Democrats & Liberals Archives

Governments Rights vs. Our Rights

The Bush administration is very quick to point out it’s war time rights and priviliges.
When do executive rights trump the American citizens rights?
.

Ask a question Bush doesn't want to answer, he can claim executive rights and not have to answer for his actions.
If Americans question the governments spying on Americans, he can claim war-time privilege.
Get caught torturing prisoners, he can claim he has the right because of the war on terror.
Ignore science and manipulate data on the environment, then claim you have a right to protect American businesses

Detainees Rights:
"Beginning in 2003, numerous accounts of abuse and torture of prisoners held in the Abu Ghraib Prison in Iraq (also known as Baghdad Correctional Facility) occurred. Images of this torture can be found in the following gallery: Abu Ghraib prisoner abuse reports/Gallery The acts were committed by personnel of the 372nd Military Police Company, CIA officers, and contractors involved in the occupation of Iraq."

"The US government has agreed to pay $300,000 to settle a lawsuit brought by an Egyptian arrested after the 11 September attacks, reports say.
Ehab Elmaghraby was detained for nearly a year and deported after being cleared of links to terrorism.
He claimed his rights were violated in custody and sought damages.
The settlement, in which the government did not admit wrongdoing, is said to be the first involving claims of dozens of Muslims arrested after 9/11.
The lawsuit was filed in August 2004 by Mr Elmaghraby and a Pakistani citizen, Javaid Iqbal.
They argued the US government would not let them appeal their solitary confinement in a special unit of the Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn.
Mr Elmaghraby, a 38-year-old former restaurant worker, also alleged he was mistreated.
The US government has dismissed the claims, saying that the circumstances of the 11 September attacks justified extraordinary measures to confine non-citizens who fell under suspicion.
Their lawsuit accuses former US Attorney General John Ashcroft and other federal officials of conspiring to violate the rights of Muslim immigrant detainees.
A federal judge ruled last year that Mr Ashcroft must answer questions on the case under oath, but the government has appealed the ruling arguing that top officials need immunity to combat future threats to national security.
US rights bodies alleged last year that some 70 Muslim men were detained after the 11 September attacks on baseless accusations of terrorist links.
The Justice Department said the material witness law was designed to allow the detention of individuals thought to have information relating to a crime but who might flee."

Americans Rights:
"President Bush has personally authorized a secretive eavesdropping program in the United States more than three dozen times since October 2001, a senior intelligence official said Friday night.
The disclosure follows angry demands by lawmakers earlier in the day for a congressional inquiry into whether the monitoring by the highly secretive National Security Agency violated civil liberties.
“There is no doubt that this is inappropriate,” declared Republican Sen. Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania, chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee."

"A year ago, at a Quaker Meeting House in Lake Worth, Fla., a small group of activists met to plan a protest of military recruiting at local high schools. What they didn't know was that their meeting had come to the attention of the U.S. military.
A secret 400-page Defense Department document obtained by NBC News lists the Lake Worth meeting as a “threat” and one of more than 1,500 “suspicious incidents” across the country over a recent 10-month period.
“This peaceful, educationally oriented group being a threat is incredible,” says Evy Grachow, a member of the Florida group called The Truth Project. "

Environmental Rights:
From NRDC
"EPA to make toxics reporting standards more lenient for industry (09/16/05)

BLM director encouraged ranchers' lawsuits against her own agency (08/29/05)

Bush administration devalues estimated contribution of forest recreation to economy (08/15/05)

White House proposes weak fuel economy standards for gas guzzlers (08/23/05)

Bush administration slashes habitat protections for salmon (08/12/05)

Park Service spending millions more on Yellowstone snowmobiling study (08/10/05)
No matter how strong the nation's environmental protections, our laws and regulations can be effective only if they are as protective as possible and are properly implemented and enforced. Unfortunately, the Bush administration has been criticized –- and justifiably -– for distorting science to weaken regulations so as to serve its political objectives.

The White House's favored tactics include misinterpreting information, ignoring scientific evidence, muzzling government scientists, censoring government studies, removing independent experts from federal advisory panels or stacking those panels with industry consultants. These tactics not only override basic environmental protections in favor of industry, but also undermines the authority of science itself.

It's no wonder the administration's mantra of "sound science" amounts to little more than a policy whereby decisions are based on whatever science sounds good to the White House.

What follows are specific examples compiled from NRDC's Web site -- "The Bush Record" -- illustrating how this administration's reliance on bad science threatens public health and the environment.

Toxics and Health


2/3/05 -- The Environmental Protection Agency manipulated science in developing industry-favored power plant pollution rules, according to the agency's own inspector general.
1/10/05 -- A report by the National Academy of Science, ordered by the Bush administration, concludes that it is safe for people to drink water with as much as 20 parts per billion of perchlorate –- that level is 20 times the standard recommended by the Environmental Protection Agency two years ago.
11/15/04 -- The EPA accepts the recommendation of an industry-funded scientific review to downgrade the chemical captan from a "probable" human carcinogen to "not likely."
8/31/04 -- Bush administration proposes relaxing safety standards on the toxic metal selenium, which causes mass deformities and death in waterfowl.
8/15/04 -- Bush administration turns down a petition by health advocates to strengthen health standards for beryllium, a metal that OSHA concluded causes cancer and lung disease.
8/13/04 -- EPA criticized by Congress for issuing a rule that allows industry to treat toxin-laden towels as laundry, rather than as hazardous waste.
5/21/04 -- EPA recalculates the "safe" level of formaldehyde used in plywood manufacture to 10,000 times below the previous level -- after relying on a on a risk assessment provided by the chemical industry. A month later, the World Health Organization finds that formaldehyde is carcinogenic to humans, with sufficient evidence of nasopharyngeal cancer in humans and strong evidence of leukemia in humans. The pertinent studies were all in the published scientific literature before EPA took its action.
4/23/04 -- Federal court reprimands EPA for relying on an industry study in deciding that fertilizers can safely contain higher levels of toxic residue.
4/7/04 -- Evidence surfaces that the Bush administration downplayed the effects of mercury while working with EPA officials to write regulations for coal-fired power plants.
4/6/04 -- EPA allows pesticide industry to block regulatory initiatives that would protect children and wildlife from unintentionally ingesting rat poison
4/1/04 -- Bush administration, in cooperation with the U.S. chemical industry, weakens a European Union plan that would have required chemical manufacturers to test their products and disclose any potential health effects before selling them in Europe.
3/11/04 -- EPA's inspector general reports that agency officials repeatedly made misleading statements about purported improvements in national drinking water quality.
10/31/03 -- EPA decides not to restrict the use of the pesticide atrazine, which is known to cause cancer, and reduces its monitoring to only a small number of contaminated watersheds.
9/9/03 -- EPA inspector general reveals that Bush administration officials instructed the agency to downplay the dangers of air pollution in the aftermath of the World Trade Center collapse on September 11, 2001.
4/28/03 -- Bush administration imposes a gag order on EPA officials from publicly discussing perchlorate, a rocket fuel ingredient found in drinking water.
1/21/03 -- EPA declares that drinking water 12 times more contaminated with the herbicide atrazine than allowed by law does not pose a health problem.
10/8/02 -- Bush administration rejects renowned scientists for service on a Centers for Disease Control federal advisory committee, replacing them with individuals who have ties to the lead industry.
9/17/02 -- Bush administration replaces officials and committees from the Department of Health and Services with members who have strong ties to regulated industries.
9/02 -- Industry-funded group removes critical information on the dangers of perchlorate from a government scientific journal.
7/19/02 -- EPA determines that organophosphorous pesticides pose no danger to children. Instead of using the typical 10-fold safety standard for tests, however, EPA uses only a 3-fold safety margin.
7/8/02 -- EPA allows Louisiana rice growers to use Carbofuran, one of the most toxic pesticides in existence. The pesticide, banned since 1998, has killed tens of thousands of birds.

