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Pakistan: Six charity workers shot dead
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Page 4: Opinion
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9 21:22 Barbara [277] 
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33 11:55 Au Auric [305] 
Page 1: WoT Operations
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1 20:10 Mike Kozlowski [265]
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Page 2: WoT Background
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3 00:14 JosephMendiola [267]
2 18:56 Steve White [242]
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1 01:52 Omose Angeaque7353 [234]
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Page 6: Politix
1 14:23 Matt [246]
11 18:06 NoMoreBS [249]
8 19:50 JosephMendiola [239]
4 19:08 USN,Ret. [255]
5 14:40 Frank G [257]
4 20:56 Airandee [262]
Africa North
One expert's thorough examination of the Brotherhood
Posted by: tipper || 01/01/2013 00:59 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [228 views] Top||


Economy
Obama's New Economic Normal: Seven Devastating Facts
Posted by: tipper || 01/01/2013 07:19 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [269 views] Top||

#1  1. All-time record annual average gas price.
2. All-time record food stamp participation.
3. All-time high youth unemployment.
4. All-time high number of Americans no longer in the labor force.
5. All-time record number of Americans collecting disability.
6. All-time record number of Americans living in poverty.
7. All-time record U.S. debt.
Posted by: Glenmore || 01/01/2013 8:54 Comments || Top||

#2  #8 Majority of US electorate thinks #1-#7 don't matter & that Obama has been doing a wonderful job & will do even better in the next 4 years.
#8 is the most devastating fact of all.
Posted by: Anguper Hupomosing9418 || 01/01/2013 9:53 Comments || Top||

#3  So what happens when the money runs out? Print more? Riots in the streets?
Posted by: JohnQC || 01/01/2013 10:05 Comments || Top||

#4  I don't believe the money actually runs out. The dollar just gets dinkier and dinkier as they print more and more of them and the national credit rating gets lower and lower. Same thing as Zim-bob-we. Buy a wheelbarrow while you still can.
Posted by: Fred || 01/01/2013 10:46 Comments || Top||

#5  A brand new 1963 Chevy or Ford pickup truck, short box, straight six, 4 speed trans...cost: Approx $1800.

Similar vehicle 50 years later ... Approx $23,000.

You do the math. Inflation is a tool of a ponzi scheme, debtor nation. Has been for a very long time.
Posted by: Besoeker || 01/01/2013 10:55 Comments || Top||

#6  Of course, Besoeker, you had to change the spark plugs in that '63 once or twice a year. And got 15 mpg. The new one's plugs last 80,000 miles and you get 20 mpg. Plus it handles better and has airbags so you stand a better chance of surviving a bad wreck. SOME of the price increase is not inflation. A better indicator is postage stamps - 3 or 4 cents to 44 cents or whatever it is now.
Posted by: Glenmore || 01/01/2013 11:08 Comments || Top||

#7  Excellent points Glen, but I enjoyed changing points and plugs :-( I'll also give you the gas mileage (even though a gallon of gas was only .21 cents or .20 cents if you didn't take the Green Stamps). I'll take a half-ton vehicle with a cross-braced frame with a speed limit of 80 mph over uni-body with a V6 in the diversity left lane of I-85 going 95+ mph.
Posted by: Besoeker || 01/01/2013 11:17 Comments || Top||

#8  Besoeker - I guess that makes you a classic, old-fogy conservative!

I hear ya.
Posted by: Bobby || 01/01/2013 11:58 Comments || Top||

#9  Letters 1st Class 45¢ + 20¢
1 oz $0.45 Bad envelope penalty 20¢
2 ounces $0.65
3 ounces $0.85
3.5 oz $1.05

The First-Class stamp will be 46 cents after the new postage rates begin January 27, 2013. The US Postal Service has officially announced the postage rate increases for the 2013 mailing season. The Post Office has recently switched from doing large postage increases every 4 years to a smaller increase each year to keep up with costs and industry fluctuations.
Posted by: Au Auric || 01/01/2013 12:12 Comments || Top||

#10  but I enjoyed changing points and plugs :-(

Aha! The evidence I've been seeking, there is something wrong with you.
:)

Plugs okay, points not so much, I always screwed up or forgot the lube.
Posted by: Shipman || 01/01/2013 12:28 Comments || Top||

#11  Obama's New Economic Normal
Posted by: g(r)omgoru || 01/01/2013 12:39 Comments || Top||

#12  Never liked changing the left front plug in that 425 CUI SuperRocket but once I threw away the air-conditioner over it - not so bad.

Of course then... real premium (now racing fuel under inflationary octane formulas) was 25 cents a gallon and moon missions were affordable to NASA.
Posted by: Water Modem || 01/01/2013 12:39 Comments || Top||

#13  We still have a '79 GMC 1-ton that we took out the HEI and put in a points system. - 100% Analog Doomsday Vehicle. Gets about 19MPG on the road + 2 - 32-gallon saddle tanks (not a great design, but oh well). VERY easy to work on. Tires are a bit pricey, though.

Cam Lube available here.
Posted by: Mullah Richard || 01/01/2013 12:51 Comments || Top||

#14  Changing the plugs and points on an older-model (pre-80's) car was fairly easy and could be enjoyable.

Now of course they have so much crap (of various uselessness) piled on top of it I simply have an expert handle it. Besides the wife and kids don't like me using so many 'bad words'.
Posted by: CrazyFool || 01/01/2013 12:55 Comments || Top||

#15  You can have my new F-150 mobile gun safe when you pry my cold dead body from the front seat.
Posted by: Besoeker || 01/01/2013 12:55 Comments || Top||

#16  "I enjoyed changing points and plugs"

Don't know what points are, Mr. B, but I had to change my own plugs many years ago because I couldn't afford to pay a mechanic to do it. Likewise oil changes.

