Posted by: Jim | May 23, 2007

Might As Well Face It You’re Adic…tator.

The President just signed a directive that gives The President nearly unlimited dictatorial powers if The President determines we are in a national emergency. How could this have happened? I presume it’s because of the powers granted to The President during the Patriot Act by the Republican Congress after 9/11 when no one feared that oppression could ever occur in these United States.

The directive grants dictatorial powers to The President to assure that a Constitutional Government endures.

But we’re not oppressed. How could we be if we still have easy access to hot dogs and reruns of Nanny and the Professor?

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Responses

  1. I have been sending this story to everybody that has ever emailed me in the last 5 years since I saw it this afternoon. I think of the stopped clock again. Even the conspiracy nuts are right twice a day.

    I am going to buy some more rifles in the next few weeks. There is no way I am going to sit around while “The Commander Guy” simply decides that there is a national crisis and burns up the constitution. Me and the crew will take to the woods and fight first, die later. Bush wants to be the “uniter” eh? If he keeps this up there will be a bipartisan lynch mob at the White House.

    -Tommy

  2. No shit, man.

    * * *

  3. For years I have been hearing Jerry Falwell and others remonstrate about the evils of the American Civil Liberties Union. Yet today it is even clearer that we are still standing knee deep in the cesspool of a government run amok.

    While the ACLU can be criticized (after all, it is only run by humans), at least they put up a unified front, demanding truth and accountability in the face of any administration’s praetorian tactics. They do not, as so many of us do, acquiesce and capitulate in the name of the “greater good”. And I, for one, support the organization that stands up and says ENOUGH!

    I knew that Bush guy was trouble.

  4. Your last line sums it up nicely. But add that we can also golf when we want, make enough money to support a family, and can pay for gas, no matter the price (well, I can). I am not wealthy, but I am free, and I trust our government, regardless of who is in office, to uphold our right to live the dream. I’m sorry if there is a problem with our current level of freedom. Would you like more? How, exactly are you being oppressed? Is life in the States really that bad? Discuss.

  5. There’s no point discussing anything with you, Todd. You drank the Kool-aid, and there’s nothing to say. This whole country is founded on the principle of DON’T TRUST THE GOVERNMENT. Yet trust it you doggedly do, even as it systematically dismantles the checks and balances originally put in place to ‘uphold your right to live the dream’, as you put it. You obviously don’t get it.

    One day you WILL get it, when there are no rights left, and you stand there bewildered as the authorities confiscate your property or drag your kids or grandkids off to die in some pointless war that’s all about corporate profits, and you cry ‘but I’m loyal! I’m a patriot! I’m conservative!’ And they just laugh at you because you always thought that your ‘freedom’ was a GIVEN because the government LOVES you and wouldn’t want to HURT you.

    The Constitution is there for a reason. ‘Trust’ is not a good political philosophy. Most dictators think they are doing what’s right for their country. Do you think Saddam Hussein was a good guy with the best interests of ‘his’ people at heart? Well, he had LOTS of followers — those in the Ba’ath party who would have said ‘oppression? what oppression?’ Because they benefited from his rule, at least for the time being. That’s always the fallacious thinking of the status quo — that as long as it’s not YOU being oppressed, then oppression doesn’t exist. Of course, if you allow a society based on ‘trusting the government’, then you run the risk that one day they’re gonna decide YOU aren’t to be trusted for whatever reason. So we have this Constitution thingie — that Bush flagrantly violates — a document intended to protect us all from the corruption that always, INEVITABLY goes hand-in-hand with power. If you allow your leaders to get away with ignoring the structure meant to keep them in check, you are effectively bending over and saying ‘fuck me in the ass, George. I trust you to be gentle.’

    Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, etc would consider George Bush a would-be tyrant, but they would consider YOU and your kind to be much worse: the unthinking source of the tyrant’s power as you blindly follow him down the path to your own enslavement. The reason you can’t see the writing on the wall, Toddie, is that you are always bent over. Because, for now, it feels good. You get to play golf and feed your gas-guzzler, and live the unsustainable protected life that has the rest of the world hating you for your willful ignorance. But the chickens WILL come home to roost, and when they do, it won’t be pretty. Because the longer people like you ignore reality, the worse reality gets. And then one day it all implodes. Your little bubble WILL burst; it’s only a matter of time. 9/11 SHOULD have been a wake-up call to people like you, that there’s a world outside you haven’t a clue about, and that your government is making enemies in your name. Then the subsequent orgy of fear and opportunism that created the so-called Patriot Act and made the Constitution a piece of toilet paper SHOULD have been ANOTHER wake-up call to the fact that fear-mongering is a great way for politicians to quickly erode your so-called freedom. But instead of waking up, you look around you and say ‘everything’s fine; I can still play golf’ and you buy whatever story that said politicians sell you, and you play right into their hands. You TRUST them.

