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Detroit columnist thinks he knows better than the Founding Fathers

Detroit News columnist Robert Smith, Jr apparently is one pretty smart guy. He knows better than our Founding Fathers, who were wrong to give citizens the right to bear arms.

The Founding Fathers of our country made a mistake when they said we had the right to bear arms. They did not know we would be allies with the British and no longer have to worry about them coming over to oppress and colonize us. The British found greater spoils in Africa and India and never looked back on the United States after the Revolutionary War.


The right to bear arms is killing all of us. In 2005 the Center for Disease Control and Prevention reported 3,006 children and teens killed by gunfire, most of them young, black men in inner-city neighborhoods. And CNN reported yesterday that black-on-black murder of young black men is up 40 percent from last year. The harder the times get, the higher these statistics will go.

Yet again, we have another instance of an idiot bleeding heart liberal with no concept of the FACT that guns do not miraculously start flying around, shooting people at random with no one pulling the trigger!

Guns do not kill people. PEOPLE kill people. When will liberals ever get that through their thick skulls? Banning guns does not end crime, as the British could tell you. They banned guns, and guess what happened? Stabbing deaths skyrocketed. If someone wants to murder someone, they're going to find a way to do it. They likely won't care about breaking one more law to get a gun, either. Banning guns takes guns out of the hands of law-abiding citizens and yet, criminals will continue to have them.

But the main thing that's interesting here is the assertion that the Founding Fathers strictly gave us the right to bear arms so that we could fight the British. God, is this guy brain dead? We were given the right to bear arms not only to protect our homes and families, but also so that the citizenry could fight back against a tyrannical government. And that's any tyrannical government, not just the British government.

Look, I get it. Liberals hate seeing astronomically high rates of inner-city violence, especially when guns are involved. So do the rest of us. However, the rest of us understand that the GUN is not responsible. The man holding the gun is. An unloaded gun sitting on a table is not going to spontaneously fire itself unless someone loads the weapon and pulls the trigger. A gun by itself is harmless. A gun in a person's hands, however, is dangerous, and it is the people using them to commit acts of violence that should be held accountable, not the weapon. But then, that would require liberals to believe in people actually taking responsibility for their own actions, and they couldn't cry over criminals sitting in prison anymore, could they? After all, it's never the murderer's fault, is it? It's the fault of that nasty, nasty gun.

Hat Tips: MK Freeberg and Anti-Idiotarian Rottweiler


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Comments (67)

So what was the War of 1812... (Below threshold)

So what was the War of 1812 about again?

Arg, Darby beat me to it.</... (Below threshold)
Pat:

Arg, Darby beat me to it.

Dern it, Darby, beat me too... (Below threshold)
iurockhead:

Dern it, Darby, beat me too it. Of course, a putz like that columnist isn't likely to be any more familiar with history than he is with current reality, is he?

I bet he changes his tune the first time he confronts a burgler in his house. In that situation, your life can depend on what happens in a few seconds, and the police can be there in a few minutes.

Perhaps Mr. Smith ... (Below threshold)
irongrampa:


Perhaps Mr. Smith just needs to go sit quietly in the corner and let the adults be in charge.

I am sure that Mr Smith wou... (Below threshold)
retired miilitary:

I am sure that Mr Smith wouldnt have a problem with a million children a year dying from abortions. Now if they were shot then that is another matter but since a doctor killed them it is just dandy.

Being that this moron is su... (Below threshold)
mpw280:

Being that this moron is supposedly a member of the journalistic profession, he might want to remember that the second ammendment protects the first ammendment. Guns in the hands of the informed adult population keeps the government from controlling the press. MPW

Typical anti-gun screed, wi... (Below threshold)
RB:

Typical anti-gun screed, with no basis in fact. First of all, to my knowledge, not only has knife crime increased since Britain's gun ban, but GUN crime has skyrocketed as well--as only the criminals are now armed. Second, this guy decries the "inner-city" gun violence...which we all would love to see decrease; however, the high levels of inner-city gun violence are occurring in localities where guns are, for the most part, already banned--once again, only the criminals in the inner-city are armed, and the innocents are defenseless.

He's probably just a produc... (Below threshold)
Joe Mama:

He's probably just a product of Obama's Charter School Program.

Instead of telling the peop... (Below threshold)
jdgjtr:

Instead of telling the people that they are responsible for their actions. It is easier to pander to people and tell them that an object is to blame. I know it won't do any good, but for once, I would like for politicians, reporters, and professional do-gooders say: "Don't buy, sell or do drugs. Don't hang around people that do. Get an education, get a job, help your neighbor, become a well informed citizen. Only you can make the world a better place, not the government." Won't happen, though.

The commentors on the site ... (Below threshold)
retired military:

The commentors on the site are tearing him a new one and rightfully so.

Lets follow his reasoning.

Since husbands kille their wives then we should ban marriages.

Since overweight people cause harm to their bodies than we have to ban being obese and jail anyone who is obese.

Since parents commit the vast majority of physical abuse of children (not sexual) than we need to ban people from having children.

Since more people die from automobiles than from guns we need to ban automobiles.

Since about half the gun related deaths are from suicide we need to ban suicided (oh wait that is about as effective as banning guns would be).

Typical Liberal thinking on display.

Well, I will give Mr. Smith... (Below threshold)
kbiel Author Profile Page:

Well, I will give Mr. Smith credit for one thing. He at least understands and admits that the 2nd amendment states an absolute, individual right. I disagree with his preference to repeal it and his reasoning, but at least he's honest unlike most anti-gun liberals.

Forgot oneSince ne... (Below threshold)
retired military:

Forgot one

Since newspaper opinion writers are the source of 100% of bad opinions published in newspapers we should banish all newspaper opinion writers.

