Editorials
Commentary, editorials from Reader staff.

Nationally Declared Emergencies Seek to Suspend the Constitution PDF Print E-mail
Commentary/Politics - Editorials
Written by Kathleen McCarthy   
Thursday, 01 September 2011 05:20

It is hard to imagine our leaders approving plans and/or legislation that would suspend the U.S. Constitution under any circumstances, but that is precisely what has occurred. This is not a conspiracy theory, but very real authority that the national government has granted itself under the guise of protecting the country during a declared national emergency.

After 9/11, a series of legislative events took place, most without congressional debate, and nearly all under the people’s radar. These include the Homeland Security Act of 2002; the USA PATRIOT Act in its original and renewed forms (which removed due process and allows warrantless searches of and seizures from citizens deemed a threat to “the continuity of government” without probable cause based on the Department of Homeland Security’s “Domestic Extremism Lexicon”); the John Warner National Defense Authorization Act (HR 5122); the Department of Homeland Security Appropriations Act for Fiscal Year 2007 (HR 4144); the Military Commissions Act of 2006 (HR 6166, which removed the writ of habeas corpus, allowing permanent imprisonment without benefit of counsel or petition to the court); the REAL ID Act (attached to an emergency appropriations bill); the FISA Amendments Act (which gave telecom companies retroactive immunity for providing access to customers’ private phone lines); and National Presidential Security Directive 51 (which dictates that Congress has no authority during national emergencies).

Combined, this legislation is dangerous because it asserts the authority to suspend the U.S. Constitution and transfer all governance (city, county, and state) to the federal government. All that is required to assume this transfer of power is a presidential declaration of a national emergency and martial law.

 
Time for Civic Self-Determination PDF Print E-mail
Commentary/Politics - Editorials
Written by Kathleen McCarthy   
Thursday, 18 August 2011 05:26

One dictionary defines “incompetent” as “inadequate to or unsuitable for a particular purpose” and “lacking the qualities needed for effective action.” I’d say this perfectly describes the political spectrum currently tasked with the leadership of America. Let’s throw the mainstream media in with this bunch for good measure.

Most Americans are grossly uninformed. Between the federally controlled curriculum of public education and the woeful malfeasance of the dominating media, corrupt politicians, agency bureaucrats, industry leaders, union bosses, and foundation heads all get a free pass.

Where is the outrage that should accompany the serious breaches of public trust? Exactly what will it take to convince you it is time to take an active role in your city, county, state, and country? Pick one and get involved. You might find you actually enjoy it; working to make a difference is rejuvenating.

 
TARP, Stimulus, Now Debt Ceiling Increase: Back in the Woodshed PDF Print E-mail
Commentary/Politics - Editorials
Written by Kathleen McCarthy   
Thursday, 04 August 2011 05:52

Here we go again. The new philosophy of government is to never underestimate the stupidity of Americans. After all, we will swallow anything these days. There is no line Congress can draw in the sand that we will not step over in terms of complacent consent for politicians and bureaucrats, including the courts and police, to abuse their authorities.

Do Americans not understand that as long as we remain silent, doing nothing in response to these outrageous financial manipulations by Congress, they will continue to burden taxpayers with unsustainable governance? How many times do we have to be taken to the woodshed before we resist? Just as the majority of the world’s economists predicted, TARP and both stimulus expenditures were eventually exposed as boondoggles. But how quickly Americans forget.

Once again Congress, with the full cooperation of the mainstream media, created a faux crisis to justify even more astronomical spending. For weeks Americans have been hammered with misinformation, half-truths, and, in some cases, outright lies relative to the debt ceiling. Broadcasters, with the sole exception of Judge Andrew Napolitano, warned in dire terms that to not raise the ceiling meant economic “Armageddon,” borrowing President Obama’s descriptor time and again.

 
Corporatocracy: Cities, Counties, States, and Even Courts Are Corporations PDF Print E-mail
Commentary/Politics - Editorials
Written by Kathleen McCarthy   
Thursday, 09 June 2011 05:59

I am aware of how difficult it is to accept certain truths of our times. Doing so requires letting go of deeply held norms that provide us with perceived security. Refusing gives each of us plausible deniability as truant citizens when it comes to our individual civic duty to remain vigilant. Unfortunately, freedom does not protect itself.

Americans refuse to admit that our governance is not what we think, that there is a terrible underlying fraud afoot, and that we are manipulated on a daily basis by powerful forces working in tandem to keep us uninformed: the two political parties – Democrats and Republicans – and the mainstream media.

All the mainstream news is choreographed to keep us in one camp or the other, and by doing so, the illusion is maintained that we are politically participating on an informed basis. When critics of the two parties’ ideologies, policies, etc. surface, the media is able to squelch it by declaring such critics as kooks and extremists as a means of marginalizing the data and keeping it from us.

All year long, the mainstream media systematically deliver sanitized but highly divisive information specifically designed to drive our opinions in one narrow political direction or another, depending upon which broadcasters you patronize, whether watching, listening, or reading.

It is the proverbial easy button. It keeps us anesthetized to the slow creep of authority over our daily lives, to the dual legal system fraudulently operating under our very noses, and to the abdication of the U.S. Constitution in favor of United Nations dictates and global governance via such organizations as the World Trade Organization, the International Monetary Fund, and the G20.

 
Disabling the Disabled PDF Print E-mail
Commentary/Politics - Editorials
Written by Kathleen McCarthy   
Thursday, 26 May 2011 05:35
From the beginning of the Social Security system in America, there was a clear mandate from taxpayers: Take care of our disabled, whether because of birth defect, illness, accident, or warfare. Americans have insisted, and been more than willing to fund, the care of our developmentally and intellectually disabled people.

Once again, however, Illinois’ developmentally disabled community is taking an undeserved hit with $76 million in cuts in the governor’s proposed Fiscal Year 2012 budget that translates into $540,000 in cuts for Rock Island County, alone. The $76 million represents approximately 6 percent of a $1.2-billion budget for services for 40,000 developmentally disabled individuals in Illinois, leaving a waiting list of 21,000 that includes adults, children, and infants.

Other sources of funding, such as grants from United Way and other not-for-profit organizations, work to fill some of the funding gaps, but these organizations are also struggling, resulting in less available resources each year.

Kyle Rick, executive director of the Arc of Rock Island County, explains: “This community of individuals, including the severely developmentally and intellectually disabled, through no fault of their own, needs the most support, but is least able to ask for it, or defend itself against any decrease in resources.”

Across the state, calls are being made and letters and petitions are being sent to lobby Illinois legislators to recalculate the cuts to the developmentally disabled community, because cuts will mean job reductions and the loss of critical services that are often the only lifeline these individuals possess.

As Rick wrote in a letter to State Representative Patrick Verschoore: “From Fiscal Year 2002 through the proposed Fiscal Year 2012 [budget], an 11-year period, we will have had only three increases to keep up with inflation, four years with nothing, and four years of cuts. ... The cuts in Fiscal Year 2012 will be the most severe yet.”

 
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