military tribunal

I realize that when most people think about interpreters, they either confuse them with translators or just imagine them as boring people who sit in a box all day and repeat the boring speeches politicians give at conferences. Somehow I doubt that most people have ever thought about how important interpreters have been for the way we communicate and how the world today would not be the same without them. And I also doubt that people have ever viewed interpreters as badass or as heroes. Therefore, I’d like to tell you about:

The Interpreters at the Nuremberg Trials

I guess most of you already know what the Nuremberg Trials were, but here’s a short explanation for those who don’t: The Nuremberg Trials were a series of military tribunals, held by the Allied forces after the Second World War. They took place in the city of Nuremberg and they were most notable for the prosecution of prominent members of the Nazi leadership. As the people involved with the trial were American, British, French, German and Russian, it had to be conducted in four different languages. Which is why they needed interpreters.

I recently went to an exhibition about those interpreters and even though it was a really small one, it was super impressive- because of what I learned about them.

Here are some of the most interesting and impressive facts:

·         Before the Nuremberg Trials, simultaneous interpreting did not exist. Before the trials, people believed that the human brain was not capable of something like that. The simultaneous interpreting equipment used for the trials was the very first of its kind.

In this video you can see a demonstration of the simultaneous interpreting system. Later you can also hear some of the interpreters’ interpretations:

·         None of the interpreters had ever worked as a simultaneous interpreter before. (The reason was, of course, that this profession had not existed before the trials.) Some were translators, consecutive interpreters or linguists, and others were ordinary people who had grown up bilingually, or people who had fled from Germany before the war and lived abroad for a while. The bar was set very high and they had to pass difficult and complex tests, including mock trials, before they were allowed to interpret at the tribunals. Since none of them had any kind of experience with simultaneous interpreting, they had to train themselves in a very short time.

·         Without simultaneous interpreting, the Nuremberg Trials would have taken much longer or might not even have been possible at all. Before the trials, only consecutive interpretation was used. (With consecutive interpretation, the speaker stops every few minutes and the interpreter repeats what he said in the target language.) Since there were four court languages (English, German, French and Russian), using this interpreting technique would have prolonged the trials significantly. As the Cold War started soon after the end of the tribunals, it is unclear whether they could have been finished, had they taken any longer.

·         Simultaneous interpreters were not the only language professionals working at the trials. If a witness spoke neither of the four court languages, consecutive interpreters were brought in to interpret their testimony- which was then interpreted again by the simultaneous interpreters. There were also interpreters sitting behind the judges to help them communicate. The American and the British judge were seated next to each other, so they could exchange their thoughts, but if they wanted to talk to the French and Russian judge, they needed the help of their interpreters. Translators also worked at the trials. They translated the notes taken by the court reporters in shorthand. These translations were then compared to recordings of the simultaneous interpreters’ interpretations, to make sure that they hadn’t made any mistakes which could influence the outcome of the trials.

·         In total, the team consisted of approximately 50 interpreters, 200 translators and 100 people who compared the interpretations with the court reporters’ shorthand. Of course, this generated a lot of paperwork. One photo taken by the American military photographer Ray D’Addario shows employees in the court’s document room standing literally ankle-deep in translation paperwork.

·         Interpreters at the trials worked 85 minute shifts on their own. (In contrast, simultaneous interpreters today work in teams of two and take turns in shifts of up to 30 minutes.)

·         Sometimes, interpreters were not able to finish their shift- not because of exhaustion, but because they could no longer handle the psychological strain and could no longer force themselves to listen to what was being said. The trials dealt with the worst atrocities committed by the Nazis- war crimes, genocide, mass murder and crimes against humanity. Many interpreters had to be replaced -either because they left or because they returned to the translation department- and later many said that they had nightmares because of those trials. One interpreter, however, also said that he didn’t really catch all the details of what was being said, because he was always way too focused on getting the grammar and the vocabulary right. (And yes, that happens. A lot.)

·         One of the most famous photos of an interpreter at the Nuremberg Trials does not actually depict an interpreter. The photo in question shows a young woman in a red suit wearing headphones and explaining the simultaneous interpreting system to the press. However, she was not actually an interpreter, but a lawyer’s secretary. The reason she was chosen as a model for this photo was that she always had the most fashionable suits, because her mother was a tailor.