I understand people who like to play with cars can enjoy doing the maintenance on them, but I never liked it and to me having to do maintenance on my own car (other than adding windshield fluid, checking the oil, & stuff like that) is a sign of poverty. As soon as I had a good enough job that I could afford to pay someone else to do oil changes & stuff, I did. Hope I'm never in a position where I have to do it myself again (particularly because of my age).
Posted by: Barbara || 01/01/2013 13:12 Comments || Top||

#17  F-150! Drink up!
Posted by: Frank G || 01/01/2013 13:47 Comments || Top||

#18  What's this plugs and points you speak of? I miss those good old days; especially the mid-January starter replacement in Michigan because they didn't last for crap back then.
Bought a new Camry last August and a service manual from the dealer is not available to us wrench twisters.
Of course the 63 short box (or any points and plug vehicle) will not be affected by any EMP, so that may be a good reason to have an old car project--just for mobility. (will need to put hardened valve seata in to handle unleaded fuel however)
Posted by: USN,Ret. || 01/01/2013 13:52 Comments || Top||

#19  Rough put, automotive ignition points regulate the flow of electricity to the plugs which fire and create combustion. Mostly done electronically today however.

As I heard an old tradesman tell a very infuriated foreman many years ago..."Don, I don't get paid for what I'd doing, I get paid for what I know how to do. Right now I'm having a Lucky Strike". If you had to change your own oil again Barb, there is little doubt in my mind that you could accomplish the task. :-)
Posted by: Besoeker || 01/01/2013 13:59 Comments || Top||

#20  Been there USN - still remember being stuck in the middle of nowhere. Finally jamming a penny between the solenoid and starter to make a connection so the '63 Rambler would start.

It was always either the starter or the generator. Except for replacing some U-joints on the side of I-5.

Ahhh... the good ole days!
Posted by: CrazyFool || 01/01/2013 15:53 Comments || Top||

#21  Full Service Circa 1960's = Guy in a bowtie comes out to your car, washes your windshield, checks the oil level and air pressure of the tires all for paying 22 cents a gallon for gas.

Greatest American generation indeed.
Posted by: Dino Shomomp7692 || 01/01/2013 16:24 Comments || Top||

#22  CF-LOL: my persoanl fave is when my 57 Olds ( one of 3 i had @ the time) blew a heater hose in the middle of 'Resume Speed' Allegean, MI in December. no spare, but in the yard nearby was some kid's tricycle and I had a hacksaw and a couple of hose clamps. handlebar tubing was perfect fit for getting it home.
Posted by: USN,Ret. || 01/01/2013 19:03 Comments || Top||

#23  you bastard. Someone stole my trike. I bet it was you!
Posted by: Frank G || 01/01/2013 19:17 Comments || Top||

#24  I never stole trike parts, but one night a school bus donated about 5 gallons of regular to my 57 Chevy.
Posted by: Besoeker || 01/01/2013 19:25 Comments || Top||

#25  "If I could pick out Satan, as he really is, I would picture him as a great, popular leader of government. And he comes forth as the champion of the people and rather than face the harsh realities and stubborn facts of economic life, he soothes the people into the persuasion that he is their great benefactor and patron, and he looks at the printing press making money ; thousands of dollars, millions of dollars. And he gives order through the instruments of government for deficit financing, and the presses—it is that simple—and they print money, and print money, and the government goes in debt and what finally happens is: it's a painless way to rob the poor, and to destroy the pensioner, and finally to bring the country into economic collapse and chaos. That is Satan! Smart, shrewd, deceptive, but beyond his soft and mellifluous voice there is destruction and ruin: that is Satan."

The Late Dr. W. A. Criswell, 02-24-1974 (Many Years Before Obama Became President)- Pastor First Baptist Church of Dallas (Link)
Posted by: Dino Shomomp7692 || 01/01/2013 19:33 Comments || Top||

#26  He sure had the Dems' number, DS.
Posted by: Barbara || 01/01/2013 20:13 Comments || Top||

#27  Well, I remember doing a curbside valve job on my Chevy powered '52 Studebaker back in the day.

Hint: a deep socket won't work on #4 in a Subie. Slip a short length of Tygon over the plug as a handle to get it started.
Posted by: KBK || 01/01/2013 20:54 Comments || Top||


Home Front: Culture Wars
Hollywood is a Culture of Violence
Posted by: GolfBravoUSMC || 01/01/2013 04:24 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [277 views] Top||

#1  Road Runner and Bugs Bunny were at least as violent as today's Hollywood movies. That probably explains what's wrong with me.
Seriously though, I've seen it discussed that the lack of killing in real life - in the form of killing a chicken for Sunday dinner, etc. - could be as big a contributor to our modern 'de-real-ization' of death.
Posted by: Glenmore || 01/01/2013 8:58 Comments || Top||

#2  Guess that explains why I own a firearm, but haven't gone a murderous rampage, Glenmore.

