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[P]
What Good is the Bill of Rights?

By felixrayman in Op-Ed
Fri Jan 09, 2004 at 02:21:26 PM EST
Tags: Freedom (all tags)
Freedom

Does the Bill of Rights in the Constitution of the United States mean anything anymore? No.


Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

"When President Bush travels around the United States, the Secret Service visits the location ahead of time and orders local police to set up "free speech zones" or "protest zones," where people opposed to Bush policies (and sometimes sign-carrying supporters) are quarantined. These zones routinely succeed in keeping protesters out of presidential sight and outside the view of media covering the event.

When Bush went to the Pittsburgh area on Labor Day 2002, 65-year-old retired steel worker Bill Neel was there to greet him with a sign proclaiming, "The Bush family must surely love the poor, they made so many of us."

The local police, at the Secret Service's behest, set up a "designated free-speech zone" on a baseball field surrounded by a chain-link fence a third of a mile from the location of Bush's speech.

The police cleared the path of the motorcade of all critical signs, but folks with pro-Bush signs were permitted to line the president's path. Neel refused to go to the designated area and was arrested for disorderly conduct; the police also confiscated his sign".


The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

"The Intelligence Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2004 grants the FBI unprecedented power to obtain records from financial institutions without requiring permission from a judge. Under the law, the FBI does not need to seek a court order to access such records, nor does it need to prove just cause".


No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a grand jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the militia, when in actual service in time of war or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.

'The Bush administration said Wednesday it will ask the Supreme Court to quickly reverse a federal appeals court ruling that ordered the release of former Chicago street gang member Jose Padilla, a U.S. citizen who has been held without charges as an "enemy combatant" for about 19 months"'.


In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the state and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the assistance of counsel for his defense.

"The government has won its argument in lower courts that Hamdi, arrested in Afghanistan while fighting with Taliban troops in November 2001, may be held indefinitely without access to a lawyer or the U.S. court system".


Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.

"Arar denied any connection to terrorists. He was not accused of any crimes, but U.S. agents wanted him questioned further by someone whose methods might be more persuasive than theirs.

So, they put Arar on a private plane and flew him to Washington, D.C. There, a new team, presumably from the CIA, took over and delivered him, by way of Jordan, to Syrian interrogators. This covert operation was legal, our Justice Department later claimed, because Arar is also a citizen of Syria by birth. The fact that he was a Canadian traveling on a Canadian passport, with a wife, two children and job in Canada, and had not lived in Syria for 16 years, was ignored. The Justice Department wanted him to be questioned by Syrian military intelligence, whose interrogation methods our government has repeatedly condemned.

The Syrians locked Arar in an underground cell the size of a grave: 3 feet wide, 6 feet long, 7 feet high. Then they questioned him, under torture, repeatedly, for 10 months. Finally, when it was obvious that their prisoner had no terrorist ties, they let him go, 40 pounds lighter, with a pronounced limp and chronic nightmares".


The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states respectively, or to the people

"In San Francisco on Monday, U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft's Justice Department renewed its campaign to have Oregon's 4-year-old "Death With Dignity Act" thrown out, asking a U.S. appeals court to strip participating Oregon doctors of their right to practice medicine -- or even to charge them criminally.

This from an administration, mind you, which campaigned on a promise that the GOP would do better than the meddling Democrats when it came to respecting the 10th Amendment rights of the several states to decide their own course on such matters (in which the federal Constitution grants the central government no power to meddle, in the first place)".

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What Good is the Bill of Rights? | 389 comments (358 topical, 31 editorial, 1 hidden)
Constitution should be revised to reflect (1.23 / 17) (#4)
by United Fools on Wed Jan 07, 2004 at 11:38:51 PM EST

the realities. If it cannot guarantee the freedoms, it should say so clearly. A good Constitution is honest.

If we must make George Bush the King of America to ensure our security, why not? Freedom cannot provide the fool on the table or the safety from terrorism.
We are united, we are fools, and we are America!

You are so incredibly anti-american. (1.40 / 5) (#46)
by tkatchev on Thu Jan 08, 2004 at 02:19:14 PM EST

Americans venerate and worship their constitution with religious zeal precisely so that they can stop taking it seriously as a functional tool it should be.

Get with the program already.

   -- Signed, Lev Andropoff, cosmonaut.
[ Parent ]

Your rights may be unalienable (none / 2) (#180)
by losthalo on Fri Jan 09, 2004 at 08:24:48 PM EST

But the only thing which prevents your rights from being abused, prevents their free and proper exercise from being restricted, is participating in the government and, if necessary, abolishing said government and enacting a new one to once again protect our rights.

A republic needs the participation of its citizens in order to do right. No system will make it happen

[ Parent ]
-1, YAHRAHTSIF (2.20 / 25) (#12)
by Stickerboy on Thu Jan 08, 2004 at 01:23:19 AM EST

Yet Another Hysterical Rant About How The Sky Is Falling...

Example Given #1: Controls exercised over public gatherings.

Not that I expect you to be an expert or even well-versed in case law, but at no time has any competent judge, liberal or conservative, ruled that controls exercised by law enforcement on public gatherings for legitimate security purposes constitute a violation of the First Amendment.  John Rawls once defined liberty as finding the correct balance between absolute freedom of the individual and the needs of society, and most judges take his view, too.

Presidential Speech?  Hello?  Could there possibly be a security concern there?

I suppose the fact that most towns and cities require you to register to hold a large public gathering constitutes a grave violation of the First Amendment in your view as well.  Isn't it strange how these municipalities all across the country keep getting away with it?

"These zones routinely succeed in keeping protesters out of presidential sight and outside the view of media covering the event".

Are you worried about Free Speech or are you worried about lack of media coverage for your pet viewpoints?  Your complaints sound more like whining at this point.  Have you ever considered that if the protesters had anything interesting or insightful at all to say independent of the President's visit, it wouldn't matter how far away from the President the protest was?  It would seem to me if they focused more on actual content and less on brainless yet catchy slogans, the media might actually take them seriously... regardless of where they are or when they choose to speak.

Example Given #2: Intelligence Authorization Act.

Your article would have been much stronger if you had focused on this issue instead of spreading it out on so many other weak issues.  Honestly, I don't know a lot about the specifics of the Intelligence Authorization Act, in what it says or what it does.  All I've heard is people like you who've said that it's nothing more than a blatant violation of our constitutional rights.  In that case, it should be relatively simple to file an injunction against it and have it struck down, right?  Or is there more I'm not hearing?

Example Given #3: Jose Padilla.

First of all, Jose Padilla was not ordered released.  That kind of tips me off about the rest of the article pretty quickly.  The appeals court ruled that as an American citizen, he cannot be held indefinitely or without due process which includes being able to retain an attorney.  None of which means Jose Padilla is about to walk.

Come to think of it, the fact that a federal appeals court ruled against the Bush Administration in defending Padilla's constitutional rights kind of defeats your initial argument that the Constitution doesn't mean anything anymore, doesn't it?

Example #4: US-born Enemy Combatant.

This one really comes down to whether or not Hamdi retains his US citizenship.  Hamdi was fighting for the Taliban in Afghanistan, in a shooting war against US military forces.  Does that act constitute a knowing forfeiture of his citizenship and therefore his constitutional rights as a citizen?  A lot of people would argue so... which is why it's being brought up before the Supreme Court.  I certainly hope they take the case, I'm interested in hearing what the final arbiters of the interpretation of the Constitution have to say about him.

Reading comprehension test: FAILED (2.60 / 10) (#14)
by felixrayman on Thu Jan 08, 2004 at 01:36:18 AM EST

Not that I expect you to be an expert or even well-versed in case law, but at no time has any competent judge, liberal or conservative, ruled that controls exercised by law enforcement on public gatherings for legitimate security purposes constitute a violation of the First Amendment.

If you would read the link in the story, you would read that those who had opinions favorable to Bush were allowed to express those opinions, those who had opinions unfavorable were not. That's simply tyranny and there is no excuse for it, much as there is no excuse for the rest of your post.

Call Donald Rumsfeld and tell him our sorry asses are ready to go home. Tell him to come spend a night in our building. - Pfc. Matthew C. O'Dell

[ Parent ]
Debasing the value of words. (2.20 / 5) (#28)
by aphrael on Thu Jan 08, 2004 at 12:27:12 PM EST

Tyranny, in my book, would be the situation that entailed when the people protesting against Bush were rounded up and jailed - or, even worse, shot. That isn't happening. They're being forcefully told to go protest over there instead of here. That's bad policy, and shouldn't be allowed, but it's hardly in the same class as tyranny.

[ Parent ]
Hmmm (none / 3) (#67)
by felixrayman on Thu Jan 08, 2004 at 11:28:10 PM EST

Would you also say that taxation without representation would not fall under the definition of tyranny unless people were being rounded up and jailed or shot?

Call Donald Rumsfeld and tell him our sorry asses are ready to go home. Tell him to come spend a night in our building. - Pfc. Matthew C. O'Dell

[ Parent ]
Gee (none / 3) (#91)
by kerinsky on Fri Jan 09, 2004 at 07:17:50 AM EST

I wonder what happened to people who refused to pay their taxes until such a time as they aquired representation...

-=-
A conclusion is simply the place where you got tired of thinking.
[ Parent ]
Same thing that happens... (none / 0) (#386)
by heavenstorm on Fri Jan 16, 2004 at 06:06:50 AM EST

to protestors outside the free-speech zone.

Including, of course, the protestor in question.

[ Parent ]

Perhaps your writeup should make that clear. (3.00 / 6) (#34)
by cburke on Thu Jan 08, 2004 at 01:09:04 PM EST

You state that anti-Bush protestors were sequestered in "free speech" zones, but only by reading halfway through the article linked did I see the reference to people with pro-Bush signs being allowed to line the motorcade path.

I knew about the zones, but was unaware that others with pro-Bush messages were allowed to get close to the Pres.  

It pretty much annihilates the "But it's for public safety" argument -- if all I have to do to get close to the president is carry a "I [heart] Bush" sign, then how exactly is that security?  Are we depending on the assassin's moral integrity now?

By making it clear that only the anti-Bush supporters were sequestered, you make the 1st Ammendment implications clear.

[ Parent ]

Making it clear (2.20 / 5) (#56)
by felixrayman on Thu Jan 08, 2004 at 07:17:54 PM EST

I added a few paragraphs to my quote from the article in question to make it obvious that pro-Bush people were allowed the right of speech, other demonstrators were not.

Thanks for the suggestion.

Call Donald Rumsfeld and tell him our sorry asses are ready to go home. Tell him to come spend a night in our building. - Pfc. Matthew C. O'Dell

[ Parent ]
perhaps he's merely (none / 1) (#49)
by Lode Runner on Thu Jan 08, 2004 at 03:04:23 PM EST

intelligent enough to reflexively distrust James Bovard on such matters.

[ Parent ]
Yes, he was. (3.00 / 10) (#30)
by aphrael on Thu Jan 08, 2004 at 12:33:56 PM EST

The Padilla decision is available on the Second Circuit Court of Appeals' website. It concludes with: "To reiterate, we remand to the District Court with instructions to issue a writ of habeas corpus directing the Secretary of Defense to release Padilla from military custody within 30 days. The government can transfer Padilla to appropriate civilian authorities who can bring criminal charges against him. Also, if appropriate, Padilla can be held as a material witness in connection with grand jury proceedings. In any case, Padilla will be entitled to the constitutional protections extended to other citizens." (Emphasis added).

Saying that the government was ordered to release Padilla is a perfectly reasonable way of describing this decision.

[ Parent ]

No, he's not (none / 1) (#308)
by Wise Cracker on Sun Jan 11, 2004 at 12:03:26 AM EST

Stickerboy said "he's not about to walk". The Circuit Court ordered Padilla moved from military custody to civilian custody. He will still be in custody, so he's not "about to walk".

As you mentioned, he could be held as a material witness. But that means he could be held ( i.e. in custody and "not about to walk" ) indefinitely.
--
Caesars come, and Caesars go, but Newton lives forever
[ Parent ]

Well- (none / 3) (#183)
by losthalo on Fri Jan 09, 2004 at 08:37:07 PM EST

Presidential Speech? Hello? Could there possibly be a security concern there?

So does holding up a pro-Bush sign mean you're not a potential assassin?

Frankly, I thought one of the things that set America apart from some other nations was that the public officials were supposed to be available to the public, that they did not hold themselves apart. Our national security dous not depend on keeping W. alive.

George W. Bush is but one man. There are many men in America who could do as well in that office. This is the beauty of accepting the equality of people: almost anyone may serve. There are plenty of potential presidents.

I have read that Lincoln, when warned of assassins plotting to take his life, said more than once that any man could take his life, if he was willing to trade his own to do it. He accepted it. It would do well that our current officials had the same poise in office. There is a distinct lack of courage of all varieties in our politicians. That would seem, to me, to be a major flaw of character (important to those who deem such things central to being a good President). Our politicians were trying not to soil their drawers, worrying over Anthrax, while the rest of the country (notably the Postal workers) had to go on dealing with the risks, and didn't quiver in fear while doing it.

Just some food fer thought, as it were.

[ Parent ]
A little logic, please (none / 1) (#200)
by damiam on Fri Jan 09, 2004 at 11:04:26 PM EST

Presidential Speech? Hello? Could there possibly be a security concern there?

If you were going to assassinate the President, would you go to his rallies holding up anti-Bush signs and drawing attention to yourself? Of course not. If anything, you'd go as a member of the media, for close access, or as a Bush supporter (or a sniper, but that's beside the point).

[ Parent ]

ummm (none / 2) (#220)
by godix on Sat Jan 10, 2004 at 03:37:52 AM EST

The last successful presidental assassin is so shrouded in conspiracy bullshit that no one really knows what happened even now, 4 decades later. The previous one was an anarchist. The one before that was, to put it nicely, a wacko. The first successful assassin thought jumping off a balcony and breaking his ankle was a good escape plan. This isn't even getting into those who tried and failed, that list quickly get into things like doing it to impress a movie star. Logic doesn't seem to be a strong point with assassins.

Well, at least I shall die as I have lived. Completely surrounded by morons.
- Black Mage[ Parent ]
Apparently not a strong point of Bush's either (none / 2) (#226)
by damiam on Sat Jan 10, 2004 at 09:21:36 AM EST

Explain to me why someone carrying an anti-Bush sign is more likely to assassinate the President then someone not carrying a sign. Why remove the anti-Bushers and not some other groups?

The previous one was an anarchist. The one before that was, to put it nicely, a wacko. The first successful assassin thought jumping off a balcony and breaking his ankle was a good escape plan.

Obviously, Booth didn't intend to break his ankle - it was an 11 foot drop. I've jumped 11 foot drops and been completely fine. So, we have: Booth, a reasonably smart man, an anarchist, probably reasonably intelligent, a wacko, who'd probably go as a Bush supporter just for the hell of it, and an unknown (who must have planned out his attack, so he can't be too stupid). I think any of those would have the sense not to go as a Bush protester.

[ Parent ]

Oooo! Nice! Where shall I begin? (2.50 / 24) (#19)
by porkchop_d_clown on Thu Jan 08, 2004 at 09:45:09 AM EST

  1. Free-speech zones have been used for many years longer than Bush has been president. So stop implying that this is a Republican evil, because they happened under Clinton, too.
  2. Financial records: Banks have been required to report all financial transactions over $10k for many years. This resulted in many people intentionally breaking transactions into $9k increments to hide them from the feds.
  3. Federal interference in states' rights: This was started by that Democratic hero, Franklin Delano Roosevelt. The Feds have been interfering with the states over important things like civil rights and gun ownership all the way down to ridiculous things drunk driving and seatbelt laws<font size=-1>1</font>.  So, let me ask you - if you are going to oppose the feds invasion into states' rights on the subject of right-to-die, are you willing to accept that that also invalidates federal gun laws?
Now, in your defense -  I completely agree with you about the detainment of uncharged persons. I don't know if it's legal or not, but it's certainly wrong.

<font size=-1>1</font> - No, I'm not saying drunk driving is ridiculous, I'm saying that it's ridiculous that the federal government should be interfering with the states' right to self government in such a matter.

--
"the internet is to the techno-capable disaffected what the United Nations is to marginal states: it offers the illusion of empowerment and c

article is about constitution, not dems vs reps (none / 3) (#22)
by speek on Thu Jan 08, 2004 at 11:24:43 AM EST

Sure, felix uses current examples from the big bad repubs, but the point is about the constitution, and your examples really only further that argument. So, your "in your defense" should have prefaced your entire post.

--
al queda is kicking themsleves for not knowing about the levees
[ Parent ]

Perhaps. (none / 1) (#35)
by porkchop_d_clown on Thu Jan 08, 2004 at 01:10:12 PM EST

To me, the tone of the whole article is "Look what those evil republicans are doing now!" when the truth is that this process has been going on for at least 30 years now.

--
"the internet is to the techno-capable disaffected what the United Nations is to marginal states: it offers the illusion of empowerment and c
[ Parent ]

truth (none / 1) (#45)
by speek on Thu Jan 08, 2004 at 02:18:12 PM EST

That is the tone, but that's because felix only knows one song. I figure after hearing it for the millionth time, it's time to stop reacting to it. And once past that, the subject of the article is a serious one that your post builds upon.

--
al queda is kicking themsleves for not knowing about the levees
[ Parent ]

Gee I wonder why the examples are of Republicans (none / 2) (#57)
by felixrayman on Thu Jan 08, 2004 at 07:20:41 PM EST

Most of the examples are Republicans because the executive branch is led by a Republican, majorities in both houses of Congress are Republican and the majority of state governors are Republican. Taking into account the fact that I used only recent examples it is hardly surprising that most of the examples were of Republicans.

I would expect someone could find a good recent second amendment case where the perpetrator was Democrat. I looked and couldn't find one. I asked in another comment for an example and no one came up with one. If you've got one, reply and I'll put it in the article.

If you've got examples from the other missing amendments in the bill of rights (perhaps Howard Dean forced people to quarter soldiers, for example), post it, I'll include it if it's accurate and relevant.

Call Donald Rumsfeld and tell him our sorry asses are ready to go home. Tell him to come spend a night in our building. - Pfc. Matthew C. O'Dell

[ Parent ]
Other examples? (2.00 / 4) (#79)
by porkchop_d_clown on Fri Jan 09, 2004 at 12:29:48 AM EST

You couldn't find a gun example? Then you didn't look. What about the assault weapons ban? The Brady law? The maintaining of a gun owners database in defiance of the limitations of the Brady law?

As for "democratic" abuses, I would look more to the court system than the other two branches.

In any case, limiting yourself to "recent examples" also limits the scope of your analysis and so the wisdom of your results.

None of what is going on is new to the last few years, the major direction was set 60 years ago, and the roots go back further. As long as the modern federal government derives its powers from its control over the tax base and a vague assertion about interstate commerce, the states will be unable to resist it. How can they? The states cannot afford to give up the federal cash, and they can't afford to raise taxes to compensate for lost federal cash. If a state raises its own taxes to compensate for lost federal dollars, it would crush its own citizens - because its not like the feds would stop taxing them, is it? Nor is it likely that people in New York state will spontaneously realize they don't have a right to tell people in Washington state how to live (or vice-versa).

--
"the internet is to the techno-capable disaffected what the United Nations is to marginal states: it offers the illusion of empowerment and c
[ Parent ]

Actually I did look (none / 3) (#80)
by felixrayman on Fri Jan 09, 2004 at 12:53:28 AM EST

When I searched for a good example here's what I found:

Ohio recently passed a law allowing people to carry concealed weapons. Howard Dean is "an icon of God-hating liberals who love abortion". G Gordon Liddy is publishing another calendar featuring chicks with guns. The NRA has released an "enemies list" that includes the Methodist church, the St. Louis Rams, Hallmark Cards and Britney Spears. Nixon would be jealous.

Various permutations of the above stories (mostly page after page of the NRA enemies list story) took up the first 20 pages of search results. After that I gave up and posted a comment asking for suggestions. No one came up with anything recent.

Call Donald Rumsfeld and tell him our sorry asses are ready to go home. Tell him to come spend a night in our building. - Pfc. Matthew C. O'Dell

[ Parent ]
sounds like it may be a problem .... (none / 2) (#117)
by 0x29a on Fri Jan 09, 2004 at 02:53:33 PM EST

with using the internet as a major source.  I think this is going to become more and more of a problem in the future, as the Internet information base starts to become more of a "here and now" thing.  This is especially relevent if you use something like Google which is designed to return the "hot topic" on searches.

[ Parent ]
oops .... Addendum: (none / 0) (#118)
by 0x29a on Fri Jan 09, 2004 at 02:56:31 PM EST

For got to suggest that ....

In order to get the wide subject coverage this topic deserves, traditional methods of reseach may need to be employed also.

[ Parent ]

assmonkey (2.00 / 5) (#25)
by keelerbeez on Thu Jan 08, 2004 at 12:10:55 PM EST

1. hmm, he can't attack reps, but you can slam dems. nice.

2. And this makes it OK?!

3. No, it wasn't. The best argument I know of for the initiation of federal interference in states rights was committed by Abraham Lincoln when he a) arrested state legislatures in Kentucky, Maryland, and Delaware, b) went to war over secession, when one of the states involved (Texas) had explicitly reserved the right to secede from the union in their state constitution, which was ratified by the US congress, and c) unilaterally abolished slavery in the seceding states (note that the emancipation proclamation did not abolish slavery in Kentucky, Maryland or Delaware, as they had not seceded).

These issues were settled immediately after the war, and the feds won; Now, the very same republican party that rose from the ashes of the whigs, who in turn came from the federalists, want to reverse the process, to an extent. For all of your bleating, you have unwittingly told us the real goal: To reverse the new deal set up by FDR. This is the primary motivating factor of the modern republican party, and they don't care who they trample in the process. You have attempted to defend interference of free speech, seizure of financial records without a warrant,(ironically) federal interference of states' rights, and to shift the blame onto democrats!

What the hard right fails to understand is that when the revolution comes, it won't be them and the army against the liberal hippies, it will be the army and the liberal majority against them.

"At long last, sir, have you no sense of decency? Have you no shame?"
-Joseph Welch, to Sen. Joe McCarthy, 1954

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[ Parent ]
Feeling a little thin skinned today? (none / 2) (#33)
by porkchop_d_clown on Thu Jan 08, 2004 at 01:08:41 PM EST

  1. No, I didn't "slam dems" - I pointed out that it was wrong to imply that Bush was responsible for behaviour that clearly predates him.
  2. No, I didn't say it was "okay" - again, he implies that Bush is engaged in some sort of new evil when, in fact, this sort of thing has been going on for 30 years now.
  3. I've never before heard Lincoln blamed for Congress's use of the interstate commerce clause to regulate public schools, or it's use of highway funds to regulate drinking habits and seat belt laws.
You're pretty damn funny. I point out that screaming "states' rights" has consequences beyond the right to die, and you accuse me of trying to undermine the new deal.

I think you should look at your own sig and compare it with your own post.

--
"the internet is to the techno-capable disaffected what the United Nations is to marginal states: it offers the illusion of empowerment and c
[ Parent ]

No, just like pointing out how dumb people are :) (none / 3) (#47)
by keelerbeez on Thu Jan 08, 2004 at 02:22:43 PM EST

1. You implied that Clinton was responsible for those actions.

2. You are defending bush while he is shredding civil liberties. Yes, this has been happening for some time, that doesn't make it OK to perpetuate it.

3. Read A People's History of the United States: 1492 to Present by Howard Zinn , then come back and talk.

I am pretty damn funny. Am I suppose to believe that you bring up FDR as a "black hat" just for shits and giggles? Don't piss on me and tell me it's raining.

Not my sig, just a quote. If you took offense to it, that's your problem, not mine.

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[ Parent ]
Show me word one where I claimed FDR was bad. (none / 2) (#51)
by porkchop_d_clown on Thu Jan 08, 2004 at 04:01:07 PM EST

Go ahead. I'm waiting.

Oh, and you still don't get it, do you? You're the one behaving like McCarthy here - attacking my motives, claiming I said things I didn't asserting that I'm some sort of right wing zealot.

When do you get to the part where you accuse me of being a fellow traveller of know republicans?

--
"the internet is to the techno-capable disaffected what the United Nations is to marginal states: it offers the illusion of empowerment and c
[ Parent ]

OK (none / 3) (#60)
by keelerbeez on Thu Jan 08, 2004 at 08:01:38 PM EST

Federal interference in states' rights: This was started by that Democratic hero, Franklin Delano Roosevelt.


The inference is that a) federal interference in states' rights is bad, b) Roosevelt started it, ergo he is bad, and c) democrats worship Roosevelt, so they are bad. Yes, I got your implication that I am a bad person.

And your last sentence makes no sense, a "fellow traveller" is a communist, while republicans tend more towards fascism.

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[ Parent ]
Snort. (none / 3) (#61)
by porkchop_d_clown on Thu Jan 08, 2004 at 09:26:09 PM EST

Amazing that you consider a recitation of facts to mean I dislike Roosevelt. Roosevelt did radically alter the relationship between the states and the federal government, and he packed the Supreme Court to do it.

This change is fundamental to understanding the current federal government. For example, without it, there would have been no civil rights movement because the feds would not have had the authority. It would similarly impact many other areas where the left has used the federal government to force social change across the country.

For felix to argue that "states' rights" should trump the fed's authority in the right to die case is foolish, because strengthening states' rights would strengthen right-wing attempts to undo many of those changes.

Now - did I, at any time, say that either side was right, or either side was wrong? No.

Please stop projecting your own fears onto me, thank you.

--
"the internet is to the techno-capable disaffected what the United Nations is to marginal states: it offers the illusion of empowerment and c
[ Parent ]

well... (none / 1) (#104)
by keelerbeez on Fri Jan 09, 2004 at 11:10:00 AM EST

the tone you are using implies your disapproval; If you agree with a strong central government, then say so. yes, FDR did radically change the balance of power, and I consider this a good thing, however there is a limit. What felix seems to be arguing is not the right or wrong of the situation, but the constitutionality of the situation. indeed, lately both sides have shown their hypocrisy on this issue (2000 election, republicans arguing for US supreme court to trump florida state supreme court, dems the opposite.)

I'll stop assuming you are pro-states' rights until you explicitly say so, but I still see a distinct anti "big government" slant to your posts.

-----BEGIN GEEK CODE BLOCK-----
GAT d? s++:+ a- C++++$ UBS*++++$ P--- L+>++ E--- W- !N !o !K w+++(---)$ M+ PS+++ PE(--) Y+ PGP t++@ 5++ X+ R* tv(+) b+++ DI++ !G !e h* r*% y++++**
------END GEEK CODE BLOCK------
[ Parent ]
get your facts straight (none / 0) (#353)
by ghosty on Mon Jan 12, 2004 at 09:34:12 PM EST

Roosevelt did radically alter the relationship between the states and the federal government, and he packed the Supreme Court to do it.

FDR was *not* allowed to pack the Supreme Court. If he was, then we would now have as many as fifteen Justices rather than the current nine.

Federal interference in states' rights: This was started by that Democratic hero, Franklin Delano Roosevelt.

As someone else pointed out you're wrong here too. Lincoln comes the closest to being the one who started us down that road.

