Thursday, April 5, 2012

Constitutional Erosion: Supreme Court rules, strip-search legal for any crime

If you have been reading my blog, you know I like to follow the US Supreme Court rulings very closely. While the highest court in our land is supposed to be the epitome of fairness and justice, never failing to uphold the constitution, this court seems more concerned with politics and partisanship than with the oath they swore to uphold.

"I, __ do solemnly swear that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter. So help me God."

When a Supreme Court Justice affirms this oath, they are swearing that they will put aside personal opinion, personal faith, and personal feelings, to only follow the letter of the law and defend the words of the Constitution of the United States of America. This isn't a joke, and it's not a game. This is the most powerful document this country has ever written, and it holds for all of us freedom and justice from tyranny. The justices of the supreme court are supposed to be the ultimate defenders of our liberties, protecting the rights of individuals, even when their decision to do so is an unpopular one. Being appointed to the Supreme Court is a lifetime appointment so popularity need not be a factor in making their decision, nor should political influence, religious zealotry, or personal bias.

Unfortunately for all of us, in recent times, republican presidents have appointed conservative justices to the court in an attempt to undo Roe v. Wade. While this hasn't yet been heard by this court, I believe it is only a matter of time.

On Monday the Supreme Court made a ruling that stuns common sense and further shows that partisanship in this country is a cancer that not only infects our Legislative Branch but our Judicial Branch as well. I will continue in a minute but first I want to tell you a story.

In 2005, Albert and April Florence were living in the state of New Jersey, they were paying their taxes and living the American dream. April pregnant at the time, wanted to visit her mother. The couple had recently bought a new house and wanted to celebrate their purchase with members of the family. So they got their four year old son loaded in a car seat in the back of the car, April got into the driver's seat and Albert got into the passenger seat and they set out on their trip. At a point during this trip the couple was pulled over by a New Jersey State trooper, which would normally not be a big deal but on this day it would turn out to be the worst day of Albert Florence's life. You see a few years before, Albert had been pulled over for a traffic violation. He was given a citation, which he promptly paid.

Unfortunately, New Jersey state records showed that the citation was never paid, a common occurrence in many states, and so a bench warrant was issued for Albert Florence to appear in court. Now Mr. Florence was aware of this, in fact, he went so far as to get a certified document issued to him from the New Jersey state department of motor vehicles, which shows he actually paid the fine, and it was signed and bore the seal of the state of New Jersey as proof of this. As I've said, this is a common occurrence, and these kinds of documents are often issued to individuals everyday in case they are pulled over. So when the trooper pulled the couple over, he took their licenses and went back to his vehicle. Returning a short time later he informed Albert that he had a warrant out for his arrest and that he had to take him into the police station. Albert promptly produced the certified document proving he had paid the fine, which should have allowed the couple to go on their way, however this police officer ignored the document and arrested Albert on the spot in front of his pregnant wife and four year old son.

Upon reaching the police station Albert Florence was strip-searched, a procedure no one should ever want to happen to them. Albert was asked to strip completely naked, handle his genitals, squat and cough for the officer's there. Once finished, he was placed into a jail cell. During his six day stay in jail for this traffic violation, he moved to another jail, where he was promptly made to strip once again, grab his genitals, squat and cough. The irony of the situation is under New Jersey state law, traffic violations are not an offense worthy enough of a jail sentence. So Mr. Florence spent six days in jail for something he didn't deserve to go to jail for and was subjected to a violation of his privacy for no reason, since the police had no belief Albert Florence proved a threat to anyone.

The point of a strip-search is to prevent known violent criminals from smuggling into prison, weapons or contraband. Albert Florence had committed no crime, and in no way could be considered a violent criminal threat. During the six days in jail, Albert was allowed no contact with his wife April, who had no idea if her husband was alive or dead. Having believed his constitutional right to privacy had been violated, Albert brought suit against the County of Burlington in the state of New Jersey. Albert believed that under the fourth amendment, the constitution protects individuals against acts of unreasonable search and seizure by the government. Albert had been wrongly arrested for a crime he had not committed, held against his will, and subjected to multiple intrusive strip-searches. More importantly, the police had no reason to suspect that Albert even carried any kind of contraband. This clearly, falls under the definition of a case of unreasonable search and seizure.

