expand scope of surveillance. One new definition of terrorism and three expansions of previous terms also expand the
scope of surveillance. They are 1) § 802 definition of "domestic terrorism" (amending 18 USC §2331), which raises concerns about legitimate protest
activity resulting in conviction on terrorism charges, especially if violence erupts; adds to 3 existing definition of terrorism (int'l terrorism per
18 USC §2331, terrorism transcending national borders per 18 USC §2332b, and federal terrorism per amended 18 USC §2332b(g)(5)(B)). These new
definitions also expose more people to surveillance (and potential "harboring" and "material support" liability, §§ 803, 805).
This is a dangerous act, and the second one will destroy freedom as we know it, you republicans should be scared too, they're going to take away your
guns after they deal with us wussy liberals, we're all in the same boat, whether you support them or not you're still going to become a slave to a
tyrranical regime in a short while.
We've also seen flag burning amendments, medicare, filibusters by the dozen and general republican dominance of the laws.
"[A] bill of rights is what the people are entitled to against every government on earth, general or particular, and what no just government should
--- Thomas Jefferson December 20, 1787
The Judiciary: Well i'm not an expert on law so i cant really fill too much in, but i've definitely seen an increase in anti-liberal judges, with
some memorable cases, over all it seems that the justice system is gearing towards the "you don't really need your civil liberties anyway" point of
DICKERSON v. UNITED STATES 99-5525 (09/24/2001)
Supreme Court 1999 Term. The Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals in Virginia was incorrect in holding that an obscure 1968 congressional statute
effectively overruled the Supreme Court's decision requiring that criminal suspects be given Miranda warnings.
ACLU Successfully Defends Rhode Island Resident in Free Speech Case (12/02/2003)
PROVIDENCE, RI -- The American Civil Liberties Union of Rhode Island today hailed the dismissal of criminal charges against Little Compton resident
William Bullivant in a case that raised far- reaching free speech issues for state residents.
ACLU Files Lawsuit to Protect Free Speech Rights of
Connecticut Dentist (11/12/2003)
HARTFORD -- The American Civil Liberties Union of Connecticut today filed a federal lawsuit to prevent the state Department of Public Heath from
disciplining an Orange dentist, Dr. Mark Breiner, for publishing an op-ed article in the Connecticut Post.
ACLU and Planned Parenthood Ask Tennessee Court to Block
Anti-Abortion License Plate (11/06/2003)
NASHVILLE – The American Civil Liberties Union and Planned Parenthood Federation of America filed a lawsuit today to stop Tennessee officials from
sponsoring an anti-abortion-rights specialty license plate, saying the program discriminates against opposing viewpoints.
NYCLU Files Lawsuit Against Lobbying Commission Over
Free-Speech Billboard (11/03/2003)
NEW YORK--The New York Civil Liberties Union today filed a federal lawsuit in Manhattan against David Grandeau, the Executive Director of the New York
Temporary State Commission on Lobbying. The Commission has taken the position that NYCLU sponsorship of a billboard outside a shopping mall is
lobbying, even though the billboard makes no mention of any legislation.
Foreign Policy: Now we get to the good part;
Diplmacy, Bush has done a good bit of travelling yet he really hasn't achieved anything at all, he's infuriated the people in many countries just by
visiting but he went anyway with that good old line of "i love to see people protesting" even though they're showing how much they really hate him
and the line backs up my theory that really nobody is listening to the people anymore, i'm not a socialist, i'm a liberal, theres a big
IRAQ: Well, lets keep this short and sweet as to avoid conflicts between viewpoints, Bush said there would be weapons of mass destruction in iraq and
there isn't, we now have NO reason at all to have invaded that country, if you want to grumble about the oppressed people you can take a look at
places like Saudi Arabia where women are barely allowed out onto the streets. This war is commercial, its about oil and you know it, we have plenty of
oil but of course, we need more, and whats better than opening an entirely new consumer market across the world where people will buy anything you
sell them? Why try and restart the american economy when you can open a new one. I cant generalise the iraqi people as there are so many different
viewpoints from their side, i'm sure many of them love being free and are happy at the american war to liberate their oil, but we still have that
minority (or possible majority) that hate everything we stand for. Its been a great commercial venture, but people have died, are dying and will
continue to die for a long time, but most of them are muslims, so we don't care, right? Wrong. Allied troops, diplomats, red cross/crescent workers
and generally anyone who isnt a card carrying member of Islamic Jihad is dying, but bush doesn't care about the soldiers, they're only grunts, let
them die. The Diplomats? well they are UN Pussys who couldnt negotiate a piss up in a brewery. And those lousy socialistic red cross and crescent
workers shouldn't be there in the first place, its their choice to die!
Afghanistan: Also known as the forgotten war, the war started on october 7th, thats not even a month after September 11th and this was our real little
war on terror, seeking out al-qaeda in their little caves and bunkers, oh how very stereotypical. The "camel jockey suicide bombers" aren't fools
which is contrary to popular opinion, in many instances they are well trained (by us, the cia helped them), well educated (by us, many attended
american universities) and well funded (also by us, back in the 70's/80's) they are motivated and they want to kill us, they also want to kill
themselves to a certain extent but thats another story.
Since september 11th we have been engaged in a so called "war on terrorism" to root out insurgents both home and abroad for the sake of our nations
security, yet 2 years and a few months on, have we actually progressed? No, i didnt think so either, we are locked up in wars in 2 different nations,
but who cares! only the soldiers are dying! and they're grunts!
More topics to follow...
I wanted this to be an expansive state of the union written by ATS members, i've started it off and i'd like your suggestions to end it, i'll be
accepting submissions right up till December 31st, then i'll be emailing it to the white house and every news agency i can think of, sure, very few
people will read it, but we've stood up and voiced our concerns, which is more than many will do in their lifespan.
u2u or post suggestions for further additions.
*steps away from the podium*