Burch: We are no longer free or equal

Thursday, January 12, 2012 at 10:05pm
By Michael R. Burch

Tennesseans believe they are free and equal, thanks to the U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights. But if our government ignores those sacred documents, are we really free and equal?

I woke up on a sunny New Year’s Day morning with a positive attitude and bright hopes for the future. Then to my shock and dismay I learned that President Obama had just signed the National Defense Authorization Act into law. With a whisk of his presumptuous pen, he whisked away the most basic human rights and freedoms of 300 million Americans. The NDAA seems to allow American citizens to be arrested without charges, then transferred to foreign prisons where they can be held indefinitely without hearings or trials.

The NDAA is just the latest dangerous gambit of politicians who use fears of terrorism and the buzzword “security” to justify what can never be justified: robbing American citizens of their Constitutional rights. It’s easy enough to understand what our “protectors” have been doing, if we examine the facts.

As reported by Reuters on Oct. 5, an American citizen, Anwar al-Awlaki, was targeted for extrajudicial murder via a “kill or capture list” created by a “secretive panel of senior government officials.” Awlaki was later killed by a CIA drone strike in Yemen along with another American citizen, a magazine editor named Samir Khan. According to government officials, “Khan was in the wrong place at the wrong time.” The top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, Rep. Dutch Ruppersberger, concurred, calling Khan’s death “collateral.”

According to Reuters, the secret panel is a subset of the White House's National Security Council. Ruppersberger explained how it works to reporters: the NSC “does the investigation, they have lawyers, they review, they look at the situation, you have input from the military, and also, we make sure that we follow international law.” But what about following the Constitution, which gives Americans the right to due process before they’re imprisoned for life, or executed?

Ironically, after Obama sternly criticized the Bush administration for issuing legal memos justifying torture, his own administration upped the ante by endorsing the extrajudicial capture and killing of American citizens without due process.

Yes, al-Awlaki was fiercely critical of our government, but so are many freedom-loving American peace activists who question the wisdom and justice of both wars. What if al-Awlaki was more right than wrong? Even if he was wrong, what about his right to speak freely and dissent, as an American citizen?

According to Reuters, “officials acknowledged that some of the intelligence purporting to show Awlaki's hands-on role in plotting attacks was patchy.” Should our government and military go around murdering American citizens on hearsay?

The NDAA, which nullifies (or at least ignores) critical parts of the Constitution and Bill of Rights, seems eerily similar to certain acts used by the Nazis to imprison ordinary German citizens indefinitely or execute them, based on suspicion alone, without ever bringing forth charges or having a fair trial.

76 Comments on this post:

By: Loner on 1/13/12 at 1:25

Nausea Alert - the following could make one want to puke....

Headline: Rick Santorum's wife: I ask "Holy Spirit to speak through him"

"For me so much of it is spiritual," Karen Santorum told CBN News' David Brody. "...When you're aware of our Lord and His presence in your life everyday, when you're moving through the crowds, when you're giving speeches and me as Rick's wife, I'm watching him, and the whole time he's speaking so often, I'm just there praying for him, asking the Holy Spirit to speak through him. And I feel like God's hand of protection is upon us."


If Santorum ever gets elected, our nation will cease to be a secular, constitutional, republican democracy...we will become a full-blown Judeo-Christian theocracy...and this twit of a woman would be our First Lady.

By: Loner on 1/13/12 at 1:29

A President Santorum...Mister Born-Again Super Catholic...with a USSC composed of 6 devout Catholics and 3 devout Jews...would be a recipe for self-destruction of the American experiment.....these folks are dangerously nutsy religious zealots.

By: Loner on 1/13/12 at 1:44

Mr. and Mrs. Santorum are outspoken advocates for the rights of the human fetus...starting out with a fertilized ovum. And they are outspoken advocates for the Jewish State.

Santorum needs to be asked why he does not say a word about the estimated 50,000 state-sponsored Israeli abortions annually. Google Efrat Friends of Israel for the ugly facts.

Israeli women have a right to choose, but American women do not? What gives, Senator?

By: Captain Nemo on 1/13/12 at 1:52

Rick Santorum the voice you hear in your head, is not me.