I helped Nannie kill the chicken for Sunday dinner when I was a little kid. (Sat on the galvanized bucket she flung the headless chicken under until it quit flapping. Didn't want it running around damaging her flowers after she cut its head off.)
Posted by: Barbara || 01/01/2013 10:04 Comments || Top||

#3  I say look to the three stooges. So far there have been few hacksaw to the nose copy-cat attacks despite the stooges films being around for decades.
Posted by: Thromosing McCoy6287 || 01/01/2013 10:04 Comments || Top||

#4  I think the problem has been well discussed and we basically know the problem.
* We as a culture are unwilling to label the unstable as unstable and lock them in a facility to get help until after the fact.
* We as a culture are unwilling to look at what medication the unstable had and hold Psychologists accountable (possibly just questioning, possibly malpractice) for not adjusting dosages.
* We have elites (and some are simply voters that think they are better) that do not trust the electorate with weapons despite the fact that an insanely large majority have proven to be safe.
* We have an easily distracted electorate that wants easy solutions and politicians willing to exploit that fact to ram pet projects through during a crisis.

Repeat every tragedy.
Posted by: rjschwarz || 01/01/2013 10:29 Comments || Top||

#5  Hollywood is a garbage product. If your building maintenence or auto shop performed as well as a good movie comes about (entertaining is different rating) they would be out of business; how many movies do you not go see for whatever reason compared to the ones you actually make plans for, and then for the planned ones how many of those do you leave satisfied? Even when I lived basically next to a top-line theatre, liked going to movies, and had to money and time to do so, my participation was very low compared to volume of product. Every cycle to movies seem to become more violent at a faster pace. This new movie, johnson reacher, really what is the point? Jenga Unchained, I generally like Tarentino movies, but this one seems so plain compared to his other ideas. I point at them because they have been pointed at recently.

That being said, yes Hollywood is producing a product based mostly on sex and violence, with plot being a distant third and those based on plot still have their amount of sex and violence.

No, I do not think Hollywood causes these problems. I do not think anything causes these problems, I believe there are a myriad of contributors, so more so than others.

Being such visual creatures it is wrong to say that movies/media do not have some sort of effect. Propagandists count on that, as do advertisers. It is the director's sole job, as well as the editor's. Its why the USA domestic market has become so squishy because there is more money internationally with generic films; why would the Chinese watch or buy a movie which makes them look like jerks when they can pin a North Korean flag its not like they have any power for a movie theatre anyways.

The evidence is so obvious, this should not even be a question. If movies had little appeal the industry would have quit generations ago.

So it comes down to the participant, and how that person reacts. Do they leave the theatre thinking "That was fun/not fun", "Wow what effects" etc. or do they believe they are navii or go lay in the middle of the road like in that football movie.

Same opinion with video games, which are now more like interactive movies so there is more stickyness there IMO. I managed to grow up and not jump on every turtle I come across (unless its innards are caramel and pecans). Yet last I played a shooter game on-line I was appalled by the pre-teens and their language. But I put that square on the parents. Old enough to earn half a g and blow it on video games, old enough to play cuss soldier. These kids I don't think were even in puberty.

Worst is the Television. It is everywhere, completely over the top, just horrible production. Can't even watch a game without getting some crap about how home runs are up because of global warming or how I murdered Jovan Belcher because I let me kid watch McClintok! Those are sports, turn the camera on and try not to say anything dumb, yet still it happens. One channel which starts with an M has showed targeting young high school students, one was based purely on a kid with a big c#ck and the other is about a gal who is trying to figure out which of her friends is the best lay. It is shown so casually and glorified. Used to be to see stuff like that you had to peek through the scrambling. This is standard tv package stuff now.

Music, I stopped listening to modern music back when people though Oasis was good stuff. Before I left here is a gem I heard by Three 6 Mafia: (Wiki page with some background and something very interesting connected with our young and old news hoodie from FloRida. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sizzurp

It still comes down to the individual and choice. But the media sure makes being a loser look fun, the parents allow it to happen, and now the government is making it affordable.
Posted by: swksvolFF || 01/01/2013 18:40 Comments || Top||

#6  "This new movie, johnson reacher, really what is the point?"

That would be Jack Reacher, swksvolFF. Reacher is the lead character in Lee Child's "Reacher" series, which is excellent (I'm working my way through them now, having come upon them only a year or so ago). It's a stupid name for the movie; I can only presume it's to broadcast to fans of the books what/who the movie is about. I'd rather they used the name of the book it's based on (assuming they based it on one of the books, which I would think they did.)

And as many others have observed, Tom Cruise is way too SHORT to be Reacher (who in the books is 6'5" or so and proportionately muscled).

But one thing the book series has to make Hollyweird embrace it: it's violent, of the "I'm trying to mind my own business and live my life, but you f*cked with me or with some innocent party and I'm going to put a permanent stop to it" type.

I won't go see the movie, though, much as I like the books. Screw Cruise and his Hollyweird ilk; I don't need to see a movie to have a picture in my mind of whichever book I'm reading, or listening too.
Posted by: Barbara || 01/01/2013 20:11 Comments || Top||

#7  Glenmore, if you think Roadrunner is as violent as that YouTube clip, you didn't watch it. Training flicks for murderers.
Posted by: KBK || 01/01/2013 21:08 Comments || Top||

#8  Meant no offense to the book series Barbara; admittedly knew nothing of it, that was a slight on cruise. All I saw during the ad was cruise trying to be Charles Bronson with a bulletproof kia. It is either a hoot or a nightmare doing the make him look tall set tricks. How they made that wash basin look like a bathtub is amazing ;)

To share, I read Sum of All Fears when it came out. Like the book, liked Clancy. The movie....wth?!
Posted by: swksvolFF || 01/01/2013 21:10 Comments || Top||

#9  No offense taken, swksvolFF. When you got the name of the movie wrong, I figured you'd never heard of the books. (I can recommend them, by the way, if you're looking for a good read. It's not really necessary, but try to start with the first book to get the full flavor of the main character and understand him and his evolution through the books/years. And even thought I'm female, you can bet they not romances - yuck!)

