I SHOULD HAVE KNOWN: Detain the ACLU

The original title of this piece was “Detain Lindsay Graham.”

I’m no fan of the South Carolina senator. Senators Graham(R), McCain(r), and Leven(D) are behind a piece of legislation that would designate America as part of a world wide battlefield, and allow the military to indefinitely detain Al Queda suspects wherever apprehended.  As he demonstrated during the uproar over the Florida Koran burning, Graham is no stickler on the niceties of constitutional protections.   I don’t know much about Leven, but the statute of limitations on exposing stupidity in war heroes ran out on McCain a long time ago.

When I heard abut this, I wondered why this story wasn’t bigger news  I ran across it in a comment posted to an article on more general constitutional issues on Pajamasmedia which linked me to the ACLU and the Hill.

The ACLU Had this to say:

In support of this harmful bill, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) explained that the bill will “basically say in law for the first time that the homeland is part of the battlefield” and people can be imprisoned without charge or trial “American citizen or not.” Another supporter, Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.) also declared that the bill is needed because “America is part of the battlefield.”

I couldn’t find exaclty were the quote came from,and there is no citation, as there is not for the following:

In response to proponents of the indefinite detention legislation who contend that the bill “applies to American citizens and designates the world as the battlefield,” and that the “heart of the issue is whether or not the United States is part of the battlefield,” Sen. Udall disagrees, and says that we can win this fight without worldwide war and worldwide indefinite detention.

Who these “proponents” are who make these contentions is again, not stated.

And it got me pretty worried, and I wasn’t buying McCain and Leven’s clarifications in the Washington Post, as quoted in the Hill.  There was quite an uproar across the blogsphere, but when I had read a number of online takes it hit me that I was getting hits mostlyon the left, and among the Ron Paul crowd, with many claiming that this provision could be extended to any body for any reason.

So I decided to read the bill.  Here’s the money shot:

SEC. 1032. REQUIREMENT FOR MILITARY CUSTODY.

    (a) Custody Pending Disposition Under Law of War-
      (1) IN GENERAL- Except as provided in paragraph (4), the Armed Forces of the United States shall hold a person described in paragraph (2) who is captured in the course of hostilities authorized by the Authorization for Use of Military Force (Public Law 107-40) in military custody pending disposition under the law of war.
      (2) COVERED PERSONS- The requirement in paragraph (1) shall apply to any person whose detention is authorized under section 1031 who is determined–
        (A) to be a member of, or part of, al-Qaeda or an associated force that acts in coordination with or pursuant to the direction of al-Qaeda; and
        (B) to have participated in the course of planning or carrying out an attack or attempted attack against the United States or its coalition partners.
      (3) DISPOSITION UNDER LAW OF WAR- For purposes of this subsection, the disposition of a person under the law of war has the meaning given in section 1031(c), except that no transfer otherwise described in paragraph (4) of that section shall be made unless consistent with the requirements of section 1033.
      (4) WAIVER FOR NATIONAL SECURITY- The Secretary of Defense may, in consultation with the Secretary of State and the Director of National Intelligence, waive the requirement of paragraph (1) if the Secretary submits to Congress a certification in writing that such a waiver is in the national security interests of the United States.
    (b) Applicability to United States Citizens and Lawful Resident Aliens-
      (1) UNITED STATES CITIZENS- The requirement to detain a person in military custody under this section does not extend to citizens of the United States.
      (2) LAWFUL RESIDENT ALIENS- The requirement to detain a person in military custody under this section does not extend to a lawful resident alien of the United States on the basis of conduct taking place within the United States, except to the extent permitted by the Constitution of the United States.

Not only does the provision not extend to American citizens, but it also excludes legally resident aliens, and it is limited to Al Queda or Al Queda related activities.

Much of the hysteria is therefore unwonted. Now, I have never liked that term “Homeland Security.”  It sounds translated from German. And it’s funny, during World War Two  we seemed to just fine with the FBI chasing spies in the U.S., so there are issues here.

The most troubling aspect of this furor for me is that once again we see the obsession with, or diversion to Al Queda, as Islamist regimes take power throughout the Middle East, and Muslim Brotherhood sympathizers and enablers  lobby on Capital Hill.  The “moderate Islamist”   leader of Tunisia’s Islamist party Ennadha holds forth there today, hosted by MPAC(Muslim American Political Action).   Not long ago we had a young Dominican  home grown jihadi picked up by NYPD.  Whether this focus on the tatters of the force that brought down the Twin Towers is ignornace, willful blindness, a calculated and cynical ploy to make us beleive that these guys in congress are “doing something”, or a combination of all of these, I don’t know.

What I do know Is that the Obama administration’s appeasement of Islam,  the failure of the opposition party on the whole to call him on it,  and the refusal of the political establishment of both parties, the media and academia’ to address the violence at the core of Islamic scripture are far greater dangers to American security than the remnants of Al Qeda could ever hope to be.

And you can’t trust the ACLU.   I knew that.

