Tuesday, September 17, 2019

The disappearing constitution....

Welcome to September 17th -- Constitution Day here in the good ole U S of A.

Our Constitution was signed on September 17, 1787. ... of course it was another few years before the Bill of Rights was formally added to our constituion (December 15, 1791). Perhaps that is the day we really should celebrate (although those rights are disappearing too and for too many those rights never really existed).

Anyway, back to the disappearing part -- one of the supposed hallmarks of our constitution was the notion of three branches of government (executive, legislative, and judicial) that would "check" and "balance" each other.

Ha. In recent years we have had an executive running the show with both the legistative --- and to a large part the judiciary -- asleep at the wheel. I am not just talking about the Trump administration either and I am not just talking about republicans... although Trump does lead the pack with his executive actions and the republicans in congress have no interest in doing anything but appeasing him. However, this has been a problem for decades and the Obama administration did nothing to stem the tide. Absolutely nothing.

So on this constitution day I ask you to put your fuckin flags away, pick up the constitution (and the bill of rights) read both documents- and start demanding that this country start abiding by those principles.  It would be a start anyway!

$13 million per prisoner....

According to Carol Rosenberg at the New York Times that is the cost of running Guantanamo....

GUANTÁNAMO BAY, Cuba — Holding the Nazi war criminal Rudolf Hess as the lone prisoner in Germany’s Spandau Prison in 1985 cost an estimated $1.5 million in today’s dollars. The per-prisoner bill in 2012 at the “supermax” facility in Colorado, home to some of the highest-risk prisoners in the United States, was $78,000.
Then there is Guantánamo Bay, where the expense now works out to about $13 million for each of the 40 prisoners being held there.
According to a tally by The New York Times, the total cost last year of holding the prisoners — including the men accused of plotting the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks — paying for the troops who guard them, running the war court and doing related construction, exceeded $540 million.
The $13 million per prisoner cost almost certainly makes Guantánamo the world’s most expensive detention program. And nearly 18 years after the George W. Bush administration took a crude compound called Camp X-Ray and hastily established it as a holding station for enemy fighters picked up in the war on terrorism, it has taken on a sprawling and permanent feel, with the expense most likely to continue far into the future.

Read the rest here.