Water, Air and Global Warming

11/8/04 -- Bush administration continues to resist regulating greenhouse gas pollution despite two newly released studies that confirm global warming is already drastically affecting conditions in the United States.
9/22/04 -- EPA records reveal, for the third time, that the agency's proposal for regulating mercury pollution from power plants copied passages -- in some cases word for word -- from memos written by a law firm representing the utility industry. It just so happens that the head of EPA's air program and his chief counsel were both partners at the firm before President Bush installed them at the agency.
2/4/04 -- Former EPA employee reveals that the agency knowingly used unreliable data when denying a petition to stop the use of sewage sludge as farm fertilizer.
1/30/04 -- EPA proposes extremely weak mercury emission regulations, much of which is transposed -- sometimes verbatim -- from memos submitted from a law firm representing the utility industry.
10/17/03 -- EPA announces it will not regulate dioxins from land applied sewage sludge, despite findings that dioxin exposure poses a threat to human health.
6/23/03 -- Bush administration forces EPA to remove a clause on the harmful effects of climate change, from the first-ever comprehensive report on environmental problems facing the United States.
11/9/02 -- Top Bush administration political appointee at Interior reverses earlier findings that air pollution from a proposed coal power plant in Kentucky would significantly hamper visibility at the nearby Mammoth Cave National Park."

People and the planet 0 Military Industrial Complex, Large corporations, "Big Oil 100.
The Bush administration has always maintained it's right to spy, it's right to detain indefinitely and it's right to support industry and ignore science.
What about our rights?



Posted by Andre M. Hernandez at February 28, 2006 8:28 AM
Comments
Comment #130177

Well Andre, there is voting….

Posted by: George in SC at February 28, 2006 10:21 AM
Comment #130181

Bush will hate this:

The Constitution trumps religion.

Congress trumps the presidency.

The Supreme Court trumps both.

Human rights trumps all.

Who will define “human rights?”

I trust not the court, the Congress or the president.

I trust the Constitution.

Posted by: Limo Liberal at February 28, 2006 10:28 AM
Comment #130183

Bravo Limo Liberal ! Will be interesting to see how long it takes “someone” to twist, turn, disassemble, then reassemble that to fit the current administration……….

Posted by: Sandra Davidson at February 28, 2006 10:47 AM
Comment #130187

You mean there WAS voting, George. After all this Diebold tomfoolery, I don’t trust or believe in the voting process any more than I believe that our elected politicians are truly representatives of the people in their districts. They are slaves to power and whores for the business lobby.

Posted by: macsonix at February 28, 2006 10:52 AM
Comment #130189

This Admisistration will go down in history as totally failing the country that elected it and George W. Bush will be known as the Moron of the
White House. He will be rated behing such failures as Grant and Harding. This country fought a war to rid itself of King George III not to install a King George W.

Wake up and vote this comming November to tell this wantabe President that we have had enough. Vote for those who believe in the Constitution and that NO ON IS ABOVE THE LAWS.

Posted by: C.T.Rich at February 28, 2006 11:11 AM
Comment #130190

As I’ve said before we have far more to fear from this administration than any terrorist organization. Terrorists have to work from the outside. This group works from the top down with a two way rubber stamp going in of coming out of congress.
Too bad they weren’t smart enough to get the Diebold equipment installed in Irag before the vote.

Posted by: sndyrmony at February 28, 2006 11:15 AM
Comment #130191

LimoLib,

Great post! And it gets even better. Did George Bush’s oath of office charge him with defending the homeland and the American people? NOOO!

I do solemnly swear 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.


To your post I will add -

The Constitution trumps the presidency too.

Keep complaining about Bush and his power grab - dissent is the last defence of the Constitution.

Posted by: CPAdams at February 28, 2006 11:16 AM
Comment #130194

The government and its various branches have no rights. The citizens have rights. The government has powers. Those powers come from the people.Please read the Constitution.

Posted by: nitpicker at February 28, 2006 11:47 AM
Comment #130196

sndyrmony and C T Rich…..your posts are connected by the “vote” thread…… How could we ever forget that travesty??? We did vote, but (here the Diebold connection enters) funny how that system outage shuffled the votes and plunged us into this mess. This is where the apathy comes in that I’d mentioned before. We knew..absolutely what had happened, and we rallied around that for a while, then just crawled off and accepted our fate. What did we learn from that??? DID we learn from that???

Posted by: Sandra Davidson at February 28, 2006 11:55 AM
Comment #130201

you liberals are a bunch of whiny jackasses. Whining about diebold, whining about your “rights”. Have you been dragged from your house for being the traitors that you are? No, so quit crying like babies. BTW, your liberal blogs amount to ZERO, keep on thinking that it will change the world

Posted by: Randy at February 28, 2006 12:05 PM
Comment #130202

Randy
Keep your ky handy, yer gonna need it before this is finished

Posted by: sndyrmony at February 28, 2006 12:08 PM
Comment #130204

can’t wait ‘til something Randy says or does is considered suspect by the Bush SS. Off to Guantanamo!

Posted by: macsonix at February 28, 2006 12:18 PM
Comment #130207

Randy…

Damn, I got nothing to add to that. Wow. Just please do me one favor… please explain to me what the hell you thought your post would do?

I like the reference to our mascot - “jaskasses” -

Have you ever wondered why elephant handlers have such BIG shovels?

Posted by: tony at February 28, 2006 12:29 PM
Comment #130208

Oh wrong, macsonix…..they’ll come looking for him to recruit. Just the kind of narrow-minded, zealot they like. Funny how when you’re in retreat mode it’s so easy to throw out hate without substance.
Tell us Randy..how you came to the conclusion that we’re traitors, when we are the ones standing up and demanding an accounting for the reason behind the rush to give up security.

Posted by: Sandra Davidson at February 28, 2006 12:30 PM
Comment #130211

Randy- Do you reside in northern Idaho and as a member of the “nation” along with the other crackpots? You sure sound like one.

Posted by: duckman1934 at February 28, 2006 12:39 PM
Comment #130215

Bush job rating falls to all-time low: poll Mon Feb 27, 11:52 PM ET


President George W. Bush’s job rating has fallen to an all-time low of 34 percent, amid strong opposition to the Dubai Ports World deal and increasing pessimism over the war in Iraq, according to a CBS News poll released on Monday.

Bush’s overall job approval fell eight points from 42 percent last month. Fifty-nine percent of respondents said they disapproved of Bush’s performance on the job, the poll found

Look out Randy, your backup is dwindling…..

Posted by: Sandra Davidson at February 28, 2006 12:44 PM
Comment #130219

Does anyone else feel like the majority dissapproval comes about 1 yr 3 months too late?

Posted by: tony at February 28, 2006 12:47 PM
Comment #130220

Well anyway, it’s a fine post, Andre. Very well researched, although I’m dizzy trying to think of how you came up with all the dates and factoids and kept them all straight. The breadth of your post is unfortunately the exact reason that I have not begun to post op-ed pieces myself on this site. With a five year-old, it’s awfully difficult to make that kind of time. Anway, just wanted to congratulate you on an excellent piece that was a cornucopia of information.

Posted by: macsonix at February 28, 2006 12:48 PM
Comment #130226

If you were to ask a member of BushCo. whether or not American citizens have any right in war time, the resounding answer would be NO! LIKE IT NOT American citizens long ago ceded their government to special interest. The U.S. government has not been one of, for, and by the people for almost a century. The abuses continue, and we continue to put the same people back into office. We deserve the government we have…ignorance and compliancy lead to the current state of governmental affairs…

Posted by: V. Edward Martin at February 28, 2006 1:04 PM
Comment #130227

It is not too hard when you cut and paste. We addressed most of these concerns several times on other pages.

Take one that is easy to check - mercury. Mercury from power plants was never regulated at all and the U.S. under Bush was the first country to do so systematically.

It makes you wonder how this could be seen as weakening or rolling back a standard.

Many people seem to have a problem with causes and effects, as well as chronology in general.

