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BS: Constitutional Guarantees

Related threads:
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BS: Got Rights? Not For Long! (28) (closed)
BS: USA PATRIOT Act (Part 2) (51) (closed)
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BS: TIPS program/Homeland Security? (23) (closed)
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Don Firth 19 Feb 03 - 01:20 PM
GUEST,Forum Lurker 19 Feb 03 - 01:35 PM
Amos 19 Feb 03 - 01:52 PM
DougR 19 Feb 03 - 03:46 PM
Amos 19 Feb 03 - 03:51 PM
GUEST,Forum Lurker 19 Feb 03 - 04:23 PM
Don Firth 19 Feb 03 - 04:33 PM
Greg F. 19 Feb 03 - 04:36 PM
Oldguy 19 Feb 03 - 04:51 PM
Don Firth 19 Feb 03 - 05:23 PM
beadie 19 Feb 03 - 05:25 PM
GUEST 19 Feb 03 - 05:35 PM
Oldguy 19 Feb 03 - 05:48 PM
Amos 19 Feb 03 - 06:35 PM
artbrooks 19 Feb 03 - 07:19 PM
GUEST,Forum Lurker 19 Feb 03 - 08:14 PM
beadie 19 Feb 03 - 08:35 PM
Cornflake 19 Feb 03 - 09:34 PM
Forum Lurker 19 Feb 03 - 10:34 PM
NicoleC 20 Feb 03 - 12:48 AM
GUEST 20 Feb 03 - 01:06 AM
NicoleC 20 Feb 03 - 01:43 AM
GUEST,The Hated Guest 20 Feb 03 - 03:02 AM
Troll 20 Feb 03 - 03:06 AM
Greg F. 20 Feb 03 - 09:57 AM
Amos 20 Feb 03 - 10:45 AM
Mark Clark 20 Feb 03 - 11:28 AM
NicoleC 20 Feb 03 - 12:23 PM
Don Firth 20 Feb 03 - 01:09 PM
Bobert 20 Feb 03 - 01:55 PM
Mark Clark 20 Feb 03 - 03:18 PM
Troll 20 Feb 03 - 03:38 PM
Kim C 20 Feb 03 - 03:47 PM
Greg F. 20 Feb 03 - 05:42 PM
Forum Lurker 20 Feb 03 - 05:50 PM
Bobert 20 Feb 03 - 06:52 PM
Forum Lurker 20 Feb 03 - 08:36 PM
Barry Finn 20 Feb 03 - 09:20 PM
Bobert 20 Feb 03 - 09:32 PM
Forum Lurker 20 Feb 03 - 09:54 PM
Don Firth 20 Feb 03 - 10:40 PM
NicoleC 20 Feb 03 - 10:52 PM
Forum Lurker 20 Feb 03 - 11:09 PM
Bobert 20 Feb 03 - 11:20 PM
Forum Lurker 20 Feb 03 - 11:23 PM
Deckman 21 Feb 03 - 07:37 AM
Mark Clark 21 Feb 03 - 11:52 AM
Cornflake 21 Feb 03 - 07:45 PM
Don Firth 22 Feb 03 - 03:27 PM
Cornflake 22 Feb 03 - 07:18 PM
Bobert 22 Feb 03 - 07:54 PM
Don Firth 24 Feb 03 - 02:20 PM
Kim C 24 Feb 03 - 05:16 PM
Forum Lurker 24 Feb 03 - 05:30 PM
GUEST,The Dreaded Guest 24 Feb 03 - 05:43 PM
GUEST,The Dreaded Guest 24 Feb 03 - 05:58 PM
Forum Lurker 24 Feb 03 - 07:58 PM
Bobert 24 Feb 03 - 08:27 PM
GUEST,The Dreaded Guest 24 Feb 03 - 11:45 PM
Forum Lurker 25 Feb 03 - 12:12 AM
Troll 25 Feb 03 - 12:16 AM
Forum Lurker 25 Feb 03 - 12:25 AM
GUEST,The Dreaded Guest 25 Feb 03 - 12:35 AM
Don Firth 25 Feb 03 - 12:41 PM
GUEST,The Dreaded Guest 25 Feb 03 - 12:57 PM
GUEST,The Dreaded Guest 25 Feb 03 - 12:59 PM
Don Firth 25 Feb 03 - 01:04 PM
GUEST,The Dreaded Guest 25 Feb 03 - 02:28 PM
Kim C 25 Feb 03 - 02:29 PM
Don Firth 25 Feb 03 - 06:25 PM
Bobert 25 Feb 03 - 06:54 PM
Forum Lurker 25 Feb 03 - 07:31 PM
GUEST,The Dreaded Guest 25 Feb 03 - 07:57 PM
Don Firth 25 Feb 03 - 08:10 PM
GUEST,The Dreaded Guest 25 Feb 03 - 08:11 PM
Forum Lurker 25 Feb 03 - 09:01 PM
Troll 25 Feb 03 - 11:07 PM
Forum Lurker 26 Feb 03 - 12:07 AM
DougR 26 Feb 03 - 02:07 AM
JennyO 26 Feb 03 - 06:50 AM
Greg F. 26 Feb 03 - 08:18 AM
GUEST,The Dreaded Guest 26 Feb 03 - 01:12 PM
Don Firth 26 Feb 03 - 02:25 PM
Bobert 26 Feb 03 - 03:44 PM
GUEST,The Dreaded Guest 26 Feb 03 - 03:56 PM
DougR 27 Feb 03 - 01:50 AM
GUEST,The Dreaded Guest 27 Feb 03 - 12:02 PM
DougR 27 Feb 03 - 01:24 PM
GUEST,The Dreaded Guest 27 Feb 03 - 01:46 PM
GUEST,Forum Lurker 27 Feb 03 - 02:22 PM
GUEST,The Dreaded Guest 27 Feb 03 - 02:32 PM
Don Firth 27 Feb 03 - 03:11 PM
GUEST,The Dreaded Guest 27 Feb 03 - 07:18 PM
Forum Lurker 27 Feb 03 - 07:41 PM
GUEST,The Dreaded Guest 27 Feb 03 - 08:04 PM
Forum Lurker 27 Feb 03 - 09:15 PM
Don Firth 01 Mar 03 - 03:18 PM
Greg F. 05 Mar 03 - 09:54 AM
Don Firth 05 Mar 03 - 07:27 PM
Mark Clark 05 Mar 03 - 07:37 PM
Forum Lurker 05 Mar 03 - 07:51 PM
Don Firth 05 Mar 03 - 08:58 PM
Forum Lurker 05 Mar 03 - 09:13 PM
Bobert 05 Mar 03 - 09:34 PM
Forum Lurker 05 Mar 03 - 09:44 PM
GUEST,Dreaded Guest 05 Mar 03 - 10:00 PM
Bobert 05 Mar 03 - 10:16 PM
Forum Lurker 06 Mar 03 - 12:28 AM
GUEST,Dreaded Guest 06 Mar 03 - 02:31 AM

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Subject: BS: Constitutional Guarantees
From: Don Firth
Date: 19 Feb 03 - 01:20 PM

I start this thread with reluctance, because there are already too many threads about the situations that we find ourselves in with Iraq and North Korea. It's my intention that this thread be confined in its subject to the question of internal security within the United States and the matter of the Patriot Act, the pending Patriot Act II, and Homeland Security legislation and its possible implications. Those who have read my comments on other threads will know that I am deeply concerned about the current status of the Constitution and its future.

I am currently listening to a locally produced discussion on my local NPR affiliate about the pending Patriot Act II, and I must admit that I am appalled. Yet, there are hopeful signs in today's newspapers—at least, in the Seattle Times. One story is about airport security concerns HERE. And the other is about a Seattle City Council resolution HERE.

I am curious to know: are there similar expressions of concern in other cities and communities in the United States? I would like to think so. It reassures me that I am not the only one who is concerned about the erosion of the Constitution that has taken place recently.

By the way, if anyone has any doubts about what the Founding Fathers had in mind when they drafted the Constitution, THIS website contains quotes from a number of people, including a couple from said FFs. Better still: get a copy of the Constitution and read it. Perhaps one quote (not from the Constitution, but it seems to sum up the general thrust of the Bill of Rights) comes from Benjamin Franklin:—
Those willing to give up a little liberty for a little security deserve neither security nor liberty.
Please, let us not use this thread to talk about Iraq and North Korea. Let's confine it to matters of our Constitutional guarantees.

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: BS: Constitutional Guarantees
From: GUEST,Forum Lurker
Date: 19 Feb 03 - 01:35 PM

I applaud the Seattle city council. It's good to know that somewhere in the country are elected officials whe are genuinely concerned with their constituents' well-being. Unfortunately, such expressions are rather rare. I haven't seen a single one in Minnesota.


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Subject: RE: BS: Constitutional Guarantees
From: Amos
Date: 19 Feb 03 - 01:52 PM

ACLU has an excellent paper on this issue, Don, called "Bigger Monster, Weaker Chains", which examines several aspects of the erosion of consitutional provisions and their ramifications in the face of accelerating technologies of surveillance. It is probably available at their web site, or I can send you a copy if you PM me an email address. Or anyone else who wants one.

A


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Subject: RE: BS: Constitutional Guarantees
From: DougR
Date: 19 Feb 03 - 03:46 PM

Don: I was just so bloody pleased to see that the thread was started by a real live Mudcat member. I truly expected to see "Guest" when I tuned in.

Not to worry about the Patriot Act Don. If it passes, and is signed into law there will be ample safeguards built in.

DougR


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Subject: RE: BS: Constitutional Guarantees
From: Amos
Date: 19 Feb 03 - 03:51 PM

Doug:

I don't thiiiiink so!


A


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Subject: RE: BS: Constitutional Guarantees
From: GUEST,Forum Lurker
Date: 19 Feb 03 - 04:23 PM

Yeah, DougR, like the ample safeguards built into the first one.


Oh, wait. That's right. There weren't any.


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Subject: RE: BS: Constitutional Guarantees
From: Don Firth
Date: 19 Feb 03 - 04:33 PM

Doug, I want to see those safeguards in print. My understanding is that these supposed national security acts do not contain "sunset clauses," and at the points were they appear to, the time limit is unspecific enough to allow them to stay in force indefinitely. Not good enough!