I agree with you - Hollyweird can F up a wet dream. >:-(
Posted by: Barbara || 01/01/2013 21:22 Comments || Top||


Let's Give Up on the Constitution
Rolled over to the New Year by request.
...As someone who has taught constitutional law for almost 40 years, I am ashamed it took me so long to see how bizarre all this is. Imagine that after careful study a government official -- say, the president or one of the party leaders in Congress -- reaches a considered judgment that a particular course of action is best for the country. Suddenly, someone bursts into the room with new information: a group of white propertied men who have been dead for two centuries, knew nothing of our present situation, acted illegally under existing law and thought it was fine to own slaves might have disagreed with this course of action. Is it even remotely rational that the official should change his or her mind because of this divination?

Louis Michael Seidman, a professor of constitutional law at Georgetown University, is the author of the forthcoming book "On Constitutional Disobedience."

We're getting used to being ruled, rather than governed. And we're getting real used to rule by decree.

The obsessing on the fact that those who wrote the Constitution were white -- usually by white liberals like the writer -- kind of turns my stomach. So was Julius Caesar white. So was Aristotle. So was Sir Walter Raleigh. So was Al Capone and Wyatt Earp and Horatio Nelson and Eddie Rickenbacker. And, with special significance for an argument on the Constitution, John Locke. Somehow in the process of attempting to overcome the racial animus that prevailed up until the early 1960s, we've (or some of us have) become hyper-race conscious, and being white has become a point against a person. These are the seeds that in our grandchildren's or great-grandchildren' time will grow into some nasty ethnic conflict. Since they'll be busy paying off an enormous national debt at the time in eentsy-weentsy dollars they're going to be pretty irritable and the conflict won't be pretty.

Mr. Constitutional Law Perfessor doesn't appear to realize that the Constitution is a framework of government and that it has been adjusted to meet changing conditions over the years -- that's why we inaugurate the president in January, rather than in March. It's also how we ended up with the income tax despite the provision in the body of the Constitution against a head tax, and how we ended up with women's sufferage and with the Volstead Act and no beer. It's intentionally designed to be hard to amend -- just about everybody has to support the change, rather than just a bare majority of congressmen. But the House still maintains control of the public purse and there's still a requirement to come up with a budget every now and then, whether they want to or not.