At least something we can all get behind.

Strangely enough, Mr Smith ... (Below threshold)
Ken Hahn:

Strangely enough, Mr Smith gets closer to the founders' thoughts than almost anyone in the Second Amendment debate. Although he misses the point entirely, it was not crime prevention, hunting or invasion protection that motivated the framers. The British had been the problem, but since the 1783 it was elsewhere.

The Constitution was a vast expansion of government power. Under the Articles of Confederation, the United States government was weak and unable to undermine the rights of its citizens. The Bill of Rights was proposed to limit the government's power to control the individual. Every one of the first ten amendments was aimed at a newly powerful central government and limiting its ability to control the States or the people. This includes the Second. It was not London, at which the Second Amendment was aimed, it was Washington ( although that city would not become the capitol until 1800 ).

Mr Smith would be horrified to realize that the founders wanted an armed citizenry to protect their rights from American government overreach, but he got close enough to recognize government as the enemy of liberty. I have to give him that.

Washington DC had a gun ban... (Below threshold)
hermie:

Washington DC had a gun ban and it didn't stop the criminals.

Chicago had a gun ban in place for years and the murders from guns INCREASED.

A person who intends to kill someone to either get rid of the 'competition' or to keep his criminal activities going, is NOT going to shake in his boots at a law which makes it a crime to have a gun. If he is mean and bold enough to kill a person, he isn't going to worry about another 5 - 10 years sentencing for breaking the gun law.

This is what liberals refuse to grasp...Criminals have no fear of the law because liberals don't confront them. They prefer symbolic gestures instead of such 'unpleasantness' as enforcing punishment or expecting accountability. No gangbanger is going to give up his turf by watching a group of 'Stop the Hate' protestors; but their activities will be curtailed by enforcement of existing laws, strict prosecution of violators, and imprisonment of criminals.

''Laws that forbid the carr... (Below threshold)

''Laws that forbid the carrying of arms... disarm only those who are neither inclined nor determined to commit crimes... Such laws make things worse for the assaulted and better for the assailants; they serve rather to encourage than to prevent homicides, for an unarmed man may be attacked with greater confidence than an armed man.''
-- Jefferson's "Commonplace Book," 1774-1776, quoting from On Crimes and Punishment, by criminologist Cesare Beccaria, 1764

Perhaps that asshole will b... (Below threshold)
GarandFan:

Perhaps that asshole will begin writing about rap music and it's glorification of violence. Nah, that would be racist. Can't have that. Several other nations, notably Switzerland, have military weapons stored in just about every home, yet they don't have the gun violence we do. Ever hear a liberal wanting to question just what might be wrong with our society? Or are they afraid some of their most cherished beliefs will turn out frauds?

This guy isn't a journalist... (Below threshold)
jaymaster:
Since newspaper op... (Below threshold)
jmc:
Since newspaper opinion writers are the source of 100% of bad opinions published in newspapers we should banish all newspaper opinion writers.

At least something we can all get behind.


If only the far right cared about the rest of the bill of rights. Oh well, at least you care about the second amendment, that at least, is a good thing.

Thanks for the quote ToddK!... (Below threshold)

Thanks for the quote ToddK!

If Jefferson, the ultimate 'appropriated' liberal icon understood it, how can they not?

Simple. It doesn't challenge liberal's fundamental premises.

That argument addresses their ideology's result. It addresses the consequences of their 'solution'.

And so, liberals can always respond that the DC and Chicago bans are ineffective because they are undermined by the ease of access criminals have to guns outside DC and Chicago. They will claim that the ban is being administered inefficiently, because if there were no guns to be acquired, criminals couldn't get them...

Pointing to the results of Britain's gun ban is ineffective because liberals simply say that it will be different here. And then predictably, will offer the rationale that at the very least it will lessen violent crime by at least partially limiting access to guns.

It doesn't matter that this is wishful thinking unsupported by the facts.

Because pointing to the result of a philosophy of non-violence indicates deductive reasoning and liberals are reasoning inductively.

Until secular liberalism's fundamental premise that people are malleable; that with enough abundance and education and love and caring by others, everyone can be made into responsible, law-abiding citizens...until that premise is addressed and repeatedly and consistently exposed as false, the 'argument' with liberals will go on.

Sorry, jmc -Commen... (Below threshold)
apb:

Sorry, jmc -

Commentary here is proof of the 1st amendment. The bigger problem is the MSM's blatant disregard for truth in coverage, and their obsession with 'gatekeeping' to control the population.

What will your opinion be when the MSM whitewashes the Obama administration's inevitable corruption?

The Founding Fathers did no... (Below threshold)

The Founding Fathers did not grant us the right to keep and bear arms. They merely recognized the existing right under English Common Law.

The English right can be traced back to the Magna Carta.

The main benefit an armed citizenry is not to protect the citizen from the individual perp, but rather from the state. The leading cause of death in the previous century was democide, the killing of a nations citizens by her goverment.

A free people can not exist where the state as the right to arms but the citizens do not. Free men carry arms. Serfs do not. Are you a citizen or a serf?

Commentary here i... (Below threshold)
jmc:
Commentary here is proof of the 1st amendment. The bigger problem is the MSM's blatant disregard for truth in coverage, and their obsession with 'gatekeeping' to control the population

The fact that wizbang allows comments, is actually a nice thing. Most sites, right or left, don't allow that. So, I would say that the wizbang folks are probably pretty pro first amendment. However given the support of the wizbang community of many of George Bush's policies I'd have to say the right seems pretty hostile to amenmends 4 through nine.


What will your opinion be when the MSM whitewashes the Obama administration's inevitable corruption?