But yes, these things sound really bad and if you put a bunch of them in a big list nobody has time to take them apart. And some of the things are true. In any complex system, there are ups and downs. But bottom line is that if you throw enough crap against a wall, some will stick.

I guess that I am just lucky that nobody I know or even have heard about has been taken to the Gulag. From the way you guys write, it must be fairly common.

Posted by: Jack at February 28, 2006 1:05 PM
Comment #130229

tony,

I think the majority did disapprove of BushII back in 11/03. The problem is our vote wasn’t counted.

Posted by: Dave at February 28, 2006 1:06 PM
Comment #130231

When do executive rights trump the American citizens rights?

Try NEVER!


The ‘Detainees’ your talking about are prisoners of war. They have no rights under our Constitution. In order to claim they do you have to distort and destroy the Constitution. But then Librals are good at that.

Posted by: Ron Brown at February 28, 2006 1:07 PM
Comment #130236

Jack,

Even though Bushie did issue the Hg guidelines, those guidelines had been considerably weakened from the Scientifically derived values by the Dollar value of the power industry. Of course, I can’t understand why this wouldn’t concern you.

9/22/04 — EPA records reveal, for the third time, that the agency’s proposal for regulating mercury pollution from power plants copied passages — in some cases word for word — from memos written by a law firm representing the utility industry. It just so happens that the head of EPA’s air program and his chief counsel were both partners at the firm before President Bush installed them at the agency.

Ron,

You forget that these people are not considered as POW’s by Bushie, he calls them “illegal combatants”. If they were POWs, they would have legal rights under our treaty obligations.
Q: Who’s the “distorter and destroyer”?
A: You and Bushie.

Posted by: Dave at February 28, 2006 1:14 PM
Comment #130239

Ron
and they clearly have no rights under the Geneva conventions either. It is after all just a trivial footnote. No worries Go Go Gonzo les says so and Rummy and Bushy all agree.

Posted by: richard at February 28, 2006 1:15 PM
Comment #130240

Dave
Bush can call them anything he wants. They’re still prisoners of war.
They might have rights under some treaties we sighned but NOT under our Constitution.
Bush is a liberal, so yeah he distorts and is trying to destroy the Constitution.

Posted by: Ron Brown at February 28, 2006 1:20 PM
Comment #130242

I cetainly hope that the Geneva conventions rules remain a trivial footnote, or else the three stooges (Rummy, Dick and Bush) could find themselves being tried for war crimes. Now that would just break my heart.

Posted by: tinman at February 28, 2006 1:28 PM
Comment #130248

Ron

After countless moments gazing slack-jawed at your posts on this site, what I would love to know is the following:

1. Whom do you consider conservative and why?

2. Is that a good thing? Would you (or have you) voted for this person(s)?

3. How do YOU personally define the word liberal?

4. How do YOU personally define the word conservative?

Posted by: macsonix at February 28, 2006 1:43 PM
Comment #130250

Oh, yeah -

Ron, what did THESE guys do to deserve this treatment? How are they supposed to put their lives back together now that the long arm of national security (read: Paranoia) has decimated what they thought was the immigrant’s American dream?

http://www.nydailynews.com/front/story/282716p-242172c.html

Posted by: macsonix at February 28, 2006 1:51 PM
Comment #130252

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/02/27/AR2006022701128.html
I guess this means that we won’t be drawing down the troop strength any time soon.

Posted by: sndyrmony at February 28, 2006 1:55 PM
Comment #130258

Ron Brown is claiming Bush is a liberal. Is that guilt I am reading? It must really be galling that you, Ron Brown, voted for the biggest incompetent in the history of the US.

You only have yourself to blame. Us real Liberals voted for Kerry. Ron Brown voted for Bush. Kindly don’t blame liberals for your own gullibility.

Posted by: Aldous at February 28, 2006 2:17 PM
Comment #130259

Ron,

So are you saying these detainees are not people? Many rights in our constitution are reserved for people, and a few rights are reserved only for citizens.

Posted by: SirisC at February 28, 2006 2:21 PM
Comment #130260

Ummm, Ron.
Treaties, per the Constitution, have the effect of law. As you said, if these guys are POWs, then we have the legal obligaiton to treat them under the terms of the Geneva Conventions.

Article VI. This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in Pursuance thereof; and all Treaties made, or which shall be made, under the Authority of the United States, shall be the supreme Law of the Land; and the Judges in every State shall be bound thereby, any Thing in the Constitution or Laws of any State to the Contrary notwithstanding
Posted by: Dave at February 28, 2006 2:24 PM
Comment #130267

“They might have rights under some treaties we sighned but NOT under our Constitution.”

Are we discussing Gitmo detainees? That’s American soil, so they are covered under the Constitution.

Posted by: tony at February 28, 2006 2:37 PM
Comment #130268

Randy:
“you liberals are a bunch of whiny jackasses. Whining about diebold, whining about your “rights”. Have you been dragged from your house for being the traitors that you are? No, so quit crying like babies. BTW, your liberal blogs amount to ZERO, keep on thinking that it will change the world”

Of course the excruciatingly heavy irony here is that this criminal and murderous Republican president and the gang of Thugs which comprise his administration (and those in Congress who’ve been supporting and promoting their actions) have been systematically violating and abridging our Constitutional rights for many years now. This makes him, them, and all of the people who have been supporting the whole lot of into the actual Traitors to America.

And yes, they are the ones who should be dragged from their homes — including the that big white one on Pennsylvania Avenue, and frog marched off to jail where they can permanently rot for their many crimes, both foreign and domestic.
The rest of you Bush Cultists clearly need some serious de-programing, which will consist of reading the Constitution, the history of our nations founding, and being forced to read and be tested on factual news stories on current events until your minds are able to think more clearly.

Posted by: Adrienne at February 28, 2006 2:39 PM
Comment #130272

Todays’ quote…

“A word to the wise ain’t necessary, it’s the stupid ones who need the advice.”
- Bill Cosby

Posted by: Sandra Davidson at February 28, 2006 2:53 PM
Comment #130274

Dave

The rules are not as strict as some would like and they employ cap and trade (which was successful against SO2, but remain controversial). Those things are legitimate debates. But if this is such a serious problem (and was) we have to wonder why it wasn’t done before when we had theoretically environmentally friendly administrations and we also cannot imply that the new rules are making things worse.

Re Geneva Convention and prisoners at Gitmo

These guys don’t clearly fit a category. They are lucky not to be classified under Geneva, where given the nature of their fighting behind enemy lines, without uniforms, hiding among the civilian populations and posing as non-combatants and targeting civilians, they would be spies of saboteurs and could be shot.

Might have been more expedient.

Posted by: Jack at February 28, 2006 2:55 PM
Comment #130276

Bush should have the courage to charge Americans and resident aliens in Guantanamo with treason. If they are traitors, it is the appropriate charge and I think there still is a death penalty for it, so conservatives and this liberal would not be opposed.

However…jailing people indefinitely without even the pretense of charges is another issue altogether. Abe Lincoln, the Reublican that today’s feeble progeny invoke at every turn, ASKED Congress for the authority to suspend habeas corpus - he did not usurp authority as Bush is accused of at every turn.

I now understand Bush’s opposition to activist Supreme Court justices - when you are an activist president who ignores the law at his whim, the last thing you need is some uppity judge getting in your way.

Posted by: CPAdams at February 28, 2006 2:57 PM
Comment #130278

Jack -

Lucky? Wow, I’ve heard of the three legged, one eyed, broken tail dog named Lucky…

You are aware that few of the men in Gitmo were actually taken on a field of battle. They were taken for fitting a profile, and have yet to actually be charged of any crime, much less convicted. “given the nature of their fighting behind enemy lines” This is a huge assumptiong, and a wrong assumption from what I’ve seen written.

Posted by: tony at February 28, 2006 3:02 PM
Comment #130280

Jack:
“It makes you wonder how this could be seen as weakening or rolling back a standard.”

There are no standards with this administration. None. They simply don’t exist — it’s all “fuzzy math” that gets in the way of big business, so they just lie about everything.

