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A bunch more reasons why YOU are stupid as hell, America. - Adventures in Engineering — LiveJournal
The wanderings of a modern ronin.

Ben Cantrick
  Date: 2007-06-26 00:09
  Subject:   A bunch more reasons why YOU are stupid as hell, America.
Public
  Mood:Go back to sleep, America!
  Music:RAtM - Guerilla Radio
  Tags:  politics, usa not worth saving

These are all stories I found on Reddit in the last 24 hours...


Even today, more than four years into the war in Iraq, as many as four in 10 Americans (41 percent) still believe Saddam Hussein’s regime was directly involved in financing, planning or carrying out the terrorist attacks on 9/11, even though no evidence has surfaced to support a connection. A majority of Americans were similarly unable to pick Saudi Arabia in a multiple-choice question about the country where most of the 9/11 hijackers were born. Just 43 percent got it right—and a full 20 percent thought most came from Iraq.

Newsweek's "Dunce Cap Nation" - a nation-wide poll

41% of Americans polled also said they believed the earth is flat, and when asked how a spherical sun has never been observed casting an oblong shadow on our flat earth, stuck their fingers in their ears and chanted "Nanah, nanah, nanah!! I can't hear you!"



But it's not like it matters if the people vote anyway, does it? Not in a country where the rights of a corporation trumps the people's right to have verifiable election results!

A Florida appeals court has upheld a lower court decision that denies requests for an independent source code audit of voting machines used by Florida's 13th district, which suffered election irregularities in a highly controversial congressional race. The appeals court has chosen to support a lower court decision which asserts that forcing voting machine maker Election Systems and Software (ES&S) to provide source code access to independent security auditors would amount to "gutting the protections afforded those who own trade secrets."

http://arstechnica.com/news.ars/post/20070625-florida-appeals-court-says-trade-secret-protection-takes-priority-over-election-transparency.html



Oh well, so much for the people at large... but I supposed our government is still functioning okay, what with all that check and balance stuff our country's founders wisely put in the constitution?


Based on recent events, turns out the stuff I learned in Civics and U.S. History class was ALL wrong. Maybe this is a better way of describing the situation graphically. Our man Cheney, overlord of the universe. Sees all, directs all, answers to none.

http://www.ransom-note-typography.com/index.php/weblog/the_branches_of_government/



Well at least we take to the streets and protest when these morons make the stupidest laws imaginable, right?

Today, the United States Supreme Court granted public school administrators unchecked power to control student speech and expression, whether they are in school or not.

How will you wield the raw power previously reserved for despots?

"The Supreme Court tightened limits on student speech Monday, ruling against a high school student and his 14-foot-long "Bong Hits 4 Jesus" banner."

In Morse v. Frederick a high school student, Joseph Frederick, displayed a banner displaying a nonsensical message he once saw on a snowboard as the 2002 Olympic torch passed through his town. The student said that he unfurled the banner to to proclaim his rights to free speech in public.

His school principal, Deborah Morse, disagreed. She ran across the street, tore down the banner and suspended Frederick from school. The infraction? Holding up a banner at a non-school event not held on school property or during the school day. Frederick sued, claiming that his civil rights had been violated, and won all the way up through the appeals process until today.

""The message on Frederick's banner is cryptic," Roberts said. "But Principal Morse thought the banner would be interpreted by those viewing it as promoting illegal drug use, and that interpretation is plainly a reasonable one."

"Schools may prohibit student expression that can be interpreted as advocating drug use," Chief Justice John Roberts wrote for the court in a 5-4 ruling."

So, now cryptic speech is illegal? That would make the actions of most presidential candidates a crime. Oh yeah, but they don't go to school. Apparently, you the most fundamental American liberty, the First Amendment need not be afforded to students.

Here is the scariest part of this case. The standard for suspending the most basic of human rights is that a school official determines that the act or message may interfere with the educational mission of the school.

So, can a student disagree in a social studies class without fear of suspension? Political or religious views could be considered disruptive.

Can a student's education rights be terminated for telling a joke? Should social studies teachers debate Supreme Court cases in class? May a student oppose standardized testing or write a critical review of the school play? Is a student allowed to cry when she receives word that a parent has been killed in Iraq? Is that disruptive?

Is a student allowed to email her friend that she doesn't like her teacher? Can she write a letter to the newspaper complaining that the principal is corrupt, a bully or worse? Are there any whistleblower protections for students?


http://www.districtadministration.com/pulse/commentpost.aspx?news=no&postid=19426

You wanna talk about gutting the shit out of the first amendment? No disruptive speech - not even outside school hours! How long before this gets extended to college students? And then anyone under 25? And then anyone without a special "government-approved non-disruptive speech" permit?