·         Interpretations and Translations could influence the outcome of the trials. The fact that recordings of simultaneous interpretations were checked against the translations of the court reporters’ shorthand limited the risk of communication mistakes, but could not eliminate it completely. Many Nazis, like Göring for instance, tried to use this to their advantage- which, of course, put the interpreters under immense pressure to get everything exactly right. Richard W. Sonnenfeldt, the lead interpreter for the prosecution, remembered Göring asking him: “Could you find me a good lawyer? Although I might need a good interpreter even more than a lawyer.” After the trials, some defendants claimed that they had only been found guilty because of translation or interpretation mistakes. Interpretation or translation mishaps could also negatively affect the prosecution, though. A mistranslation of the word “Freimachung” (translated with “liberation” instead of “clearing”) caused a big problem for chief prosecutor Robert H. Jackson during his first confrontation with Göring in court. Of course, some words also have more than one meaning. And sometimes, one meaning was more incriminating than the other. Those words quickly became bones of contention.

More about the equipment

·         Unlike interpreters today, the interpreters at the Nuremberg Trials did not have soundproof booths. Therefore, they had to be careful to not be distracted by ambient noise all the time. Their booths were nicknamed “the aquarium” because they were made of glass. However, those booths were not even closed glass boxes. There was one big glass panel in front of them, and smaller glass panels were used to separate the booths. The headphones were not soundproof either, and probably also not very comfortable.

·         Everyone had to wear headphones, except for the guards. There were more than 300 headphones in the court room at all times.

·         Each interpreter had a sign which said “slow”. They would hold it up if they wanted the speaker to talk more slowly. If a speaker did not see this (or ignored it), either the interpreters or a technician could push buttons which would light up differently coloured lights on the speaker’s table. The orange light told the speaker to slow down and the red light was a signal that there was a technical problem and the session had to be suspended until this problem was fixed.

What influence did those interpreters have on the future?

·         Together with other interpreters who worked at the trials, Colonel Léon Dostert, the head of the interpreters at the tribunals, founded the United Nations Interpretation Service. The technology used in Nuremberg became the basis of modern interpreting technology and ever since the Nuremberg Trials, simultaneous interpreting has become an integral part of international politics and diplomacy. Without simultaneous interpreting, international institutions like the UN, NATO, the EU or the WTO would look completely different today.

These interpreters did something that was considered to be impossible before the Nuremberg Trials. People believed that the human brain was not capable of simultaneous interpretation and yet those interpreters did it. In a short time, they taught themselves how to do it. They worked with newly developed equipment that was far from perfect: Uncomfortable headphones, people tripping over cables and no soundproof booths. They worked shifts which were nearly three times as long as shifts today, and all the time they had to listen to descriptions of the horrific atrocities committed by the Nazis. But even though they were constantly faced with these horrors, even though they were under immense pressure- the interpreters, translators, and other language professionals involved with the trials still did their job. They all put themselves through immense stress, psychological strain and possibly trauma, to make the trials happen and to make sure that Nazi war criminals received the punishment they deserved. Without those interpreters and translators, it would not have been possible. The simultaneous interpreters in particular were pioneers of their profession. Without them, simultaneous interpreting might not even exist. And without simultaneous interpreting, international institutions like the UN or the EU would look completely different today. The world might look completely different, too. After all, during the Cold War, fast communication with people who spoke different languages was essential. Who knows what might have happened without interpreters?

So, yeah, I don’t want to hear people calling interpreters boring ever again.

Just in case you’re interested in hearing more about this topic from someone who has actually lived through all this; here’s a speech by Siegfried Ramler, one of the interpreters who worked at the Nuremberg Trials:

[Finally, I’m not a historian or anything like that; I’m just telling you what I learned at the exhibition and from a few articles about it, because i found it interesting and super impressive. So if there’s anything that’s not correct, I apologize. Please let me know and I’ll correct it at once!]


A great moment from the Nuremberg Trial on 31 August 1946. Rudolf Hess asks to give his final statement to the court sitting down and is allowed to do so. Ribbentrop then holds the microphone for him. After 20 minutes, Justice Lawrence interrupts (Goering and Hess scramble to put on their headphones) to gently tell him to hurry it up with the words, “The Tribunal, therefore, hopes that the Defendant Hess will conclude his speech.”

