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Topic: Bill of Rights

Celebrating Independence Day: Clarksville Mayor Kim McMillan’s Fourth of July message


City of Clarksville - Clarksville, TNClarksville, TN – On Independence Day, a day of recollection and hope, we honor our Founders for their bravery and commitment to freedom, and we are reminded of what they accomplished by signing the Declaration of Independence.

The United States, throughout times of war and peace, economic booms and busts, has now stood for an amazing 241 years. Against impossible odds, a small group of dedicated individuals created a new country and revolutionized how people think about governing themselves.

Clarksville Mayor Kim McMillan

Clarksville Mayor Kim McMillan

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Sections: Commentary | No Comments

A twist to the erosion of civil liberties: Citizen sneak attack hits Palin’s e-mail


I amuse easily. Which is why I tried hard to hold back a smile, a chuckle (at the irony), when I read of GOP Vice Presidential candidate Sarah Palin’s hacked e-mail.

The intrusiveness of that act, the back-door sneak attack on personal privacy is exactly what this Republican administration is doing to the American people every day: screening e-mails for “trigger”words, tracking travel of ordinary citizens, tapping phone lines,  seeking access to library records … the list of civil liberties and privacy issues invaded and run through the shredder by our government (which is supposed to be of the people, by the people, for the people) is endless. “Government hacking” is the crude term for citizen surveillance in the guise of homeland security. «Read the rest of this article»


Don’t let our Constitution die


It’s time for us to stand up for our constitutional rights and freedoms. Don’t leave this in someone else’s hands.

Please take a moment to send a message to your senator holding them accountable for their vote on the recent FISA bill. Either thank them for voting against it, or hold them accountable for voting for it. With just your zip code and a couple of clicks, you can send either a pre-filled message or customize it to send your own message.


APSU mock trial rules President Bush “guilty” of illegal domestic surveillance


Austin Peay State UniversityVerdicts are in on the two day mock trial, U.S. vs. Bush. Bush was found guilty on the charges relating to illegal and unauthorized domestic surveillance and wiretapping of American citizens and violating the Separation of Powers and FISA by ordering a secret Executive Order authorizing such action.

Bush was acquitted on the other charges though the presidential signings would have been a guilty verdict if not for a prosecutorial procedural error in not providing verification of a signing statement entered as evidence.

The Prosecutors, from left: Michael Price, Michael Hughey and helper Karl Lukis

The trial took place over two days, in two-hour sessions, not a lot of time to present evidence. Time constraints limited the number of witnesses and the presentation of evidence for both prosecutors and defense teams, and resulted in the guilty finding on one of the four counts. Given the apparent ease with which, in just four hours, this student panel managed to convict the President on one of four counts, it would be interesting to see what a week’s worth of trial would produce. As it stands, the APSU prosecution team scored a major victory for civil liberties. «Read the rest of this article»

Sections: News | 3 Comments

APSU mock trial: United States vs Bush


scales_of_justice.jpgIn 2004, as U.S. Citizens prepared to elect a president, professors at Austin Peay State University were told that they would not be allowed to discuss the current election with students. On Tuesday, just over three years after that pivotal election year, a mock trial was held on campus, a trial that pitted the United States against its president, George W. Bush, for violations of the U.S. Constitution, the Bill of Rights and the Geneva Convention.

The trial was staged as part of a Constitutional Law I class taught by Professor Greg Rabidoux, Ph.D., J.D., and included a panel of Judges, Defense Counsel and Prosecutors, and witnesses; it filled room 308 of the Morgan Center and was a “dream come true” for many of us in the audience. Class member Michael Price said he “jumped” at the opportunity to be a prosecutor in this case.


Dr. Rabidoux and Defense Attorney DeJesus


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Sections: News | 2 Comments

Lost in the Telling…


We make sense of our lives by telling ourselves stories. The stories explain our role in life and coach our behavior and expectations. They give coherence and meaning to the events that engulf our lives. Stories have great power, because if we truly believe them, they can shape our future.