You want my opinion on something that hasn't happened, and the only reason you seem to have that it might happen is your intense dislike of Obama? Tell you what when you have some evidence of corruption let me know about it and I will comment on it.

While we are on the subject though (since it has happened) tell me what you think of President Bush's cronyism, incompetence and law breaking?

Are you referring to the 'l... (Below threshold)

Are you referring to the 'law breaking' authorized and voted upon by the US Congress after extended debate?

Or perhaps the treatment of civilian combatants NOT covered by the Geneva conventions?

I knew someone would get to... (Below threshold)
tyree:

I knew someone would get to it and David L did,

"The Founding Fathers did not grant us the right to keep and bear arms. They merely recognized the existing right under English Common Law.

The English right can be traced back to the Magna Carta."

The hatred the liberals have blinds them to the truth, every time.

As usual, Cassy, this is a ... (Below threshold)
jmc:

As usual, Cassy, this is a poorly reasoned post. It is not by the way, your advocacy of the 2nd amendment that makes this post, like so many of yours, utterly ridiculous, it is complete lack of understanding of the other side's argument that accomplishes that.

Basically you are guilty of a strawman. Liberals who support gun control (and I am not one btw) do not do so because they think guns and not murders are responsible for homicide. No, the logic is basically to take away a tool, that is very effective at killing and it becomes harder for a murderer to accomplish his crime.

The logic is similar to why you wish to keep a nuke out of Iran's hands. I mean after all a Nuke is not evil in of itself. It is that evil ayatollah pushing the button. To paraphrase what you say:
A nuke by itself is harmless. A nuke in Al Quaeda hands, however, is dangerous, and it is the people using them to commit acts of violence that should be held accountable, not the weapon.

Basically those who support gun control do so for the same reason those who want to stop Iran from having a nuke do so. They believe the weapon is dangerous in the wrong hands. I actually think there are several things overlooked by those who take this position, but I don't think it is insane.

I disagree with gun control advocates for a host of reasons, but I think you should put a little effort to understand what you are arguing against instead of attributing a ridiculous set of beliefs to the other side.

JMCThe only reason... (Below threshold)
retired miilitary:

JMC

The only reason we can keep the other admendemnts is mainly due to the 2nd.


Lets look at the 4-9th that you mention

4th - Unreasonable search and seizures.

Where and when was this done? Wiretapping ? You mean when Congress said it was okay. Or when reasonable is when you are protecting folks against terorism with the full backing of CONGRESS.

5th - Cant hold prisoners unjustly. Last time I checked the US constitution was for US CITIZENS. GITMO detainees are for the most part not in that category nor do they fall under the Geneva convention categories.
As for American citizens detained that would have to be handled on a case by case basis. Otherwise you would be crying about the women in Iran who are stoned to death for being raped.

Article 6 - Speedy trial. See the same as above. Bush has has had his actoins reviewed by SCOTUS who has stated what is and is not constitutional.

Article 7 - Trail by jury. Again whining and moaning about non US citizens.

Article 8 - Bail and cruel and unusual punishment. Oh wait American citizens for one. As for unusual punishment I guess teens will have to get locked up due to the loud music.

Article 9 - Enumeration clause

Again these are for US citizens not Jihadists from the middle east whom the founders would have shot rather than bother locking up.

Again Bush was given a blank check by Congress to include democrats.


Oh BTW you mentioned Bush's lawbreaking.

To quote yourself "Tell you what when you have some evidence of corruption (lawbreaking) let me know about it"

So it is great for you to be able to make blind accusations but when someone else does you demand proof correct?

BTW I dont agree some of Bush's policies and actions. The war happens to be one of them I happen to agree with. As for the detainees at GITMO I am all for shooting them rather than arresting them. Under the geneva convention they fit the definition of spies and such can be executed.

If you can read this thank a teacher. If you can read this in English, thank a soldier.

JMCBTW if you thin... (Below threshold)
retired miilitary:

JMC

BTW if you think Bush is guilty of crimes for GITMO than if Obama doesnt shut it down as soon as he takes office than he is guilty in your eyes of the same crimes.

As for your nuke / gun analogy you forgot one crucial element. Guns are not allowed in the hands of criminals. Iran is basically a criminal state. In addition, there are international laws regarding nations having nuclear weapons. Iran is violating those laws. The same way if people who have guns use them in commission of a crime are doing so illegally.

Good analogy, but you just didnt think it through well enough.

Are you referring... (Below threshold)
jmc:
Are you referring to the 'law breaking' authorized and voted upon by the US Congress after extended debate?

I don't beleive there was a debate when the Bush administration violated the 4th amenmendment and began warrentess wiretapping.
that is probably the most egregious example.

Or perhaps the treatment of civilian combatants NOT covered by the Geneva conventions?

Well, the supreme court has ruled that they are covered under the Geneva convention. But I think that demonstrates, that you personally don't really think, all people are entitled to these rights. The founding fathers did. They just recognized that they couldn't control the rest of the world so they set up their own country based on these ideals. Bush republicans seem like they are always looking for ways to limit those rights.

Why another dead man crawli... (Below threshold)

Why another dead man crawling in the drying up stream of the whack a doodle doo doo 'media.'
Here's to much of it ceasing in'09.

JMCRef the GENEVA ... (Below threshold)
retired miilitary:

JMC

Ref the GENEVA convention. AQ never signed it. And in it it specifically deals with solders who are UNIFORMED.

It doesnt matter whether I think all people on earth are entitled to these rights. Actually I do. But obvsiously you dont since you are against the right to bear arms.

At the same time I realize that that US cannot be the watchdog and enforcer of civil rights for the world so therefore I dont go around proclaiming that we are violating rights that people dont have because in fact they arent entitled to them. Why? Because they werent born in the US. Our laws are for our citizens. We cant give say the french traffic tickets for speeding in France now can we? But that is what you are basically saying we should try to do.