If you're going to make an argument based on American History, then it would be best if you learned something about it first...



[ Parent ]

Scoop funkiness? (none / 0) (#39)
by wiredog on Thu Jan 08, 2004 at 01:38:16 PM EST

Where he put SUP tags, I see <font size=-1>1</font>

Repeatable?1

Wilford Brimley scares my chickens.
Phil the Canuck

[ Parent ]

Wonder if PDC used auto-fsck? (none / 0) (#40)
by wiredog on Thu Jan 08, 2004 at 01:39:08 PM EST

or format, or whatever it's called.

Wilford Brimley scares my chickens.
Phil the Canuck

[ Parent ]
I can't figure it out either. (none / 0) (#52)
by porkchop_d_clown on Thu Jan 08, 2004 at 04:02:25 PM EST

I must have had autoformat on.

--
"the internet is to the techno-capable disaffected what the United Nations is to marginal states: it offers the illusion of empowerment and c
[ Parent ]

Yep (2.75 / 4) (#55)
by felixrayman on Thu Jan 08, 2004 at 07:06:05 PM EST

So, let me ask you - if you are going to oppose the feds invasion into states' rights on the subject of right-to-die, are you willing to accept that that also invalidates federal gun laws?

While I do not own firearms, I am a firm believer in the idea that the second amendment gives me the right to do so. If people want to limit that right, the legal way to do that is called an "amendment". So, in answer to your question, yes.

Call Donald Rumsfeld and tell him our sorry asses are ready to go home. Tell him to come spend a night in our building. - Pfc. Matthew C. O'Dell

[ Parent ]
an interesting counterpoint (3.00 / 5) (#63)
by Recreational Abortion on Thu Jan 08, 2004 at 10:39:46 PM EST

to the 2nd amendment argument can be found here

in brief:

As a matter of law, the meaning of the Second Amendment has been settled since the U.S. Supreme Court ruling in U.S. v. Miller, 307 U.S. 174 (1939). In that case, the Court ruled that the "obvious purpose" of the Second Amendment was to "assure the continuation and render possible the effectiveness" of the state militia.

Since Miller, the Supreme Court has addressed the Second Amendment twice more, upholding New Jersey's strict gun control law in 1969 and upholding the federal law banning felons from possessing guns in 1980. Furthermore, twice -- in 1965 and 1990 -- the Supreme Court has held that the term "well-regulated militia" refers to the National Guard.

In the early 1980s, the Supreme Court addressed the Second Amendment issue again, after the town of Morton Grove, Illinois, passed an ordinance banning handguns (making certain reasonable exceptions for law enforcement, the military, and collectors). After the town was sued on Second Amendment grounds, the Illinois Supreme Court and the U.S. Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that not only was the ordinance valid, but there was no individual right to keep and bear arms under the Second Amendment (Quillici v. Morton Grove) . In October 1983, the U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear an appeal of this ruling, allowing the lower court rulings to stand.

so no it would probably not require a constitutional amendment.
----
colorless green ideas sleep furiously
[ Parent ]

The Supreme Court (none / 1) (#135)
by godix on Fri Jan 09, 2004 at 04:00:18 PM EST

has also ruled that the equal protection ammendment which was meant to protect blacks instead meant the coperations deserved full rights as a legal person. Unfortunately sometimes the most unconstitutional ideas around originate in the body that's supposed to support the Constitution.

From a pratical standpoint this means you're right, no ammendment is needed to remove the second ammendment. From a pure 'this is how it should be' standpoint then nothing short of another ammendment should remove the protections of the second.

Well, at least I shall die as I have lived. Completely surrounded by morons.
- Black Mage[ Parent ]

but that's only how (none / 1) (#201)
by Recreational Abortion on Fri Jan 09, 2004 at 11:16:43 PM EST

you personally think about the second amendment.  There was a time that I also thought about the second amemdment as a constitutional right for the general public to bear arms, but I was educated otherwise, the right we're currently afforded doesn't come from constitutional laws -- and the framers never intended it that way.

on the flipside, the amendment originally reserved the militia to all 18-45 year old men originally.  If you take this and parallel it to what we've done with suffrage, you could make an argument that we've simply updated the definition.

but it still doesn't shake the fact that I believe the amdendment was originally installed in a completely different set of circumstances and time then the one in which we live now, and the only thing that prevents the US from taking the same measures most reasonable european countries have taken is our ingrained belief that somehow this was a constitutional guarantee, which plainly it was not.
----
colorless green ideas sleep furiously
[ Parent ]

Dang. Caught with my rhetorical pants down. (2.00 / 4) (#74)
by porkchop_d_clown on Fri Jan 09, 2004 at 12:02:11 AM EST

:-P

Still, do you see my point? Reviving states' rights is a dangerous approach, and that corpse already lies uneasy in it's grave - remember that the Supreme Court ruled last year that the feds couldn't force state institutions to comply with the Americans with Disabilities act. Personally, while I, too, am fond of gun ownership, I'm not fond of being told I can't complain to the feds if the state is screwing me over.

--
"the internet is to the techno-capable disaffected what the United Nations is to marginal states: it offers the illusion of empowerment and c
[ Parent ]

Competition is a good thing (2.75 / 4) (#82)
by felixrayman on Fri Jan 09, 2004 at 02:28:44 AM EST

There are 50 states, plenty of room for different approaches. Now it's certainly true that there is a core set of rights that should hold for the entire nation (let's call it, oh, I don't know, "The Bill Of Rights" or something ;) ), but state's rights is a good thing, competition is a good thing, IMHO.

Call Donald Rumsfeld and tell him our sorry asses are ready to go home. Tell him to come spend a night in our building. - Pfc. Matthew C. O'Dell

[ Parent ]
As far as the states are concerned... (none / 3) (#88)
by porkchop_d_clown on Fri Jan 09, 2004 at 07:03:03 AM EST

In general, I agree with you, but as far as the Bill of Rights has been spayed. The feds have used their taxes to effectively bypass Constitutional law, replacing it with the law of the sugar daddy.

Actually, after posted last night, it occurred to me that there is a straightforward way to at least partly redress this: a balanced budget amendment. If Congress can't dole out sugar, they'll have to go back to letting the states alone.

Do you think that would work?

--
"the internet is to the techno-capable disaffected what the United Nations is to marginal states: it offers the illusion of empowerment and c
[ Parent ]

Dammit! I need more sleep. (none / 1) (#89)
by porkchop_d_clown on Fri Jan 09, 2004 at 07:04:42 AM EST

That first sentence should read "as fast as the states are concerned, the Bill of Rights has been spayed".

Brain hurts. Must have more coffee.

--
"the internet is to the techno-capable disaffected what the United Nations is to marginal states: it offers the illusion of empowerment and c
[ Parent ]

BBA (none / 3) (#114)
by debillitatus on Fri Jan 09, 2004 at 02:47:13 PM EST

I think what you're saying is true, that if the Congress has less power to dole out pork, it will have to interfere less in the affairs of states. Also, there would be the added benefit of actually having a balanced budget.

OTOH, it seems to me that a BBA would perhaps be a cure worse than the disease. How would it be enforced? For example, if Congress decides to pass an unbalanced budget and cannot find a way to pass a balanced one, what happens? I think the S.C. would have to then make budgetary decisions, which may not be optimal.

Damn you and your daily doubles, you brigand!
[ Parent ]

A good point. (none / 3) (#152)
by porkchop_d_clown on Fri Jan 09, 2004 at 05:38:22 PM EST

Not to mention that Congress has already become quite adept at putting some things "off budget" and pretending that spending doesn't exist.

Perhaps a better approach would be an ammendment that caps total taxation in some way. That would quickly force a shift back to the states.

It would be really hard to make it solid, though - taxes come in many forms, not even including "user fees" and tariffs.

--
"the internet is to the techno-capable disaffected what the United Nations is to marginal states: it offers the illusion of empowerment and c
[ Parent ]

Amendments (none / 0) (#332)
by debillitatus on Mon Jan 12, 2004 at 01:20:09 AM EST

Actually, I think any of those amendments would be trouble. I'd always be a fan of capping taxation, but then we'd run into the trouble of not being able to raise taxes when we need to, like say during wartime.

Although, the not raising taxes during wartime seems to be popular at the moment...;-)

Damn you and your daily doubles, you brigand!
[ Parent ]

Not a balenced buget amendment.... (none / 1) (#149)
by gte910h on Fri Jan 09, 2004 at 05:23:51 PM EST

But an amendment making it illegal for the federal government to put conditions on states for funding would cut the sugardaddy-itis.

I've always thought the federal government should tax everyone a little then give the revenue directly to the states with no strings attached. That way none of the state have an inherent tax advantage if they can live off that small sum.

Then again I think the department of education should be disbanded too, but fat chance that will happen.

[ Parent ]

Amen (none / 1) (#92)
by kerinsky on Fri Jan 09, 2004 at 07:31:18 AM EST

I've been saying this for years, cut the Federal government down and let the states compete.

I wish I could still give you a 5.

-=-
A conclusion is simply the place where you got tired of thinking.
[ Parent ]

Ya know why I love porkchop? (none / 1) (#64)
by tthomas48 on Thu Jan 08, 2004 at 10:57:15 PM EST

Cause everything he says always revolves back to FDR. It's amazing.

[ Parent ]
If we're talking about the shift of the US from (2.25 / 4) (#76)
by porkchop_d_clown on Fri Jan 09, 2004 at 12:10:54 AM EST

a federal system to a national one, yeah, it does.

While keelerbeez has a point when he says that the change began with the Civil War, it was FDR's New Deal that laid the foundations for the civil rights movement and the Great Society.

One of the truest signs of FDR's dominance in American history is the fact that few of even the most extreme right wingnuts seriously believe we should return to the smaller federal government of the 1920's.

--
"the internet is to the techno-capable disaffected what the United Nations is to marginal states: it offers the illusion of empowerment and c
[ Parent ]

Free-speech zones worse under Bush (3.00 / 6) (#133)
by dachshund on Fri Jan 09, 2004 at 03:47:03 PM EST

Free-speech zones have been used for many years longer than Bush has been president. So stop implying that this is a Republican evil, because they happened under Clinton, too.

Free speech zones have existed since the mid-90s, true. However, during this time they were content-neutral. That is, all demonstrators-- regardless of viewpoint-- were forced to remain some distance from the event.

The Bush administration's contribution is to remove the neutrality; demonstrators with pro-Bush signs are allowed to remain in view of the cameras. People who disagree are removed. While the Clinton policy is ugly, the Bush policy is an affront to the Constitution.

[ Parent ]

Fake signs (none / 0) (#345)
by UnConeD on Mon Jan 12, 2004 at 01:56:51 PM EST

The solution is easy: add a removable layer on your sign with a pro-Bush slogan. Remove layer at the right moment.

Or even better, split your group in 2 parts, and apply this trick to only one of them. Use this to prove discrimination of opinion and get some media coverage.

Though I have to admit the US has to be pretty fucked up if people have to resort to tactics like this to get their opinion across.

[ Parent ]

PORKCHOP SANDWICHES (none / 1) (#223)
by Paulsweblog on Sat Jan 10, 2004 at 05:24:01 AM EST

HOLY SHIT GET THE FUCK OUT OF HERE WE'RE ALL DEAD

--
Blood for blood and death for death.
[ Parent ]

The only thing (2.77 / 31) (#23)
by CENGEL3 on Thu Jan 08, 2004 at 11:33:35 AM EST

The only thing I don't like about this article is the implication that this is something unique to the current administration.

A really honest assesment would likely conclude that the Constitution has been getting trashed since shortly before the Civil War.

On small example, the CLINTON administration had exactly the same sort of free speech zones and used them in exactly the same sort of manner.

We could also talk about historical examples like FDR's attempt to neuter the Supreme Court by argueing that it didn't have to have a fixed number of justices and that a President had the right to appoint as many justices as he wanted whenever he wanted.... or Lincolns refusal to enforce the rulings of the Supreme Court in the Dread Scott case.

In other words, yeah it is a pretty disheartening state of affairs but there is nothing particulary new about it. Your article seems to give the impression that the Constitution has only been trashed in the past couple years. In fact it has been going on for a very long time.

Correction (none / 3) (#29)
by CENGEL3 on Thu Jan 08, 2004 at 12:27:44 PM EST

I think I was incorrect about the Dread Scott case. I remember very specificly learning in school about a case in which the Supreme Court ruled for the return of a slave (as per the Fugitive Slave laws) from one of the northern states, the state government refused to comply and the President refused to enoforce the Supreme Courts ruling upon the state.

I had thought this had happaned during the Dread Scott case, but after researching it clearly it did not (and Lincoln wasn't the President at the time of the Dread Scott decision anyway). So I have to issue a correction, I was wrong.

I can't seem to find the particular case in question.... but I'm fairly certain I learned about it in a history course. Does anyone know the name of the case I was trying to refer to?

[ Parent ]

Not sure (2.75 / 4) (#134)
by godix on Fri Jan 09, 2004 at 03:54:05 PM EST

This doesn't involve slavery in any way but you might be thinking of Indians instead.

In 1829 Andrew Jackson signed the astoundingly accurately named Indian Removal Act which authorized the US to do exactly that. The Supreme Court declared the law as unconstitutional and said Georgia couldn't force the Cheerokee nation to leave. Jackson refused to enforce the courts order, instead he is quoted as saying "John Marshall (Chief Justice of the Supreme Court) has made his decision, now let him enforce it!" Georgia then removed the Cheerokee nation in the Trail of Tears with Jackson supplying military support to the removal.

As I said, no slaves involved, but the incident does match the 'President refused to enforce the Supreme Courts ruling upon the state' you mentioned.

Well, at least I shall die as I have lived. Completely surrounded by morons.
- Black Mage[ Parent ]

It's never too late... (2.75 / 4) (#38)
by cburke on Thu Jan 08, 2004 at 01:24:43 PM EST

... to start caring about the destruction of the Constitution.

You're right, it definitely isn't the first time a President has shit upon the Constitution and told us it was perfume.  The (mind-numbingly anti-4th Ammendment) roving wiretap laws were signed by Clinton, if my memory isn't completely misguiding me.  A paragraph or two about that would be helpful, and maybe help stem the tide of knee-jerk doesn't-like-Bush-therefore-partisan-Democrat-stooge reactions.

That said, what we are looking at here is a wide swath of Constitutional violations.  At least one of these things should really piss just about anybody off.

We need to start looking at these things with the same scrutiny as we did in the late 1700's.  We need to not let them happen anymore, and if galvanizing people with a list of new, current (and unusually aggressive, to my mind) abuses, then that's fine with me.


[ Parent ]

Not new, certainly increased lately (2.66 / 6) (#66)
by felixrayman on Thu Jan 08, 2004 at 11:20:59 PM EST

Exactly which part of the Constitution did FDR's court stacking attempt violate? Could you quote it for me? Which part of the Constitution do you believe mandates that the Supreme Court be made up of 9 justices? Again, feel free to quote from the document itself.

I won't argue that blatant violations of the Bill of Rights are a new thing (see the Alien and Sedition acts of 1798, for example), but it seems to me the number, outrageousness, and extent of such violations has increased greatly over the last few years.

If you've got a link to the Clinton free speech zones story, I may be able to put it to good use.

Call Donald Rumsfeld and tell him our sorry asses are ready to go home. Tell him to come spend a night in our building. - Pfc. Matthew C. O'Dell

[ Parent ]
Hmm... not sure if you want to use these or not. (none / 1) (#105)
by CENGEL3 on Fri Jan 09, 2004 at 12:03:19 PM EST

Well there is nothing specific in the Constitution fixing it to 9 Justices (which is the arguement FDR was trying to make).

However I think a pretty fair arguement could be made that what FDR wanted to do (Appoint enough favorable justices to the Court so they would change the Supreme Courts ruling on certain laws he wanted past from Unconstitutional to Constitutional) pretty much subverts the meaning of Section III, Article I  "The judicial power of the United States, shall be vested in one Supreme Court......"

On Clintons use of free speech zones, I don't have too many good links. You could try these:

http://dneiwert.blogspot.com/2003_10_19_dneiwert_archive.html

http://www.polkonline.com/stories/080703/sta_protesters.shtml

http://www.commondreams.org/views/081600-105.htm

You could also try this one for a critique of Clinton Administration attacks on the 1st Ammendment. It deals mostly with CDA and the No Protestest Buffer Zones around Abortion Clinics

http://www.yale.edu/ypq/articles/oct97/oct97c.html


[ Parent ]

Clinton did NOT do the same thing (3.00 / 6) (#128)
by dachshund on Fri Jan 09, 2004 at 03:24:27 PM EST

On small example, the CLINTON administration had exactly the same sort of free speech zones and used them in exactly the same sort of manner.

According to the links that you provided a couple of posts down from this one, the Clinton administration did not do "exactly the same thing".

In other words, pro-Bush demonstrators are given close access to the president. Anti-Bush protesters are shunted off to sites, some of them literally miles away where they never even see the man, let alone get a chance to voice their protest to anyone other than their fellow protesters.

This is qualitatively different from most of the "free speech zones" or "protest zones" that have been deployed since the mid-1990s at certain political events, which simply shunted all demonstrators, regardless of viewpoint,

While I'm uncomfortable and plenty unhappy with what Clinton did, the idea of isolating only those demonstrators whose viewpoints you agree with goes well beyond content-neutral peace control. It's criminal.

[ Parent ]
Except... (none / 0) (#209)
by valar on Sat Jan 10, 2004 at 12:13:58 AM EST

that you aren't considered a "demonstrator" if you aren't demostrating against anything... people in agreement with the party line aren't seen as "demonstrating"

[ Parent ]
aren't they demonstrating their support? [NT] (none / 1) (#215)
by Attackist on Sat Jan 10, 2004 at 01:53:58 AM EST


"See, I will let you have cow's dung instead of human dung, on which you may prepare your bread." -- God Almighty

(/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\)
[ Parent ]

Overreaction (2.37 / 16) (#26)
by aphrael on Thu Jan 08, 2004 at 12:15:16 PM EST

I don't like a lot of the same things you don't like, but I think you're overreacting. A lot of them are bad policy or otherwise offensive but can still be squared with the constitution in a nuanced fashion:

"When President Bush travels around the United States, the Secret Service visits the location ahead of time and orders local police to set up "free speech zones" or "protest zones," where people opposed to Bush policies (and sometimes sign-carrying supporters) are quarantined. These zones routinely succeed in keeping protesters out of presidential sight and outside the view of media covering the event".

The Supreme Court has always allowed time, manner, and place restrictions on assemblies. It's not ok, for example, to protest by marching up the interstate freeway and snarling traffic. I think the removal of protestors from the immediate environs of the president is overdoing it, but they're not being prevented from speaking or from protesting, they're just being moved. How is this not a perfectly constitutional place restriction?

"The Intelligence Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2004 grants the FBI unprecedented power to obtain records from financial institutions without requiring permission from a judge. Under the law, the FBI does not need to seek a court order to access such records, nor does it need to prove just cause".

Reasonable people can disagree over whether or not this constitutes an unreasonable search.

"'The Bush administration said Wednesday it will ask the Supreme Court to quickly reverse a federal appeals court ruling that ordered the release of former Chicago street gang member Jose Padilla, a U.S. citizen who has been held without charges as an "enemy combatant" for about 19 months"'. "

I imagine the Bush administration will argue that this is a case that arises from the land forces in time of war. If Padilla actually is a member of al Qaeda, that's not an unreasonable position to take. (My problem with it is that they should have to prove to someone that he's a member of al Qaeda before they're allowed to make that argument).

""The government has won its argument in lower courts that Hamdi, arrested in Afghanistan while fighting with Taliban troops in November 2001, may be held indefinitely without access to a lawyer or the U.S. court system". "

If he was apprehended in Afghanistan for a crime committed there, then the US Constitution doesn't apply. In particular, if he is tried by the court system in the state and district in which the crime was committed, that district (Afghanistan) is not bound to honor any constitutional protections whatsoever.

Couldn't agree more... (2.83 / 6) (#43)
by cr8dle2grave on Thu Jan 08, 2004 at 02:01:07 PM EST

Felix is being absurdly histrionic, but I would like to attend to one thing you've said:
I think the removal of protestors from the immediate environs of the president is overdoing it, but they're not being prevented from speaking or from protesting, they're just being moved. How is this not a perfectly constitutional place restriction?

As I understand it, those protesting against Bush are being relocated, but the same is not true for those who are there to express support. If this is, in fact, the case, then I fail to see how the Bush administration can square this particular policy with the constitutional requirement that any regulation on speech and assembly be enacted in a "content neutral" manner.

---
Unity of mankind means: No escape for anyone anywhere. - Milan Kundera


[ Parent ]
Free speech locations (2.75 / 4) (#58)
by ubernostrum on Thu Jan 08, 2004 at 07:25:54 PM EST

The Supreme Court has always allowed time, manner, and place restrictions on assemblies. It's not ok, for example, to protest by marching up the interstate freeway and snarling traffic. I think the removal of protestors from the immediate environs of the president is overdoing it, but they're not being prevented from speaking or from protesting, they're just being moved. How is this not a perfectly constitutional place restriction?

True, one can't march up an interstate highway and block traffic, but that's something of a different case. Restraints on where and when and in what manner one may engage in political speech have traditionally been granted by our courts with great reluctance; in your example, such restraints would be allowed only because the location and manner of speech creates a danger to the protesters and to the public at large (much like the famous "yelling 'Fire!' in a theatre" example).

Protesting at a Presidential appearance, however, is a very different beast. So long as those engaging in speech do so peacefully, I can conceive of no possible justification for relocating them which would pass tests for prior restraint. felixrayman is certainly off the mark with most of his article, but he is correct in painting this item as a disturbing abuse of power; reading about Bush's "Free Speech Zones" makes me think of the Alien and Sedition Acts and older notions like imprimatur...


--
You cooin' with my bird?
[ Parent ]

I agree and disagree (none / 2) (#121)
by theantix on Fri Jan 09, 2004 at 03:15:25 PM EST

I think I agree with the basic thrust of your point -- the author did overstate the case by blurring some lines.  But I don't really understand your point with regards to warrentless searches as enemy combatants.  Since I respsect you I'm going to politely ask you to explain what you mean instead of flaming you on this.  =)

Reasonable people can disagree over whether or not this constitutes an unreasonable search.

I guess I can't see a reasonable position that justifies the consitutionality of these searches.  Though I admit I'm not an expert, it just seems to my uneducated eyes that this is the exact scenario the framers were trying to prevent.  If you could point me to a reasonable argument that supports the opposite position or explain it to me yourself I would appreciate that.

I imagine the Bush administration will argue that this is a case that arises from the land forces in time of war. If Padilla actually is a member of al Qaeda, that's not an unreasonable position to take. (My problem with it is that they should have to prove to someone that he's a member of al Qaeda before they're allowed to make that argument).

My problem is with the creation of this new vague term, "enemy combatant".  Are they a prisoner of war?  A criminal?  The US isn't treating them as either, instead as people they suspect may become criminals by association or by evidence which isn't strong enough to convict in a criminal court (otherwise they would go that route, no?).  I don't see how this squares with the Bill of Rights.

Hopefully this post isn't viewed as hostile -- it's not meant that way.  I'm just curious as to what you meant exactly.

--
You sir, are worse than Hitler!
[ Parent ]

Some points (none / 2) (#198)
by damiam on Fri Jan 09, 2004 at 10:55:02 PM EST

I think the removal of protestors from the immediate environs of the president is overdoing it, but they're not being prevented from speaking or from protesting, they're just being moved. How is this not a perfectly constitutional place restriction?

IANAL, but it seems to me that by being moved away from the President and the TV cameras, their speech is being suppressed, because no one sees it unless they actively seek it out. There's a fine line here - the opposing argument is that you have a right to speak, but not to be heard (I've seen that used many times against pro-spam /. trolls). I think that the listener has the right not to listen, and to not allow invasion of their private property by the speaker (which is basically what spam is). But, the speaker still has the right to speak freely in a public place. If the listener (in this case the President and the TV cameras) doesn't want to listen, they can ignore the speaker.

In particular, if he is tried by the court system in the state and district in which the crime was committed, that district (Afghanistan) is not bound to honor any constitutional protections whatsoever.

If I recall correctly, he's being held by the US government in the US. If the Afghani government had arrested him in Afghanistan, they could do whatever they wanted. If the US government brings him back to the US, it is obligated to obey the US constitution.

[ Parent ]

Not general restrictions (none / 2) (#292)
by azurensis on Sat Jan 10, 2004 at 07:53:58 PM EST

>The Supreme Court has always allowed time, manner, and place restrictions on assemblies.

Yes, but these restrictions are solely based upon the content of the messages of the protestors. They allow the people supporting the president to carry their signs and march pretty much wherever they please, but keep any dissenting voices in the Orwellian-sounding "free-speech zones".

>I imagine the Bush administration will argue that this is a case that arises from the land forces in time of war.

Except that there has not been a congressional declaration of war. We are not now at war, and have not been since the end of World War II.

[ Parent ]

if only we had some group (2.80 / 20) (#31)
by karb on Thu Jan 08, 2004 at 12:41:38 PM EST

Nay, no ordinary group ... an agency ... NO! A branch of the US government with equal standing next to the legislative and executive branches, fully devoted to upholding the constitution of the land!

We could call them ... the US Court System, ... and the name the highest of these so-called 'courts' the "awesome court", because their opinions have awesome precedence.
--
Who is the geek who would risk his neck for his brother geek?

Awesome? Nay - call them "Supreme" (2.75 / 4) (#36)
by porkchop_d_clown on Thu Jan 08, 2004 at 01:12:21 PM EST

and give them the power to not only overrule the other two branches, but to prevent the majority from trampling on the rights of the minority.

Now, that would be something to see!

--
"the internet is to the techno-capable disaffected what the United Nations is to marginal states: it offers the illusion of empowerment and c
[ Parent ]

Nah (3.00 / 7) (#62)
by mcc on Thu Jan 08, 2004 at 09:30:14 PM EST

That name sounds way too much like it ought to be something from Taco Bell

People would make fun of it

[ Parent ]

Muy Mucho Grande Court is now in session! (3.00 / 9) (#73)
by porkchop_d_clown on Thu Jan 08, 2004 at 11:55:48 PM EST

Would you like fries with that?

--
"the internet is to the techno-capable disaffected what the United Nations is to marginal states: it offers the illusion of empowerment and c
[ Parent ]

Yeah, that would be kick ass (none / 3) (#142)
by jayhawk88 on Fri Jan 09, 2004 at 04:48:41 PM EST

Too bad all we have is a group of life-time appointees who nonetheless tow their party lines on every fucking issue set before them.

Why, then, should we grant government the Orwellian capability to listen at will and in real time to our communications across the Web? -- John Ashcroft
[ Parent ]
Perhaps the "Superlative Court" (none / 2) (#50)
by slashcart on Thu Jan 08, 2004 at 03:27:01 PM EST

superlative, adj. Surpassing all others.
This "superlative court" could have ... "judicious review" or something similar, allowing the acts of the legislature to come under the review of said court!

[ Parent ]
A serious question (2.20 / 5) (#84)
by whazat on Fri Jan 09, 2004 at 04:14:41 AM EST

Doesn't having the Justices nomination and approval by the President and Senate slightly diminish it's role as guardian of constitution.

