Sunday, January 29, 2012

A thing barely noticed

Wikipedia: the Enemy Expatriation Act

Stephen D. Foster Jr., New Bill Known As Enemy Expatriation Act Would Allow Government To Strip Citizenship Without Conviction, January 6, 2012:

The new law would change a part of US Code 1481 which can be read in full here. Compare 3166 to 1481 and the change is small. The new section makes no reference to being convicted as it does in section (7). So even though the language of the NDAA has been revised to exclude American citizens, the US government merely has to strip Americans of their citizenship and the NDAA will apply. And they will be able to do so without convicting the accused in a court of law...

The SOPA/PIPA legislation encountered massive push-back, whereas the NDAA passed with BHO's signature, after language was inserted to exclude American citizens. And now this. SOPA is dead, at least for now, but the interests that favor it learned lessons about how to better market their wares, and in the meantime types got to bask in the warm relevance of a still functional democracy. As with the Keystone Pipeline, one imagines SOPA/PIPA will be back, if in some other form. Of course as Arthur Silber recently pointed out, all of these measures are just designed to make legal (and seemingly respectable) things the government does anyway.


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At January 29, 2012 7:07 PM, Blogger Jack Crow said...

It confounds me to realize that there are still people who believe that laws are made from the ground up...

At January 29, 2012 7:17 PM, Blogger Karl Franz Ochstradt said...

yes, I'm perplexed that anyone on earth disagrees with Jack Crow on anything. he is the ultimate authority on all matters known and knowable.

witness how he is confounded by nameless unidentified people --straw men, most likely-- who hold a view that he'd never hold himself!


At January 30, 2012 4:15 AM, Blogger Jack Crow said...

You have my sympathy, Karl/Charles/Sean/Sockpuppet.

It's got to be terribly burdensome to be so lonely, bitter, mean and angry all the time.

At January 30, 2012 12:00 PM, Blogger Jonathan Versen said...

I check th' blog and I note 3 comments(!), and I feel enthusiastic about the topic having generated some interest.

But instead I see this. Say La Vee, as goofballs who can't spel might say. Mite as wel roll with it:

from Wikipedia:

On stardate 5730.2, the Enterprise is on a mission to help decontaminate the polluted atmosphere of the planet Ariannus when sensors track a Federation shuttlecraft reported stolen from Starbase 4. The craft is disabled and brought aboard along with its strange alien pilot who is found injured and taken to sickbay. The man later awakens and identifies himself as Lokai — a political refugee from the planet Cheron who requests asylum. Lokai's most striking feature is that his skin is half black and half white, the two halves split perfectly down the center of his body. His unique physiology is explained by Mr. Spock as possibly being "one of a kind".

Shortly thereafter, sensors detect another spacecraft in fast pursuit of the Enterprise. Curiously, the craft remains invisible to all but sensors and sets itself on a direct collision course with the ship. Moments later, Spock reports the invisible craft has disintegrated and deposited an "alien presence" aboard the ship. Kirk turns to see the alien pilot who has beamed himself directly to the bridge. The second alien identifies himself as Bele.

Like Lokai, Bele is half black and half white, with the color divided by a line through the exact center of his face. However, the sides of Bele's black and white skin are reversed from those of Lokai, a difference which seems inconsequential to the Enterprise crew but of great importance to Bele, Lokai, and, apparently, their civilization. The difference is pointed out by Bele to a perplexed Captain Kirk who asks what is the difference between them, to which he replies, "Isn't it obvious? Lokai is white on the right side. All his people are white on the right side."

I know, I'm playing the disingenuous game of offering a false equivalence in characterizing a dispute. Still, I'm struck by the facile irony that in real life Frank Gorshin was known for being an impressionist, and KFO is known for his many monikers.

So, Jack, I guess that means you get to be Lokai/Lou Antonio in this version, if you care for the role.

(I'm th' one who can't spel, in case U R wondering. They may wrangle, but they spel good.)

At January 30, 2012 1:14 PM, Blogger Mimi said...

Um...I'm just a female, so my brain, of course, doesn't have near the capacity yours do AND I'm a timid old lady who's confused by the reference to Star Trip or whatever it is, so I can't figure out what the fuck's going on here with the comments. Just thought I'd let you know.

At January 30, 2012 10:15 PM, Blogger rob payne said...

Hi Mimi,

Don’t demean yourself, women are smarter than men in my humble opinion. And there is nothing wrong with being old, in fact I prefer it. I wouldn’t be young again for any reason. I don’t claim to understand what is going on in the comments but I rather suspect it has to do with baggage from previous arguments. I’ve been insulted numerous times over at Ioz’s place but my skin has grown thicker and in fact being accused first of being a pwog, then a prehistoric conservative makes me just smile these days. I think it’s kinda cute considering I no longer imbibe of either philosophy since they both exist on the pretext that democracy is valid and that it works in some mysterious way unkown to myself. Cheers!

Hi Jonathan,

An intersting post and I do recall that episode of Star Trek. Still, getting back to your post I have to agree with Mr. Silber that the US government can do whatever it wants even without such poorly convieved legislation such as DOPA and PIPI-POO-POO. When you consider that Barack “I’m a constitutional lawyer” Obama claims he can murder anyone he chooses for whatever reason he can dream up or not as the case may be shutting down portions of the internet would be a breeze for Dear Leader.