Eternal vigilance is the price of freedom. And that means here at home, too. Tyranny can crawl in through the tiniest of cracks, as Germany learned in 1933. Once in the history of the world is more than enough.

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: BS: Constitutional Guarantees
From: Greg F.
Date: 19 Feb 03 - 04:36 PM

Yup, just like the safeguards built into the Dies Committee and Attorney General A. Mitchell Palmer's activities.

Come to think of it, Ashcroft is a worthy successor to the Palmer legacy.


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Subject: RE: BS: Constitutional Guarantees
From: Oldguy
Date: 19 Feb 03 - 04:51 PM

I think it says in the Constitution that Congress has the right pass these acts.

The people can control Congress by voting for whomever they want to represent then in Congress.

If someone is unsatisfied with the acts, why don't they get a petition together and get the majority of the people in their area to sign it and present it to their representative? They can't ignore it.

I am satisfied with these acts but if the majority of the citizens are against them I will go with the majority.

Old Guy


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Subject: RE: BS: Constitutional Guarantees
From: Don Firth
Date: 19 Feb 03 - 05:23 PM

Could you cite where the Constitution says this?

Don Firth
(I will be off-line for awhile, but I will check back with my copy of the Constitution in hand.)


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Subject: RE: BS: Constitutional Guarantees
From: beadie
Date: 19 Feb 03 - 05:25 PM

Old Guy:

True, Congress can pass any act it wants to, and the President might even sign it. But, the right of the Courts, particularly the Supreme Court, to declare an act as being counter to the meaning and intent of the Constitution has been accepted law since the Presidency of Thomas Jefferson as defined by Chief Justice John Marshall in the case of Marbury vs Madison.

Just because Congress passes it don't make it right or consitutional.

Still, the basic premiss of your post is accurate and admirable, . . . . vote the suckers out who won't listen to the people instead of the monied special interests and the almighty party.


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Subject: RE: BS: Constitutional Guarantees
From: GUEST
Date: 19 Feb 03 - 05:35 PM

This link has a prepared resolution like the one probably passed in Seattle:

Resolution

If you go to that page, at the top, there's a CLICK HERE link with info on cities which HAVE passed or are CONSIDERING passage of the anti-PATRIOT Act resolutions. Basically, local govts are sending notice to the feds that the local cops will not go along with the un-Constitutional actions outlined in the PATRIOT Act. Lots of links on the second page.


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Subject: RE: BS: Constitutional Guarantees
From: Oldguy
Date: 19 Feb 03 - 05:48 PM

beadie:

I think the declaration thing is under test right now. Someone is suing George Bush for not declaring war.

If there is anything wrong with the election process it is election money from big business, lobbyists and special interest groups.

If there is any one part of the constitution that must be preserved at all costs it is the right to bear arms.

It seems to me that the anti war protestors are of the same ilk as the "outlaw guns" group. I doubt that all of them are but I am under the impression that most of them are. I think that impression of them also tends to isolate them.

Old Guy


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Subject: RE: BS: Constitutional Guarantees
From: Amos
Date: 19 Feb 03 - 06:35 PM

The right to unhindered free assembly and open free communication is even more vital than the right to bear arms, IMHO!!


A


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Subject: RE: BS: Constitutional Guarantees
From: artbrooks
Date: 19 Feb 03 - 07:19 PM

According to the Bill of Rights, the right to "keep and bear arms" is in the context of the need to have "a well regulated militia." Title 10 US Code, Part A.I.13.311 defines "militia," and distinguishes between the "organized" and "unorganized" militia. Since, IMHO, unorganized is inconsistent with well-regulated, it would be reasonable to consider that the 2nd Amendment only applies to those in the organized militia. This is specifically defined as: the organized militia, which consists of the National Guard and the Naval Militia...so, if you want to "keep and bear arms", go join the Guard!


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Subject: RE: BS: Constitutional Guarantees
From: GUEST,Forum Lurker
Date: 19 Feb 03 - 08:14 PM

The Constitution is quite clear on what constitutes a "well-regulated militia." It means an armed force run by the state, not the federal government. This is exactly what the National Guard was intended to be. If you feel that the Guard is overly influenced by the federal government, that's an issue for you to take up with your senator. It doesn't give you the right to constitute your own militia.


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Subject: RE: BS: Constitutional Guarantees
From: beadie
Date: 19 Feb 03 - 08:35 PM

Personally, I support the right to keep and arm bears.

And, Old Guy, you may be right about the gun banners being among the group. But, I have also noted that there are representatives from damn near every single-issue political cadre out there demonstrating (at least here in the midwest). I've seen right-to-lifers and pro-choicers (not necessarily standing real close to one another, but they're there). There have been VPs from corporate America and folks showing up on their way home from the unemployment office. Students and city truck drivers. I think that this threatened war has (as was the case in many of the later Vietnam protests) made some very strange bedfellows, indeed.

I expect that you are also correct in saying that someone is suing the Pres. for waging an undeclared war. Unfortunately, the political forces on the Courts, while not as evident and easily read (save for the 2000 case of electile dysfunction), do have an effect and have done so in every case since the War Powers act was passed when presidents went ahead without the benefit of Congressional a mandate.

Fact is, I think that WW II was the last formally declared war, and how many "conflicts," "police actions," and "rescue missions" have we been in since? I imagine that every one of them, at least since the end of the VN war, caused someone enough distress to get them to file a suit against "the Man." And all were thrown out by courts that were unwilling to challenge the President, even if they may have believed privately that the suits had merit.


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Subject: RE: BS: Constitutional Guarantees
From: Cornflake
Date: 19 Feb 03 - 09:34 PM

As a long-time ACLU-er, I certainly agree that there is cause for concern. Not to start a ruckus, but liberals and conservatives alike who care about the constitution are troubled by the idea that one individual (i.e., Mr. Bush) can start a war...a notion as foreign to the drafters of our Constitution as is imaginable. And that's before we get to individual rights. It's going to be a challenging time if you care about civil liberties.


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Subject: RE: BS: Constitutional Guarantees
From: Forum Lurker
Date: 19 Feb 03 - 10:34 PM

The part that troubles me about it is that congress is explicitly ceding its rights to the executive branch. Given how many states' rights have already been ceded to the federal government, there's a lot more power in one person than was ever envisioned by the framers, and I'm tempted to say more than in any other true democracy in history.


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Subject: RE: BS: Constitutional Guarantees
From: NicoleC
Date: 20 Feb 03 - 12:48 AM

(BTW, glad to see you registered, too, Lurker.)

My new mantra -- Less representation, more democracy!


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Subject: RE: BS: Constitutional Guarantees
From: GUEST
Date: 20 Feb 03 - 01:06 AM

NicoleC how about---less taxation, less representation, more democracy.
When the Constitution was penned, the militia was every able-bodied freeholder. There was no state military save those regiments raised for the purpose of defense and they had a limited life (one year?)The Founding Fathers could not have meant something like the National Guard since no such thing existed. The "well regulated" part simply meant that they had some simple structure and met a few times a year to drill and elect- yes, elect- new officers if it was deemed necessary.
I never cease to be amazed at the way people will try to take away everyones guns while waxing poetic about the right of free speech. Do they think that one article of the Bill of Rights is more important than another?
If the Second goes, how long before the First follows?

troll


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Subject: RE: BS: Constitutional Guarantees
From: NicoleC
Date: 20 Feb 03 - 01:43 AM

Well, Troll, I'm not in favor of outlawing guns. I do think, however, that folks who try to interpret the 2nd Amendment as being carte blanche to own as many guns as you can afford are not worried so much about civil liberties as they are about trying to keep the guns they own. Guess which key phrase of the second amendment is always left out of "quotations" of the amendment by the NRA?

I personally agree with the organized militia interpretation. But I see no reason why any law abiding group can't form their own militia, provided it meets the test of being well organized.

If it were up to me (and it isn't)...

I view gun ownership as a public safety issue as well as a civil liberty issue. Hence, I would require a safety test and license much like a driver's license. You can own a car without having a license to drive one in public -- and you can drive it on your own private property without a license. Unlike cars, however, guns can easily pass the threshold of public property (and kill in the process, even accidentally) and can be easily hidden, so they have to be treated a bit differently in the interest of public safety.

Take a safety course, pass the test, get the license, and then it's not any business of the government how many or what kinds of guns you own, excepting those models which are clearly a public safety hazard. (Fully automatic machines guns come to mind.) A court can revoke your license if you are convicted of a violent crime, which is a clear example of being in the public interest. Otherwise... I gotta side with the concept that it's just not a power that the government should hold in a free society to relatively arbitrarily decide who can anc cannot own a gun of whatever type.

Most liberals will disagree with me, but I daresay most responsible gun owners would be delighted with the safety license requirement, because it seems like they take all the flack everytime some idiot leaves a gun out where his 10 year old can get to it.

But to me, there's no justification for denying the priviledge of gun ownership, save that which is clearly and explicitly in the public interest.

(And I'm in favor of a non-progressive, non-regressive, flat tax for everyone above the poverty level for ANY kind of income with no deductions, but that's another philosophical discussion.)


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Subject: RE: BS: Constitutional Guarantees
From: GUEST,The Hated Guest
Date: 20 Feb 03 - 03:02 AM

The well-regulated militia in my area is all adults. When the sheriff calls for deputies, we have to be ready to respond. Civic duty. That is what the framers of the Constitution meant. Nothing more, nothing less. Citizen army capable of fighting off a threat...which requires ownership of guns. So you keep guns secured and ready for use and go about your life, and no one would dare invade with a military AND a fall-back of fully-armed citizens. Perfect.


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Subject: RE: BS: Constitutional Guarantees
From: Troll
Date: 20 Feb 03 - 03:06 AM

NicoleC, cars kill many more people than guns do each year in this country but your point is well taken.
I'm in favor of a national sales tax myself.
Hated Guest, works for me.

troll


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Subject: RE: BS: Constitutional Guarantees
From: Greg F.
Date: 20 Feb 03 - 09:57 AM

Yessiree, Troll, glad you used the car analogy. Very apt.