Political leaders are well aware of the power of stories. They manipulate people by trying to control the story, to force the narrative into the channel they desire. Through modern techniques of psychological manipulation and mind control they have become very good at managing the populace. That has never been more true than today, when the American people seem to have turned over their fate to the Bush regime in Washington.

What is the story used by Bush and his minions to lull the people into mindless obedience? It is the strong daddy protector. In this story, we are innocent, helpless children who are threatened by an evil being that want to destroy us. But the strong daddy protector will not allow this to happen. Where the evil being is all darkness and malevolence, the strong daddy protector is all light and good. «Read the rest of this article»


While America Sleeps: A cautionary tale of books, baggage, bureaucracy


While America Sleeps is “an occasional column” and commentary on the state of Civil Liberties in America.

While America sleeps in the illusion of freedoms guaranteed by the Bill of Rights and the United States Constitution, America’s gatekeepers (in the form of the the FBI, CIA, Homeland Security, Oval Office and even our Congress, all of whom have failed miserably at controlling illegal immigration in the USA) are hard at work finding new, creative, under-the-radar ways to press down ever harder that growing thumb of “security” on the average American citizen.

gotosleep.jpgToo many Americans, asleep at the wheel in their sheltered cocoons of ambivalence, inattentiveness and a faulty assumption that government is always working in their best interest, keep hitting that snooze button as, one by one, their rights are revoked and their private lives invaded by bureaucratic snooping.

Wake up, America. Time to smell the coffee. It’s getting bitter.

As I browsed the web these past few weeks, cruising for news that comes from anywhere, everywhere but Fox and its growing ilk, or corporately directed newscasts, I’ve stumbled across quite a few interesting but troubling stories.

The first story that jumps to mind concerns travel beyond U.S. borders, and the apparent governmental monitoring of all the things we bring aboard a plane: the titles of the book(s) we carry, the kinds of medications we pack, our destinations and frequency of travel, who we travel with and how often we share the same flights (we don’t have to be seat mates, just on the same flights). Snoopy. Spooky. «Read the rest of this article»


While America Sleeps: Censorship masked as ‘Chapel Library Project’



bannedbooks.jpgWhile America Sleeps is “an occasional column” and commentary on the state of Civil Liberties in America.

I ‘ve been following the saga of the removal, regulation and control of access to books by people in prison. Religiously oriented books in particular.

I read with great interest a New York Times commentary by Laurie Goodstein on the systematic purging of books on faith from prison bookshelves by chaplains under the Standardized Chapel Library Project. Those same chaplains are now being asked to review tome by tome any and every requested book before it “might” be returned to the shelves for access by inmates. As if chaplains have nothing else to do but serve as literary screeners (a.k.a. censors) for the prison system. «Read the rest of this article»


Irate reader, soldier chastises as “un-American” the voice of opposition


flag.jpgI received an irate e-mail for my views on September 11, the war in Iraq and Bush’s America as a whole. I was called unpatriotic for not flag-waving Bush’s war. I was told to “grow up.” Sorry, but I did that the first time I buried a friend killed in Vietnam. He was 19.

But Iraq is not about Vietnam, and not really about September 11th; that was just the excuse that triggered a rush to war in oil-rich country.

Here’s the letter:

“Wow, did you really write that in the Clarksville Voice? If so, you really should be ashamed of yourself, and consider renouncing your American Citizenship (since you seem to be so angry and ashamed of the actions we have taken to prevent another attack) and go live among those “innocents being slaughtered” you so fondly speak of.

“I personally remember everything about that awful Tuesday morning six years ago. I was awake, but still in bed in my apartment in Nashville, TN; when one of my friends and my Dad called nearly simultaneously to alert me about this terrible “accident” at the World Trade Center. I immediately turned on Fox News and within seconds, the second plane hit the other tower, then news of the Pentagon being attacked, and then ANOTHER plane going down en route to the White House. «Read the rest of this article»


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