Daily Topics - Monday April 5 2010
Hour One - Has the militarization of our police departments cost us our 4th Amendment rights?
Hour Two - Is the Obama Administration really worse than the Bushies when it comes to illegal wiretapping? Jon Eisenberg, Attorney for Al-Haramain Charity www.eandhlaw.com
Hour Three - Who's really behind the right wing attack on climate scientists Jim Hightower www.jimhightower.com
Plus...The right wing "Conspiracy of Silence" Gov. Don Siegelman former Governor of Alabama 1999-2003 www.donsiegelman.org (and www.donsiegelman.com)
Mark K: I was listening to Norman Goldman on Friday, and he observed that the reason that people in the Tea Party movement think Obama is a socialist or a communist is not because he is, as we all know he isn’t—it is because their own positions are so extreme that any position a few yards down the field in the opposite direction seems like communism.
However, like Ed Schultz, Goldman does have his flaws. Goldman apparently had praised the Pilgrims for being morally aboveboard and the “ideal” of what Americans ought to be. A caller who wanted to correct that perception noted that the Pilgrims were not entirely the epitome of righteousness; in the early years they obtaimed ample assistance from the Native Americans in the region—and when that wasn’t enough, they stole grain that was stored in Indian grave sites to assist the deceased in the next world. Goldman apparently didn’t believe any of this, and subtly demeaned the caller by asking her if she believed everything she read on the Internet (she wasn’t allowed to respond).
What does the historical record show? It shows that Plymouth chroniclers freely admit to finding “abandoned” corn fields and “freshly buried” baskets of corn in “abandoned” settlements as well as grave yards, the latter perhaps as food for the next world just as the ancient Egyptians buried food with their dead. It is admitted that the Pilgrims helped themselves to these comestibles without asking the owners. The Indian grave robbing charge goes somewhat beyond petty theft, which is why such claims are bound to excite adverse reactions from both the accused and accuser. Commentators from the right and defenders of America’s “heritage” prefer to think that people who point out that white America’s cherished myths are precisely that are engaging in “revisionist” history to appease the “multicultural” element. They would point to Edward Winslow’s account of the settlers who landed at Plymouth Rock (there is some dispute about where they actually landed) as “respecting” one Indian grave site out of fear of sacrilege. Unfortunately for this perspective, there is nothing to revise, since we also have Winslow’s compatriot William Bradford’s contemporary account of a subsequent discovery:
“When we had marched five or six myles into the Woods and could find no signes of any people, we returned againe another way, and as we came into the plaine ground, wee found a place like a grave, but it was much bigger and longer than any we had yet seene. It was also covered with boords, so as we mused what it should be, and resolved to digge it up; where we found first a Matt, and under that a fayre Bow, and there another Matt, and under that a boord about three quarters long finely carved and paynted, with three tynes or broches on the top, like a Crowne; also betweene the Matts we found Boules, Trayes, Dishes, and such like Trinkets.”
Yes Norm, they were engaged in grave robbing. We can thus assume that Bradford and his men were of a more sacrilegious bent that what Winslow would suggest. Bradford also mentions encountering an even larger grave site, which they assumed contained even greater “treasure.” He claims they found a corpse with fair hair, and the assumption was that he was a “Christian man.” However, this didn’t stop them from plundering this grave as well.
Another contemporary account notes that the men of Plymouth defaced the monument of the dead at a site called Passonagesset, robbing the hearse cloth (“two great bearskins”) that was put over the grave of the mother of a local chief named Chickataubut. The chronicler notes that this action upset Chickataubut; after he gave an “oration re vision of mother and appeal re desecration.” He gathered together a band of warriors to wreak vengeance; the chronicler describes the subsequent confrontation as such: “To arms! Plymouth boat landing – ‘battle’ forced them to leave. Chickataubut shot in elbow and fled. All followed.”