DC preferences #1 How you meet

Diana Prince/ Wonder Woman

She was tracking down another immortal. From what she understood, they weren’t an Amazon or a God, but they never aged. She didn’t expect her search to lead her all over the world, she had been in Syria, Somalia, South Sudan, India, Bangladesh, Pakistan, now she was walking the wards of a children’s hospital in Dublin.

She was almost distracted from her mission by the children. She took her time to talk and take a picture with each of them. She immediately knew it was you when she saw you, talking with one of your patient’s parents, a stethoscope hanging from your neck. Once you were done she approached you. What she didn’t expect was you to greet her with a gentle smile, “I knew it was a matter of time before you found me Miss…”

“Prince, Diana Prince” she said as she held out her hand.

“Dr (y/n) (y/l/n)” you said as you shook her hand, “I know you’ve came a long way, but would it be okay if we spoke later, my shift ends in an hour”, whilst looking up apologetically.

“I will remain here until you are done” Diana said a small smile pulling at her lips.

Kara Danvers/Supergirl

You had the same powers as her and her cousin but you weren’t Kryptonian, well not entirely. You were a well-known hero and worked as an illustrator for children’s books in National-City. As a result of your work you were going to be interviewed by Catco’s new art and literature editor, Kara Danvers.

The two of you were in the middle of your interview when your phones went off. Lucy Lanes name flashing on your screen, Alex Danvers flashing on hers. That’s when your eyes met. “You work for the DEO” you said simultaneously.

Alex Danvers

As the DEO chief doctor, the first time you met Alex Danvers wasn’t the best circumstances. “Agent Danvers could you please sit down” came the frustrated voice of your co-worker.

“Dr Williams go get a coffee I’ll take over” you said as you walked into the room. As soon as your co-worker left Agent Danvers started her protests once again.

“You may be a doctor but you are also an agent and I order you to let me go and do my job” she said as she stood in front of you. You sighed in response and Agent Danvers thought she had won.

“DEO Health Policy 1.1.A states clearly that when it comes to the health and well being of all agents, no matter the rank, the doctors have the final say, so Agent Danvers sit your ass down on that bed and let me stitch up the cut on your head and carry out a concussion evaluation” you said looking her directly in the eye. To your surprise she smirked.

Lucy Lane

You were a naval meteorologist and met Lucy for the first time during a military tribunal, you were asked to give your expert opinion on the weather conditions that may or may not have affected the flight of an army jet. After Lucy saw you were a reliable witness you became her go to for cases involving meteorology.

It had been several years since your last court appearance and you were now working in Catco, travelling the world and reporting on the weather and natural disasters. It was when you saw Lucy that morning that the two of you got talking, “Major Lane is that you?” you asked, feeling relieved that it was her when she turned around, “Lieutenant Commander (y/l/n), it’s good to see you” she said.

“Its good to see you to, but its just (y/n) now, what brings you to National City?”

Cat Grant

It was early on in both of your careers when Cat Grant first interviewed you. “So (y/n) where did you get the inspiration for your latest film” she asked relaxing back in her seat preparing to take notes on your answer. “To be honest, is it okay if I call you Cat?” you asked and she nodded back, “To be honest Cat, I took it from everyday sexism, when bringing a character like the Black Widow to life you look at what society say are her weaknesses and turn them into her strengths.”

“People are complaining about there being a female dominated cast in a super hero movie what do you have to say about that” she said, sighing slightly at the stupidity of the people complaining.

That was when a broad grin took over your face, “I never even noticed that it was female dominated”. That was when Cat Grant knew that she would get on well with you.

Harley Quinn

“Touch my friend again and I swear to god you’ll be drinking from a straw for the rest of your sorry miserable life” you threatened the guy who was easily a foot taller than you. Harley was kind of shocked, she was about to step in and beat the no good creep into a pulp when she saw you.

“If you’re jealous sweet cheeks, I don’t mind you joining us” he said as he grabbed your hips and pulled you towards him. That’s when he was suddenly doubled over in pain, holding his hands between his legs. Before anyone could react he was on the floor twitching and electricity was coming from your hands.

You didn’t notice his friend come up behind you. But Harley did. “Hey Mista, sneaking up on people isn’t nice ya hear” she said as she hit him round the head with her bat.

