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Wednesday, February 28 2024 @ 02:25 MST

Busy week

US PoliticsIt's been a while since I've written, mostly because it's been a busy week for me here at Castle Evil. Between my reserve commitments and work, there's been little time for much else. Mrs. Evil and I did make it out to Death by Chocolate at the Palliser Hotel on Thursday, which gave a nice break to the week. The weekend was occupied by the QCWA convention where I gave a talk on radio astronomy followed by dealing with the pile of laundry that had accumulated over the past week and a half. In the news we have the US congress passing legislation like mad before the election recess. One measure is particularly worrying, the legislation permitting the military tribunals for suspected terrorists to continue.

The text of the military tribunal law is quite the read. The fact that parts of the act violate the Geneva Conventions is disturbing enough, as the Bush Republicans continue showing the world what they think of treaties the US has signed. But the truly disturbing part of this legislation is that the right of habeas corpus has been removed from so-called "enemy combatants". So now people captured by the US are denied their Geneva Convention rights, are also being denied the right to a fair trial. The law so passed has already been struck down in a previous form by the US Supreme Court (which means this law is also likely to be struck down). So now we have the Americans holding what basically amount to a sham trial with evidence withheld from the defendant, much of that evidence being gathered by torture and highly suspect as to it's value. It's all further evidence of two things, one that the Republicans (and by extension neo-conservatives) have no respect for the rule of law, and second that the terrorists are winning.

Now what the US does should concern us here in Canada. Primarily because our Tory PM is either a Bush clone or will do anything to please dubya (or worse, both). This means that our neo-cons, who currently have the reins of power, are likely to do the same thing. Given that neo-cons seem to have no respect for the rule of law, it's not a huge leap to see them doing similar things in Canada. To further make this a concern is the Harper attempt to make the federal government as secretive as the Alberta government which means that the Tories could be doing this right now and we wouldn't know it. Further, unlike the US, our media is also unlikely to report on such things, being partly co-opted by the Tories (especially here in Alberta). This means that we all have to, as individual citizens, keep a close eye on the Tories specifically, and the government in general. Failure to do so would mean a further erosion of the civil rights and freedoms that have taken decades to gain. Many of the signs are there, the jingoism, the call to patriotism, the declaring anyone who opposes the Tories as supporting terrorism so keep your eyes peeled and don't be taken in by the empty promises of security.

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