In ref to the wiretapping

a. It has been reviewed by the courts.
b. Congress was informed.
C. It occurred when one of the parties was outside the country.

As to "discussion" of course there was discussion

http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2002/10/20021002-2.html

"a) AUTHORIZATION. The President is authorized to use the Armed Forces of the United States as he determines to be necessary and appropriate in order to


(1) defend the national security of the United States against the continuing threat posed by Iraq; and
(2) enforce all relevant United Nations Security Council Resolutions regarding Iraq.

(b) PRESIDENTIAL DETERMINATION.

In connection with the exercise of the authority granted in subsection (a) to use force the President shall, prior to such exercise or as soon there after as may be feasible, but no later than 48 hours after exercising such authority, make available to the Speaker of the House of Representatives and the President pro tempore of the Senate his determination that

(1) reliance by the United States on further diplomatic or other peaceful means alone either (A) will not adequately protect the national security of the United States against the continuing threat posed by Iraq or (B) is not likely to lead to enforcement of all relevant United Nations Security Council resolutions regarding Iraq, and

(2) acting pursuant to this resolution is consistent with the United States and other countries continuing to take the necessary actions against international terrorists and terrorist organizations, including those nations, organizations or persons who planned, authorized, committed or aided the terrorists attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001
"

Basically this gives Bush the authority to do anything he wants regarding the Iraq war and the war on terrorism.

Congress gave him a blank check.

In addition, in the admendment the term REASONABLE is used. That leaves it up to the person making the determination in this case the President.

If Obama does something similar regarding military conflict you will see me standing behind him on that issue as well.



In case you misssed it... (Below threshold)
retired miilitary:

In case you misssed it

"The President is authorized to use the Armed Forces of the United States as he determines to be necessary and appropriate in order to


(1) defend the national security of the United States against the continuing threat posed by Iraq
"

"Bush republicans seem like... (Below threshold)
retired miilitary:

"Bush republicans seem like they are always looking for ways to limit those rights"

I find this particularly funny since this thread is about a liberal wanting to completely take away the right to own firearms. A right which that liberal freely admits was acknowledged by the founding fathers (or else why would he say the founding fathers were wrong?).

So maybe you should direct criticism towards liberals who wish to take away rights which they themselves admit the founding fathers wanted us to have.


JMC The o... (Below threshold)
jmc:

JMC

The only reason we can keep the other admendemnts is mainly due to the 2nd.

And if you were reading closely you would have seen that I support the 2nd amendment. I object to the strawman logic Cassy used for the other side, not the 2nd amendment. I disagree with the gun control crowd.


4th - Unreasonable search and seizures.

lets include the whole thing:

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.

This was illegally started by the Bush administration, then it seems congress capitualted. Still it is unconstitutional and unamerican.


Where and when was this done? Wiretapping ? You mean when Congress said it was okay. Or when reasonable is when you are protecting folks against terorism with the full backing of CONGRESS.

The constituion is clear. people are protected from searches and seizures without a warrent.

5th - Cant hold prisoners unjustly. Last time I checked the US constitution was for US CITIZENS. GITMO detainees are for the most part not in that category nor do they fall under the Geneva convention categories.

Actually the fifth amenment says No Person shall be held for a crime. it does not say no citizen. I beleive this was deliberate, because I beleive the founding fathers when the created America beleived that all men possesed certain rights and not just men who happend to live in the United States.


As for American citizens detained that would have to be handled on a case by case basis. Otherwise you would be crying about the women in Iran who are stoned to death for being raped.

THis makes no sense at all. Why should it have to be handled on a case by case basis if the constituion is violated? two, what does this have to do with women stoned in Iran have to do with the fifth amenment? I'm not following the point you are making.

Article 6 - Speedy trial. See the same as above. Bush has has had his actoins reviewed by SCOTUS who has stated what is and is not constitutional.
^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ You are saying the supreme court ruled not constitutinal? I agree it isn't.
Article 7 - rail by jury. Again whining and moaning about non US citizens.

When we started this country, we went a wrote a great big letter to the world, telling the world why we were starting the good ole U.S. of A. we called it the declaration of independece. in it we argued that all men are given by their creator certain rights. meaning every human on the planet has them. See that is what America beleives. jefforson didn't write: "People who live the colonies are given certain inalianebile rights by their creator, but only those who live in the colonies mind you. God doesn't care about europe or the rest of the world" No, instead we created a kind of country that insures these rights to all who are on our soil, because we beleive everyone has them.


Article 8 - Bail and cruel and unusual punishment. Oh wait American citizens for one. As for unusual punishment I guess teens will have to get locked up due to the loud music.

American citizens argument of yours once again violates what the founding fathers beleived. and is therefor unamerican position.

Article 9 - Enumeration clause Again these are for US citizens not Jihadists from the middle east whom the founders would have shot rather than bother locking up.

I wouldn't make an argument against the illegal detentions based on the 9th amenment. the ninth amenment basically says that: People can't be denied rights because they are not explicitly stated in the other amendments.

This would more apply to trying to make homosexalality a crime for example (see texas sodomy laws) I am not accusing Bush of the texas sodomy laws btw, I just think it was conservtives in Texas who created that.


To quote yourself "Tell you what when you have some evidence of corruption (lawbreaking) let me know about it"

Again warrentless wiretapping was unconstituinal. Congress capitualting doesn't change that.

So it is great for you to be able to make blind accusations but when someone else does you demand proof correct?

I don't think you read my post. I didn't ask cassy for proof I asked that she not strawman the other sides arguments.