By the time the two of you had beaten up every guy in the bar it was late and way passed closing. “Harley, nice ta meet ya” she said offering you her hand and a wide smile.

“(y/n) and its good to meet you too, thanks by the way god knows what those guys would have dome if you didn’t help” you said taking her hand and smiling back at her.

“Don’t mention it, ya need a hand getting your friend back home?” she asked looking at your friend who was out cold in the booth where you had left her.

“That would be amazing” you said, giving Harley a grateful look.

Poison Ivy

Once she herd of your powers she knew she had to meet you. How did you have the same powers as her? She needed to know. That was how she ended up sat in front of Gotham city hall, looking at you from a distance. She watched carefully as you gently touched a rose on one of the rose bushes that lined the walls.

Then she noticed the movement of the dandelion poking through the paving stones. She touched it lightly, feeling its message. “If you have something to ask Miss Ivy, just ask it”, she looked across at you with an eyebrow raised only to see you smirking at her.

Winn Scott

You needed a second pair of hands and fast. Of course the first person who your bosses at the DEO though of was Winn. You were in your office typing with one hand and trying to untangle wires with the other. “Agent (y/l/n) this is Winn, he’s going to give you a hand with the thing you’re doing that I don’t really understand” Kara said as she looked around your office, eyebrows knitted in confusion at the absolute chaos.

“Hi Winn thanks for jumping in” you said, briefly looking up at him “Right now were hacking an unknown alien system in a coding language we don’t understand, whilst connecting up Kara’s pod to use Kryptonian tech to create confusion and make them think the hack isn’t coming from a human source”. You said as Winn reached out and took the wires untangling them allowing you to type with both hands now.

“So hook this up to the CPU and create a Kryptonian firewall using the pods basic coding for reference” he said, “That pretty genius” he said as he connected the wires. “Well see if it works first” you said smiling.

J'onn J'onzz

You thought you were the last of the Green Martians, until you saw him. “You seem to have fitted into the human world well” said the Martian standing in front of you.

“How” you said as you looked up at him in awe, “I thought…”

“That you were the only one left” he said, looking at you as you transformed in front of him.

Jimmy Olsen

As Catco’s war correspondent you travelled the world with you laptop, notebook, pen and your usual photographer. However your usual partner had changed job, looking for a slower pace of life. So you sat in your office waiting for your new photographer before you planned out your new trip. That was when you saw the head of photography at the door. You looked up in confusion, “I’m assuming you’re coming to tell me that you couldn’t find a photographer for this trip” you said.

“I couldn’t find a willing photographer, so I will be going with you” he said as he held up his camera.

“And Cat’s okay with this?” you asked, wondering whether she would really let her award winning head of photography go into a war zone.

“She wants good pictures, you and me are the only people crazy enough to go into this particular war zone” He said as he sat down on the chair opposite you.

“Fair enough” you shrugged as you pulled a map out of your desk.

Clark Kent

You worked at the Daily Planet as part of the world political section and you both covered American Politics. You met him after you returned from reporting on a NATO summit, “Hi, I’m Clark Kent” he said standing up to shake your hand once he saw you. “I’m (y/n) (y/l/n), it’s nice to meet you” you said as you shook his hands.

Bruce Wayne

You found him battered, bruised and unconscious in the dumpster at the side of your apartment building. You immediately ran in doors and got your neighbour to help bring him in side. Being a nurse you had medical supplies in your apartment.

You were patching him up when he woke up, “Who are you?” he said as he looked up at you realising his mask was sitting you your coffee table. “I am (y/n) (y/l/n) but I feel more like Claire Temple at the minuet” you said as threaded the needle, preparing to stitch the cut on his head. “Now this might sting a bit” you murmured as you leaned towards him.

Trump is Captain Queeg

In the classic movie “The Caine Mutiny” Humphrey Bogart plays Queeg a captain of the U.S. Naval ship Caine. Queeg is a neurotic man nearing an emotional breakdown. He focuses all his energy on some missing strawberries in the mess but when faced with a crisis at sea he freezes up. He is the butt of jokes among his officers and men. This increases his paranoia. Eventually, the second in command relieves him of duty and he and the crew face a military tribunal. It’s Trump to a tee.  

