Secret Prisons?

September 6, 2006

AP is reporting that Bush admitted to making secret prisons in his latest speech. Having a speech about various terrorist fighting tactics and summing it up that way is simply an attempt to define Bush’s terrorist techniques as an illegal power grab. Of course there are enough CIA employees to talk about how wonderful it is that they don’t have to worry about the program anymore. As PowerLine points out this is a misrepresentation of the speech in which he simply said that terrorists were being detained outside the US, a completely different statement. But after PlameGate blew up the media needs something, anything to talk about. Now I’d be disappointed if we didn’t have a secret prison somewhere to get a good interrogation. The worst thing is that the news ignores the other points which is that unconventional means are needed to stop these terrorists. In fact the media’s main point is that Bush is running over the Constitution for no good reason. The AP may not want to cover the fact that the terrorists are more dangerous than the CIA but its true.

Congress shall make no law to abridge the freedom of speech.

September 5, 2006

The 300 days in the year of freedom are over. Now the incumbents can’t be criticized in any ads. I like McCain mostly, but his support for this bill alone is enough to have a contempt for him. Because it claimed to reform the political process it got passed through both houses and Bush signed it. Bush tried to get cute with a signing statement about how he didn’t think it was constitutional but he would let it go. He left it to the Supreme Court because he thought he could avoid the political heat and get rid of the law. Unfortunately, Bush didn’t realize that O’Connerisn’t a realible vote for freedom of speech in this issue and so the court said it was constitutional. America is a market economy. Are greatest freedom is our freedom to spend our money as we wish and to support the candidates with this money. In fact a law like this was pretty much exactly what the freedom of speech clause was intended to stop. Why is it right for a politician to spend 1 million dollars of my money on a state park but wrong for me to spend 1 million dollars in opposition. In the meantime the media is left free to carry the interviews of the incumbent as he describes how much good he’s doing for his district and how his opponent is worthless. This law will eventually be viewed the same way we view the “Alien and Sedition” acts. Hopefully we will repeal the laws as quickly as Jefferson did.

It seems deeply disturbing to me that the other branches of government and the people have ceded their constitutional authority to the courts to decide what is constitutional. We no longer put a constitutional test on laws at the legislative level. In addition we have completely given up on our right to amend the constitution because we feel unworthy. I’m deeply disturbed by this path because the constitution isn’t perfect or unfixable. Amendments could provide an important check on the courts as well as the future majority of people. But we refuse, and we say “It’s not our place to amend the Constitution.” It doesn’t help that the most popular amendment protects an inanimate object to protect our feelings of shock and outrage. Seriously why shouldn’t we have an amendment for term limits. A bad amendment is far better than a bad court decision because a bad amendment doesn’t have the same mystique and we are willing to deal with it. So what should amendments 28-30 be?