The act is aimed at enemy combatants that are fighting against our forces who do not wear a uniform. It calls these people "unlawful enemy combatants"
I do not care who this act is aimed
at, I care about who it can affect (which is everybody on Earth). If I judged government actions based on who they were intended
to affect, I wouldn't have much of a clue of how the system works. The War on Drugs is intended
to protect people (from themselves), but it causes wanton harm, death, and destruction in this country and others. The USA PATRIOT Act was intended
to give law enforcement and intelligence organizations the "tools they needed" to detect, pursue, and capture terrorists -- but we now know that law enforcement and intelligence organizations have largely used the new powers in counter-drug cases rather than terrorism ones.
The fact is, the Military Commissions Act of 2006 is a grevious usurpation of our liberty, perpetrated on the American people by the war-hawk neoconservatives of the Bush-Cheney dynasty. You prove my point in bullet II defining an "unlawful enemy combatant."
MrBungle [emphasis mine]
(ii) a person who, before, on, or after the date of the enactment of the Military Commissions Act of 2006, has been determined to be an unlawful enemy combatant by a Combatant Status Review Tribunal or another competent tribunal established under the authority of the President or the Secretary of Defense.
This clause enables the Military Commissions Act of 2006 to be used against American citizens. This clause verifies the claims I made about the Military Commissions Act of 2006. The President or the Secretary of Defense can drum up any ol' tribunal to "determine" someone to be an "unlawful enemy combatant."
Then, once that happens, the government can then deny you the right to a speedy trial (5th Amendment), the right against unreasonable search and seizure (4th Amendment), and more. Explain to me how liberals
see the Constitution as an obstacle, again? Because it's the Republicans who actually treated it as such
with the passage of this law (and the USA PATRIOT Act).
MrBungle [emphasis mine]
If you're in a war zone fighting against the us military you're not a criminal, you wont be tried as a criminal, you'll be held as a POW until the war is over then tried for war crimes. That is what the act is meant to allow. You make it sound like they're out picking up random people off the street and hauling them off to jail and holding them because they can.
...y-yes, that is what I'm making it sound like, because that is literally what we're doing. Have you read anything about Guantanamo Bay, I dunno, ever?!? Do you understand why it's so difficult for us to figure out what to do with our detainees over there? Because it's evident that you don't.
You see, in 2001 and 2003, a couple of braindead idiots decided to carry our country into two wars that would benefit the American people in no way whatsoever (history will later teach us that these wars were actually detrimental
, on the whole, for the American people -- but that's a later chapter). These wars are part of the romantically-named "War on Terror," a nebulous and ill-defined concept that was invented following the September 11th, 2001 terrorist attacks that killed ~2,500 American citizens. In the course of these wars, we have conducted raids on homes, villages, and buildings that we
suspect to be sympathetic to the terrorist cause.
The key term here is "suspect." Some of the people we detained during raids are genuinely dangerous, horrible people who should never see the light of day. Some of them are taxi drivers who happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. Now they're in the wrong place again -- Guantanamo Bay.
Why? For driving Osama bin Laden from the mosque to Uncle Ahmed's poppy field in Kabul? That's not a crime, yet we deprived a human being of their liberty (by detaining them without their consent, and locking them up in Guantanamo) without due process, and worst of all, without any chance of being heard by their peers. Guilty until proven innocent, how very... American
The constitution applies to US citizens not people engaged in war against the United States.
Actually, no, it doesn't. The Constitution only applies to the government, by specifically enumerating what it can do. Whatever isn't in there, the government can't do - and the government can't magically deny you free speech because you aren't a U.S. citizen (and I would find it hard to believe you would actually support that policy).
Now, explain to me where, in the Bill of Rights, it says the words "U.S. citizen?" I believe it says "the people." Moreover, you and the rest of Conservative Punditdom (thankfully) aren't in charge of interpreting the Constitution. The Supreme Court is, and it has heard many
cases throughout history dealing with the U.S. Constitution and how the powers enumerated to government apply in issues dealing with foreigners.
