S/SW blog philosophy -

I credit favorite writers and public opinion makers.

A lifelong Democrat, my comments on Congress, the judiciary and the presidency are regular features.

My observations and commentary are on people and events in politics that affect the USA or the rest of the world, and stand for the interests of peace, security and justice.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

The State Has the Power to do What?!

The enormous power of certain elements of U.S. federal and state government is something to concern us as citizens.  From intruding into social media, searching our person or tracking our whereabouts without due cause, and state legislatures waging war on women, the power is being overused.

Negative use of social media - Isn’t it ironic that in the same period as the announced Untied States initiative against (Syria and Iran) for the use of social media to target its citizens, we learn that USA Today may have been the target of a false propaganda campaign coming out of the Pentagon.

Invasions of privacy - Despite a recent ruling that people being arrested for very minor offences can legally be strip searched, the Supreme court seems troubled by police GPS tracking efforts and will rule on that case sometime before June

Impose more restrictions on reproductive rights - According to the Guttmacher Institute, 6 states have passed laws requiring abortion providers to perform an ultrasound on each woman seeking an abortion. Medical personnel must provide the woman an opportunity to view the image.  A recent Texas antiabortion law is now being enforced following court rulings.  In a February story by Reuters, the law is, to quote:
a law requiring abortion providers to show or describe to a woman an ultrasound image of her fetus . . .
While most of those states allow women to decline to view the image, Texas, Oklahoma and North Carolina require women to hear the provider's verbal description of the ultrasound.  The laws in Oklahoma and North Carolina are temporarily not being enforced, pending court challenges.
The supreme irony regarding “power-over” us, is that it can be misused by the institutions we are supposed to be able to trust – the Supreme Court and the military—as well as the far right wing of the Republican party.

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