There is a lot of animosity toward Trump personally. He was a joke all through the primaries and then the country and the world were stunned by his victory. He is seen as crude, boorish, ignorant and of a mediocre intellect one insufficient to grasp all of the complex issues which a president faces. People are enjoying watching him fail. 

The thing is that he is president. The office means something. I opposed Donald Trump from day one. I campaigned hard first for Bernie and then for Hillary. I have opposed his appointments of his cronies to important posts. I opposed his attacks on social security and the gutting of the EPA. Yet, now, I’m not laughing at the late night comics like I used to. It’s just not funny anymore.


                                                                Tappan, the 1st October, 1780

Sir, ––

          Buoy’d above the Terror of Death by the Consciousness of a Life devoted on honourable pursuits, and stained with no action that can give me Remorse, I trust the request I make to your Excellency at this serious period, and which is to soften my last moments, will not be rejected.

          Sympathy towards a Soldier will surely induce your Excellency and a military Tribunal to adapt the mode of my death to the feelings of a man of honor.

          Let me hope, Sir, that if aught in my character impresses you with esteem towards me, if aught in my misfortunes marks me as the victim of policy, and not of resentment, I shall experience the Operation of these Feelings in your Breast by being informed that I am not to die on a Gibbet.

                                        I have the honour to be
                                              Your Excellency’s
                                                        Most obedient and
                                                                most humble Servant,
                                                                        John André. Adj. Gen.
                                                                               to the British Army.

John André’s letter of appeal to General George Washington asking him to alter the mode of his execution from hanging to a firing squad. Hanging, considered the traditional method of execution for a spy, was not an honorable way to die. André wished to die a soldier’s death and pleaded to the General of the Continental Army to make that change.

André wasn’t the only one to entreat Washginton to change his sentence; notable members of Washington’s staff, Alexander Hamilton and the Marquis de Lafayette, also approached Washington on André’s behalf. Ultimately, André’s sentence was not changed, and André was hung in Tappan, New York, on October 2, 1780.


We’re not sure exactly where she was born, or when she was born, but we know that Mary Harris was from somewhere in Cork County, Ireland, and immigrated to North America with her family as a child to escape the Irish famine. In her early twenties, she moved to Chicago, where she worked as a dressmaker, and then to Memphis, Tennessee, where she met and married George Jones, a skilled iron molder and staunch unionist. The couple had four children.  Then tragedy struck: a yellow fever epidemic in 1867 took the lives of Mary’s husband and all four children. Mary Harris Jones returned to Chicago where she continued to sew, becoming a dressmaker for the wealthy. “I would look out of the plate glass windows and see the poor, shivering wretches, jobless and hungry, walking alongside the frozen lake front,” she said. “The tropical contrast of their condition with that of the tropical comfort of the people for whom I sewed was painful to me. My employers seemed neither to notice nor to care.” Then came the Great Chicago Fire of 1871. Mary once again lost everything.

After the fire, Mary began to travel across the country. The nation was undergoing dramatic change, and industrialization was changing the nature of work. She worked with the Knights of Labor, often giving speeches to inspire the workers during strikes. She organized assistance for workers’ strikes, and prepared for workers’ marches. In June 1897, after Mary addressed the railway union convention, she began to be referred to as “Mother” by the men of the union. The name stuck. That summer, when the 9,000-member Mine Workers called a nationwide strike of bituminous (soft coal) miners and tens of thousands of miners laid down their tools, Mary arrived in Pittsburgh to assist them. She became “Mother Jones” to millions of working men and women across the country for her efforts on behalf of the miners. Mother Jones was so effective the union would send her into mines, to help miners to join unions. In addition to miners, Mother Jones also was very concerned about child workers. To attract attention to the cause of abolishing child labor, in 1903, she led a children’s march of 100 children from the textile mills of Philadelphia to New York City “to show the New York millionaires our grievances.” She led the children all the way to President Theodore Roosevelt’s Long Island home.