“Many people seem to have a problem with causes and effects, as well as chronology in general.”

Indeed — many people who support this president seem to have a serious problem with those things.

“But yes, these things sound really bad and if you put a bunch of them in a big list nobody has time to take them apart.”

Must be rough — trying to defend everything when that list is just so overwhelmingly l-o-n-g.

“And some of the things are true.”

Indeed, in fact, all of them are. Andre is always very thorough — I love that about him.

“In any complex system, there are ups and downs.”

Yeah, but I’m tired of all the Downs, and I’m sick of waiting for those Ups to start happening that I’m beginning to doubt there’ll ever be any.

“But bottom line is that if you throw enough crap against a wall, some will stick.”

That wall is solid with crap and so much has been piled up before it that we’re all wearing wellies and clothespins over our noses. Now what do we do?

“I guess that I am just lucky that nobody I know or even have heard about has been taken to the Gulag. From the way you guys write, it must be fairly common.””

Oh we know you wouldn’t know anyone like that, Jack. It might keep you from rubbing elbows and getting your picture taken with powerful politicians at the next GOP black-tie fundraiser. Btw, which Gulag were you referring to? Guantanamo? Or some other extraordinary-rendition destination?
Just curious.

Posted by: Adrienne at February 28, 2006 3:06 PM
Comment #130281

Jack,

These guys don’t clearly fit a category. They are lucky not to be classified under Geneva, where given the nature of their fighting behind enemy lines, without uniforms, hiding among the civilian populations and posing as non-combatants and targeting civilians, they would be spies of saboteurs and could be shot.

Are suggesting that Bush is not charging people with treason out of compassion???

That strawman is not going to fly (mixed metaphors - YES!). Only the smallest minority of Americans would be opposed to executing traitors or spies.

Here’s the real reason he is holding people without charging them…LACK OF EVIDENCE.

Posted by: CPAdams at February 28, 2006 3:07 PM
Comment #130283

HOT OFF THE PRESSES!! ABU GHRAIB!!! THE LIBERALS CAN’T GET ENOUGH OF IT!!!!

Andre, a simple and damning reply to your article is that you are “Durbinizing”. If you need an article to define that for you … it’s right here:

WHAT THE ARAB WORLD THINKS By Brigitte Gabriel

Torture is accepted and even expected in the Arab world. Yes, I know what you’re thinking-that’s not politically correct in most mainstream media. And you know some nice Arabs who have immigrated to America. But it’s the truth in the Arab world. Might makes right. Real men don’t eat quiche. They prove their manhood by the way they treat their enemy.
After all it’s what Muhammad did to the unbelievers - Christians, Jews and Zoroastrians in the Quoran - the ‘holy book’ allegedly is handled in Guantanamo prison.

Arab Muslim men gain honor by shaming, belittling, abusing and torturing their enemy in the most horrific ways. Just look at how the Palestinians treat so-called collaborators by disemboweling them and hanging them upside down in Manger Square in Bethlehem. Look at the terrorist torture chambers that the coalition forces recently uncovered in Iraq.

When people refer to the prisons of Saddam Hussein and his regime they think he is the extreme exception. Not so! The truth is his torture tactics are quite the norm in the Arab world.

As someone who came from the Arab world and knows how they think, it frustrates me to see self-appointed righteous minded politicians and media pundits oblivious to Arabic culture and thinking, criticizing America’s actions at Guantanamo. These are a bunch of al Qaeda jihadists who were captured while bent on killing us - the kaffirs or unbelievers. They laugh watching our government bend over backwards, forwards and sideways trying to appease the critics. The more we stumble over ourselves questioning our goals and tactics, the more they think we ar weak and easy to defeat.

They smirk because they believe that Americans have demonstrated how stupid and weak they are by caving in to stories about maltreatment of Guantanamo detainees. They are watching our critics in this country and counting on them to embolden the radical Islamic cause and weaken our resolve.

Actually, Gitmo is a joke as far as the Arabs are concerned. Prison? You call that a prison? Let me tell you what some of the prisoners call Guantanamo, “Al muntazah al-dini lilmujaheden al Muslimin,” The Religious Resort for Islamic Militants.

They are given three halal meals a day in accordance to their religious dictates. How many kosher prisons are there in the Arabic world? None.

Jews captured in the Arab world are butchered like those obscene pictures taken in Ramallah during the frenzied slaughter of two Israeli reservists who got lost. Remember the Palestinian man holding his red, Jewish blood dripping hands, high above his head in victory?

Remember Nick Berg’s head being held high also?

Most of these detainees never had three meals a day in their entire life. They are gaining weight, and are living in what they refer to in Arabic as “Al-Jannah,” paradise. They have radio, television, soccer games, air-conditioning, clean clothes, servants … meaning American GIs, who wait on them hand and foot. They have Islamic chaplains and are handed Qu’rans, the social hate guide against Infidels, by people so concerned as not to offend that they wear latex gloves and carry the book with two hands.

Many Muslims in the Middle East would gladly give up their poverty, dictatorial governments, corrupt leaders and social bondage to enjoy the relative luxuries Guantanamo offers. They have free medical care, better than millions of uninsured Americans and our military men and women serving on the jihadists’ battlefield. Some of them who couldn’t afford to see an optometrist now have glasses and can see and read their Qu’ran. Others who never had the opportunity to see a dentist now have a free dental plan. It has become such a joke; we even stop interrogations to let them take prayer breaks demanded by their religion.

As an Arab, I can tell you that Illinois Democratic Senator Richard Durbin is aiding and abetting the goals and strategy of Islamic jihadists who have declared war on the United States. Where was Durbin’s comparison to the Nazis when we found the torture chambers in Iraq?
Where was Durbin’s comparison to Soviet gulags when we found the hundreds of thousands of bodies in Saddam’s mass graves?

Where was Durbin’s head when he compared prisoners captured on the field of battle to the internment of Japanese American civilians during WWII?

What was Durbin thinking when he compared Gitmo and Abu Ghraib to the industry of death that murdered 6 million Jewish men, women and children during WWII? If anything his heart and mind were in the jihadists terrorists’ camp. If you see what story is being downloaded and shared by viewers of the al Jazeera web site you will find the story on Durbin’s comments the winner.

If I were an Islamic terrorist I would be thanking Durbin and forwarding his views to all my fellow fanatics. His reckless comments fuel the fanatic frenzied jihadists, motivating them to blow themselves up in the midst of innocent civilians, savagely cut the heads of helpless hostages and devote themselves to killing the infidel who could be your neighbor stationed in Iraq. Just like the Quran says they should.

Dick Durbin is an unwitting champion of Islamic radical fundamentalists. His comments should be known from this day forward as a “Durbinization”
of the facts. To demonize something grossly out of proportion to what the enemy is doing is to Durbinize. Gitmo and Abu Ghraib have been Durbinized and the Arab world loves it. They laugh at Durbin because he’s supporting their belief in the destruction of our country and civilization.

The shame is Durbin doesn’t have a clue as to what he’s done. As far as he’s concerned, he did the right thing for the Islamic radical detainees living high on the proverbial hog in Gitmo. What he really did was made them laugh; laugh at us for being fool and not real men. Now it’s time to see if the voters in Illinois and his fellow members of Congress are men and women enough to tell the Moslem world Durbin isn’t our real man.

Brigitte Gabriel is the former news anchor of World News for Middle East television.

Posted by: Ken Cooper at February 28, 2006 3:13 PM
Comment #130284

Adrienne,

that’s not fair. Those ‘extraordinary rendition’ locations do not exist. Nor do the people taken to them. It is not right to ask Jack to answer for the actions of this administration, especially since the administration denies any of this exist.

Besides, there are enough egregious examples in plain view - we do not need to look far to see where Bush has been pissing on the constitution and doing #2 on human rights.

Posted by: CPAdams at February 28, 2006 3:14 PM
Comment #130289

I agree with the statement Jack made that there are ups and down….take some good with the bad. Every single thing this administration has done cannot be said to be detrimental or bad.

