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Tuesday, September 12, 2006

'We had to Burn the Constitution to Save it...'

I'm not going to go into Rush Limbaugh's entire 9/11 wankfest. It's pretty much exactly what you'd expect -- 90% partisan horsecrap, 5% shameless opportunism, 3% bluster, and the final 2% is made up of the phrases 'ladies and gentleman' and 'my frie-e-e-nds'. In telling listeners that 'America is at war with Islamofascism, and American liberals are at war with America', Rush reveals a very deep misunderstanding of what the words 'America' and 'American' mean. We'll just grab part of one paragraph to illustrate the point -- no need to give this anti-american blowhard another soapbox (emphasis mine):

So here we are five years later, some Americans who have never been deprived of personal liberty at all view the war as a political game. Partisan journalists who abuse First Amendment privileges routinely leak national defense secrets. An entire political party solely intent on regaining its power has lost all clarity and has descended into the early stages of huff, puff, bleat, wheeze, blah, blah, blah, my frie-e-e-nds...

There's a difference between rights and privileges, Rush. Rights, you're born with. Privileges are conferred by law. Free speech is an inherent right -- it's an aspect of liberty (that's one of those 'inalienable rights', by the way). A privilege is something like driving a car -- the government can stop you from driving your car pretty much any time it wants. For someone who makes their living speaking, Limbaugh doesn't really seem to get the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States -- or worse, he doesn't want you to get it.

So, I'm not a big fan of Rush Limbaugh. Here's a guy I am a fan of; Greg Palast:

It’s true. It’s weird. It’s nuts. The Department of Homeland Security, after a five-year hunt for Osama, has finally brought charges against… Greg Palast. I kid you not. Send your cakes with files to the Air America wing at Guantanamo.

Though not just yet. Fatherland Security has informed me that television producer Matt Pascarella and I have been charged with unauthorized filming of a “critical national security structure” in Louisiana.

On August 22, for LinkTV and Democracy Now! we videotaped the thousands of Katrina evacuees still held behind a barbed wire in a trailer park encampment a hundred miles from New Orleans. It’s been a year since the hurricane and 73,000 POW’s (Prisoners of W) are still in this aluminum ghetto in the middle of nowhere. One resident, Pamela Lewis said, “It is a prison set-up” — except there are no home furloughs for these inmates because they no longer have homes.

To give a sense of the full flavor and smell of the place, we wanted to show that this human parking lot, with kids and elderly, is nearly adjacent to the Exxon Oil refinery, the nation’s second largest, a chemical-belching behemoth.

So we filmed it. Without Big Brother’s authorization. Uh, oh. Apparently, the broadcast of these stinking smokestacks tipped off Osama that, if his assassins pose as poor Black folk, they can get a cramped Airstream right next to a “critical infrastructure” asset.

So now Matt and I have a “criminal complaint” lodged against us with the feds.

Lest you think Palast and Pascarella were giving away state secrets by showing an oil refinery on the TV, he provides us with this photo from Google maps. It turns out the giant refinery isn't actually a secret refinery.

So it seems that the Dept. of Homeland Security is of the same opinion as Limbaugh -- a free press isn't a right, it's a privilege.

Screw the Constitution, the founders had a pre-9/11 mindset.

What gets me is that these rightwing morons -- both elected and unelected -- keep reminding us that 'terrorists want to take our freedoms'. I want to win a Pulitzer for this blog, but I don't stand a realistic chance in hell of doing it. For five years we've been told that terrorists want to take over the US, but no one's ever explained how they could possibly achieve this pretty much impossible task.

Our freedoms aren't at risk from terrorists, our freedom is at risk from people who'd throw them all away to fight terrorists. If we start giving up the liberties guaranteed by the Bill of Rights, what freedoms will terrorists be able to take away?


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