    Falling feels just like flying, Todd…until you hit the ground.

    * * *

  6. Typical right-wing head-in-sand-itry: We’re one stroke of a pen away from living in a dictatorship, but Todd-O thinks things are just swell. I wonder, Todd, would you be so sanguine if it had been a Clinton that made this move? I doubt it.

  7. So, in the World According to Todd, until golf courses are closed down, we are free?

    Actually, Todd reminds me of Orr in Catch-22 who continually crashes his plane and keeps asking Yossarian to fly with him. Yossarian turns him down because Orr is clearly a lousy pilot. Later, Orr has the last laugh when he ditches his plane and escapes. It is then that Yossarian realizes that Orr was Crashing On Purpose all along, to learn better how to use the lifeboat, the compass, etc.

    This is my very generous reading of Todd, that he rights this mad trust-the-government stuff to try and get into the good graces of the coming dictatorship.

    But maybe I am being too kind.

  8. Seems interesting to see how fasty people jump on Todd for having an opinion and how mean some of you get when he expresses it. Because Todd has a difference of opinion does only makes you appear less of a person for demeaning him. It demonstrates insecurity to tolerate others.

    Now this directive is not the Bush directive but the President of the United States directive. The directive loosely defines “catastrophic emergency” as “any incident, regardless of location, that results in extraordinary levels of mass casualties, damage, or disruption severely affecting the U.S. population, infrastructure, environment, economy, or government functions.”

    Now you can say conservativers blindly have their head in the sand as they express their loyalty to President Bush, in fact you did. In a catastrophic emergency as defined by the directive we are going to need this leadership and not the anarchy that would follow without this leadership.

    I suppose I am ok with the idea that you may disagree with my opinion. I do think the venom you spit when attacking Todd for his opinion is reflective of your own intolerance. I think many of you look for reasons to find fault and when viewing these faults you desperately try to imagine the worst case scenario. Todd has a pretty good handle on things. Life is pretty good for us.

  9. Seems interesting to see how fast people jump on Todd for having an opinion and how mean some of you get when he expresses it. Because Todd has a difference of opinion only makes you appear less of a person for demeaning him. It demonstrates insecurity to tolerate others.

    Now this directive is not the Bush directive but the President of the United States directive. The directive loosely defines “catastrophic emergency” as “any incident, regardless of location, that results in extraordinary levels of mass casualties, damage, or disruption severely affecting the U.S. population, infrastructure, environment, economy, or government functions.”

    Now you can say conservativers blindly have their head in the sand as they express their loyalty to President Bush, in fact you did. In a catastrophic emergency as defined by the directive we are going to need this leadership and not the anarchy that would follow without this leadership.

    I suppose I am ok with the idea that you may disagree with my opinion. I do think the venom you spit when attacking Todd for his opinion is reflective of your own intolerance. I think many of you look for reasons to find fault and when viewing these faults you desperately try to imagine the worst case scenario. Todd has a pretty good handle on things. Life is pretty good for us.

  10. Jesus, another fucking lemming.

    Listen, Bubba: nobody blasts Todd for having an opinion; we blast Todd for buying whatever opinion is spoon-fed to him by his hero Herr Bush, instead of using that mass of wasted tissue inside his skull to do some critical thinking of his own.

    The bottom line is this, genius (call it ‘venom’ if you wish; I really don’t care): the reason ‘life is pretty good for us’ is that for more than 200 years we have had a system of checks and balances in place that kept the government’s natural predilection toward trying to control us somewhat in check. Bush and his cronies have been systematically dismantling that protection. Why is it so hard for all the fat clueless mental midget neocons to get that? Hey I haven’t always agreed with Conservatives but at least I could usually count on them to uphold the idea that the Separation of Powers was essential — in fact, it seems to me that the whole fucking idea of being a Republican USED to be about limiting government, NOT giving it more power. Duh. What the fuck is wrong with you people? Have you been ‘free’ for so long that you forgot that freedom isn’t just a given? Did you all fail your elementary school civics classes? Do you not understand the way it’s supposed to work?

