We are in an era in these United States when the law simply means nothing to those in power. It is to be ignored at will and whim.
It appears that Homeland Security’s Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) division, and their incredibly sloppy domain seizure operations, have moved on to the next phase — as was promised by both ICE boss, John Morton, and IP Enforcement Coordinator, Victoria Espinel. The timing on this one is particularly bizarre — and politically stupid.
That’s because the the domain seizure is for the Spanish streaming site Rojadirecta. Yes, ICE seized the domain name of a foreign company. And it gets worse. Rojadirecta is not just some fly-by-night operation run out of someone’s basement or something. It’s run by a legitimate company in Spain, and the site’s legality has been tested in the Spanish courts… and the site was declared legal. The court noted that since Rojadirecta does not host any material itself, it does not infringe.
So, a full-on trial and legal process that took three years in a foreign country, and involved a series of appeals leading to a final judgment…. all totally ignored by a bunch of US customs agents.
You might think some folks in Spain would have a pretty serious issue with this move.
And the timing is especially ridiculous, given that the US has been pushing very, very hard for Spain to implement a new copyright law, driven in large part by Hollywood. With many in Spain already furious about US meddling in their own copyright laws, I can’t imagine that having US customs agents reaching across the Atlantic to just out and out seize a Spanish company’s domain name is going to go over very well.
Imagine if a Spanish law enforcement agency did that to a US company? How quickly would we see American politicians screaming about this “international incident.” Yet, here we have Homeland Security reaching out to seize the domain name of a foreign company that has been explicitly declared legal, after going through a lengthy trial and appeals process in its native country. And, in typical Homeland Security fashion, no one bothered to contact the company and let them know or express its concerns. Instead, it just seized the domain.
I mean, seriously. When are the American people going to wake up and realized that blow by blow the rule of law is simply being dismantled. The whole point of our Constitution was to put in place a framework of law that trumped the acts of individuals and the whim of the moment.
What we now have is a society in which pretty much all deference to due process and the law are ignored blithely, every day, by our government.
We have a ruling by a judge in Florida on the health care law that, according to reports I have read quoting legal scholars, is a prime example of a ruling that does not even bother to provide precedent and references to justify itself. This post tries to address the issues: When “Essential” Does Not Mean “Necessary And Proper”
In his decision striking down the health bill, Judge Vinson found it necessary to perform a double backflip and explain that while the individual mandate was “essential”to the Affordable Care Act, it was not Necessary and Proper to the implementation of the law.
What letter of the Constitution does the individual mandate violate? Vinson does not say. As for the “spirit,” Vinson provides no ghostly clue as to what he is talking about. Vinson talks about monsters, not Constitutional provisions.
Vinson does not identify any part of the Constitution which prohibits the individual mandate nor does Vinson argue that the ACA was passed for the accomplishment of objects not intrusted to government.
Then we have members of Congress introducing legislation that simply redefines the legal concept of rape in a way that Dem Rep Debbie Wasserman Schultz calls “a violent act against women: Dem calls GOP rape-redefining bill ‘a violent act against women’
Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL) on Monday tore into House Republicans for proposing legislation that would limit access to abortion coverage for some rape victims.
“It is absolutely outrageous,” Wasserman Schultz said in an exclusive interview late Monday afternoon. “I consider the proposal of this bill a violent act against women.”
The broad anti-abortion measure would restrict federally-assisted abortion coverage to cases of “forcible rape,” excluding in that definition instances where women are drugged and raped, where women say “no” but do not physically fight off the perpetrator, and various cases of date rape. It also excludes instances of statutory rape in which minors are impregnated by adults. The victim in all cases would be denied abortion coverage under Medicaid and forbidden from seeking health care tax benefits.
“It really is — to suggest that there is some kind of rape that would be okay to force a woman to carry the resulting pregnancy to term, and abandon the principle that has been long held, an exception that has been settled for 30 years, is to me a violent act against women in and of itself,” Wasserman Schultz said.
“Rape is when a woman is forced to have sex against her will, and that is whether she is conscious, unconscious, mentally stable, not mentally stable,” the four-term congresswoman added.
In fact, the language in the bill repeatedly reduces such women to the legal category of “pregnant females”.
Sadly, what I see happening in our society is the triumph of the anti-intellectual and know-nothing threads of political history. And this nation is paying a terrible price, one that is going to only become more expensive in coming years, I fear.
As David Bowie performing with Pat Metheny said, “This is Not America”:
A little piece of you
The little peace in me
For this is not America
And when the Bush and Cheney administration took power, this nation instituted the practice of torture of prisoners, illegal rendition without warrant to prisons in foreign countries to put prisoners outside jurisdiction our borders. And the epitome of that is the prison at Guantanamo, where this nation continues to hold prisoners permanently without any access to trial and due process, and we have become a nation ruled by sniveling cowards in Congress who resisted every effort to shut that blot on our history and bring the inmates to the United States and hold honest trials.
We appear to have turned the running of the asylum over to the inmates.
And we stand or sit in silence and let it happen.