700 and counting...

700 and counting...

Signing Away the Constitution?
by William Fisher

NEW YORK - Last March, the U.S. Congress passed legislation requiring Justice Department officials to give them reports by certain dates on how the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is using the USA Patriot Act to search homes and secretly seize papers.

But when President George W. Bush signed the measure into law, he added a "signing statement". The statement said the president can order Justice Department officials to withhold any information from Congress if he decides it could impair national security or executive branch operations.

Late last year, Congress approved legislation declaring that U.S. interrogators cannot torture prisoners or otherwise subject them to cruel, inhuman, and degrading treatment.

But President Bush's signing statement said the president, as commander in chief, can waive the torture ban if he decides that harsh interrogation techniques will assist in preventing terrorist attacks.

These are but two examples of more than 100 signing statements containing over 500 constitutional challenges President Bush has added to new laws passed by the Congress -- many times more than any of his predecessors.


Another opposition view came from Prof. Edward Herman of the University of Pennsylvania, who told IPS, "The brazenness of Bush's use of this practice is remarkable. But even more remarkable is the fact that this de facto further nullification of congressional authority fails to elicit sustained criticism and outrage. It is part of a step-by-step abrogation of constitutional government, and it is swallowed by the flag-wavers and normalised."

"We are in deep trouble," he added.

Signing statements are not new -- their use started with the fifth U.S. President, James Monroe (1817-1825), and from that time they were used sparingly and mostly for rhetorical purposes. Until Ronald Reagan became President in 1980, only 75 statements had been issued. Reagan and his successors, George H. W. Bush and Bill Clinton, made 247 signing statements between them.

But President Bush has taken the practice to a new level, attracting criticism both for the number of statements he has issued as well as for his apparent attempts to nullify any legal restrictions on his actions.

I suggest that you follow the link and read the entire article.

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Kim Jong Il-ing

Kim Jong Il-ing

When looking at the situation that is Iraq, it is a good thing that Bush chose to invade the weakest of the three nations that comprise his "axis of evil." Future presidents will look to George Bush as having provided the essential ground work for another generation of nation/state antagonists that the US can go to war with in the years to come.

Reading for your entertainment/edification. Thanks Antiwar.com

North Korea Walks Out of Talks
Japan-S. Korea Rift Widens Over Missiles
US: No Breakthrough on North Korea
Poll: Americans Plead for Diplomacy With North Korea

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The Genie's Lamp

Genie's Lamp

Subverting IAEA-NSG Regime
by Gordon Prather

The Treaty on Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) recognizes the "inalienable right" of all signatories to "the fullest possible exchange of equipment, materials and scientific and technological information" related to the "use of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes."


That means Iran has the "inalienable right" to acquire the nuclear reactors that Russia has undertaken to supply and the uranium-conversion equipment that China undertook to supply.

As a non-nuclear-weapons signatory, the NPT requires Iran to subject all transfers to the Safeguards regime of the International Atomic Energy Agency.

On the other hand – thanks to Bush-Cheney-Condi-Bolton – the Democratic Republic of North Korea (DPRK) is no-longer a NPT signatory, and hence, has no such "inalienable right" to acquire nuclear reactors, uranium-enrichment and uranium-conversion equipment, even if to be used for peaceful purposes.

But neither is DPRK prohibited from making such acquisitions.

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Rest in Peace Ken "Kenny Boy" Lay

RIP "Kenny Boy"

From all indications Ken Lay is dead. At least that is what I gathered by reading here, here, here, and here...you get the picture. Of course there are those that believe Kenny Boy is not dead, that he faked his own death to avoid having to serve his prison sentence. Granted I haven't read anything of the sort personally. But then again I never tried searching the internet using the words Ken Lay faked death.

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A note of apology.

I just wanted to post a quick apology for not posting for the better part of a week. My personal life which I have not mentioned before, (as I have tried to maintain a political blog of cartoons and commentary) has affected my desire to post for the past week. It wasn't that I didn't have any fresh material it's just, well, I just haven't had the desire to post. My heart hasn't been in it. I will make a more concerted effort to posting on a regular basis, between 3 and 5 times a week.

I have several cartoons that address the issue of nuclear proliferation that I will be posting for your entertainment and edification in the coming days. Stay tuned!


In-die-pendence Day

In-die-pendence Day

In the retelling of history, on this day the founding fathers of this nation declared to the King of England who by historical coincidence shares the name of our current president a list of grievances against the King and crown by a subjegated people. The Declaration of Independence was submitted by a fledgling democratic state that believed there are
"certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. --That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed..."
Well in this modern era, the original ideals of the Declaration have slowly eroded in the fear of our post September 11th world. With this in mind, I give you the Declaration of Impeachment.
By David Swanson

Veterans for Peace has drafted a Declaration of Impeachment using nothing but excerpts from the Declaration of Independence (plus a few words in parentheses). It reads as follows, and should be read at picnics and protests on the Fourth of July:

…whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.

…all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations…design(s) to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.

…The history of the present King (George)…is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny…To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.

§ He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harrass our people, and eat out their substance.

§ He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil power.

§ He has…deprive(ed) us in many cases, of the benefits of Trial by Jury…transport(ed) us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences

§ He has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his Protection and waging War against us…

§ He is at this time transporting large Armies…to compleat the works of death, desolation and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation.

§ He has constrained our fellow Citizens…to become the executioners of their friends and Brethren, or to fall themselves by their Hands.

A (President) whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.

We, therefore…do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People…solemnly publish and declare, That these…Free and Independent (People)…are Absolved from all Allegiance to the (Bush Administration), and that all political connection between them and (this Administration), is and ought to be totally dissolved…And for the support of this Declaration…we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.”