    Ever heard of Joe McCarthy? How about Andrew Johnson? Richard Nixon? Hello? These were guys, in case you didn’t know, who wanted to overstep their bounds and abuse their power, and they all got away with it for awhile until the CHECKS AND BALANCES caught up with them. The checks and balances that George W. Der Fuhrer wants to do away with, in the name of ’emergency powers.’

    In case you haven’t read any history books, assuming you can read at all, that’s how dictators usually assume their power, ya know. They declare an EMERGENCY.

    Jesus Effen Christ; I can’t believe I have to explain this shit to ADULTS.

    * * *

  11. Ya know Bri – I think it is that you talk down to people as though they are idiots. You take the time to purposefully try and degrade people. So in between insulting people your arguements get lost. This makes you hard to take serious. Despite your ego the possibility exists that you are not correct and also that your point can be made without insulting people. I just do not think you are mature enough to do so.

  12. Dear Bri,

    No matter your opinion, voicing them using expletives is immature and unimaginative. I’m afraid that your choice of words completely obscures your message and that is a shame. It reflects poorly on yourself, your teachers and your parents. How unfortunate.

  13. Bubba and Todd,

    Sometimes, people are so empassioned about their argument that they cannot resist the temptation to pepper their speech with insults and name-calling. Maybe it feels good for them to do it, or maybe they do it because we learn in high school how to get people “on our side” by insulting others. Regardless, as other people have said already, they render their arguments impotent when they do it, because the person they are trying to persuade just stopped listening. It’s like a man with a really good argument who is pointing a gun at you while he’s explaining it. It’s hard to focus on anything but the gun.

    But here’s the thing. That man with the gun might still be right. While I don’t agree with the insulting and condescending tone brought forth by Bri, I agree with his argument 100%. The insults do not invalidate the point he is trying to make; they just make his point much harder to see. Since there has never been more at stake, I challenge everyone to listen.

    Bri’s argument is exactly correct. Our government was framed with one principle in mind: even governments that start off good tend to descend into oppression. There’s a long long LONG history of this to prove it. The US is not immune to this, although we have never experienced it (for the most part) because our Constitution was so brilliantly designed to prevent it. But what it ALSO did, was insulate us from oppression and after 231 years we have forgotten what it is or that it can happen to us. But IT CAN. All it takes is a President with big enough huevos to seize the power.

    What this Presidential Directive did was expose a thread in the fabric of our freedom. Now the President has the ability to pull that thread and essentially turn our country into his (or her) Kingdom. He might be a strong, just, and good man, but that man will have complete power. It is the ultimate act of foolishness for us to rely on his good nature to give this power back over to Congress.

  14. Bri’s message is clear, regardless of the mode he chose to express it in.

    I can understand his frustration, it’s the frustration anybody that argues with people who are immune to the effect of such niceties as facts, the employment of reason, and so on, is destined to feel. Todd is not providing an argument for others trusting the WH beyond the fact that Todd has chosen to trust the WH . Todd also does not appear to understand, or, if he does, to accept, that the US is Constitution is founded upon the mistrust of the government, it was founded in the light of having endured monarchical rule by the British and was/is quite explicit about the US being a nation of laws and that no person shall be above those laws. Bush and his unitary executive theory discards that principle and ushers in a monarchy/dictatorship, call it what you will. It is not about partisan concerns, it is about the constitutional safeguards. The fact that Todd would foresake these safeguards and instead choose to trust, to place his faith in the good intentions of the President, of any President, it draws a lot of fire because it is an attitude that essentially invites tyranny. If everybody thought like Todd, we’d be screwed.