The bitch often centers on the Bill of Rights, which are safeguards against dictatorial rule. They are restrictions on government, so naturally as government grows more rapacious and dictatorial it will attempt to remove or overcome those restrictions. There's probably a reason for that.
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
That means you can take Sunday off -- it's the Lord's Day, when it's forbidden to do any work. It means that you can belong to a church of ludicrous doctrine, worship Baal if you please, or believe in nothing at all. You can be a complete solipsist if it pleases you. It says -- remember it starts "Congress shall make no law..." -- you can be a member of the Tea Party or Occupy Wall Street or both if you're a contortionist and government shall not say thee nay. And if you want your taxes reduced you have a perfect right to turn up in front of the Capitol and holler about it, even though a few thousand letters would do more good. And you can make fun of Mohammad or the Pope or Chairman Mao all you want. What's complicated about all that?
A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed
The militia in 1776 was the army. It was called out in the case of Injun attacks or to fight the Redcoats. Its members brought their own weapons. We don't have many Injun attacks nowadays and the Redcoats are friends and allies. But if you read the Declaration of Independence, another legal document forming the government, you read
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.--That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, --That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government
to whit, that the citizenry has the right to abolish or modify a government that becomes, let us say, rapacious and arrogant. Requiring that tea sold bear a stamp from the government, or that everybody has to buy health insurance, want it or not, for instance. The right to bear arms is the right to keep government honest, and the higher capacity the magazines the more honest they'll tend to be.
No Soldier shall, in time of peace be quartered in any house, without the consent of the Owner, nor in time of war, but in a manner to be prescribed by law.
Troops used to be put up in citizens' houses. The citizen got to feed them and take care of them until they moved on. "Quartering" often looked more like "looting." It's not a problem we have at the moment, but there's nothing to say it won't come back fifty or a hundred years from now.
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.
A certain amount of search and seizure is required to maintain a civil society -- otherwise crooks could just step inside their doors and remain undisturbed. The key word, I'd think, not being a hotshot Constitutional scholar, is "unreasonable." For instance, crashing through a citizen's front door at 2:30 in the morning, hollering and waving guns, doesn't seem all that reasonable. Maybe six or seven a.m. if the guy's a bail jumper or an escapee. And when the cops leave, possibly with their prisoner cuffed and on his way to jug, they should have to clean up when they leave, or at least leave the place like they found it. And the sight of an armed and armored SWAT cop holding a gun on a screaming six-year-old boy should be a sight that would have the citizenry up in arms. Even Alexander Hamilton would choke on that one. He and Aaron Burr would show up arm in arm, leading the charge to be out in front of the Capitol, demanding the dissolution of whatever agency the Storm Trooper belonged to.
No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offence to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.
We now live in an age where a Grand Jury "will indict a ham sandwich." The purpose of the Grand Jury is to look at the evidence and determine whether the case against the accused looks reasonable. If not, the prisoner should be released, possibly until the Feds can come up with better evidence, probably for good. There's an exception for wartime, since (oh, dear!) military tribunals might be operating in different circumstances. And there's a provision against double jeopardy to keep the Feds from bringing the same charge based on the same evidence over and over, impoverishing the accused while they rely on a crap against the wall technique. He can't be made to testify against himself, either, and he's entitled to due process of law, which means the cops can't be judge, jury and executioner. Nor can his property can be grabbed for some Congressman's project, to be paid nothing or a pittance.
In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the Assistance of Counsel for his defence.
Now we're getting into the "Due Process of Law" part of it. The Constitution that this guy's in favor of discarding, has a provision in it that would look to any normal person like it forbids indicting a guy in May and starting his trial not even the next September but the one after that. I'm not too sure how you'd define sixteen months as "speedy." Go to your local federal prison and pick a case at random and count the number of months, not days, between arrest and verdict, then add another six months for sentencing. The jury has to come from the same area that the alleged crime took place, even if there's a change of venue to Caliphornia so they can maybe get the Ninth Circuit. The jurors would have to be transported from Minnesota or wherever. I'm not even sure if it's within the bounds of the Sixth Amendment for a person to face 120 separate counts of mopery or something. One thing at a time would seem less overwhelming and wouldn't allow that crap against the wall approach by a bloodthirsty prosecutor.
In suits at common law, where the value in controversy shall exceed twenty dollars, the right of trial by jury shall be preserved, and no fact tried by a jury, shall be otherwise re-examined in any court of the United States, than according to the rules of the common law.
Seventh amendment establishes English common law, which stretches at least as far back as King Alfred, for use in civil trials concerning values greater than twenty bucks. You get a trial by jury, not "if you want one" but a trial by jury. You can't kneel before the local satrap and describe your complaint or have some party hack alderman decide it. And that last bit means that if a jury comes up with an outlandish interpretation of the facts in a case they'll have to be examined in an appeals court in accordance with that same common law. Of course, King Alfred was white, and so was King John, and so were each and every one of the King Henrys. And all the King Georges. And common law recognizes corporations as persons in a limited manner -- GM can't vote, for instance, but it can and does own lots of property.
Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.
The Feds are forbidden to impoverish an accused. The definition of "cruel and unusual punishment" can change over the years, so I guess in this respect the Constitution's a "living document." Those Dead White Guys were thinking of the rack and the bastinado and drawing and quartering. Nowadays we think how cruel and unusual a ball and chain would be. Or hanging.
The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.
Anything else that we, the people, decide are rights are our rights, not the government's to give or take away. Those old white guys are saying here that if they left out any positive rights on a par with protection against unreasonable search and seizure, that's forbidden to government, too.
The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.
The tenth amendment is a second whack at the rights protected by the ninth. The ninth says that any rights not enumerated belong to the people upon discovery. The tenth says that anything the Constitution doesn't say the government can do, it can't do. To whit, education or environmental protection, or health and human services or housing or urban development. And public television and radio. As far as I know, and I've read the whole document two or three times, maybe more, there's no provision in there for executive orders, either.

And no tsars. The Dead White Guys really didn't like tsars.

The real gripe we're seeing here is that the Constitution establishes a republic and we've evolved into a democracy, with all the faults that inevitably accrue -- most strikingly the majority voting themselves the minority's money. There's no Constitutional provision for that, and the Lockean provisions for protection of life, liberty, and property loudly argue against it.

The stop at democracy, I believe, is always a short one. It inevitably devolves into oligarchy. Explain to me, please, the differences between the Kennedies, the Dalys, the Cuomos, the Bhuttos, the Ghandis, and the Sharifs? And the al-Thanis and the Sauds. Oligarchies can last for years and years but eventually they decay is into dictatorship or anarchy.

This article starring:
Louis Michael Seidman
Volstead Amendment
Posted by: Beavis || 01/01/2013 10:09 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [305 views] Top||

#1  NYT article; color me surprised.

/sarc
Posted by: Raj || 12/31/2012 10:46 Comments || Top||

#2  Here's my response as sent to the New York Sun editorial that in turn commented on this piece --

The editorial by the Sun, well-written as it is, spends a little too much time apologizing for the great sin of slavery and not enough time responding to what is Professor Louis Seidman's central point in his piece in the New York Times.

To be clear, slavery was indeed a horrible wrong, and all Americans today rightly condemn it, and work for the day when the lasting effects of slavery are finally expunged from our society.

But just as importantly, Professor Seidman complains about the Constitution today. He apparently is of the belief (as best I can tell from his op-ed piece) that the Constitution should be respected only if it is a 'living' document; which is to say that it should mean what society (and particularly, people of his beliefs) say it should mean.

In this belief the good Professor misses two key points: the first is that a charter, which is what the Constitution is, deliberately binds a people to history. Be the charter a generation or a millenium old, the whole point is to condition our behavior today on a proper respect for the past, warts and all. There are plenty of specific terms and items in the Magna Carta that certainly would be out of place in the modern world, but we (and the British) still give it reverence for what it did at that time to make us what we are today. So too the Constitution provides an enduring framework that made us the republic we are today, and channels our work, our energy and even our protests in ways that benefit our society.

The second point is even simpler: our elected leaders take an oath to defend the Constitution as their first act of office. Even if Professor Seidman believes the Constitution to be a dead piece of parchment, does he not understand and respect what an oath is, and what it is supposed to do to those who swear one? Like a written charter, an oath conditions and channels us by providing a framework for our subsequent acts. That is precisely why our Constitution, for example, requires our President to take an oath.

