“What is ‘law’ anyway?”

(2 pm, per budhy – promoted by ek hornbeck)

Kagro X has a very important post up over at The Great Orange Satan.

What is “law,” anyway? Is it the stuff that Congress passes in public and that you can read in order to be able to obey it? Or is it just anything that can in practice frighten you into obeying? If you can be sent to jail, or immunized from suit, or whatever, based on a secret showing that you relied in “good faith” on a memo an “administration” official gives you (and literally nothing more — and perhaps even a lot less), you really have to ask yourself that question. What. Is. Law?

I’ve given my reaction to it in comments, but perhaps you’re not as comfortable as I am being comment 450 of 600 waiting for the troll patrol to slap you down for clapping insufficiently hard to bring Tinkerbell back to life.

I expect this will be a little lower traffic than that, in a place where ratings mean nothing.

So sock puppet all you want.  Tell me what you really think without damage to your main account and don’t worry about simulating community approval.

I’ll leave you with the big wind up-

And if nobody knows what “law” is, one might just as well ask what the point of being in Congress is. After all, it’s purported in our Constitution that Congress has the prerogative to make the laws. But now it’s making laws that say things other than what it passes can substitute for law — specifically anything the White House puts on in a memo, or whispers to you in a meeting.

That’s a gut punch directly to the very foundation of western civilization. And we worry whether talking about it will jeopardize our chances in the next election.

25 comments

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  1. I’ll take my lumps.

  2. in the next slot.

    A very important post from Kagro.

    Crossroads time, indeed.

    • pfiore8 on October 18, 2007 at 7:19 pm

    are you railing against the troll patrol at dKos? are you inviting the disgruntled to let loose here? i’m not sure what you want…

    and what i really think? we really have to get over the fact that we’ve been lied to and duped by the pols and start figuring out ways to push-the-fuck-back

    blocs formed via blogging… organizing actions here… not thousands of things… let’s pick one BIG thing people can do without leaving home…

    got any ideas? and we don’t need the whole world… let’s just start with a few hundred of us here and see if it will grow

    got any ideas?

  3. … what I have been thinking about for a long, long time.

    Of course my beat is social justice — so to me it really is about equal protection under the law — if laws only protect the privileged (Scooter) who are never then punished under those laws (Scooter, telecoms, blackwater, etc.), then the only way one can look at the laws is that we need to obey them out of fear — that it is really power operating here, not laws at all.

    • Pluto on October 18, 2007 at 8:41 pm

    Whose ass should I kick? Just tell me, ek.

    Meanwhile, I’ve been thinking about this latest FISA thing for days and days. My take is different than everyone’s.

    I agree with the nazis that all communications inside and outside of America should be monitored — at least until I get out.

    Everybody wants blood revenge against the United States and it will not end in your lifetime. Bush and the Neocons ruined your nation and its security forever — and now living here requires full survelliance of everyone at all times. They are not just paranoid. They KNOW which way the wind blows.

    Why fret over FISA? It’s your only hope.

    That’s why it’s playing out this way.

  4. EK, thanks for the mirth!

    I see you’re enjoying junior high school o’er there at least as much as I am.

    I certainly applaud you (went through ad nauseum to uprate your every comment) for standing up against… well… the scions and benefactors of systematized genocide – that globalized war profiteering scheme which puts the food on the tables anymore – making wisecracks about same said genocide.  Talk about fattening the heart in a day of slaughter…

    Also haven’t told you how much I appreciate your news roundup although when we’re rich in stone I tend to get out the door early to mud up and don’t always see anything until there’s permafrost on your newsthread.  Thank you, great work.

    OK just had me a peep at the great orange junior high auditorium (worst years of my life were junior high, and my alumni did not much evolve from there…) and I’m here to invest you in what I would call logic, which would be called tinfoil at the pep rally…

    Bomb Iran and the world economic system will crash, the first major jolt within hours.

    Think they’re dumping dollars now?  Dollar hegemony will become like that rudely interrupted dream you vainly wish to recall.  Smack, right now.  A freeway pile-up of Titanics screeching suddenly into a twisted, smoking ruin.  Global economic collapse.

    Now.  They are evil, Congress, but this is not to say they’re stupid.  They know this.  It’s not a secret the US has been using its status as preferred international reserve currency as a giant, global corporate credit card, and they know what international response will be to – especially – a nuclear attack on anyone.  They know it better than anyone.

    Therefore, should you see an attack on Iran, if you don’t want to be dead center in the cheap seats in a totalitarian lockdown – martial law – when they set up the new, globalized currency system after the (“ooops!”) great economic “accident”… run.

    This is why I hope to Heaven the Iran thing is nothing but bluster.

    Oh, law?  Hey, there’s plenty of law.  Martial law, all set up.  I will leave you with a souvenir about all of that.