BTW I dont agree some of Bush's policies and actions. The war happens to be one of them I happen to agree with. As for the detainees at GITMO I am all for shooting them rather than arresting them. Under the geneva convention they fit the definition of spies and such can be executed.

No they don't fit the definiion of spies, this is just wrong.

It doesnt matter ... (Below threshold)
jmc:
It doesnt matter whether I think all people on earth are entitled to these rights. Actually I do. But obvsiously you dont since you are against the right to bear arms.

You really should read my posts RM. You have missed a few important things, like this gem:

Basically you are guilty of a strawman. Liberals who support gun control (and I am not one btw)

Notice where I say I am not one btw? I think those who are in favor of gun control are incorrect in their postion. I just thing Cassy was attributing a silly set of reasons to the other side.

As an aside - "The Brit... (Below threshold)
Marc:

As an aside - "The British found greater spoils in Africa and India and never looked back on the United States after the Revolutionary War."

And look where it got them. It brought an over-stretched economy/military and were promptly kick out out or left each and every Imperial possession they had.

JMCSpies are by de... (Below threshold)
retired military:

JMC

Spies are by defition someone who commits acts of war and not wearing a uniform.

As for the admendments again we go back to jurisdiction. The founders cant make law that that is relevant for the people of France, Germany or anywhere else. That is one of the reasons why the detainees are not in the US. We cant make laws that affect people OUTSIDE THE US.

You saying that if Congress capitulates on something that you consider unconstitutoinal means that it is still unconstitutional is RIDICULOUS and arrogant. You are making the rules up as you go along as you see fit. Are you saying "only things you consider to be unconstitional are unconstitutional?" Your arrogance and pride in yourself is astonishing.

How about this. " I consider abortion unconstitutional or homosexuality unconstitutional or gay marriage etc etc etc ". Oh yeah wait now you want to run to its defense and cite how SCOTUS and Congress has dealt with this, correct.

You are not the only person in the room.

Again OUR LAWS dont apply to PEOPLE who are not in the US. PERIOD. END OF STORY. The Bill of rights is a series of laws. We can't make laws that give rights to people in other countries if they are not on our soil.

And I said that when dealing with American citizens at Gitmo that the circumstances have to be looked at. I CANT MAKE A BROAD STATEMENT about it due to the varying nature of each case. I am refering to how they are being held, what procedures were followed, what legal counsel they have seen, etc. Are you arrogant enough to think that you know all the details because I am sure as hell not.

Do you honestly think that everything about these cases are released to the general public?
They arent due to security reasons. In addition, politicians on both sides get up and make statements in public which they know are false but wont be corrected because to do so would breach security.

The constitution is set up to defend AMERICAN CITIZENS from the govt. I am quite certain that the founders would have gladly done much worse to the people in GITMO than play loud music and make them stand up for long periods of time.

Again you are making accusations and that is all they shall remain is accusations. Nothing I say will change your mind. Maybe a terrorists talking to his Jihadist friends when he blows up your house and kills you and your family will cause you to relook your ideas on the matter.

jmc-JFO-peabrain. I give ... (Below threshold)
Greg:

jmc-JFO-peabrain. I give up. Just how many frickin' email handles does jp2 have? Since Bush/Cheney break so many laws amd ignores the constitution, why haven't they silenced these fools. And they still attack the women who post here too much. It's automatic. Cassy is still smarter than these morons. Man, that must hurt their tiny egos.

JMCEnough about Bu... (Below threshold)
retired miilitary:

JMC

Enough about Bush as he is gone in 3 weeks. Let me ask you some plain questions.

A. If Obama holds the detainees at GITMO any longer than the time it takes to sign the papers to release them is he guilty IN YOUR MIND of violating the same articles you consider Bush guilty of.

B. If detainees are found on the battlefield after release then what do you think should happen to them?

C. Are you advocating for the release of all prisoners in GITMO.

I consider myself pretty li... (Below threshold)
Bruce Henry:

I consider myself pretty liberal but don't support any more gun control laws. But I have three points.
One, jmc is correct that the Bill of Rights generally refer to any PERSON, not just any citizen. By that, they mean any person under the control or in the jurisdiction of the US. In the case of the 5th Amendment, it states that no PERSON shall be held without due process. Doesn't mention citizenship or address WHERE that person may or may not be held, only that the Government can't hold that PERSON without due process. Obviously they weren't trying to assert sovereignty outside our borders. To claim that's what jmc meant is to misread or (maybe deliberately?) distort what he wrote.
Secondly, he is also correct that there can indeed be laws passed by Congress and signed by the President that are unConstitutional. That's why we HAVE the Supreme Court! Ever hear of Marbury v. Madison? Laws duly passed by Congress and signed by the President are overturned all the time! This should have been learned in 8th grade Civics.
Third, if the Founding Fathers were never wrong, why do the 11th through the 27th Amendments exist?

Bruce1. As stated... (Below threshold)
retired military:

Bruce

1. As stated above above. The US cant pass laws and hold other countries or its citizens accountable to them unless those entities are on US Soil. It is common sense. Should US presidents be held accountable for acts committed against foreigners by foreigners on foreign soil. IE Hamas killing Israeli citizens. According to JMC's line of thinking they should. Again this is why they are not brought onto soveign US soil.

2. Yes some laws passed by Congress are unconstitutional. The thing is until it is ruled unconstitutional it is LEGAL. That is like saying if you commit murder and murder isnt on the books than they can pass a law against murder and you can be charged for it. A law is considered constitutional until determined otherwise by SCOTUS and any actions taken in accordance with that law is also considered lawful in that you wont go to jail for following that law prior to the determination of illegality.