That said, I think the gist of the post (and how I and many others feel in general) is that this adminstration has abused authority. That’s not to say other’s haven’t done this as well….maybe they weren’t as flagrant but I’m sure it’s been done. That doesn’t make it right. This administration gives the odor of monarchy flavored with a little theocracy (for the base). It’s a stench I am beginning to tire of.

In the name of security, in the name of WMD, in the name of war, in the name of even God Himself, this administration has illustrated a willingness to step upon rights and ignore laws. What upsets me even more is the fact that they are unchecked due to a single-party majority…some of which I helped elect.

Change will come….it’s only a matter of when and how suddenly.

Posted by: Tom L at February 28, 2006 3:23 PM
Comment #130290

Ken,

did you want to let everyone know that Brigitte Gabriel is a conservative pundit from Virginia Beach, who left Lebanon in her early teens, and whose website, AmericanCongressForTruth.com, makes alarmingly hateful generalizations about Arabs without any foundation in reality?

Ms. Gabriel’s arguments don’t even have a foundation in personal experience.

Good quote, Ken. Glad to see you are furthering your argument with respected sources.

Posted by: CPAdams at February 28, 2006 3:28 PM
Comment #130291

Adrienne,

What’s a “wellie”?

Jack:

we also cannot imply that the new rules are making things worse

Yes we can, yes we do, because without any doubt, most of those decisions will.

Ken,

Why can’t you see the foolishness in justifying torture by vilifying our enemies as torturers? “They do it so we can” simply makes “us” as bad as “them”.

Posted by: Dave at February 28, 2006 3:28 PM
Comment #130292
President George W. Bush’s job rating has fallen to an all-time low of 34 percent, amid strong opposition to the Dubai Ports World deal and increasing pessimism over the war in Iraq, according to a CBS News poll released on Monday.

You forgot to mention that they only polled Republicans.

Posted by: Pat at February 28, 2006 3:31 PM
Comment #130298

well, here’s what I found, among a vast number of anti-Arab dogma penned by the woman herself, on the first page of the google search for Ms. Brigitte Gabriel:

http://www.queensjournal.ca/articlephp/point-vol132/issue39/editorials/lead4

So Ken, thanks for the highly biased copy and paste job, but I think you will have a hard time finding someone with a level head to support this point. Fact is, the people we are talking about are NOT the enemy combatants or the POWs or whatever else you are wont to call someone who is shooting at you. These are people who have been detained without counsel or charge because they look like that nice lady you quoted at length.

Posted by: macsonix at February 28, 2006 3:37 PM
Comment #130299

Here was a funny percentage from that same poll:

18%

The percentage of people that have a favorable opinion of Dick Cheney. But at least he is good for taking the heat off of Bush. How lucky to be a president who has a veep who is liked by so few.

Posted by: CPAdams at February 28, 2006 3:39 PM
Comment #130300

“Every single thing this administration has done cannot be said to be detrimental or bad.”

Can any of it be seen as good or positive? I’ve been asking this for a long time now, and no one responds - especially the ones who say all we liberals do is Bash Bush.

Pat -
I thought that poll was across party lines… or is this a joke I fialed to get?

Posted by: tony at February 28, 2006 3:40 PM
Comment #130301

PS - Wellies are wellington galoshes that cover the leg all the way to the knee.

Posted by: macsonix at February 28, 2006 3:40 PM
Comment #130302

there’s actually plenty to smile about regarding this administration’s policies if you are:

quite rich

a multinational corporation

a defense contractor

in the oil business at all

homophobic

a poli sci student writing a paper about graft, corruption and ineptitude in government

Posted by: macsonix at February 28, 2006 3:45 PM
Comment #130305

This is much too appropriate to pass over:

‘HE has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public Good.

‘HE has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing Importance, unless suspended in their Operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.

‘HE has obstructed the Administration of Justice, by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary Powers.

‘HE has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil Power.

‘FOR depriving us, in many Cases, of the Benefits of Trial by Jury:

‘FOR transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended Offences:’

- excerpts from the Declaration of Independence

Just in case anyone thought this little discussion about rights was a little discussion.

Posted by: CPAdams at February 28, 2006 3:53 PM
Comment #130308

PS - Wellies are wellington galoshes that cover the leg all the way to the knee.
Posted by: macsonix at February 28, 2006 03:40 PM

Thanks. Covering to the knees isn’t high enough though. What’s next on the scale???

Posted by: Dave at February 28, 2006 3:59 PM
Comment #130309

CP:
“It is not right to ask Jack to answer for the actions of this administration, especially since the administration denies any of this exist.”

Good point, CP. Thank goodness for all those whistleblowers and leakers — otherwise we’d know very little about what’s been going on.

“Besides, there are enough egregious examples in plain view - we do not need to look far to see where Bush has been pissing on the constitution and doing #2 on human rights.”

True. With so much of W’s airborne urine and feces flying around, I’m beginning to think we need some goggles and plastic jumpsuits to go with our wellies and clothespin-covered noses.

Dave, as Macsonix said, wellies are wellingtons. They’re those knee-high, close-fitting rubber boots that keep you from getting mud and crap on you when you work around horses. When I was a kid (12) the first real job I ever had was mucking out stalls and currying horses at a riding academy where super wealthy housewives and their spoiled kids learned to ride (as a side benefit, I often got to ride the horses too.), so a pair of wellingtons were a definite necessity. I’ve always had a pair of wellies ever since — but now I use mine for gardening.

Posted by: Adrienne at February 28, 2006 3:59 PM
Comment #130310
Take one that is easy to check - mercury. Mercury from power plants was never regulated at all and the U.S. under Bush was the first country to do so systematically.

Is this the best you got? I followed the links from Adrienne in the other column. The regulation was a smokescreen intended to put off any effort from industry into the distant furure. Shameful.

Posted by: Ms Schwamp at February 28, 2006 4:01 PM
Comment #130312

macsonix -

You forgot to add John Stewart to your list. Personally, I’m betting he’s at odds with Bush… but as for a source for material… holy crap, this Admin. has been a gold mine!

Posted by: tony at February 28, 2006 4:07 PM
Comment #130313

The government of the United States of America is founded on the Constitution of the United States of America.
Plotting to overthrow the government of the United States of America is Treason.
By attempting to destroy, subvert, and abrogate the Constitution without due process of law, George W. Bush is attempting the overthrow of the Government of the United States of America, and is therefore guilty of Treason.

Hang ‘em all!

Posted by: capnmike at February 28, 2006 4:07 PM
Comment #130314

Adrienne -

I guessing Bush does not have a hard time providing samples for his annual physical.

Good for your colon, bad for foreign policy.

Posted by: tony at February 28, 2006 4:13 PM
Comment #130315

Dave:
“Covering to the knees isn’t high enough though. What’s next on the scale???”

Fishing waders? You might be right — the crap is getting kind of deep! :^)

Ms Schwamp:
“The regulation was a smokescreen intended to put off any effort from industry into the distant furure. Shameful.”

Yes. And it is shameful, but I think those who defend this administration must have lost all sense of shame long ago.

Posted by: Adrienne at February 28, 2006 4:14 PM
Comment #130316

This was worth a skim but no more. First, I did not know that any detainee during a war especially in a foreign country had any rights in terms of those enjoyed by American citizens. Second, global warming is junk science and everybody knows it; yet you embrace it. Third, you have more to say and quote about the environment, toxics and health and junk science than you do about actual people (“American Rights” may be the shortest section). Fourth, since when is it responsible gov’t. that extends rights intended only for American citizens to those who are not citizens?

You didn’t spend enough time on people and especially American’s who you think or are in reality, being deprived of their rights. I wonder why? Do your homework for Pete’s sake and quit insulting our intelligence.

Posted by: ILIndCon at February 28, 2006 4:16 PM
Comment #130319

ILIndCon -

It’s called empathy. To understand how people here think, it’s crucial to have. Check to see if your multi-vitamin has it.