Before the court was a case where the police had performed what could easily be considered a case of unreasonable search and seizure by the government, a clear violation of the fourth amendment of the constitution of the US. The court heard both sides of the argument, including some stunning examples of abuse presented to them. A few of these examples were of people having been strip-searched for such things as driving with a noisy muffler, failing to use a turn signal and riding a bicycle without an audible bell. A nun was even strip-searched, after an arrest for trespassing during an antiwar demonstration.

This seemed to be an open and shut case, however, showing true partisanship as the court has recently done, in a 5-4 split, conservatives v. liberals, the Supreme Court ruled the search was legal.

In case after case before our courts, judges have always ruled that individual's rights must outweigh the rights of society even when doing so would put a criminal back on the streets, because justice must be blind. If someone has committed a crime but has had their rights violated judges have always ruled that a miscarriage of justice against one individual is a miscarriage of justice against us all. Upholding the constitution is more important than putting a criminal behind bars. This is an important tenet of the justice system, because it says that even if it resulted in a thousand criminals going to jail, if even one innocent person went to jail, justice would not be served. Equal justice under the law, protects criminals, but it also protects the innocent and should you find yourself faced with a crime you were innocent of committing you too would want a justice system that upheld these beliefs.

It used to be in this country that justice and liberty were something all of us, republican or democrat, conservative or liberal, rich or poor held sacred. However, we live in this new world, a world ruled not by the majority, but by a very select group of conservatives who's interests lie not with the general populous but a select group of rich corporations and individuals who have an agenda. Their agenda is to erode the rights of individuals to the point where the only persons who have them are the elite. In Washington, things like liberty and justice, are commodities bought and paid for by those who can afford them.

As this is supposed to be a pseudo technology blog, I was reminded of something this week, that I will talk about at some length, which has some relevance. When I was younger I played a popular game at the time called Counter-strike (CS). It is a game where there are two sides, the Counter-Terrorist team (CT) and the Terrorist team. The game would start with each team occupying a specific position on the map, and each team had a mission to complete. If you were on the CT side your objective mission was to kill all the terrorists, rescue the hostages, or prevent a bomb attack. If you were on the side of the Terrorists, your objective was the opposite, kill the CT unit, bomb the target and prevent the CT unit from rescuing the hostages at any cost. It was a fun game to play, as any First Person Shooter (FPS) usually is.

But like many FPS games, it too was plagued by a group of individuals who played the game for a different reason, not to have fun, but to win at any cost. These individuals would resort to the use of cheating technology to gain a competitive advantage in the game. Typically the cheats, refered to as hacks by the community, would be wall hacks that allowed someone to see an opponent no matter where they were on the map, or aimbots that allowed the individual to always hit a target in the head, resulting in an instant kill for them. I myself had experimented with using such technologies like many of us do with things like drugs and alcohol when we are younger. It's no different, and while it was fun to kill someone without needing to use any skill, it got lame pretty fast and I quit doing it, in fact I became a sort of force against it. I spent a lot of time dedicated to trying to stop these kinds of cheats, advising people on how the technology worked and how it could be detected and prevented. At the time I was a member of a group of individual CS players, called a clan. The clan I was a member of was called Chronic 7, and we were a tight-knit community of guys and gals who loved playing the game, but most of all we all hated cheaters.

Over the years of playing with these guys I ascended in the ranks, making it to the top of the team, taking over the duties of programming the server content. Ever since I had been a kid, I was a decent programmer, spending most of my time working on utilities that solved problems I had with windows functions. When I finished with a utility I would release it free of charge to the public so that someone who had the same kind of problem could find a solution to it, like I had. It was a common belief of mine that problems in technology were just programming errors, and could be easily resolved by re-writing the program or circumventing the original intent, and alternatively inserting my own programming code. But more than anything open source, and free software, are philosophies I believed in then and still hold on to today. So at the time, a programmer who wanted to alter the game of CS to suit his or her needs, could do so through the use of Application Programming Interface (API) calls available through the Software Development Kit (SDK) provided by Valve, the company who developed CS. This technology allowed modifications (MODS) to be made to the game, that allowed a fully customized experience.

An example of this was actually CS itself, which didn't start out as a game, but rather a MOD of Half-Life, another game developed by Valve. CS was later purchased by Valve and turned into a fully functional game. So when games like CS became popular, some programmers took it upon themselves to create a technology called Admin-Mod which allowed anyone with competent programming skills the ability to create their own modifications of the game. Admin-mod and MODS like it work by accessing the MetaMod dynamic-link library (dll), which make direct calls to the Half-Life engine and allow multiple dlls direct access simultaneously in parallel. Having considered myself to be one of these competent programmers I took it upon myself to see if I could create some kind of useful utility for the game of CS, and I started out with something simple, a tool that could alter the physics of the game. I installed the plugin onto the CS server, and everyone loved it. Soon some of the clan leaders wanted to know how they could kick or ban people who were in violation of the rules. So I went to work and in a few hours had a nice little interface built to do just that. It was a success, and we had a lot of fun using it, removing rules violators at will without a second thought.