3. The founding fathers werent perfect. We have said this. But JMC wants to try to beat up conservatives for as he said "Bush republicans seem like they are always looking for ways to limit those rights": whereas the topic of the thread is about a liberal who agrees that the founders wanted individuals to have the rights to own guns and he (the liberal) wants to take that right away.

Again. We are getting nowhere with this argument about Bush. We wont change each other's opinion so why even bother trying.

I ask you to answer the same 3 questions I posed to JMC if you feel as he does in this matter since we have to live with how Obama deals with this for the next 4 years I am interested to see if the same standard you apply to Bush is applied to him on these matters. It wont change the way things are handled or our feelings on the subject but I am interested to know if you will hold him to the same standard as you held Bush.

Basically if OBama continues Bush's policies in this arena I have no problem with it in the least.

In my opinion, to take the ... (Below threshold)

In my opinion, to take the position that the Bill of Rights is intentionally set-up to apply to any person, or even any person on US soil is to misunderstand both the US Constitution, the context of where and when it was formulated, its purpose and the intentions of the Founding Fathers.

It's true that the Declaration of Independence asserts that certain rights; i.e. "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness" are 'universal human rights' and that they are so because it is posited that they are granted by a creator and thus eternal and beyond the reach of mankind to deny or change and thus superior to any man-made 'rights'.

Incidentally, to all you secular humanists, agnostics and atheists...if you reject the very concept of a creator, 'the almighty'... by what rationale, beyond mere group agreement and whim, do you argue in support of any universal rights? For what the whim of the mob can grant, it can cavalierly take away...

Positing Universal human rights granted by God is the foundational premise and resultant rationale the founders used to argue that it was their right to break away from England.

The US Constitution is a document of governance, not a philosophical treatise on Universal Human Rights.

The Constitution is a framework for the federal and overall governance of the US. It's authority, by definition is essentially limited to the citizens and inhabitants of the US. Those limitations of necessity impose constraints upon to whom its strictures may apply.

Nothing in the Constitution specifically states that the rights of US Citizens apply to other nations peoples.

As for their usage of PERSONS, given the social mores of the time, the founders intentions may well have been to apply that term so as to prevent the classification of women as non-persons.

But whether that was their intention or not is irrelevant. The actions of the Fathers in regard to the 'rights' of the members of the Indian nations they faced, clearly shows that they did NOT intend for US Constitutional guarantees to apply to non-US Citizens.

And the same could be said ... (Below threshold)
retired military:

And the same could be said for slaves in the Americas at the time.

As I stated above. We can beat this horse to death (yet again) and not change anyone's mind regarding whether or not Bush violated the constitution or not. It is like argueing with your ex wife.

a. You both know what the other is going to say.
b. You disagree with it for whatever reason.
c. The more they say it the more irrelevant it becomes in your mind.

Also as stated above. Bush is pretty much irrelevant at this time. He has 3 weeks left and noone will do hearings regardless of what they say. Republicans will beat the dems up ref focusing on the economy and the other issues if they try and dems know that if they do try it then we will have yet more tit for tat in Washington Politics plus it would distract them away from the agenda they have.

What is relevant is how Obama deals with the situation. Again the problems are well known. Someone talk solutions. Again, if OBama doesnt implement those solutions immediately is he not just as guilty of any crimes as Bush (since the left brought it up I would appreciate an answer).

And lastly pretty much everyone (whose comment I can remember reading) has disagreed with the opinion editor so at least we can all hold hands and sing kumbaya to that.

Major error in TItle needs ... (Below threshold)
epador:

Major error in TItle needs to be corrected. Strike the word "thinks."

Geoffrey Britain, for someo... (Below threshold)
hyperbolist:

Geoffrey Britain, for someone with such a pompous--I mean elegant--style of prose, you don't know a whole lot about that of which you speak.

Refer to this article in The American Conservative:

http://www.amconmag.com/article/2008/jan/28/00028/

Not only is it a thorough and hilarious disemboweling of Jonah Goldberg, but it pretty much destroys all of the myths of liberalism, secularism, and humanism advanced by movement conservatives--and it's written by a conservative scholar!

I hold it to be a universal moral truth that we shouldn't torture people. If you think I can't sincerely hold that belief because I didn't read it in the Bible, or that such a conviction can be a mere "whim", then you're not nearly as smart as your grammar would have us believe. Forget your assumptions about non-believers and go pick up a copy of the Critique of Pure Reason. Should keep you busy through to 2010.

retired military:RE ... (Below threshold)
Bruce Henry:

retired military:
RE comment #40.
1. The US can and does pass laws and enforces them against terrorism anywhere in the World. Other countries can squawk about sovereignty violations, but we have arrested terrorism suspects and other criminal suspects in foreign countries before. So has Israel. Remember Eichmann? Remember Manuel Freaking Noriega and the 20,000 man SWAT team we sent to Panama, for God's sake??!!?
2. I didn't notice jmc arguing that duly passed laws are not considered legal unless he says so, only that some laws are clearly unConstitutional and should be overturned. It was you who twisted his comments into that point, which he did not make.
As to your three questions:
1. Obama should begin the due process for these detainees as soon as he takes office. Habeus Corpus is an absolute right for any PERSON held by the US. They should be told what they are charged with and allowed to present a defense ASAP. If a special court or tribunal needs to be constituted so that National Security secrets are not revealed it should be constituted without delay. Seven years is quite long enough.
By the way, that question is kinda unfair. Bush is handing Obama quite a few clusterfucks, it seems to me. Obama can't wave a magic wand and erase 8 years of dumbassery all at once.
2. I don't know what you should do to a sonofabitch stupid enough to put himself in that same situation twice. I bet it doesn't happen EVEN ONCE.
3. No, but due process should commence.