Occupy Wall Street: 99% Clueless

Image

Well, um, yeah. I guess we can agree on that

The movement got a an assist yesterday as major union components joined,  including NYC Teacher’s union locals, which may bring some focus to the movement.

The media have across the board commented that the protesters don’t seem to know what they want. They don’t much like capitalism, but they want jobs.  In that case, it must be government jobs.

Where does this guy think the money comes from to pay his salary? Oh yeah, the government prints it.

We don't like profits, but we want jobs. The "make jobs..." slogan is redolent of the 60s, but Code Pink are not the hippy chicks many of us fondly remember.

Teachers joining the protest may find that some of their former charges are not too happy with the course of their educations;  A tumblr site in which protesters hold up handwritten signs with thier unhappy stories has gotten major play with the Wahington Post, the Guardian, Pajamas Media and elsewhere.

A persistent theme is students, or graduates decrying their fates: no jobs and huge student loan debt, and often additional  credit card debt. What do students buy with their credit cards?

What is missing is what exactly these people were or are studying.

That's quite a resume, kid! BTW, what are you studying? Communications?

This is tough. But still, 80k in student loans to study what?

Could it really cost 85k to earn printer repair? Dont worry about the cats, dude. They are more resilient than a lot of people,

Hard times are here, and some of the stories sound pretty tough, but one is more struck by the utter guilelessness of whoever is running the site, since the majority of the posts are just plain laughable.  Apparently the plan is to whine the government into taking money from business and givng it to the protestors, so they can buystuff: like cat food.

Degree holding, but not necessarily overqualified barista

Another refrain is that graduates can’t find work in their (unstated) fields, so are reduced to menial jobs, like baristas.  Myself, I got a BA in history in 72, and after a few weeks of being turned down for entry level jobs whcih I naively thought the diploma qualified me, spent two and half years as an office boy and xerox clerk, before being promoted to an administrative job.

I have an MA, which I took because I wanted to, paid cash, at night. A lot of these kids must have spent plenty of dorm time watching “Friends “re-runs, and figured that was what was out there for them.  In “Friends,” Or “How I met Your Mother,” unemployment is just a one or two episode plot point.

Bad life choices figure in many cases, with people having children they clearly cannot afford, often without a spouse or partner.

I don’t like corporate bailouts, but these folks are missing the point: It was the government that bailed out the TBTFs.  After generations of indoctrination in our universities, and when public figures as prominent as the First Lady advise the young to stay away from corporate employment, the attitudes shown here are not surprising.  I spent 30 years working for large corporations, and I’m glad to be past it now.  But it paid the bills, and as I knew full well that I had not trained in any marketable skill, I was grateful.

It’s easy enough to track the growth of government spending on higher education, and the cost of degrees, to find a match, but that kind of iron clad economic cause and effect doesn’t produce “economic justice.”

Consider “It’s Money That Matters” by Randy Newman.

Of all of the people that I used to know
Most never adjusted to the great big world
I see them lurking in book stores
Working for the Public Radio
Carrying their babies around in a sack on their back
Moving careful and slow

This would seem to describe a lot of the 99ers.  “Lurking” would appear to imply some disapproval,  but Mr. Newman goes on to say:

All of these people are much brighter than I
In any fair system they would flourish and thrive
But they barely survive
They eke out a living and they barely survive

So, a “fair” system is one in which MFAs can do whatever they do, at a “living wage.”  He then goes on to a vignette of one of the undeserving rich.

27, and a hundrd grand in the hole. Not clear for what, but probably not education, as she doesn't seem to now where babies come from

Then I talked to a man lived up on the county line
I was washing his car with a friend of mine
He was a little fat guy in a red jumpsuit
I said “You look kind of funny”
He said “I know that I do”

“But I got a great big house on the hill here
And a great big blonde wife inside it
And a great big pool in my backyard and another great big pool
beside it

The rich guy is just some square from flyover country(“county line,” a hick who lives way out of town)  definitely not urban chic, no black tee shirt, kaffiyeh, or Mother Africa beanie.
Somehow, I’ll put my money on the guy in the red jumpsuit.  While some commenters on the right side blogs are seeing Occupy as a harbinger of civic unrest, even uprisings, I doubt it.

Red Cavalry, Russia, Ca 1920

These bookstore lurkers don’t’ have it in them to be real revolutionaries. And the heirs of the real revolutions of the last century found eventually that Newman has one thing right:

It’s money that matters
Now you know that it’s true
It’s money that matters
Whatever you do.”

99ers are racist. Coz they are mostly white. I went through ten of the fifty pages( as much as I could stand), and I only found this one young lady who is of african descent.

The songwriter means this ironically, rather than a concise understanding of economics.  He shows the same simple and unfocused resentment as do the 99ers.  They would just as fruitfully resent gravity.

Money isn’t free; nothing is, And if money does cease to matter, it will be  because it has become worthless.

I'm not sure what to say about these two.