I was going to write on other issues, including the potential overruling of Miranda laws (a case worth keeping a close eye on as if the government makes their case it both eliminates the “right to remain silent” and opens the door to much more severe interrogation techniques), but I'd like to talk primarily about the US pull out of Karzai security.
Hamid Karzai is the drug warlord put into power by the US to rule Afghanistan to ensure the US oil pipeline deals would be signed. Now that that is complete, the US is pulling its forces out — and Karzai, who's already survived one assassination attempt still needs military guards of course. To replace the US military, private contractor DynCorp has been hired.
First, please read and understand what I've written about emergent behaviour in large corporations. Then look at the damage a “benign” company can produce. Then realize that this is a very high-end mercenary company (it's called in when conditions are considered too dangerous for US special forces) that has also been caught up in scandals ranging from the financial to running rape rings in Bosnia (where they'd been contracted to run policing), shooting down the wrong places (remember the missionary they shot down in Peru?), drug smuggling, and so on. Oh, and they were significant contributors to the Bush campaign of course.
You've seen what companies start demanding when they get powerful (RIAA/MPAA are of course examples that you know well). You've seen that they act without any kind of ethical constraints or concerns for the public. You know this is a company comfortable with trading human life for money. You must realize what's going to happen when they are contracted to do domestic security and policing — and don't think that's not going to happen. I've linked a dozen articles in the last six months showing the percentage increase in private contract to public forces.
I'd recently lent someone the book “101 Things To Do 'Til The Revolution” (a US libertarian and constitutionalist type book). After reading me, she asked me, “I really liked the book, and I thought it was good advice, but the book never really talked about the revolution.”
That's because those writers don't know what the revolution is going to be. There's a revolution going on right now — these large companies (like the one above) are trying to overthrow the government. When that revolution is over, things get very scary. Republican fools are voting to make it happen under the sad delusion that they're making small responsible government and a land of liberty. They're not. They're removing the last defences the public has against these monsters.
PS. The scrapbook turned out totally awesome. I think everyone who ordered one is definitely going to be very happy with it… And I think there's a real good chance people are going to wear them out!