1 - it’s in the Constitution
2 - global warming real - get real
3 - it’s all about the people that this all damages. if you think we are separate from the environment, go down to mardi gras
4 - again, the Constitution

I would never assume to insult your intelligence.

Posted by: tony at February 28, 2006 4:25 PM
Comment #130321

1. yeah, you’re right - if they aren’t a citizen, lock ‘em up and who really cares?

2. yeah, you’re right - let’s wait until there are category 7 hurricanes all year long - then I’ll believe it.

3. You have a point. Of course, the rights of citizens don’t mean much when there won’t be a friggin’ PLANET left to live on

4. see #1

5. (bonus!) The true insult of anyone’s intelligence is that anyone alive today with more than a fourth grade education can claim global warming is junk science. Get a grip, man!

Posted by: macsonix at February 28, 2006 4:28 PM
Comment #130322

ILIndCon, ?? I’m most concerned about Bush abrogating the rights of Americans-

unrestricted wiretapping affects - Americans
Guantanamo is full of - Americans
the unchecked sale of American ports threatens - American security
running up the national debt burdens the next generation of - Americans

Here are two more stats (I do so like to quote them):

12.7% - Americans living in poverty in 2004
19.4% - Americans living in poverty in 2004 when you subtract government assistance.

Poverty is way up under Bush and those ridiculous government assistance programs are the ones he wants to eliminate. But of course, they don’t benefit real Americans - only the poor ones.

A living wage is a right too.

Posted by: CPAdams at February 28, 2006 4:36 PM
Comment #130324

macsonix,

I have to correct you. My daughter in kindergarten is already asking me what pollution is and about recycling. Of course, I live in that hotbed of democratic liberalism, Houston, so I am sure that might skew her education.

So, I think your fourth grade argument is a little high - I think my daughter will understand global warming before she is out of second grade

Posted by: CPAdams at February 28, 2006 4:43 PM
Comment #130326

Well, what a hoot. A fellow Houstonian knee-deep in all this muckracking. Yeah, you’re right - it sure gets boring down here with all these enlightened types constantly agreeing with my admittedly progressive point of view. That and the humidity are the two things you can count on, right? Oh, and be sure to let your fellow parents know about that enviro-babble your daughter’s learning in kidergarten. That pinko academic elitist excuse for an educator will get run out of town quick!

Posted by: macsonix at February 28, 2006 4:54 PM
Comment #130327

macsonix,

do you mean all those oil industry folks? all those parents? what a hoot! yeah, I can never get anyone to take up the conservative side of an argument here…

I’m an expatriot NYer living down here. To a carpetbagger, it’s all fine and all remarkably funny/strange. Of all the things that are funny/strange here, the weirdest of them all is my daughter, who recites the pledge of allegiance at school, and then recites the pledge to the flag of Texas.

If you’re native, my apologies. But it is quite strange to me.

Posted by: CPAdams at February 28, 2006 5:03 PM
Comment #130332

CP,

OK. If poverty is up and Bush wants to eliminate certain assistance programs, then it means the assistance programs are in place now, otherwise he couldn’t eliminate them. Since I have established that the assistance programs are in place now and you say poverty is up since 2004, then it appears the assistance programs to which you refer aren’t working. What would be the harm in eliminating them if they aren’t working now?

Poverty will never be eradicated but we should do what we can to help. And it seems throwing more money at poverty does not work. I think to help us retain our rights, we ought to quit giving gov’t more control of our money. Let’s take it back and begin building programs and aid systems our own way in our own communities. Everytime we give a Republican or a Democrat one more dollar we give up a little more freedom and control. More taxes does not translate to more freedom. It translates to less.

Posted by: ILIndCon at February 28, 2006 5:22 PM
Comment #130334

Try the bradblog for what we face with voting under this administration, but if you really want to make yourself sick, go to

http://economyincrisis.com

Posted by: Sharon Metcalf at February 28, 2006 5:30 PM
Comment #130339

ILIndCon,

Poverty will never be eradicated but we should do what we can to help. And it seems throwing more money at poverty does not work.

let me slow down my writing so you can follow.

With government assistance in place in 2004, one third of the people who would have been living below the poverty line, received enough assistance to not live in poverty. By eliminating those programs, Bush will insure that an additional 19 million people will live in poverty.

To put a face to those roughly 58 million people we would have in poverty if not for government assistance:

25% are under the age of 18;
25% are 65 years of age or older;

Is Bush a genius as president or not?

Anyone under eighteen years of age can’t vote! Taking away their assistance is easy, with no direct political repercussions (again, votes).

The older folks are easily frustrated and have higher disability rates and are also easy to disenfranchise (see Dade County, 2000), so they are ready prey to the budget axe. By the way, 10.5% of the elderly live in poverty. Without governmetn assistance, that numbers climbs to…are you ready for this…

41.6%

In case you think they make too much noise when republicans want to cut their benefits.

Throwing money at it DOES make a difference. 19 million people go hungry less often because of government help.

And your lack understanding of the problem, combined with your indifference, is just about the textbook definition of a conservative.

Posted by: CPAdams at February 28, 2006 5:47 PM
Comment #130342

… in the case of the elderly, throwing money at poverty is necessary (at least i have heard no better plan). for the youth, however, our country would be better served by using this money to provide training and education - so that they don’t grow up to be old people, still relying on the fed.

this idea has been implemented in other countries and has met with a good deal of success and popularity… all of this is a bit off subject, i realize; however, it seemed an opportune time to mention it.

Posted by: diogenes at February 28, 2006 6:11 PM
Comment #130343

>>And your lack understanding of the problem, combined with your indifference, is just about the textbook definition of a conservative.

Posted by: CPAdams at February 28, 2006 05:47 PM

CPAdams,

And probably the best reason for a two party system…it’s too bad we don’t have one in America…

Posted by: Marysdude at February 28, 2006 6:13 PM
Comment #130354

“Oh wrong, macsonix…..they’ll come looking for him to recruit. Just the kind of narrow-minded, zealot they like. Funny how when you’re in retreat mode it’s so easy to throw out hate without substance.
Posted by: Sandra Davidson at February 28, 2006 12:30 PM”

Sandra,

Regarding our troops in Iraq I read today that, “While 85% said the U.S. mission is mainly “to retaliate for Saddam’s role in the 9-11 attacks,” 77% said they also believe the main or a major reason for the war was “to stop Saddam from protecting al Qaeda in Iraq.”

It’s in this Le Moyne College/Zogby Poll:
http://www.zogby.com/news/ReadNews.dbm?ID=1075

You’ll also notice that “An overwhelming majority of 72% of American troops serving in Iraq think the U.S. should exit the country within the next year, and nearly one in four say the troops should leave immediately.”

KansasDem

Posted by: KansasDem at February 28, 2006 7:28 PM
Comment #130356

And why was your last post directed at me, Kansas???

Posted by: Sandra Davidson at February 28, 2006 7:37 PM
Comment #130364

Adrienne,

“Good point, CP. Thank goodness for all those whistleblowers and leakers — otherwise we’d know very little about what’s been going on.”

But what can a whistleblower expect for doing the right thing?

“Man Pleads Not Guilty in Voting Device Case”
http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-diebold22feb22,1,7096292.story?ctrack=1&cset=true

“If convicted…….he could face up to three years and eight months in state prison”

The true reward for integrity?

KansasDem

Posted by: KansasDem at February 28, 2006 7:52 PM
Comment #130371

CPAdams,

And the part she talked about which is untrue is … … ???

I didn’t see that part in your post, only a personal attack. Nice rebuttal.

Posted by: Ken Cooper at February 28, 2006 8:04 PM
Comment #130372

“And why was your last post directed at me, Kansas???

Posted by: Sandra Davidson at February 28, 2006 07:37 PM”

I just happened to remember reading that poll when I read your response to macsonix.

I found an odd parallel between “they⦣x20AC;™ll come looking for him to recruit. Just the kind of narrow-minded, zealot they like.” and the fact that such a high percentage of troops think they’re in Iraq as a retaliation for 9-11.