    There’s a fallacy in Bubbagut’s argument, too, the notion that unless all power is vested in the President during a catastrophic emergency that there would be no leadership. The President would still lead, but without requiring the scope of his role to be withdrawn. Where did this idea get into your head that One Man acting alone, issuing his edicts, is going to be a better response that the branches of government functioning as they should. Bubbagut repeats a continuing right-wing argument, that essentially the other branches, Congress, the Senate, the Judiciary, are obstacles to the nation being governed better, that it’d be better if the President simply issued orders and the rule of law be damned. If you think that, then you should go live in a dictatorship, because that is what that those forms of rule offer. There are plenty of countries you can choose from – Zimbabwe, Saudi, Burma, North Korea, and so on. I don’t know why you think a dictatorship run by Bush is going to be so much better than one run by Robert Mugabe. Oh, yes, because George Bush’s dictatorship has access to golf courses and the chance to own a pickup.

  15. I think you miss the purpose and intent of this directive. I also think you refuse to see where this directive would be helpful.

    Let us say for example that the plates beneath Yellowstone National Park shift and an earthquake proceeds to rock my world. Volcanic action takes place and in addition to tens of thousands of deaths, transportation, communication and medical care become non existent. Ash blankets the cities for hundreds of miles. People by the hundreds of thousands panic and try to leave the areas. Riots and crime break out. The states of Montana and Wyoming are paralyzed and unable to come to the aid of their citizens and local Government is neutralized. ( gimme a break, I just watched an episode of 24 and I like the idea of terror running wild for the moment)

    Might this be an example of the President enacting this directive to provide medical care, food, shelter, protection and a host of other needed functions? I mean I suppose every Montanan has a gun to protect themselves and 4 wheel drive to get out. The Red Cross is on the way and somewhere in California someone is filling a truck full of bottled water to head this way….but I think I would also like to have a little help from the President to restore order and infrastructure.

    Now I have painted an extreme picture here no different from most of you when presenting your side of the arguement. I recognize that a President could call any little tornado running down a trailer park a ‘catastrophic emergency’ and invoke this directive. I also have faith in the American people that we would quickly run the abuse of this power out of our system be it by changing the directive or taking up arms to shut down our own government. I suppose I just choose not to see this in extremes. I think the intent and purpose of this directive is clear enough and Americans would recognize its abuse. We can disagree on this.

  16. Bubba,

    Why would the US before this directive not have been able to handle the same scenario? In fact, I would argue that if everyone had to look to an Almighty President in this situation for guidance, it would prohibit much from getting done, because only so many orders can come from one man.

    If anything, the example provided by hurricane Katrina shows us that one man at the top can be woefully misinformed, unprepared, and dispassionate about such a situation. If it had all be left up to Bush, things would have been even worse, if that were possible.

    No, the various agencies and departments in our country needs to be self-sustaining in the face of such an emergency. Everyone should already be prepared and know exactly what to do. They shouldn’t need a dictator to tell them. Even barring the vulnerable position our liberties are in by this directive, I don’t think it would help us in the face of a national emergency to have one supreme leader.

  17. Bubba may believe he has a bionic grip on “purpose and intent” of this directive, but he steadfastly refuses to look at its potential for abuse. Why? The typical blind spot of the BushCo crowd, as further evidenced by Todd-O’s rosy analysis of the current situation: because they support the guy doing it and couldn’t imagine he’d do anything to abuse his power — even as he does. Daily. Their support is so complete and their devotion so blind that I really do believe that they have to have turned their brains off to continue thinking as they do. Notice that Todd-O has refused to weigh in on his thoughts on a Clinton pulling the same crap. I think that supports my contention.

    And a thought on Bri’s choice of tone and language, and Bubba’s sad and pathetic indictment of it: He’s trying to shoot the messenger. Bubba can’t refute what Bri says, so Bubba attacks the way Bri says it.

  18. Chuck

    I am thinking you did not bother to finish reading my posts.

    “Now I have painted an extreme picture here no different from most of you when presenting your side of the arguement. I recognize that a President could call any little tornado running down a trailer park a ‘catastrophic emergency’ and invoke this directive. I also have faith in the American people that we would quickly run the abuse of this power out of our system be it by changing the directive or taking up arms to shut down our own government.”

    I understand how this could be abused and I confess no “bionic” grip on the interpretation of this directive.

    I do think you come across extreme. You make it sound as though we all reeady live under a dictatorship. I am reminded of Chicken Little and that Mel Gibson movie Conspiricy Theory. Guys….we got a pretty good thing going here and no there is no martial law or military imposed curfews. It is evident to me however that you are going to never give up your extremist point of views. You are convinced that President Bush is the anti Christ (assuming you beleive in Christ which is doubtful) and that martial law is just around the corner as President Bush is plotting his take over of the USA.

