Via Sheldon Richman on Facebook, comes this story about political Progressivism.
Sen. Al Franken (D-MN) emerged as one of the most notable progressive defenders of the National Security Agency’s sweeping surveillance programs on Monday when he expressed a “high level of confidence” that the federal government’s collection of phone and Internet data has been effective in thwarting terrorism.
I can assure you, this is not about spying on the American people, Franken told Minneapolis-based CBS affiliate WCCO. The junior Minnesota senator, who’s only been in the Senate since 2009, said he was
was very well aware of the surveillance programs and was not surprised by a recent slate of bombshell reports by both The Guardian and The Washington Post.
I have a high level of confidence that this is used to protect us and I know that it has been successful in preventing terrorism, Franken said.
— Tom Kludt, Al Franken Defends NSA Surveillance: It’s Not Spying, They’re Protecting Us
in TPMLiveWire (Tuesday, June 11, 2013)
Of course he has. Because he is privileged to be part of the
us that is being protected, not the
us that is being spied on. The reactions of many political Progressives to this scandal — including many political Progressives who had presented themselves for years as
civil libertarians — are outrageous; but they should not be even a little bit surprising. They are yet another illustration of why serious social change can never come about through electoral politics; because the only mechanism that electoral politics has for change is to make a different party into the governing party. But when a party becomes the governing party, the party that they belong to has always proved to be of far less practical significance than the fact that they are, or see themselves as, governing. Their first and last loyalty will never be to a professed set of principles or a party platform, but rather to the uninterrupted continuity of government, and the successful management of the core structures of state power. The first and last loyalty of the party in power in America will always be to power, both for their party and for the American government — not to the causes or the principles or the people that they claim to speak for.
So here’s the National & World News page, from this morning’s edition of the Opelika-Auburn News.
Obama signs $633B defense bill …
New tax law packed with breaks for business …
American missiles kill senior Taliban militant in Pakistan …
Progressives and social-justice voters can be thankful — thank goodness we re-elected a Progressive Democrat as President. Just imagine if some Right-wing corporate warmonger got into office. Good God, just imagine what he’d be doing now.
To-day’s clipped stories, from the Opelika Auburn News (September 20, 2012).
Front Page. Nothing to clip here, actually. The biggest real estate is occupied by a story about how some super-millionaire said something in private that turned out to be aired in public that may or may not hurt his chances on the margin in his attempt to go from being one of the most massively privileged people in the entire world to the single most massively privileged person in the entire world. This may or may not help out the chances of his super-millionaire opponent to remain the most massively privileged person in the entire world, if it convinces more people that the super-millionaire challenger cares less about ordinary folks than the incumbent super-millionaire does. Somebody is supposed to care about this. I don’t: it couldn’t possibly matter less how much the most massively privileged person in the entire world cares, or who he or she cares about, because the existence of such massive, ruinous and lethal structures of social and economic privilege is exactly the problem, and it is the one problem which such debates over the less-worse of a pair of party-backed super-millionaires will never raise.
2A. Donathan Prater, Bo’s nose: Auburn police get new K-9 tracker. A fairly typical police puff piece to announce that the police force occupying Auburn, Alabama has a new dog that they are going to use to hound people who are trying to get away from them, and to get or fabricate
probable cause for harassing people suspected of nonviolent drug offenses.
Bo has a nose for finding trouble. But in his line of work, that’s a good thing.
The Auburn Police Division welcomed Bo, an 11-month-old Belgian Malinois, to the force on Wednesday.
Trained in both narcotics detection and human tracking, Bo was officially introduced to members of the media at Auburn Technology Park North.
For years, we have called on (Lee County) Sheriff Jay Jones and (Opelika Police) Chief Thomas Mangham for use of their tracking K-9s, for which we’re thankful, but we felt like it was time for us to have our own, Auburn Police Chief Tommy Dawson.
We’re very excited about putting this dog to work.
… Dawson said Bo was purchased last month from the Alabama Canine Law Enforcement Officers Training Center in Northport with approximately $10,000 in seized assets from drug arrests.
… The acquisition of Bo puts the APD’s number of K-9 officers at four, said Dawson, a former K-9 handler.
— Donathan Prater, Bo’s nose: Auburn police get new K-9 tracker. Opelika-Auburn News, September 20, 2012. A2.
