People Power Beats the Bastards for the Third Time in 35 Days!

THREE TIMES already in this very short year – that is, if you cheat a little and count New Year’s Eve as part of 2012 – spontaneous and overwhelming outrage of the American people has knocked the Bastards back on their heels and at least temporarily thwarted their plans to take away our liberties.  Now, the Bastards in each of these cases have been slightly different but overlapping forces, and as we’ll see later, each of these victories has been partial and partly temporary, but we should still feel encouraged and invigorated that we CAN make the Bastards back off, when we all band together.

12/31 – the Bastards cave (partly) on the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA)

Last year’s NDAA was the sort of thing that comes up each year and really has to be signed, or else soldiers stop getting their paychecks, cats have sex with dogs, and even worse happens.  But this time the NDAA, as you’ve probably heard, had some really troubling provisions buried within it – unconstitutional, even – buried within it by Bastards in Congress – mostly Republicans but certain Dems too – doing the bidding of their zombie bastard Masters in the Permanent National Security State.  Among other atrocities, this bill authorized the indefinite detention of American citizens without charges, rolling us back to before the Magna Carta – this is what caused most of the distress.

And we lit up the switchboards and the night with our outrage – dissenters from left to right, good Republicans and Democrats, Occupiers and Ron Paul supporters!  (I refuse to include Tea Partiers, assuming they still even exist, as all the Teabag Reps from the Class of 2010 voted happily for the bill with spittle flying from their gaping mouths.)

So.  Would President Obama have just gone ahead and quietly signed this monstrosity if it weren’t for the shitstorm we stirred up?  Who knows, he may have, he has NOT been as great on civil liberties as one would have hoped from a Constitutional scholar – turned – President.   But in the event, he put off the signing till the last day of the year, probably agonizing over his options, and finally did exactly what yours truly had suggested – signed it with a very emphatic (and rare, for him) SIGNING STATEMENT specifying that he would not use these new, dictatorial authorities the bastards wanted to foist on him.

1/20 – the Bastards behind SOPA and PIPA cave on plans to police our internets

Diamond put up a decent piece last month explaining how the overblown concerns over “Internet Piracy” giving rise to the House’s “Stop Internet Piracy Act” (SOPA) and the Senate’s “Protect IP Act” (PIPA) had led to a slippery slope where the government could shut down any website on mere suspicion of using unauthorized content.  Remember, that’s when Google, Wikipedia, Redditt, and many blogs from left to right went black for a day in protest. They sure get points for an assist in THAT popular rebellion.

THIS time, the Bastards were mostly Democratic legislators (and some Republicans) beholden as they are to Hollywood money.  Looking out the Capitol door during a coffee break and taking note of the rapidly approaching mob with torches and pitchforks, they quickly ditched the obnoxious legislation and took the day off.

2/3 – the Bastards behind Komen’s assault on Planned Parenthood cave!

The Bastards behind Susan G Komen For the Cure’s attempted defenestration of the beloved Planned Parenthood are not exactly the government, I know, but they may as well be – after all, they are, for one thing, a minority dedicated to taking liberties and rights away from the majority of women, and they ARE aided and abetted by the Congressional Republicans.  I’m talking about the noisy and tireless minority of zealots who want to swerve this country back to the era of back-alley clotheshanger abortions, and don’t mind letting a few hundred thousand poor women die of breast cancer if that’s what it costs.

The shitstorm of reaction THIS time was so big, and so recent, that if you listen closely you can still hear the echoes.  The GOP really doesn’t know what it’s doing when it picks on Planned Parenthood, and I sort of hope, as a Democrat, that they keep it up.  PP is no defenseless, disorganized ACORN, but has been firmly ensconced in the middle class, law-abiding and professional, for more decades than I can count on one hand.  The Komen folks, yanking their hand away as though from a hot stove, blurted “Just kidding,” and then probably asked their zealot friends to please leave them alone.

No time for complacency!

ALL of these victories were partial and/or temporary:

  • The NDAA is signed;  it will be there for the next President if not overturned – the next President who could be as much worse than Bush as he was worse than his dad;  Obama himself is perfectly capable of using its bad parts if he changes his mind;  and after all it largely only codified officially many things Bush and Obama had done anyway.
  • Soon after PIPA and SOPA were dropped, as Glennzilla pointed out, the Government shut down the popular Megaupload site merely due to unproved allegations – exactly the sort of bullet we thought we’d dodged.
  • And while Komen relented as far as not to retract previously awarded grants to Planned Parenthood, there’s no guarantee they’ll award any future.

Well, friends, Jefferson warned us that the price of liberty is endless vigilance.  And imagine what we could accomplish together if we ratcheted this up tenfold!  As the French like to say,  “The people should not be afraid of their government, the government should be afraid of its people.”

About Vern Nelson

Greatest pianist/composer in Orange County, and official troubador of both Anaheim and Huntington Beach (the two ends of the Santa Ana Aquifer.) Performs regularly both solo, and with his savage-jazz quintet The Vern Nelson Problem. Reach at, or 714-235-VERN.