Danger, Danger!

It seems that the battle for liberty will never end. Even our most basic liberties, such as the rights to a fair trial, free speech, free religion, and a free press, enshrined in the US Constitution by our forward-thinking founders who feared that later generations may try to impose the yoke of tyranny on our Republic, are constantly, ceaselessly under siege. Don’t be fooled; this attack on the people does not spring solely from the outside, from freedom-hating communists and Islamists, but also from within our own ranks.

At the present moment, it is clear that many of our elected officials were lying through their teeth when they “solemnly swore” to uphold the Constitution of the United States, among which pack of tyrants is our own President! Yes, if you’ll remember from a few scattered news stories back in December, Barack Obama signed the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for the Year 2012, containing language authorizing the indefinite definition of American citizens without cause or trial. Sure, he claimed to have “serious reservations” about the aforementioned arrest powers, but those turned out to be false after he vigorously defended the law in court.

Back in June, I didn’t find it necessary to talk at length about NDAA or explain why our right not to be randomly seized for any reason whatsoever is absolutely sacred (it’s the difference between peace and Soviet Union-era forced labor camps), as New York District Court Judge Katharine Forrest ruled the disputed sections of the Act unconstitutional, but now, the Lil’ Stalin Act is back in play. You heard me right; Obama and his attack hounds lawyers have appealed Forrest’s decision, and for at least the next 10 days, before the Second Circuit Court of Appeals makes its own ruling on NDAA, the injunction prohibiting the enforcement of the law has been suspended.

Would this be a good time to panic? Probably not. The military’s right to indefinite detention of US citizens (and legal resident immigrants, for that matter) is so blatantly unconstitutional that the Second Circuit Court of Appeals will more than likely agree with the honorable Judge Forrest. Even if the appeals court’s ruling should fail; the “Freedom 7” journalists will bring NDAA to the Supreme Court, where it will be unlikely that Obama will win given the current Court’s disposition on the right to trial (it has ruled in favor of it 3 times since 2003).

There is obviously something to fear in the current state of our habeas corpus rights; most obviously the possibility (however small) that the case against NDAA will end in a loss for our republic and its Constitution, but also the danger that draconian laws in this vein will keep coming regardless of the courts’ desire to uphold our rights.

Consider that NDAA 2012 saw a near-unanimous approval in the Senate (92-8), a huge margin of victory in the House (283-136), and was met with relatively little concern by the people. This is disconcerting. We live in an age still populated with repressive dictators (i.e. Kim Jong-Un, Vladimir Putin), and yet the people of the United States are eager to forget that the “American Freedom” that we pride ourselves on is built not by good will, not by the smiles on campaigning politicians’ faces, but by laws which narrowly restrict the authority of government officials.

Without a vigorously enforced Constitution, we might as well end up under the thumb of Big Brother, constantly in fear of being executed, jailed, or simply removed from the public. This isn’t what we need to turn to, we still live in a democratically elected system, and we as citizens have the power to take action and stop the USA from turning into the USSA. Contact your Congressman/woman. Get informed about your rights. Don’t vote for politicians who want to take away our rights, and get the word out to others so that they will do the same. Remember, if it takes 100 keys to open a door, every key counts, so no individual standing up for his/her rights is “wasting time” or “unnecessary” for the movement to succeed.

The Dictator: The Review

If you’re like me, you probably love tasteless and offensive humor, the kind of jokes that PC crybabies can’t seem to differentiate from actual racism, sexism, and hatred. As we know, one of the best artists of tasteless humor over the last decade has been Sacha Baron Cohen, the British comedian who made audiences everywhere laugh with Da Ali G Show, and his equally tasteless (and unscripted) movies, Borat and Bruno.

Cohen’s latest film, The Dictator, has met with significantly less positive reviews (A 59% on Rottentomatoes’ Tomatometer compared to Borat‘s 91%), and I can’t really see why. Certainly, The Dictator can’t provide the same sense of oh-my-god-he’s-doing-that-to-random-people as in his first 2 movies, given that it’s a scripted movie, but I feel that a third unscripted movie would wear out the whole unscripted-comedy shtick.

That said, The Dictator still has a comedic roof set above it, but it manages to bring in its fair share of laughs. Sacha Baron Cohen is as willing as ever to make a film that breaks and ridicules Western taboos on sex, race, and gender, dedicated to the memory of Kim Jong-Il. The character of General Aladeen is reminiscent of Borat; socially backwards yet still likable (I have no doubt that audiences were cheering Aladeen on as he fought to stop democracy from coming to his country). The presence of basic elements of Cohen’s previous work are enough to make The Dictator at least worth seeing.

Of course, The Dictator is no Borat. The inclusion of a love scene in The Dictator did little more than make the whole film feel that bit more unoriginal, adding nothing to the laughs department, and the occasional bouts of leftist propaganda definitely made the film feel less funny at certain points (though most European audiences probably took to those points). Critics have also slammed the movie for its lack of a complex plot, but if you’re really searching for a complex, intelligent plot, don’t look for comedy movies, go read a book.

Ultimately, The Dictator has everything it needs to satisfy fans of Cohen’s type of humor, and though it will never become as memorable or iconic as Borat, I thoroughly enjoyed seeing it and would recommend it to anybody who enjoys a little bit of tasteless humor.