At January 30, 2012 10:20 PM, Blogger Jonathan Versen said...

You delicate females! Star Trip, ha ha! Oh, you're funny!

Hi Mimi, what's up?

the episode of Star Trek is discussed on Wikipedia here:

"Let that be your last Battlefield"

And a Youtube clip:

Youtube used to have the whole episode, via CBS, but I suppose they got tired of giving it away, or just wanted to gauge public interest. Still, a clip gives you the general idea, and you might surprise yourself and remember having seen it a while back.

At January 31, 2012 3:39 AM, Blogger Mimi said...

Thanks, Rob and Jon.

At February 10, 2012 4:50 PM, Blogger micah holmquist said...

The thing about the anti-SOPA protests is that they had support from some very large companies including google, which of course I am using the services of right now.

I think it would be interesting to see just what google could get the public to support or oppose. My guess is that if they used their to promote the Enemy Expatriation Act, that many people would email their reps about how we need to pass this bill.

By the way, when the original Star Trek was on during its original run, was watching the show a "cool" thing to do or has Star Trek always been something for "nerds"? (I mean no disrespect to "nerds." FWIW I tried to like the show when I was growing up, and I guess I did on some level, but neither the original series nor any of the follow ups inspired me to be a passionate follower.)

At February 11, 2012 1:35 AM, Blogger Jonathan Versen said...

Hi Micah,

My impression is that the SOPA dust-up was still pretty small, in terms of the degree to which it registered "outside the beltway" and outside the sphere of bloggers and news junkies.

Were average people aware of the fuss regarding SOPA/PIPA, let alone regarding the NDAA/Infinite detention Act? I don't know, but my guess is no. People vote once every 2 or 4 years, and tell pollsters how much disgust and discontent they have, then they either vote some more, or stop voting.

And of course some people send emails and faxes because they have a nerdy friend who sends them chain emails regarding outrage x or outrage y, etc, and bored congressional staffers who just want a job place them in the virtual equivalent of the circular file.

Or not. I don't know. It's like the tree in the forest. If a pollster doesn't ask 800 to a thousand likely voters about issue x, do people know or care about it?

Aren't some of the Occupy protests still going on? Who got bored with them first, the general public or the media? (Or was it a tie? Again, I dunno.)

Why is the sky blue? Why can't white people make decent Mexican food? Why does Karl Franz McGillicutty-whatever have a fondness for fanciful monikers? Why am I up this late?

But I agree with you, re teh Google, et al, influencing people.

Re question 2 about Star trek, my impression is it was just modestly popular when it was on but acquired a stronger following over the course of the 70s in syndication.

Dennis Perrin wrote a while back that his teen aged son disliked the 2nd show "the next generation" saying it was boring and the original was more interesting.

I do think the 2nd show suffered from excess techno-gobbledygook aimed at the cultish trekkie audience, while the first show was written for the casual viewer who doesn't have much interest(or patience) in learning the lore of the Star Trek universe, and the various fictitious outer space civilizations and their backstories.

At February 11, 2012 3:55 PM, Blogger micah holmquist said...


My impressions come from eavesdropping on only one campus, but on the day of the google blackout, it was the "top trending" topic in conversations amongst the late teens/early twenty something college students that I was around. These are not the type of people who talk about what they read in The New York Times, either in print or digital form. I suspect this isn't isolated and is widespread amongst many "digitally active" people.

I'm sure in other circles the topic never reached a critical mass of interest.

At February 11, 2012 5:03 PM, Blogger Jonathan Versen said...

Oh yeah? :)

Ok, I'm kidding. I'm sure you are correct Micah. If you go to and look at the middle column "in the news" you'll see a huge list of polling results listed by topic, including things like polls about women in combat and US relations with Pakistan, but nothing about polls regarding Intellectual property law or SOPA/PIPA, let alone NDAA. Unless I missed something.

I kid of course, per the possibly falling tree in the forest, because obviously people have opinions about tons of things, irrespective of whether the media and pollsters and such have any interest in discovering them.

Speaking of the digital divide(and implicitly the generational divide) I also get the impression that there's a big gap between younger people and the rest of the adult population in terms of optimism about the future and about confidence in our elites knowing what's best and meaning well, etc, which I suppose is potentially a good thing.

I wonder if you have any thoughts about that Micah.

At February 12, 2012 11:02 AM, Blogger Mimi said...

I've been brooding over this for a week or so, and since comments on this post seem to be going on forever, I'll hurl it at ya:
I wasn't being serious in my earlier post. It was an attempt at sarcasm, but clumsily done, I guess. 'Nuff said.

At February 12, 2012 1:22 PM, Blogger Jonathan Versen said...

Hi Mimi,
I felt sure you were being sarcastic, which is why I wrote "oh, you delicate females."

(Besides, I recall you left a comment about Shatner looking hunky in the pre-toupe 1960s when I posted a YT clip of him fighting a monster a few months ago, so I knew you had at least a passing familiarity with the show. So I thought you were tipping your sarcasm hat when you referred to it as Star Trip, but figured I should post the link anyway.)

Like you, I generally try to avoid using emoticons to indicate that I'm funnin' because I feel as if that's a cop-out most of the time, but of course some rules are made to be broken, including unwritten rules, especially when you actually write about them.

But I digress.


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