Each and every vehicle has to be registered and insured, meet minimum satety and mechanical requirements thru periodic inspections, and can legally be operated only by licensed individuals meeting minimum standards.

If the US applied even half the amount of care to those allowed to possess firearms as it does to motor vehicle, it wouldnt have the higest firearm death rare per capita in the world.

Best, Greg


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Subject: RE: BS: Constitutional Guarantees
From: Amos
Date: 20 Feb 03 - 10:45 AM

The far more critical issue is the general transmogrification of the nation from a sane political footing...the core provisions of the Constitution and Bill of Rights...to a kind of corporate sledgehammer managed by those who treat it like a corporate office replete with interoffice politics, sneaky power manipulations and rules based on the sole criterion of profit, having no endurance otherwise. That is the disgrace we've been led into by the high-level immorality we laughingly call leadership, and it is truly disgusting in its fetid ignorance and its ham-handed self-serving dramatizations.

That's my opinion, anyway.


A


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Subject: RE: BS: Constitutional Guarantees
From: Mark Clark
Date: 20 Feb 03 - 11:28 AM

Okay, this is going to sound really stupid but I'm going to ask the question anyway.

The U.S. Constitution, which includes the ammendments known as The Bill of Rights, has—as far as I know—no provision for passing laws that are in conflict with it. A change in the constitution requires a formal process of ammendment. Of course laws do get passed that conflict with the Constitution and when these become subject to judicial review they generally get struck down. Of course judge's interpretation of the intent of the Constitution can vary, especially if there is no legal precedent to guide them. Still, Supreme Court judges write lengthy opinions on their decisions that are based upon defensible legal arguments, not simply political philosophy. Even a conservative justice is capable of writing an opinion that goes against conservative interests if that is where the legal arguments lead him. Eisenhower discovered this after appointing Earl Warren. I have no doubt that liberal justices have written opinions in opposition to liberal interests as well.

Why, then, should we believe that the judiciary is now so broken that it can no longer be counted on to recognize when a law is unconstitutional? Do we now believe that the Supreme Court Justices have lost all integrity?

Just asking.

      - Mark


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Subject: RE: BS: Constitutional Guarantees
From: NicoleC
Date: 20 Feb 03 - 12:23 PM

Because:

1) Judiciary positions are political appointees. They've become political animals instead of the objective thoughtful judges we need, and the more we have who use the judiciary as a pulpit to perpetuate their personal political opinion in order to advance their career.

2) The Supreme Court, being a lifetime appointment, is supposed to free judges from political pressure -- but in order to get there, they are already affected by point #1. In addition, the S.C. does not make all judgements of Constitutional law, it is merely the court with the most authority, and as such only reviews Constitutional questions.

3) The courts don't get to review every law -- only those which go through the judiciary process.

4) Because the US is under common law, the precedent of those opinions is as important as the law itself. So if an unconstitutional law gets upheld by a court for political reasons, it will be perpetuated. Under common law, the law is a living entity that can slowly evolve with the times and public opinion -- for better or worse.

In theory, yes, the courts will strike down an unconstitutional law. And frequently, they do. But often these political hot potatoes are upheld until long after the damage is done -- like the internship of Japanese-Americans during WWII and Lincoln's military courts.

On the car/gun thing, I agree. We license cars for safety because they are deadly items. Unlike guns, however, another car driver on the road at least has safety devices to protect him from poorly-driven cars or accidents.

It's true that people use guns to commit crimes, but more people die of accidental gun deaths than criminal activity. Why do we give carte blanche to anyone to own a gun without taking reasonable precautions that they know how to treat it in a responsible manner? It's a positive action we can take that won't infringe on the rights of those who DO use guns in a thoughtful manner for recreation or self-defense.


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Subject: RE: BS: Constitutional Guarantees
From: Don Firth
Date: 20 Feb 03 - 01:09 PM

Article VI, paragraph 2 of the Constitution states the following:
This Constitution, and the laws of the United States which shall be made in pursuance thereof; and all treaties made, or which shall be made, under the authority of the United States, shall be the Supreme Law of the Land; and the judges in every State shall be bound thereby, anything in the constitution or laws of any State to the contrary notwithstanding.
Which is to say that any law passed by the Federal Government or any State legislature which is inconsistent with the Constitution is, by definition, unconstitutional, and therefore, not the supreme law of the land. It is the duty of the Supreme Court to determine if any given law or act meets the test of consistency.

I seriously question the integrity of some decisions made within recent years. One would hope that any given Supreme Court justice would have some regard for his or her place in history. One thing that should tend to keep them honest is that their opinions become part of the permanent record.   They should be very aware that history will judge them for their judgments.

Don Firth

P. S: Considering the heat usually generated by discussions of the Second Amendment, the intensity and volume with which people discuss it, the fact that this issue has been and will continue to be argued with great vigor—and—the fact that just about anything that can be said about it has already been said many times over, I'm afraid that if we use this thread to leap on this particular hobby horse and ride it to death, it will eclipse discussions of other, not so frequently discussed Constitutional issues which are especially important in the light of current events. Please?


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Subject: RE: BS: Constitutional Guarantees
From: Bobert
Date: 20 Feb 03 - 01:55 PM

Like I've pointed out on many occasions, this current Supreme Court and the one most surely following it with Bush appointing maybe two conservative judges will back Bush and the Repubs 5-4 until the cows come home!

Lets get real about this grave situation.

In these days when BUsh is blah-blah-blahing about carity and faith based initiatives, a good American born citizen could donate a blanket of coat to a group that Johnny Ashcroft doesn't like and this same good citizen could end up arrested and detained with out charges, or a lawyer and be thrown out of George Bush's America.

That is the reality. This is a horrible bill that every American, Repb, Dem, Green, Yellow of Blue should be against!

Anyone else beginning to think that Bush doesn't plan on giving back the country that he and his lawyers stole?

Hmmmmm?

Resist the shedding of the Bill of Rights, especially the 1st, 4th and 5th that are no under seige.

Bobert


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Subject: RE: BS: Constitutional Guarantees
From: Mark Clark
Date: 20 Feb 03 - 03:18 PM

I remain totally opposed to the PATRIOT Act and it's successor(s). I also remain opposed to the idea of having the Bushies in charge of anything whatever. I also agree that Supreme Court appointments are often politically motivated. But given all of that, I'm not sure I believe that individual Justices are without integrity.

Do the Bushies lack integrity? Of course, no question. Do most lawmakers lack integrity? So it would seem. Does that mean that the Supreme Court Justices won't uphold the U.S. Constitution? I'm not sure I think that necessarily follows.

Just as a lame-duck President works to mend his legacy and frame the historical view of his presidency, a Supreme Court Justice—whose name will be forgotton long before the President who appointed him—must define his historical legacy. That legacy must be defined in terms of the legal basis for his opinions as judged when the heat of petty political squables has long cooled. If SCJs aren't rememberd in the great law schools, they really served no purpose at all.

      - Mark


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Subject: RE: BS: Constitutional Guarantees
From: Troll
Date: 20 Feb 03 - 03:38 PM

GregF, I thought you'd like the car example. Now tell me this. If you kill someone with a gun you get 20 to life with no parole or maybe even the chair. Get likkered up and wipe out a family on the freeway and you get maybe 5 with time off for good behavior.
Why is that?
Is the fact that a car was the murder weapon more mitigating than if a gun was used? Are the victims any less dead? Is the murderer somehow less guilty than he would have been if an EVIL GUN was used instead of the good old comfortable family sedan.
Do the survivors say things like "Your kid was only run over by a Ford; my kid got hit by a MERCEDES. I don't feel nearly as threatened by my neighbors guns as I do by his driving that behemoth he calls a car when he's been drinking.
These are just my ramblings on a very complex subject, but I do wonder.

troll


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Subject: RE: BS: Constitutional Guarantees
From: Kim C
Date: 20 Feb 03 - 03:47 PM

I guess one has to define what is an "unreasonable" search and seizure.

Is it unreasonable for the airport to want me to put my purse in an x-ray machine? I don't suppose so. Is it unreasonable for them to take away someone's nail clippers? Well, really now, when was the last time you were threatened by someone with nail clippers?

Is it unreasonable for them to want to know what's in my luggage? I don't know. Hasn't Customs been doing that for years? Is it unreasonable for them to pull a vibrator from someone's luggage, hold it aloft in front of God & everybody, and make the owner turn it on to make sure it's not a detonation device? Well..... yeah, that seems a little unreasonable to me. Again, when was the last time you heard of someone blowing up a building with a sex toy? (no, this didn't happen to me, but a few months ago it was in the news as happening to at least one person)

I thought the quote about liberty requiring responsibility was an excellent one. Liberty does require responsibility as well as common sense. I think sometimes we lose sight of that.


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Subject: RE: BS: Constitutional Guarantees
From: Greg F.
Date: 20 Feb 03 - 05:42 PM

Because, Troll, the system is fucked up. This is news? The drunk in the car should get the 20 year sentance. Why not join one of the anti-drunk driving groups & help get the word out& get people educated?

None of which makes the approach to gun ownership any less irresponsible.

Best, Greg


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Subject: RE: BS: Constitutional Guarantees
From: Forum Lurker
Date: 20 Feb 03 - 05:50 PM

Troll, it's mostly because drunk driving is considered manslaughter. When someone deliberately runs someone over with their car, they get 20 to life. The fact that vehicular homicide gets fewer repeat offenders than first degree murder also plays a part. The court is less concerned that you will kill again (I'm not sure why, given the number of repeat offenses for drunk driving, but there you have it).


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Subject: RE: BS: Constitutional Guarantees
From: Bobert
Date: 20 Feb 03 - 06:52 PM

Mark:

I hope you're right. This Supreme Court is considered a "stick constructionist" court but they almost wrote law in deciding that Bush won the election in Bush v Gore in writing that Bush could be damaged by... ahhhhh... the truth. That one scared me. Talk about an activist court, that Bush complains about all the time. If it weren't for the activism of this Court, he'd be back in Texas.

That's why I'm seeing a lot of 5-4's. The first test will be Afirmative Action. Granted, it may have it's flaws, but for a Supreme Court to find justification to kill it, when it has been upheld in other courts would take a stretch on their part, something that strict construstionists generally don't do....