In fact, the case Boumediene v. Bush
challenged this very notion by calling into question the Constitutionality of the Military Commissions Act which we discuss. The Supreme Court held that it was unconstitutional for the Military Commissions Act to deny habeus corpus to Guantanamo Bay detainees (how many of them are American citizens, do you think?)
The thing is I fundamentally believe that people need to take care of themselves.
And what if they cannot? Let them die?
What I don't want to see is millions of people that get health insurance paid for by the tax payers by simply existing.
You don't think that some of those millions of people getting health insurance are taxpayers themselves?
It says that we have freedom of speech, freedom of religion, the right to keep and bear arms, that our representatives are elected and that they serve terms of predetermined lengths. These ideas are not obsolete and they will remain valid unless there is a fundamental change in human nature.
Right. So, if they're not obsolete (which I agree that they aren't), and were implemented into a new Constitution... then what would hold you back from supporting a new Constitution?
The constitution is meant to provide the foundation for the functions of the federal government and protect the rights of the citizens from the government overstepping its bounds.
Agreed. Now what about business overstepping its bounds by encroaching on the rights of the individual?
I reject this not as a knee-jerk reaction but because I do not believe that our rights are granted by the government.
If you're a person like myself you believe in the idea of "natural rights". Natural rights are something that every person is born with, they are not granted by the government and you do not need anything but your own body to exercise them. You have the right to life, the right to make choices for yourself (liberty), the right to possess property, the right to think and speak freely, the right to defend yourself, etc...
I reject the idea that you can "grant" me any extra rights through some "ideal constitution" because nobody has the ability to grant rights, not you, not the government, nobody.
I agree. I may have worded it wrong. Let me put it this way:
You have certain natural rights that the U.S. Constitution (the document that currently serves as the supreme law of the land) is designed to protect. However, under the current system, there are some exercises of liberty that are not only prohibited, but are punishable by law.
In short, your natural rights are being constrained by the very system you insist protects them.
What many people on the left like to do is start calling essential services "rights" and make justifications for what they are doing by making purely emotional arguments that are not based on economic reality.
I'd say this isn't a partisan trait. I remember many, MANY appeals to emotion made by the right-wing in order to drum up support for invading another sovereign nation.
"You're either with us or you're against us."
"Do you want to fight terrorists on our shores, or in their land?"
"Support our troops!" (Codename for: "Support the war!")
Big business is beholden to the public because the majority of large corporations are publicly traded.
Public trading = shareholders. If that's the system you claim makes business "beholden to the public," then you're kidding yourself. Shareholders are the reason that big companies are dicks. Shareholders, specifically, shareholders with voting power, get to control the group of people that controls the company. If the company doesn't do well, then the shareholders will probably fire some folks from the executive board.
Thus, members of the executive board (the CEO's, the COO's, the CTO's, the CFO's, etc.) have an incentive to keep the company profitable -- and because it's their job that's at stake, they will keep the company profitable by any means possible. This may mean cutting corners like only having two SATA ports per motherboard, even though the chipset for that motherboard can support up to six SATA ports. The ability for a consumer to upgrade his or her product means that his or her product will last him or her much longer, which means that he or she won't be buying a new computer anytime soon.
That means less profits, which means the CEO might lose his job. Cut corners, save job.
I reject the notion that business exists to rape, pillage and plunder their way into every dollar that they can get their greedy paws on.
As do I... but I'm also not so naive as to think that they're out for our best interests. Make no mistake: Business, specifically big
business, exists to make a profit. That is their first goal. That means that they will try to genuinely improve the product(s) and/or service(s) that they offer, which improves our quality of life.
But you blithely overlook what it also means: That businesses, in addition to genuinely out-competing one another in a manner that results in benefits to society (e.g. the improvement in technology, reduction in cost, etc.), also try to compete with one another in the television set with misleading advertising, or try to compete with one another in the courtroom to solidify anti-competitive positions.
Look at literally every industry
. Telecommunications companies don't compete based on quality of service, they compete with handset lineup first
and quality of service second. Look at internet service providers. The United States has among the slowest average internet speeds among the first world countries. Our average internet speed in 2008 was actually faster
than our average internet speed in 2009 (yes, that means we decreased
over time). Look at banks, which literally f**ked over our entire economy and intensified our inevitable spin towards decadence and collapse. Look at airlines, which have consistently reduced their service and increased their price. Look at our energy industry, predominantly powered by fossil fuels -- the United States has had record numbers of blackouts this year.