A political progressive, she was a founder of the Social Democratic Party in 1898. Mother Jones also helped establish the Industrial Workers of the World in 1905. For all of her social reform and labor activities, she was considered by the authorities to be one of the most dangerous women in America. In 1912, Mother Jones was even charged with a capital offense by a military tribunal in West Virginia and held under house arrest for weeks until popular outrage and national attention forced the governor to release her. In her eighties, Mother Jones settled down near Washington, D.C., in 1921 but continued to travel across the country. She died, possibly aged 100, in 1930.  Her final request was to be buried in the Miners Cemetery in Mt. Olive, Illinois, where you can visit her grave today.

“A color photograph of the bombed-out historic city of Nuremberg, Germany in June of 1945, after the end of World War II. Nuremberg had been the host of huge Nazi Party conventions from 1927 to 1938. The last scheduled rally in 1939 was canceled at the last minute due to a scheduling conflict: the German invasion of Poland one day prior to the rally date. The city was also the birthplace of the Nuremberg Laws, a set of draconian antisemitic laws adopted by Nazi Germany. Allied bombings from 1943 until 1945 destroyed more than 90% of the city center, and killed more than 6,000 residents. Nuremberg would soon become famous one last time as the host of the Nuremberg Trials – a series of military tribunals set up to prosecute the surviving leaders of Nazi Germany. The war crimes these men were charged with included ‘Crimes Against Humanity’, the systematic murder of more than 10 million people, including some 6 million Jews. This genocide will be the subject of part 18 in this series, coming next week.”

(National Archives)

The Trial of Kylo Ren

I…….cannot believe part of me studying for my criminal law final now involves trying to figure out what charges and legal defenses would be available during the inevitable trial of Kylo Ren

I cannot believe I settled on, “this is actually a trick question, everything except the attack on the temple falls under military law, which I haven’t really studied”

I really cannot believe I wrote this rambling sort-of-meta-mostly-question-marks post anyway.

NOTE: I am assuming that the laws of the New Republic looks mostly like the criminal codes of the United States (and Illinois in particular.) I am only dealing with those actions talked about/presented on screen during TFA. Speculation will be limited, and outside tie-ins are not considered.

Keep reading

  Arc I — The Long and Winding Road

  A fanfiction collab with sildae

  Chapter 2: With a Little Help From Senators

Word Count: 3,669
Characters: Ahsoka Tano, Padmé Amidala, Riyo Chuchi, Sabé.
<<Chapter 1 | Chapter 3>>

Although Padmé had said she’d arranged something to pique Ahsoka’s interest, she spent the rest of the time sidestepping each of Ahsoka’s attempts at guessing, which had grown fewer the more Ahsoka ate. Breakfast, beautifully arranged on the dining room table, had been spent with Ahsoka devouring her weight in reesku-omelette while Padmé steered the light conversation along neutral paths, sticking to the weather and tame Senate gossip.

Between the omelettes, the fresh Corellian fruit, and the pitcher of muju juice, Ahsoka had managed to beg for a hint only twice, but Padmé stubbornly refused, a smirk dimpling her cheeks. When Ahsoka finally sat back in her chair with a defeated sigh at the food still in front of her, Padmé rose, smoothed out her skirt, and said, “Follow me.”

Keep reading
Coco Chanel - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Coco Chanel was a goddamned Nazi and let's not forget that

Yes, it’s her birthday.  But before you decide to post quotes from her or celebrate her life, let’s not forget that she was literally, actually a Nazi.

Vaughan establishes that Chanel committed herself to the German cause as early as 1941 and worked for General Walter Schellenberg, chief of SS intelligence. At the end of the war, Schellenberg was tried by the Nuremberg Military Tribunal, and sentenced to six years imprisonment for war crimes. He was released in 1951 owing to incurable liver disease and took refuge in Italy. Chanel paid for Schellenberg’s medical care and living expenses, financially supported his wife and family, and paid for Schellenberg’s funeral upon his death in 1952.

There’s more in the actual wikipedia article, including as always some historical controversy, but at the bare minimum she loved and financially supported a Nazi.

I believe that the Filipino will respond to the call of greatness, not by coercion but by persuasion, not by intimidation but through the ways of freedom. Peace and order without freedom is nothing more than slavery. Discipline without justice is merely another name for oppression.
—  Statement of the late Senator Benigno S. Aquino Jr. (1932-1983) before Dictator Ferdinand E. Marcos’ military tribunal (Commission No. 2), Fort Bonifacio, August 27, 1973. 
''You are Eren Jäger, yes? As a soldier, you've pledged your life to serve the public, correct? Regular law cannot apply in these exceptional circumstances. Therefore, this will a military tribunal. Ultimate authority has been entrusted to me... Even over your life. Now, I will ask you only once. Do you have any objections?''
The Bill Of Rights?