Bobert


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Subject: RE: BS: Constitutional Guarantees
From: Forum Lurker
Date: 20 Feb 03 - 08:36 PM

Not really that much of a stretch. The strict letter of the amendment prohibits ALL discrimination based on race, ethnicity, or skin color, doesn't it?


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Subject: RE: BS: Constitutional Guarantees
From: Barry Finn
Date: 20 Feb 03 - 09:20 PM

Unreasonable search & seizure is the way it sounds. If no real reason is presented to warrant a search then a search like this would be deemd unreasonable & a warrant not issued of signed off on. This amendment (along with some of our other amendments) has recently been torn up & tossed out with the morning after's trash without so much as a peep). I believe in the Patriot Act 2 this will be dealt with again. Under the new act no reason need be given, there is no one who has to authorize the warrant, it just happens no questions if it's for national security (another name for domestic spying). Also under this new act, if it happens, (I believe section 501)if one is found to have violated this act their citzenship (doesn't matter if you were born here or not) can be stripped. A person with no orgin & no citizenship cannot be deported to a place of non existence. This flies in the face of international law. The internet will be watched 24/7 (along with you & I) & nothing about you will be private anymore. Welcome to a dark new world. Barry


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Subject: RE: BS: Constitutional Guarantees
From: Bobert
Date: 20 Feb 03 - 09:32 PM

FL: It's just when the SC goes about overturning lower court decisions that raises the red flag. Strick interpretation is easy as pie, except that our nation of laws has bent and swayed to accomodate society's never ending needs. You are correct, Lurker, that, stricktly interprested, AA goes down. So does Roe v. Wade. And Miranda. And Brown v. Board of Eductaion... Where does it stop? And do we really want to live in that America?

Heck, the Founders could not possibly see 13 year olds going to school with assault rifels either.

It comes down to just how civilized a people we want to be. Sure, just about every SC decision for the last 100 years could be taken out but what kind of America would be left. Hmmmmmm?

Bobert


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Subject: RE: BS: Constitutional Guarantees
From: Forum Lurker
Date: 20 Feb 03 - 09:54 PM

How do Miranda and Brown v. Board of Education go down? They are both reiterations, not interpretations, of the rights guaranteed. As far as Roe v. Wade, the actual legal basis stated in the decision is not derivable from the Constitution, but the final decision can be. There is no guaranteed right to privacy, but there is a right not to have one's person interfered with. There are a lot of decisions which shoud remain, and just as many which shouldn't. Gideon, which guaranteed right to effective counsel, has been effectively overturned by decisions which stated that an attorney could be effective counsel if he was drunk or asleep in court. That could certainly be overturned. There are many things about the original framework that weren't so bad.


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Subject: RE: BS: Constitutional Guarantees
From: Don Firth
Date: 20 Feb 03 - 10:40 PM

"There is no guaranteed right to privacy. . . ." Well, I dunno, FL.
Amendment IV
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.
I have heard that statement before. Granted, the word "privacy" doesn't actually appear, but when you sum up the above stipulations, that looks like a guaranteed right to privacy to me. Do you know of any legal opinions or rulings that say otherwise? I'm curious.   

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: BS: Constitutional Guarantees
From: NicoleC
Date: 20 Feb 03 - 10:52 PM

Don, there are numerous court rulings starting in the 1800's that agree with your interpretation, and say exactly why -- namely that privacy is the end product of several amendments.

The courts continue to uphold "privacy" as an essential component to the guarentee of liberty in the 14th Amendment -- the question is simply, how much liberty, and in relation to what activities.

And an article on the subject from those fine folks at FindLaw.


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Subject: RE: BS: Constitutional Guarantees
From: Forum Lurker
Date: 20 Feb 03 - 11:09 PM

That is the current interpretation, and one which has been fairly popular in the past. However, it only actually provides the right not to have one's property searched or eized without probable cause. It says nothing whatsoever about communications privacy. While it can, and certainly will, be argued that letters are a form of possession, it's not quite so definite when it comes to electronic media. There have been no legal rulings stating that electronic communications are not guaranteed inviolable yet, but the case could easily be made. Only those rights which are explicitly guaranteed are solid, and even then, an amendment can overturn them.


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Subject: RE: BS: Constitutional Guarantees
From: Bobert
Date: 20 Feb 03 - 11:20 PM

Yo, FL. You have used "current interpretation" twice in you rebuttals. I rest my case....

Bobert

Hmmmmmmm? "Current interpretations"???????????


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Subject: RE: BS: Constitutional Guarantees
From: Forum Lurker
Date: 20 Feb 03 - 11:23 PM

Just because the last time a Supreme Court heard a case, the final decision went one way, doesn't set that interpretation in stone. Courts have reversed ach other, and on occasion, themselves.


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Subject: RE: BS: Constitutional Guarantees
From: Deckman
Date: 21 Feb 03 - 07:37 AM

Don ... There you go again, trying to cause me to think! I sure wish you would stop it. This is all reminding me of what we went through in the fifties with the McCarthy hearings and the communist witch hunts. To me, Ashcroft IS VERY scary. Especially when you look at his Pentecostal background. CHEERS, Bob


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Subject: RE: BS: Constitutional Guarantees
From: Mark Clark
Date: 21 Feb 03 - 11:52 AM

Bobert, I certainly agree that “The Supremes” need close watching. And as outrageous as it was to have them, in effect, appoint a man who had not been elected to the office of President, I think Al Gore and his organization are as much to blame for the disaster. If they had had any guts and focus at all, they would have insisted on a complete recount of Florida ballots and Gore would be in the White House today. Gore's actions during the election crisis leave me doubtful that his victory would have left the country in any better shape. The great tragedy of modern politics is that we always seem to be choosing between the lesser of two weevils.

I'm not sure I fear strict constructionism per se. It may be better in the long term to actually ammend the Constitution to clarify our legal intention than to bend it with the political current. In the former case, the rule of law remains constant. In the later case, the rule of law is left dangling in the pollitical wind. I personally tend to favor policies in left-liberal to radical range of the spectrum but I remain committed to the democratic principal of majority rule. If I can't make my case understood and accepted by the majority, maybe I've still got some work to do.

Of course democracy depends on an informed electorate which in turn depends on a free press… but that is another discussion altogether.

      - Mark


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Subject: RE: BS: Constitutional Guarantees
From: Cornflake
Date: 21 Feb 03 - 07:45 PM

Federal courts have developed various doctrines pursuant to which they decline to decide some issues, including constitutional issues. My vague recollection is that they used one of those doctrines in the Vietnam era to avoid deciding whether a President could wage war except on an emergency basis without a declaration from the Congress. The evidence is overwhelming that the drafters of the Constitution did not intend for that to happen; but if the courts won't address the issue, it can happen.


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Subject: RE: BS: Constitutional Guarantees
From: Don Firth
Date: 22 Feb 03 - 03:27 PM

Separation of powers. The Constitution sets up a strict division between the three branches of government, classifying governmental powers as executive, legislative, and judicial and entrusting the performance of each power to a separate agency. The complaint of many individuals and agencies in government, when they wish to assume a power that is assigned to another branch, is that this separation of powers is a failure of the system. They complain that it is diffused, confused, unduly complex, overly-cumbersome, and the cause of delays in the functioning of government. Members of one branch often attempt to usurp powers of another branch, or to persuade that branch to cede certain of their powers (such as the President asking Congress to give up its responsibility and allow him to decide if and when to go to war). If one branch does cede its powers to another, it acts un-Constitutionally. The separation of powers specified in the Constitution is one of the safeguards against the constant press of tyranny foreseen by the Founding Fathers, and any branch which cedes its powers to another does so at the peril of the nation as a whole.
If, in the opinion of the people, the distribution or modification of the Constitutional powers be in a particular wrong, let it be corrected by an amendment in the way in which the Constitution designates. But let there be no change by usurpation; for although this, in one instance, may be the instrument of good, it is the customary weapon by which free governments are destroyed.
                                                                                                                                    -- George Washington
Respectfully submitted for your consideration,

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: BS: Constitutional Guarantees
From: Cornflake
Date: 22 Feb 03 - 07:18 PM

Well put, Don. I respect the opinions of those who think that the circumstances justify a war, even though I vehemently disagree. When I hear someone say that we should shut up and support whatever the President decides to do in this regard, however, that drives me nuts. That attitude doesn't express patriotism. It basically turns the American Revolution on its head, abdicates the responsibility of the citizenry and ignores the distribution of powers in the Constitution, where it was contemplated that Congress would make such decisions.

Not that I feel strongly about this or anything....


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Subject: RE: BS: Constitutional Guarantees
From: Bobert
Date: 22 Feb 03 - 07:54 PM

Mark:

I couldn't agree with you more about Gore throwing in the towell much the way Roberto Duran did against Sugar Ray. "No mass." I think he just didn't have it in him to fight at that level. Bush's people seemed better prepared for the PR (paid goon squads) and legal battles. It shouldn't be lost that the Bush team outspent the Gore team 4 fold for lawyers. Or the fact that Bush was the one who sued Gore.

As for whether or not Bush winning the leagl battle over Gore would have made any difference in out current circumstance, that is a matter very much open to opionion. I started a thread about his a while back and the opionions were intersting.

Don: I can't think of any period in my life time when the executive branch held so much power. The Johnson adminstration certainly had its way with Congress but not with the Supreme Court. Bush, on the other hand, can depend on this Court to give him 5-4 decisions day in and day out. Watch Affirmative Action.

Bobert


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Subject: RE: BS: Constitutional Guarantees
From: Don Firth
Date: 24 Feb 03 - 02:20 PM

I must admit that I am a bit surprised that, other than a couple of posts, I haven't recognized many names from Mudcat's conservative contingent weighing in on this. I was always under the impression that the Constitution of the United States was one of the things that American Conservatives were especially passionate about conserving.

I read Barry Goldwater's The Conscience of a Conservative many years ago and had what I believed to be a pretty good picture of the conservative viewpoint. In fact, at that time I did, and indeed I held that viewpoint for some years (I won't go into how and why my views have changed, because this thread is not about me; perhaps another time).