That is this process makes it not equal to the legislative and executive branch, as it can be controlled (however slowly), by a combination of the other two.

I haven't studied American politics, so someone correct me if I am wrong.

[ Parent ]

slow control? (2.50 / 4) (#94)
by karb on Fri Jan 09, 2004 at 08:27:29 AM EST

Yes, technically. But to really control the supreme court you would have to control the presidency and a majority in the senate. Actually, due to recent innovation by the democratic party, you not only need the president and the majority in the senate, you need the president and a filibuster-proof majority (60 out of 100) to get a judge confirmed.

Any party that had that kind of hold on the gov't for the 10 or 20 years (five justices have been replaced since 1988) it would take to replace enough supreme court justices would probably be powerful enough to just amend the constitution anyway. And since traditionally the president's party always gets trounced in midterm elections (an aberration this time but probably not the next), having that kind of power for three years, let alone ten, is nearly impossible. (even the GOP now is not filibuster proof in the senate)
--
Who is the geek who would risk his neck for his brother geek?
[ Parent ]

Your assuming starting from scratch (none / 1) (#97)
by whazat on Fri Jan 09, 2004 at 09:50:29 AM EST

There may be a few justices already sympathetic to your views from previous administrations.

One of the perils of a two party system I suppose.

[ Parent ]

was thinking of that (none / 2) (#136)
by karb on Fri Jan 09, 2004 at 04:04:14 PM EST

You can (and try to) put judges on the court that lean towards you politically (although I'm fairly certain the lib/con labels the justices have now don't exactly match the presidents that nominated them) ... if GWB wins his second term it's likely that 5 or 6 justices may lean towards more conservative principals.

However, the issue at hand was picking justices that outright just like stomping on the constitution. I don't believe _any_ of the supreme court justices are like that right now, although I frequently don't like some of their legal opinions.
--
Who is the geek who would risk his neck for his brother geek?
[ Parent ]

Crossed wires (none / 1) (#225)
by whazat on Sat Jan 10, 2004 at 09:19:25 AM EST

I was just thinking more moderate stompings such as the DMCA. I agree with you that it would be very hard to manipulate the supreme court, to not make the constitution a worthless document.

[ Parent ]
s/not make/make/ (none / 0) (#227)
by whazat on Sat Jan 10, 2004 at 09:30:32 AM EST



[ Parent ]
sort of... (none / 3) (#107)
by slashcart on Fri Jan 09, 2004 at 01:02:57 PM EST

Doesn't having the Justices nomination and approval by the President and Senate slightly diminish it's role as guardian of constitution.

Supreme Court justices retain the position for life. A typical president (who serves for 4 or 8 years) typically nominates 1-2 supreme court justices, and can't do anything about the others.

Also, even though the justices were appointed by the legislature, they're not compelled to submit to the legislature after they've been appointed. The history of the court is filled with justices who changed their philosophy somewhat after having been appointed.

That is this process makes it not equal to the legislative and executive branch, as it can be controlled (however slowly), by a combination of the other two.

The court is nowhere near equal to the other branches. Since the legislature can even amend the constitution, it can ultimately get around anything the court says. Thus, the court could never withstand a decades-long, sustained assault from the combination of the congress and the presidency. The only point of the court is to provide some kind of bulwark against violations of the constitution. So that the members of a given congressional term couldn't (say) pass a law instituting themselves as rulers for life, or pass a law extending their own terms, or pass a law forbidding the criticism of themselves, etc.

[ Parent ]

Nope (none / 1) (#108)
by rhino1302 on Fri Jan 09, 2004 at 01:58:36 PM EST

Congress can not ammend the constitution. It can propose an ammendment, but has no power to make good on that proposal. Congress dosen't even have the sole power to propose ammendments - a constitutional convention called into being by the states can do so as well.

[ Parent ]

The Fourth Branch of Government (none / 3) (#247)
by duffbeer703 on Sat Jan 10, 2004 at 12:58:43 PM EST

The courts are a balance to the legislative and executive branches of government.

The Federal bueracracy, however, is a virtual fourth branch of government. It's members are civil servants who are practically employed for life and create all manner of regulation within the scope of the legislation that empowers their agencies.

The bueracracy is very opaque, and its operation designed to be overly complex. Complexity is the enemy of oversight.

[ Parent ]

Umm (none / 3) (#182)
by dipierro on Fri Jan 09, 2004 at 08:30:09 PM EST

All the branches are "fully devoted to upholding the constitution of the land!"

[ Parent ]
judicial review (none / 2) (#211)
by Geno Z Heinlein on Sat Jan 10, 2004 at 12:48:45 AM EST

if only we had some group... fully devoted to upholding the constitution of the land!

Hell, the Supremes are the ones who rubber-stamped all of this by deciding it was okay to engage in "judicial review". Marbury vs. Madison goes back to 1803, which means that our Consitutional protections lasted all of 14 years. Here's one site I googled up: Judicial Review and the Supreme Court.

Men with money and guns are always going to tell people what to do. "Fanatics" who loudly oppose each and every nickel and dime of liberty-stealing don't exist in sufficient numbers to stop it.

Geno Z Heinlein
[ Parent ]
Brett Bursey (2.84 / 19) (#32)
by Blarney on Thu Jan 08, 2004 at 01:02:18 PM EST

This is yet another odd thing about rights. Brett Bursey, although facing up to 5 months in Federal prison for refusing a Secret Service order to move to a protest zone because of the anti-Bush content of his sign, was denied a jury trial.

Very strange. Although jury trials are relatively rare considering their legal expense and the number of people who would rather confess, guilty or not, rather than face the risks of a higher sentence in a jury trial, my state (Michigan) still allows one for any criminal case where jail time is a possible punishment. Furthermore, a recent Appeals court decision has granted jury privileges to persons charged with underaged drinking - a crime which does not carry jail time as a punishment!

So it's very odd that Mr. Bursey doesn't get a jury for this crime which could put him away for 5 months. The Federal court system seems very strange.

A veiw from another view (2.00 / 5) (#70)
by Norkakn on Thu Jan 08, 2004 at 11:36:51 PM EST

When anything starts to fuck up the lives of rich people and their kids, things get much more tangled so that eventually they can get out of it.

[ Parent ]
I don't understand (none / 3) (#85)
by Blarney on Fri Jan 09, 2004 at 04:31:49 AM EST

Are you trying to say that Michigan is bending over backwards to help rich white kids keep their misdemeanor Minor In Possession charges off of their criminal record? I suppose that only rich white kids can afford a jury trial - but there is always the chance of an indigent getting off per se. It does happen - and when it does, it is almost always a jury trial. Judges in a bench trial will just want to see an attorney get together with the prosecutor so that a reasonable sentence can be arranged - which they can simply rubber-stamp. A bench trial is in practice just a more elaborate plea bargain. Denying someone a jury trial makes it nearly impossible for them to plead innocence and get it.

I'd say that the right to a jury trial is important, regardless of potential penalties, because the Bill of Rights says that it is. Nowhere does the Bill of Rights make exceptions to this rule. It is my firm belief that any Federal rules against jury trials, or any civil contracts (such as those under the Arbitration Act) which infringe the right to trial by jury, are plainly unconstitutional. Plain, that is, except to a judge who is so used to kissing up to the men in power, or referring to the decisions of former generations of ass-kissers, that he can not read a simple sentence and know what it says.

"In all criminal prosecutions", it says. Not "In some", or "In major criminal prosecutions", or anything like that.



[ Parent ]

-1, felixrayman (1.11 / 26) (#53)
by polish surprise on Thu Jan 08, 2004 at 04:41:46 PM EST

Resection to Indymedia.

--
Controversy is my middle name.

In a technical sense... (2.00 / 6) (#59)
by AtADeadRun on Thu Jan 08, 2004 at 07:34:35 PM EST

You're really saying that a particular subsection of the Constitution, to wit, the Bill of Rights, no longer has meaning.

-------
Pain heals. Glory is forever. Keep running.

We would not die in that man's company
That fears his fellowship to die with us.
Yep. (none / 2) (#71)
by felixrayman on Thu Jan 08, 2004 at 11:46:56 PM EST

You're correct and I changed the wording of the title and the intro (the only parts of the article that are my own words) to reflect that. Thanks for the tip.

Call Donald Rumsfeld and tell him our sorry asses are ready to go home. Tell him to come spend a night in our building. - Pfc. Matthew C. O'Dell

[ Parent ]
THE RIGHT OF THE PEOPLE TO KEEP AND (1.37 / 24) (#72)
by thelizman on Thu Jan 08, 2004 at 11:49:09 PM EST

bear arms...I notice you, like every other leftwit commie liberal, skipped that one. Let me ask you something - when the evil Adolph Bush comes to put dissidents like you in jail, how do you propose to defend yourself?

Michael Kinsley, the liberal editor of Slate (kind of redundtant - it's a liberal zine) once said it best, 'If liberals treated the second amendment like they did the first, gun ownership would be a requirement'.

-1, Pedantic diatribes based on false premises, speculation, and baseless lies.
--

"Our language is sufficiently clumsy enough to allow us to believe foolish things." - George Orwell
Stockpiling weapons... (none / 1) (#75)
by ShadowNode on Fri Jan 09, 2004 at 12:04:40 AM EST

Didn't do the people at Waco any good.

[ Parent ]
Actually (none / 3) (#109)
by godix on Fri Jan 09, 2004 at 01:59:18 PM EST

What started Waco was that the weapons they tried to stockpile were illegal plus they were a 'cult'. The entire incident could be considered a violation of the first and second ammendment with a few serious questions about the status of the fourth, sixth, and eighth if you wanted to be pedantic. All told Waco is a very good example of how big a joke the Bill of Rights has turned into and the fact that the weapons they had weren't enough to defend them from the government driving a fucking tank in their house could be a pretty good arguement for expanding the second ammendment to include anti-tank rockets.

Well, at least I shall die as I have lived. Completely surrounded by morons.
- Black Mage[ Parent ]
Exactly (none / 2) (#150)
by ShadowNode on Fri Jan 09, 2004 at 05:34:00 PM EST

You can have all the small arms you want, and you're still not going to be able to stand up to the US gov't. Given that it's insane to legalize large arms, there's really no point to keeping the second ammendment around.

[ Parent ]
Certainly not in a conventional war (none / 1) (#210)
by godix on Sat Jan 10, 2004 at 12:17:50 AM EST

You can have all the small arms you want, and you're still not going to be able to stand up to the US gov't.

Of course citizens couldn't stand up against the government in a conventional fight. They couldn't even do that right after the revolutionary war, Washington himself proved that with the Whiskey Rebellion. I have to wonder if the fathers of the minutemen and gurilla tactics ever meant for weapons to be used in a conventional battle though.

Well, at least I shall die as I have lived. Completely surrounded by morons.
- Black Mage[ Parent ]
Nice try (2.66 / 9) (#77)
by felixrayman on Fri Jan 09, 2004 at 12:11:29 AM EST

I asked several times for examples of recent violations of the second amendment. I (as I state in other posts) looked for recent news stories about such violations and could not find them. If anyone had answered my requests, I would have included them.

As I stated in another post responding to an accusation along the same lines, I believe the second amendment guarantees the right to own firearms, and that a nation of unarmed citizens will not for long be a free nation (although the converse is not true - Iraq was a well-armed nation that was not free).

So we will just have to agree to agree on this point. As for your -1, a felixrayman story isn't a felixrayman story until it has a -1 rant from thelezman.

Call Donald Rumsfeld and tell him our sorry asses are ready to go home. Tell him to come spend a night in our building. - Pfc. Matthew C. O'Dell

[ Parent ]
Some suggestions (2.80 / 5) (#78)
by Pseudonym on Fri Jan 09, 2004 at 12:21:32 AM EST

I notice you, like every other leftwit commie liberal, skipped that one. Let me ask you something - when the evil Adolph Bush comes to put dissidents like you in jail, how do you propose to defend yourself?

More to the point, how are you going to defend yourself with guns?

The last people who tried defending themselves against the US government with guns are now being treated to an all-expenses-paid holiday in Cuba. Apparently they even let some of them go home after a year or two.

There is, I suppose, the Noriega Defence. He wasn't himself armed as such, but he did have his own army. Unfortunately, they were no match for the complete works of Def Leppard.

Then there's the Branch Davidian approach. Going to heaven sounds nice.

Maybe you should just join the Confederates. They'll be rising again any day now, surely.


sub f{($f)=@_;print"$f(q{$f});";}f(q{sub f{($f)=@_;print"$f(q{$f});";}f});
[ Parent ]
You forgot examples from the rest of Human History (none / 2) (#122)
by 0x29a on Fri Jan 09, 2004 at 03:15:38 PM EST

But that idea didn't seem to stop the Colonies from forming small militias to take on the largest army in the world for their freedom.

If I remember correctly, I think they won.  As has happened time and time again throughout history.

True defeat comes when you stop trying to defend yourself.

[ Parent ]

It's totally different (none / 2) (#159)
by squigly on Fri Jan 09, 2004 at 06:41:15 PM EST

The American revolution simply had to convince a fairly inefficient military force that the colony is not worth the effort needed to hang on to it.  This was at a time when "The largest army in the world" was also busily helping to create and maintain order in the largest empire in the world.  

The Russian revolution was a lot harder to get started, and wouldn't have suceeded without a large portion of the military being involved on the side of the revolution.

It's different now.  The government has a much more efficient police force, with agents capable of infiltrating any organisation that might start an uprising, quashing it before it gets any inertia.  Weapons are not going to make any difference here.  When you have an established government, the only way a revolution will succeed is when the administration is so corrupt even parts of the government support a revolt.

[ Parent ]

Not so different. (none / 1) (#167)
by 0x29a on Fri Jan 09, 2004 at 07:25:07 PM EST

I was simply stating that just because some uprisings or conflicts have failled in the past, does not mean one should not think they will not succeed in the future.  

There are always times and places and circumstances to allow any underdog to succeed.  It starts with trying.  For instance what you wrote about the circumstances to the American Revolutionary War: time, place, and circumstance.

Look at Afganastan of the 80s: time, place and circumstance.  Vietnam is another. They fought back the France and America.

I am including conflicts in addition to uprisings, as the origional post did also.

[ Parent ]

A revolution is always a possibility (none / 1) (#221)
by squigly on Sat Jan 10, 2004 at 04:14:50 AM EST

My main issue with the thread is that I don't think that legalised gun ownership is an important part of a revolution.  

With or without legal weapons, anyone sufficiently comitted can get hold of guns.  Smuggling is not hard for anyone willing to take the risks.  

My point is that many American seem to fail to realise that it's a lot easier to repel an occupying army than it is to force out an established government.  Not imposible, since revolutions have succeeded in the past (e.g. France, and Russia), but popular support is much more important than weapons.

[ Parent ]

Put like that ..... I agree. (none / 0) (#290)
by 0x29a on Sat Jan 10, 2004 at 07:24:17 PM EST

The thread became side tracked.  While I doubt that legalized gun ownership alone is integral to a revolution, it can't do anything but help if you can start with some weapons.  On the other hand, outside help and alliances (including weapon, inteligence, and supply support) would probably be the largest contributing factor to successful revolts, both in the past and in the future.

[ Parent ]
That's true... (none / 1) (#331)
by Pseudonym on Sun Jan 11, 2004 at 10:18:36 PM EST

I was simply stating that just because some uprisings or conflicts have failled in the past, does not mean one should not think they will not succeed in the future.

This does not discount my main point, which is that the mere proliferation of arms does not guarantee any kind of freedom from tyranny. In fact, it doesn't even come close.


sub f{($f)=@_;print"$f(q{$f});";}f(q{sub f{($f)=@_;print"$f(q{$f});";}f});
[ Parent ]
It helped... (none / 2) (#202)
by Pseudonym on Fri Jan 09, 2004 at 11:25:54 PM EST

...that Britain's greatest enemy, France, joined in the battle. The colonies on their own didn't stand a chance.


sub f{($f)=@_;print"$f(q{$f});";}f(q{sub f{($f)=@_;print"$f(q{$f});";}f});
[ Parent ]
True enough (none / 0) (#291)
by 0x29a on Sat Jan 10, 2004 at 07:25:55 PM EST

I agree

[ Parent ]
Totally irrelevent comment [nt] (none / 1) (#87)
by nebbish on Fri Jan 09, 2004 at 06:21:30 AM EST


---------
Kicking someone in the head is like punching them in the foot - Bruce Lee
[ Parent ]

Hey, It's not 'Adolph Bush' (none / 2) (#90)
by JayGarner on Fri Jan 09, 2004 at 07:16:25 AM EST

It's 'Adolph Coors'. Don't disrespect a cheap, low-quality beer institution.

[ Parent ]
A well regulated militia... (none / 2) (#99)
by wiredog on Fri Jan 09, 2004 at 09:57:25 AM EST

Why do so many people forget the first part of that sentence?

Wilford Brimley scares my chickens.
Phil the Canuck

[ Parent ]
I haven't forgotten it. (none / 2) (#100)
by sllort on Fri Jan 09, 2004 at 10:11:24 AM EST

At the time of the founders, "militia" meant "every conscriptable white man".

The Bill of Rights was adopted in 1791.
The act that created the National Guard wasn't enacted until 1903.

If you insist that the second amendment means the National Guard, you must first solve the temporal paradox you have created.

details.
--
Warning: On Lawn is a documented liar.
[ Parent ]

WELL REGULATED (none / 3) (#101)
by wiredog on Fri Jan 09, 2004 at 10:20:32 AM EST

The Brady Law is a regulation of gun ownership. As are the other Federal and State gun laws. Including the shall issue concealed carry laws in many states.

Oh, and by "conscriptable white man" coupled with "temporal paradox" do you mean to imply that the 2nd amendment, still, only applies to white men?

Wilford Brimley scares my chickens.
Phil the Canuck

[ Parent ]

It's well regulated militia (2.80 / 5) (#103)
by sllort on Fri Jan 09, 2004 at 10:44:25 AM EST

Not well regulated guns. When the second amendment was written there was no such thing as an organized military, rather it meant every man between 17 and 44. (Text of Miltia Act). If we have faithfully extended the right to free speech to protect the internet, and the right by trial by jury to mean a trial in front of a group of peers, then what is the faithful extension of a right to personal firearm ownership of all American men between 17 and 44?

The answer should be obvious.

"each and every free able-bodied white male citizen of the respective States, resident therein, who is or shall be of age of eighteen years, and under the age of forty-five years (except as is herein after excepted) shall severally and respectively be enrolled in the militia"

- THAT was the militia. The National Guard was 1903. The entire issue of gun control boils down to what the faithful extension of "every white man between 17 and 44 who lives in America" is. The ACLU thinks that the faithful extension is "every American of any creed employed by the U.S. Military or National Guard or Local Police Services" and folks like me think it means "every American of any creed".

Until the Supreme Court decides, the matter is up for debate.
--
Warning: On Lawn is a documented liar.
[ Parent ]

well regulated MILITIA. (none / 2) (#230)
by Craevenwulfe on Sat Jan 10, 2004 at 10:32:25 AM EST

Perhaps it would benefit you to expand your understanding of the term "Militia".

Miltia does -not- mean "every free able-bodied..citizen".

Militia means "An army composed of ordinary citizens rather than professional soldiers." (army: A large body of people organized and trained for land warfare)

This quite specifically means that just because you're a white male, it doesn't mean you are in the militia any more than you are in a baseball team.

Recent examples of this would be the British Home Guard used in the World War(2?) and such things as the Territorial army.

I do not see those people hiding assault rifles in their cupboard to shoot home invaders as being part of any such organised militia.

The freaky gun nuts on ruby ridge are closer to that definition.

[ Parent ]
Understand. (none / 2) (#248)
by cburke on Sat Jan 10, 2004 at 01:04:55 PM EST

Militia means "An army composed of ordinary citizens rather than professional soldiers." (army: A large body of people organized and trained for land warfare)

Yes, that is the literal definition of militia.   What in that definition disparages the idea of a militia comprised of every able-bodied citizen?  In the time of the revolution, that's what the militia was -- an army composed of citizens, and in particular every white male citizen of age.

Of course your mistake was to put forth your definition as the only one.  The parent was equally correct as you.

From Merriam-Webster:

1 a : a part of the organized armed forces of a country liable to call only in emergency b : a body of citizens organized for military service
2 : the whole body of able-bodied male citizens declared by law as being subject to call to military service

So you see, both definitions exist.  But what I can't understand is why it matters -- so the militia is "an army composed of citizens" and not "an army of citizens consisting of every able-bodied male".  What difference does it make?  How does that effect the right to own guns?

I do not see those people hiding assault rifles in their cupboard to shoot home invaders as being part of any such organised militia.

And?  It does not say "A well-regulated militia, being necessary to a free state, the right of the militia to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed."

It says people.

It says people, and no definition of "militia" you shoe-horn into the minds of the authors in 1776 is going to change that.

It's 2004.  Time and time again the issue of whether or not people in the constitution means people.   Does the 14th Ammendment apply to gays?  Does the 1st Ammendment apply to blacks?  We've asked ourselves this time and again, in each specific case, and one day we're going to finally decide that "people means people", and this silly argument will be over.

[ Parent ]

Re-read the Militia Act (none / 0) (#387)
by sllort on Fri Jan 16, 2004 at 11:11:29 AM EST

You have failed the reading comprehension test.
--
Warning: On Lawn is a documented liar.
[ Parent ]
2nd amendment history (2.83 / 6) (#148)
by horny smurf on Fri Jan 09, 2004 at 05:07:49 PM EST

Let's consider the history of the second amendment, shall we?

References

The amendment, as proposed to the states on September 25th, 1789:

Article the fourth . . . A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

This was the amendment as passed by the house of representatives on August 24th, 1789. Note that the house passed 17 amendments, which the senate later edited down to 12.

A well regulated militia, composed of the body of the People, being the best security of a free State, the right of the People to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed, but no one religiously scrupulous of bearing arms, shall be compelled to render military service in person.

This is James Madison's proposal, June 8, 1979:

The right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed; a well armed and well regulated militia being the best security of a free country: but no person religiously scrupulous of bearing arms shall be compelled to render military service in person.

This is New Hampshire's proposal, following the ratification of the constitution, June 21, 1788:

Twelfth, Congress shall never disarm any Citizen unless such as are or have been in Actual Rebellion. --

This is a proposal from the Pennsylvania minority: December 18, 1787

7. That the people have a right to bear arms for the defence of themselves and their own stateor the United States, or for the purpose of killing game; and no law shall be passed for disarming the people or any of them, unless for crimes committed, or real danger of public injury from individuals; and as standing armies in the time of peace are dangerous to liberty, they ought not to be kept up: and that the military shall be kept under strict subordination to and be governed by the civil powers.

This is New York's proposal, July 26, 1788:

That the People have a right to keep and bear Arms; that a well regulated Militia, including the body of the People capable of bearing Arms, is the proper, natural and safe defence of a free State;

North Carolina, November 21, 1789:

17th. That the people have a right to keep and bear arms; that a well regulated militia composed of the body of the people, trained to arms, is the proper, natural and safe defence of a free state. That standing armies in time of peace are dangerous to Liberty, and therefore ought to be avoided, as far as the circumstances and protection of the community will admit; and that in all cases, the military should be under strict subordination to, and governed by the civil power.

Half the states proposed amendments guaranteeing a right to bear arms. Do you suppose the New Hampshire residents ("Congress shall never disarm any Citizen") passed an amendment that was intended to allow state and federal governments to form national guards? Or that Pennsylvania wanted to guarantee that the national guard could hunt? Standing armies were, at the time, considered dangerous to liberty.

Looking at the historical record, it is very clear what a "militia" is and isn't. The second amendment was poorly edited in the senate, but the intentions are clear - to guarantee an individual's right to keep and bear arms.

[ Parent ]

Well-regulated militia... the right of the people (none / 1) (#162)
by cburke on Fri Jan 09, 2004 at 07:00:11 PM EST

I don't forget it.  I've simply never seen or heard a definition of the first part of the sentence that would alter or deny the meaning of the second.

[ Parent ]
Leftwit commie liberal (1.12 / 8) (#119)
by CaptainSuperBoy on Fri Jan 09, 2004 at 03:01:36 PM EST

At least you're keeping a level head. Nothing's worse than babyish name-calling, you morbidly obese syphilitic ass-felcher.

--
jimmysquid.com - I take pictures.
[ Parent ]
"Adolph"? (2.00 / 5) (#144)
by kitten on Fri Jan 09, 2004 at 04:54:10 PM EST

Let me ask you something - when the evil Adolph Bush comes to put dissidents like you in jail, how do you propose to defend yourself?

First of all, it's "Adolf", not "Adolph", you moron.

Second, all the guns in the world aren't going to help defend against a government anymore. Maybe guns were useful for fighting tyranny back in the 1770s when both sides were evenly matched, at least in terms of armament.

Your handguns and rifles today aren't going to do shit if the government wanted to roll over you with tanks, jet fighters, missiles, and bombs.

Furthermore, the 2nd Amendment is self-defeating. The people have a right to bear arms, but it comes with the stipulation that it must be "regulated". Who's doing the regulation? The government. The very entity the founding fathers were worried about, and wanted the people to be able to defend against.


mirrorshades radio - darkwave, synthpop, industrial, futurepop.
[ Parent ]
The people of Iraq disagree (none / 2) (#147)
by sllort on Fri Jan 09, 2004 at 05:07:27 PM EST

Their private ownership of AK-47's appears to be keeping our war over there on the brink of unpopularity. Considering America has more guns than people, a war of occupation here could be considerably nastier.
--
Warning: On Lawn is a documented liar.
[ Parent ]
riiight (none / 3) (#151)
by mattw on Fri Jan 09, 2004 at 05:36:24 PM EST

First, note that 'arms' is not 'guns'. Technically, the 2nd amendment clearly permits a citizen to own any sort of weaponry. So tanks, fighter planes, and so on should be fine.

Second, the well-regulated militia line is a pre-amble, not a requirement. The amendment does not, "the right to keep and bear arms as part of a well regulated militia", merely that because a well-regulated militia is essential, the amendment grants the right to keep and bear arms. It is, in two parts, an exhortation to use the right to secure freedom from tyranny, and the acknowledgement of the right to keep and bear arms.

BTW, before you go calling people 'morons', you might want to note that there's a long history of Americanizing german -f names as -ph, like Adolf and Josef. You're welcome to write the NYT and tell them they're also morons, of course. Happy trolling.


[Scrapbooking Supplies]
[ Parent ]

Yes, and? (none / 2) (#179)
by kitten on Fri Jan 09, 2004 at 08:20:06 PM EST

First, note that 'arms' is not 'guns'. Technically, the 2nd amendment clearly permits a citizen to own any sort of weaponry. So tanks, fighter planes, and so on should be fine.

Yes, it seems that way, but there's two problems.

First and most obvious is the logistical problem. An M1 Abrams tank costs 4.3 million dollars. An F-16 Falcon is about 26 million. And that's just the cost of purchase - no weapons, no fuel, no training, no tank crews, no runways, nothing.

