I spend a lot of time dealing with depressing subjects. With corruption at epidemic levels sometimes it’s hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel. Today is different. There are several news stories going around right now that are absolutely positive. These stores are a sign that America can get back on track and truly be the land of the free again.
As many of you know Obama has signed the NDAA. The legislation is highly controversial because it could allow for the indefinite detention of US citizens for being belligerent to the central government or for providing significant support to those engaged in hostilities towards he government. This is a very frightening prospect. Belligerent and hostile could mean anything. I myself have grave concern over this. Could my blog be considered belligerent and hostile to the government?
Clearly this provision of the NDAA is unconstitutional as it utterly violates several constitutional amendments. Fortunately for us US District Judge, Katherine Forrest agrees. According to Forrest the NDAA “failed to pass constitutional muster.” The Judge went on to say “There is a strong public interest in protecting rights guaranteed by the First Amendment. There is also a strong public interest in ensuring that due process rights guaranteed by the Fifth Amendment are protected by ensuring that ordinary citizens are able to understand the scope of conduct that could subject them to indefinite military detention.”
In short Forrest has halted the NDAA’s most chilling effect by barring the military from detaining US citizens pending an order from the court or an amendment to the statute by Congress. In other words that dog don’t hunt!
The good news does not end there. The NYPD has garnered a bad reputation for itself. Their brutality and callous disregard for the people’s right to free assembly has come under fire in the court of public opinion. I have written several articles criticizing the department for their overall misconduct (I loved you in Wall Street. Fried Bologna and NYPD Public Enemy #1). The NYPD has arrested hundreds of people since the Occupy Wall Street protests began. On New Year’s day a photographer, Alexander Arbuckle was arrested for disorderly conduct for allegedly blocking traffic during a protest march.
Fortunately Tim Pool, a well known journalist was shooting video at the time Arbuckle was apprehended. The video clearly exonerates Arbuckle who was consequently acquitted of the charge of disorderly conduct. Arbuckle along with several protesters was standing on the sidewalk. The only people blocking traffic were NYPD officers. Arbuckle’s defense insisted that this video proved the NYPD’s testimony was patently false. Fortunately the judge agreed.
Ironically Arbuckle was on the scene to show the NYPD’s side of the OWS story. He felt that they were being misrepresented in the media, however his acquittal coupled with Tim Pool’s video proves that the NYPD by and large is a fascist para-military organization. I am counting this as a major victory for the Occupy movement and hopefully this will be the first of many acquittals. Justice will not be served however until the NYPD officers who provided false testimony are charged with perjury.
Good things can happen if we the people stand up and demand change. We cannot rely on elected officials to do the right thing on their own. It is our patriotic duty to affect these changes ourselves.