Victory is not possible.
Tuesday, May 17, 2011
Victory is not possible.
Via Next World TV:
Learn more about how you can Find Your Way to fight against fracking athttp://earthjustice.org/fracking
By Warren Richey, Christian Science Monitor
The US Supreme Court on Monday turned away an appeal by five foreign nationals seeking to reinstate a lawsuit claiming they were kidnapped and tortured overseas at the direction of the Central Intelligence Agency.
The high court acted without comment. The case involved the US government’s use of the so-called state secrets privilege to have certain lawsuits immediately thrown out of court when they touch on sensitive national security issues.
The five men were all suspected of being Islamic militants. They alleged in a lawsuit filed by the American Civil Liberties Union that they were victims of a secret US policy called extraordinary rendition.
US officials have acknowledged that such a policy existed, but the government nonetheless urged the courts to throw the case out because the litigation would disclose state secrets.
The dismissal by the high court comes after a period of years when both the Bush and Obama administrations have increasingly invoked the state secrets doctrine to quash lawsuits seeking independent judicial oversight to examine allegations of civil and human rights violations – including torture – by the US government.
Executive officials have successfully used the doctrine to block lawsuits challenging the warrantless surveillance of US citizens by the National Security Agency and to block judicial review of the capture of an innocent German national who was held incommunicado and interrogated in Afghanistan for four months before being released, without apology. He was deposited in the middle of the night on a deserted road in Albania.
The state secrets privilege is a court-created doctrine that directs judges to dismiss cases that would require the disclosure of highly sensitive government secrets. When the government can show that the very subject matter of a lawsuit would publicly reveal sensitive national security information, the doctrine suggests judges should defer to the requests of the executive branch.
Lawyers for the five men say the issue raises fundamental questions about whether the federal courts are properly serving their constitutional role as an independent check on executive authority. It is up to the courts to hold the government accountable for alleged illegal conduct against individuals, they say.
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Daniel Bourgeois comments at the Telegraph-Journal
Anarchy is a political philosophy that argues for a stateless society (no rulers). Though one finds its roots in ancient Greece, anarchy found credibility in the works of Jean-Jacques Rousseau (the moral centrality of individual freedom), and especially in the 1800s in the works of Pierre-Joseph Proudhon (political abstention and small property) and Mikhail Bakunin (collective properties). After the Second World War, the welfare state rang the death knell of anarchy, though it appears sporadically as a reaction to stifling states, as was the case in many countries in the 1960s.
Moncton Councillor Daniel Bourgeois has posed a procative question: why should the 254,000 residents of New Brunswick's local service districts be forced to accept a level of governance and expense that they have not chosen? He argues that the provincial government could address the imbalance in taxation between local service districts and municipalities without creating costly new levels of government or forcing regional amalgamations.
Anarchists strive to abolish political authority. Instead of formal governments, societies would be governed by all citizens through regular collective decision-making. Josiah Warren's "voluntary communities," wherein goods and services were private and exchanged freely, is a good example.
Today, anarchy would find few fertile grounds. Despite growing demands for private health care and education, societies are hesitant to take significant steps to that end. And no one is calling for private police and fire services. Thus, although the welfare state is no longer an omnipotent and omnipresent beast, it is still relevant. And it will remain so until we find a better alternative.
To its credit, the welfare state has managed to make anarchy an unpalatable governance alternative.
But anarchy is alive and well in New Brunswick, though changes are afoot to uproot it for good. The Finn report wants to impose representative democratic government on unincorporated areas, but it does not show why this is better than plebiscites that give citizens 'direct' democracy.
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