Archive for February, 2012

At War With The First Amendment (February 27, 2012)

Posted in Civil Rights/Civil Liberties, Congress, Constitution, Courts, Crime/Punishment, First Amendment, Judges, Less Government Regulation Series, Military, Supreme Court on February 27, 2012 by

. . .

O          “Some guys who spent their days folding diapers at Fort Dix are proclaiming that they single-handedly won World War II.”

P          “And good old Congress comes to the rescue and imposes some more government regulations.  Congress again dictated that the government must decide and provided for more buffoons to be sent to prison at my expense.  The issue is so clear and simple.  We could agree to direct the government to make bumbling efforts to criminalize the goonery or we could vest individuals with the responsibility to determine the truth.”

O          “The Stolen Valor Act of 2005 is a misnomer.  Those in the service fought valorously for the First Amendment of 1791 not some shallow rah-rah legislation.  Curious that the government and business are in business to lie, yet we want the government to come in and prosecute someone who is not telling the truth and then deny that person his or her liberty.”

P          “The government already fulfills its role without the additional legislation and imposition on our First Amendment guarantees.  Look at the Department of Defense Form DD 214 prepared at government expense that provides the actual information about a person’s military service and awards.  The Court should take notice of the fact that little is private today particularly one’s military service from his or her first day as a private.  Perhaps the government could expunge the social security numbers and publish all DD 214s upon retirement.”

O          “Most of these scoundrels and fools are insecure and desperate but not criminal.  What if the Court simply issued a two word decision:  ‘First Amendment.’”

. . .

Bumper stickers of the week:

First Amendment Rules

The Stolen Valor Act – steals honor and denies rights

The Drums of War (February 20, 2012)

Posted in Afghanistan, Foreign Policy, Iran, Iraq, Journalism, Middle East, Newspapers, O'Bama, Press/Media on February 20, 2012 by

. . .

+          “Can you hear the drums?”

–           “Loud and clear.  Five by Five.  I can smell them; I can feel them; I can taste them; I can see them.  Those who decide have decided to go to war with Iran.”

+          “I sense it too.  O’Bama’s comments before the Super Bowl were not reassuring.  Some of the militaristic rhetoric may be designed to force the players to reconsider diplomatic alternatives.  Von Clausewitz and all.  Most efforts appear to be directed at concocting a ruse or pretext or charade to go to war.”

–           “The only thing left to do is to fool the public.  That doesn’t even require creativity.  The American Empire is now committed to prosecuting two wars at all times.  We lost in Iraq, proclaimed victory and claimed to withdraw.  Now America has a free, but very expensive, pass to invade another country.”

+          “There really is no overriding strategy.  Imposing sanctions is the tactic to date.  The problem with sanctions is that a people may learn how to hunker down and live with them.  That which does not kill me and all.  And God bless the American public.  However, forty-five percent of the public will not even notice the different consonant.”

–           “The ‘Iraq, Iran, who cares, they are all towels’ mindset.  When the war starts, the most likely public reaction will be a quizzical look and a question asking whether we didn’t just leave there.”

+          “The group known as the Press does not seem as united in support of an attack as the gang was in early 2003.  Yet those calling for war are muting the few voices of dissent.  The drums are drowning out the guitars.”

–           “We just refuse to learn from our mistakes.  What if we decided to do something right and learn from our success?”

. . .

+          “Some say Falklands; some say Malvinas.”

–           “If you look at the map, you say Argentina.”

+          “If you wander around the Isla and talk to the folks, you say Britain.”

–           “Geographic location versus self-determination.  History seems to emerge historically and not logically.”

+          “History is like that.  So the only way to settle the matter is to embrace the time-honored tradition of killing batches of eighteen year olds.”

–           “Certainly trendy through the ages.  It is about sovereignty, yes, yet it is always about oil.”

+          “Perhaps they need to respect each country’s sovereignty and work on an arrangement to share the offshore resources in shared waters.”

–           “Deploying Billy was entirely ill-advised, provocative and unnecessary.  We just refuse to learn.”

+          “What if Billy had refused to deploy.”

. . .

Bumper stickers of the week:

No war, no sanctions, no intervention, no assassinations against Iran

I’m already against the next war

Jeremy Lin

Peaceful Presidents’ Day

The guitars of peace

Proposition H8 And The Enduring Appeal Of Fear And Hate (February 13, 2012)

Posted in Abortion, Antitrust, Bailout/Bribe, Banks and Banking System, Civil Rights/Civil Liberties, Congress, Constitution, Courts, Crime/Punishment, Gay Politics, Judges, Less Government Regulation Series, Miscegenation, Supreme Court on February 13, 2012 by

. . .

K          “In the early 1960s, a constitutional law textbook included a lengthy chapter collecting pivotal decisions challenging Jim Crow laws.  A library in this state, a grammar school in that state, a swimming pool in this state, a drinking fountain in that state.  The campaign was undertaken one institution, one jurisdiction, one decision at a time.  There were successes; there were failures; there were more successes than failures.  The Civil Rights Act of 1964 (CRA) changed the ground rules.  These outdated cases are of interest to historians today; they are moot asides for lawyers.  The whole chapter was expunged and a new chapter unfolded to detail the legal dispute du jour.”

J          “The unfolding chapter is reading like the old one.  America is gasping its way through the same spasms regarding gay marriages and gay rights.  The long-run outcome is clear, but the path is rocky.  Gay marriages and gay rights will be the norm and the law in thirty years.”