Bruce1. Most of t... (Below threshold)
retired military:

Bruce

1. Most of those times we do things with cooperation of the govts involved (Whether they admit it openly or not). Other times we do it without the approval and generally it will never become public knowledge. That goes with the terrority of running a nation. All major nations do it if needed and generally nothing gets said or not too big of a fuss is made.

2. JMC stated that Bush violated the constition and specifically mentioned things that SCOTUS overturned and mentioned wiretapping. Bush has not been charged with a crime period. When actions were found by SCOTUS to be unconstitutional than those items were changed to be constitutional. So basically that argument stands. Bush did not knowingly violate the constitution. (of course that wont stop us from arguing forever and a day about it)

Now as to my 3 questions.

a. If I remember right Lincoln susupended Habeus Corpus during the civil war. Dont see calls for him to be impeached after that. As he famously said "The constituion is not a death pact".

b. If these folks were convicted of anything once the dog and pony shows were over and lets face it try to show they can get a fair trial then it is almost a certainty that the judge (if he was doing his job) would have to cut them loose because a fair jury couldnt be found.

c. Go ahead and put these folks on trial. Drag the military in to testify, and have them put targets on the backs of the military servicemember and their families. Then release them in a show of magnamitude. Have the govt open for lawsuits for their imprisionment. Go for the whole kit and kaboodle. And I bet the number of new detainees will be exactly zero. They will all mysteriously die on the battlefield.

c1. WHile you are at it drag all the nice national security secrets on how information was gathered or the subjects were found out about and drag that into court as well. Compromise live assets who will then be targeted and killed.

d. Following JMCs line of thought and since JMC has already tried and convicted Bush there would be no due process to follow other than to release them. After all it is against the law to hold someone for more than 48 hours without charging them. That deadline is long long past. So they go free. End of story. If Obama doesnt free them immediately then he will be just as guilty as Bush was.

Reality states that B - D wont happen. Obama cant let that happen and tie his hands in the future. Sure it sounds nice and homey and apple pie but the bottom line is it is easy to say something while running but when you have to live with the results as Obama is going to have to it is an entirely different matter.

Reality states that the prisoners will get released at some time in to the future and most probably wont be released as in free but as in to other countries who will treat them a lot less nicely than we do.

Let one of those guys who get put on trial and released with all of their rights get caught doing a suicide bomb run in the states. My oh my Obama will have egg all over his face and he cant let that happen.

Again. Look at reality and what is vs what you want it to be.

". I don't know what you should do to a sonofabitch stupid enough to put himself in that same situation twice. I bet it doesn't happen EVEN ONCE."

Actualy it has happened several times already.

Nice to be able to sit here and theorize and prophesize but not have to actually live with the end results. Obama gets to do that in exactly 3 weeks. Lets see how he handles things.

Bruce. For info on... (Below threshold)
retired military:

Bruce.

For info on Panama and NOriega you can see

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_invasion_of_Panama

That it isnt a cut and dry case as you would like to make it out to be.

BruceI am kinda in... (Below threshold)
retired military:

Bruce

I am kinda intrigued though.

"Obama should begin the due process for these detainees as soon as he takes office"

So what do you think should happen if he doesnt? After all you clearly feel that their rights have been violated. What if nothing is done right away as in the first week or so (giving him a grace period here). After all, the issues are generally well known and he campaigned some on GITMO. Saying "hey we got all these problems here and I dont have time to deal with that right now" wouldnt have been good enough for Bush so Obama therefore cant use it either. By your words it has to be done immediately. Will you feel the same towards Obama as you do on Bush on this issue if say nothing has even been started say a month after his inaugaration?

"If a special court or tribunal needs to be constituted so that National Security secrets are not revealed it should be constituted without delay"

So what happens if secrets are revealed at a trail at this tribunal or court and the defendant when he is set free goes out and blabs about American assets and capabilities all over the place. Do we then arrest him in his own country (if he goes there) for revealing secrets he wasnt supposed to?


Smith, jr. is just another ... (Below threshold)
LaMedusa:

Smith, jr. is just another shill for govt. The only way the global elite can control the citizens and turn the U.S. into a police state is to disarm anyone that would oppose that control. Our sovereignty is already being dissolved and turned into the North American Union, and the super highways that are being built will monitor people going in and coming out. There are more and more Americans becoming aware of this, and the plan is to disarm in case of an uprising against the govt for doing this behind our backs. We are definitely going to see a revolution against this atrocity in charge of the helm.

retired military: ho... (Below threshold)
Bruce Henry:

retired military:
how do you know how I "feel" about Obama?
I'm sure there will be things Obama does or doesn't do that I disagree with, and other things he does or doesn't do that I do agree with.
I can even think of a couple of things Bush and I have in common. A sane approach to immigration reform, for one. Help for AIDS-stricken Africa, for another. And, even though I'm not a fan of No Child Left Behind as it is being implemented, I do believe in accountability for teachers.
As you said above, this is kinda like arguing with your ex-wife. I've enjoyed it, though. Let's have a couple of belts and enjoy New Year's Eve, shall we?
A Happy Holiday to you and yours, Mr Retired Military guy. You're alright.

LaMedusa, on the other hand... (Below threshold)
Bruce Henry:

LaMedusa, on the other hand, is a kook.

One more point, RM: ... (Below threshold)
Bruce Henry:

One more point, RM:
Lincoln suspended Habeus Corpus in accordance with the Constitution: except in case of Rebellion or Invasion. Neither of these scenarios apply today. Strict construction, and all that.

BruceI dont know h... (Below threshold)
retired military:

Bruce

I dont know how you feel about obama. That is why I asked.

Happy New years. May this one be better than last and my the violence end.