Would we not expect Bradford and Winslow to prefer to put themselves in the best light by being parsimonious with details concerning their activities and motives in regard to the Native Americans, given their belief in their own “Godliness?” It stands to reason. Historians note that Winslow’s religious superstitions in regard to their first encounter with an Indian grave site are the only example in their accounts that suggest that the Pilgrims had any moral or ethical reservations about their dealings with the native inhabitants. Robbing Indian grave sites has had a rather long and sordid history in the U.S., so why wouldn’t the Pilgrims eventually be involved in it too? Defenders of the European invasion like to critique the Native American response as being “unfriendly,” so they had to treat them in a “like manner.” Of course the question then is how would they have feel if their lands were invaded by a unknown people from far across the sea, their food stocks stolen, their sacred sites ransacked? Wouldn’t they fight to protect them too?
Who's watching the Watchmen?
I'm glad that Thom is pointing out that public paranoia has allowed an atmosphere conducive to a militarized police, as long as the "right" people are targetted. But as the woman in the audio Thom played found out, the police can pretty much do anything against anyone they want so long as it isn't a public figure or a billionaire who has the money to hire lawyers who can take the police to the cleaners or provide unwanted publicity. We may not want the president to have such powers to authorize the police and military to go about using unmitigated power against anyone, but unfortunately that is what an unduly fearful public allowed the Bush administration to implement, and even now much of the electorate still thinks this is necessary.
I'm beginning to feel that I'm living in Joe McCarthy's ideal world. I suppose I should pretend that's ++good
I used to live in St Pete/Clearwater FL and the police are truly scary there. It's one of the reasons we moved out of Florida.
I sooooooooo want an amphibious troop carrier!!!!! for FREE!!!
re: How does it feel to have 15 guns pointed at your head?
Like living in the land of the free, home of the brave!
Farging Ron-Dog Reagan yet again . . .
In Kent, WA I saw what I knew to be an unmarked police car, with an officer watching riders off load the buses at a park and ride. I walked toward the car, which was gray with a black grill that stuck out like a facemask on a football helmet. The officer inside was watching me, and so I waved at him at yelled out "You aren't fooling anyone." This officer got out of the car and demanded to know what I said. I told him what I said, and kept walking. He told me to "come over here;" but I kept walking, pretending not to hear him. I guess he decided he didn't want to have to explain roughing me up by taking the matter further. I also recall a "Get to know your police" event in Republican Bellevue some years ago, in a mostly minority and immigrant neighborhood. It was more like "Get to know all the firepower we can threaten you with," showing observers all manner of weaponry big and small.
Thom mentioned the short wave radio stations picking up on the McCain Liebermann bill, they did when it was first introduced a few weeks back. My local cops look like they are geared up for battle in Baghdad. I bet if I asked where the insurgents are hanging out I would get a laugh because I don't think that they are all that happy about it.
Mysterious FIoating Head said: "I sooooooooo want an amphibious troop carrier!!!!! for FREE!!!
Me, too! Finally I'll be able to bring peace and democracy to my aquarium!
And I'll finally feel safe in my bathtub!
Seriously . . . Ex-Governor/Ex-President Reagan is worse than the clap . . . He keeps giving and giving AND can’t be eradicated with penicillin even from the grave. His cold hand is strangling public education in California yet again AND this crapola and the economy . . .
Fascinating show. I had a recent encounter with the Detroit Police, and while they didn't drive a tank to my house, they did come beating on my door in the suburbs to question 'suspicious activity' in which I was apparently engaged. I am an amateur photographer and often visit Detroit, taking pictures of the city wrecked by the auto industry. Apparently while in an area of mostly abandoned warehouses taking photos, a utility worker took down my plates and gave them to the cops. The officer called and left a message, I called back and he spent about half an hour questioning me, two separate calls. He wanted to know what I was doing, what I was going to do with the photos, why I take pictures, etc. Then when he called back a second time, he wanted a lot more personal information, who I am, where I went to school (I grew up in Detroit), am I married, am I employed, etc. Then he wanted me to send him copies of the photos. I'm guessing he created a file on me and now my name floats around in some government databases as someone to watch.
If you want to know more about intrusions on our rights, check out www.beatthechip.org. Sheila Dean does a podcast when she can (blogtalk radio has possibly been interferring with her broadcast.) Naomi Klein of "The Shock Doctrine" has endorsed this program.