Like many servers out there, our server was plagued by cheaters, and a simply kicking them had no effect, as they would come right back, and banning them, while temporarily effective proved useless as these guys seemed to be able to bypass this either through the use of a utility or through the use of multiple login ids. The fight was proving to be a difficult one and certainly one we were losing. But being the ingenious individual I was, I considered an alternative that might prove to be more useful if it worked. I began work on a new plugin that could be more effective against a cheater than I had ever seen before. It took me a few days but when I was finished I had the first version of the Admin_Fuckoff plugin.

When you load the CS client to play the game, the executable looks for a configuration (config) file located in the same folder as the executable and if it exists, runs the commands contained within the config file. These commands represent all the settings your client uses to customize the game to your personal preference. For instance, the color of your crosshair, the speed of your internet connection, and the key bindings associated to the game with your keyboard.  This typically means, forward is equal to W, backward is equal to S and left and right are A and D respectively. These key bindings are fully customizable and each custom setting is stored in the config file. So Admin_Fuckoff did something that most of these plugins had not really done before, it altered the config file of the client. While a kick or ban had proven a fruitless maneuver, this proved to be quite effective.

Cheaters subjected to this found that when they attempted to fire their weapon, they died. This meant, no matter what hack you were using, you would never be granted an opportunity to kill anyone with it. The other admins loved this tool and used it frequently. Soon I was receiving requests from them to create more interesting methods for dealing with the cheaters, so I went back to work and wanted to do some more interesting things, but soon found Adminmod was entirely too limiting in what I actually needed to be done. It was at that time I started a quest to find something better and I found that with AMX. I installed AMX, re-wrote my plugin, changed its name to AMX_FUCKOFF and we were back in business with a new version of the plugin that featured the ability to reverse the user's controls. This meant someone trying to go forwards would go backwards instead, and viceversa.

As with any game, the company releases updates regularly and one of these updates caused AMX stop functioning. Unfortunately, at the time, the team in charge of the development of AMX did not update the MOD as often as CS was updated, which created a problem for us plugin programmers, and once again I went on a quest to find an alternative. I finally settled on a MOD called AMXMODX (AMXX), it was similar to AMX, meaning I didn't have to change the code of my plugin too much, but more importantly, it was being frequently updated and had been well supported. So again the server was modified to accommodate the change and we continued playing the game, screwing over cheaters whenever they were encountered. Over the next few months, I would alter the plugin extensively, first as a matter of need as the cheaters had figured out how to circumvent my plugin and second as a matter of principle.

The cheaters found that if they simply set their config file to read-only, it could no longer be altered and therefore they could continue to cheat unable to be punished. Little did they know, that contained within the CS API, was a little known command I found that allowed the read-only status of a config file to be ignored, and therefore be written to. This command was inserted into the API to allow programmers access to the developer code. Changing the developer status of the client meant that any arbitrary code could be executed on a client without the client's knowledge and consent, further more the change could be made permanent by altering the config file of the client even if the user had set the config file to a status of read-only, a change that would typically render a file unable to be altered by the operating system (OS) of the computer.

Making this change to my plugin meant any user connecting to the Chronic 7 Server could have their configuration arbitrarily changed as a matter of rule, stated clearly in the Message of The Day (MOTD) whenever a user connected. Adding the CENSURE command to the plugin allowed an admin dealing with a cheater the ability to completely and almost irreversibly alter the user's config file. The command once executed would unbind a client's controls completely, save the config file and then boot the user from the server making the change permanent. This was meant to be reserved only for the worst offenders. A user who found themselves the victim of this would be unable to play CS, often having to reinstall the game if they didn't know how to fix the problem. As I've said before, as a matter of principle my belief in open source and free software compelled me to release the plugin to the general public, and so I did by placing it on the Chronic 7 website at the time, in compiled form and in source code.

