I'm a lousy prognosticator and the fact I'm posting this shouldn't be taken by anyone as carrying any more weight of validity that it would coming from anyone else who hasn't demonstrated a long, successful history of predicting events.

 

But from my severely limited perspective the actions of the US Congress relative to the near-unanimous passage of NDAA in both houses, followed by the signing by the president during the last hours of 2011 represent a clear statement of intent.  The provisions for using the US Army for rounding up and detaining 'suspected terrorists' wouldn't, I believe, have passed with such enthusiasm if the government didn't intend to use them.

 

There's no clear definition of what constitutes a 'suspected terrorist', no due process, no habeus corpus rights, no right for legal representation by the detainee.  There's no way of knowing who might be the intended target for this, nor is there any indication as to whether they have groups targeted already.  I might end up being rebel-rousers in the ghetto, might be Tea Partiers, might be Occupy movement folks, might be Militia groups, or might eventually be Rainbow Family.  Because there's no hint of why they felt an urgency to pass this into law, there's no valid way to apply reasoning to identifying potential targets.

 

But whether a person chooses to allow it to influence personal behavior is an entirely individual decision better arrived at while knowing such a thing now exists.  It is a reality.

 

Old Jules

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Nice pictures, Tai. You got some good ones of the grafitti around there, which  may say more about the political undercurrents than any number of news stories.

We've had a few Occupy arrests here in Seattle, too, but they were of people who were doing the public service of nonviolent resistance. At a meeting beforehand, it was agreed that it would be OK for anyone to opt out of being arrested or not, and those who volunteered sat unmoving, blocking the Port, until the police moved them.

There was some support from individual longshoremen, but the union as a whole was not supportive, and a few of them complained to the media that they wanted to get through, so they could get to work.

Most were released the next day, because the city didn't want to deal with them. The guy charged with assaulting an officer will be processed through the court system, and probably fined and/or spend some time in jail.

Contrast this with protests in other parts of the world, like Syria, where the police are vastly more brutal, are not held to account. They just shoot them down or arrest and torture protesters.

When we see that here, there will be credence to claims of a nightmare scenario.

What can happen later we can only guess, but so far, there are a sufficient number of countervailing institutions (such as the ACLU, church groups, etc)   that prevent an all-out suppression of speech or protest.

MIchael..man- you're right on about how good we've actually got it compared to other extreme  non-tolerance (just gun 'em down- mentality gov'ts) Whoa~! i guess that could be an incentive for non-activists to jump in the game as it is relatively safe to speak our minds in the U.S. - but yeah- who knows how long this will be the case- it's almost a luxury to be able to protest and raise our voices in Peace-  

Tai:  A lot of us thought that way up until the day Kent State happened during the Vietnam War.  It came out of nowhere, completely without warning at a time when the cops and authorities hadn't already demonstrated the pleasure they'd get gunning down protestors.  And all across the US at the time thousands of us knew it could have just as easily been us because we'd been doing things a lot more provoking than those shot-down-suddenly Kent State students.

 

Seems to me what happened at Kent State was a lot less likely to happen then than it would be today.  Lawsuits and something possibly decided in the courts years afterward notwithstanding.

 

 

...that's a good reminder for us all- i tend to agree- energy/actions  can be quite volatile in protests/demonstrations-  I've made personal safety calls and stayed out when the vibes seem dangerous- i think a lot more can be done behind the scenes sometimes anyways

Interesting that it is one of the few "bipartisan"things that Congress has accomplished recently

Interesting observation. But I guess bipartisan conflict is a good way to obstruct positive accomplishment or progress while claiming to be justified because one is standing by their principles.

A Kent State incident... in Syria... they wouldn't bat an eye and would keep on protesting.  We aren't used to brutality; have until now (and not yet gone) had recourse through the Judicial branch of government.  Kids today are tougher than we were.  Might not stop them.  I would hope the country would rise up (with opinion) in favor of the kids and Occupy, if that's where it happens.  When the country rose up after Kent State in favor of the kids, everything changed.  That was a turning point.  The administration lost their base; we won the war in the streets we were waging.  Just saying, times have changed, protest-wise.  Harder to predict what would happen.  Just saying.