  19. OK folks, I can see we are going to get nowhere with this discussion.

    If some of you are offended by my choice of language, so be it. I don’t apologize; that is just the way I talk — especially when somebody pisses me off. I like it. It makes me happy. Free speech, I think they used to call it. And for the record, I learned to swear so eloquently waaaay back when I was serving my country in the military, defending all you ignorant bastards back before you lost your minds and TWICE elected the asshole who’s more of a threat to you than any Communist ever was or any Terrorist ever WILL be.

    And If I think you’re an idiot, I will call you an idiot. If you don’t like it, say something that shows you’re NOT an idiot and maybe I will retract. So far, none of you idiots has said one word to convince me otherwise. Your beloved president is out there murdering your children for Exxon and stealing your rights in broad daylight, and you fall all over yourselves to bend over and take it with a smile — sounds like fucking idiots to me. In fact, ‘fucking idiots’ is an understatement; perhaps I am being too kind.

    To the so-called ‘Dr. Laura’ wannabe: I doubt the REAL Dr. Laura reads this blog, but if she does, this is my opportunity to tell her what a reprehensible and annoying creature she is. Her pathetic radio show reflects badly on her teachers, her parents, and whomever decided she knew enough about human nature to award her the title ‘Doctor’. But I doubt you are her, so I will just say that if all you can bring to this conversation is hollow condescension, how can you criticize ME? You may not like the words I choose (oh my goodness! he used the f-word!), but at least I have a point to make. You just want to get all motherly and wag your finger at me because your precious ears can’t handle a few ‘expletives’. Go fuck yourself.

    And poor, poor Bubba. You’ve actually moved my soul. I no longer blame YOU; it’s obvious that the American education system simply failed you. You must have been brought up in the same moronic Christian traditions I was, but your schooling didn’t give you the critical thinking skills necessary to question it. Maybe you were home-schooled by Fundamentalist hillbillies or something. You think MY views are extremist? Hello? I simply believe in the Constitution of the United States. It is YOU who are caught up in some twisted extremist theocratic Fascist feedback loop. You undoubtedly buy the whole ‘America is a Christian nation’ bullshit, and think that Bush and Jesus are buddies and they have your best interests at heart. Well, you’re right about ONE thing, dude — I don’t believe in your fairytale Jesus, and neither did the framers of the Constitution OR most of the signers of the Declaration of Independence. They believed you have the right to worship anybody or anything you want, just as long as you keep your particular brand of mythology far away from your politics. They were architects of the Age of Reason, not followers of the Dark Ages (which, unfortunately, seem to have returned with a vengeance).

    They didn’t anticipate the Flag-waving Fundamentalist Christian Apocalypse Cult turning us into a nation of unthinking zombies, but they thought they were doing their best to avoid the threats they COULD anticipate from the theocratic zealots that were and are always waiting in the wings. As Sinclair Lewis said, ‘When Fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying the cross.’ Too bad Lewis wasn’t around to warn Jefferson, or maybe he’d have added some stronger language to the Constitution. Of course, that wouldn’t have stopped Dubya from using his Big Black Marker on it.

    Anyway, to all of you who have gotten all riled up because I swear and talk down to you, good. That makes my day. If just one of you had a single intelligent argument to make in response, I wouldn’t have to be so fucking frustrated, and perhaps I’d even say something nice. Just ask Todd — I’ve said something nice to him now and then, whenever he said anything that made sense. It’s been rare, but it’s happened.

    * * *

  20. Bubba and Todd, just because we don’t have martial law or military imposed curfews doesn’t mean that whose who disagree with this administration aren’t in trouble. With the ever-popular warrantless wiretapping, FBI abuse of the heinous Patriot Act, Pentagon spying on “suspicious” Quakers, amongst other serious infractions (extraordinary torture, unlawful seizure and incarceration of US citizens, who are horribly mistreated), it’s not unreasonable to infer that, for man for whom the Constitution is an archaic piece of paper handy for ass-wiping, this new directive is pretty fucking scary. Just because we can’t see oppression by this administration in our own daily lives doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist. Much like oxygen.

    Here’s a nice end-of-the-year wrap-up, detailing civil liberty abuses for 2006.

