It’s time to once again look back at a year gone by.
The year began with the 112th Congress taking office and some members of Congress attempting to appease the TEA Party crowd by reading the Constitution to begin the session. However, the Congress continued to violate the document they swore to uphold by passing, among other legislation, an extension to the USA PATRIOT Act, an extension to FISA and a provision that allows American citizens to be detained indefinitely without trial.
In what became known as the Arab Spring, mass protests broke out in North Africa and the Middle East, with the protesters successfully ousting Tunisian President Ben Ali, Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak, Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh and Libyan “leader” Muammar Gaddafi; however, the American military played a role in Yemen and Libya. The Arab Spring has also seen uprisings in Algeria, Bahrain, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Morocco, Oman, Syria and several other countries.
Most of the summer was spent debating whether or not and by how much the federal debt ceiling should be raised. And as I predicted, “Instead of saying, ‘No, we will not raise the debt ceiling.’ Members of Congress will come to a compromise that will increase the debt ceiling, further inflate the currency and continue to enslave tax-payers with a perpetual debt that will never be paid off.” The compromise involved raising the “debt ceiling” while supposedly cutting $2 trillion of federal spending over the next decade, while actually increasing federal spending by $1.8 trillion over the same time frame.
While Congress was debating how much further to go into debt, peaceful people were being arrested for dancing in public, selling lemonade without a permit and refusing to pay extortion fees to use their own property. Not long after the deal to raise the debt ceiling, a group of people decided to “Occupy Wall Street”. This “occupation” soon spread to solidarity protests across the country. I originally thought the protests would fizzle out around Thanksgiving, however the occupy protests do not seem to be going away.
However, 2011 was not all bad. Courts and juries, at both the State and federal level, upheld the right of individuals to film public officials while on duty. The 1st Circuit Court ruled that filming public officials while on duty is a “basic and well-established liberty safeguarded by the First Amendment.”
The Kuala Lumpur War Crimes Tribunal in Malaysia found George W. Bush and Tony Blair guilty of War Crimes with plans to hold a separate hearing next year on charges of torture linked to the Iraq war against Bush, former Vice President Dick Cheney, former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, former Attorney General Alberto Gonzales and four others.
During 2011, Free Patriot Press published its sixth and seventh books; Don’t Be Tread On by Kevin Kobe and Duopoly: How the Republicrats Control the Electoral Process by Darryl W. Perry. Books published by Free Patriot Press during 2010 won awards from both LAVA and Freedom Book Club.
The Boston Tea Party – the political party formed in 2006 with a one sentence platform, “The Boston Tea Party supports reducing the size, scope and power of government at all levels and on all issues, and opposes increasing the size, scope and power of government at any level, for any purpose” – nominated as Tiffany Briscoe and Kimberly Johnson as their 2012 Presidential and Vice Presidential candidates and will attempt ballot access in approximately 15 States.
Much like years past, this year has seen its share of ups and downs, natural and unnatural disasters, more freedoms were taken away than gained and governments at all levels expanded their authority. Yet authority was also eroded and circumvented in new and novel ways. Here’s to more freedom in 2012 and beyond!