This lack of response puzzled me. I did a google search, putting "conservative" and "constitution" into the search box and came up with a few surprises. It appears that the American Conservative viewpoint has changed rather—can I use the word?—radically within recent decades. At one time, conservatives regarded the Constitution much the same way that Fundamentalist Christians regard the Bible: its meaning is clear, it says what it means and it means what it says, and it is not subject to individual interpretation. But within recent years, most of the conservatives who are in prominent political positions are talking about "the unwritten Constitution:" what they maintain the Founding Fathers really meant, but did not say. Or could not say, because they didn't know what sort of problems we would be facing in the modern world. Therefore, the Constitution is no longer to be interpreted as the Supreme Law of the Land, but as a list of suggestions which can be set aside if those in power feel they do not apply in any given situation.

My search turned up much more interesting stuff that I'm still wading through with considerable fascination, but this seemed to me a particularly salient feature in the recent alteration of American Conservative beliefs.

Any comments and/or clarifications from the conservatives here?

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: BS: Constitutional Guarantees
From: Kim C
Date: 24 Feb 03 - 05:16 PM

I can only speak for myself, but personally, I think the Constitution is pretty darn clear. However, my interpretation of a militia as a people's force, differs from the interpretation of those who believe a militia is a National Guard. I think a lot of the confusion simply lies in the interpretation.


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Subject: RE: BS: Constitutional Guarantees
From: Forum Lurker
Date: 24 Feb 03 - 05:30 PM

The problem is that the National Guard was originally intended to BE such a people's force. Note that the governor is the one who controls the Guard. When the constitution was written, the governor was sufficiently independent, and state populations sufficiently small and connected, that the governor could still be conceived of as the primary executive of the state. Now, with the decrease in state's rights, theer is less difference between Guard and Army than was originally intended.


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Subject: RE: BS: Constitutional Guarantees
From: GUEST,The Dreaded Guest
Date: 24 Feb 03 - 05:43 PM

Well, the current Bush crop of conservatives are known as 'neo-cons'. New Conservatives. And they are liberal. They are expanding govt. They are doing everything Clinton tried to do but was not allowed by Gangrich and that group.

The amazing part is, most Republicans are unaware how explosive Bush's liberalism has been. And there are no more checks and balances, since all 3 branches are controlled by the same party, and now they want to do away with the Constitution completely while focusing the public's attention on Iraq and a dead bin Laden.

No, the people in power now do not fit the traditional definition of conservative. Try looking up 'neo-con'. Maybe there has been some writing on that.


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Subject: RE: BS: Constitutional Guarantees
From: GUEST,The Dreaded Guest
Date: 24 Feb 03 - 05:58 PM

http://www.lewrockwell.com/dilorenzo/dilorenzo15.html

Here's a book review that's pretty interesting. 'The Neo-Con Assault on the Constitution'. The part towards the end (the bullet points and the paragraphs before and after) might address what you're asking about. The 'New Conservatives'.


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Subject: RE: BS: Constitutional Guarantees
From: Forum Lurker
Date: 24 Feb 03 - 07:58 PM

They're not "doing everything Clinton tried to do." Clinton worked for higher social benefits, not social control. I realize you might not see the difference, but from where I stand, single-payer health care and a police state are two diferent things.


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Subject: RE: BS: Constitutional Guarantees
From: Bobert
Date: 24 Feb 03 - 08:27 PM

Good point, Lurker of the Forum, thought I would argue that Clinton didn't get up and sell health care reform, like he should have. Clinton, wanted too much to "just get along" and he capitulated to the Republicans on way too many issues.

But you and HG are entirely right in your assessment that Bush would be happy to just call of democracy and declare martial law. And there ain't nothin' too "conservative" about that. The guy is a flaming "liberal". And the worst thing about it, like HG obsevrves, is that the Muscat so called "conservatives" are no where to be found. Hmmmmmm? Bush just might get his wishes fi the "conservatives" don't wake up!

And soon!

Bobert


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Subject: RE: BS: Constitutional Guarantees
From: GUEST,The Dreaded Guest
Date: 24 Feb 03 - 11:45 PM

Bill Clinton is about to become the next Secretary General of the U.N. They're pressuring the mass-murdering Kofi Annan to step down so the mass-murdering Clinton can assume the post. Seriously:

Clinton as Sec. General

And once that happens, America will be tag-teamed to death. Dems can rally around Clinton once again while he postures and GWBush will posture, and we'll be told we have a choice between the two opposites. Fascism or Communism. As opposite as urine and pee. This is bad, bad, bad, folks. In order to get the U.S. to sign on to the U.N. systematic murder programs and destroy our Constitution, they're going to put an American face on the U.N. This may be the most dispiriting news I ever read in my life. Conservatives really WILL get enraged over Clinton in this job and back Bush even harder...you can see what's coming. Bush vs Clinton as they argue whether you're going to a gulag or a concentration camp. Tell me we're not being set up. Please. I want to believe this isn't a corralling tactic.


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Subject: RE: BS: Constitutional Guarantees
From: Forum Lurker
Date: 25 Feb 03 - 12:12 AM

TDG-Get back on the meds, they were helping. Is there ANYTHING that won't feed into yur conspiracy obsession?


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Subject: RE: BS: Constitutional Guarantees
From: Troll
Date: 25 Feb 03 - 12:16 AM

And I thought Ashcroft was scary...

troll


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Subject: RE: BS: Constitutional Guarantees
From: Forum Lurker
Date: 25 Feb 03 - 12:25 AM

Ashcroft is scarier. He might be marginally saner, but I'm pretty sure that no one's given TDG power over the American Justice Department. Unless . . .


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Subject: RE: BS: Constitutional Guarantees
From: GUEST,The Dreaded Guest
Date: 25 Feb 03 - 12:35 AM

You folks KNOW I'm right on the Clinton/Bush thing. And the Bush Company is laughing about it. This really WILL be a tag-team takedown, just like NWO wrestling. Bush Sr. even NAMED the global govt the 'New World Order'. They're just wrestling fans at heart. The ruling elite are wrestling fans. And they're smarter than we are. Man that's depressing.


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Subject: RE: BS: Constitutional Guarantees
From: Don Firth
Date: 25 Feb 03 - 12:41 PM

Dreaded Guest, your conspiracy theories are becoming tiresome. Let's get back to discussing the Constitution.

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: BS: Constitutional Guarantees
From: GUEST,The Dreaded Guest
Date: 25 Feb 03 - 12:57 PM

I think you've been taking too many 'art therapy' classes at the Sand Point Naval Brig, Don, so I'll go over this once more:

On March 9, 1933, the Trading with the Enemy Act of 1917 was amended. "...other than citizens of the United States" was changed to "...ANY PERSON WITHIN THE UNITED STATES." So, the power of the President to deny Constitutional rights during a 'national emergency' was extended to include Americans.

On Sept. 24, 2001, GWBush declared a 'national emergency'. So you HAVE no Constitution at this moment in time. Look up the Acts of 1917 and 1933 to see a list of what you could lose at any moment.

Trading with the Enemy Act

Your talk about the constitution is delusional, Don. It's been suspended. Put your aluminum foil hat back on now, take your meds, and go back to sleep. Your conspiracy that we're all protected by 'rights' is not only tiresome, it's dangerous.


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Subject: RE: BS: Constitutional Guarantees
From: GUEST,The Dreaded Guest
Date: 25 Feb 03 - 12:59 PM

Or no...you have a 'conspiracy THEORY' that we're protected by the Constitution, Don. Look into that. Type it into a seach engine, R2D2.


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Subject: RE: BS: Constitutional Guarantees
From: Don Firth
Date: 25 Feb 03 - 01:04 PM

I had hopes for this thread, but it looks like it's been hijacked, as have several other threads.

Speaking of "delusional. . . ."

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: BS: Constitutional Guarantees
From: GUEST,The Dreaded Guest
Date: 25 Feb 03 - 02:28 PM

The meds will help you overcome your delusion of control, Don. And if you quit going to other threads and telling people to put on their aluminum hats, maybe those comments wouldn't come back to haunt YOUR threads.


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Subject: RE: BS: Constitutional Guarantees
From: Kim C
Date: 25 Feb 03 - 02:29 PM

Lurker, it may be true that the Governor can call up the National Guard in his/her own state - BUT the NATIONAL Guard is ultimately under the jurisdiction of the United States Government. All the Guard troops who have been mobilized lately, are under orders of the United States, not their individual states, and that's where their pay comes from too.

Some states, including Tennessee, still maintain a State Guard, which is, I believe, more in line with a militia than the National Guard. Their purpose is to fill in when Tennessee's National Guard troops are called up for duty, which many have been.


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Subject: RE: BS: Constitutional Guarantees
From: Don Firth
Date: 25 Feb 03 - 06:25 PM

AHA!! So this is a vengeance thing with you, O Dreadful One. You are a real piece of work. Looks like I got you where you live.

(Cue theme from The Twilight Zone.)

Well, Dreaded Guest, let me save you some anxiety, mental strain, and a lot of typing. I recommend that all Mudcatters check these two websites:—
PING!
and
PONG!

If we all agree to read these, harken unto them, and be afraid—be very afraid—then Dreaded Guest's mission will be accomplished and he, she, or it can crawl back into the hermetically sealed bomb shelter and curl up in the fetal position.

Don't bother to thank me, DG. I'm glad to be of service.

Don Firth
Now, as we were saying before we were so rudely interrupted by the troll. . . .


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Subject: RE: BS: Constitutional Guarantees
From: Bobert
Date: 25 Feb 03 - 06:54 PM

Well, Don, that stuff cannot *all* be discounted. Sometimes ya' can sneak a little truth in among the conspiracy theories and have it laughed off as if it was *just one of them*. Now, I'm not going to get bogged down in the middle of the microscope here but there are definately some things going on here, which are scarey:

1. There has been an assault on the 1st Ammendment that goes beyond the limitations that a nation "at war" can tolerate. When the Bush administration framed the world situation in the "with us or against us" he sent a chilling message to not only free speech but the media. The media is doing a pretty good job in toeing the line by not consistently printing the numbers of folks at demonstrations against an invasion of Iraq.

2. The 5th Ammendment isn't fairing too well either with the Patriot Act. I know it seem far-fetched but if passed the way it is written, it would allow a home born American citizen who contributes a blanket or can of beans to an organization that John Ashcroft deems linked to terrorists... to be arrested, detained without counsel and eventually deported.