If Professor Seidman believes the Constitution to be fatally flawed for today's world, then he should propose a replacement. He and like-minded citizens could then try to persuade the rest of us as to the wisdom of a new charter. To ignore the Constitution and the oaths taken to defend it, however, rapidly leads to anarchy. In the end, such a society would be based on the very simple, brutish charter of human nature: might makes right.

I shall bet that Professor Seidman does not want that sort of replacement charter in the modern world.
Posted by: Steve White || 12/31/2012 11:30 Comments || Top||

#3  A conversation by a learned man against himself and the fireplace, third bottle down.

I would demand my money back, even if I supported this position. And for the record, I believe those founders would see quite clearly our current situation.

If even this change is impossible, perhaps the dream of a country ruled by “We the people” is impossibly utopian. If so, we have to give up on the claim that we are a self-governing people who can settle our disagreements through mature and tolerant debate.

Hey professor, your ass is showing.
Posted by: swksvolFF || 12/31/2012 11:48 Comments || Top||

#4  It's interesting that the good professor did not come to this realization while W was president. As I recall, the Constitution was quite in vogue back then. What he is really saying is that the results the Constitution is currently producing -- i.e., a limit on Champ's power-- are not to his liking. Which reminds me of this exchange in :

William Roper: So, now you give the Devil the benefit of law!
Sir Thomas More: Yes! What would you do? Cut a great road through the law to get after the Devil?
William Roper: Yes, I'd cut down every law in England to do that!
Sir Thomas More: Oh? And when the last law was down, and the Devil turned 'round on you, where would you hide, Roper, the laws all being flat? This country is planted thick with laws, from coast to coast, Man's laws, not God's! And if you cut them down, and you're just the man to do it, do you really think you could stand upright in the winds that would blow then? Yes, I'd give the Devil benefit of law, for my own safety's sake!
Posted by: Matt || 12/31/2012 11:53 Comments || Top||

#5  Oops, the quote is from the movie version of
Posted by: Matt || 12/31/2012 11:54 Comments || Top||

#6  A Man for All Seasons. Something's wrong with my fingers this morning.
Posted by: Matt || 12/31/2012 11:55 Comments || Top||

#7  That already happened in the 30's.
Posted by: Iblis || 12/31/2012 12:00 Comments || Top||

#8  So, that means we default back to the Articles of Confederation or simply become the Disunited States, each of individual sovereignty. Otherwise, power comes from the barrel of a gun. Don't count on the military to back you up professor, the mid-ranks are relieved of their oaths and the bulk will not break for your tribe side. Meanwhile, with 3 million arms in private hands you won't have much in the way of Constitutional protection of your 'civil rights' that you obviously don't extend to others.
Posted by: P2kontheroad || 12/31/2012 12:02 Comments || Top||

#9  Agreed, P2k.
Posted by: Barbara || 12/31/2012 12:10 Comments || Top||

#10  Very well saiD, Dr. White!
Posted by: Barbara || 12/31/2012 12:11 Comments || Top||

#11  Our Constitution does address some forms of slavery but not others. It does not address tax slavery. Every year, the tax anniversary date keeps getting pushed further and further into the year; essentially creating a kind of economic servitude.

If an amendment were proposed to our Constitution which would basically aim at controlling fiscal messes that our government gets us into and taxes, I wonder if 3/4th of the states would ratify such an amendment? Presently, such an amendment would never get out of Congress the way things are going.
Posted by: JohnQC || 12/31/2012 12:43 Comments || Top||

#12  It does address tax slavery in the prohibition against a head tax. The 17th amendment scuttled that, to give us the IRS.
Posted by: Fred || 12/31/2012 13:37 Comments || Top||

#13  The 16th amendment authorized Congress to levy income taxes, without limit. The 17th amendment changed Senators from appointed to elected.

Sorry to nitpick. Both were huge mistakes.
Posted by: RandomJD || 12/31/2012 14:15 Comments || Top||

#14  Boy! After reading all the comentary, do I need to read the original piece of ... article?

Fred and Steve - my compliments. You guys ought to be in another line of work! The rest of you -- well, you're just way above average. Have a Happy New Year!
Posted by: Bobby || 12/31/2012 14:48 Comments || Top||

#15  My reply now is on line at the Sun. Apparently the Sun doesn't have the readership the Times has, which is a shame.

I would have posted my reply at the Times but as a non-subscriber one only gets to view and comment on 10 free articles a month and I am over my limit.
Posted by: Steve White || 12/31/2012 14:53 Comments || Top||

#16  Excellent.
Posted by: JohnQC || 12/31/2012 15:27 Comments || Top||

#17  Between all the liberal calls for the dismantling of the constitution, and the execution and imprisonment of NRA and gun owners, can we see a major push for a dictatorship in 2013?

Either way, I believe the Republic is finished. Either a push for dictatorship or a push for Federalism will be our path for the next century.
Posted by: DarthVader || 12/31/2012 16:14 Comments || Top||

#18  Damn, classic work FredMan.
Posted by: Shipman || 12/31/2012 16:54 Comments || Top||

#19  Either a push for dictatorship or a push for Federalism will be our path for the next century.

The tug-of-war is already on. The question is, which one will prevail?
Posted by: RandomJD || 12/31/2012 17:17 Comments || Top||

#20  Yeah--he was always aiming for that. The pattern is clear. I used to run around with the Commies in college, and O is wiping the Republic off the board--all according the playbook, with some help from Alynski and the NWO handlers. Adherence to the Constitution is one of the cornerstones of American national identity, which is what must be eliminated according to the Big Money guys.

