March 04, 2005

800 Years of Liberty flushed away With the Patriot Act and now the british Prevention of Terrorism Bill in the works, I thought it was appropriate at taking a look at the document the Bill of Rights and the Declaration of Independence is based on. Lest we forget . . .
  • An admirable sentiment mk, but i'm afraid i'm at a bit of a loss re: context. maybe a bit more on the current bills and thier direct contradictions to this cornerstone? Some direct contact information for relevant senators, etc?
  • Quite right Pete, here's some context:
  • You give him a library and he asks for senators! The cheek!
  • *points to cheek*
  • With the Bush administration being the most horrible thing in history and having recently repealed the entire US Constitution and caused the complete destruction of the universe and everything in it, here's a word we might want to take a look at, specifically 3(c)...
  • Quite right, dr j. He's bad, but he's not even the worst president of my lifetime. Perspective has been eroded far more than rights.
  • who was the worst, rocket? (apologies for the derail)
  • Nixon by a landslide.
  • the rocket and I are about the same age, so I'm betting he says "Nixon."
  • Doh! Moofed by preview!!!
  • one of you owes the other a Coke. So . . why Nixon? Is it simply the organizing a break in and using the office of the President to cover it up? just curious. (FWIW I think W is much worse for the usual things, but think it's interesting to consider Nixon worse)
  • Yeah, there was Watergate, but Nixon was so much more than that. He compiled a list of his political enemies (mostly journalists and Democratic campaign funders), and instructed his staffers to make their lives a living hell through IRS audits, withholding of gov't contracts & grants, etc. He also secretly tape recorded Oval office & cabinet meetings, telephone calls, & Camp David meetings, all without telling the participants. I suspect the main use of these tapes was to blackmail anyone wishing to turn against him. Also, under his watch, we all know how the government treated peace protestors, especially in Chicago and Kent State. The antics of the Bush administration are nothing compared to what went on in those days.
  • Then you'll enjoy this Nixon Quiz! err, which I found trying to google up some documents on Nixon's "Imperial Presidency" in an effort to show how Bush II has used that and gone further to . . etc etc.
  • but, but, but, Bush killed Hunter Thompson! I read it right here! Also the author of Jim Hatfield! Who knows how many others Bush has on his 'enemies' list, who knows how many he's going around the country putting hits on? My gosh, I could be next! (leaves room looking furtively over shoulder)
  • One thing that always struck me in the Magna Carta was this section: Concessimus eciam omnibus liberis hominibus regni nostri, pro nobis et heredibus nostris in perpetuum, omnes libertates subscriptas, habendas et tenendas eis et heredibus suis, de nobis et heredibus nostris. To all free men of our kingdom we have also granted, for us and our heirs for ever, all the liberties written out below, to have and to keep for them and their heirs, of us and our heirs. Either in perpetuum is shorter than I thought, or we ain't none of us free men no more...
  • What strikes me on reading this is the thought: "Wow, John really fucked up, didn't he?" That, and: (54) No one shall be arrested or imprisoned on the appeal of a woman for the death of any person except her husband. Great...
  • For nearly five years, I've been fighting attempts by the Bush administration to sweep away the cornerstone of our justice system: habeas corpus, which protects people from being summarily detained without trial. You know it's a horrible regime, the worst President in American history, etc., but you just can't fathom how bad it really is sometimes.
  • death by a thousand cuts.
  • Magna Carta, mucho rewardo
    The news that David Rubenstein, co-founder of the private equity firm Carlyle, has bought a rare copy of the Magna Carta raises some concerns for the future. People will be understandably worried at the thought of key human rights falling into private equity’s hands. Carlyle is a serious money-making machine and Mr Rubenstein will surely be looking for a good return on his £10.6m investment. After refinancing the debt and taking a £14m dividend he will set up a new management fees structure before rationalising the dozens of articles – many of which are overlapping. He is also understood to be exploring the acquisition of the US constitution, which would offer valuable synergies and cost savings. After this, analysts expect that a number of the human rights will be spun off and sold separately. A consortium led by KKR and including Bain Capital is said to be interested in the property rights and common law entitlements. Mr Rubenstein is also understood to be studying other cost-saving initiatives including outsourcing habeas corpus to China. The Carlyle chief is expected to hold on to Magna Carta for about five years before “flipping” the deal, selling it on to Amnesty International for around £20m.