The government has plenty of these things to go around. You have none and no way to purchase any. Even if you pooled your resources with a large group of like-minded individuals, how many tanks do you think you'd be able to afford? Especially keeping in mind that people with large amounts of money are not going to want to help, since they aren't likely to be the ones getting shafted by a tyrannical government.

Second and less obvious is the stipulation within the amendment that allows for the citizenry to bear weapons in a regulated manner. And who does the regulating? The government.

It is a stipulation, your claims to the contrary notwithstanding. The amendment is quite specific: It allows for the citizens to keep and bear arms, but it says why - because such a right is essential to the security of a free state. You can argue whether the threat to the free state is internal (the state itself) or external (e.g., the King of England, or more generally, any other nation that isn't the US). I'd be willing to bet the founding fathers had the latter in mind, given what they just went through.

The phrase "well-regulated militia" is part and parcel of the right, not just a clause they stuck in there for no reason. The idea is that the people should have arms, but that some regulation is required, if for no other reason than just to manage the logistics of who has what weapons, should the need arise to use them. Either way it boils down to the same thing - the government has not the right, but the duty, to regulate what weaopns the citizens may have.

Finally, you say:
BTW, before you go calling people 'morons', you might want to note that there's a long history of Americanizing german -f names as -ph, like Adolf and Josef
That's true. If I were to name my child Josef, I may well choose to use "ph" instead of "f". However, Hitler's first name was Adolf, not Adolph. Using a "ph" is not an acceptable "Americanized version" of the name - one is his name and the other is not.
mirrorshades radio - darkwave, synthpop, industrial, futurepop.
[ Parent ]
Win the lottery (none / 2) (#196)
by damiam on Fri Jan 09, 2004 at 10:34:21 PM EST

And then go try to buy a functional fighter jet, with bombs and missles included. Even if you could afford it, and you had a willing seller, I doubt the US government would let you get away with it (especially not if there were nukes involved).

[ Parent ]
How enough is enough? (none / 3) (#197)
by losthalo on Fri Jan 09, 2004 at 10:53:24 PM EST

Are there enough planes, tanks, and munitions to keep the entire country (or even significant portions thereof) under their sights?

I doubt it.
(And certainly not if the US military is going to still be fulfilling its role elsewhere in the world as well)

You also would have the Tiananmen Square faceoff problem if enough people were rising up against the Gov. The US military does what it does to non-US-citizens by dehumanizing them. ("Gooks", "Krauts", "zipperheads", "towel-heads", etc.) Mostly their opponents have been different from (i.e. ethnic compared to) the average American. I imagine that method will not work if the person staring down your M1 Abrams looks like someone you might have gone to school with.

It may be that I am here overestimating the basic empathy of the average US soldier, but given those I've met, I am not.

[ Parent ]
Imagine McCarthyism on crack (none / 1) (#315)
by whazat on Sun Jan 11, 2004 at 08:04:21 AM EST

Must bomb the damn revo's. Pot-smoking lefty commie bastards.

It would require significant propoganda on the part of the Gov though.

[ Parent ]

Tiananmen Square (none / 1) (#362)
by error 404 on Tue Jan 13, 2004 at 01:04:49 PM EST

If the guy in front of the tank had shown a gun, he would have been an instant pancake. His only effective weapon was unarmed human vulnerability.

No soldier is going to hesitate for a second if the other guy is armed. It is quite conceivable (although not something to count on) that some American soldiers would refuse to wipe out a group of unarmed Americans. And if there is a live feed, the commander might actualy back down.


..................................
Electrical banana is bound to be the very next phase
- Donovan

[ Parent ]

Sure, if it was one guy (none / 1) (#364)
by NoBeardPete on Tue Jan 13, 2004 at 03:47:45 PM EST

If one guy with a gun is standing in front of a tank, he gets killed. If large swathes of the country are resisting the government with guns, it may be different. Sure, our military would still have the power to kill them all, but would it really want to?

Our military is strong enough that no small group of citizens will be able to resist the government, no matter how many small arms they stockpile. For a revolution to have any shot at success, a large fraction of the country would have to be committed to it. If faced with a choice between vicious house-to-house fighting throughout the country, bombing the crap out of millions of its own citizens, or admitting that it's lost control/been overthrown, our government might go for the latter.

I'd argue this is the kind of balance that we want. No small group of crazies is going to be able to stage a revolution, or split off from the country, but if things do get really bad, it's possible for the population to rise up and do something about it. It's very unlikely it'll ever come to that, but the possibility is there if we need it.


Arrr, it be the infamous pirate, No Beard Pete!
[ Parent ]

Personal protection (none / 0) (#385)
by heavenstorm on Fri Jan 16, 2004 at 05:40:40 AM EST

The question is not just whether an armed uprising can succeed; it is whether any given individual (in particular myself) has means to protect himself from specific acts of tyranny, or any other danger the government might allow or be unable to prevent.  For example, if people are rioting in the streets, both the rioters and the civilians around them will have good reason to be armed.

Speaking of riots: the police are often unable to put them down by force, and they always call in outside help.  If every city in the country was going at it, even if the citizens were unarmed, is it so far-fetched to believe they would have no chance of overthrowing the government?  As soon as enough people stop obeying laws, probably any majority, you've won, because the law enforcement is not in place to keep control over even double the current amount of crime.  True, they can start initiating curfews and arresting everyone in sight, but the purpose of that (like everyday enforcement) is only to inspire fear: if enough people ignored it -- and "enough" here is a fairly low number -- and especially if some resisted it, it could not be enforced, and attempting would divert resources.

There's a downward spiral here: once people start ignoring law enforcement, it becomes less powerful, inspiring more to ignore it.  That's how riots get going in the first place.

An overthrow is not the only way armed citizens can influence the government, either.  Once you start shooting cops, you lose negotiating power - until you shoot enough of them, at which point you start gaining it.  A mass movement with the power to call its people to arms has a huge negotiating power even if those people are not capable of any sort of overthrow.

[ Parent ]

There's a flaw in your argument... (none / 0) (#388)
by kcbrown on Fri Jan 16, 2004 at 09:50:40 PM EST

There's a downward spiral here: once people start ignoring law enforcement, it becomes less powerful, inspiring more to ignore it. That's how riots get going in the first place.
This is true, but in the context of this discussion it ignores something of great import: riots happen because the amount of power of the police remains relatively fixed and eventually (as the riot progresses) becomes less than the power of the people participating in the riot.

But in the case of an armed uprising, that's not the case. In the case of an armed uprising that happens without military support, the military starts off with and will maintain a greater amount of power than the people participating in the uprising no matter what.

That's because the military has, overall, somewhere between a many thousands-to-one and a millions-to-one advantage in both firepower and shielding, depending on which weapons the military chooses to bring to bear.

There's one other assumption implicit in your argument: that the government will care enough about civilian casualties to voluntarily surrender power. But any government that is so despised by its citizenry that the citizenry elects to rise up in armed revolt against it is likely to be one that will do whatever it takes to remain in power, even if it means nuking entire cities.

This is why the Second Amendment is ultimately of no consequence today. Today, armed revolution against a determined and well-equipped tyrannical government simply cannot succeed without substantial military support.

[ Parent ]

So you lie to your own soldiers... (none / 0) (#384)
by heavenstorm on Fri Jan 16, 2004 at 05:13:17 AM EST

Unarmed human vulnerability is only an effective weapon because it taps into the power of sympathetic others.  Since Vietnam and the attached civil rights movement, the government puts as much effort into media-management of a war than it does into the war itself; both within the military and without.  Indeed, even in Vietnam, when vets (the first tour) returned home from war they were shocked even to learn about the massive anti-war effort, and that it wasn't progressing as planned.  A large proportion of the later tours replacing them refused to fight largely because of these facts.

The US would never let something like Tiananmen square happen -- with that video tape of the tank.  Rather, when the US wants to use a tank on civilians, the scenario is more like Waco -- not even the soldiers knew the truth about who they were attacking.

Of course, we were given the same lies given to the soldiers, and also decieved about their tactics.  When the public finds out about this sort of thing, it is over the course of months or years, starting after the story is cold, in tiny bits just too small to make headlines, with anyone suspecting more than has been already admitted dismissed as a conspiracy theorist (in the case of Waco, the conspirators later admitted some amount of their conspiracy -- but you will never see that word used in the media in political matters exceppt to dismiss a "theory").  Waco is a famous case, which both makes it a good example and a bad one: but remember that is only so famous because it was too big to hide and the Republicans were able to blame the Democrats for it.  Law enforcement commits qualitatively similar actions routinely on smaller scales, and we will not learn about it unless we specifically look.

[ Parent ]

Ever wonder what the "regular" ... (none / 1) (#216)
by _Quinn on Sat Jan 10, 2004 at 01:59:55 AM EST

in "regular army" means?  It means "trained."  The Amendment provides for the formation of a well-trained militia, a standing army being incimical to liberty, for precisely the reasons mentioned elsewhere in this thread -- it's too easy to use a standing army for oppression.  The decision to make the right to bear arms -- to own and train with the tools of a soldier -- was, in fact, so unusual that the Founding Fathers felt it necessary to explain their reasoning.

- _Quinn
Reality Maintenance Group, Silver City Construction Co., Ltd.
[ Parent ]

Trained ... (none / 0) (#372)
by royalblue tom on Wed Jan 14, 2004 at 10:46:23 AM EST

 ... to have a bowel movement every day ($hit, shower and shave). Hence, "regular"!


[ Parent ]
Clueless Wannabe Revolutionaries (none / 3) (#233)
by thelizman on Sat Jan 10, 2004 at 10:52:28 AM EST

First and most obvious is the logistical problem. An M1 Abrams tank costs 4.3 million dollars. An F-16 Falcon is about 26 million. And that's just the cost of purchase - no weapons, no fuel, no training, no tank crews, no runways, nothing.
A Soviet SA-5, with launcher, is only $6 million dollars. A Stinger or similar MANPAD is available for less than a few thousands. The F-16 is only good for bombing fixed targets and air superiority.

A mine capable of destroying an M1-A2 MBT can be constructed from commonly available materials for about $44. Ask the soviets how safe they were in their heavily armored T-72 tanks.
The government has plenty of these things to go around. You have none and no way to purchase any.
Arms traders and foreign governments such as China and Russia (ironically) will hunt you down to sell you, often at cost, the necessary hardware. All anyone needs to do to get their hands on equipment is to take a trip to Eastern Europe to get their hands on a few tanks. However, the main battle tank is archaic. Mobile artillery and armored fast attack vehicles, which are much cheaper, are also more effective for taking urbanized terrain. Like I said, little boy, you have no idea about the real world of arms trading.
--

"Our language is sufficiently clumsy enough to allow us to believe foolish things." - George Orwell
[ Parent ]
Neato (none / 1) (#330)
by kitten on Sun Jan 11, 2004 at 09:06:55 PM EST

Arms traders and foreign governments such as China and Russia (ironically) will hunt you down to sell you, often at cost, the necessary hardware. All anyone needs to do to get their hands on equipment is to take a trip to Eastern Europe to get their hands on a few tanks

Well, there's a little more to it than just strolling down to "Eastern Europe".

You have to have a couple million to throw around, and then you have to find a way to do this without the government noticing, and then you have to find a way to transport your tanks back to the US since they aren't doing you any good sitting out in Eastern Europe, and you have to smuggle tanks past the US Government. Then you have to find a place to put the tanks, and then you'll want to get some ammo for them, which means going back to your "arms dealer" and smuggling huge fucking rounds without anyone noticing.

Now you've got your tanks, we'll assume you got the appropriate fuel for them (somehow), managed to train people in their use (without anyone noticing tanks on manuveurs). Your little militia group managed to pool enough money to purchase three, four, maybe five tanks. Maybe ten, even.

In comes the US Government with twenty tanks. Or thirty. Or more. Or better yet, you cruise your tank over a hill and there's a couple Apaches with 30mm cannons waiting for you.

A Soviet SA-5, with launcher, is only $6 million dollars.

That all? A quick six mil, eh?

Seems an awful lot for private militias to blow for one missile, you ask me.

The F-16 is only good for bombing fixed targets and air superiority.

F-16 was just an example. Insert your choice of any aircraft. And air superiority is something of a requirement, in case you hadn't been keeping up on warfare these days. We've all seen the video of the Apache gunner taking out ground targets from a mile away. Your "revolutionaries" on the ground with their shotguns and trucks aren't going to be around for long once the jets show up with some strafing runs, or air-to-surface missiles.

Like I said, little boy, you have no idea about the real world of arms trading.

I'm quoting this so everyone can laugh at you. My commentary can't make you look any more stupid than you've already made yourself look.
mirrorshades radio - darkwave, synthpop, industrial, futurepop.
[ Parent ]
sure, you have that right (none / 3) (#184)
by dipierro on Fri Jan 09, 2004 at 08:42:42 PM EST

The amendment does not, "the right to keep and bear arms as part of a well regulated militia", merely that because a well-regulated militia is essential, the amendment grants the right to keep and bear arms.

And you have that right. Just join the militia. Of course, be aware that Congress has the power "To provide for organizing, arming, and disciplining, the Militia..."



[ Parent ]
In Times of War (none / 3) (#232)
by thelizman on Sat Jan 10, 2004 at 10:45:18 AM EST

Militia's can be federalized. Until a declaration of war by congress, any redneck with a rifle is free to go around calling himself a member of the militia (able bodied males 18-55). Also, doctrine has always been that the militia is fully volunteer, and except when militia units are engaged they are free to come and go.
--

"Our language is sufficiently clumsy enough to allow us to believe foolish things." - George Orwell
[ Parent ]
militia (none / 2) (#241)
by dipierro on Sat Jan 10, 2004 at 12:37:03 PM EST

Until a declaration of war by congress, any redneck with a rifle is free to go around calling himself a member of the militia (able bodied males 18-55).

So we're already breaking the Constitution by allowing that. Or which part of "To provide for organizing, arming, and disciplining, the Militia..." don't you understand?

Also, doctrine has always been that the militia is fully volunteer, and except when militia units are engaged they are free to come and go.

Doctrine? Always? That's not the way the National Guard works here.

Besides, the 2nd Amendment is only binding on the federal government, not the states.



[ Parent ]
miltia (none / 3) (#252)
by thelizman on Sat Jan 10, 2004 at 01:42:41 PM EST

So we're already breaking the Constitution by allowing that. Or which part of "To provide for organizing, arming, and disciplining, the Militia..." don't you understand?
It's you who have the understanding problem. The Congress does not provide for the militia in times of peace. That is the job of a militia itself. Once Federalized, Congress must provide support and aid to the militia in return for militia participation in the war.
Doctrine? Always? That's not the way the National Guard works here.

Besides, the 2nd Amendment is only binding on the federal government, not the states.
The National Guard is not militia. The second amendment also applies to states. It's the "right of the people", not the State.
--

"Our language is sufficiently clumsy enough to allow us to believe foolish things." - George Orwell
[ Parent ]
not much to say (none / 2) (#283)
by dipierro on Sat Jan 10, 2004 at 06:00:55 PM EST

The Congress does not provide for the militia in times of peace.

So now you're saying in times of peace. Well, we're not living in times of peace.

The National Guard is not militia.

Sure it is.

The second amendment also applies to states.

No it doesn't.

It's the "right of the people", not the State.

Yes, but it is not a right granted by the Constitution, nor one protected by it, except against federal interference.



[ Parent ]
Who put the DIP in dipierro? (1.80 / 5) (#286)
by thelizman on Sat Jan 10, 2004 at 06:52:04 PM EST

So now you're saying in times of peace. Well, we're not living in times of peace.
We're not in a time of war, technically, since Congress made no formal declaration. If you had a few brain cells to rub together, you might have remembered that from a measely couple of posts back.
Sure it is.
No, it isn't. Any regular dumbass can figure that out with a dictionary. You must be some new special kind of dumbass.
No it doesn't.

Yes, but it is not a right granted by the Constitution, nor one protected by it, except against federal interference.
You know, there's strict interpretationism, loose interpretationism, and then there's what you did, which is make-shit-up-tationism.
--

"Our language is sufficiently clumsy enough to allow us to believe foolish things." - George Orwell
[ Parent ]
lunacy (none / 2) (#300)
by dipierro on Sat Jan 10, 2004 at 10:47:35 PM EST

We're not in a time of war, technically, since Congress made no formal declaration.

Congress does not need to make a formal declaration of war for us to be in a time of war. Congress did not declare war during the Civil War. Would you call that a time of peace?

If you had a few brain cells to rub together, you might have remembered that from a measely couple of posts back.

I thought you had realized the lunacy of your statement and backed down from it.



[ Parent ]
Declarations of Stupidity (none / 2) (#309)
by thelizman on Sun Jan 11, 2004 at 12:29:59 AM EST

Congress does not need to make a formal declaration of war for us to be in a time of war.
No, but you do need a formal declaration of war to Federalize the militia, which is the topic being discussed.
--

"Our language is sufficiently clumsy enough to allow us to believe foolish things." - George Orwell
[ Parent ]
umm (none / 0) (#312)
by dipierro on Sun Jan 11, 2004 at 04:14:48 AM EST

No, but you do need a formal declaration of war to Federalize the militia, which is the topic being discussed.

And what exactly gives you this idea?



[ Parent ]
I already joined the militia. (none / 2) (#276)
by sllort on Sat Jan 10, 2004 at 04:23:56 PM EST

I'm a white man between 17 and 44. It's the Militia Act of 1792. Google and learn.
--
Warning: On Lawn is a documented liar.
[ Parent ]
So you have the right to keep and bear arms (none / 1) (#284)
by dipierro on Sat Jan 10, 2004 at 06:01:38 PM EST

Is that right being infringed?

[ Parent ]
Depends where you live. In D.C. yes; In Ohio no. (none / 0) (#348)
by sllort on Mon Jan 12, 2004 at 02:51:29 PM EST


--
Warning: On Lawn is a documented liar.
[ Parent ]
The Constitutional Definition of Regulated (2.20 / 5) (#231)
by thelizman on Sat Jan 10, 2004 at 10:42:51 AM EST

...means well equipped and trained. That's why professional troops are called "regulars". The Federal Army of the United States is referred to as "Regular Army" when differentiating between Active, Reserve, and National Guard units.

Also, to correct your moronic attempts at spelling, "Adolf" is an anglicization of the old germanic word for wolf. More properly it's Adolph. Don't hang your anglocentric ethno-bias on me bitch, especially when you're propagating a common misnomer.

Finally, you have no idea how governments get overthrown, but tanks and mortars don't appear out of nowhere. If rifles and shotguns were useless, then why does every military force on this planet use them? I don't have all day to explain to you about improvised field munitions, procurement channels, or guerilla tactics, but then a punk ass teenager like yourself really ought to be sheltered from such talk.
--

"Our language is sufficiently clumsy enough to allow us to believe foolish things." - George Orwell
[ Parent ]
You're late. (3.00 / 5) (#158)
by mcc on Fri Jan 09, 2004 at 06:29:19 PM EST

Felixrayman didn't link this, but I'm going to. This article spent the entire maximum allowed time in the edit queue, and the entire time had an editorial comment sitting in it from felixrayman explicitly requesting examples of the second amendment being impinged so that he could include them in the article. There were no responses.

---

As far as the rest of the things you have said, there are a number of responses I could make, but I suspect talking to you would just be, as always, wasting my time. I can't resist responding to this, though, so consider me trolled:

when the [government] comes to put dissidents like you in jail, how do you propose to defend yourself?

Well, the last I checked, at least up until the Bush administration, if the answer to that question is "guns", the government surrounds your house with a SWAT team and blares in loud noises and tear gas until you surrender, at which point you face resist of arrest charges at least an order of magnitude greater than whatever it was they initially came to arrest you for.

If your implication by "defend yourself" was to somehow suggest an actual armed overthrow of the government, then of course that radically changes things. Because we've pretty much seen under Bush that declaring open war on the U.S. government means that you won't be facing a SWAT team. You will be facing stinger missles. Against which, let's be frank, your puny little gun isn't going to be doing jack shit.

---
Aside from that, the absurd meta-wankery of k5er-quoting sigs probably takes the cake. Especially when the quote itself is about k5. -- tsubame
[ Parent ]

'gun ownership would be a requirement' (none / 2) (#305)
by Wise Cracker on Sat Jan 10, 2004 at 11:36:01 PM EST

In enlightened areas of the country it already is.
--
Caesars come, and Caesars go, but Newton lives forever
[ Parent ]
The effect of huge societies (none / 3) (#81)
by fae on Fri Jan 09, 2004 at 02:14:54 AM EST

We get the super rich and the super insane. There has always been one president. It only takes one person to kill the president. Crazies scale with the rest of the population.

-- fae: but an atom in the great mass of humanity
Time for a change (none / 3) (#212)
by Alex Reynolds on Sat Jan 10, 2004 at 01:16:58 AM EST

Replace King Arthur with Bush, season to taste---

WOMAN: Dennis, there's some lovely filth down here. Oh -- how'd you do?
ARTHUR: How do you do, good lady. I am Arthur, King of the Britons.
Who's castle is that?
WOMAN: King of the who?
ARTHUR: The Britons.
WOMAN: Who are the Britons?
ARTHUR: Well, we all are. we're all Britons and I am your king.
WOMAN: I didn't know we had a king. I thought we were an autonomous
collective.
DENNIS: You're fooling yourself. We're living in a dictatorship.
A self-perpetuating autocracy in which the working classes--
WOMAN: Oh there you go, bringing class into it again.
DENNIS: That's what it's all about if only people would--
ARTHUR: Please, please good people. I am in haste. Who lives
in that castle?
WOMAN: No one live there.
ARTHUR: Then who is your lord?
WOMAN: We don't have a lord.
ARTHUR: What?
DENNIS: I told you. We're an anarchosyndicalist commune. We take
it in turns to act as a sort of executive officer for the week.
ARTHUR: Yes.
DENNIS: But all the decision of that officer have to be ratified
at a special biweekly meeting.
ARTHUR: Yes, I see.
DENNIS: By a simple majority in the case of purely internal affairs,--
ARTHUR: Be quiet!
DENNIS: --but by a two-thirds majority in the case of more--
ARTHUR: Be quiet! I order you to be quiet!
WOMAN: Order, eh -- who does he think he is?
ARTHUR: I am your king!
WOMAN: Well, I didn't vote for you.
ARTHUR: You don't vote for kings. We're in Florida, you know.

[ Parent ]

+1FP God Bless America -[n/t] (1.10 / 20) (#83)
by Azmeen on Fri Jan 09, 2004 at 04:13:45 AM EST




HTNet | Blings.info
Major nit to pick (2.25 / 8) (#93)
by kerinsky on Fri Jan 09, 2004 at 08:06:50 AM EST

The first amendment applies only to the making of laws by congress, thus by definition the executive branch cannot violate it.  If you can provide evidence that congress passed a law trying to give these powers to the President and or secret service I'll sit down and shut up.  In lack of such evidence however this seems to be in the case of federal officers exercsing authority that they do not have which is unfortunately only implicitly, not explicitly, unconstitutional.  Although I guess a weak case could be made against the President under Article II section 3.

Of course common usage of phrases violation of first amendment rights usually applies to the actions of government officers so you're on solid ground as far as common usage goes, but that never stopped me from spouting off before and it's not about to start.

I suppose I should go and check if the Supreme Court has been intelligent enough to respect this distinction in it's decisions over the years, but even if they haven't and your usage follows theirs in this case I'll still hold firmly that all ten of you, and the rest of the world if need be, are utterly completely and totally wrong.  Even if you did only ever imply instead of outright accuse a violation of the first amendment.

-=-
A conclusion is simply the place where you got tired of thinking.

funding. (2.80 / 5) (#96)
by pauldamer on Fri Jan 09, 2004 at 09:28:41 AM EST

The secret service and the executive branch are paid for by congress. The funding takes the form of bills passed into laws by congress. So, there is certainly a good argument that a violation is occuring here.
I am not sure though, who is at fault. My guess would be the executive branch unless congress explicitly allowed it.

[ Parent ]
Arguement doesn't really wash... (none / 2) (#310)
by kerinsky on Sun Jan 11, 2004 at 01:56:56 AM EST

Restrictions on power aren't and can't be transient like that.  Congress doesn't get to arrest or try people (excepting impeachment) as those powers are specifically reserved to the executive and judgical branches.  All funding for these activities, which congress is not allowed to directly participate in, is of course passed by congress and this is of course perfectly legal.  Congress is allowed to pay other parts of the government to do things which congress itself is specifically disbarred from doing.

This goes both ways, under the fifth amendment neither the executive or judicial branches can compell you to testify against yourself in a criminal case.  It would be perfectly legal and constitutional for Congress to pass a law saying that a judge may force you to testify against yourself.  The law itself and any attempt to enforce it would be unconstitutional but the actual act of passing the legislation by congress would not be.  Only the judicial and executive branches can violate the fifth amendment, the legislative branch couldn't even if they tried because it's not involved in criminal trials.

It's the reverse case under the first amendment.  "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."  What is specifically unconstitutional is for Congress to make a law abridging the right of the people to peaceably assemble.  The FBI can lock you up for saying the word "spork" and they have not violated the first amendment even if congress passed a law saying that the FBI could do so!  Again by defenition the first amendment only applies to acts, specifically the making of laws, done by congress.  Arresting, detaining or moving someone based on what they say isn't making a law, thus it isn't, can't be and never will be a first amendment violation.

-=-
A conclusion is simply the place where you got tired of thinking.
[ Parent ]

You're right! (2.83 / 6) (#102)
by cburke on Fri Jan 09, 2004 at 10:33:54 AM EST

Question:  If Congress passed no legislation, then where is the executive branch getting the authority to do this, then?

You realize that you're implying that the police were not just acting contrary to the Constitution, but outside of the rule of law itself?

More likely -- and I think this is what most people here are mentally assuming -- is that there is a law that grants them authority to create these areas, but are falsely interpreting the law to mean they can shuffle people about due to the content of their signs.  I.e.  an unconstitutional interpretation of a law.  

While not technically a 1st Ammendment violation, the 1st Ammendment still naturally restricts their ability to do this.  If they are doing it anyway, I call that "violating the 1st Ammendment".  If you prefer to call it "Operating outside of the rule of law, and with contempt for the 1st Ammendment", then that's fine with me.  I'll start saying the same.

[ Parent ]

are you going to be literal or not, then? (none / 2) (#174)
by dipierro on Fri Jan 09, 2004 at 07:40:18 PM EST

If Congress passed no legislation, then where is the executive branch getting the authority to do this, then?

Let's get more specific. What is the executive branch doing that you are saying it doesn't have authority to do? Don't you think the authority to protect the life of the President is inherent in the Constitution?

You realize that you're implying that the police were not just acting contrary to the Constitution, but outside of the rule of law itself?

These were local police, which are outside the scope of the First Amendment. They are covered by the Fouteenth Amendment, however.

While not technically a 1st Ammendment violation, the 1st Ammendment still naturally restricts their ability to do this.

It depends. If you're going to take a literal interpretation, then no, the Amendment is not being violated. However, if you're going to interpret the actual meaning of the Amendment, well, that's exactly what the Supreme Court is trying to do. And they've interpreted it to not include certain types of retrictions on speech.



