Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Lessons about the Constitution


(cross posted on Uncommon Sense)

If you, like me, know so little really about the American constitution, then the only way you can wrap your brain around it is in reference to something. How does it apply and how does it apply today. Why has their been such a great concern by Democrats, Libertarians and Independents alike about the dismantling, or 'fidgeting' of the Constitution and Constitution law?

What? No mention of Republicans? I would like to think that those Republicans who would call themselves truly conservative (but not neoconservative) would not vote Republican anymore or either become Independents or Libertarians. Sure there might be some for Obama but I have no doubt the numbers are negligable. And for this discussion irrelevant anyway.

What discussion am I talking about then? Well, how does one learn about the Constitution? Should it be by rote like in school where you learn it, memorize the parts and have to pass a test? I would suggest to old and new comers to these 'lessons' about the Constitution which you will find on this site that it is all by exploring how it is being abused and undermined. Nothing gets a discussion fired up and going when one has to quote and interpret the Constitution and let's not forget the Amendments.

A book I highly recommend through which to indirectly learn about the Constitution and its Amendments is the latest book by Project Censored. Their 'Censored 2008'- the top 25 censored stories of 2006-07, covers materials that indirectly deal with the constitution and the basic 'mission statement' of this country. Let me give you some chapter topics and I will let you investigate, this book is found online and in the library so there's no excuse in not knowing how to get the information. Here goes;

(bummed from A Spork in the Drawer)

*No Habeus Corpus for "any person" (that's a biggie 'cause any person does not mean just terrorists but could VERY easily be interpreted to be you, who's an activist rounded up like what happened at the RNC..you're one step away from being branded)

*Bush moves towards martial law (do I need to say more?)

*Immigrant roundups to gain cheap labour for US corporate giants

*Impunity for US war criminals

*Terror Act against animal rights activists

Abuses and encroachment abound but you won't see it if you don't read the stories and have your handy dandy Constitution/Amendments reference by your side.

Ben Bagdikian

Media ownership is pretty monopolized and Ben Bagdikian shows that from 50 companies in 1983, only 5 big corporations own the media. Who is going to report on all these constitutional abuses? Not the media.

Yes, the lessons about the Constitution can be found here on this site (referring to Uncommon Sense), or on quite a few alternative websites for which I hope we can make a blogroll pretty soon. (As I should here on my own) Alternative media and citizen journalism through blogs with their own opinion pieces have picked up where the media left off. If you want to learn about the Constitution, these days, you're better off learning about the issues that challenge them. And courtesy of the last 8 years (although it started covertly much longer ago) , we have plenty of materials.

Labels: , , ,


Blogger susan said...

This is a really serious problem that most of the people I know are pretty indifferent towards but those who take their freedom for granted are the most likely to lose it. I'm not a US citizen and one of these days (maybe sooner than later) intend to return to Canada but a strong and law abiding America is essential as an example to all the world.

7:21 PM  
Blogger Mariamariacuchita said...

Yes, we kinda knew that this was happening...good to get confirmation from one who does the footwork and research. How do we change this?

We used to go after monopolies...now we just help them.

Can we say it started with Microsoft and spread like a virus? We let Microsoft crush Netscape and they got away with it, and ears perked up. Now megacorporations rule.

7:34 AM  
Blogger an average patriot said...

The top 25 censored are a trip huh? I have had them saved for quite a while but man it gets a lot worse. I just found a bunch of stunning videos on how bad it really is but we just put the house on the market and already got a call to show it tonight so I am rushing and will post them tomorrow! Russia just gave us 21 days to leave the Black sea or War! Alright I'll stop!

11:07 AM  
Blogger Dave Dubya said...

Here's the entire article from Army Times.


Brigade homeland tours start Oct. 1

3rd Infantry’s 1st BCT trains for a new dwell-time mission. Helping ‘people at home’ may become a permanent part of the active Army

By Gina Cavallaro - Staff writer
Posted : Monday Sep 8, 2008 6:15:06 EDT

The 3rd Infantry Division’s 1st Brigade Combat Team has spent 35 of the last 60 months in Iraq patrolling in full battle rattle, helping restore essential services and escorting supply convoys.

Now they’re training for the same mission — with a twist — at home.

Beginning Oct. 1 for 12 months, the 1st BCT will be under the day-to-day control of U.S. Army North, the Army service component of Northern Command, as an on-call federal response force for natural or manmade emergencies and disasters, including terrorist attacks.

It is not the first time an active-duty unit has been tapped to help at home. In August 2005, for example, when Hurricane Katrina unleashed hell in Mississippi and Louisiana, several active-duty units were pulled from various posts and mobilized to those areas.

But this new mission marks the first time an active unit has been given a dedicated assignment to NorthCom, a joint command established in 2002 to provide command and control for federal homeland defense efforts and coordinate defense support of civil authorities.

After 1st BCT finishes its dwell-time mission, expectations are that another, as yet unnamed, active-duty brigade will take over and that the mission will be a permanent one.