    BTW, Bubba, most of us actually try to follow the teachings of Jesus (unlike nominal Christians such as Bush) because those teachings just make sense for compassionate human beings. We just don’t cloak it in religion because we don’t need to assign our desire to be good people to an entity outside ourselves. (Says the spiritual humanist.)

    Oh, and Bri sweetie? Keep on swearing, darlin’. Ain’t no reason you should keep your anger at bay.

  21. 1. Every American loves America. Republicans love America. So do Democrats. Don’t accuse either group of hating America, or anything that sounds like it. On the other hand, people’s choice of policy might hurt America or be un-American. Attack the policy, not the person. (Yes, I know there are a scant few Americans who don’t love America. Now stop bothering me.)

    Uh Jim….your rules to interpret of course – but seems you are giving this guy a free ride. He a relation? As you pointed out Jim – after the first FU and bend over I kinda stop taking this guy serious. I think of the mentally handicapped people walking through the alleys as they scream at nobody and I feel sorry for the guy.

  22. “Every American loves America. Republicans love America. So do Democrats. Don’t accuse either group of hating America, or anything that sounds like it.”

    This is PRECISELY the damn point. It is impossible to reconcile the notion of Loving America with supporting the destruction of the constitutional system of checks and balances. It is that system that underpins the nation you profess love for.

    Bri is right, not because I share his particular partisan leanings, I doubt I do, I don’t even know Bri has a party, he seems pretty disgusted with most aspects of the sorry excuse that passes for a democracy in contemporary America. No, Bri is right because he presents a picture of America that is more coherent and more attuned to the REALITY of what type of society the Founders attempted to frame. It was not a government of men, but of laws.

    Bri’s language and your issues with that have been a side issue. You Bubbagut have not come up with one substantive reason for granting Bush these powers, beyond claiming that leftist paranoia that Bush wants to destroy the USA (and by God, he’s doing a fine job of it) is the reason for the opposition to this plan. Don’t you see at all beyond Bush, don’t you understand at all the nature of precedent? Maybe Bush is not the guy who will use these powers, but someday, somebody will, that is the nature of power, that is why you don’t hand it all over to one person, regardless of the right-wing need for a Big Tough Guy to protect you from all those nasty terrorists.

    Jim, don’t block Bri because his arguments deserve a free ride, they are entertaining, incendiary, blasphemous, and scatalogical, and if Bubbagut has ever listened to Ann Coulter or Rush or Glenn Beck, then there’s nothing here he hasn’t heard before!

  23. Kingfelix

    I have preseneted reasoning for this directive. I have shown both good and bad for this. It is interesting that while I can see both sides of this you cannot. I can admit and have that this could be abused. I have not seen anyone else admit that there could be a good side to this. I alone have shown faith in the American public to turn this over should it be abused.

    As for Bri, maybe I quoted too much of Jim’s rule to be clear but this was the specific part I was after, “Attack the policy, not the person.” I find it interesting that Jim is allowing someone to post as many FU and bend overs as bri levels personal insult after personal insult. Rather than have reasonable debate Jim prefers incendiery ranting by allowing this to continue. Who wants to debate an issue with a nut job cussing them out and insulting them every time they post. The essence of debate is allowing differing opinions to be heard and not attacking people personally for disagreeing. That is why I wonder if there is a family tie.

    Also, while I find Rush or Savage to be extreme and do not listen to them, I do not think either of them has told anyone to bend over and get (exletive expletive expletive) …..that is pure bri.

  24. Bubba, Bri is not a relation.

    I *have* censored Bri before, and also Kingfelix, but only when their entire comments were personal attacks. Bri has, in each case, also presented facts to support his position; otherwise I would have deleted his comments.

  25. Bubbagut,

    All distracting elements aside, can you draw up a scenario where these new powers granted to the President would help the U.S. survive during a national emergency where the previous system would have failed?

  26. I believe I already did. I could jump to the example this directive is intended for, nuclear attack on American soil, but I chose something less controversial.