[ Parent ]
The President has the right to protect his life (none / 2) (#194)
by damiam on Fri Jan 09, 2004 at 10:29:24 PM EST

Just as any other citizen has the right to protect their life. The constitution doesn't grant the President any special powers (such as the suppression of free speech) for that purpose.

[ Parent ]
Now explain to me... (none / 2) (#243)
by dipierro on Sat Jan 10, 2004 at 12:44:11 PM EST

how the President is suppressing free speech. You ignored my question.

[ Parent ]
Okay (none / 2) (#293)
by damiam on Sat Jan 10, 2004 at 09:05:14 PM EST

The President is suppressing free speech by taking those who disagree with him and moving them to special zones, out of the way of the media, on pain of arrest if they refuse. We can argue forever about the precise definition of "free speech", but I believe that crosses the line.

[ Parent ]
No (none / 1) (#326)
by dipierro on Sun Jan 11, 2004 at 03:38:03 PM EST

Obviously the President isn't doing it. And from what I can gather, the Secret Service aren't either. It's the local police that are doing it. Futhermore, moving someone who disagrees with you isn't a violation of free speech. Moving someone from public property because they speak against you is. Show me where the secret service is doing this, and maybe you have a point.



[ Parent ]
Well, of course (none / 1) (#328)
by damiam on Sun Jan 11, 2004 at 05:55:40 PM EST

Obviously the President isn't doing it. And from what I can gather, the Secret Service aren't either. It's the local police that are doing it.

Yes, but presumably at the President's request (or the Secret Service's request).

Futhermore, moving someone who disagrees with you isn't a violation of free speech. Moving someone from public property because they speak against you is. Show me where the secret service is doing this, and maybe you have a point.

If the article is to be believed, "The police cleared the path of the motorcade of all critical signs, but folks with pro-Bush signs were permitted to line the president's path." Even if that's not true, it doesn't matter whether the people you move oppose you or not. Moving someone from public property because they're speaking is still a violation of free speech, even if you relocate all speakers indiscriminately.

[ Parent ]

presumption of guilt (none / 1) (#329)
by dipierro on Sun Jan 11, 2004 at 09:06:12 PM EST

Yes, but presumably at the President's request (or the Secret Service's request).

Oh, so you're presuming without any evidence whatsoever. Maybe that's the problem.

If the article is to be believed, "The police cleared the path of the motorcade of all critical signs, but folks with pro-Bush signs were permitted to line the president's path."

Well, that's the police, which is specifically not the Secret Service, and the article is certainly not to be believed unquestionably, as it has an agenda.

Even if that's not true, it doesn't matter whether the people you move oppose you or not. Moving someone from public property because they're speaking is still a violation of free speech, even if you relocate all speakers indiscriminately.

Well, first of all, moving someone because they're "speaking," without regard to the content of their "speech," would fall under "intermediate scrutiny," and would probably not be a violation of free speech. Secondly, you're missing evidence of an important proof. That they were moved because they're speaking.



[ Parent ]
I'm literally typing. (none / 3) (#255)
by cburke on Sat Jan 10, 2004 at 02:00:07 PM EST

Let's get more specific. What is the executive branch doing that you are saying it doesn't have authority to do?

Did you not RTFA?

What he is doing is removing peaceably assembled protesters -- one of the lucky rights that got to be explicitly enumerated -- based on the content of their signs.  Not for security reasons, because protesters with content he agreed with were allowed to stay.

Unless you're going to argue that the content of their signs posed a threat to the President great enough to justify an exception, then I hope we can agree that at least the 1st Ammendment implications are clear.

Don't you think the authority to protect the life of the President is inherent in the Constitution?

Not as such.  But Congress clearly has the authority to create a Secret Service through legislation and funding, and I assumed that's one of the obvious beuracratic specifics that was expected to be accomplished in the first session.  My point is that the Service was created by Congress, and thus could not have been given the power to restrict citizen's speech, because then Congress would have been violating the 1st Ammendment.

It depends. If you're going to take a literal interpretation, then no, the Amendment is not being violated. However, if you're going to interpret the actual meaning of the Amendment, well, that's exactly what the Supreme Court is trying to do. And they've interpreted it to not include certain types of retrictions on speech.

I'm literally interpreting the document, but not being literal with my description of it as a 1st Ammendment violation.  Never has a restriction of speech based on political content been upheld.  Restrictions to free speech are held to the highest standard by the courts.  Somebody in the government (Congress for allowing it, the President for doing it) is violating a law, and the 1st Ammendment is involved, directly or indirectly.

[ Parent ]

I'm glad you agree! (none / 2) (#311)
by kerinsky on Sun Jan 11, 2004 at 02:28:19 AM EST

Question:  If Congress passed no legislation, then where is the executive branch getting the authority to do this, then?

No clue really, but it's irrelevant. I'm nitpicking here and pointing out that the author implied that the first amendment was being violated without providing one shred of evidence whatsoever. The only possible evidence being that of a law being made by Congress.

You realize that you're implying that the police were not just acting contrary to the Constitution, but outside of the rule of law itself?

I went far beyond implying, I actually stated that this behavior seemed to be implicitly unconstitutional.

More likely -- and I think this is what most people here are mentally assuming -- is that there is a law that grants them authority to create these areas, but are falsely interpreting the law to mean they can shuffle people about due to the content of their signs.  I.e.  an unconstitutional interpretation of a law.

Well actually under my current understanding of case law this may be allowed. I'm only an armchair lawyer but based on what I've seen localities are allowed to force groups to obtain permits to demonstrate in numbers on public property as long as the requirements for getting the permits are not onerous* and the process is fair and transparent to all groups that try to apply. One of the allowed properties of this permits is that protesters may be removed from the properly permitted assembly. This is seen often at KKK rallies as well as rallies that the KKK protests at. The two groups are forcibly kept seperate by a literal wall of police in some instances that I've seen. As long as Bush got a proper permit for the location, and so long as all permits granted at that location allow the removal of voiciferous protesters this appears on face to be kosher given the current interperitation of laws. It may be iffy to have federal agents themselves moving people around however as this would likely be the province of local law enforcement officials.

Again I'm not a lawyer, and I'm not saying this is the way things should be, but I do think this is the way that things actually are.

* I vaugly remember seeing this specific word used in this context in a court decision at some point, but cannot remember where or when.

While not technically a 1st Ammendment violation, the 1st Ammendment still naturally restricts their ability to do this.  If they are doing it anyway, I call that "violating the 1st Ammendment".  If you prefer to call it "Operating outside of the rule of law, and with contempt for the 1st Ammendment", then that's fine with me.  I'll start saying the same.

Well I'm a pedantic nitpicker so I'd go more along the lines of "Acting without proper Constitutional empowerment" probably. I don't like the contempt part because like I said the first amendment only applies to congress, so the secret service couldn't really show contempt for it even if they wanted to. Some people may say it's contempt for the spirit of the first amendment, but I hate ever talking about the spirit of a law or the constitution, just give me the plain text please, because that's what congress actually got together and voted on. Plus for all I know there's some law that was passed between June 21 1778 when the constitution was ratified and December 15 1791 when the first amendment was ratified that allows this power and which would be perfect constitutional to enforce!

-=-
A conclusion is simply the place where you got tired of thinking.
[ Parent ]

Agreement is fun. (none / 0) (#354)
by cburke on Mon Jan 12, 2004 at 10:58:51 PM EST

I don't like the contempt part because like I said the first amendment only applies to congress, so the secret service couldn't really show contempt for it even if they wanted to.

Unless you're using some legal definition of contempt (which I wasn't), then yes, they absolutely can and have.

[ Parent ]

On the good will of people (1.06 / 15) (#95)
by K5 Troll Authority on Fri Jan 09, 2004 at 08:51:19 AM EST

The Bill of Rights is not a necessary item if we assume that the agents of law will act in the citizen's best interest. We all know that if they arrested Arar and interrogated him from them months then he was up to something, otherwise he wouldn't have been arrested. The fact that they later released him only indicates that nothing could've been proved, a real shame: another covert terrorist loose.

K5: we get laid more than Slashdot goons — TheGreenLantern
2nd amendment? (1.04 / 21) (#98)
by Fen on Fri Jan 09, 2004 at 09:56:53 AM EST

You are libertarian, right? -1.
--Self.
You answered the question. (2.00 / 11) (#106)
by /dev/trash on Fri Jan 09, 2004 at 12:50:34 PM EST

Congress shall make no law  Point me to the law Congress made????  Exactly.  It doesn't say the Executive banch can't do it.

---
Updated NEW 10/15/2003!!
New Site, More Parks
That's not plausible. (3.00 / 5) (#112)
by valeko on Fri Jan 09, 2004 at 02:43:58 PM EST

I'm no Constitution fetishist or expert, but I believe the Constitution presumes that general powers of legislation rest solely with the legislative branch (e.g. Congress). In reality, the preponderance of power wielded by the Executive Branch, in the form of all manner of Executive Orders and National Security Directives, is contrary to the assumptions made in the Constitution.

Intuitively, an interpretation in the "spirit of the Constitution" would favour the author of this article.

"Hey, what's sanity got going for it anyways?" -- infinitera, on matters of the heart
[ Parent ]

the executive is not supposed to make laws... (2.80 / 5) (#115)
by ToughLove on Fri Jan 09, 2004 at 02:48:42 PM EST

only treaties, which don't violate our constitional rights. The duty to legislate, lies in the hands of the congress, not the President. Take the patriot act, I don't know what communist bastard wrote this act, but I do know, that congress passed it and the President signed it into law. Most people believe that the Patriot act was tryanny at it's finest and those who supported it are criminals who have attempted to strip americans of their inalianable rights, that they take an oath to protect. All in all, it's just a piece of paper designed to intimidate and scare the population. When minorities are killing each other off on a daily basis, our government doesn't write laws and spend billions of dollars in order fight this scourge, yet when it's something they care about (money), they'll do everything in their power to keep it. The way I see it, if the Supreme Court doesn't uphold our constitional rights, then we have three peas in a pod, and the notion of separation of powers, and checks and balances are thrown out the window.

[ Parent ]
Hm? (none / 3) (#116)
by valeko on Fri Jan 09, 2004 at 02:49:48 PM EST

Take the patriot act, I don't know what communist bastard wrote this act

What does communism have to do with any of this? The ease with which you employ the word where another might say "fascist" or "Nazi" is striking.

"Hey, what's sanity got going for it anyways?" -- infinitera, on matters of the heart
[ Parent ]

No doubt.. (2.75 / 4) (#124)
by cosmokramer on Fri Jan 09, 2004 at 03:20:28 PM EST

It's kinda sad (funny?) that the anti-communist propoganda spread throughout the 80's is still so heavily ingrained in people's opinions.  Regardless of opinion I've rarely ever heard someone use it in the correct form which relates to a social and economic system.  Ahh well :)

[ Parent ]
The executive didn't make any laws (none / 2) (#169)
by dipierro on Fri Jan 09, 2004 at 07:31:35 PM EST

When are you claiming that the Executive made laws?

[ Parent ]
Ahem. (none / 2) (#146)
by cburke on Fri Jan 09, 2004 at 05:01:08 PM EST

If Congress has made no law, then where did the Executive Branch get the power to do this, then?  Exactly.

[ Parent ]
just a nitpick. (none / 1) (#166)
by /dev/trash on Fri Jan 09, 2004 at 07:23:44 PM EST

I am no fan of the Presidential Executive orders.  I was just sort of like, pointing out that he was quoting the "Congress shall make no..." part, when in fact it was the President doing it.

---
Updated NEW 10/15/2003!!
New Site, More Parks
[ Parent ]
From the Constitution, of course (none / 2) (#168)
by dipierro on Fri Jan 09, 2004 at 07:29:51 PM EST

The power to form a Secret Service to protect the President is given to the Executive Branch by the Constitution. Furthermore, Congress has explicitly approved of this power. Congress does not give powers to the Executive branch. That would be an unconstitutional delegation of legislative power.

[ Parent ]
By the Constitution, eh? (none / 3) (#244)
by cburke on Sat Jan 10, 2004 at 12:46:49 PM EST

The power to form a Secret Service to protect the President is given to the Executive Branch by the Constitution.

If that's true then I'm sure you'll have no problem quoting the relevent section of the Constitution for me.

Congress does not give powers to the Executive branch. That would be an unconstitutional delegation of legislative power.

Not strictly true.  Congress is responsible for regulating the armed forces and all other executive departments which the President controls.  Homeland Security could not exist without Congress' approval.  The Secret Service could not have the right to cordon off protestors based on the content of their signs without Congress' approval.

The Executive Branch has powers which Congress does not provide in any way, but these powers are limited and do not involve arresting those who disagree with him.

[ Parent ]

yep (none / 2) (#249)
by dipierro on Sat Jan 10, 2004 at 01:31:38 PM EST

If that's true then I'm sure you'll have no problem quoting the relevent section of the Constitution for me.

It's inherent.

Congress does not give powers to the Executive branch. That would be an unconstitutional delegation of legislative power.

Not strictly true. Congress is responsible for regulating the armed forces and all other executive departments which the President controls.

Yes, but that's not giving powers to the Executive branch. And that's a shared power.

Homeland Security could not exist without Congress' approval.

I'm not sure what you mean by Homeland Security. The President has the duty and power to quash hostilility toward the United States with force. That's inherent, and it does not depend on Congress' approval.

The Secret Service could not have the right to cordon off protestors based on the content of their signs without Congress' approval.

If they are doing so to protect the President, and absent laws against so at the federal or state level, they most certainly do. Besides, my reading of the article gave me the impression that this was done by local police, not the Secret Service.

The Executive Branch has powers which Congress does not provide in any way, but these powers are limited and do not involve arresting those who disagree with him.

No, but any citizen can make an arrest under the proper circumstances. Secret Service agents are no exception. What arrest are you claiming the Executive Branch made unlawfully?



[ Parent ]
Gotcha. (2.60 / 5) (#257)
by cburke on Sat Jan 10, 2004 at 02:10:31 PM EST

You:  The power to form a Secret Service to protect the President is given to the Executive Branch by the Constitution.

Me:  If that's true then I'm sure you'll have no problem quoting the relevent section of the Constitution for me.

You:  It's inherent.

Me:  In other words, you made that up.

[ Parent ]

Umm no (1.33 / 6) (#282)
by dipierro on Sat Jan 10, 2004 at 05:34:45 PM EST

I didn't make it up.

[ Parent ]
then cough up a link. NT (none / 2) (#341)
by ph0rk on Mon Jan 12, 2004 at 12:23:02 PM EST


[ f o r k . s c h i z o i d . c o m ]
[ Parent ]
I don't think this has ever been challenged... (none / 2) (#343)
by dipierro on Mon Jan 12, 2004 at 01:29:53 PM EST

therefore there isn't a Supreme Court ruling, and therefore isn't a link.

[ Parent ]
You are libertarian, right? (1.06 / 16) (#110)
by muyuubyou on Fri Jan 09, 2004 at 02:03:55 PM EST

+1 FP


----------
It is when I struggle to be brief that I become obscure - Horace, Epistles
Bush Bashing Yet Again (1.05 / 18) (#111)
by n8f8 on Fri Jan 09, 2004 at 02:42:52 PM EST

Nothing new here folks. Please move along....

Riot control has been around for a long time and for the most part it is a good idea to keep shouting riorers with opposing views apart. Ever see conservative protester in Hillary's path? Bet everywhere she goes people who completely hate her guts follow her around. She'd be loudly heckeled at every speech. Same goes for the DNC and RNC conventions.

As far as supposed cases of violations of the Constitution, I'm positive you know very little of the facts. Or the law. Constitutional protections arent absolute.

You can't incite a riot and enemy combatants and spies won't be afforded citizens rights if they happen to somehow obtain paper citizenship. Immigrant especially since the oath threy swear to be granted citizenship is a fucking contract not to destroy this country. Same goes for someone born here that trians in another country to attack the US. Guess what, you just became an enemy combatant. Even if you grew up a hispanic gang member.

Sig: (This will get posted after your comments)

Eh? (2.75 / 8) (#113)
by valeko on Fri Jan 09, 2004 at 02:46:58 PM EST

You can't incite a riot and enemy combatants and spies won't be afforded citizens rights if they happen to somehow obtain paper citizenship. Immigrant especially since the oath threy swear to be granted citizenship is a fucking contract not to destroy this country. Same goes for someone born here that trians in another country to attack the US.

And just how has any of this been established about the existing cases (i.e. Jose Padilla)?

Oh, wait, it hasn't. This is a crock of a priori crap.

"Hey, what's sanity got going for it anyways?" -- infinitera, on matters of the heart
[ Parent ]

Uhhhh.... (none / 1) (#123)
by n8f8 on Fri Jan 09, 2004 at 03:17:56 PM EST

 http://www.cnn.com/2003/LAW/12/18/padilla.case/

The government maintains Padilla received explosives training in al Qaeda camps inside Afghanistan and plotted with the group to bomb hotels and gas stations, and to detonate a radioactive "dirty bomb" -- a conventional explosive laced with radioactive material -- inside the United States.

Sig: (This will get posted after your comments)
[ Parent ]

So? (none / 3) (#125)
by valeko on Fri Jan 09, 2004 at 03:20:38 PM EST

The government maintains Padilla received explosives training in al Qaeda camps inside Afghanistan and plotted with the group to bomb hotels and gas stations, and to detonate a radioactive "dirty bomb" -- a conventional explosive laced with radioactive material -- inside the United States.

Yes, that's what the government maintains. The government is the prosecutor. The purpose of a trial is to establish that he is guilty of all this through the due process of law. If it is as straightforward as you say, his guilt will be obviated and he will be sentenced. By a legitimate juridical institution.

"Hey, what's sanity got going for it anyways?" -- infinitera, on matters of the heart
[ Parent ]

The government also... (none / 3) (#138)
by piter on Fri Jan 09, 2004 at 04:20:28 PM EST

maintained that Lee Harvey Oswald was acting alone, and that it had no knowledge of Area 51 or the MKULTRA projects. The point here is that the government is acting as judge and jury here, completely circumventing the constitutional judicial process.
"That that is is not not that that is not is not." Jacques Derrida
[ Parent ]
Uhhhh....2 (none / 2) (#126)
by n8f8 on Fri Jan 09, 2004 at 03:20:48 PM EST

Rumsfeld was speaking at a press conference in Doha, Qatar, during a brief stop in that Persian Gulf nation before arriving in India. Padilla, a U.S. citizen also known as Abdullah al Mujahir, was captured May 8 when he flew into Chicago's O'Hare International Airport from Pakistan. The Justice Department transferred him June 10 to Defense Department custody. He is being held in a Navy brig in Charleston, S.C.


Sig: (This will get posted after your comments)
[ Parent ]
Yes, and? (none / 2) (#127)
by valeko on Fri Jan 09, 2004 at 03:23:43 PM EST

That he is being accused/indicted is not under question here. In question is the legitimacy of his internment. In order to be classified as an "enemy combatant", it is necessary first to establish by due process of law that he is guilty of that with which he is being charged. That would be the appropriate formulation of "innocent until proven guilty." What you are suggesting is the reverse.

"Hey, what's sanity got going for it anyways?" -- infinitera, on matters of the heart
[ Parent ]

Opinion (1.20 / 5) (#132)
by n8f8 on Fri Jan 09, 2004 at 03:37:12 PM EST

Maybe in your opinion. By joining a foreign army hostile to the US he's defacto renounced his citizinship- in my opinion. As a non-citizen he's not entitled to all constitutional protections - again, in my opinion.

Sig: (This will get posted after your comments)
[ Parent ]
I still don't understand. (3.00 / 5) (#139)
by valeko on Fri Jan 09, 2004 at 04:27:03 PM EST

So, the government accuses him of joining a foreign army. Even if this were a crime that deprived one of constitutional rights, the truth of the claim must still be proven. You can't give prosecutors a priori claim as to the guilt of the suspect. Otherwise, why didn't Judge Ito join forces with Marcia Clark and Christopher Darden to say that since murder is such a devious crime, O.J. Simpson isn't entitled to court proceedings?

"Hey, what's sanity got going for it anyways?" -- infinitera, on matters of the heart
[ Parent ]

claim must still be proven (1.20 / 5) (#143)
by n8f8 on Fri Jan 09, 2004 at 04:49:49 PM EST

To whom? A military tribunal? Certainly not a civilian court? Security issues aside, the govenrment (agencies) have procedures to review intelligence in cases like this. If they willy-nilly went about claiming OJs were enemy combatants they'd be stut down by congress and state governments in a second.

Somewhere there is a fine line between normal criminal activity and becoming an enemy combatant. I'm pretty sure plotting to attack the US while training with a paramilitary force actively attacking the US qualifies. Neither do I expect a civilian court to deal with every captured Iraqi soldier or Afghani Taliban. If the SECDEF says we caught him redhanded then the combatant will have to deal with the system outside the US criminal courts. It isn't a forgone conclusion that just because the guy isn't being tried in a US criminal court of the Judiciary that he isn't getting justice and that their aren't checks and balances. As I've said before, if that were true we wouln't be having this conversation. Padilla would have simply disappeared.

Sig: (This will get posted after your comments)
[ Parent ]

A thin blue line... (3.00 / 5) (#181)
by Amesha Spentas on Fri Jan 09, 2004 at 08:24:57 PM EST

Somewhere there is a fine line between normal criminal activity and becoming an enemy combatant.

Yes there is and there should definitely be. The problem with this government and its handling of the Padilla case is that NO ONE has stated where that line is. There has been no congressional debate, no state level debate, no real debate of any kind about where the line is between being a "normal criminal" and an "enemy combatant." There has been no historical precedent to fall back on because this administration has made the term up because they did not like all of the negative connotations of previous attempts at this kind of policy.

Currently anyone can be declared an "enemy combatant" or a terrorist. We have seen articles already on people who have committed "ordinary" crimes being prosecuted as terrorists. If the government can now avoid the whole prosecution process by labeling people as "enemy combatants" and striping them of their rights, then I think we should have a VERY clearly defined meaning of what an "enemy combatant" is.

Is it that Padilla joined a foreign military? Thousands of dual Israeli/US citizens are members of Israel's military, are they "enemy combatants?" No? Is it because he was "training with a paramilitary force"? Well again thousands of Americans have joined "paramilitary" organizations like the French foreign legion or during WWII the "Flying Tigers" who were fighting alongside the Chinese against the Japanese. What about Oliver North and his support of the Nicaragua rebels? They are certainly members of a "paramilitary" organization that has been declared a "terrorist organization" by their host country.

Hell, many members of the CIA trained Osama bin Ladin and his terrorists to fight the Russians, are they "enemy combatants"? A more sensible argument would be anyone who trains or is a member of a "paramilitary force" who's stated objective is the overthrow of the United States Government. Of course homegrown militias would qualify under this definition. I honestly don't know why the crime of "plotting to attack the US" is not sufficient enough to prosecute him to the full extent of the law. But then again that would probably not be enough of an excuse to use this newly minted "enemy combatant" designation, who's sole purpose it appears is to circumvent the rights given to all people under the bill of rights.

But once again, the critical discussions about what qualifies as an act of terrorism, or what makes a person an "enemy combatant" are not taking place. The government even now can quite easily make US citizens whom it doesn't like, disappear and those people and their loved ones have no method of finding out what has happened to them. You and others have stated that we still live in a free country, otherwise we never would have heard about these cases. But what about the cases we have not heard about because there hasn't been a clearly defined definition of what a "Terrorist" or an "Enemy Combatant" is. The only cases we have heard about are the ones that the government was pretty confident in winning in the public debate or people who were so far removed from terrorism that if the truth ever came out that not only did the government make the mistake of treating these people as terrorists but that they kept them even after they found out the truth. It would be much more damaging that the government kept it a secret for so long.

As a side topic, I still have not heard of a good argument why the names of those imprisoned at camp x-ray and other locations are not published. The terrorist networks would probably know pretty damn quickly if one of their own went missing and if that person turned while at one of these camps. I doubt his prolonged unexplained absence combined with a sudden reappearance would fool many of these terrorist cells into reaccepting him or her into their plans. The only agenda really served by keeping the names of the people at camps x-ray and others secret is to keep the numbers of people and open and honest investigations into their backgrounds secret from the eyes of the American and indeed the world's citizenry. The only reason for this agenda of secrecy would be to keep the real scope of the problem and the US's attempts to deal with it hidden from public view and public review.

Secret policies are not Democratic policies.
The use of those types of powers should be extremely rare in a country that declares itself to be a Democracy. This is not something we are seeing with this administration when even the list of who talked to the Vice President on the nations energy policy are classified as a state secret.

Registered to die for the government at 18, and had to pay postage on the registration form - AnalogBoy
[ Parent ]

On The Point (1.25 / 4) (#228)
by n8f8 on Sat Jan 10, 2004 at 09:49:26 AM EST

Debate? Just search for Padilla on the internet and you'll see tons of debate. Much of it by lawmakers and politcians.

As far as your questions about Americans joining other various armed groups, I'm pretty sure if Israel or any other country or group attacked the US he's be classified as an enemy combatant.

The only "secrets" pertinent to enemy combatants hinge on the ignorance of the general public or the lameness of our press. I saw a wonderful story on 60 Minutes last month where they probed an actual detention camp in Iraq. During the story they interviewed someone supposedly in charge of the camp and were told that after a certain period of time Iraqis are given access to a lawyer and family visits. Thr interviewer gave them the name of a Iraqi who had been detained for over 30 days and his family had'nt gotten any information and wasn't given access to him. The person in charge of the detainee camp hard a hard time even confirming that person was in th camp. Much less wether they had been granted family visits.

Guess what? It ain't even a conspiracy. Just good old incompitence. Chances are that the person in control of the camp is a reservist who is a dental technician in civilian life. Experience with POWs or runnung a jail? Probably non-existant.

Frankly your comments about x-ray and terrorist groups really proves your complete ignorance of how terrorist groups work. Go to the library. Search the net. Even better, read the AL-Quaida training manual (http://www.disastercenter.com/terror/)

As far as your reference to Cheney's energy policy being secret- get a clue. Policy writers would have a real hard time getting candid opinions and information if everyone they consulted knew everything they were saying would wind up in a congressional report. Hell if I shoved a microphone into your face I'd bet you suddenly start thinking twice about everything you said. The policy is in the public domain. All the conversations, meeting notes, etc don't need to  be. I'd rather not have a situation where businessmen were afraid to consult with government representatives.

Sig: (This will get posted after your comments)
[ Parent ]

Maybe (3.00 / 6) (#140)
by NoBeardPete on Fri Jan 09, 2004 at 04:31:05 PM EST

Maybe he has joined a foreign army, and should thus be stripped of his citizenship. If this is the case, it can be established in a court of law. What's happening right now is that the Justice Department wants to be able to say "This guy is an enemy combatant, and thus gets no rights." with no oversight, no checks, no balances. They don't want anyone to look into the matter, or confirm it. Their word should be enough.

Are you proposing we let the executive branch strip people of their rights with no oversight? That their word, unsupported by facts, and unchallengable by anyone, should be all that is needed to throw someone in jail with no legal recourse? Even if you trust Bush to use these powers wisely (which I don't), do you think that there will never be an unsavory president willing to abuse them for political gain, at some point in the future?