By: Mike Burch on 1/13/12 at 2:06

I think Bush, Cheney and Rumsfeld should be tried for treason and war crimes. How many Americans and Iraqis died on false pretenses?

If someone tries to rob a store and people die, that's murder. So why aren't we trying these goons for trying to gain control of Iraq's oil fields?

If I have guns in my house, and I hear rumors that my neighbor may be trying to obtain guns himself, what happens if I invade his house and kill his children? Shouldn't I go to jail or be executed?

Who has the right to kill other people on suspicion and hearsay?

By: BenDover on 1/13/12 at 2:18

The wars in Afghanistan and Iraq were entered into by a large bi-partisan consensus. The charges that BUSH LIED! have been thoroughly debunked to all but the Bizzaro world Yogis who have an equal zeal against Bush that Yogi has against Obama (ironically with yogi's arguments being better founded than those affected with Bush Derangement Syndrome).

The question after you enter into a war with the support of the majority of the people and bi-partisan majorities of the Representatives and Senators is whether you finish the job or not.. Thankfully Bush and, to his credit, Obama had the stones to see this through and give Iraq at least a fighting chance of a stable society.

By: Captain Nemo on 1/13/12 at 2:31

There you go again, Ben. The war of choice in Iraq was manufactured by the Bush administration and then bipartisan consensus.

By: BenDover on 1/13/12 at 2:39

That's as nut-ball as yogi ranting about birth certificates nemo. Everyone was looking at the same intel. Hillary Clinton, Tom Daschell, John Kerry, and all of the other Democratic leaders were on board. The posturing and unfounded accusations all came later as political theater when when the going got tough and the Dems wanted to try to score political points on the growing unpopularity of the war.

By: Captain Nemo on 1/13/12 at 2:53

Just because I disagree with you Ben, that does not give you the right to insult me by comparing me with yogi.

The Center for Public Integrity found that Bush and seven members of his administration made 935 demonstrably false statements in the lead-up to the war, from September 2001 to September 2003, as reported in Iraq: The War Card.


By: Captain Nemo on 1/13/12 at 3:06

Anyway have a good weekend.

By: brrrrk on 1/13/12 at 3:13

BenDover said

"The wars in Afghanistan and Iraq were entered into by a large bi-partisan consensus. The charges that BUSH LIED! have been thoroughly debunked to all but the Bizzaro world Yogis who have an equal zeal against Bush that Yogi has against Obama (ironically with yogi's arguments being better founded than those affected with Bush Derangement Syndrome)."

Talk about a false equivalency....

By: BenDover on 1/13/12 at 3:20

Didn't mean it personally, Nemo... I was just defending the point... sorry. Have a nice weekend.

By: yogiman on 1/13/12 at 3:54


I can assure you I'm not against Obama personally as a fellow human being. I am strictly against Obama for being the usurper he obviously is.

And as I have stated before about this NDAA bill Mike just wrote about. Congress is the branch that wrote that bill, not Obama. Congress passed in with a 93-7 vote in the Senate 85 percent in favor in the House. Obama BSed about not like some of it but he signed it. If he didn't like it, why did he sign it? That bill give the government absolute power. That bill alone should scare the hell out of every American on this earth.

Check it out. I believe its items 1031 an 1032 that is scary as hell by giving them absolute power.

There seems to be a lot of gas coming from your pro Obama BSers. Try cooking a pot of beans this weekend and put a 2TBS of castor oil in your pot about 20 minutes before they are done. It may take some of that gas out of you.

By: yogiman on 1/13/12 at 8:17

Well, well. It looks like Barry is worried about what Sheriff Arpaio is finding on him. Because the sheriff is enforcing national integration laws, his deputies have been striped of their ICE federal badges by the DOJ.

Yep, that's the Eric Holder that decided it was okay for the ACORN billy clubbers to block white voters at their voting booth.

All the sheriff and his deputies are doing is upholding the laws and Barry wants them to stop. It might cost him some votes from the illegal aliens.

Boy, what a great usurper.

By: yogiman on 1/14/12 at 1:10

This is a permitted copy of the last article written by Charlie Reese of the Orlando Sentinel. He was a journalist there for 49 years. He is retiring and this is his last column. Its long, but worth reading. It makes a lot of sense.