I honestly thought the myth of Saddams involvement in 9-11 was long ago dismissed.

KansasDem

Posted by: KansasDem at February 28, 2006 8:05 PM
Comment #130381

Ken,

it wasn’t a personal attack. My rebuttal was that the story was biased, that it was not written by an observer, but by a conservative pundit with raadical, hateful ideas about muslims.

Posted by: CPAdams at February 28, 2006 9:00 PM
Comment #130406

Minimum wage=$5.35per hour x 40hours per week x 52weeks per year=$11,128.
$11.128 divided by nuclear family (husband,wife and 2 children) = $2,782 per person per year.
$11,128 divided by conservative republican christian family (husband, wife and 7 children) = $1,236.44 per person per year.

Posted by: jlw at February 28, 2006 11:01 PM
Comment #130418

I was just wondering - can a citizen sue the President for treason, stupidity, lieing, etc.?

Posted by: Linda H. at March 1, 2006 12:22 AM
Comment #130422

Aldous
I DID NOT VOTE FOR BUSH. I voted Constitution Party both elections.
I think you voted for him. That’s why your so down on him. It galls you that you voted for an incompetent person.

Dave
But nowhere does article VI say that prisoners of war have rights under our Constitution.

tony

Are we discussing Gitmo detainees? That’s American soil, so they are covered under the Constitution.

No they don’t. First they aint US citizens. Second they’re prisoners of war. You know, the enemy.

Posted by: Ron Brown at March 1, 2006 12:39 AM
Comment #130426

macsonix

Ron

After countless moments gazing slack-jawed at your posts on this site, what I would love to know is the following:

1. Whom do you consider conservative and why?

Of our current crop of politicians, No one.

2. Is that a good thing? Would you (or have you) voted for this person(s)?

No. That’s why I don’t vote for them.

3. How do YOU personally define the word liberal?

Not even liberals can define themselves, how can I?

4. How do YOU personally define the word conservative?

A conservitive is someone who believes in The Constitution of The United States. They believe in letting it say what it says and not what they want it to.
They are both fisically and socially conservitive.
They believe in the sanctity of human life. This encludes the unborn, sick an elderly. They belive that the only justification for killing another human is in defense of another person or themselves, in war, or for murder. In which case the murderer gives up their right to live.
They believe that war should be avoided if possible. But also believe that when the country is attacked that it’s time for war.
Conservitives believe that ALL people are equal and should be treated with respect. They belive that our Constitution applies to ALL our citizens equally. None are above it.
Conservitives don’t mind helping anyone who truly needs it. But are against a system that encourages people to be lazy.
These are just a few of the thing that I define conservititism as.

Posted by: Ron Brown at March 1, 2006 1:08 AM
Comment #130427

BTW macsonix,
Bush doesn’t believe half of what I just wrote. That’s why he’s liberal.

Posted by: Ron Brown at March 1, 2006 1:10 AM
Comment #130428

Linda H.
I wish we could. But I don’t think so.

Posted by: Ron Brown at March 1, 2006 1:12 AM
Comment #130473

“tony

Are we discussing Gitmo detainees? That�€™s American soil, so they are covered under the Constitution.
No they don’t. First they aint US citizens. Second they’re prisoners of war. You know, the enemy.”

Since you are so fond of the US Constitution - show where any of this is an exception to the “Inalienable Rights.” As I read it, ALL MEN ARE CREATED EQUAL… I don’t get ALL US CITIZENS ARE CREATED EQUAL. That’s the point.

Posted by: tony at March 1, 2006 7:31 AM
Comment #130474

“Conservitives believe that ALL people are equal and should be treated with respect. “

If this is your belief, then how do you reconcile the previous quote?

Posted by: tony at March 1, 2006 7:43 AM
Comment #130477

Just one more note on how this Administration has it’s priorities set:

“The Bush administration is scaling back on audits of energy companies that pay billions of dollars for leases to produce oil and gas on federal property, state officials said.

The changes have drawn protests from several oil-producing states and American Indian tribes, which receive a share of the royalties energy companies pay the federal government for oil and gas produced on public lands. Those royalties have risen much more slowly than prices for oil and gas, which reached record highs last year and are expected to remain high for several years.”

http://www.nytimes.com/2006/03/01/business/01leases.html?ex=1298869200&en=e076043c52e8e576&ei=5089&partner=rssyahoo&emc=rss

Posted by: tony at March 1, 2006 7:54 AM
Comment #130480
Dave But nowhere does article VI say that prisoners of war have rights under our Constitution. Posted by: Ron Brown at March 1, 2006 12:39 AM

Ron,

Prehaps you missed the part where it says treaties are the law of the land? (In this case we’re refering to the treaty commonly called “the Geneva Conventions”)

Or, perhaps, you one of those people who says there should be no laws other than the actual constitution itself? But, of course, the Constitution says there will be laws and how to pass them. E.g. No where does the constitution say that murder is illegal.

Or, perhaps, I just don’t know what you meant?

Posted by: Dave at March 1, 2006 8:20 AM
Comment #130485

I got lambasted equally hard by both the left and the right, and everyone in between, several weeks ago when I said something about most voters being ill-informed.

I didn’t mean that they’re dumb or even that they intentionally ignore the facts. I know both of my two oldest children stay so busy with work and family they quite often go days without anymore “news” than what they overhear at work or what they hear on the radio while commuting to and from work.

Anyway, I found this little “tid-bit” in the morning news interesting:

Study: America more familiar with cartoon family than First Amendment
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/11611015/

Only “one in 1,000 people who could name all five First Amendment freedoms.” WOW


KansasDem

Posted by: KansasDem at March 1, 2006 9:13 AM
Comment #130486

CP,

I am not too sure how I am coming across as indifferent. If by saying that we will always have the poor seems indifferent, it’s not. It’s a fact. I think world history bears me out on this. It’s just a statement of fact and that doesn’t mean I am indifferent to the needs and the plight of the poor.

What I don’t like is the thinking that gov’t will solve the poverty problem. We’ve had over 40 presidents all doing their part to deal with poverty (some better than others). And it hasn’t gone away.

You say it’s getting worse. Perhaps. But what is gov’t going to do that we can’t do? They are going to mishandle our tax dollars as they usually do.

This is a dialogue about rights. We lose more of our rights by giving more economic control to our gov’t. We stand more of a chance of greater success against poverty if we have more of our own money in our pockets, at our disposal to sink back into our own communities and battle poverty closest to the problem. The more economic control our gov’t exerts, erodes more of our rights and power and creativity as a people.

These are not indifferent statements and my opinion does not reflect indifference. I am just not convinced that we need the assistance programs. And its not indifferent to say I don’t like the idea that throwing more money at poverty problem solves the poverty problem. We have thrown billions if not trillions at poverty and we still have poverty. Having gov’t confiscate our money to work on poverty makes us all poorer and only takes money out of our communities where it’s needed most.

Posted by: ILIndCon at March 1, 2006 9:23 AM
Comment #130495

San Francisco just passed a law that removes more rights from Americans…the right to defend yourself. Hand guns are now illegal in the City of San Fran, and just to remind you, California has this insidious problem of setting precedence in other American locations.

Why is it that the government can have these things, but you and I can’t? What’s that tell you? Sure, you’ll have the ignorant Liberals say that we need to keep guns off the streets and blah blah blah, because they trust our government. It’s almost as if they WANT to be controlled by the government. But here’s in lies the problem: You have the Police to protect you from criminals (at least they’re supposed to). However, when the government decides to do what it wants (which it already has in terms of emminent domain, etc.) who will you have to protect you from the police??

Whether you agree or not, here’s an interesting
lesson in history:

In 1929, the Soviet Union established gun control.
From 1929 to 1953, about 20 million dissidents,
unable to defend themselves, were rounded up
and exterminated.

In 1911, Turkey established gun control. From
1915 to 1917, 1.5 million Armenians, unable to
defend themselves, were
rounded up and exterminated.