Arrr, it be the infamous pirate, No Beard Pete!
[ Parent ]

word, unsupported by facts (none / 3) (#141)
by n8f8 on Fri Jan 09, 2004 at 04:40:17 PM EST

The key point in all this is that for the most part the evidence in question tends to be very sensitive especially when it comes to disclosing sources and methods. Claiming there are no "checks and balances" is bogus too. If that were true we wouln't be having this conversation at all.

Sig: (This will get posted after your comments)
[ Parent ]
This is not a balance (none / 2) (#161)
by squigly on Fri Jan 09, 2004 at 06:54:20 PM EST

Free speech, while useful, does not in itself balance out injustices.  It is simply a first step to raising awareness.

It should be possible to produce some evidence, that can be verified as legally obtained, without giving full details of how it was obtained.   Also, given that they have a suspect, it should be trivial to obtain a search warrant, and use this to find out who his contacts were, find the radioactive material and explosives needed for the bomb, and show that he had the means and intention to produce such a bomb.  

I find it hard to believe that the only evidence they have, and can possibly obtain is secret.

It's not even as though it would be dangerous to risk letting him go free.  He is too well known to be of any use to any terrorist organisation.  The FBI would be foolish not to track his every move.    

[ Parent ]

lots of oversight (none / 2) (#163)
by dipierro on Fri Jan 09, 2004 at 07:20:58 PM EST

Are you proposing we let the executive branch strip people of their rights with no oversight?

The Padilla case is currently being decided in a court of law. In fact, it's probably going to be reviewed by the Supreme Court. How much more oversight do you want?



[ Parent ]
Oversight which might (none / 2) (#208)
by losthalo on Fri Jan 09, 2004 at 11:56:48 PM EST

prevent my being held 'incognito' for a year or more before I even get a hearing, sans habeas corpus.

[ Parent ]
How is that possible? (none / 2) (#251)
by dipierro on Sat Jan 10, 2004 at 01:39:30 PM EST

You can't prevent injustices from ever happening. Certainly no document can ever do that.

[ Parent ]
Systems in operation (none / 3) (#273)
by losthalo on Sat Jan 10, 2004 at 03:57:40 PM EST

can prevent some injustices. There is no justice, but we can sure as hell try, can't we? If you don't think so, just go curl up in a ditch and die or something, you're just playing the sophist.

[ Parent ]
Of course not... (1.50 / 4) (#281)
by dipierro on Sat Jan 10, 2004 at 05:34:13 PM EST

We are trying. That's what the court case is all about.

[ Parent ]
IOW, be more specific... (none / 2) (#253)
by dipierro on Sat Jan 10, 2004 at 01:43:54 PM EST

Are you suggesting that we let federal judges order the immediate release of anyone at any time without a hearing or anything? Sans habeas corpus, what is a court to do? Courts do not have armies. Habeas corpus is how they get people who are unlawfully imprisoned released. But in order to order the release of someone, you have to present a case. Courts don't just get to decide willy-nilly that they can release anyone they want. Only the President, through the pardon power, can do that.

[ Parent ]
Riiiiight (none / 2) (#261)
by felixrayman on Sat Jan 10, 2004 at 02:31:23 PM EST

Oh, I get it, people should always be assumed to be guilty and treated as such until they prove beyond a reasonable doubt that they are innocent.

Call Donald Rumsfeld and tell him our sorry asses are ready to go home. Tell him to come spend a night in our building. - Pfc. Matthew C. O'Dell

[ Parent ]
Of course not... (none / 2) (#280)
by dipierro on Sat Jan 10, 2004 at 05:33:24 PM EST

I never said they should. What did I say that made you think I believe that?

[ Parent ]
Guilty until innocent (none / 1) (#371)
by royalblue tom on Wed Jan 14, 2004 at 09:54:19 AM EST

Presumably your endorsement of the idea that he could be held for months on end, without being allowed to contact a lawyer, with no hearing, PURELY on the say so of a law enforcement official (not a judge).


[ Parent ]
Clarification Follows. (none / 1) (#272)
by losthalo on Sat Jan 10, 2004 at 03:55:03 PM EST

Think: (prevent (my being held 'incognito' for a year or more before I even get a hearing, sans habeas corpus.))

Is that clearer?

[ Parent ]
still impossible n/t (1.50 / 4) (#279)
by dipierro on Sat Jan 10, 2004 at 05:32:39 PM EST



[ Parent ]
The young man (none / 2) (#301)
by losthalo on Sat Jan 10, 2004 at 10:52:46 PM EST

is in love with the old man's daughter, the old man thinks.

*sigh*

Without being held without habeas corpus for a year before I even get a hearing...?

[ Parent ]
Yes. (none / 2) (#245)
by valeko on Sat Jan 10, 2004 at 12:49:03 PM EST

Yes, now it is. That's not his point.

"Hey, what's sanity got going for it anyways?" -- infinitera, on matters of the heart
[ Parent ]

What's his point? n/t (none / 2) (#250)
by dipierro on Sat Jan 10, 2004 at 01:38:16 PM EST



[ Parent ]
Looks Like Another Buddy Got Caught (1.16 / 18) (#120)
by n8f8 on Fri Jan 09, 2004 at 03:14:52 PM EST

Another one of your buddies got caught:

Source:

Student Charged With Supporting Terrorism Saudi Grad Student at U. of Idaho Charged With Supplying Computer Expertise to Terrorist Groups

The Associated Press

BOISE, Idaho Jan. 9 -- A Saudi graduate student at the University of Idaho was indicted Friday on charges he supplied his computer expertise to terrorist groups.

Prosecutors said Sami Omar Al-Hussayen, 33, put together Web sites to recruit members and raise money for Muslim terrorist activities. He was charged with providing material support to terrorism.

Sig: (This will get posted after your comments)

Oh he was CHARGED? (none / 3) (#298)
by cburke on Sat Jan 10, 2004 at 09:48:45 PM EST

Well, that's different then!

See, when the government has evidence of a crime, they can present this in front of a Grand Jury.

When the government has no evidence, they can't do this!  So to detain someone when they have no evidence, they'd need some other means, wouldn't they?  Like shipping them to Syria, for example.

[ Parent ]

UPDATE On Hamdi (2.71 / 7) (#129)
by wiredog on Fri Jan 09, 2004 at 03:28:27 PM EST

Supreme Court to Hear Appeal
The Supreme Court today widened its review of the government's authority to suspend ordinary legal protections during its "war on terrorism," agreeing to review the appeal of a Yaser Esam Hamdi, a U.S. citizen held incommunicado after being seized in Afghanistan.


Wilford Brimley scares my chickens.
Phil the Canuck

So what's new? (2.60 / 20) (#130)
by godix on Fri Jan 09, 2004 at 03:30:25 PM EST

The only ammendment that hasn't been turned into an empty shell of it's real meaning is the third. This is nothing new and America as it is currently isn't even ignoring the bill of rights as often as it has during the past.
  1. st - The worst time for this had to be the civil war, although WWII and McCarthyism were pretty bad as well. Today it isn't all that bad, we're allowed to say that Bush sucks and say we don't like the war. You'd still be rotting in jail if you had tried that on Lincoln. Sure there are some limits on where this can be said but that's always been true. I don't know the first time that a permit was required for a large gathering but it was LONG before Bush. BTW the Free Speech zones were started by Clinton, just in case you ever want to start being concerned about free speech instead of just bashing Bush.
  2. nd - This is by far the biggest joke of an ammendment. Americans have the right to own guns. Period. End of story. Anyone pulling out the tired 'militia' arguement doesn't actually know what the founding fathers meant by militia. If you don't like it try a Constitutional ammendment, anything else is just proving that some people will bitch about how the Consitution is violated seconds before they themselves violate it. Considering there are certain cities in the nation that flat out ban all guns in city borders this ammendment is not only dead, it's been rotting and smelling up the place for the last several decades.
  3. th - It's illegal to search my house without a warrent (in most cases) but there's absolutely no problem taking my blood, breath, or piss without my permission. Similarly there's nothing wrong with pulling my car over and forcing me to hand over these things even if there's no reason to suspect I'm violating the law. Riiiight.
  4. th - Does anyone else remember that the police were tried twice in the Rodney King case? How about when we started jailing Japanese just because they were Japanese? Even the pathetic sums offered in eminent domain violates this ammendment.
  5. th - I defy anyone to explain how our law system is 'speedy'. Records of juveniles which get sealed, hows that for public? The right to face the accused isn't always granted, especially in rape cases for example. These exceptions have their logic, and in a couple of them I actually agree, but that doesn't change the fact that they violate the sixth ammendment.
  6. th - This hinges entirely on how you define 'excessive' and 'cruel and unusual'. It could be argued that our drug laws violate this as well as three strikes your out laws. Then of course there's the entire death penalty arguement. Overall this ammendment has stood but it's had it's problems.
  7. th - Bullshit. Unless it's defined exactly in the Constitution it's fairly safe to assume it's not a right. Privacy concerns would be a very good example of this.
  8. th - This ammendment has been raped so often in the last century we should just replace it with a little note saying 'Fuck you, the federalist won! All hail Lincoln.'
Please note, not a single example I mentioned was from Bush. You can bitch about him all you want but don't be moronic about it. The Constitution isn't being raped solely because of him and trying to pretend that it's just republicans doing this is laughable. Any party, including the democrats, seem to make it a hobby to tear up Ameircans rights.

Well, at least I shall die as I have lived. Completely surrounded by morons.
- Black Mage
I just wanted to say (none / 3) (#131)
by godix on Fri Jan 09, 2004 at 03:32:57 PM EST

I have autoformat. That will be all.

Well, at least I shall die as I have lived. Completely surrounded by morons.
- Black Mage[ Parent ]
I just wanted to ask (none / 1) (#153)
by mcc on Fri Jan 09, 2004 at 05:59:13 PM EST

Do you mean you have autoformat, or you hate autoformat?

Or both?

[ Parent ]

Neither (none / 2) (#154)
by sllort on Fri Jan 09, 2004 at 06:13:13 PM EST

If he had autoformat, he would be Joe Groff, which he's not. It's impossible to hate autoformat, because other options are available so if you pick it it's your own fault.
--
Warning: On Lawn is a documented liar.
[ Parent ]
well (none / 2) (#187)
by emmons on Fri Jan 09, 2004 at 09:23:25 PM EST

He can hate anything he chooses to, it's just that it's silly for him to choose something that he hates. Some people are into that kind of stuff though. To each his own, I guess. :-P

---
In the beginning the universe was created. This has made a lot of people angry and been widely regarded as a bad move.
-Douglas Adams

[ Parent ]
Both (none / 1) (#160)
by godix on Fri Jan 09, 2004 at 06:53:28 PM EST

I have autoformat, that's my default. I also hate it for what it does to numbered lists. I just hate it a little less than I hate full HTML or plain text.

Well, at least I shall die as I have lived. Completely surrounded by morons.
- Black Mage[ Parent ]
Great summation, godix (1.75 / 4) (#155)
by pyramid termite on Fri Jan 09, 2004 at 06:14:05 PM EST

When will a major politician ever get the balls to say what you've just said?

On the Internet, anyone can accuse you of being a dog.
[ Parent ]
When they want to lose (none / 2) (#164)
by godix on Fri Jan 09, 2004 at 07:21:08 PM EST

I'm firmly conviced that the majority of Americans wouldn't support the Constitution if they actually knew what was in it. For example, the first time a politican suggested removing social security because of the tenth ammendment they'd be crucified.

Well, at least I shall die as I have lived. Completely surrounded by morons.
- Black Mage[ Parent ]
They already amended that... (none / 2) (#165)
by dipierro on Fri Jan 09, 2004 at 07:22:31 PM EST

The 16th Amendment supercedes the 10th.

[ Parent ]
How? (none / 3) (#170)
by godix on Fri Jan 09, 2004 at 07:33:05 PM EST

The sixteenth ammendment allows the federal government to collect all the income taxes it wants but doesn't expand what they can spend the taxes on one bit. The tax is perfectly constitutional but turning around and handing that money out to old people is not supported by anything in the Consitution. Which means the 10th ammendment kicks applies and says the federal government isn't supposed to do it.

Of course the federal government does do social security which means I'm describing the Contitutional theory rather than reality.

Well, at least I shall die as I have lived. Completely surrounded by morons.
- Black Mage[ Parent ]

general welfare of the United States (none / 3) (#175)
by dipierro on Fri Jan 09, 2004 at 07:44:03 PM EST

The sixteenth ammendment allows the federal government to collect all the income taxes it wants but doesn't expand what they can spend the taxes on one bit.

True, but Article I, Section 8 already gives Congress the power to spend tax revenue "to...provide for...the general welfare of the United States." Have you ever read the Supreme Court case where Social Security was declared Constitutional? It seems like a perfectly reasonable ruling to me.



[ Parent ]
I'd buy that arguement (2.00 / 4) (#207)
by godix on Fri Jan 09, 2004 at 11:52:12 PM EST

... if article 1 section 8 didn't follow up 'the general welfare of the United States' with a list detailing exactly what they meant. Social Security, or any gimme program for that matter, isn't in that list nor is it anywhere else in the Constitution.

Well, at least I shall die as I have lived. Completely surrounded by morons.
- Black Mage[ Parent ]
Bzzt, read it again... (none / 2) (#242)
by dipierro on Sat Jan 10, 2004 at 12:41:51 PM EST

The first enumerated power is "to lay and collect taxes, duties, imposts and excises, to pay the debts and provide for the common defense and general welfare of the United States; but all duties, imposts and excises shall be uniform throughout the United States;" The second one is "To borrow money on the credit of the United States;" The third is "To regulate commerce with foreign nations, and among the several states, and with the Indian tribes;"

The rest of the enumerated powers are not an list detailing the first. That reading would make no sense. The first enumerated power is to tax and spend.



[ Parent ]
Makes sense to me (none / 2) (#260)
by godix on Sat Jan 10, 2004 at 02:31:07 PM EST

It seems fairly clear to me that the first part is a broad overview of the article and the rest of it is elaborating on the specifics of what they meant. Providing for the general welfare is the goal and post offices, copyright, and the other things listed are the powers granted towards that goal. It doesn't make much sense if you read it where common defense and general welfare are enumerated powers and the power to declare war, provide and maintain a navy, make rules for land and naval foces, calling forth the militia, etc are also seperate enumerated powers. There's no reason to list the militia, navy, etc seperately if providing the common defense is supposed to be a power in and of itself. It's very similar to the way the preamble gives a broad overview of what the Constitution is about but doesn't actually grant any rights or powers in and of itself. In fact the preamble uses the exact same broad phrases of 'common defense' and 'general welfare' that the first line of article 8 uses.

Incidently, if the power to lay and collect taxes is granted in the first line of article 8 then why was the 16th ammendment needed?

Well, at least I shall die as I have lived. Completely surrounded by morons.
- Black Mage[ Parent ]

If that is true... (none / 1) (#299)
by cburke on Sat Jan 10, 2004 at 10:04:14 PM EST

Why does no other clause mention the levying of taxes or duties?

You could conceive that "regulating commerce" would imply duties, but you would also think that to "provide and maintaining" a navy would involve governing it as well.

They are listed as separate clauses, as dipierro said, and I think we should read it that way.  However, it is obvious that the first is the most broad.  If you'll accept a non-preambular yet not mutually exclusive clause, then this should make sense.  The first clause would grant Congress the broadest power, to raise and spend money for a variety of general purposes.  

[ Parent ]

By the way... (none / 1) (#246)
by dipierro on Sat Jan 10, 2004 at 12:50:35 PM EST

Look at the original Constitution. You'll note that the first T is capitalized in "To lay and collect..." Makes it even more obvious that this is the first enumerated power, just as the Supreme Court has interpreted it to be. Take a look at the annotations made by FindLaw. This is not just some kooky idea. It is well established Supreme Court precedent. The power to tax and spend is a separate enumerated power.

[ Parent ]
Yes, of course, but... (none / 1) (#363)
by Kenoubi on Tue Jan 13, 2004 at 01:36:42 PM EST

The power to tax and spend is a separate enumerated power.

Of course it is, but that still doesn't make Social Security Constitutional. What you'd need for that is for “provid[ing] for the […] general welfare of the United States” to be a power, but I don't think it is. I think that the words “to pay the debts and provide for the common defense and general welfare of the United States” don't create another power, they just tell why Congress was given the first power. So perhaps Congress can institute the Social Security tax, but where are they authorized to spend that money on Social Security?



[ Parent ]
The 8th (none / 2) (#156)
by squigly on Fri Jan 09, 2004 at 06:20:17 PM EST

This hinges entirely on how you define 'excessive' and 'cruel and unusual'. It could be argued that our drug laws violate this as well as three strikes your out laws. Then of course there's the entire death penalty

This one seems to be completely ignored because of its vagueness.  

However, I was somewhat surprised when I heard about how bail in the US works.  It seems to me that nobody would ever be able to afford to pay a bond from their own savings.  As for cruel and unusual, the subject of creative sentencing has been discussed at length on this site.

The War on Drugs has certainly resulted in excessive penalties.  The minimum penalty in most crimes is disproportionate to the actual harm done.  Does excessive count as cruel?  

On the other hand, I don't think the death penalty was really considered cruel and unusual at the time this amendment was passed, and in the US it still isn't.  


[ Parent ]

Bail in the US (3.00 / 6) (#186)
by kitten on Fri Jan 09, 2004 at 09:22:41 PM EST

Is absolutely ridiculous.

As you pointed out, most people could never afford bail from their own savings. I was once arrested for driving on a suspended license, which I was (though to be fair, I didn't know that at the time). The bail for this minor infraction was 900 dollars.

Now, fortunately, my father had 900 dollars and was able to spring me, but I was lucky. Most people don't have 900 bucks lying around. And that's for a fairly minor, first-offense thing - I'd never been in trouble with the law before.

The other time was the infamous briefcase incident, where my bail was posted at 16.5 thousand. There's no way anyone could afford that. Enter the concept of the bail bondsman.

The bondsman fills the gap between the outrageous bail the state imposes, and the amount of money a normal person would actually have. Sort of.

For those who don't know, bail is money you front to get out of jail, and when you show up for your court date, you get the money back. The money is sort of a collateral to ensure that you actually show up.

A bondsman will post your bail for you, for a fee. The fee is usually a percentage of the total bail, somewhere around 10 to 15%. So if your bail is 900 dollars, you can pay 90, and get out of jail.

The catch is, the bondsman keeps that money as his fee. When you show up for court, the court gives the money back to the person who paid it - the bondsman. He now has the 900 dollars plus the 90 you paid him.

In the briefcase incident, I had to front 2500 dollars. It was pure luck that I had that money, and most people wouldn't. If it had happened a little later or a little sooner, I wouldn't have it either.

Unfortunately, you are completely screwed out of that money. The charges against me were dropped and the case dismissed, but that 2500 dollars was completely and utterly gone.

This happens all the time in the US. The cops arrest people left and right, and are not realistically held to any kind of justification. Their mentality is "Tell it to the judge", and they are under very littie obligation to demonstrate to anyone why this person needed to be arrested. At that point, the arrested person is essentially screwed, even if he is found not guilty, or the charges dropped - his bail money is gone, and there is no way for him to recover it.

The only other option is to rot in jail while you wait for your court date, and unfortunately many people are forced to do just that - simply because they cannot afford the bail or even a percentage of it. Despite assurances of a "speedy" justice system, the process could take months just to get a hearing, at which point you can grovel and beg to be let out of jail before your trial. Maybe the judge will listen to you. Maybe not.

Meanwhile, you've lost your job for not showing up, your stuff has been moved out of your apartment and onto the street for looters because you haven't been paying rent, your car is repossessed because you haven't been making payments, your cat died three months ago because nobody was there to feed her, and when the DA decides not to prosecute or you are found not guilty, it's "Sorry, no hard feelings!" and you're thrust back into society with no job, no home, no property, no car, and no cat.

Then they probably throw you back in for animal neglect.

And when you're initially arrested, the somewhat more wealthy guy next to you in the holding tank walks out a few hours later because he could afford bail or at least a bondsman.
mirrorshades radio - darkwave, synthpop, industrial, futurepop.
[ Parent ]
It's a bizarre world ... (3.00 / 5) (#189)
by pyramid termite on Fri Jan 09, 2004 at 09:44:36 PM EST

... in which the punishment for being accused and later found innocent can be greater than the punishment for copping a plea. This is why so many people cop a plea - it's the only way to keep what little they have. It's also why, at least in smaller towns and cities, the papers are full of lists of people who have not reported for their court hearings, probation officer meetings and are not to be found at their previous addresses. It's also why when many people are confronted by the police, they don't seem to have their ID on them and give out a phony name. It's also why when many people are victims of crimes they choose to deal with it themselves rather than call the cops and why many people won't tell the cops anything. Harsh justice inevitably results in a society where people use passive aggressive means to subvert it. The end result is not a safer or more orderly society.

When will our society learn that jail is not appropriate for many of the things that it's currently being used for?

On the Internet, anyone can accuse you of being a dog.
[ Parent ]
Jail (3.00 / 5) (#199)
by kitten on Fri Jan 09, 2004 at 11:00:01 PM EST

When will our society learn that jail is not appropriate for many of the things that it's currently being used for?

I agree with your list of grievances there, and I realize that jail is not the answer, but neither are other available punishments, really. Fining someone isn't going to help - it provides further incentive for the state to make criminals out of people who aren't doing anything wrong, in order to increase revenue, and the fines imposed as it is, even for minor things, are so excessive that it can put many people in serious trouble.

Some kid working his way through college has to choose between getting a textbook and paying his 200 dollar traffic ticket, plus "court surcharges" and other junk fees tacked on, all because of some law that should never have been there in the first place.

The real solution is to take a big red marker, go through the lawbooks, and slash the living fuck out of them. Seriously.

So many government institutions exist solely to create problems. Traffic laws are an excellent example of this. The state just loooves to impose fines left and right for traffic violations, even though most traffic laws have nothing to do with safety. Does anyone really care if I have a tag light out? How many times have people been pulled over for having an "expired tag", which just means they didn't pay their 50 bucks to the tag office this year? Where does that money go? Right back into the tag office. Get rid of the tag system and let cops worry about actual crime instead of pulling people over for shit like this.

There's thousands of other examples, but it's gotten to the point now where if a cop is behind you in traffic, you get nervous. Even if you're not doing anything wrong, even if all your paperwork is in order, most people get extremely nervous when a cop is around. Cops answer to almost nobody, citizens have virtually no means of checking police power, and what little means available are so time consuming and expensive that it isn't worth it. We live in perpetual fear and anxiety of the organization we're paying to protect us, and instead that organization "protects" us from having too much money in our wallets.

Reading back over this, I see that this is mostly aimless and essentially a rant, but there are so many points of contention that it's difficult to summarize in just a few paragraphs. The basic point I'm trying to get across is that the state grossly abuses their police powers, and then wonders why nobody trusts cops, and everyone is reluctant to cooperate.
mirrorshades radio - darkwave, synthpop, industrial, futurepop.
[ Parent ]
You're a dog. (none / 2) (#217)
by kesuari on Sat Jan 10, 2004 at 02:17:20 AM EST

I've wanted to do this for ages.

I may have already done it.

My apologies.

[ Parent ]

Mostly true (none / 1) (#190)
by Big Sexxy Joe on Fri Jan 09, 2004 at 09:54:20 PM EST

  1.  It's actually worse than you think.  The Supreme Court has ruled that "prior restraint" is unconsitutional, but it's perfectly legal to punish people for their speech afterword!  So, the court has ruled freedom of speech to nothing.
  2.  I don't agree with you.  It says you have the right to bear arms but it doesn't say the government can never make any law regulating guns.  Notice the First Amendment says,  "Congress shall make no law... bridging the freedom of speech."  Your interpretation of the Second Amendment implies that people have the right to own nuclear weapons.  I don't think that they do or should.


I'm like Jesus, only better.
Democracy Now! - your daily, uncensored, corporate-free grassroots news hour
[ Parent ]
2nd ammendment (none / 1) (#206)
by godix on Fri Jan 09, 2004 at 11:42:43 PM EST

A strict reading of the second ammendment would lead one to believe that ANYTHING classified as arms should be allowed. A healthy arguement could be made over if nuclear weapons are considered 'arms' though.

Regardless, I actually support a Constitutional ammendment which would supersede and claify the second for exactly this type of question. There are many issues around modern weapons that the second ammendment can't, or shouldn't, answer. Weapons have grown far more dangerous than in our founding fathers times and a lot of the reasons behind the second ammendment have changed (not all though, there are still some valid reasons to own weapons). A Constitutional ammendment is the only intellectually honest thing to do though, I'm getting sick of seeing people using weasel logic and appeals to authority to try and pass laws removing a Constitutional right. We've been in this situation before and it required an ammendment to set straight, politicans didn't try interpretting 'no booze' into 'get drunk' like they're trying to change 'allow weapons' into 'ban weapons'.

Well, at least I shall die as I have lived. Completely surrounded by morons.
- Black Mage[ Parent ]

2nd Amendment - Arms (none / 1) (#219)
by Superfreak on Sat Jan 10, 2004 at 03:16:42 AM EST

IIRC, at the time of the writing of the bill of rights, the term 'arms' generally applied to small arms carried by a man, and the term 'ordnance' was used for cannon, bombs, and such. That makes a lot of sense, and removes the frequently-used 'Oh, so everyone can own a nuke' argument.

That said, I agree completely that the honest way to deal with this, and many other issues is through the amendment process. For decades, our government has been trampling the bill of rights through use of the court system, executive order, and laws made by Congress on supposedly unrelated items.

My suggestion: Vote 'em all out. Never, ever, ever vote for an incumbent or an attorney. With enough turnover, we might be able to get the 'professional' politicians out...I want a plumber in the White House.

[ Parent ]

Plumbers (none / 2) (#235)
by felixrayman on Sat Jan 10, 2004 at 11:04:12 AM EST

I want a plumber in the White House

We had a bunch of them during the Nixon administration.

Call Donald Rumsfeld and tell him our sorry asses are ready to go home. Tell him to come spend a night in our building. - Pfc. Matthew C. O'Dell

[ Parent ]
Your missing my point (none / 1) (#266)
by Big Sexxy Joe on Sat Jan 10, 2004 at 03:09:52 PM EST

The language of the Second Amendment is weaker than the first amendment.  The First Amendment says, "No law."  Very strong.

The Second Amendment says that your right "shall not be infringed."  It doesn't say that the government can't make any laws about it.  There's no Second Amendment reason to ban waiting periods or to ban records who has a gun or restrictions on types of arms you may possess.

Now that I think about it though, it is unconstitional to prevent people from carrying weapons because they are convicted felons.

I'm like Jesus, only better.
Democracy Now! - your daily, uncensored, corporate-free grassroots news hour
[ Parent ]

Danger (none / 1) (#278)
by The Real Lord Kano on Sat Jan 10, 2004 at 04:35:44 PM EST

Weapons have grown far more dangerous than in our founding fathers times

Only the "BIG" weapons are more dangerous. Anything from the size of a cannon on up would be more dangersous, small arms tend to be less dangerous.

Would you rather get hit with an 80 grain jacketed bullet or a one ounce lead ball. Gunshots were more likely to be fatal in the days of the Constitution's writers. Medical advances and changes in the firearms themselves have made small arms much less dangerous now than they were 200 years ago.