    “Let us say for example that the plates beneath Yellowstone National Park shift and an earthquake proceeds to rock my world. Volcanic action takes place and in addition to tens of thousands of deaths, transportation, communication and medical care become non existent. Ash blankets the cities for hundreds of miles. People by the hundreds of thousands panic and try to leave the areas. Riots and crime break out. The states of Montana and Wyoming are paralyzed and unable to come to the aid of their citizens and local Government is neutralized. ( gimme a break, I just watched an episode of 24 and I like the idea of terror running wild for the moment)”

    Jim, you used the example of Katrina and requested how this could have been improved upon as it was one man’s fault. So I will answer to your example. You asked why this directive was needed and why couldn’t the government have plans in place before anything happened. Your Katrina example is a perfect example of why this directive could have been useful. Plans were in place for a catastrophe but as it turned out the plans did not work. There were many different government responses rather than one coordinated response. We have the city government and the state government not working together and certainly not working with the federal government. From the report studying the Katrina catastrophe I quote,” Emergency plans at all levels of government, from small
    town plans to the 600-page National Response Plan—the Federal government’s plan to coordinate all its departments and agencies and integrate them with State, local, and private sector partners—were put to the ultimate test, and came up short.”

    Now here are a few things most liberals ignore and the media does not report as written at his link:

    http://www.enterstageright.com/archive/articles/0905/0905evac.htm

    So when the plans come up short we need someone to take charge and make things happen. We need someone to come up with new plans rather than have many different branches of government working inefficently as we know government does. President Bush is the first to admit that this was a mess and we failed the test. He has however tried to examine and learn from this mistake. I believe this directive is one example of that.

    You dodge the point though Jim regarding the venom your blog supports. “Distracting elements’ seems a cheap way to diffuse the fact that you allow personal attacks to continue and try to hide behind warnings. I see in previous topics you warn people to be nice and attack the arguements and not the people. You are igniored. It is also painfully obvious that you do not enforce this and allow it to continue. In reading Todd’s analogy – a bunch of kids hiding out behind the baseball diamond backstop smoking cigerettes seems accurate to me. Keep telling yourselves you have it all right and whenever an opposing view comes along rather than welcome it for discussion your crowd chooses to belittle it. Now some are worse than others Jim and I do not mean to drag you through the mud. If I was convinced that you did care I would not bother to bring this up but as it is obvious that you are all talk on this point and not action. I have no challenge pointing this out to you. I suspect you are just glad to have anyone read and comment in your blog and you are not so discriminating as to the quality of your subscribers.

  27. I’d also like Bubba to cite an instance in the 200+ year history of our nation when not having such dictatorial powers in place hurt us.

    And then I’d like to indulge in the fantasy that he could understand that many of our arguments on this are based on the fact that the President (Bush or otherwise) could invoke these powers *without* a national emergency being present. Bubba’s entire pro-dictatorship argument is based on the concept that it would only be used legitimately, when the danger is that it would *not*.

  28. Chuck

    I am waiting for that exposition too. Bubbagut is locked into, seemingly, the idea that ‘the world is different’ post 9/11, whereas, it is far more compelling to look at the Cold War, a much greater threat, and conclude that if these kinds of powers were not required then, why are they required now, to battle a hopelessly overstated threat, namely, that of Islamofascism, to use the right’s terminology.

  29. Chuck – President Bush requested to send aid to Katrina victims but was rejected early on. There is your example as provided by Jim. Read my post again as it is all there or in the link. If you read the directive it does require a catastrphic emergency defined, “any incident, regardless of location, that results in extraordinary levels of mass casualties, damage, or disruption severely affecting the U.S. population, infrastructure, environment, economy, or government functions.” Why do I keep repeating myself — likely because people are not interested in what I have to say and therefor do not even read what I have posted.

    Felix – the world is different. Cold war era did not result in the terrorist attacks going off on US soil as they have in recent times. You go ahead and explain to people in the Oklahoma or Twin Towers disasters that this is an overstated threat.

  30. It is overstated. One terrorist attack on US soil.

    I grew up in the UK, we had years of terrorist attacks that killed thousands. We did not have to cede our basic freedoms to combat that and we had to live with a certain level of bombings and murders, in Northern Ireland and on the mainland. Interestingly, the US would not extradite IRA suspects for these crimes as they contended they were ‘political acts’. How times change.

    Operations against terrorists need to be intelligence-led, not conducted simply by monitoring everybody, as the UK government would like to, or by adopting programs like the warrantless wiretapping of the present WH administration.

    If I am going to come to Oklahoma and New York, fine, you can come to Belfast, Manchester, and London and offer your explanation of why the US government shielded terrorists from facing the justice of a trial.