On the Shoulders of Giants?
Here is a statement that I think all Americans, on the left, in the center, or on the right, can agree with - "We stand on the shoulders of giants." Any disagreement with regard to this statement, I think, may begin with the identity of the giants. We ALL think we know who they are ... but we tend to think differently.
Progressives recognize that whetever new and wonderful technology is in development today is based upon inventions of the past. Would we have smart phones today without the works of Bell and Marconi, without the pioneering early work of the developers of television and computer technology? Of course not! The left recognizes these men as the giants upon whose shoulders we stand - their work made the items we depend upon today possible. If you doubt that, then the next time you take a seat upon a toilet, ask yourself if YOUR presence on the Earth will have anywhere near the positive impact of a man like John Crapper's?
The American ruling elite, however, identify the giants quite differently - they see THEMSELVES as the giants, upon whose shoulders EVERYBODY ELSE stands ... and ungratefully so, at that. Monsanto really does believe that we'd all starve to death without their GMOs - they feed us, we depend on them to, and yet we hate them for holding the food supply hostage. The owners of the businesses that comprise our Health Care Infrastructure (Hospitals, Drug Companies, Insurance Companies, etc.) somehow believe that THEY are completely responsible for keeping us healthy, and yet we resent them for it. And on and on it goes, the "elite" believeing that the rest of us exist only by the sweat of their brows, and that they are derided in the media and punished by taxation for their efforts.
We on the left recognize that taxation is NOT punishment - it's the price of admission into society, and it's the debt that we owe to the REAL giants, who came before us.
I have been raging about President Obama running the third term of George W Bush for a little over a year now. If it weren’t for the amount of factual evidence, I would swear that I should be wearing a tin-foil hat. Other than better press handling, there is little difference between the DLC White House and the Chimp-in-Charge's.
So McCain and Leiberman want to return the U.S. to a monarchy - where the king can put you in the dungeon to rot. Great going, guys!
Do they realize that THEY are subject to their own law? Of course not - that would require a brain.
"The government is best which governs the least" - Henry David Thoreau.
The right would have you believe this statement is true when applying government to the oversight of business.
However, I'm certain Thoreau had in mind the same topic Thom has been discussing today. That a government that shows the most respect to its citizens, and does its upmost to protect its rights, is the best form of government.
Thoreaus' Civil Disobediance is an excellent read, if such topics interest you.
@mstaggerlee: you wrote:"On the Shoulders of Giants?"
My favorite was 5'6" Martin Van Buren.
Why do I get the woogie-woogie hair on the back of the neck standing up feeling that hetro-lifemate Senators LIEberman and McInsane are simply caring the water for the White House again?
@Radlof - Sorry, Richard, but isn't JohnnyMac the guy who promised no MORE co-operation with the White House and the Democratic agenda? So, I doubt there's any "water carrying" goin' on here.
Ya gotta love the irony of that McCain statement, though - is LESS co-operation than has been shown thus far even POSSIBLE?
speaking up for cops, yeah, they are under tremendous pressure from their bosses not to MISS something that later proves deadly.
I think Karzai is doing what he thinks is his best option to survive and prosper.
I'm watching corporate whore Maria Bartolomeo of CNBC talking about her new book about rules for success. This is on Tavis Smiley. she;s obviously just back from vacation, sun burned face except where her Foster=Grants sit. Im not listening, just watching. Now Im listening. Im planning on e mailiing Smiley excoriating him for having such a sleeze on his show.
Her first rule of success: "Suck like your life depends on it."
errata: her last name is Bartiremo or something like that.
@mstaggerlee: Senator Lieberman negotiated to produce Richard Nixon’s Health Insurance Plan for the DLC Whitehouse this year . . .
Senator Grumpy Grampy “Get off my lawn” is making statements that he has real jack-booted authoritarian bone fides because Hayworth is way more insane than he BUT he is an untamed pony . . .
She says "you won;t be successful unless you have integrity." :D
Maria Bartiromo extolling integrity is like Satan extolling regular church attendance.