I used to think that stuff was nonsense, but the more I find out and analyze....oh boy. NOT good.

Posted by: ex-lib || 12/31/2012 18:54 Comments || Top||

#21  The US Constitution will have to be formally amended to accomodate the Globalists' desired OWG + OWG GFUS e.g. NAU, etc.

To just bypass = "give up" on the Constitution, aka the "Law of the Land", is to basically admit that mainstream America has grown soft or is too lazy to stand up for its own Freedoms + Rights.

IMO the sooner the US goes over the "fiscal cliff" + Moodys, Fitch, etc. seriously degrade the US credit ratings, andor China MilPol publicly humiliates the US in East Asia [ECS + SCS, Taiwan, Himalayas] the better for Americans' + America's soul.
Posted by: JosephMendiola || 12/31/2012 19:30 Comments || Top||

#22  A shame to loose this at Midnight. :(
Posted by: newc || 12/31/2012 22:03 Comments || Top||

#23  I'll restart by wishing all Rantburgers and those serving our country a very Happy New Year.

Mr. Seidman has squandered his 40 years. He should know that the Constitution as adopted by those slave holding white men was pretty well eviscerated by the 16th and 17th amendments adopted 100 years ago that fundamentally altered the balance of power among the people, the states, and the federal government, and the unauthorized amendments adopted by the Supreme Court since 1937.

It is unfortunate, because those white men understood our present situation better than those governing us today, for there is nothing new under the Sun. 1913 was a very bad year, leading to many worse. 2012 looks to have produced an evil as bad. Our chance to reverse the evils of 1913 may have disappeared. We shall see.
Posted by: Nimble Spemble || 01/01/2013 5:28 Comments || Top||

#24  Injecting the language of slavery always validates the argument and provides cover for progressives. Thanks for the guilt booster shot professor, but I'm allergic to the serum. Please forgive me for my involvement as a horse holder at Wounded Knee. I still have nightmares by the way.
Posted by: Besoeker || 01/01/2013 6:55 Comments || Top||

#25  It HAS been given up on, to a large degree. I can read, and lots of stuff government does is unconstitutional, but even the Supreme Court lets it go on.
Posted by: Glenmore || 01/01/2013 9:01 Comments || Top||

#26  "and lots of most stuff government does is unconstitutional"

FTFY, Glenmore.

(No charge, us being friends and all...)
Posted by: Barbara || 01/01/2013 9:41 Comments || Top||

#27  Let's give up on the Constitution NFW!
Posted by: JohnQC || 01/01/2013 10:01 Comments || Top||

#28  No Constitution. Okay. Then the Federal Government loses whatever pretense of legitimacy it had left and it is lock and load time.
Posted by: Secret Asian Man || 01/01/2013 11:13 Comments || Top||

#29  While we are on the subject of the Constitution can someone tell me how John Kerry was able to circumvent Article 3 of the 14th Amendment? Did he not give both verbal and visual "aid and comfort" to the enemy?
Posted by: Jack is Back! || 01/01/2013 11:14 Comments || Top||

#30  That "aid and comfort" bit was cancelled out by the shooting of a wounded VC with his .45 auto.
Posted by: Besoeker || 01/01/2013 11:20 Comments || Top||

#31  Besoeker, the aid and comfort happened after he shot a wounded teenage VC to death. He did the aid and comfort to atone for the shooting.

Anybody know what the statute of limitations is for treason?
Posted by: Rambler in Virginia || 01/01/2013 11:37 Comments || Top||

#32  Anybody know what the statute of limitations is for treason? Posted by Rambler in Virginia

For the Champ, it's the moment he steps away from the lectern.
Posted by: Besoeker || 01/01/2013 11:42 Comments || Top||

#33  The oath of office of the President of the United States is an oath or affirmation required by the United States Constitution before the President begins the execution of the office. The wording is specified in Article Two, Section One, Clause Eight:

Before he enter on the Execution of his Office, he shall take the following Oath or Affirmation:--"I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my Ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States."

President Franklin D. Roosevelt was administered the oath of office four times, more than any other president. However, since President Barack Obama's second inaugural is to fall on a Sunday, he is likely to be sworn in twice for his second inauguration with the second falling on Monday. If this occurs as expected, Obama will also have been sworn in four times counting the two from his first inauguration, due to Chief Justice John Roberts misstating the wording of the oath on his first attempt, thereby causing a request for a re-administration of the oath shortly after in private quarters.

So in taking the Oath of Office and then advocating the dismisal of the very document by which he holds office presents the American People with what ?

The big "T" word....Treason ? No, the Constitution having been dismissed, invalidated, holds that the "T" is the impeachable offense; no Constitution, no offense.

Sweet. Herzlich Willkommen Sie auf der neuen America
Posted by: Au Auric || 01/01/2013 11:55 Comments || Top||


India-Pakistan
The aftermath of Bashir Bilour
[Dawn] THE heart-wrenching, nerve-shattering attack in Beautiful Downtown Peshawar
...capital of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (formerly known as the North-West Frontier Province), administrative and economic hub for the Federally Administered Tribal Areas of Pakistan. Peshawar is situated near the eastern end of the Khyber Pass, convenient to the Pak-Afghan border. Peshawar has evolved into one of Pakistan's most ethnically and linguistically diverse cities, which means lots of gunfire.
’s Qissa Khwani Bazaar on Dec 22, must be a defining moment for the state of Pakistain, Pak and Pakhtun society and the democratic political process in Pakistain.