Not only is it a t... (Below threshold)
Not only is it a thorough and hilarious disemboweling of Jonah Goldberg, but it pretty much destroys all of the myths of liberalism, secularism, and humanism advanced by movement conservatives--and it's written by a conservative scholar!

And after this, you can go over to Jonah's "Liberal Fascism" blog @ the National Review site and read his hilarious disemboweling of the American Conservative piece. Do a search on "Bramwell" (the amcon author's name). Short version: Bramwell is, basically, an unserious crank.

Here it is

Also here, for a few yucks

LaMedusa, on the o... (Below threshold)
LaMedusa:
LaMedusa, on the other hand, is a kook.

Bruce, don't be so ignorant:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SPvqMwyNG6U

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cd29U90s_ik

"Can you demonstrate one ti... (Below threshold)
Gmac:

"Can you demonstrate one time or place, throughout all history, where the average person was made safer by restricting access to hand held weapons?"

Joe Huffman

Do get back to me when you have an answer, no one has provided one yet to Mr. Huffman so I doubt any of the anti-gunners here will ever respond.

Laws are like locks, they o... (Below threshold)
J Z:

Laws are like locks, they only work for honest people. If you want change
go to an inner city and start your own damn program otherwise accept the fact that some people are just born bad, it's what tends to make life spicy.

Gmac:Which "anti-gun... (Below threshold)
Bruce Henry:

Gmac:
Which "anti-gunners here" would that be? I haven't noticed even one on this thread.

"Laws are like locks, they ... (Below threshold)
LaMedusa:

"Laws are like locks, they only work for honest people."

Dishonest people are never above the law. Nothing is hidden. Eventually, the honest minorities will be the only survivors outside of the veiled matrix. If you really believe that criminals are untouchable, you have been lied to.

Very interesting blog pos... (Below threshold)
MF:

Very interesting blog posts. I too am pro armed because if it werent so what better way to take over from within?

Also, J Z, the program has ... (Below threshold)
LaMedusa:

Also, J Z, the program has already started. In fact, we're just getting warmed up.

Another liberal nit-wit lib... (Below threshold)
SPURWING PLOVER:

Another liberal nit-wit liberal left-wing colomist who thinks he can think BUT HE CANT BECUASE HE HAS NO BRAINS someone should show their freedom of expression by shoving his typewritter or comuper down his throat

Just like a few years ago w... (Below threshold)
Flu-Bird:

Just like a few years ago where some liberal collage dork MICHEAL BELLSILLIES wrote a book ARMING AMERICA in which he claimed that guns were never a real factor in colonial america and as usial the stupid liberals were gushing their praises for his book one stupid statement in the jacketflap said ITS THE NRAs WORSE NIGHTMARE and he reiceved the BANCROFT PRIZE and he had big comliments from BILL CLINTON and RED TED KENENDY but soon it was found out he had faked the whole thing his research was fruadulent and all the records he claimed to have studies were distroyed in the 1906 san francisco earthquake and fire(the dog ate his homework)he was forced to return the bancfoft prize the money and was force to resign from EMORY UNIVERSITY and i,ll bet all those liberal iidots who praised his book probibly feel like beating thier LSD filled heads againsts a tree till their brains run out

Re: #44Labeling co... (Below threshold)

Re: #44

Labeling conservative observations 'myths' does not make them so.

Re:"I hold it to be a universal moral truth that we shouldn't torture people. If you think I can't sincerely hold that belief because I didn't read it in the Bible, or that such a conviction can be a mere "whim", then you're not nearly as smart as your grammar would have us believe."

Of course you and anyone else can sincerely hold that belief, I never suggested otherwise.

Perhaps in your rush to react hyperbole, you missed the point, or perhaps you're being purposely obtuse, but in any case the point is that, your no doubt sincere belief is to those who do not share it mere 'personal' whim.

That is so because it is a subjective personal view, i.e. your opinion.

Logic's 'Achilles heel' is its inability to examine its original premise and your premise is that people do not have the 'right' to torture each other.

Without a 'divine, final authority' that view's premise is no more 'logically' defensible than its opposite premise; essentially the law of the jungle, that 'might makes right' and its corollary, that people only have a 'right' to what they can physically hold and defend against aggression.

When the position is advanced that mankind is just and, only another animal, then concepts like compassion, mercy and the golden rule become mere popular whim; for the premises that support those concepts are no more 'provable' than the law of the jungles' premises.

I'll close by pointing out that pomposity does NOT preface as I did, with: "In my opinion"

It is however, passive aggression to assert that eloquence in articulation is merely pompous hyperbole by ignoring the point made, while falsely claiming that I questioned the sincerity of those beliefs.

Finally, I read Critique of Reason over 40 years ago, perhaps before you were born?

Geoffrey No offens... (Below threshold)
retired military:

Geoffrey

No offense but I am close to my masters degree and I have trouble following what you are trying to say. I mean I am almost 50 years old and I dont think I have ever heard anyone actually speak the way you write.

Whereas you use of words show education it really does little for your point and IMO (no offense meant) merely gives the impression that you are trying to talk down to people and show that you are the brightest bulb in the room and thus win over opinion that way. If that is your intent then by all means continue. If not, may I suggest you write more so like a normal conversation. If your normal conversations go like what you write than I honestly feel sorry for you and those whom you try to converse with.

You dont have to throw in works such as "like" and "ya know" and I admit I take shortcuts which are bad grammer when typing online (not using apostrephes on words like dont, etc) but give us a break (that is if you even want someone to read what you are trying to write).

retired militaryco... (Below threshold)
MF:

retired military
congrats on getting your master's
That's hard work! Just got mine in the technical field in 2002.

Robert Smith Jr his grades ... (Below threshold)
Flu-Bird:

Robert Smith Jr his grades in school Four Ds a F and a H




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