I had no idea what a mistake this would be, soon servers all over the internet had the plugin installed and user's everywhere were feeling the abuse. All over the AMXMODX forums, talk of the plugin began to spread and users were being banned for even mentioning it. You see the practice of altering a user's config file was called by the community SLOWHACKING and as news of this had spread, I began to receive emails from people, sometimes with adoration and sometimes with hatred. I even received a few emails from people on the matter referring to the possibility that this could be a violation of the terms of service set forth by Valve. However, in my defense, I was only using information that was freely provided by Valve, and at anytime could be removed by them. At no time did Valve remove these commands from the game, or block the ability of my plugin, and so while they did not publicly state their indifference to its use, they're lack of action could be taken as a signal that while my plugin was maybe unethical, it was not violating any rules. I continued to receive countless emails from people including not only a few death threats but a few fake emails from lawyers threatening lawsuits against me.

While my plugin went through at least ten different iterations, version 1.82 was my last official release. When I started working on the plugin I was unemployed at the time. After finding employment I could no longer find the time to dedicate to it, and so I left it as it was, out there for everyone to have, on the condition that if anyone altered the plugin they at least credited me with its creation. After all, I had never asked for a penny for months of development, but I felt had anyone with knowledge in coding AMXX plugins wanted to modify the plugin, I atleast deserved acknowledgment. Soon work began to take up too much of my time, and I could no longer dedicate time to my hobbies, and though I loved playing with those guys, I had to quit playing CS. Sure, once in a great while I would show up to say “HI” and show I was still alive, but I never really played much more after that, and soon after would completely quit playing the game altogether.

Now the point of my lengthy tale, is two fold. It's funny that this Supreme Court ruling comes around the same time that I am reminded of this tale. See I was chatting in Internet Relay Chat (IRC) with some friends about some things, and I kind of brought up the story of AMXX_FUCKOFF and that I was little perturbed, because the last time I took the time out to Google the plugin by name I found that a Spanish developer had taken the source code of the plugin, changed everything in it word for word to be in Spanish and removed every instance of my handle (jsauce) from the source and then placed it online as his creation. Now, I am definitely someone who fights hard against intellectual property (IP) rights, because IP is pure nonsense, so seeing this didn't piss me off because it was altered but rather that credit for its creation had been removed. I may be someone who thinks music artists should not complain when someone has their music remixed or when someone shares a song online, but I certainly have a problem if they receive absolutely no credit for it. While a person doesn't own the idea itself, putting thoughts into something coherent and comprehensible for others should get some credit, no I don't mean financially either. A simple little blurb, stating where the content was taken from originally is all that is needed, giving credit where credit is due. But I digress, so the point I was making was that two things became clear to me.

The treatment of individuals based solely on belief in ones guilt is wrong, it violates not only human rights as a principle, but the constitution of the United States. If we are to have any semblance of civility in this country, we need to stick to the fair and ethical treatment of individuals as a matter of principle but more so a matter of law. I understand the reason for strip-searching individuals who are arrested for violent crimes, after all allowing them to bring a potentially dangerous instrument into the prison population could have devastating consequences. As a matter of purely law, everyone is entitled to the protection of “Life, Liberty and Property” under the constitution. So allowing anyone to bring a weapon into a prison that could be used to kill a person, depriving that person of their constitutional right to live, is wrong.

So the government has a duty to protect everyone from anyone who's mission it is to take the rights of someone else away. The problem is that Albert Florence hadn't committed any crime worthy of being violent, in fact this upstanding citizen did everything right in his life to be a contributing, important part of society. His only mistake was a minor traffic infraction, a mistake anyone could make. There is no situation, where a reasonable person would believe a man, who had never committed a crime in his life would suddenly enter jail with a shiv inserted in his rectum, intent on killing the first random prisoner he encountered. Because of this, as a matter of law, the government cannot search an individual. It is that simple. So based purely on the words of the constitution alone, this situation should never have occurred, but since it did, the justice system has within it a principle of fairness, that allows the courts to make an individual whole again. That means if a person or persons takes away something of yours, the courts can grant you a judgment against the person or persons who took whatever it was, away from you, making you whole again, in the law this is called practical damages.

Beyond that, is a principle known in the justice system called punitive damages, that allows a judge the ability to punish a person or persons under the law. Punitive damages are normally assessed only when the individual is grievously damaged, either through malice or wanting ignorance or disregard. Knowing full well that a person using your product is going to likely die, but allowing them to continue, without informed consent or a complete retraction of the product, could be a case for punitive damages. Such is the case of cigarettes, when lawyers for individuals who were addicted to cigarettes and dying of cancer, brought civil suit against the manufacturers and came out victorious. The individuals in that case were awarded punitive damages, because the cigarette manufacturers openly sold a product to consumers without warning them of its effects. Further more, the manufacturers testified on several occasions that there was no proof that cigarette smoke caused any injury, even in the face of anecdotal evidence to the contrary.