These are a couple of real scarey things that threaten democracy.

Throw in ex-con Johnny "I-lied-to-Congress-and-proud-of-it" Poindextrer to run an intellegence gathering agency that keeps track of everyone in the country, and we got a run away train.

Just thought I'd try to get this thread back on topic.

Sorry, HG, I love the conspiracy theories. Maybe you could just crank up a CT thread? Hey, I'd spend time there...

Bobert


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Subject: RE: BS: Constitutional Guarantees
From: Forum Lurker
Date: 25 Feb 03 - 07:31 PM

Kim C, that's what I'm talking about. It is now the case, but was not at the founding of the nation.

TDG-yes, we do have a constitution. As you might guess, any law that suspends the Constitution is unconctitutional and invalid. While a law passed in 1917 isn't going to stand up in courts, the Patriot act might, despite its invalidity. The worry is not that the Constitution doesn't apply, it's that ii will be violated. In that respect, we have some cause for concern.


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Subject: RE: BS: Constitutional Guarantees
From: GUEST,The Dreaded Guest
Date: 25 Feb 03 - 07:57 PM

Not a vengeance thing at all, old timer. I just don't understand why you feel free to trash people and then demand respect for yourself. Don't bite unless you're willing to be bit.

And no, Lurker, we have no constitution at this time. Sept 24, 2001 it was suspended for the 'national emergency', which Bush said was a 'war on terror' and then decided would be a 'perpetual war'. Refer to the Act mentioned above.


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Subject: RE: BS: Constitutional Guarantees
From: Don Firth
Date: 25 Feb 03 - 08:10 PM

Right, Bobert. I consider the erosion of the First, Fourth, and Fifth Amendments the biggest danger we face right now, and this is coming, not from some external enemy, but our own government—which is where all attempts to subvert the Constitution come from: those who have taken an oath to preserve it and protect it.

The real conspiracy:—
In 1992, Paul Wolfowitz, then the under secretary of defense for policy (the Pentagon's third-highest ranking civilian), takes the lead in drafting an internal set of military guidelines, called a "Defense Planning Guidance," which is routinely prepared every few years by the Defense Department.

Wolfowitz's draft argues for a new military and political strategy in a post-Cold War world. Containment, it says, is a relic of the Cold War. America should talk loudly, carry a big stick, and use its military power to preempt the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction (WMD). And if America has to act alone, so be it. (Read excerpts from the Wolfowitz draft.)

Controversy erupts after the draft is leaked to the press. The White House orders Defense Secretary Cheney to rewrite it. In the new draft there is no mention of preemption or U.S. willingness to act alone.
The report goes on to assert that "The number one objective of U.S. post-Cold War political and military strategy should be preventing the emergence of a rival superpower." This was detailed in the last Frontline on PBS. It goes a long way toward explaining the recent otherwise inexplicable behavior of the current administration.

The relationship to this thread is that the Constitution offers several impediments to the implementation of this policy. This is the latest attempt, made by various administrations during the history of the United States, to set the Constitution aside so it can carry out its ambitions.
It would be a dangerous delusion if our confidence in the men of our choice should silence our fears for the safety of our rights. Confidence is everywhere the parent of despotism. Free government is founded on jealousy, not in confidence. It is jealousy and not confidence which prescribes limited constitutions to bind down those whom we are obliged to trust with power. Our Constitution has accordingly fixed the limits to which, and no further, our confidence will go. In question is a power, then, let no more be heard of confidence in man, that bind them down from mischief by the chains of the Constitution.
                                                                                                                                          -- Thomas Jefferson
Don Firth


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Subject: RE: BS: Constitutional Guarantees
From: GUEST,The Dreaded Guest
Date: 25 Feb 03 - 08:11 PM

Geez, Lurker. You really DO need to look at the Trading with the Enemy Act. That thing is the REASON the Bushes launched the Sept 11 attacks. The 'emergency' it created allowed GWBush to enact 500 dormant clauses to give himself dictatorial powers. Those powers come from the Act and from Executive Orders. And a month later the pre-constructed Patriot Act was passed, destroying the Fourth and Fifth Amendments. Now they have more of the same ready to pass, so they're going to launch another terrorist attack. Yes...a 1917 law WILL stand up in court. Bush can order you killed just because he has gas, and it's all legal.


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Subject: RE: BS: Constitutional Guarantees
From: Forum Lurker
Date: 25 Feb 03 - 09:01 PM

No, TDG, it is not legal by any definition, even the ones you come up with. Any law which violates the framework on whic it is based is, by definition, invalid. No law passed by Congress can violate the Constitution, or it is not law. No executive act can violate the constitution, or it is illegal. Think about the definitions of the words you throw around, instead of raving about a law which will never be called into effect.


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Subject: RE: BS: Constitutional Guarantees
From: Troll
Date: 25 Feb 03 - 11:07 PM

Think, Lurker, THINK!
You're looking for logical thought here and you won't find it in any of Dreadski's posts. The truth is what he wants it to be. They've been trying that "suspended Constitution" bit since WWI.

troll


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Subject: RE: BS: Constitutional Guarantees
From: Forum Lurker
Date: 26 Feb 03 - 12:07 AM

I know, Troll, but there's something about him that I just can't ignore. It's like a poison ivy rash that you can't stop scratching.


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Subject: RE: BS: Constitutional Guarantees
From: DougR
Date: 26 Feb 03 - 02:07 AM

Don: I see nothing wrong with the Defense Department's position paper. It is disigned for the U. S. to function in a new world. A world of terror. It may mean that some of the liberties we enjoyed in the old world will necessarily have to be amended. If so, so be it. I don't think the founding fathers took into account that we someday would be faced with terrorism of the type we are faced with today.

Bobert: after reading many of your replies after reading tdg's posts, I can see why you two so often agree. I wonder? Are you both on the same medication? :>)

DougR


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Subject: RE: BS: Constitutional Guarantees
From: JennyO
Date: 26 Feb 03 - 06:50 AM

Thanks Bobert. You've given me an idea for a conspiracy theory! Supposing that the government has someone working for them full time inventing conspiracy theories and spreading them around, so that we will be so saturated with them that we end up dismissing them all as the rantings of a crackpot and tossing them all out, along with the stories that are actually true. That would be a good way of discrediting anybody who stumbles on the truth, wouldn't it!

Whaddaya think, Bobert and DG? Or is my mind just too devious for its own good?

Jenny


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Subject: RE: BS: Constitutional Guarantees
From: Greg F.
Date: 26 Feb 03 - 08:18 AM

A 'new world' of 'terrorism'? Absolute crap.

This so-called 'terrorism' is nothing new. The only thing that's 'new' is that is that some U.S. citizens have died for a change, and the U.S. can no longer sit back comfortably and consider itself exempt from the problems that the rest of the international community has had to deal with for yonks, or from the inevitable results of its history of heavy-handed interaction with the rest of the world.

The strident level of the whining, pissing, and moaning about this coming from the U.S. is amazing- grow up, boys & girls, and join the real world.

Best, Greg


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Subject: RE: BS: Constitutional Guarantees
From: GUEST,The Dreaded Guest
Date: 26 Feb 03 - 01:12 PM

But what has come out of this is the awareness on the part of Americans of the MECHANISM which controls terrorism. We haven't had to really analyze it until it hit home, and now some of us understand it. The most powerful financial interests on the planet are consolidating, and America is the last great impediment to global tyrannical govt. So America has now come directly under attack, and the social-engineers are using fear-based conditioning to get us to give up our legal gurantees of freedom. Simple as that.

But the variable in the equation is the internet. A bunch of college students with laptop computers in Tienamin Square held up China's entry into the WTO for ten years. This internet whining and sharing of info could completely de-rail the plans for global takeover.


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Subject: RE: BS: Constitutional Guarantees
From: Don Firth
Date: 26 Feb 03 - 02:25 PM

Doug, I'm curious. I trust you have read my post of 24 Feb 03 - 02:20 PM. I'll toss a quote at you and then ask you a question:—
. . . I propose to extend freedom. My aim is not to pass laws, but to repeal them. It is not to inaugurate new programs, but to cancel old ones that do violence to the Constitution, or that have failed in their purpose, or that impose on the people an unwarranted burden. I will not attempt to discover whether legislation is 'needed' before I have first determined whether it is constitutionally permissible. And if I should later be attacked for neglecting my constituents' interests, I shall reply that I was informed their main interest is liberty and that in that cause I am doing the very best I can.
                                                                         -- Barry Goldwater (from The Conscience of a Conservative)
Do you consider yourself to be one of the Neo-Conservatives (who, not only are not upset when the Constitution is by-passed, but who indeed advocate such ad hoc by-passing, and under stricter definitions than most Americans use, could easily be regarded as "Liberals"), or do you still regard yourself as a Goldwater Conservative? And if the latter, how to you square that with the position you take on the necessity of "amending" our liberties, as you put it (nice, delicate turn of phrase, by the way!). I'm not trying to be confrontational, I'm just curious.

Just to clarify my own position, I would regard myself as a social liberal--although not as liberal as a lot of Liberals. But when it comes to the Constitution, I am a stiff-lipped, hard-nosed, old-style Conservative.

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: BS: Constitutional Guarantees
From: Bobert
Date: 26 Feb 03 - 03:44 PM

JennyO: Hmmmmm? Iz sniffin' the motherload of conspiracies here. Pack enough lies around the truth that no one will be able to distinguish between the two.

Doug: I'm not on any medications, thank you. But I'm worried that you've overdosed on your PRTB's again. You know the "Partisan Republican True Believers". I don't think you have given any real thought to anything Don has written. And I'm as curious as Don about your rsponse to the question he has put before you. Doesn't seem to be much wiggle room.

Bobert


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Subject: RE: BS: Constitutional Guarantees
From: GUEST,The Dreaded Guest
Date: 26 Feb 03 - 03:56 PM

I, too, am puzzled by the statement that..."It may mean that some of the liberties we enjoyed in the old world will necessarily have to be amended."

Republicans are supposed to be the DEFENDERS against state intrusion on liberties. 'Amending liberties' is what Repub / Conservatives have always accused Democrats of wanting to do.