Oh yes, did I also mention that the police have decided that they are in fact Stalin's NKVD - the Secret Police who did whatever they wanted without any consequences? Disappearance, torture, murder...

Brother Raymond and Elliott are surrounded by officers while preaching the gospel. The supervising officer claims if we continue to film he will charge elliott with a felony. Welcome to the New America.

http://www.infowars.com/articles/ps/police_vandalia_il_police_call_filming_a_felony.htm

Yeah, you read that right. Videotaping cops IN PUBLIC is a felony! Why do you ask, citizen?



But I'm sure the Democrats y'all elected to Congress will clean up everything, won't they!

I draw your attention to one further point buried in the middle of the Iran resolution:

"Whereas Iran has aggressively pursued a clandestine effort to arm itself with nuclear weapons...."

And that, as they say, is the ball game. In this manner, the Democratic House concedes, sanctifies, and gives its nearly unanimous support to the major propaganda point of the Bush-Cheney-Israel drive to war with Iran.

Two people - two - voted against the House resolution, Kucinich and Ron Paul. Of course, we all know they're just silly people, laughingstocks in fact. They aren't "serious." If you aren't committed to American hegemony, world empire, and the unprovoked murder of possibly millions of people, you aren't "serious." So they should shut up and go away somewhere.

Thank God the Democrats took back Congress. That's all I can say. Otherwise, who knows what might have happened! Why, we might be on our way to a nuclear world war!


http://powerofnarrative.blogspot.com/2007/06/empire-of-clowns-continues-on-its.html

The resolution passed 411 to 2.

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osmium_ocelot
  User: osmium_ocelot
  Date: 2007-06-26 13:23 (UTC)
  Subject:   (no subject)
Welcome to the fall of Rome.

The difference being the Dark Ages didn't have nukes.
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osmium_ocelot
  User: osmium_ocelot
  Date: 2007-06-28 01:35 (UTC)
  Subject:   About student free speech
You might wanna go and read the actual opinion SCOTUS handed down. It isn't nearly as bad as the article you cite makes it out to be. For starters, as a matter of law, SCOTUS found that the event in question was, in fact, during school hours and under school supervision. I wish I could find the nice bullet point synopsis I read earlier today, but it seems to have eluded me...

This is not to say that I agree with the decision, or that it was a good decision, only that it is not nearly as onerous as the article makes it out to be, and does not appear to have much threat of "functional creep".

Obviously, the decision is wrong; and it seems that SCOTUS spun the whole "drug speech" catagory out of whole cloth. What I really fear, is SCOTUS continuing to spin catagories of speech out of thin air, and thus making their "regulation" more palatable to the public at large. It allows the sheep to say "well, it's only student speech about endorsing drugs."... sooner or later it'll be something like "well, it's just liberal speech."

And really, what's wrong with endorsing recreational pharmaceuticals? As long as you're not causing anyone else any harm, I say go for it. It's your body, it doesn't belong to the government. Just don't fuck anybody else up in your experimentations.


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Ben Cantrick
  User: mackys
  Date: 2007-06-28 02:58 (UTC)
  Subject:   Re: About student free speech
We've always treated students like second-class citizens when it comes to their constitutional rights. In some cases, I'm fully in favor of that. I don't want high schoolers running around with guns in school, for instance. But when it comes to free speech? Shit man, I think they should be able to say anything they want, subject only to the same limitations that the rest of us face. (I.e., if you use your free speech to incite a riot, you're still responsible for the riot.)

So I'm not surprised to hear about this decision. But it's still disheartening. Especially when we had Tinker vs. Des Moines where it's evidently okay for students to wear black arm-bands in protest of the Vietnam war. But some silly banner with a nonesense slogan? THAT's across the line!! It just feels so unbelievably arbitrary. I understand there needs to be a line drawn, but I feel like the place we're drawing the line makes no sense.

The other thing that pisses me off is that if he had ben waving a sign that said "LEGALIZE bong hits for Jesus" that would have been constitutionally protected free speech, since it's advocating a political goal. I hope someone actually does that, in fact. I'd really like to see what the SC would do. They'd pretty much be forced to look stupid and gratuitously arbitrary no matter which way they went on that one.
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Ben Cantrick
  User: mackys
  Date: 2007-06-28 03:03 (UTC)
  Subject:   Incidentally...
My mom will likely be on NRP's Weekend Morning edition talking about this case and several other recent SC cases this weekend. If you hear Marianne Wesson talking, that's her. NPR actually had to find a recording studio here in Taos to record the interview. (She's going to the studio this Friday morning.)

The big case that she's really concerned about is the one where the SC justices basically have a chance to rule all race-based preferential treatment in colleges unconstitutional. She says if affirmitive action is struck down, it'll turn 90% of the universities in the country upside down. (The SC hasn't ruled on this case yet; supposed to happen this week or next.)
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