Titled: 545 vs. 300,000,000,000 People - By Charlie Reese

"Politicians are the only people ion the world who create problems and then campaign against them.

"Have you ever wondered, if both the Democrats and the Republicans are against benefits, Why do we have deficit

"Have you ever wondered, if all the politicians are against inflation and high taxes, WHY do we have inflation and high taxes?

"You and I don't propose a federal budget. The President does.

"You and I don't have the Constitutional authority to vote on appropriations. The House of Representative does.

"You and I don't write tax codes, Congress does.

"You and I don';t set fiscal policy, Congress does.

"You and I don't control monetary policy, Congress does.

"One hundred Senators, 435 congressmen, the President, and nine Supreme Court justices equates to 545 human beings out of the 300 million are directly, legally,morally, and individually responsible for the domestic problems that plague this country.

"I excluded the members of the Federal Reserve Board because that problem was created by the Congress. In 1913, Congress delegated its Constitutional duty to provide a sound currency to a federally chartered, but private, central bank.

"I excluded all the special interests and lobbyists for a sound reason. They have no legal authority. They have no ability to coerce a senator, a congressman, or a President to do one cotton-picking thing. I don't care if they offer a politician $1 million dollars in cash. The politician has the power to accept it or reject it. No matter what the lobbyist promises, it is the legislator's responsibility to determine how he votes.

"Those 545 human beings spend much of their energy convincing you that what they did is not their fault. They cooperate in this common con regardless of party.

"What separates a politician from a normal human being is an excessive amount of gall. No normal human being would have the gall of a Speaker, who stood up and criticized the President for creating deficits. The President can only propose a budget. He cannot force the Congress to accept it.

"The Constitution, which is the supreme law of the land, gives sole responsibility to the House of Representatives for originating and approving appropriations and taxes. Who is the speaker of the House now? He is the leader of the majority party. He and his fellow House members, not the President, can approve any budget they want. If the President vetoes it, they can pass over his veto if they agree to.

"It seems inconceivable to me that a nation of 300 million cannot replace 545 people who stand convicted-- by present facts-- of incompetence and irresponsibility. I cannot think of a single domestic problem that is not traceable directly to those 545 people. When you fully grasp the plain truth that 45 people exercise the power of the federal government, then it must follow that what exists is what they want to exist.

"If the tax code is unfair, its because they want it unfair.

"If the budget is in the red, its because they want it in the red.

"If the Army and Marines are in Iraq and Afghanistan it's because the want them in Iraq and Afghanistan...

"If they do not receive Social Security but are on an elite retirement plan not available to the people, it's because they want it that way.

"There are no insoluble government problems.

"Do not let these 545 people shift the blame to bureaucrats, whom they hire and whose jobs they can abolish; to lobbyists, whose gifts and advice they can reject; to regulators, to whom they give the power to regulate and from whom they can take this power. Above all, do not let them con you into belief that there exists disembodied mystical forces like "the economy," "inflation," or "politics" that prevent them from doing what they take an oath to do.

"Those 545 people, and they alone, are responcible.

"They, and they alone, have the power.

"They, and they alone, should be held accountable by the people who are their bosses. Provided the voters have the gumption to manage their own employees.

"We should vote all of them our of office and clean up their mess!

"What yo do with this article now that you have read it.. is up to you.


By: yogiman on 1/14/12 at 1:55

More from Charlie Reese. This is about our taxes and might be funny if it weren't true. Be sure to read it all the way to the end for a good laugh... or reason to cry.

"Tax his land, tax his bed. Tax his table, at which he's fed.
Tax his tractor, tax his mule. Teach him taxes, are the rule.
Tax his work, tax his pay, He works for peanuts, anyway!
Tax his cow, tax his goat, tax his pants, tax his coat.
Tax his ties, tax his shirt, tax his work, tax his dirt.
Tax his tobacco, tax his drink. Tax him if, he tries to think.
Tax his cigars, tax his beer. If he cries, tax his tears.
Tax his car, tax his gas. Find other ways, to tax his ass.
Tax all he has, then let him know, that you won't be done, till he has no dough.
When he scream and hollers; then tax him more. Tax him till; he's good and sore.
Then tax his coffin, tax his grave. Tax the sod, in which he's laid.
Put these words, upon his tomb, 'Taxes drove me, to my doom..."
When he's gone, do not relax. Its time to apply, the inheritance tax."