“Right now, the response force requirement will be an enduring mission. How the [Defense Department] chooses to source that and whether or not they continue to assign them to NorthCom, that could change in the future,” said Army Col. Louis Vogler, chief of NorthCom future operations. “Now, the plan is to assign a force every year.”

The command is at Peterson Air Force Base in Colorado Springs, Colo., but the soldiers with 1st BCT, who returned in April after 15 months in Iraq, will operate out of their home post at Fort Stewart, Ga., where they’ll be able to go to school, spend time with their families and train for their new homeland mission as well as the counterinsurgency mission in the war zones.

Stop-loss will not be in effect, so soldiers will be able to leave the Army or move to new assignments during the mission, and the operational tempo will be variable.

Don’t look for any extra time off, though. The at-home mission does not take the place of scheduled combat-zone deployments and will take place during the so-called dwell time a unit gets to reset and regenerate after a deployment.

The 1st of the 3rd is still scheduled to deploy to either Iraq or Afghanistan in early 2010, which means the soldiers will have been home a minimum of 20 months by the time they ship out.

In the meantime, they’ll learn new skills, use some of the ones they acquired in the war zone and more than likely will not be shot at while doing any of it.

They may be called upon to help with civil unrest and crowd control or to deal with potentially horrific scenarios such as massive poisoning and chaos in response to a chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear or high-yield explosive, or CBRNE, attack.

Training for homeland scenarios has already begun at Fort Stewart and includes specialty tasks such as knowing how to use the “jaws of life” to extract a person from a mangled vehicle; extra medical training for a CBRNE incident; and working with U.S. Forestry Service experts on how to go in with chainsaws and cut and clear trees to clear a road or area.

The 1st BCT’s soldiers also will learn how to use “the first ever nonlethal package that the Army has fielded,” 1st BCT commander Col. Roger Cloutier said, referring to crowd and traffic control equipment and nonlethal weapons designed to subdue unruly or dangerous individuals without killing them.

“It’s a new modular package of nonlethal capabilities that they’re fielding. They’ve been using pieces of it in Iraq, but this is the first time that these modules were consolidated and this package fielded, and because of this mission we’re undertaking we were the first to get it.”

The package includes equipment to stand up a hasty road block; spike strips for slowing, stopping or controlling traffic; shields and batons; and, beanbag bullets.

“I was the first guy in the brigade to get Tasered,” said Cloutier, describing the experience as “your worst muscle cramp ever — times 10 throughout your whole body.

“I’m not a small guy, I weigh 230 pounds ... it put me on my knees in seconds.”

The brigade will not change its name, but the force will be known for the next year as a CBRNE Consequence Management Response Force, or CCMRF (pronounced “sea-smurf”).

“I can’t think of a more noble mission than this,” said Cloutier, who took command in July. “We’ve been all over the world during this time of conflict, but now our mission is to take care of citizens at home ... and depending on where an event occurred, you’re going home to take care of your home town, your loved ones.”

While soldiers’ combat training is applicable, he said, some nuances don’t apply.

“If we go in, we’re going in to help American citizens on American soil, to save lives, provide critical life support, help clear debris, restore normalcy and support whatever local agencies need us to do, so it’s kind of a different role,” said Cloutier, who, as the division operations officer on the last rotation, learned of the homeland mission a few months ago while they were still in Iraq.

Some brigade elements will be on call around the clock, during which time they’ll do their regular marksmanship, gunnery and other deployment training. That’s because the unit will continue to train and reset for the next deployment, even as it serves in its CCMRF mission.

Should personnel be needed at an earthquake in California, for example, all or part of the brigade could be scrambled there, depending on the extent of the need and the specialties involved.

Other branches included

The active Army’s new dwell-time mission is part of a NorthCom and DOD response package.

Active-duty soldiers will be part of a force that includes elements from other military branches and dedicated National Guard Weapons of Mass Destruction-Civil Support Teams.

A final mission rehearsal exercise is scheduled for mid-September at Fort Stewart and will be run by Joint Task Force Civil Support, a unit based out of Fort Monroe, Va., that will coordinate and evaluate the interservice event.

In addition to 1st BCT, other Army units will take part in the two-week training exercise, including elements of the 1st Medical Brigade out of Fort Hood, Texas, and the 82nd Combat Aviation Brigade from Fort Bragg, N.C.

There also will be Air Force engineer and medical units, the Marine Corps Chemical, Biological Initial Reaction Force, a Navy weather team and members of the Defense Logistics Agency and the Defense Threat Reduction Agency.

One of the things Vogler said they’ll be looking at is communications capabilities between the services.

“It is a concern, and we’re trying to check that and one of the ways we do that is by having these sorts of exercises. Leading up to this, we are going to rehearse and set up some of the communications systems to make sure we have interoperability,” he said.

“I don’t know what America’s overall plan is — I just know that 24 hours a day, seven days a week, there are soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines that are standing by to come and help if they’re called,” Cloutier said. “It makes me feel good as an American to know that my country has dedicated a force to come in and help the people at home.”

9:41 AM  

Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home