    You asked, I told you.  They’re playing dumb like foxes.  Looks to me like they’re busy preparing for martial law after attacking Iran.  After all, dollar hegemony is falling apart like a cheap suit right now.  Gotta do something with the new, globalized US economy, right?

    A HISTORY OF EXECUTIVE ORDERS

    EXECUTIVE ORDER 10990 allows the government to take over all modes of transportation and control of highways and seaports.

    EXECUTIVE ORDER 10995 allows the government to seize and control the communication media.

    EXECUTIVE ORDER 10997 allows the government to take over all electrical power, gas, petroleum, fuels and minerals.

    EXECUTIVE ORDER 10998 allows the government to seize all means of transportation, including personal cars, trucks or vehicles of any kind and total control over all highways, seaports, and waterways.

    EXECUTIVE ORDER 10999 allows the government to take over all food resources and farms.

    EXECUTIVE ORDER 11000 allows the government to mobilize civilians into work brigades under government supervision.

    EXECUTIVE ORDER 11001 allows the government to take over all health, education and welfare functions.

    EXECUTIVE ORDER 11002 designates the Postmaster General to operate a national registration of all persons.

    EXECUTIVE ORDER 11003 allows the government to take over all airports and ?aircraft, including commercial aircraft.

    EXECUTIVE ORDER 11004 allows the Housing and Finance Authority to relocate communities, build new housing with public funds, designate areas to be abandoned, and establish new locations for populations.

    EXECUTIVE ORDER 11005 allows the government to take over railroads, inland waterways and public storage facilities.

    EXECUTIVE ORDER 11051 specifies the responsibility of the Office of Emergency Planning and gives authorization to put all Executive Orders into effect in times of increased international tensions and economic or financial crisis.

    EXECUTIVE ORDER 11310 grants authority to the Department of Justice to enforce the plans set out in Executive Orders, to institute industrial support, to establish judicial and legislative liaison, to control all aliens, to operate penal and correctional institutions, and to advise and assist the President.

    EXECUTIVE ORDER 11049 assigns emergency preparedness function to federal departments and agencies, consolidating 21 operative Executive Orders issued over a fifteen year period.

    National Security Act of 1947 allows for the strategic relocation of industries, services, government and other essential economic activities, and to rationalize the requirements for manpower, resources and production facilities.

    1950 Defense Production Act Defense Production Act gives the President sweeping powers over all aspects of the economy.

    Act of August 29, 1916 authorizes the Secretary of the Army, in time of war, to take possession of any transportation system for transporting troops, material, or any other purpose related to the emergency.

    International Emergency Economic Powers Act enables the President to seize the property of a foreign country or national. These powers were transferred to FEMA in a sweeping consolidation in 1979.

    famous last details:

    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: January 24, 2006

    KBR AWARDED U.S. DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY CONTINGENCY SUPPORT PROJECT FOR EMERGENCY SUPPORT SERVICES

    ARLINGTON, Virginia – KBR announced today that its Government and Infrastructure division has been awarded an Indefinite Delivery/Indefinite Quantity (IDIQ) contract to support the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) facilities in the event of an emergency. KBR is the engineering and construction subsidiary of Halliburton (NYSE:HAL).

    With a maximum total value of $385 million over a five-year term, consisting of a one-year based period and four one-year options, the competitively awarded contract will be executed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Fort Worth District. KBR held the previous ICE contract from 2000 through 2005.

    “We are especially gratified to be awarded this contract because it builds on our extremely strong track record in the arena of emergency operations support,” said Bruce Stanski, executive vice president, KBR Government and Infrastructure. “We look forward to continuing the good work we have been doing to support our customer whenever and wherever we are needed.”

    The contract, which is effective immediately, provides for establishing temporary detention and processing capabilities to augment existing ICE Detention and Removal Operations (DRO) Program facilities in the event of an emergency influx of immigrants into the U.S., or to support the rapid development of new programs. The contingency support contract provides for planning and, if required, initiation of specific engineering, construction and logistics support tasks to establish, operate and maintain one or more expansion facilities.

    The contract may also provide migrant detention support to other U.S. Government organizations in the event of an immigration emergency, as well as the development of a plan to react to a national emergency, such as a natural disaster. In the event of a natural disaster, the contractor could be tasked with providing housing for ICE personnel performing law enforcement functions in support of relief efforts.

    ICE was established in March 2003 as the largest investigative arm of the Department of Homeland Security. ICE is comprised of four integrated divisions that form a 21st century law enforcement agency with broad responsibilities for a number of key homeland security priorities.

    KBR is a global engineering, construction, technology and services company. Whether designing an LNG facility, serving as a defense industry contractor, or providing small capital construction, KBR delivers world-class service and performance. KBR employs more than 60,000 people in 43 countries around the world.

    Halliburton, founded in 1919, is one of the world’s largest providers of products and services to the petroleum and energy industries. The company serves its customers with a broad range of products and services through its Energy Services Group and KBR. Visit the company’s World Wide Web site at http://www.halliburton.com.

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