"Accounts receivable Tax, Building permit Tax, CDL license Tax, Cigarette Tax, Corporate Income Tax, Dog license Tax, Excise Tax, Federal Income Tax, Federal Unemployment Tax (FUTA), Fishing license Tax, Food license Tax, Fuel Permit Tax, Gasoline Tax (currently 44.75 cents per gallon), Gross Receipts Tax, Hunting License Tax, Inheritance Tax, Inventory Tax, IRS Interest Charges Penalties (tax on top of tax), Liquor Tax, Luxury Tax, Marriage License Tax, Medicare Tax, Personal Property Tax, Property Tax, Real Estate Tax, Service Charge Tax,
Social Security Tax, Road Usage Tax, Recreational Vehicle Tax, Sales Tax, School Tax, State Income Tax, State Unemployment Tax (SUTA), Telephone Federal Excise Tax, Telephone Federal Universal Service Fee Tax, Telephone Federal, State and Local Surcharge Taxes, Telephone Minimum Usage Surcharge Tax, Telephone Recurring and Nonrecurring Charges Tax, Telephone State and Local Tax, Telephone Usage Charge Tax, Utility Taxes, Vehicle License Registration Tax, Vehicle Sales Tax, Watercraft Registration Tax, Well Permit Tax, Worker Compensation Tax" (Any taxes I'm missing?)

"Still think this is funny? Not one of these taxes existed 100o years ago, and our natrion was the most prosperous in the world.

"We had absolutely no national debt, had the largest middle class in the world, and Mom, if agreed, stayed home to raise he kids.

"What the heck happened? Can you spell 'politicians?'"

Me thinks its time for a complete turnover in Congress' personnel.

By: dargent7 on 1/14/12 at 7:00

Sat. 14
You might be interested to know that both Romney's father AND grandfather were both born in Mexico City. Dad was born in 1912.
Still out there to be confirmed is where is great-grandfather was born.
So, how is Mitt eligible to be President if Obama isn't?
For that matter, how did George become Governor of Michigan?
Yogi- I trust you won't let the color of their skin influence your researching this topic with the same vengence you exhibited going after Obama.

By: Loner on 1/14/12 at 7:54

Do NOT feed the troll.

By: dargent7 on 1/14/12 at 8:27

I long for the olden days when we all hated Sid. Made fun of "Chief". Ridiculed the old guy who wore a tin foil hat. gD, House, Blanket, mama with here 42GG's...
All chimed in.
Where'd this fool spring up from? He's taken over the forum.
Maybe he was a Union boss in a past life. And we all know what happened to Jimmy Hoffa.
ps...If the Broncos win tonight, there's no stopping Tebow.
Like John Lennon once said, " (We're) He's more popular than Jesus Christ".

By: yogiman on 1/14/12 at 9:01


The man's race has had nothing to do with my "argument" about him being in that office illegally. But it seems to be the shining factor as to why you are supporting him so strong.

You do need to become re-educated about the Constitution and the definition of "natural born citizen". I ask again, why do you think our founders placed that requirement in our Constitution?

As for Romney's father and grandfather, I haven't read anything about his grandfather. I have read where his father and mother were both American citizens.

Look up the laws of 1961. If a child was born to parents of two nations, the American parent had to live in the United States a minimum of 10 years of which five of those years had to be after their 14th birthday. According to all he has 'said', Obama's mother was only 18 years old when he was born. She could not pass her citizenship down to him. His father was a Kenyan in the US simply as a student. Obama could only be born as a British subject with a Kenyan father.

Forget whether he is black or white, dargent7. Just look up the facts.

Why do you think he is so refusal in identifying himself? There's one reason and one reason only, he's in that office illegally as hell.

Unless you supporters of 'Obama' are socialists or a communists, you better wake the hell up. It isn't just Obama pulling this stunt off. He's just sitting in that office. It's Congress that's pulling this stunt off.

Who do you think passed that NDAA law? It wasn't Obama. The president cannot pass a law, they can only make an executive order and congress can override that order.

The president can only make suggestions. Congress is the determining body making the laws. i.e., the ruling body.

By: Loner on 1/14/12 at 11:18

Yeah, I remember those good old days too, Darge.