If they can tell you there’s certain things you’re not allowed to say, you don’t have free speech.

If they can tell you there’s only certain places you can protest, only at certain times, and only by special license, you don’t have the freedom to assemble.

If they can tell a journalist they can only cover an event from within a designated area or risk arrest, you don’t have a free press.

If they can tell you there’s certain guns you can only own with a government license, you can only carry in certain places at certain times with a special license, you don’t have the right to bear arms.

If your police use military weapons and military tactics, then you have soldiers quartered among you.

If you can be stopped and frisked because you ‘look suspicious’ or you happen to be near a border zone, if your home can be searched by police and soldiers because the city is under martial law and there’s a supposed terrorist on the loose, you have no right against unreasonable search and seizure.

If you can be tried by military tribunal if you’re designated a terrorist combatant, or be assassinated by drone strike, or be interred and have your property confiscated because of the color of your skin and your ethnic ancestry, you have no right to a fair trial.

If you can be indefinitely detained by the simple expedient of a Patriot Act waver, you don’t have the right to a fair trial or a trial by jury.

If you can be tear gassed, pepper-sprayed, shot with rubber bullets, blasted with LRADs, tased, or outright gunned down in the street for nonviolent offenses and peaceful protest, you have no right to protection from cruel and unusual punishment.

If your government bars you from nonviolent behavior not expressly mentioned in the Constitution, the rule of construction does not apply.

If your State government permits you rights to nonviolent behavior but your federal government prosecutes you for it anyway, your state has no rights.

That’s your Bill of Rights. It’s gone. It’s completely eviscerated and you sit there and tell me we live in a free country? You don’t. You say the Constitution protects you? It doesn’t.

It never did.

Guilty Verdict of Noted Philippine Social Critic Upheld by Polavieja

In an unsurprising development on December 28, 1896, Governor-General Camilo Polavieja upheld the guilty verdict of Jose Protacio Mercado Rizal Alonso y Realondo, better known as Jose Rizal, for subversive activities and fomenting rebellion in the Spanish colony of the Philippines. This comes on the heels of a rushed and controversial trial which some local analysts deemed a guilty outcome as fait accompli from the start.

The fallout from the decision is still to be seen, but already the Spanish government is on alert for additional restiveness in Manila and surrounding areas. The revolutionary-minded Kataas-taasan, Kagalang-galangang Katipunan ng̃ mg̃á Anak ng̃ Bayan, or the Katipunan, led by Andres Bonifacio (a known disciple of Jose Rizal) has been active since 1892. Since August 30, 1896 the Katipunan has been in an open state of revolution against the Spanish government.

Jose Rizal burst on the Philippine intellectual scene in the 1880s with a series of stunning essays and novels deriding the Philippine Church and challenging the political and social status quo in the Spanish colony. His portrayals of friars, especially in his first novel Noli Me Tangere, drew the ire of the Church. While his stirring polemics has effectively instilled a sense of nationalism among the Filipino people of all walks of life, much to the chagrin of the Spanish government.

Rizal’s active involvement with Bonifacio’s revolution remains controversial, he has publicly stated that he does not support the current rebellion. However, analysts have noted that he has steadfastly avoided denouncing any rebellious movement which leads to Philippine independence. A close reading of his novels and essays, including his first publicly hailed poem in 1879, indicate a fervently held hope for Philippine independence and freedom. It cannot be denied that he has become the soul of the Filipino movement in the colony.

In defending the decision, Judge Advocate General Nicolas de la Pena, who wrote the guilty decision, stated, “Rizal, like all revolutionaries, has promoted the real rebellion without specifying the moment at which it was to break out.” While it was well-known that the previous Governor-General Ramon Blanco y Erenas was inclined towards leniency with Rizal, the current Governor-General does not seem to be so. Sources within the Palace indicate that Jose Rizal’s mother, Teodora Alonso petitioned the Governor-General for clemency earlier today but was denied access to Malacanang Palace.

As of writing there has been no public statement from the Rizal clan.