Somehow, with the new format I am the poster formerly known as Zero G...
The drug war exception to the Fourth Amendment goes back to Richard Nixon, who coined the phrase "war on drugs."
Did Rahm Emanuel leave Don Siegelman to Karl Rove's wolves?
Revealed: Rahm Emanuel Nixed DOJ Review of Political Prosecutions of Don Siegelman and Paul MinorBy Brendan DeMelle
March 25, 2010
Hey Robert S./ Zero G. Yeah, your photo looks different, too.
You may have to go back to your "account" and update it to get Zero G back, tho i didnt have to do anything.
That's where Satan does his best recruiting...
What f'ing retard is standing in the way of doing those things, Don, hmmm?
Third Term o' GWB: AG the AG replace by Eric "Human rights are such the bother" Holder . . .
"the Constitution?...Eric Holder in abeyance." -harry ashburn
Except when Rove is screwing you hardly notice.
Siegelman would have never been victimized if not for the spread-legs press.
DLC Democrats are often more dangerous to the nation than their GOPher predecessors, ei. Clinton pushed through NAFTA, the repeal of Glass-Stiegel, welfare deform, and increased cannibis enforcement policies...
Obama has continued the use of the US Constitution as just so much toilet paper.
Silly me, mispeling cannabis...
“By God we are going to hit the marijuana thing, and I want to hit it right square in the puss, I want to find a way of putting more on that.” - Chairman RMN
“You have to face the fact that the whole problem is really the blacks. The key is to devise a system that recognizes this all while not appearing to.” - Chairman RMN
they say marijuana hinders your short term....um..... I just got a new toothbrush.
@ Zero G & Richard,
You're absolutely right on. The current admin is blessing and legitimizing the previous four administrations and their pro-corporate agenda. Corporate America loves a Republican in Democratic clothing, white washing the lunacy of Republican doctrine by stamping OK with a rubbery Democratic stance.
Even FDR was supposed to be a Corporate schill, really pissed off a lot of his class by standing for the common man.
The system is rigged, don't know how it will be changed, even by those who try to work within it.
Is it really so "very, very, ugly" that donations to Rethuglicans will now be split between the RNC and this new PAC? I don't see it that way. I say that it should be our hope that right wing money will be divided to flow in as many different directions as possible, while the left supports single candidates. When I step into the voting booth in November, I want to see the same name on Rows B (Democratic) and D (Liberal), and different names on Rows A (Republican), C (Conservative), E (Right-To-Life), F(Tea Party), and maybe even a few other rows for the Cons to choose from.
Let THEM try to herd cats for a change!
Yeah, thom opines the Pres. is playing chess, or that kind of karate, whaddaya call it.. but i dunno...
And now for something completely different:
Event Horizon: War on Physics?by Sean Gonsalves
Does the American Enterprise Institute, or a member thereof, really want to bomb the LHC? Follow the link...
We have got to NOT be afraid.
We have GOT to be strong.
Mark K: As you may have heard, at a recent Tea Party event Sean Hannity “praised” the partiers as “Timothy McVeigh wannabes.” Hannity had a day before criticized those who would make the comparison, but if he expected his audience to take offense, he was badly mistaken—judging from the crowd’s lusty applause that rather suggested that they approved of this comparison. Meanwhile, as evidence that the mainstream media continues to turn a blind eye to the reality of the Tea Party movement, there was a story in the Washington Post last week which referred to the tea partiers’ (funny how quickly it changed from teabaggers) “ideals” and how they might have to “compromise” in the name of “pragmatism” because it is a “fledgling” movement. The reality is that Tea Party movement is hardly a “fledgling” movement; it is just another name for the right-wing extremists who lay dormant while Republicans are thrashing the country, and then come out of the woodwork when someone left of extreme right is president. As for their “ideals,” we’ve seen this kind of thing before. When Newt Gingrich’s “new breed” of Republican congresspersons took over in the 1994, many of them promised to observe voluntary term limits, leaving after one or two terms. That didn’t happened, did it? They just got greedy just like the rest.