- Notes the president has the authority to interpret "the meaning and application" of the Geneva Conventions-- Oh, yes, let's give the authority to define and interpret the single-most important human rights document in history to a single person, not to mention one who has yet to figure out how to pronounce the word "nuclear". That's a great idea!
- Allows hearsay evidence-- hmmm...let's see what Mr. Webster has to say about this: "hear-say adj. an item of idle or unverified information or gossip; rumor." Now, is it just me, or is allowing this as evidence in a trial somewhat, shall we say, unethical? Illegal? Unjust? What's next? Hey, FBI, my uncle's girlfriend's brother's best-friend's coworker said that this other person thought that maybe that guy over there looks like a terrorist! Go arrest him!
- Allows coerced testimony if the statement was acquired before a 2005 ban on cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment and a judge finds it to be reliable-- because everyone knows that stuff people say while being tortured is completely reliable.
- Bars individuals from protesting violations of Geneva Conventions standards in court-- Not only will we strip these individuals of every human right imaginable, we'll make it impossible for them to protest the fact that the American government is treating them like animals. You can bet this is going to rally the world to our cause! Boy, I feel safer already.
And if you thought Congress hadn't shit on the Constitution quite enough yet for your taste, there's more! The House of Representatives ALSO voted to approve a bill making Bush's illegal warrantless wiretaps LEGAL! Here's what the House majority leader had to say about it after a vote that occurred pretty much along party lines:
"The Democrats' irrational opposition to strong national security policies that help keep our nation secure should be of great concern to the American people." -- Majority Leader John Boehner, R-Ohio
I'm going to have to strongly, and rather rationally, disagree with Mr. Boehner. Heh...his name is Boehner. Our Constitution was established to protect the rights of the American people. These rights are inalienable, as defined by such distinguished people as Thomas Jefferson, et. al., and as such, are not subject to change or repudiation (I like that word). I would like to bring to Mr. Boehner's (heh...) attention a little quote I found from a rather interesting document, aptly named "The Bill of Rights":
The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.
Now, can anyone find for me in that sentence anything that might suggest allowing the President to authorize wiretaps of Americans without a warrant is even remotely permissable? I didn't think so. And it's not like it takes three months to get a warrant nowadays, either. If the idiot in the White House thinks there's someone whose phone calls should be listened to, all it requires is a 30-second phone conversation with a federal judge who can then issue an immediate emergency warrant authorizing the wiretap. This is what we call CHECKS AND FREAKING BALANCES! This is why we have three branches of government, who are each subject to the other two!
If Congress wants to prop Dubya up as the reigning Monarch-in-Chief, why beat around the bush (no pun intended)? Hell, let's just make a paper crown out of the Constitution and make it official. Give him the authority to do whatever the hell he wants for whatever made up excuse he can imagine. Wouldn't be much different than what we've got going on right now. And at least they'd be able to make their real intentions public.
Not that I have any opinions either way on these subjects, of course. On a less cantankorous note, I have had two interviews so far, and they both went well. But still no news from any of the potential employers. I'll post here as soon as I hear anything, of course.