From what I can discern, this shift in thinking has been brought about by endless repitition of gradually-changing messages being spread by 'conservative' media people like Limbaugh, O'Reilly, Savage and others. They are converting their listenership to liberalism, and the listeners aren't even aware of it.

The purpose of the mass-conversion is to get 'conservatives' to unknowingly sign on to soviet-style govt. Republicans and conservatives are being converted to liberal 'neo-cons'. And in the process, our constitution is being trashed.


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Subject: RE: BS: Constitutional Guarantees
From: DougR
Date: 27 Feb 03 - 01:50 AM

Don: I believe, were Barry Goldwater alive today, he would agree with me. This IS a different world that we live in now from the standpoint of dangers to the population from outside sources. Despite Greg F's snide remarks. I'll soften that a bit ...in my opinion that is. And some of the liberties we have taken for granted in the past may, of necessity, have to be amended to accommodate the outside threats. That's just my opinion.

The Barry Goldwater who wrote "The Concience of a Conservative" would not have been accepting of gays in the military, but in his later years he changed his attitude a bit on several things, including that.

I think the mistake liberals make is they try to paint conservatives into a box. Conservatives can never change their positions on issues. Conservatives are opposed to change, etc. etc. Those old definitions no longer apply. George W. Bush has recommended more progressive changes to government programs than most presidents to date (IMO). He wants, for example, to completely reorganize the social security program which is on its last legs and allow young people to invest a portion of the money they put into the program with a chance to have more money when they retire ...but we've been down that road before so no point in traveling it.

DougR


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Subject: RE: BS: Constitutional Guarantees
From: GUEST,The Dreaded Guest
Date: 27 Feb 03 - 12:02 PM

Even BEFORE he began his assigned task of brankrupting America, GWBush's proposal to put Social Security money into the stock market was a BAD idea. And since then, the market has died. DIED. It is only above 4,000 because the govt is pouring money into it and buying up publicly-issued stock for pennies on the dollar. This is the government takeover of private industry at it's simplest, and you don't see it yet. YOUR CONSERVATIVE LEADERS ARE MAKING YOU SUPPORT COMMUNISM. STATE-CONTROLLED INDUSTRY.


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Subject: RE: BS: Constitutional Guarantees
From: DougR
Date: 27 Feb 03 - 01:24 PM

TDG: as I said, we have been down this road before and you might have some fun looking up those discussions in the archives. You can probably find lots of new ammunition to build a whole new conspiracy theory based only on that.

DougR


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Subject: RE: BS: Constitutional Guarantees
From: GUEST,The Dreaded Guest
Date: 27 Feb 03 - 01:46 PM

It's no conspiracy, Doug. In Communist China, the state owns the means of production. Same in the old Soviet Union. Before Sept. 11 the U.S. govt held nearly 70% of stock issued by privately-owned U.S. businesses. Now it'll be between 80-90%. So, what IS the difference between the upper 1% in the U.S. owning all business in the U.S. and the Chinese generals owning all business in China?

This is SO obvious, but your conservative talk show hosts are focusing you on Clinton's penis (still) and Michael Jackson while they cover up the communization of America.

I know this is a bitter pill to swallow, but you'd better wake up. All national parks and forests will soon be owned by the Bushes and the Fortune 500 companies, and even your city and county. This is all in plain sight. I'm just curious whether you acknowledge this phenomenon. Do you SEE this going on, or are you just in denial?


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Subject: RE: BS: Constitutional Guarantees
From: GUEST,Forum Lurker
Date: 27 Feb 03 - 02:22 PM

TDG-you just contradicted yourself wonderfully. First the government will own all private enterprise, then private enterprise will own government property. What would be so bad about that? Free food, clothing, cars, housing, medical care, etc., but we have to pay to go camping.


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Subject: RE: BS: Constitutional Guarantees
From: GUEST,The Dreaded Guest
Date: 27 Feb 03 - 02:32 PM

It's not a contradiction in communism. This is the communist takeover of America. And they're doing it while their cheerleaders (unelected Executive Branch) distract people. But they're building CONCENTRATION CAMPS AND THREATENING TO INJECT YOU. This is not benign communism. It is fear-based tyrannical government. Stalinism.

Bush's 'Plunge Protection Team'...rushes in when there is a drastic drop in the stock market and buys stocks...it is SO obvious the govt is buying up the private sector. That is one of the REASONS we have daily and weekly 'terror alerts'...to create panic selling in the stock market. The U.S. govt is buying up the Dow. And soon, there will no discernible difference between Chinese Communism and American Corporate Fascism. Each will own their countries outright.


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Subject: RE: BS: Constitutional Guarantees
From: Don Firth
Date: 27 Feb 03 - 03:11 PM

"This IS a different world that we live in now from the standpoint of dangers to the population from outside sources." I'm afraid I must respectfully disagree. Ever since the rude awakening from our rosy dreams on the morning of December 7, 1941, we've lived in a world fraught with dangers from outside sources. The decades-long threat of the Cold War had some extremely close calls, including two B-47s sitting on the deck of an aircraft carrier off the islands of Quemoy and Matsu with engines running and nuclear weapons in their bomb bays, called off within a few minutes of take-off (this didn't make the news—I learned about it from a former crewman on the aircraft carrier), to the Berlin blockade, to the Cuban missile crisis and beyond, for the past sixty-some years we have lived in a world of almost constant threat. The government's abiding by the stipulations of the Constitution has waxed and waned a bit over those decades (internment of Japanese-Americans, the excesses of HUAC, etc.), but until now, the Constitution has never taken as severe a hit as the Patriot Act,. This is less an "amendment" (A reminder: no law passed by Congress can be construed as an "amendment," and it in no way alters what is set forth in the Constitution and Bill of Rights—it is neither legal nor constitutional unless it meets the requirement set forth in Article V) and more of an attempt to repeal, certainly to repeal crucial portions of the Bill of Rights. I don't like it. And I don't understand how anyone who respects the Constitution can fail to be, at the very least, apprehensive—if not downright furious at the current administration for attempting to do this.

On another matter—Social Security, as far as I can tell, is not explicitly mandated in the Constitution. Article I, Section 8 gives Congress the power to impose taxes to "provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States," and Social Security's constitutionality falls under the umbrella of this clause. This has been a matter of heated debate since 1935. Without getting into my particular preferences for how Social Security should be handled, I believe a healthy Social Security system is a good thing, and I would hate to see anything jeopardize that. Indeed, most modern nations have such systems (some far superior to our own). But it would be hard to argue the actual details of its administration by trying to cite the Constitution. Beyond various interpretations of the "general welfare" clause, whether it is a constitutional issue at all is moot.

Doug, I think we're probably on the same page when it comes to the inadequacies of political terminology. The terms "liberal" and "conservative" each cover a wide spectrum, with a blending in the middle, and there are some positions that don't even fit on that continuum. Trying to cram the broad range of political beliefs into two cramped pigeon-holes can really be misleading. Our terminology is antiquated.

Don Firth

P.S: Dreaded Guest, you have confused communism and fascism. Get a good, general book on political science and read it. I recommend Modern Political Philosophies and What They Mean by Louis Wasserman; Garden City Books; Garden City, New York; 1951. It's old, and it's later chapters listing the political systems of modern countries is outdated, but the main section is basic and still holds good. A library or a used book store may cough up a copy. In any case, get some good basic poly sci text and learn the differences.


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Subject: RE: BS: Constitutional Guarantees
From: GUEST,The Dreaded Guest
Date: 27 Feb 03 - 07:18 PM

No, Don, with respect, YOU have confused communism and fascism. You have been taught there is a difference. There isn't. As someone (maybe on this forum) said, the only difference is the commies call them gulags and the fascists call them concentration camps. The upper 1% controls those underneath, and those underneath die. The President of Communist China called capitalism 'the ultimate flower of communism' once he saw how the corporations were going to take over America and mutate the country into a communist state.

You folks need to get beyond this labelling. Labels mean nothing. A straightforward dictatorship is being set up in America. Nothing less. Communist, fascist, Bushist, who cares what it's called? Uninformed and mis-informed bureaucrats (cops, military, people whose checks depend on govt) are about to train their weapons on you so the 1% in this country can utterly destroy our society. And once it's destroyed, you will be totally dependent on govt handouts. Communist state. It is here. It's not coming...it's here. One 'terrorist attack' away from chaos, out of which the terrorists themselves will establish a 'new world order' which will make you totally dependent on them.


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Subject: RE: BS: Constitutional Guarantees
From: Forum Lurker
Date: 27 Feb 03 - 07:41 PM

TDG-You throw around twice as many labels as the rest of us together, and fail to define them until it serves your purpose. The core of communism is "from each according to his ability, to each according to his need." The core of fascism is that the good of the whole outweighs the good of the parts. What you are worried about is totalitarianism, the absolute control of all facets of life by one person or organisation. Your problem is that you can't even identify what you're worried about, so you pick everything and rant about it at the same time. Even if one scrap of your arguments was rational, it would be masked by the confusion and hysteria that makes up the rest of it. Go somewhere quiet and lie down until you feel better.


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Subject: RE: BS: Constitutional Guarantees
From: GUEST,The Dreaded Guest
Date: 27 Feb 03 - 08:04 PM

Geez, Lurker. Totalitarianism is totalitarianism. Call it communism or fascism, democrat or republican, when Ashcroft is whining because he can't kill arbitrarily like Bush, we have a problem. Seems like you never get up from you 'lie down'.


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Subject: RE: BS: Constitutional Guarantees
From: Forum Lurker
Date: 27 Feb 03 - 09:15 PM

No, TDG, I feel just fine. You, on the other hand, seem to still be suffering from inability to concentrate, and quite likely paranoid schizophrenia. Maybe if you could provide solid proof of your assertions, instead of the rantings of people as delusional as you, people might pay more attention.