Well, that’s a damn shame. The primary purpose that they will use Bo for, as they use all police dogs, will be to provide pretexts to justify what are essentially random sweeps, searches and seizures; to harass, intimidate and coerce innocent people on easily fabricated, often mistaken and incredibly thin
probable cause, with the minutest of ritual gestures at a sort of farce on
due process, in order to prosecute a Drug War that doesn’t need to be prosecuted and to imprison, disenfranchise, and ruin the lives of people who have done nothing at all that merits being imprisoned, disenfranchised, or having their lives ruined by tyrannical drug laws. It’s not the dog’s fault, of course; he looks like a perfectly nice dog. But the people who bought him (with the proceeds from their own search-n-seizure racket), and who are using him, are putting him to a violent and degrading use, and they ought to be ashamed of themselves.
Op-Ed Page, 4A.
Muslim religion should be feared in US. Rudy Tidwell, of Valley, a God-and-Country fixture on the Op-Ed page, decides that he doesn’t like Church-State integrationists when they aren’t part of his favorite church. Then, by means of an insanely ambitious collectivism, he assimilates the actions of his least favorite hypercollectivists to the thoughts and feelings of literally all 1,600,000,000 (he rounds up to 2 billion) Muslims in the world.
Arab Spring has become a catchphrase for the media and other liberals to minimize the real dangers of the actual enemy of America. The so-called Arab Spring is actually a
Muslim Spring, meaning that the growing takeovers we see in various Middle Eastern countries are Muslims rising up worldwide.
Why is this aspect of the Middle East unrest not recognized for what it is? The euphemism made between so-called radical Muslims and peaceful Muslims. Islam is a dangerous body of more than 2 billion people who are determined to convert or kill, and there is no compromise to be made?
It’s not just a few radical Muslims who make terrorist attacks. How then do you account for the fact that when the attacks on 9/11 occurred, Muslims around the world rejoiced and danced in the streets?
More recent events in Libya and Egypt have been recognized as and declared to be planned attacks, not benign protests. Were all the people burning the embassies and tearing down and burning the American flags peace-loving Muslims?
We have a growing number of Muslims in the United States. There are enclaves of Muslims who rule with rigid and brutal Shariah law. Dearborn, Mich, is perhaps the most notable. Muslims are entering the U.S. in numbers that would shock us if we knew the full extent.
I encourage you to get a copy of the Quran and read it. It is a frightening book that demands faithfulness to its teachings to the point of death. It is the guide book for a worldwide takeover, not by reason and diplomacy as Communism said it would do over time, but by conversion or death.
Well, then. 2,000,000,000? Really? Did they all do the converting and killing and rejoicing and dancing all at once, or do they maybe take it in turns? Well I suppose the gigantic hive mind that they all link up to when they join that
dangerous body no doubt ensures that such problems of coordination don’t really arise.
Op-Ed Page, 4A. Today in History.
On Sept. 20, 1962, James Meredith, a black student, was blocked from enrolling at the University of Mississippi by Democratic Gov. Ross R. Barnett. (Meredith was later admitted.)
In 1884, the National Equal Rights Party was formed during a convention of suffragists in San Francisco.
In 1958, Martin Luther King Jr. was seriously wounded during a book signing at a New York City department store when Izola Curry stabbed him in the chest. (Curry was later found mentally incompetent.)
In 1973, in their so-called
battle of the sexes, tennis star Billie Jean King defeated Bobby Riggs in straight sets, 6-4, 6-3, 6-3, at the Houston Astrodome.
In 1996, President Bill Clinton announced that he was signing the Defense of Marriage Act, a bill outlawing same-sex marriages, but said it should not be used as an excuse for discrimination, violence or intimidation against gays and lesbians.
In 2011, repeal of the U.S. military’s 18-year-old
don’t ask, don’t tell compromise took effect, allowing gay and lesbian service members to serve openly.
Section A contains no international news at all today, unless you count the collecto-eliminationist letter from Rudy Tidwell on the Op-Ed page.
Schumer Bill Sends Reinforcements, Drones to Border. www.nydailynews.com (2010-08-28):
The Senate passed a $600 million bill tonight to beef up border security by adding 1,500 new enforcement agents and sending airborne drones to search for illegal immigrants. The bill, backed by Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), targets the Mexican border...
In which "Progressive" Democrats pursue a sensible to comprehensive immigration reform by massively increasing the violent enforcement of border policies that they themselves criticize as arbitrary and irrational and desperately in need of a radical overhaul. The United States Senate's notion of "making the border more secure than ever" is of course to further militarize the 200 mile free-fire zone, among other things creating a paramilitary "strike force" of 1,000 new border guards to interdict, harass or shoot immigrants trying to cross an imaginary line in the sand, and expropriating $32,000,000 to pay for unmanned drone warplanes to help them spy on the borderlands. Schumer, progressive humanitarian that he is, wants us to know that at least the drones won't be armed with air-to-surface missiles. Yet. So just who is this policy of increased spying and border militarization making more "secure"? Not people living on or near the border, that's for sure.