  31. …and Bubba, if you read the directive, you’ll find this phrase couched therein: “The President will determine and issue the COGCON Level.” I keep repeating myself in hopes that reason may eventually prevail, no matter how averse to it you and your Bush booster pals are. I suspect that you keep repeating yourself as a method of reinforcing the brainwashing you’ve obviously undergone.

    Oh, and regarding the people of Oklahoma and their take on the overstated terrorist threat — if you asked them, they’d probably speak slowly and carefully (the way you would to a small child or a mentally challenged individual) as they explained to you that their terrorist attack was perpetrated by an American who happened to be an ex-military Republican NRA member, not an al Queda member as you seem to think.

  32. You got me on the Oklahoma attack Chuck.

    There are other terrorist attacks but with the weekend over now I am growing tired of this discussion. I will continue to have faith in the American people and many of you will continue to have worst case scenario’s stuck in your head.

  33. I wonder, had we not discovered who actually *was* responsible for the OKC bombing, who would be the popular terrorist candidate now – by popular opinion.

    Heh.

  34. Bubba,

    You say you have faith that the American people would put a stop to any mis-use of this directive.

    It seems to me that faith is the operative word; belief without proof.

    There is no proof that Americans will put a stop to our leaders insanities. We’ve been allowing them to systematically dismantle the constitution for the last few years with no more than a weak cry of protest from a few alert souls who are called radicals for their trouble.

    So where does your faith in the sheeple come from?

  35. I suppose you could ask Great Britain for proof if Americans will fight for their freedom but that is probably to old to have any sway with you. Of course the constitution written at that time still works for most but not the revolution.

    I am an optomist jane and I believe that people are basically good and want to do good things. This in large part is why I believe in our government even as I deride it on a regular basis for its inefficiencies. I also agree that people in large part are sheep. I see that even in this blog. In order to fit in people post with big words and historical quotes to seem impressive and wise and that they are intelligent. In truth, I am not sure people are able to make up their own minds without being influenced by others in a significant way because that is the easy path. It is easy to let someone you know and respect have an opinion and simply adopt their opinion rather than research and form their own educated opinion.

    When we talk about freedom though I believe people can put aside their sheepness and think for themselves. Look how much people freaked out over this directive…….calling it a dictatorship when nothing has been done to justify that claim. I also believe capitalism and money drive this country. I do not beleive for a second the wealthy will allow politicians to take away their freedoms or their money.

    Not sure I even come close to a satisfactory answer.

  36. I think that the ability to revolt is still a strong intrinsic in the American psyche–it has just been lying dormant for a long time. But Americans–and people in general–are extremely slow to respond to the erosion of their freedoms until that *last straw* breaks their back. The sad thing is that we will have to get to that last straw before Americans will revolt, and by that time their ability to revolt will have been hamstrung.

    In Germany, the last straw never even happened! They blithely followed the Nazi regime up to the very end. Many of them had no idea that there were extermination camps. They just felt their leader was good and Christian and they were glad to finally have a guy in charge who got things DONE. They didn’t think THEIR freedoms had been curtailed, just the freedoms of OTHER people who basically deserved what they got. For once they had a guy in charge who represented THEM and how THEY felt. The wealthy were especially happy with Hitler because Hitler was able to ensure their wealth. Of course after a few years, it would cost more to buy toilet paper than it would to use a few actual marks for that dubious honor.

    The framers of the Constitution were definitely NOT optimists, and neither am I. They understood what power does to the human nature. I understand how “amused” we are as Americans. And when you break that word down, it means “not thinking.”

  37. Bubba,

    I tend to also believe that people are basically good and want to do good things. As individuals. In group mode, it doesn’t seem to work that way. Nor does it always prevail in places of power. Remember; absolute power corrupts absoulutely. Our current administration seems bent on giving the presidential office absolute power.

    I agree that our revolution some two hundred years ago spoke well for us as a nation. But we have become complacent.

    Jim is right that it takes a “last straw”. Since you obviously know your history then you know that’s how it was with the colonists too. I for one don’t want to wait until it comes to that, for it will undoubtedly be very ugly.

    I also agree that the corporate biggies won’t allow too many of their freedoms to be erased, but they aren’t worried about the general populace. They don’t give a damn about how the constitution affects personal freedoms; only how it affects them and their own profits, so i wouldn’t count on them to save our freedom.


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