Little Wing: You might be right. Any of us might be, for that matter. I haven't seen whatever you've seen to cause you to believe kids are tougher today.  My own observations cause me to think the opposite is true.  And my personal recollection of my own experience is that the day after Kent State there were a lot of candle light services and subdued protests, but that the bass, volume and squelch knobs were turned all the way down from that point forward.  My thought is that if the momentum hadn't already been there before Kent State the war would have gone on until we ran spang out of young men or money.  Same as has happened today.

 

I don't personally believe there'll be much opposition when they begin running in the Occupiers come spring.  And if they use the summer Rainbow Family Mass Gathering as an excuse to see whether the contingency plans for rounding up thousands of people without any danger of anyone being armed as a means of a trial run I don't the the US population will raise an eyebrow in opposition.

80 dead in Syria in the past few days pretty much backs some of what Littlewing says, but in light of the new legislation I think a domestic roundup is more likely than shooting this time around. That would be a lot easier to justify as the American way. Oops, there goes the judicial system, which at its highest level belongs to those who put W in office.

My recollection of the Kent State era pretty much agrees with Jules, and I'll not be surprised to see his theory of what the future holds fall right into place, give or take.

I doubt the gun-freaks will react before the changes affect them directly, but at some point I expect a lot of unpleasant activity. Starting to confiscate guns will set up another excuse for another roundup with a higher likelihood of shooting, and I hear there is a movement afoot to make that part of a UN treaty (not personally verified)- u-n-agreement-should-have-all-gun-owners-up-in-arms/.

Actually, I do agree Occupy will stop via the judicial system.  They are being denied camping overnight now; and so far, the judicial system is making it stick.  I'm extremely grateful for all Occupy has done thus far.  It has changed the dialogue of the presidential campaign.  How ridiculous to hear Romney and Gingrich fight over which of them is less uber-rich!  Obama is running on the rich paying 30% rate on taxes.  He can't verbally support Occupy; but how close to support can you get?  He/we won't get that, of course (we know who runs Congress, including Obama's financial base).  But I credit Occupy with changing the debate we will hear till November.  In my eyes, they succeeded.  I sure hope there are no Occupiers shot and killed by cops; it's totally unnecessary to achieve stopping the movement; and might actually boomerang on the establishment.  I just meant should such a thing happen; and who has tight control over just what happens?  We have contract cops out there policing Occupy.

I do think kids are tougher today.  Our "crusty kids" in Rainbow are a hardy lot; many are homeless youngsters who've had to learn to survive and have seen/survived some of the seedier side of US society.  The college kids, many who have received less of an education in this crumbling system than we, have learned how they are being ripped off by college loans.   Their courage comes from the fact this has hit home; and they see their entire future depends on cracking the power structure.

I recently read an interesting take on the "camps" that may or may not exist and being held against one's will. The gentleman pointed out that we are already in a prison made of imaginary tender, petroleum-driven consumption (from plastics to energy-control), bodaciously over-sized houses, over-priced trinkets, and mind-numbing entertainment. Some have slipped through the cracks and are left alone because they cause no trouble.

My theory is that these laws are aimed at anyone who attempts to break out of this prison, causing disturbances of any kind as they do so. After all, they built this structure for us to occupy- they cannot live in  the apex if there's no pyramid below them. Obviously they want us to be here and tend their garden, and will not allow any less powerful factors to threaten the situation. Termites will not be tolerated.

It appears to me that the wisest course of action would be to stay the course until the situation corrects itself. It is, as I see it, a self-limiting situation that will collapse in on itself. Only those who make waves will be thrown overboard before the ship sinks, and those who quietly prepare their own flotation devices will survive in the end. I believe most of us will need them in our lifetime.

It's too late to prevent environmental damage, we're already past that threshold. In any case nature will repair itself in time. If you doubt that, check out the Mayan ruins in the rain forests and the unidentified ruins at the bottom of the seas.

For those who want to free the world, remember that true freedom exists in the condition of heart and mind, not in the physical. Live your own karma. Everyone else is, and we are not wise enough to know what they deserve. Share their karma and you know not what you may be buying into.

Robert Heinlien once said, "You can never imprison a truly free man, The worst you can do is kill him/ her. "

 

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