I'm sorry, but business, while essential to the rapid progression and advancement of citizen's technology, cannot and should not exist without some force that holds it accountable to the people. That force is called government.
The genius of capitalism is that it uses greed against itself, sure greed is what drives people to try and make money, but they know that too much greed will cause them to lose favor with their customers and they will lose money if that happens so good business people will temper that greed. It also keeps prices as fair as possible with the technology available at the time, if more than one service provider is available the prices will naturally work their way down to the lowest possible level that still allows a business to make a profit.
I hear what you're saying here, and what I'm saying is this: I understand how capitalism works. However, the notion that capitalism perfectly
deals with greed by making it work "against itself" is as dismissable as the notion that communism perfectly
deals with equality by allowing everyone to own everything equally. Capitalism isn't perfect. Businesses can literally get away with usury, theft, and even murder -- and no actual human being is held accountable (because after all, corporations are people!).
That's not to say all businesses do commit usury, theft, or murder. Most don't. Small businesses are especially beneficial, because they work on a much more human level. And big businesses can be beneficial. The world owes a lot of thanks to the likes of Intel, AMD, HTC, Microsoft... the whole lot of companies that keep thousands of people employed in the pursuit of simplifying our lives.
But when companies do commit usury, theft, and/or murder, should not someone
be held accountable, if indeed gross negligence can be proven? When an oil company destroys a swath of the ocean in an environmental disaster literally visible from space
, shouldn't someone (like maybe the guy who, year after year and safety violations after safety violations, did nothing) be held accountable for that? They skimped on safety, on environmental stewardship, and on spill contingency procedures so that they could sell oil more cheaply. Now the entire goddamned Gulf of Mexico will have oil in it for 20, 30, 50, 100 years maybe?
Don't even get me bitching as to why we're even getting oil in the first place. This oil spill is incredibly bad, and one of very, very many
which happen every year
. Yeah, thanks, I'll take my chances with a meltdown (even though a full one has never actually occurred in the United States for the half century that nuclear power has been around) and thorium power, which would generate f**ktons more energy than what's generated by the incredibly technical process of "drillin' fer some stuff and then settin' it on fire".
Of all people we as technology enthusiasts should know this.
Actually, the computer
industry is one of the most liberal (not politically) markets out there -- capitalism really does, for the most
part, work its magic there. But it's not all roses and pink bunnies. Look at Intel -- why do they have two sockets for their Core i3/i5/i7's? And why is no one allowed to make chipsets for Intel Core i3/i5/i7's?
Well, largely because of Intel policy. Segregating the mainstream and value chips from the performance chips with a pin-incompatible socket strikes me as a decision made on political whim rather than engineering necessity. Now, people who buy an affordable ol' i3 are stuck with it, and if they want to someday upgrade to an i7 with hyperthreading then they'll need a new motherboard with that, thank you very much. Oh, and did I mention that both
of those motherboards will
be running an Intel chipset? That's because Intel no longer allows third parties to make chipsets for Intel products that feature "an integrated memory controller."
Interestingly enough, AMD has neither of these policies and seems largely capable of making competitive products.
Health care is an area where we should encourage as much capitalism as possible because as I said earlier it will drive down prices and improve services.
Except that we did, and it hasn't. In fact, quality of care has gone down, and cost of care has gone up -- literally the exact opposite of what you suggest will happen with more capitalism.
Until we have the absolute best care physically possible a profit driven system is going to march us forward faster than any public system could ever hope to. You must take into account greed because it is constant... every thinking being down to insects is greedy on some level and the administrators running your public health service are no different.
Ah, but where it differs it succeeds. First off, a government system is publicly beholden. Funded by the taxpayers, there would be an obvious obligation on government to make the system completely transparent to its beneficiaries (and source of funds). The people are not entitled to such transparency in private companies or
publicly traded ones.