This case would have seemed to be pretty straight forward if you asked anyone before the Supreme Court decision, after all common sense tells you that, if the extent of your criminal behavior was limited to a traffic violation, you were unlikely to carry a murderous weapon into jail with the intent of harming someone. Albert Florence was not only entitled to actual damages suffered as a result of this humiliation but punitive damages to prevent it from ever happening to anyone else again. Had justice been on the LEFT side Monday morning, instead of the RIGHT side, this may have been the case.

My treatment of individuals who had never been tried or convicted of cheating, is very parallel to the situation at hand. I had no reason to believe that an individual is likely a cheater without having had been previously proven, and since no such test was ever administered, the punishment was clearly unjust. The same is true for Albert Florence, since there was no expectation that he would bring a weapon into jail with him, having never been convicted of a crime in his life, it was unreasonable to search him on that premise. So having already proven that constitutionally this case is a slam dunk, we must assume since the decision was a “line in the sand” draw between conservatives and liberals, the 5-4 decision against Albert Florence was purely political in nature.

And so comes the second part of my argument. Since its pretty clear that the line of partisanship has infected every branch of our government, its now time to burn the constitution. Now I'm not suggesting we burn the constitution merely because we have two sides in disagreement of topics, after all debate is a healthy and wonderful thing, but when that debate is less about right and wrong and more about money and oppression than yes, I have a problem. At a fundamental level, no one hearing this situation could passionately argue that Albert Florence deserved the treatment he got, conservative or liberal, which means when the Supreme Court made their decision, it was a decision made out of a point, not out of a law. Since the liberals on the court felt they needed to go the right way, the conservatives of the court felt it was their duty to oppose the liberal argument, purely on the principle that even though you are right, I must disagree with you.

This is a very slippery slope, because it means that justice is not truly blind, that had Albert Florence been a rich white male, instead of a middle-class or poor black male, this decision may have been completely opposite. If we are not going to uphold the constitution and the oaths we take, why do we pretend at all? Why not simply burn the constitution and impose a Fascist totalitarian state of control, one in which the government tells its citizens how they can live, what they can do, and who they can be with. Why not take away everyone's right to free speech, free press, and right to petition the government. After all, if the government is unwilling to listen, protesting it's unconstitutional treatment of individuals, isn't really needed at all.

The idea that we live in a democracy is a joke, a democracy implies that everyone has a voice and everyone is heard, but that is simply not the truth at all. The only voice being heard is the majority, and right now that majority is ruled by conservatives with an agenda. On purely record alone, over the last year, congressional conservatives have sided with corporations to take away consumer rights, demonstrated their willingness to sell laws for a price by imposing laws that undermine fairness and ethics, and to oppose laws that provide American citizens with beneficial well being purely based on the fact that it's a liberal idea. Recently, the Supreme Court has made a decision regarding the health care initiative (though it won't be heard until June) started by President Obama to get everyone in America affordable health care and impose laws that protect Americans against unjust rules and regulations insurance companies use to restrict or deny a person health coverage. At face value this seems like every American would want to have this. Unfortunately, it wasn't a conservative idea, but one that came from the mind of a perceived liberal. Having come from President Obama instead of one of the house republicans, this initiative came with staunch resistance from conservatives, playing the “socialism” trump card they like to play whenever a Democratic President makes a suggestion.

What's most funny about this whole thing is that most Americans are socialists and don't even know it. Have you ever used food stamps? Have you ever used a hospital without having the ability to pay? Do you send your children to public school? Have you ever needed to call the police or fire department for help? Have you ever bought a piece of corn at the supermarket or any produce for that matter? Do you have any friends or family that are in the armed services? Are you retired, or have a retired parent living on social security benefits? Were you injured, or born with a malady, and now accept government assistance? If you answered Yes to any one of these questions, you have participated in socialism. In fact, most modern governments are a combination of Socialism and Democratic Capitalism. The two are not mutually exclusive concepts.