[ Parent ]

Bah (none / 1) (#289)
by Big Sexxy Joe on Sat Jan 10, 2004 at 07:06:32 PM EST

Medical advances and changes in the firearms themselves have made small arms much less dangerous now than they were 200 years ago.

Maybe if you get treatment very soon.  I'm afraid a tech-9 is much more dangerous than a musket.

I'm like Jesus, only better.
Democracy Now! - your daily, uncensored, corporate-free grassroots news hour
[ Parent ]

And? (none / 1) (#304)
by The Real Lord Kano on Sat Jan 10, 2004 at 11:32:45 PM EST

I'm afraid a tech-9 is much more dangerous than a musket.

Then you don't know what you're talking about.

A 115 grain jacketed 9mm bullet will cause much less damage to vascular tissue than a one ounce lead ball.

In American inner cities it's not uncommon to find people who have survived gunshots from 9mms, .40 caliber, .357 magnum and similar small arms.

When they were in use, it was near impossible to find someone who had survived a shot from a musket or a 50 caliber muzzle loader.

[ Parent ]

But can you do a drive by with a musket? (none / 3) (#314)
by whazat on Sun Jan 11, 2004 at 07:51:44 AM EST

You are talking about lethality of a bullet which has decreased.

There are other considerations such as rate of fire, accuracy, range, and reliability. All of which have significantly increased.


[ Parent ]

the words "shall not be infringed" are (none / 0) (#239)
by modmans2ndcoming on Sat Jan 10, 2004 at 12:05:30 PM EST

the words that refer to congress implicitly....for some reason the framers decided art was more important than clarity.

of course...today if a constitution as written, clarity again would take a back seat and legalese would take over.

[ Parent ]

I doubt it (none / 0) (#267)
by Big Sexxy Joe on Sat Jan 10, 2004 at 03:12:19 PM EST

They didn't live in the cynical 21st century but I think they understood the importance of legal clarity.

The Declaration of Independence and the Preamble of the Constitution are works of art.  But the body of the Constitution and Bill of Rights are dry, tedious reads.

I'm like Jesus, only better.
Democracy Now! - your daily, uncensored, corporate-free grassroots news hour
[ Parent ]

well, they are dry and tedious, but (none / 0) (#270)
by modmans2ndcoming on Sat Jan 10, 2004 at 03:20:33 PM EST

the Bill of rights was not written by men who were eloquent writers.....you can still tell they tried to make the bill or rights sound nice.

[ Parent ]
Really? (none / 0) (#287)
by Big Sexxy Joe on Sat Jan 10, 2004 at 07:01:32 PM EST

Why didn't they ask the writers of the Preamble to help them?

I'm like Jesus, only better.
Democracy Now! - your daily, uncensored, corporate-free grassroots news hour
[ Parent ]
Selective Incorporation (none / 3) (#191)
by epsiloninf on Fri Jan 09, 2004 at 10:13:58 PM EST

2nd - This is by far the biggest joke of an ammendment. Americans have the right to own guns. Period. End of story. Anyone pulling out the tired 'militia' arguement doesn't actually know what the founding fathers meant by militia. If you don't like it try a Constitutional ammendment, anything else is just proving that some people will bitch about how the Consitution is violated seconds before they themselves violate it. Considering there are certain cities in the nation that flat out ban all guns in city borders this ammendment is not only dead, it's been rotting and smelling up the place for the last several decades.

(note: IANAL, but I am currently in a law class.) Regardless of your opinion on the second amendment, it is not unconstitutional for a state or city to ban guns. The astute reader will note that the majority of the bill of rights (second amendment included) refers to Congress. The reason the first amendment and others are applied to the states as well is an interpretation of them in conjunction with the 14th amendment called "selective incorporation." (The specific provision states: "No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law..."). The Supreme Court has ruled that selective incorporation applies to the 1st, 4th, most of the 5th (except for grand juries), 6th, and the 8th. Also, the 2nd Circuit has ruled that it applies to the 3rd. In US v. Cruikshank (1876), the Supremes specifically ruled that it did NOT apply to the 2nd amendment.

[ Parent ]
Yes, but all that means (none / 2) (#204)
by godix on Fri Jan 09, 2004 at 11:33:38 PM EST

... is that the 14th is being abused in addition to the 2nd. Honestly, what's the difference between the first and second ammendment which makes one a 'privileges or immunities of citizens' and the other not? The original ammendments for both specifically prohibit Congress from making a law so it's not that one was meant as a universal rule while the other just a limit on federal power. Nowhere, other than the rights listed in the Consitution, is 'privileges or immunities of citizens' defined so if the 14th ammendment doesn't mean that the states can't prohibit ANYTHING guarenteed by the Constitution then what the hell does it mean?

Keep in mind I'm speaking by strict constitutional standards rather than reality. Reality is that the government is uncomfortable with a population that can shoot back and has convinced a sizeable amount of the population that they don't need to shoot back so the second ammendment is magiced away behind faulty logic and appeals to authority while the first isn't, at least not yet.

BTW: Can you elaborate on the 2nd Circuit ruling on the third ammendment? I was under the impression that the third ammendment was the only one that has never been cited in a court case. IANAL nor am I in law class so I could be wrong but I'd be interested in hearing the situation where quartering troops became a relevent legal issue.

Well, at least I shall die as I have lived. Completely surrounded by morons.
- Black Mage[ Parent ]

yes and no... (none / 3) (#213)
by epsiloninf on Sat Jan 10, 2004 at 01:17:20 AM EST

...the 14th is being abused in addition to the 2nd. Honestly, what's the difference between the first and second ammendment which makes one a 'privileges or immunities of citizens' and the other not? The original ammendments for both specifically prohibit Congress from making a law so it's not that one was meant as a universal rule while the other just a limit on federal power.

I must admit, I do not fully agree with the Cruikshank decision myself, or even with their justification of the second amendment not being incorporated. That said, as I understand it, the "immunities and privileges" have not been held to include the Bill of Rights, but things such as habeas corpus, interstate commerce, etc. Rather, those provisions of the Bill of Rights that have been incorporated have been incorporated under the "deprive any person of life, liberty, or property" line. But again, IANAL, so you might want to research this yourself.

Keep in mind I'm speaking by strict constitutional standards rather than reality. Reality is that the government is uncomfortable with a population that can shoot back and has convinced a sizeable amount of the population that they don't need to shoot back so the second ammendment is magiced away behind faulty logic and appeals to authority while the first isn't, at least not yet.

Again, I do not fully agree with the decision. But I DO find it hard to believe that the 19th century Supremes were secretly plotting to allow liberals to take your guns away. :-)

BTW: Can you elaborate on the 2nd Circuit ruling on the third ammendment?

The case was Engblom v. Carey (1983), which dealt with a New York prison guards' strike. While they were on strike, the Governor brought in National Guardsmen to perform their duties. These soldiers were housed in the quarters previously rented by the prison guards from the government. Two guards sued, and the court held (on remand from the Supreme Court) that the 14th amendment caused the 3rd to be applied to the states.

I was under the impression that the third ammendment was the only one that has never been cited in a court case.

You're mostly right. Engblom is an interesting trivia question in that it is the only case ever to cite the 3rd amendment (according to the GPO).

[ Parent ]
Thanks (none / 2) (#218)
by godix on Sat Jan 10, 2004 at 02:51:01 AM EST

But I DO find it hard to believe that the 19th century Supremes were secretly plotting to allow liberals to take your guns away. :-)

I wouldn't phrase it quite that way, although that is the end effect. I just note that when the second ammendment was written the founding fathers had recently fought a successful attempt to overthrow a government but in 1876 when US v. Cruikshank was decided the US had recently put down an attempt to overthrow the government. The governments change of view on gun ownership is, in my mind at least, adequately explained by the difference between 'We citizens may need to get rid of this government someday' and 'We just fought the bloodiest war in our history to preserve the government'. Since then both sides of the issue have basically forgotten about overthrowing the government which is why most gun control debate today is centered on self defense or gun death stats. So no, I don't think 19th century supremes were plotting to allow liberals to take guns away but I do think the motives of 19th century supremes and the motives of current gun control supporters work together towards taking guns away.
The case was Engblom v. Carey (1983), which dealt with a New York prison guards' strike.

Thank you for the details. While looking it up I found at least one other case that cited the third ammendment (Custer County Action Association v. Garvey) but in that one the third ammendment arguement was, justifiably, thrown out so perhaps when the GPO say Engblom v. Carey was the only one they mean that Engblom v. Carey was the only one where the arguement was upheld.

Well, at least I shall die as I have lived. Completely surrounded by morons.
- Black Mage[ Parent ]
article was written in 1996, sorry (none / 1) (#265)
by epsiloninf on Sat Jan 10, 2004 at 03:09:43 PM EST

so perhaps when the GPO say Engblom v. Carey was the only one they mean that Engblom v. Carey was the only one where the arguement was upheld.

I checked into it. That case was from 2001, whereas the GPO article I found was from 1996. Sorry.

[ Parent ]
actualy, the federalists LOST (none / 1) (#238)
by modmans2ndcoming on Sat Jan 10, 2004 at 11:56:38 AM EST

Federalists wanted strong states rights.

[ Parent ]
A couple of notes (none / 1) (#258)
by Grognard on Sat Jan 10, 2004 at 02:15:01 PM EST

Re the 4th

[note, this is based on Va. law, so ymmv]
actually, the police cannot forcibly take blood, breath, or other samples without a warrant.  The state may punish your refusal to give consent by revoking your license.  That, however is due to the fact that driving on its roads implies your agreement to provide those samples when reasonably asked (the reasonableness of which, again in Va, must be reviewed by a judicial officer [magistrate]).  Justification for stopping an individual car (as opposed to wholesale checkpoints) is actually reviewed pretty strictly - if the cop can't articulate what drew him to your vehicle, how long he observed the actions that made him suspicious, and what behaviour during the stop led him to request blood/breath testing, you have a decent shot at walking.

re the 5th:

although I think the action probably violates the spirit of the 5th Amendment, it certainly does not violate the letter.  Those officers were prosecuted for different crimes:  assault (essentially) on the state level vs violation of civil rights on the federal level.

[ Parent ]

The 4th (none / 2) (#263)
by godix on Sat Jan 10, 2004 at 02:56:03 PM EST

I really have no problem pulling over someone who's weaving all over the place and requiring them to take a breathalizer, they've provided justification for the search. It's the wholesale 'just grab everyone' checkpoints that bother me. In Michigan Dep't. of State Police v. Sitz (scroll down, it's under the heading labeled 'the real roadblock precedent') the Supreme Court ruled that sobriety checkpoints where all motorist are stopped regardless of if they display signs of being drunk or not are perfectly legal. That site does show some other cases which threw out checkpoints on 4th ammendment grounds but the basic gist of it all boils down to if the Supremes think there is a state interest involved then it's ok to pull over and investigate drivers which have done nothing to justify a search. Of course only ones that appear drunk are required to take a breathalizer, at least in my state, but even so it all starts with what I consider a violation of the 4th ammendment, although the Supremes obviously don't.

Well, at least I shall die as I have lived. Completely surrounded by morons.
- Black Mage[ Parent ]
Actually not (none / 1) (#271)
by Grognard on Sat Jan 10, 2004 at 03:25:30 PM EST

the test lies in the reasonableness of the checkpoint.  Very brief contact with a minimum of intrusiveness were found not to violate the 4th - and any violation would be in terms of an unreasonable seizure (the initial stop), because no search is taking place - plain sight rule.

[ Parent ]
Some disagreements. (none / 2) (#274)
by slashcart on Sat Jan 10, 2004 at 04:18:26 PM EST

1st ammendment. The 1st ammendment doesn't guarantee you the right to disrupt someone else's political assembly.

4th ammendment. The police can't force you to submit to a breathalizer or piss test. You can opt to take the "walk in a straight line test" instead. If you refuse to take any test, all they can do is revoke your driver's license. Having a license is not a right under the constitution.

6th ammendment. You have the ability to waive your rights to speedy and public trials. If the juvenile doesn't want his records sealed, then they don't have to be sealed. If you want more time to present your case as a defendant, you can waive your right to a speedy trial.

8th ammendment. The phrase "cruel and unusual" was clearly intended to outlaw public floggings, torture, humiliations, brandings, etc, which were very common in the 18th century in all countries, and which remain common in many countries in the 21st.

10th ammendment. The federalists lost. And the federalists were the people who favored judicial review in the first place. And Lincoln was not a federalist.

...Of the rights violations you listed that were genuine, most ended up being transient. This does not excuse them. But it's not the norm.

The only ammendment which is routinely ignored to a significant extent, is the 2nd.

[ Parent ]

uh... (none / 1) (#340)
by ph0rk on Mon Jan 12, 2004 at 12:17:11 PM EST

>> th - Bullshit. Unless it's defined exactly in the Constitution it's fairly safe to assume it's not a right.

I was under the impression that anything not clearly defined in the Constitution was left for the people.  In fact, that was the reason for the original opposition to the Bill of Rights, many thought it would eventually result in the country feeling that the amendments represented the ONLY rights given to the people.

.
[ f o r k . s c h i z o i d . c o m ]
[ Parent ]

pittsburgh (1.44 / 18) (#137)
by gtx on Fri Jan 09, 2004 at 04:15:45 PM EST

you make it sound as if protesters are taken to the bottom floor of an abandoned department store building and kept there until the president leaves town so that nobody is burdened with their stupidity.

i say we should be so lucky.  

the fact of the matter is that i was living in the city during the event you mentioned, and you couldn't fucking get around the protesters.  they take their freedom of speech to mean that they're allowed to make driving through the city inconvenient for everybody, whether they agree or disagree with their political stances.  maybe if they weren't such douches about everything they wouldn't be treated like douches.

truth be told i hate protesters.  i hate them all, conservative, liberal, moderate.  they're all fucking retards.  that was all i really cared to comment on.

as for the rest of this story, i've had enough of reading the protein rich detritus left behind from the mental masturbation of pseudo-intellectual kids who can read political science texts but not exercize abstract thinking.


--------
i don't have anything clever to write here.

Move to some dictatorship... (1.50 / 4) (#171)
by Del Monte Cyber Monkey on Fri Jan 09, 2004 at 07:33:15 PM EST

...I hear demonstration induced traffic is pretty uncommon. But, hey, at least you won't be surrounded by retards all that often...

All that protein rich detritus has obviously eroded your common sense, albeit making you more verbose. I think you got the short end of that stick.

Fool.


Ah, Del Monte!


[ Parent ]
eat my dick (1.11 / 9) (#222)
by gtx on Sat Jan 10, 2004 at 05:10:11 AM EST

i'm sorry, but where i come from there's a difference between political opposition and throwing a fucking temper tantrum in the middle of the street.

but hey, i was never a patchouli scented, hemp wearing white guy with dreadlocks, so maybe i'm missing part of it.  

i should give that a try...

(ahem)

NO BLOOD FOR OIL!
PHISH FUCKING RULES!
FREE MUMIA!
GO VEGAN!
SPIRITUAL PEOPLE INSPIRE ME, RELIGIOUS PEOPLE FRIGHTEN ME!

oh fuck off.

-c


--------
i don't have anything clever to write here.
[ Parent ]

"prohibiting the free exercise thereof" (1.16 / 6) (#145)
by dxh on Fri Jan 09, 2004 at 04:57:49 PM EST

I agree, the way the wacko ACLU is destoring this country by using the court system to systematically bypass the laws of this country and bypass the will of the people and their elected representitives. This country has begun to become a place of religous persecution not of religious freedom, all the in the name of political-correctness.

Not to be a total jerk ... (none / 2) (#176)
by DataShade on Fri Jan 09, 2004 at 07:44:23 PM EST

... as I'm not sure what religion in particular you're defending, but I was raised Christian. I think two of the Gospels agree that Jesus instructed his followers to pray in the privacy of their own homes, not in public; those who prayed for others to see would receive their reward in this world, not the next. My point is, political-correctness and other culture-homogenizing "niceness" effects do not, in any meaningful way, prevent you from practicing your religion. It just forces you to come into contact with things or behaviors you don't like, which, two decades ago, my parents assured me was a part of growing up.

[ Parent ]
You sure about that? (none / 1) (#214)
by PsychoFurryEwok on Sat Jan 10, 2004 at 01:42:28 AM EST

I will therefore that men pray every where, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and doubting. (I Timothy 2:8) When speaking on praying privately (Matthew 6:6), Jesus is using it in the context of not to make a show of it as the Pharisees and Sadducees did. They would walk through the streets and mumble repetitive prayers that were just tradition and meant nothing as they walked around. In Matthew 6 He later goes on to state that prayer should be just like having a conversation with God, He is basically saying that the repetitive, memorized public prayers mean nothing to God.

[ Parent ]
Where is that second part. (none / 1) (#262)
by Sanction on Sat Jan 10, 2004 at 02:32:29 PM EST

In the context of the entire passage in Matthew, it is not just speaking of particular things like the traditional prayers of the Pharisees, but goes so far as to state that when one gives "the left hand should not know what the right is doing".  It reads as a condemnation of all pious acts done where publicly visible to attempt to appear to be holy to everyone who is watching.  Also, where does the part of prayer being like a conversation with God show up?  Not that I disagree, I just don't see it in Matthew.

The greater difficulty seems to be the frequent conflicts between the attitude and words of Jesus when contrasted with the attitude and words of Paul.  Personally, when the two are in conflict I try to follow what the gospels say, but the entire issue is a but unnerving at times.

I can either stay in and be annoying or go out and be stupid. The choice is yours.
[ Parent ]

I don't see where they contrast... (none / 0) (#303)
by PsychoFurryEwok on Sat Jan 10, 2004 at 11:29:58 PM EST

As long as you take the entire passage in context I do not see where things conflict. Also, along with speaking to good in a conversational fashion, that is what Jesus is doing in verses 9-13, at least, in my opinion. Prayers were very regimented and traditional so speaking to God as such was definitely different and like having a regular conversation.

[ Parent ]
articles like this (none / 3) (#172)
by tiamat on Fri Jan 09, 2004 at 07:34:15 PM EST

make me think again about disavowing my American citizenship. (and I supported the war!).

As a Canadian with dual citizenship (and living permanently in Canada) I often feel like I should get rid of my US citizenship, since I have no real intention of using it, and I don't feel that attached to the USA as a nation.

On the other hand, if I keep it I can use it to vote for the other guy (whoever that may be). What's a guy to do?


Vote. (none / 2) (#185)
by kitten on Fri Jan 09, 2004 at 09:05:12 PM EST

And then if Bush wins, renounce your citizenship. If Bush loses, keep the US citizenship, it could come in handy.
mirrorshades radio - darkwave, synthpop, industrial, futurepop.
[ Parent ]
How difficult is it (none / 1) (#188)
by losthalo on Fri Jan 09, 2004 at 09:33:27 PM EST

to emigrate to Canada?

Seriously. :-)

[ Parent ]
see (none / 1) (#193)
by tiamat on Fri Jan 09, 2004 at 10:27:38 PM EST

www.canada.gc.ca

[ Parent ]
w00t! (none / 0) (#203)
by fluxrad on Fri Jan 09, 2004 at 11:28:25 PM EST

I got a 69 on the immigration test(provided I could find a job before I moved up there).

Don't they also give you 10 points for playing hockey or lacrosse?

--
"It is seldom liberty of any kind that is lost all at once."
-David Hume
[ Parent ]
What's A Guy to do? (none / 3) (#268)
by CDGuy on Sat Jan 10, 2004 at 03:15:16 PM EST

VOTE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
sorry about the shout.
Rook
[ Parent ]
I know I am alone here... (none / 2) (#275)
by btlzu2 on Sat Jan 10, 2004 at 04:23:53 PM EST

...but not elsewhere when I say, get the hell out if you're so ambivalent and the US sucks so bad. Most of us in the real world as opposed to "Liberal Central" here on Kuro5hin would rather not have a waffling, unattached person who thinks the world is ending because his choice for President isn't in the White House.

We'll be fine without you.
"This machine will not communicate the thoughts and the strain I am under." --Radiohead/Street Spirit (Fade Out)
[ Parent ]
Pirates of the Caribbean (2.16 / 6) (#178)
by d2ksla on Fri Jan 09, 2004 at 08:07:40 PM EST

The Code is more what you'd call "guidelines" than actual rules.

There's no freedom of speech in the US (2.00 / 5) (#192)
by Big Sexxy Joe on Fri Jan 09, 2004 at 10:14:28 PM EST

Really.  After the passage of the Alien and Sedition Acts under John Adams, the courts ruled that freedom of speech amounts to no "prior restraint."  In other words, the government can't stop speech, but they can punish you afterwards for what you said!

The courts have ruled that American free speech is the same as that granted under English common law which has been summarized as follows:

The liberty of the press is indeed essential to the nature of a free state, but this consists in laying no previous restraint upon publications, and not in freedom from censure for criminal matter when published. Every freeman has an undoubted right to lay what sentiments he pleases before the public; to forbid this is to destroy the freedom of the press; but if he publishes what is improper, mischievous, or illegal, he must take the consequences of his own temerity.

I got the quote from this  essay, which is extremely enlightening and well worth reading.

I'm like Jesus, only better.
Democracy Now! - your daily, uncensored, corporate-free grassroots news hour

Know your rights... (2.60 / 5) (#205)
by felixrayman on Fri Jan 09, 2004 at 11:37:13 PM EST

The liberty of the press is indeed essential to the nature of a free state, but this consists in laying no previous restraint upon publications, and not in freedom from censure for criminal matter when published. Every freeman has an undoubted right to lay what sentiments he pleases before the public; to forbid this is to destroy the freedom of the press; but if he publishes what is improper, mischievous, or illegal, he must take the consequences of his own temerity".

Or as the Clash more succintly put it, "You have the right to free speech, as long as you're not dumb enough to actually try it".

Call Donald Rumsfeld and tell him our sorry asses are ready to go home. Tell him to come spend a night in our building. - Pfc. Matthew C. O'Dell

[ Parent ]
Then there's no freedom of religion either (none / 1) (#256)
by Grognard on Sat Jan 10, 2004 at 02:02:20 PM EST

you see I've converted to that of the Aztecs and I'm pretty sure I'd be prosecuted for sacrificing you to my gods - even though that would be preventing the free exercise of my religion.

sheesh

[ Parent ]

Your rights extend to the tip of my nose (none / 1) (#264)
by Big Sexxy Joe on Sat Jan 10, 2004 at 03:01:26 PM EST

The right to believe that you shold sacrifice to your gods doesn't mean you can do it.

The Alien and Sedition Acts and later pieces of legislation stated that one can be punished for criticizing the government.  Do you see the difference?

I'm like Jesus, only better.
Democracy Now! - your daily, uncensored, corporate-free grassroots news hour
[ Parent ]

Please see (none / 0) (#269)
by Grognard on Sat Jan 10, 2004 at 03:16:06 PM EST

This

[ Parent ]
The speech does not have to false (none / 0) (#288)
by Big Sexxy Joe on Sat Jan 10, 2004 at 07:03:29 PM EST

to be punished.  That's not what the ruling is and that's not the limitation that has been used.

I'm like Jesus, only better.
Democracy Now! - your daily, uncensored, corporate-free grassroots news hour
[ Parent ]
If that's the case (none / 0) (#317)
by Grognard on Sun Jan 11, 2004 at 09:42:18 AM EST

then you can provide a cite showing that, right?

[ Parent ]
I already did (none / 0) (#325)
by Big Sexxy Joe on Sun Jan 11, 2004 at 03:27:24 PM EST

The link above shows a couple cases.  It's a very enlightening read.

I'm like Jesus, only better.
Democracy Now! - your daily, uncensored, corporate-free grassroots news hour
[ Parent ]
Regarding the cases listed (none / 0) (#334)
by Grognard on Mon Jan 12, 2004 at 09:04:20 AM EST

It's interesting to note that all of the civilian prosecutions listed were from World War II or prior (you'll note there wasn't anything about the Kennedy administration actually prosecuting anyone under the provisions of the Espionage Act).

Of the ones from WWI, the text seems to indicate that advocating resisting the draft was the main issue rather than just criticism of the government.  The 1941 case was a little more eggregious, but there were a lot of things that were acceptable in 1941 (or prior) that aren't now.

The military case is a non-starter.  An officer advocating refusal to follow orders has no and deserves no protection under the First Amendment whatsoever.

[ Parent ]

stuff (none / 1) (#350)
by Big Sexxy Joe on Mon Jan 12, 2004 at 06:33:28 PM EST

It's interesting to note that all of the civilian prosecutions listed were from World War II or prior.

Why?  Why shouldn't the CIA agent be able to publish unclassified information in a book?

Of the ones from WWI, the text seems to indicate that advocating resisting the draft was the main issue rather than just criticism of the government.

No, Schenck wasn't draft dodging.  

I'm like Jesus, only better.
Democracy Now! - your daily, uncensored, corporate-free grassroots news hour
[ Parent ]

Answers (none / 0) (#351)
by Grognard on Mon Jan 12, 2004 at 07:35:22 PM EST

Why shouldn't the CIA agent be able to publish unclassified information in a book?

Maybe because he signed a contract that restricted what he could publish.

No, Schenck wasn't draft dodging.

Never said he was - said he was advocating it.

[ Parent ]

answers (none / 0) (#352)
by Big Sexxy Joe on Mon Jan 12, 2004 at 08:04:14 PM EST

The dispute was whether he simply said he wouldn't reveal secrets.  They wanted to censor him otherwise.

he was advocating it.

That should be Constitutionally protected speech.

I'm like Jesus, only better.
Democracy Now! - your daily, uncensored, corporate-free grassroots news hour
[ Parent ]

Advocating commission of a crime (none / 1) (#355)
by Grognard on Tue Jan 13, 2004 at 06:07:38 AM EST

is not, nor should it be, Constitutionally protected speech.

However, as I pointed out previously, you'll note that the most recent cases he could point to (other than the ridiculous cite of the military case) was over 80 years old.  

More tolerance equals an erosion of liberty?

[ Parent ]

Yes it should (none / 0) (#366)
by Big Sexxy Joe on Tue Jan 13, 2004 at 07:44:45 PM EST

Anyway, can you point to a reversal of the "no prior restraint" ruling?

I'm like Jesus, only better.
Democracy Now! - your daily, uncensored, corporate-free grassroots news hour
[ Parent ]
Really? (none / 1) (#367)
by Grognard on Tue Jan 13, 2004 at 08:08:54 PM EST

Unlimited freedom without any reasonable restraint is merely another way of advocating a tyranny of the strongest/most aggressive.

A major reason for government is to prevent your exercising your freedom at another's expense.

[ Parent ]

Huh? (none / 0) (#369)
by Big Sexxy Joe on Tue Jan 13, 2004 at 09:02:29 PM EST

No just freedom of speech.

I'm like Jesus, only better.
Democracy Now! - your daily, uncensored, corporate-free grassroots news hour
[ Parent ]
Sorry, not buying it (none / 0) (#370)
by Grognard on Wed Jan 14, 2004 at 07:17:32 AM EST

Speech can be just as damaging as action.  Unlimited freedom of speech (ie freedom from consequences of that speech) is very much against the interests of society and the individuals that make it up.

