Saturday, December 3, 2011

A Little Activism: The NDAA and Dictatorship

I don't really intend to make this a blog for activism, but this is so serious I must discuss it. It's still quite on the down-low and not much discussed, but apparently there's a bill in the House of Representatives right now that has a tenant defining the United States as a "battleground," which means the military can act on American soil and do things against citizens such as arrest them without charge and imprison them in a military prison for life without due process. Read about it here. This has huge potential to be a tool of censorship and all kinds of physical coercion, and would turn the United States into a de facto dictatorship.

However, there are some confounding elements. For one, I've heard on OActivists that the power would be granted exclusively to the military, not any particular politician (such as Obama), so if it passes its evil could possibly be mitigated by military personnel not wanting to abuse the method for dictatorial purposes, though if left in place it can certainly evolve to that. Secondly, I strongly suspect that the worst politicians supporting this, those who DO want to use this as a tool of suppression and censorship, are trying to take advantage of the infamously short "public memory": Pass the controversial law now, and enact it later when everyone has forgotten about it. Obamacare was passed like this, as it had a quick legislative process and yet was set to go into effect at least four years later, and even after that many of its other tenets don't get enacted immediately; rather, they're employed piecemeal over the next decade, which is obviously a move to make sure this law is long forgotten once its consequences can be observed. By that time all sorts of other scapegoats can be called upon, used in justification for further statism.

It's our job to speak up while others aren't, and to both remember for ourselves and remind others so nobody forgets. Call and write to your representatives! The last I heard this is now in the House of Representatives, so look them up and send them a message. To be effective you don't have to be elaborate; politicians probably just count noses when it comes to learning the views of their constituents, so let them know where you stand.

Here's a sample piece I sent to my House Representative, Angie Chen Button, today:

Dear Ms. Button,

I have already contacted you twice about this matter -- I am not agitated or anything, and know it takes time to respond -- but this matter is too serious to leave matters alone with just one or two responses. I am writing again to ask you to OPPOSE or VOTE NO on the tenet of the National Defense Authorization Act which defines American soil as a battlefield, granting the military the power to act against American citizens with impunity, such as by arresting people without charge, trial, or ANY of the basic rights found in due process of law.

We are not Soviet Russia or Nazi Germany; we are America, the country founded on the principle of individual rights, which includes the right to due process of law (i.e. access to a lawyer, right to a fair trial, etc.). If this tenet is passed then America will become a de facto dictatorship.

Of course, the worst politicians supporting this are probably trying to take advantage of "public memory." Pass the controversial law now, and enact it years later after the public has forgotten all about it. However, I will not forget, and I won't keep quiet so that other people will not forget either. This could be hands-down the most serious issue that America has EVER faced, so PLEASE OPPOSE IT.

Best regards,
Benjamin

This has the potential to be the most serious issue America has ever faced, worse than Obamacare. Don't be idle and quiet, for then you will be responsible for bringing it about. I am in slight disbelief and am hoping to be proven wrong about my read of the situation, but I'm not going to act on that bit of skepticism. Use your freedom of speech while you have it; rights are meant to be used.

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