K          “Gay rights are the civil rights issue of this generation.  Instead of passing laws to protect civil rights such as the CRA, however, Congress passes unconstitutional screeds such as the Defense of Marriage Act of 1996 (DoMA).  Perverse group, the gang that legislates congress.”

J          “In thirty years, the kids will dismiss the dispute as ‘weird’ or ‘bizarre’ or whatever the patois is at the time.  Until then, prejudice, hate and fear drives the fight.  The Ninth Circuit decision is another step in the long slog.  And now the outcome likely turns on Kennedy.  Someone observed that Kennedy observed that his gay clerks were . . . human.  He decided that they should be treated that way.”

K          “In Lawrence v. Texas.  Contrast the development of the law regarding gay rights with the development of the law involving abortion.  Last month marked thirty-nine years since the Supreme Court addressed abortion in Roe v. Wade.  Curious circumstances and decision.  The matter was decided not by the Warren Court but by the Burger Court.  Warren retired to go bass fishing or something in 1969.  The seven vote majority opinion was written by a Republican-appointed Justice (Blackmun) and was joined by three Nixon appointees (Burger, Powell, Blackmun), two Eisenhower (Stewart, Brennan), one FDR (Douglas), and one LBJ (Marshall) appointees.  Even with no Democratic-appointed justices at all, Roe would have become the law of the land solely on the votes of Republican-appointed justices.”

J          “Even with a clear precedent, challenges to abortion will still be caroming around the courts in thirty years.  Gay rights will be resolved.”

K          “We would all be better off if the government got out of the bedroom.”

. . .

[See the Ninth Circuit decision in Perry v. Brown at]

[See the “e-ssay” titled Less Government Regulation Series: Love and Marriage (May 19, 2008).]

[See the “e-ssay” titled Fire Your Attorney General (November 7, 2011) and review  The bankers murdered the body politic (and economic) with malice aforethought and all we could offer them is an overdue book fine.]

Bumper stickers of the week:

“All that Proposition 8 accomplished was to take away from same-sex couples the right to be granted marriage licenses and thus legally to use the designation of ‘marriage,’ which symbolizes state legitimization and societal recognition of their committed relationships.  Proposition 8 serves no purpose, and has no effect, other than to lessen the status and human dignity of gays and lesbians in California, and to officially reclassify their relationships and families as inferior to those of opposite-sex couples.  The Constitution simply does not allow for ‘laws of this sort.’”

Let freedom ring; let love rule

Good to have loved and lost; better to have loved and won

Happy Valentine’s Day

The “Gun Show Loophole” (February 6, 2012)

Posted in Civil Rights/Civil Liberties, Guns, Iran, Law, Less Government Regulation Series, National Defense Authorization Act / FY 2012, USA PATRIOT Act on February 6, 2012 by

. . .

GO1       “Since her shooting, the overtly violent language has abated, yet the underlying violence is still there.  In politics and in life.”

GO2       “Here’s a partial solution.  There is no centralized or computerized list of gun owners or gun ownership in America.”

GO1       “Except the list of gun owners maintained by the National Rifle Association.”

GO2       “I am talking about the government.  Look at the actual process.  Before selling a gun, a gun dealer conducts a background check of an individual.  If the individual passes the background check, the dealer makes the sale and keeps a record.  The record is not sent anywhere and is not accessible and just sits in a file cabinet in the back room of the store.  Only if a gun is used in a crime is an effort made to trace the purchase by using the serial number and contacting the manufacturer and then the dealer and then the purchaser.  That is the most decentralized and non-computerized tracking scheme in America.  The system only allows for the tracking of the ownership of an offending gun not of the names of owners of guns.”

GO1       “And the current system does not require us to surrender any fundamental rights.  Look at the rights that have been surrendered in America by Americans without any resistance since 9/11.  The USA PATRIOT Act, the detention provisions in the NDAA of 2012, and so on.”

GO2       “The problem is that a troubled soul can go to a gun show and buy a gun.  Why arm the goons?  Simply require the same background check for any sale at a gun show.”

GO1       “The mayors and the police chiefs know what needs to be done and support the closure of the gun show loophole.  Congress should simply implement their sound and experienced judgment.”

GO2       “Gun sales in a back alley are still a problem.  The most balanced policy may be to require all gun sales to be conducted by a gun dealer.  Gun dealers are all private sector businesses in an industry at the retail level that is among the least monopolized in America.  The gun dealers could compete to facilitate the sales and perhaps offer to handle the sale for free with a fifty dollar purchase of gear.  That should address some of the problem and satisfy the critics.”

GO1       “Except for the insane irrationality of the NRA.”

GO2       “They are coming around.  Institutions change, albeit slowly.  Someone at the NRA may realize that adoption of rational and focused legislation undermines the effort to impose irrational and sweeping confiscation.  We need to keep guns out of the hands of psychos to allow guns to be kept in the hands of law-abiding citizens.”     

. . .

[See the “e-ssays” titled “On Magazines (February 21, 2011),” “Incite, Sarah, Indict? (January 10, 2011),” “O’Bama Arming Industry (November 22, 2010) and “Gun Control, NRA Style (January 9, 2006).”  And “On The Vernal Equinox (March 21, 2011)”]

[February 4 – No War On Iran National Day of Action]

Bumper sticker of the week:

Citizens deserve guns; Psychos do not