This attack killed Bashir Bilour, one of the daring voices of the Awami National Party and a proud son of Peshawar, along with others. More than three dozen people were maimed.

Besides once again bringing to light the fact that the cut-thoat network, both ideological and strategic, is intact and that the ideological, strategic and tactical alliance of various cut-thoat groups has matured, the attack has also raised crucial questions in the minds of common Paks, those belonging to Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa
... formerly NWFP, still Terrorism Central...
in particular.

The first set of questions is related to the state of Pakistain. Will the security state now shed the mantle of elitism, its centrist mindset and its colonial approach towards the common people of Pakistain? Will it now decide to build on the pluralist, indigenous legacy of the land or continue to maintain a colonial legacy by keeping people hostage to an imposed identity based on a parochial interpretation of religion?

Will the establishment decide to put a full stop to the geo-strategic paradigm that has cost thousands of lives? Will it ever allow elected parliaments to form foreign policy in consonance with the desires, aspirations and needs of the common people? Will it let civil society and the government machinery overhaul an education system that is spreading hate?

Answers to the above questions might lead towards ideological clarity with respect to religious militancy and terrorism that have endangered the state of Pakistain.

The majority of the people of Pakistain look at cut-thoat attacks with disgust and abhorrence. Not so the security state along with the rightist religio-political parties, that are in a minority. It is their mindset that has to be deconstructed as a first step towards defeating the menace of terrorism.

The menace is now well-entrenched both ideologically and strategically and is strong enough to strike at the vitals of the state.

Political parties, elected governments, civil society organizations, the military and intelligentsia have to take responsibility for deconstructing the cut-thoat ideology, decoding their strategies and defeating their tactics. Collective responsibility is to be taken for collective survival.

The second set of questions relates to Pak society in general and Pakhtun society in particular. Will the common masses allow their worldview and way of thinking and lifestyle to be hijacked by a handful of zealots?

Will Pak culture which is a repository of multi-lingual, multi-cultural, multi-religious and multi-ethnic values become hostage to the culture of violence inspired by Salafi jihadist ideology?

Will an identity based on indigenous historical continuity and diversity of worldviews, lifestyles and thoughts of 180 million people be stifled by groups of zealots who believe in a uni-dimensional reality?

Will these 180 million be pushed into a black hole cutting them off from modern human civilisation and cultural continuity by a minority?

In terms of Pakhtun society, will the Pakhtuns allow their music, aesthetics, folklore, poetry, history and culture to be demolished through a particular religious interpretation? Will they let themselves be deprived of the teachings of the humanist Rahman Baba and legends like Bayazid Ansari, Khushal Khan Khattak and Baacha Khan who preached human dignity, a pluralist democracy and an indigenous cultural identity linked with the values of modern civilisation?

The future of a harmonious Pak society in general and the Pakhtun society in particular will largely depend on the answers to the above questions. Civil society organizations, academia and professional organizations (consisting of lawyers, doctors and teachers etc) as well as youth networks have to reflect on this sliding of a pluralist society into the abyss of obscurantism and barbarity.

Their deliberations might lead them to leave their comfort zone and initiate an across-the-board dialogue among various segments of society. This in turn may lead to civil society asserting itself to help determine state policy and direct state machinery on the basis of a social contract between the state and its citizens.

The third set of questions is related to the future of a democratic and pro-people political process in Pakistain. The struggle of the ANP is a continuation of the Khudai Khidmatgar movement from the 1920s to the 1950s giving shape to the National Awami Party in the 1950s until the late 1970s.

At the core of its struggle professedly lie decolonisation, de-tribalisation and de-weaponisation. Its manifesto shows adherence to liberal democracy and the pro-people nature of the political process in Pakistain.

Besides some other liberal democratic nationalist political parties, the ANP has taken an unambiguous stand against cut-thoat ideology and state policies that promote it. In the process, the ANP has sacrificed more than 1,500 party cadres and four elected members besides sustaining losses to their land and property.

Militant ideology and tactics will not only target ANP workers and leaders. The space for a pro-democratic political process has been continuously shrinking for all political parties who adhere to constitutional democracy in Pakistain.

The PPP, ANP, PML-N and Q, the Pakhtunkhwa Milli Awami Party, National Party, JUI-F and others have to put their heads together to develop a comprehensive, coordinated, objective and clear strategy for defeating cut-thoat ideology and cut-thoat tactics.
Posted by: Fred || 01/01/2013 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [224 views] Top||



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Tue 2013-01-01
  Pakistan: Six charity workers shot dead
Mon 2012-12-31
  Qaeda in Yemen offers bounty for killing US ambassador, troops
Sun 2012-12-30
  Pakistan reports 21 tribal policemen kidnapped, found dead
Sat 2012-12-29
  At Least 15 Killed in Sect Attack in North Nigeria
Fri 2012-12-28
  Militants kill two, kidnap 22 Pakistani soldiers
Thu 2012-12-27
  Somalia sets 100 days for Al Shabab militants to surrender
Wed 2012-12-26
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Tue 2012-12-25
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Mon 2012-12-24
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Sun 2012-12-23
  Egypt vice-president resigns on final day of referendum
Sat 2012-12-22
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Fri 2012-12-21
  U.N. Security Council Approves Mali Intervention Force
Thu 2012-12-20
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Wed 2012-12-19
  Three more polio workers shot in Pakistan; eight dead in 48 hours
Tue 2012-12-18
  Syrian rebels take control of Damascus Palestinian camp

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