[ Parent ]
fine (none / 1) (#373)
by Big Sexxy Joe on Wed Jan 14, 2004 at 12:57:32 PM EST

you are against freedom of speech.  You could have just said that before.

And there is only one kind of freedom of speech: unlimited freedom of speech.  No one needs free speech to say that love the government and the laws or that babies are cute.  "Limited freedom of speech" existed in Nazi Germany and every society that has ever existed.

Unlimited freedom of speech can be bad news for the powers that be, but it is always good for people who have that right.

I'm like Jesus, only better.
Democracy Now! - your daily, uncensored, corporate-free grassroots news hour
[ Parent ]

Good, huh? (none / 1) (#374)
by Grognard on Wed Jan 14, 2004 at 03:05:22 PM EST

Unlimited freedom of speech can be bad news for the powers that be, but it is always good for people who have that right.

I decide to broadcast loud and long what a dirty thieving child molester you are with the full knowlege that you are not.  Because I have an unlimited right to free speech, you cannot use the law to stop the damage I'm doing to you - but that's good right?

[ Parent ]

I'll tell everyone that you're a liar nt (none / 0) (#375)
by Big Sexxy Joe on Wed Jan 14, 2004 at 06:57:24 PM EST



I'm like Jesus, only better.
Democracy Now! - your daily, uncensored, corporate-free grassroots news hour
[ Parent ]
And... (none / 0) (#376)
by Grognard on Wed Jan 14, 2004 at 08:03:27 PM EST

if I have more money, more access to more media, you're screwed - good plan.

Unlimited freedom merely ratifies the law of the jungle.

[ Parent ]

and (none / 0) (#377)
by Big Sexxy Joe on Thu Jan 15, 2004 at 12:37:24 AM EST

More access to the media?  This problem already exists because the government allows big businesses to more than their fair share of the airwaves for basically no reason.  With a more equitable division of resources that problem would disappear.

Unlimited freedom merely ratifies the law of the jungle.

Freedom of Speech is not unlimited freedom.  It's just freedom for speech.

I'm like Jesus, only better.
Democracy Now! - your daily, uncensored, corporate-free grassroots news hour
[ Parent ]

I can repeat myself as well (none / 0) (#378)
by Grognard on Thu Jan 15, 2004 at 06:36:12 AM EST

...but the fact remains that reasonable limits on speech provide protections to society as a whole.  

Freedom of Speech is not unlimited freedom.  It's just freedom for speech.

Unlimited freedom of speech allows whoever has the most time/money/media access/persistence to run roughshod over his chosen victim.  Reasonable limits to that freedom protect everyone.

[ Parent ]

No (none / 0) (#379)
by Big Sexxy Joe on Thu Jan 15, 2004 at 01:45:21 PM EST

Like I said access to the media is unfairly monopolized.  That's a seperate issue though.

"Reasonable limits on free speech," in other words, abolishion of free speech doesn't help society.  Although it is a little too helpful for whoever gets to set the limits.

I'm like Jesus, only better.
Democracy Now! - your daily, uncensored, corporate-free grassroots news hour
[ Parent ]

Reasonable limits does not mean abolition (none / 0) (#380)
by Grognard on Thu Jan 15, 2004 at 01:50:42 PM EST

Your words, I believe

[ Parent ]
Yes it does (none / 0) (#381)
by Big Sexxy Joe on Thu Jan 15, 2004 at 06:41:16 PM EST

What does making sacrifices to your god have to do with freedom of speech?

"Limited freedom" is a nonsensical concept.

I'm like Jesus, only better.
Democracy Now! - your daily, uncensored, corporate-free grassroots news hour
[ Parent ]

Now (none / 0) (#382)
by Grognard on Thu Jan 15, 2004 at 08:07:27 PM EST

you're just being contrary and obtuse

[ Parent ]
No (none / 0) (#383)
by Big Sexxy Joe on Thu Jan 15, 2004 at 09:04:31 PM EST

This is what I've been saying and you're not acknowledging.

I'm like Jesus, only better.
Democracy Now! - your daily, uncensored, corporate-free grassroots news hour
[ Parent ]
Your reversal of "no prior restraint" (none / 1) (#368)
by Grognard on Tue Jan 13, 2004 at 08:21:00 PM EST

From the article you cited:

The Supreme Court ruled six to three (in an atmosphere of secrecy- no briefs were submitted, no oral argument took place) that even without an agreement the CIA had a right to stop publication because "the government has a compelling interest in protecting the secrecy of information important to our national security."

[ Parent ]

Further clarification (none / 0) (#319)
by Grognard on Sun Jan 11, 2004 at 09:50:32 AM EST

the way the wording parses, speech would not only have to be false, but also malicious - ie. even if it's false, you would have had to knowingly and maliciously spread the falsehood.

[ Parent ]
Cant believe this Eurotrash got his story voted up (1.03 / 28) (#195)
by omghax on Fri Jan 09, 2004 at 10:29:25 PM EST

NT

I put the "LOL" in phiLOLigcal leadership - vote for OMGHAX for CMF president!
Cant believe the patriot act got voted up (nt) (2.00 / 6) (#224)
by j1mmy on Sat Jan 10, 2004 at 08:14:30 AM EST



[ Parent ]
France's Ban on Muslim Women Wearing Scarfs (2.00 / 5) (#229)
by bayers on Sat Jan 10, 2004 at 09:51:51 AM EST

France just placed a ban on muslim women wearing headscarfs while at work. If the US government told a muslim woman that she couldn't wear her headscarf, the woman would tell the US government to go f*ck itself.

And other things. (none / 3) (#234)
by Craevenwulfe on Sat Jan 10, 2004 at 10:57:48 AM EST

That is one single example of a wider act which forbids any egregious examples of religious icons.

Of course, if said woman is stopped from getting on a flight in the US it's no skin off anyones nose?

[ Parent ]
they haven't [nt] (none / 1) (#236)
by Dirty Sardine on Sat Jan 10, 2004 at 11:47:31 AM EST



--
hot gay sex now
[ Parent ]
AFAIK (none / 1) (#240)
by marx on Sat Jan 10, 2004 at 12:24:30 PM EST

It's illegal for Muslim women to be naked in public in the USA.

Join me in the War on Torture: help eradicate torture from the world by holding torturers accountable.
[ Parent ]

True (none / 1) (#335)
by bayers on Mon Jan 12, 2004 at 09:17:04 AM EST

afaik said, 'It's illegal for Muslim women to be naked in public in the USA.'

True. Nakedness is not part of the muslim faith.

There are limits even to the Bill of Rights.

Your satanists can sacrifice infants for example.

[ Parent ]
Yes it is (none / 1) (#336)
by marx on Mon Jan 12, 2004 at 09:51:49 AM EST

Faith is personal. Who are you to dictate what is and what isn't part of someones faith?

Join me in the War on Torture: help eradicate torture from the world by holding torturers accountable.
[ Parent ]

Apples and Oranges (none / 1) (#337)
by dcheesi on Mon Jan 12, 2004 at 10:22:19 AM EST

The point is that they are outlawing an important religious tradition that is basically harmless. Wearing a scarf or a hat isn't offensive, so why should a headscarf be? It's not even an attempt to proselytize; it's just an unobtrusive expression of the person's own faith.

Nakedness, OTOH, is considered not only offensive but also harmful to children by the majority culture. The safety of children trumps someone's right to express their religion this way (or through child sacrifice, to use someone else's example :)

Those USian fundies who think the USA is going to hell in a handbasket ought to look to France for a real example of secularism gone mad. Of course, most of them already hate France anyway, 'cause Bush told them to...

[ Parent ]

Facts vs. opinions (none / 1) (#342)
by marx on Mon Jan 12, 2004 at 12:47:29 PM EST

Nakedness, OTOH, is considered not only offensive but also harmful to children by the majority culture.
I don't care if nakedness is offensive. If being offended is enough to criminalize something, then it would certainly be ok to criminalize religious clothing, especially of minority religions.

I'd very much like to see a stufy proving that nakedness is harmful to children. It would be most entertaining. And preferably one not done by your fundamentalist buddies.

Join me in the War on Torture: help eradicate torture from the world by holding torturers accountable.
[ Parent ]

Exactly. (none / 0) (#349)
by error 404 on Mon Jan 12, 2004 at 03:13:21 PM EST

And that's a direct result of Americans - like the author of this article - raising a fuss even when it isn't considered appropriate.

And that fuss has to be raised outside Free Speech Zones or it doesn't work.
..................................
Electrical banana is bound to be the very next phase
- Donovan

[ Parent ]

Basically True Conclusion -- False Arguments -nt (1.00 / 4) (#237)
by Baldrson on Sat Jan 10, 2004 at 11:55:23 AM EST


-------- Empty the Cities --------


Howard Zinn's excellent essay on freedom of speech (3.00 / 5) (#254)
by FearUncertaintyDoubt on Sat Jan 10, 2004 at 01:56:02 PM EST

http://www.thirdworldtraveler.com/Zinn/FreeSpeech_DI.html

This is a great analysis of the reality of free speech in the U.S. and it's real history. Zinn documents the consistent hedging of free speech, and the excuses and tortured logic behind the justification of infringing free speech.

The cold-shower moment in it is when he acknowledges that the actual limits of free speech are not defined in a courtroom, but on the street when the police order you to move or stop talking or take down your sign or confiscate your leaflets. The policeman's club trumps any Supreme Court decisions you could possibly quote to him. This is what is consistently happening with regard to the "free speech zones."

License vs Freedom (none / 3) (#259)
by Grognard on Sat Jan 10, 2004 at 02:28:30 PM EST

Note the quote from the Alien and Sedition Act:

any false, scandalous and malicious writing or writings against the government of the United States, or either house of the Congress of the U.S. or the President of the U.S., with intent to defame . . . or to bring either of them into contempt or disrepute" such persons could be fined $2,000 or jailed for two years.

The "and" there means that the writing has to not only be "scandalous and malicious", but also "false".

What liberty interest is served by protection of falsehoods?  Do you truly believe the 1st Amendment to condone libel and slander?

[ Parent ]

Because the gov't gets to decide what false is (2.75 / 4) (#306)
by FearUncertaintyDoubt on Sat Jan 10, 2004 at 11:46:19 PM EST

What if I were to say that George W. Bush is screwing over working people and the poor and giving lots of favors to the rich, and exploiting non-credible intelligence to justify an unjust war in the middle east to promote American hegemony and corporate colonialism, rewarding cronies with fat no-bid contracts, locking up American citizens with no real evidence and preventing them from receiving due process? The government could decide any or all of those statements are "false" or "malicious" and intended to "defame." Suddenly political discourse becomes illegal. Dissent becomes falsehood. Anything that disagrees with the the official story is a lie and therefore illegal.

Do you truly think the government, which lies as a matter of normal business, is actually capable of sorting out lies from truth in a disinterested manner? In fact, the Alien and Sedition Act was used for the very purpose of making dissent illegal -- even so far as to jail a Congressman for saying that the President was trying to expand his power.

[ Parent ]

The courts decide (none / 0) (#318)
by Grognard on Sun Jan 11, 2004 at 09:48:36 AM EST

and as recent decisions have shown, there is no monolithic entity known as "the government".  There are 3 branches times two-three levels (local doesn't have its own judiciary), all made up of individuals.

Question for you, is the Alien and Sedition Act still on the books?

[ Parent ]

Not monolithic (none / 2) (#323)
by FearUncertaintyDoubt on Sun Jan 11, 2004 at 03:13:38 PM EST

But all branches of the government has shown in the past, and also of late, a certain monomania, or at least, have not stood in the way of monomania. The history of the Espionage act and how distorted the notion of free speech became under the combined efforts of Congress, the President (Woodrow Wilson), and the courts illustrates the ability of a government comprised of elements seemingly in conflict to work quite nicely together to suppress certain political views under the name of "national security." Today, every politician from dog catcher to President is tripping over one another to seem hard on terrorism, and big on security, and no judge wants to be the guy who let a terrorist out of jail just because there isn't any evidence against him.

Also, bear in mind that judges are appointed by the executive branch, and prosecutors are part of the executive branch, so it's not like these guys are not working from the same agenda. Even political differences mean little -- there is not much distinguishing between Democrat and Republican when it comes down to these issues. Bill Clinton was the one who really began the free speech zone thing, and W is just making a good thing better. Now that's a bipartisan effort in action.

No, the Alien and Sedition Acts have expired, but there are others like it, and new laws could just as easily be passed today

[ Parent ]

Monomania (none / 0) (#324)
by Grognard on Sun Jan 11, 2004 at 03:26:09 PM EST

Whether talking about Adams' times, Wilson's or the current, the monomania to which you refer is that experienced by society as a whole, rather than purely government concern.  By its very nature, however, the system is designed to be self-correcting.

no judge wants to be the guy who let a terrorist out of jail just because there isn't any evidence against him.

You might want to pass that on to the court tha ruled in the Padilla case.

[ Parent ]

Bill Neel (none / 2) (#277)
by The Real Lord Kano on Sat Jan 10, 2004 at 04:25:55 PM EST

I'm from Pittsburgh. What you are leaving out is that Bill Neel's DO citation was dismissed when he got his day in court. The Bill of Rights prevails.

Why is it that I saw no mention of the second amendment in this list of the Bill of Rights?

"A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed."

The purpose of the policy is not punishment (none / 1) (#285)
by felixrayman on Sat Jan 10, 2004 at 06:04:03 PM EST

What you are leaving out is that Bill Neel's DO citation was dismissed when he got his day in court. The Bill of Rights prevails.

The purpose of the harassment is not to punish people like Neel, it is to prevent dissenting speech from being heard while allowing the speech of supporters to be heard. That effort succeeded in Neel's case, and according to the article, similar efforts have succeeded both before and after the Neel case. Until there is an injunction preventing the quarantining of demonstrators with views that are not officially approved, the Bill of Rights has not prevailed.

Why is it that I saw no mention of the second amendment in this list of the Bill of Rights?

The same reason you saw no mention of amendments III, VII and IX, as discussed in the editorial comments to the story, for example this one, and a half dozen others. I'll repeat (and re-repeat) what I said in the other comments - while I don't own firearms I believe that the 2nd amendment guarantees that right, and find all of the arguments to the contrary in the other comments unconvincing to say the least.

Call Donald Rumsfeld and tell him our sorry asses are ready to go home. Tell him to come spend a night in our building. - Pfc. Matthew C. O'Dell

[ Parent ]
Liberal Leakage (1.25 / 8) (#294)
by Armada on Sat Jan 10, 2004 at 09:25:22 PM EST

The moist underside of this story tells the tale of a liberal that probably thinks Gore rightly won the election in 2000, even though the poster voted for Nader. The only individuals probably justified to do a non-biased look at all ten amendments would be libertarians, and I highly doubt enough of them exist on K5 anymore for you to get a quality story of this ilk.

Speak now or forever shut up (none / 1) (#297)
by felixrayman on Sat Jan 10, 2004 at 09:48:44 PM EST

I addressed 6 of the amendments. Watch the queue and you will see me address the second. That leaves III VII and IX - can you tell me how you think the 3rd, 7th and 9th amendments to the Constitution are being blatantly violated?

I mean, I asked that when I first put the story in the queue and didn't get any good answers but maybe you have some, I'm a patient guy.

Call Donald Rumsfeld and tell him our sorry asses are ready to go home. Tell him to come spend a night in our building. - Pfc. Matthew C. O'Dell

[ Parent ]
There's no problem, Comrade (none / 2) (#322)
by John Asscroft on Sun Jan 11, 2004 at 01:19:06 PM EST

The Constitution means what I say it means. Nothing more. If you disagree, you're probably a terrorist sympathizer and the FBI has a file open on you right this minute, waiting for the order to round up all the terrorist sympathizers.

Yours in Christ,
John Asscroft, Attorney General, United States of America


We must destroy freedom to save it from the terrorists who want to destroy freedom. Else the terrorists have won.
[ Parent ]

Why only the amendmants (none / 0) (#313)
by whazat on Sun Jan 11, 2004 at 07:36:58 AM EST

Why not analyse the whole constitution?

[ Parent ]
free speech more protected now than ever (2.50 / 6) (#295)
by kalin on Sat Jan 10, 2004 at 09:34:34 PM EST

First ammendment scholar Eugene Volokh recently wrote a fantastic article about the myth that free speech is being eroded. He points out (as some have only partly done here, quoting Zinn) that for much of America's history it was argued that the first ammendment only forbade laws dealing with prior restraints. However, court interpretations in the early part of the twentieth century have broadened protection of speech. In fact Volokh notes that from a legal perspective speech is actually more comprehensively protected now than it ever has been in the past.
In the late 1700s, it wasn't even clear whether the First Amendment covered criminal punishment for politically incorrect speech. Many people argued that it applied only to "prior restraints," such as injunctions or prepublication censorship rule. Laws criminalizing speech after it's published, the argument went, were perfectly constitutional -- even if, for instance, the laws banned criticism of the government. Only in the 1930s was it firmly settled that the First Amendment protects speech against criminal punishment.
One may not agree with some of the restrictions that are placed on speech today, but it is erroneous to claim that the bill of rights has less force today.

Timeline (3.00 / 5) (#296)
by felixrayman on Sat Jan 10, 2004 at 09:40:48 PM EST

It clearly has less force today than it did 3 years ago, to argue otherwise would be dangerously naive.

Call Donald Rumsfeld and tell him our sorry asses are ready to go home. Tell him to come spend a night in our building. - Pfc. Matthew C. O'Dell

[ Parent ]
one thing (none / 1) (#302)
by Eight Star on Sat Jan 10, 2004 at 11:13:39 PM EST

I'd just like to point out that the Militia Movement and other right wingers have been aware for years that the Constitution and Bill of Rights were regularly being ignored. If you're on the left and you think it's just the neocons doing this, then you're part of the problem.

Cuts both ways (none / 1) (#338)
by dcheesi on Mon Jan 12, 2004 at 10:30:11 AM EST

True, but I also notice that they've been quiet since Bush entered office. Maybe they don't mind the police state so much as long as it enforces their ideas?? (present company excluded, I'm sure...)

The fact is that everyone is blind to injustice until affects them. It's just human nature, and neither side of the political spectrum is immune.

[ Parent ]

Militia Movement Tracker (none / 1) (#347)
by cirbaris on Mon Jan 12, 2004 at 02:02:46 PM EST

Hmmm...could you perhaps give me some references for your idea that Militia participants and other far-right-wingers have been quiet since Bush came into office? I would tender the opinion that it is your suditory system that is faulty. Here are some links.

www.infowars.com
www.michaelsavage.com
www.keepandbeararms.com
www.policestatedaily.com

From these I'm sure you can find more.

HtB
ACADEME, n. An ancient school where morality and philosophy were taught. ACADEMY, n. [from ACADEME] A modern school where football is taught.
[ Parent ]

what good is a Constitution? (1.75 / 4) (#307)
by dh003i on Sat Jan 10, 2004 at 11:56:34 PM EST

Quite frankly, all these documents of paper are perfectly and completely worthless, since it is the very same State that they are supposed to restrain that interpret them.

Social Security is a pyramid scam.

The problem with the Bill of Rights (none / 2) (#316)
by John Thompson on Sun Jan 11, 2004 at 09:26:20 AM EST

is that is exists as amendments to the constitution. As the history of the 18th amendment shows, they can conceivably be revoked completely at any time.

Well, duh! (none / 2) (#327)
by Xenophon Fenderson, the Carbon(d)ated on Sun Jan 11, 2004 at 05:02:14 PM EST

The whole Constitution is subject to amendment, as described in Article 5 and demonstrated by the 14th Amendment.



--
Rev. Dr. Xenophon Fenderson, the Carbon(d)ated, KSC, mhm21x16, and the Patron Saint of All Things Plastic fnord
I'm proud of my Northern Tibetian heritage!
[ Parent ]
USE and EU political regimes... (none / 1) (#320)
by johwsun on Sun Jan 11, 2004 at 12:35:12 PM EST

Dear friends, if EU and USA do not repsect our voting rights, and the only think they do is to calls us every four year to elect a dictator government , how do you expect for them to respect our human rights?

The source of our human rights is our vote, if they do not respect our vote, they do not respect our human rights too.

Hitler's regime was Republic, Hitler was also an elected president.  Dont you ever forget that!

In a real Democracy... (1.25 / 4) (#321)
by johwsun on Sun Jan 11, 2004 at 12:44:13 PM EST

We have three rules.

1) Respect the result of the ballots.
2) Respect the vote of every citizen.
3) And the graph paranomon. (Have a loog at Athenian Democracy)

The human rights are tottaly respected in a real democracy, as a result of the second rule.

If you tottaly respect the vote of your fellow citizen, you are not allowed for example to kill him, or to do actions that will lead him to death, for example let him die of hunger.

Human rignts are not tottaly respected only in a war period. But even then, have an example of what happens from Athenian Democracy.
Only those who will go to war, shall have the right to vote for the war to start or not!
In a real democracy you have citizen who fight for their freedom to vote, not merceneries like we have today in both USA and EU regimes.

[ Parent ]

Hunger in a Democracy... (none / 3) (#344)
by cirbaris on Mon Jan 12, 2004 at 01:44:01 PM EST

If you tottaly respect the vote of your fellow citizen, you are not allowed for example to kill him, or to do actions that will lead him to death, for example let him die of hunger

This notion is just plain silly. First of all, one is not allowed to murder because the people of the democracy recognize that murder is detrimental to our common goals. We kill others (citizens and otherwise) for all sorts of reasons, and yet we do not do so to deny him/her a vote. We kill them because they are offensive to us in some way, good or bad. Secondly, we allow all sorts of actions that lead to death like unhealthy food, smoking, riding in automobiles, skydiving, and positting ourselves in front of computers for many hours at a time. I'm glad you are compelled to help the needy, but don't grant false attributes to democracy.

HtB
ACADEME, n. An ancient school where morality and philosophy were taught. ACADEMY, n. [from ACADEME] A modern school where football is taught.
[ Parent ]

No my friend, your notion is the plain silly one.. (none / 3) (#356)
by johwsun on Tue Jan 13, 2004 at 07:25:38 AM EST

This notion is just plain silly. First of all, one is not allowed to murder because the people of the democracy recognize that murder is detrimental to our common goals. In a real democracy you cannot kill the other, simply because the dead person cannot vote. The fact that you respect the life of the other person it is simply because you respect his vote and you dont want to take from him the right to vote. If the dead person could vote, then you are allowed to kill him...

[ Parent ]
if you dont understand me, please ask me again. (none / 0) (#357)
by johwsun on Tue Jan 13, 2004 at 07:29:03 AM EST

English is not my native language, so I think this may cause our misundertanding..

[ Parent ]
If Democracy is your religion the you cant kill (none / 1) (#361)
by johwsun on Tue Jan 13, 2004 at 12:16:57 PM EST

You can kill another person, only if you can PROOVE that there is life after death, so this person will not lose his voting rights by your killing action.
But if you kill a person, for whatever reason, and then you ask him to vote for something, and you dont get a reply vote from him, the you are a cruel murderer, and Democracy is not your religion anymore.
In case you are a murderer, it is fair for society to put you into a jail, but still it is not fair to take your voting rights away from you. So even the people into the jail have their voting rights.

...this is just another explanation. Hope you can now understand me.

[ Parent ]

You kill others? then you are not a democracy (none / 2) (#358)
by johwsun on Tue Jan 13, 2004 at 07:33:32 AM EST

We kill others (citizens and otherwise) for all sorts of reasons, and yet we do not do so to deny him/her a vote. We kill them because they are offensive to us in some way, good or bad. Secondly, we allow all sorts of actions that lead to death like unhealthy food, smoking, riding in automobiles, skydiving, and positting ourselves in front of computers for many hours at a time. I'm glad you are compelled to help the needy, but don't grant false attributes to democracy.

In a real democracy none can kill the other. This is the reason why Satan is still alive. And the reason we, the dead democrat sheep, want him alive.



[ Parent ]

In a real democracy, deads are voting... (none / 1) (#359)
by johwsun on Tue Jan 13, 2004 at 07:47:56 AM EST

Thats the reason we allowed even to satan to have a vote in our knowledge tree, in paradise.
By using this vote satan fooled humans like you, took the majority of the spirits and destroyed our paradise community by casting stupid bad vote in the knowledge tree.

But remember..satan destroyed our paradise community, but not our knowledge tree!
Because our knowledge tree, is protected by God.

I hope I convinced you that, in a real democracy, the reason you are not allowed to kill the other, it is simply because this will take from him the right of vote.

[ Parent ]

some actions are 100% death actions... (none / 1) (#360)
by johwsun on Tue Jan 13, 2004 at 08:17:06 AM EST

..some others are not. I am talking about actions that are forced to people and that are causing people to die. You know what are those actions. There is a difference between starving, and starving to death.

The actions you are describing (unhealthy food, smoking, riding in automobiles, skydiving, and positting ourselves in front of computers for many hours at a time) are actions that everyone is free to do them, or not to do them.

No one is forsing you to smoke, ride automobiles e.t.c. and of course it insane your quote "riding an automobile is considered as a death action" . It is not an action by another, it is something YOU decide to do it, and of course it is not deadly.

[ Parent ]

Hint (none / 1) (#333)
by snatmandu on Mon Jan 12, 2004 at 03:30:19 AM EST

It's customary, when claiming "I'm not making this up" to provide a cite.

Kinda creates a veneer of respectability.

War trumps all other considerations, unfortunately (2.80 / 5) (#339)
by dcheesi on Mon Jan 12, 2004 at 10:44:09 AM EST

The Bill of Rights has always been contested and negotiated. Each generation reinterprets the amendments for its own benefit/comfort-level. This is nothing new.

The problem right now is that Dubya is using 9/11 to artifically keep the country on a war footing --wherein basic rights in this country are traditionally put on hold, for good or ill. Usually these measures are reversed once the threat is over; the danger as always is that this time they won't be. Only time will tell. Of course, since this "war" is against the mere idea of an elusive threat, rather than an identifiable enemy... well, I'll let you draw your own conclusions.

Let's not forget #3! (none / 1) (#346)
by nlscb on Mon Jan 12, 2004 at 02:02:07 PM EST

No soldier shall, in time of peace be quartered in any house, without the consent of the owner, nor in time of war, but in a manner to be prescribed by law. I sure hate it when Marines crash at my place.

Comment Search has returned - Like a beaten wife, I am pathetically grateful. - mr strange

sources should be cited. (none / 0) (#365)
by naught on Tue Jan 13, 2004 at 05:43:55 PM EST

it's easier on those of us who prefer to know who actually *wrote* the piece, rather than the person who cribbed it together from other people's writings. yes it's quoted, but no source is given.

section 1, btw, was by james bovard, and © dec 15 2003 by the american conservative.

--
"extension of knowledge is the root of all virtue" -- confucius.

You know... (none / 0) (#389)
by Morimoto Masaharu on Sun Jan 18, 2004 at 09:34:54 PM EST

These articles are really ineffective. These amendments are all important. Well, except maybe for #3. I am unimpressed by your argument.
«This is Mr. Yoshida on your favorite vegetables.»
What Good is the Bill of Rights? | 389 comments (358 topical, 31 editorial, 1 hidden)
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