The fact is not everyone is perfect, most people need a helping hand, and a government built purely on capitalism, democratic or not would not function for 99% of people. The only people who would benefit from such a government are the wealthiest individuals. Social programs are needed to supplement those individuals who are unable to benefit purely based on an inability to pay. Imagine if you will for a second, you are sitting at home and suddenly a fire breaks out, you call 911 and the fire department shows up. However, there is a cost associated with sending the fire department, the trucks cost money to maintain, fuel to keep them going, and it costs money to pay the individuals who fight those fires. It also costs money to pump water from your town water source underground to a fire hydrant where it can be pushed through a hose and sprayed onto the fire in order to put it out.

When you really begin to think about it, the act of putting out a fire can be very expensive, and someone has to pay for that. So what happens if when the fire department gets there, they ask you for your credit card so they can swipe it, better hope its not declined, or you have some cash on hand, or your house is going to burn to the ground. You may think this is ridiculous but is it more ridiculous than going to a hospital and being declined service because you can't pay them? In a purely capitalist society, money quite literally makes the cogs of the machine move and not being able to pay for something is like throwing a wrench into the works.

Look the guys in Congress don't work for you, they work for the corporations. Millions of dollars were spent in the 90's by big insurance companies to stomp out a single payer health care initiative that would have given every person in this country the ability to see a doctor if they needed to, with no obligation to pay other than what was already being paid in taxes. Of course the lobbying groups spent millions smearing this idea turning the idea of socialism into a vulgar word. The mere mention of which, sends most conservatives now into a full on rage, without ever really knowing why. Indoctrination works by convincing less intelligent people that something is right or wrong, not based on fact, but rather a belief system. That is, teaching someone to think about something the way you think about it, without allowing critical thinking.

Indoctrination is a slow process because it relies on the fact that the person is unaware that it is happening to them. To the point, someone who has been indoctrinated, is unable to consider other evidence, because the beliefs they hold have been so intertwined into their being, that to contradict them would be to undermine their very thought process. It might have started sometime during the Reagan years or maybe before, but this slow indoctrination of conservatism to the ignorant, and uneducated class of society has allowed them to build a base of people who are anything but free thinkers. Now I don't want to say that all conservatives are poor white ignorant people, because we know that’s not true, however saying that poor white ignorant people tend to be conservatives tends to be true.

The easiest way to get someone to oppose something that clearly undermines their own social welfare is to hijack some popular topic that the individual holds dear, make them believe that you believe as they do, and make them believe that someone out there does not feel the same way. A small example of this is the conservative christian movement, who has spent much of their time convincing people in poor southern regions to vote against their own interests purely on the fact that liberals do not hold the same values as they do. After all, according to the conservative agenda all liberals are atheists faggots who care nothing about human life, so much so they are willing to end the life of a baby in in utero. And really that's what this whole thing comes down to doesn't it?

Conservative agendas being what they are, did you expect this to be about anything else? Conservatives have a view of women that has been eroded since the feminist movement of the 60's. Rich white men, want easy to control women, who's existence is purely for their pleasure. A woman exists for no other reason than to please her man. A woman's job is to clean her husband's home, fix him dinner when he comes home from work, sexually please him when he requires it, and give him children when he wants it. Giving a woman the right to vote, take a job, or decide if she wants to terminate an unwanted pregnancy or not, does not fit into their tightly held belief system.

In 1972, Roe v. Wade changed everything, because it made it legal to terminate a pregnancy by giving that right to the woman. Ever since then, the conservative agenda has been pushing itself forward all with the intent on reversing this decision. So it should be no surprise to anyone that now that the conservatives have been given judicial control of our highest court system, they are going to use it. I believe they are merely waiting for the right time, and the right case to bring before the Supreme Court, it is only a matter of time before Roe v. Wade is overturned.

Now the good news, you can stop this, all of this. Stop electing conservatives who do not care about you, unless you are rich and white and have power. Being that this is still a democracy, the power of the people to control it's government is still absolute, but it is my belief that it is the intention of the conservative movement to limit this slowly overtime, passing control of the government from the people to the corporations and the wealthy. What I believe is happening is equivalent to a CS SLOWHACK of our civil liberties. The time for revolution is now, the longer you wait, the less likely you can affect change.

Exploiting people's emotions of fear, envy and anxiety is not hope, it's not change, it's partisanship. We don't need partisanship. We don't need demagoguery, we need solutions. - Paul Ryan

Partisanship is our great curse. We too readily assume that everything has two sides and that it is our duty to be on one or the other.  - James Harvey Robinson

To the American people I say, awaken to what is happening. It is the duty of each citizen to be vigilant, to protect liberty, to speak out, left and right and disagree lest be trampled underfoot by misguided zealotry and extreme partisanship. -  Robert Royd

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