David Kirkpatrick

October 2, 2009

Sunset provisions in the PATRIOT Act …

… offer the Obama administration a great opportunity to overturn a set of horrible, privacy-violating and, most likely, un-Constitutional policies. And get back some of that civil liberties mojo many people voted for when they pulled the lever for Obama.

From the Cato Institute (the first) link:

Civil liberties advocates have hastily revived a campaign to support commonsense limits on government surveillance, but with health-care reform dominating headlines and anxieties about the Bush administration’s excesses fading like the memory of a bad dream, precious little attention is being paid to the PATRIOT renewal debate. But if the Senate declines to press for real reform this week, the issue is unlikely to be taken up again for at least another four years — during which those new powers will only become more entrenched, more heavily relied upon, and more difficult to roll back. It’s no exaggeration to say that today may well be the most important day of the Obama administration for privacy and civil liberties — or the biggest squandered opportunity.

August 29, 2009

The Bill of Rights, guns and political events

I’m a huge fan of our founding fathers and the greatest gift they handed down to all United States citizens — the Bill of Rights. Coming from autocracy they laid down in explicit detail the best way to counter such, and totally nailed the order of business. The first amendment protects speech (opinion, etc.) and the second the right to bear arms.

I’m a huge fan of both of those amendments, and in that order. I think open carry (or concealed for that matter) shouldn’t be an issue, but I understand someone having an problem with open carry at political events that become somewhat heated. Particularly open carry at events involving secret service agents who put their lives on the line every day. And especially after the previous occupant of the White House had people arrested for wearing t-shirts, much less packing heat.

All in all, I’d say this Daily Dish reader puts it best:

It is an implicit threat that, if health care comes to this country, him and his friends may have to get violent.  Or put another way, he’s hoping that by exercising his second amendment rights, he can scare people out of using their first amendment rights.  Even if this is legal, can’t we all agree that this is somewhat dickish?

December 16, 2008

Celebrating the 217th anniversary of the Bill of Rights

Filed under: et.al., Politics — Tags: , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 8:39 pm

Can’t believe I missed this yesterday, the actual anniversary of the ratification of the first ten amendments to the Constitution of the United States.

From the ACLU blog link:

Our march toward justice has been long and not without setback, but as the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. once reminded us, “the arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice.” His words have special resonance for me today, the 217th anniversary of the ratification of the Bill of Rights, as this dark period in history draws to a close. Under the guise of safety and security, we have endured continual assaults on the basic principles on which this country rests: civil rights and liberties, open and limited government and a basic respect for the rule of law. Come January, Americans could have an opportunity to restore the vitality of our Bill of Rights, and resume the struggle to turn America into the place that Dr. King dreamed of where “justice runs down like waters, and righteousness like a mighty stream.”

April 3, 2008

Domestic aspect to John Yoo’s torture memo

Filed under: Politics — Tags: , , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 2:17 am

I’m sure the interested web surfer has found plenty of information about the now declassified “torture” memo authored by John Yoo.

Here’s a Boing Boing post oulining a chilling domestic aspect to the memo. The Bush 43 regime essentially gutted the Bill of Rights on US soil.

The post:

Bush administration: Fourth Amendment doesn’t apply to domestic military operations

Danny sez, “Following on from the memo allowing torture overseas, Kurt Opsahl from EFF has spotted a footnoted reference to a memo from the Administration that says ‘our Office recently concluded that the Fourth Amendment had no application to domestic military operations.’ So, if you’re abroad and deemed an enemy combatant you can be tortured. If you’re in the US, and you’re caught up in a “military operation”, you lose the bill of rights. Where exactly is the constitution supposed to apply?” Link (Thanks, Danny!)