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Subject: RE: BS: Constitutional Guarantees
From: Don Firth
Date: 01 Mar 03 - 03:18 PM

I watched "Now, with Bill Moyers" on Channel 9 last night after watching the special on Mr. Rogers. I really like the Bill Moyers show because it provides that rare treat these days of watching a news/current events program that doesn't try to feed me a load of crap, but tells me the things I really need to know. Last night's program consisted of a discussion with Nat Hentoff about the erosion of our civil liberties, another discussion with Joseph C. Wilson, a former ambassador and Presidential Advisor who says that trying to establish democracy in Iraq after a presumable successful war will be a can of worms far more slimy and tangled that the Bush Administration conceives of, and a personal statement by Bill Moyers which I think should be printed, framed, and hung on the wall. It should also be read aloud three times a day by anyone tempted to call someone who disagrees with government policy "un-American." I don't know if these shows are archived, so I'll post the statement in its entirety.
I wore my flag tonight. First time. Until now I haven't thought it necessary to display a little metallic icon of patriotism for everyone to see. It was enough to vote, pay my taxes, perform my civic duties, speak my mind, and do my best to raise our kids to be good Americans.

Sometimes I would offer a small prayer of gratitude that I had been born in a country whose institutions sustained me, whose armed forces protected me, and whose ideals inspired me; I offered my heart's affections in return. It no more occurred to me to flaunt the flag on my chest than it did to pin my mother's picture on my lapel to prove her son's love. Mother knew where I stood; so does my country. I even tuck a valentine in my tax returns on April 15.

So what's this doing here? Well, I put it on to take it back. The flag's been hijacked and turned into a logo — the trademark of a monopoly on patriotism. On those Sunday morning talk shows, official chests appear adorned with the flag as if it is the good housekeeping seal of approval. During the State of the Union, did you notice Bush and Cheney wearing the flag? How come? No administration's patriotism is ever in doubt, only its policies. And the flag bestows no immunity from error. When I see flags sprouting on official lapels, I think of the time in China when I saw Mao's little red book on every official's desk, omnipresent and unread.

But more galling than anything are all those moralistic ideologues in Washington sporting the flag in their lapels while writing books and running Web sites and publishing magazines attacking dissenters as un-American. They are people whose ardor for war grows disproportionately to their distance from the fighting. They're in the same league as those swarms of corporate lobbyists wearing flags and prowling Capitol Hill for tax breaks even as they call for more spending on war.

So I put this on as a modest riposte to men with flags in their lapels who shoot missiles from the safety of Washington think tanks, or argue that sacrifice is good as long as they don't have to make it, or approve of bribing governments to join the coalition of the willing (after they first stash the cash.) I put it on to remind myself that not every patriot thinks we should do to the people of Baghdad what Bin Laden did to us. The flag belongs to the country, not to the government. And it reminds me that it's not un-American to think that war — except in self-defense — is a failure of moral imagination, political nerve, and diplomacy. Come to think of it, standing up to your government can mean standing up for your country.

What do you think?   
                                                                                                                                                    --Bill Moyers
Here is a TRANSCRIPT of the interview with Nat Hentoff.

Also, well worth reading is this TIMELINE of historical assaults on civil liberties.

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: BS: Constitutional Guarantees
From: Greg F.
Date: 05 Mar 03 - 09:54 AM

Amerika the Bee-ootiful. These are the "freedoms"
the BuShites want to defend?
---------

Mall shopper charged after refusing to take off shirt with
peace slogan

He kept his shirt on -- and got arrested

By Carol DeMare, Albany NY, TIMES-UNION
First published: Wednesday, March 5, 2003

An attorney for the[New York] state was
arrested and hauled into court after refusing
to take off a T-shirt that said "Give Peace
a Chance" while shopping at Crossgates Mall...



FULL STORY HERE


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Subject: RE: BS: Constitutional Guarantees
From: Don Firth
Date: 05 Mar 03 - 07:27 PM

Whoa!! One must really be careful with something like this. I think that with the issue of the Crossgates Mall, the question is, "is this space public or private?" From the article, it looks like the ACLU might be about to go into the legal and constitutional aspects of that.

The immediate reaction that most people have is that this is an abridgment of the T-shirt wearers' freedom of speech. Indeed, that was my first reaction when I read the story. But—if the Crossgates Mall is private property, and if they in no way receive government funding (government grants or subsidies, Small Business Administration loans, etc.), then it's my understanding that, like it or not, they are within their constitutional rights to ban the wearing of such T-shirts in the mall. Local ordinance may say otherwise, but it isn't really a constitutional issue. The government is forbidden to abridge your freedom of speech, but private citizens are not.

In your own house, or in your own place of business, you are not required to put up with speech or behavior that you—for whatever reason—find disagreeable or unacceptable. To ask someone to refrain or take it elsewhere is within your constitutional rights. "We reserve the right to refuse service to anyone" is a policy of many places of business, and I can't see where it runs afoul of the Constitution. Matters of dress are included in this: for example, many upscale restaurants won't let a man in without a jacket and tie. Even if he feels he's making a social statement.

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: BS: Constitutional Guarantees
From: Mark Clark
Date: 05 Mar 03 - 07:37 PM

Yes, if the mall is private property, then as you say “they are within their constitutional rights to ban the wearing of such T-shirts in the mall.” But I think such bans must be posted at entrances to the mall. I don't think they can just make it up when they decide they don't like something. It's also interesting that they had the shirts in question made for them at the mall in which the arrest occurred.

      - Mark


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Subject: RE: BS: Constitutional Guarantees
From: Forum Lurker
Date: 05 Mar 03 - 07:51 PM

Mark Clark is right. It is one thing to have such a policy, and quite another to make seemingly arbitrary judgements. One is the exercise of property rights, the other is horribly open to exploitation.


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Subject: RE: BS: Constitutional Guarantees
From: Don Firth
Date: 05 Mar 03 - 08:58 PM

It might be a little hard for them to post all possible prohibitions where people could readily see them. Sometimes you see things like "No Eating in the Common Areas" and things like that, but it's pretty hard to anticipate everything they might encounter.

The way malls are usually set up is that the mall is owned, or at least managed, by some real estate management agency that leases space to individual businesses. They probably didn't tell the T-shirt shop what kind of T-shirts they could or could not print up and sell. Nor would they tell, say, a Radio Shack outlet what equipment they could sell. But should someone buy a bloody-great boom-box at the Radio Shack outlet, then go out in the common area of the mall with the boom-box turned on and cranked up, the mall management would be within their rights to insist that the customer turn it down, shut it off, or leave the mall. What the individual stores sell is, literally, their own business, although the mall management can exercise control there, too. You usually won't find a porn shop in a mall, because the mall management won't lease to them.   What the customer does in the common areas of the mall does fall under the jurisdiction of the mall management and security.

Frankly, I think they are being pretty damned snotty about the T-shirts, but that's because I sympathize with the T-shirt wearers' message. I wonder how the mall management might react if a couple of people walked through the mall wearing, say, swastika armbands. If they told them to take 'em off or get out, I don't think most of us would object. But there again. . . .

How people react seems to depend on whose ox is gored.

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: BS: Constitutional Guarantees
From: Forum Lurker
Date: 05 Mar 03 - 09:13 PM

Some of us would still object (including me), on the principal that the people with swastikas are doing less damage with the armbands than the precedent will do.


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Subject: RE: BS: Constitutional Guarantees
From: Bobert
Date: 05 Mar 03 - 09:34 PM

Danged, gotta agree with FL on this one. With the Ashcroft/Poindexter/Cheney Conspiracy very much underway, I'm beginning to see a coilition of folks who a few years ago wouldn't think of joining ina struggle with one another coming together to say "No thanks to the Bill of Rights going into the shreader."

Man, I hate this... but I can see having to stand with the "Gun Nuts" before this over. Hey, we may *have* to make some stinky deals along the way to stop a much stinkier deal...

Whew...

Bobert


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Subject: RE: BS: Constitutional Guarantees
From: Forum Lurker
Date: 05 Mar 03 - 09:44 PM

I son't have a problem with gun ownership, so long as it's responsible. It's only the people who let unsupervised children get their hands on loaded firearms that's the problem. Unfortunately, I think we have more of those people than the rest of the world combined.


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Subject: RE: BS: Constitutional Guarantees
From: GUEST,Dreaded Guest
Date: 05 Mar 03 - 10:00 PM

Ain't it a kick in the gut, Bobert? We're all going to have to make some accomodations for alternate ways of thinking. What I hate most about our TV-fed society is the balkanization...black vs white, Democrat vs Republican, etc. Those divisions are sold to us like margarine while the most wicked crew of humans to ever breathe plots our enslavement. Disarmament and subjugation by psycho-killers is NOT on my list of options.

Stalin, Mao and Hitler agree...disarmament works!


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Subject: RE: BS: Constitutional Guarantees
From: Bobert
Date: 05 Mar 03 - 10:16 PM

Yeah, DG, it is a kick in the gut. But ya' gotta do what ya' gotta do. The important thing now is to save *democracy* for the generations to come.

And given the *imposter government* we have now, we have our work cut out for us.

Dang it!

Bobert


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Subject: RE: BS: Constitutional Guarantees
From: Forum Lurker
Date: 06 Mar 03 - 12:28 AM

DG-those divisions existed centuries before TV. It's what happens when you have a non-homogenous society: people are different. Differences of perspective lead to differences of opinion, which sometimes lead to conflict. That's the way the world works. If anything, TV lessens the differences, by eliminating cultural diversity.


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Subject: RE: BS: Constitutional Guarantees
From: GUEST,Dreaded Guest
Date: 06 Mar 03 - 02:31 AM

You're wrong, Lurker. TV is insidious. The U.S. imported the Nazi death-camp psychologists in 1947 and they got right to work on brainwashing techniques utilizing the new medium of TV. So today, tens of millions of white men can watch a basketball game and have their most primal racial stereotypes reinforced when they see a black man grinning and swinging from a hoop.

Then you flip the channel and get a lecture on how the races should get along...intentional mixed messages designed to create guilt and confusion. This is Nazi brainwashing. Hundreds of groups have been set up to hate each other through subtle manipulation of television messages, and consequently, we now have a fragmented society that will be easier to conquer. Divide and conquer. The Nazis didn't LOSE WW2. Their work goes on.

I just came across some material on the guidelines Washington is setting for Hollywood regarding guns and will work that up into a post. Pretty distressing.


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Mudcat time: 23 September 2:22 PM EDT

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