The NCP may have slipped in its readership since then, that or the novelty of online posting has worn off for some.....maybe a combination of those and other factors need to be considered...the troll has turned some away, or so they say.

As for Tim Tebow, he is a hot property at this moment. If he loses, will he blame Satan, himself or the Lord? He'd never blame the Lord...he might blame himself...certainly Satan would be factored in....that's the trouble with Divine Intervention...when success turns to failure, who you gonna call?

The Bills beat the Patriots this season, but lost on the second match-up...the Bills beat the Broncos this past season too. We got bragging rights.

By: yogiman on 1/14/12 at 11:36


You can get knocked down in a fight, and if you're the man you think you are, you can get back on your feet and knock the hell out of your opponent.

I was only knocked down once in my boxing career, but I got back on my feet and knocked the man out.

I'm still fighting for my (our?) American nation in my career (meaning my lifetime). I guess I've lost a little strength in my punches because of my old age, but I'm still swinging and solid on my feet. I ain't gonna git knocked down by a bunch of light swingers.

By: yogiman on 1/14/12 at 9:00


Its interesting; You think Bush, Cheney and Rumsfeld should be tried for treason because of their involvement in the Iranian conflict. On what basis do you have evidence to justify that decision?

But for obvious reasons, its also interesting for you not see any reason Barack Obama and Eric Holder should be tried for treason.

Did you feel it was okay for the ACORN group to block voters in the 2008 election by standing in front of the voting booth in uniform with a billy club and not brought to court? Do you feel they should file a lawsuit against States of the Union for enforcing national laws on integration?

Are you a part of the "media" that did such a great job finding all of that information within one week when Tiger Woods crashed his Escalade?

Just think: The press found every woman Tiger had had an affair with during the past several years.

They was even able to uncover photos, text messages, recorded phone calls, etc. They not only knew the cause of the family fight but they knew it was a 9 Iron "from his golf bag" that his wife used to break the windshield in his car. Not only that, they knew which wedge she used.

Each and every day after that, they were able to keep America up on his sex rehab stay, his wife's divorce settlement figures as well as the dates and tournaments he was scheduled to play. Fantastic, informative media... aren't they?

And Isn't it also amazing that Barack Obama has been in office over three years now, yet this very same press media cannot find any of his childhood friends or neighbors; any of his college classmates or locate any of his college papers or grades.

They have not been able to determine how he paid for his education at Columbia and Harvard colleges or discover which country issued his passport to travel to Pakistan in his 1980's visit.

They haven't even been able to find Michelle Obama's Princeton thesis on racism.

For some reason, they just can't seem to uncover any of this information. Amazing, ain't it?

By: pswindle on 1/14/12 at 10:33

Do you stop sleeping in trying to come up with somenting to blast the Obamas. with? George Bush is the root of all our problems. We could not even find out if Bush went to college except that he was a cheerleader, and his Daddy took care of everything. Get a life.

By: yogiman on 1/15/12 at 6:49

Unless you are already a socialist, pswindle, you better get a new life if you want to remain as an American citizen. At least study the Constitution. I personally want a person in the White House legally and your favorite boy certainly isn't.

You blame George Bush as the root of our problems? If your man is so great, what has he done in his three years of vacations and golf games to solve any of those problems. What has Obama done except spend money to place this nation deeper into debt than all president combined before him? And its Bush's fault? BS!

Just wondering, just what do you know about Barack Obama except nothing?

By: yogiman on 1/15/12 at 3:04


Your primary article on this site was 'well said' on these political issues of today.

I have been rereading Barack Obama's autobiography "Dreams from My Father" this weekend. And I must say; more closely this time than my original reading.

To refresh your memory, he stated several times the government of Hawaii would not allow him to have his birth certificate when asked about it in his race for the POTUS.

Believe me, I'm not trying to sell this book, but on page 26 he was referring to a time with his father and made the statement, "I discovered this article, folded away among my BIRTH CERTIFICATE and old vaccination forms, when I was in high school." The article he was referring to was an article in the Honolulu Star-Bulletin newspaper upon his father's graduation from the college he was attending there.

Now, if he had his birth certificate when he was in high school, how could the government refuse him to show it in his adulthood in a US presidential race?