Germany established gun control in 1938 and
from 1939 to 1945, 13 million
Jews and others who were unable to defend
themselves were rounded up and exterminated.

China established gun control in 1935. From
1948 to 1952, 20 million political dissidents,
unable to defend
themselves, were rounded up and exterminated.

Guatemala established gun control in 1964.
From 1964 to 1981, 100,000 Mayan
Indians, unable to defend themselves, were
rounded up and exterminated.

Uganda established gun control in 1970. From
1971 to 1979, 300,000 Christians, unable to defend
themselves, were
rounded up and exterminated.

Cambodia established gun control in 1956. From
1975 to 1977, one million
‘educated’ people, unable to defend
themselves, were rounded up and exterminated.

Defenseless people rounded up and exterminated
in the 20th Century because of gun control:
56 million.

Guns in the hands of honest law abiding
responsible citizens save lives and property
and, yes, gun control laws affect ONLY the law
abiding citizens.

Take note my fellow Americans…..before it’s
too late!

The next time someone talks in favor of gun
control, please remind them of this history lesson.

With guns, we are citizens.
Without them, we are subjects.

If you value your freedom, Please spread this
important message to all of your friends.
If you can read this, thank a teacher.
If it’s in English, thank a veteran.

Posted by: Silent Majority at March 1, 2006 10:26 AM
Comment #130499

SM,

Read the Turner Diaries lately?

Posted by: Dave at March 1, 2006 10:49 AM
Comment #130504

Dave, Tony
The Constitution was written to protect the citizens of the United States. Not the citizens of the world. Only US citizens are given the rights in it. The POWs ARE NOT citizens of the US. Therefore they DONOT have the rights we have.
The Geneva Convention does apply to them. And yes, I believe that the rights given to them under it might have been violated. However their Constitutional Rights haven’t sense they don’t have any.
Even though they are prisoners of war, not detainees, they should be treated humanly. They have that right just being human.

Posted by: Ron Brown at March 1, 2006 11:41 AM
Comment #130505

Silent Majority
Be afraid of the government that’s afraid to let you have guns.

Posted by: Ron Brown at March 1, 2006 11:45 AM
Comment #130506

Silent Majority:
“San Francisco just passed a law that removes more rights from America…the right to defend yourself. Hand guns are now illegal in the City of San Fran, and just to remind you, California has this insidious problem of setting precedence in other American locations.”

While an initiative was passed by residents of SF to ban handguns and was approved by 58 percent of voters, the city (or the state of California) was not the first to pass such a ban because similar bans have been passed in both Chicago and Washington D.C. already. The only thing different about the passing of this initiative is the idea that handgun owners might be asked to turn in their weapons (in the other two cities, there was a grandfather clause that allowed handgun owners to keep their guns).
So far, no one in SF has been made to turn in their handguns, and may not be forced to do so, because the initiative actually violates California state law. Nothing about the initiative has yet gone into effect because of a NRA lawsuit:

February 28, 2006 SAN FRANCISCO – The city agreed to delay enforcing a voter-approved ban on owning or selling handguns until at least June 19 so a judge can consider a National Rifle Association lawsuit challenging the law. San Francisco City Attorney Dennis Herrera said Monday that the city would honor a Superior Court judge’s request to postpone implementing the law until the suit is settled.

Btw, a similar ban was attempted in SF in the early 1980’s but was struck down at that time because of state law — so the same kind of ruling may very well be handed down once again.

Posted by: Adrienne at March 1, 2006 11:46 AM
Comment #130507

Ron -

No where in the Constitution does it mention “rights herein apply only to US Citizens.” I don’t see anything that would give such an impression. This might be your take on the Constitution, but it is NOT the legal or standard interpretation.

Posted by: tony at March 1, 2006 11:47 AM
Comment #130511

Silent Majority
I hear you rattling on about needing your gun to protect you from the police etc. I have to say that is about the dumbest argument for anything I’ve ever heard. Do to remember Ruby Ridge, does Branch Davidian ring a bell? I rather doubt that you or any other poster has the fire power on hand to dissuade the police whether you like it or not. Banning handguns in San Francisco certainly doesn’t mean that the people in San Francisco will turn their weapons in. They will just be illegal to carry. That doesn’t mean they will be gone. I don’t suppose it occurs to the gun nazis that a handgun in the city isn’t a good thing. They are more likely to end up in the hands of a criminal as the result of burglary than anything else. My experience has been that even those who own guns as defense rarely have the gun handy when they might need it. Another thing you may want to consider even if it goes against your need to have some phalic symbol nearby is that the majority of shooting don’t involve intruders or errant police. More often than not they are used to kill other family members whether by accident or the result of some mental duress.
I know that won’t change your attitude, but really to suggest that in some way you need your gun to protect you from the government is just too stupid to believe.

Posted by: sndyrmony at March 1, 2006 11:57 AM
Comment #130514

Tony,

The US Constitution is the law of our land, not every land in the world. Every country in the world has some form of constitution that defines the laws of their lands.

The document is worded in such a way that it assumes its applicability to citizens.

“We the people of the United States in order to form a more perfect union…” [our union, not everybody else’s, not like everbody else’s]

Tony, when is the last time you actually looked at the Constitution? It was established by the people of this country for the people of this country.

Posted by: ILInd Con at March 1, 2006 12:02 PM
Comment #130515

Jack,

You mention that none of us have been dragged off to the gulag as though you think we are exagerating. You also seem to imply that not ALL of the articles listed above are correct. Look them up, one by one. Truth is important enough to warrant the time and effort. Which is why those of us tracking this stuff have spent the time and effort. You will be more likely to beleive yourself anyway, so take this list and go investigat/verify for yourself, PLEASE. This is REAL.

I know people who have been repeatedly harassed until their employers had no choice but to hire someone else who would be able to perform the jobs without being continually questioned by the FBI. Their only crime was to be Muslim. I know people whose businesses have failed, freedom to travel denied, appeals to adjust immigration status wrongfully denied, and even had to endure threats of bodily harm by other Americans all for no other reason than that they were either Muslims from a foreign country, were part of turbin wearing groups that were not Muslim at all or were Islamic Americans.

We may not be at the point where people are getting dragged off our streets to be sent to gulags, but we are frighteningly close. Is this the kind of government you wish to CONSERVE? If you answer yes, consider this: It was exactly that kind of blind sentiment that was the difference between the loyalists and the patriots during the American revolution. There are times when the right thing to do is to NOT turn a blind eye to the way things are going.
Sometimes CHANGE is actually the most CONSERVATIVE thing to do in so far as it conserves values and a way of life that we who agree with the values of our Constitution treasure as part of our American heritage.

RGF

Posted by: RGF at March 1, 2006 12:03 PM
Comment #130519

tony
Then let’s give those rights to everyone in every country. Let’s let them vote in our elections. Let’s let them serve on our jurys. Let’s let them run for our offices. Let’s let them make our laws.
After all the Constitution doesn’t say “rights herein apply only to US citizens” So they must apply to everyone in the world.

Posted by: Ron Brown at March 1, 2006 12:07 PM
Comment #130523

Ron,

Why do you argue that the “Constitution doesn’t grant rights to non-citizens”? I agree that the constitution basically defines limits on the gov’ts authority to impose its will on it’s people and how the laws are to be formed. If it says that signed treaties are the law, then what difference does it make if the tenets of the Geneva Conventions (which applies to every person no matter their citizenship) are defined in the Constitution or in the treaty? I’m glad we concur that humane treatment is an obligation.

BTW; since there is no public information as to who is in Gitmo and the other special rendidtion facilities, how do you know that there are no US citizens there? A good example is Padilla.

Posted by: Dave at March 1, 2006 12:13 PM
Comment #130524

For those of you who are second ammendment junkies:

“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.”

Perhaps at one point it was sufficient ot allow people to “regulate” themselves. That has not been happening lately. As long as gun supporters ar so imcompetant about raising well adjusted children who respect gun safety and the lives of others, horrors like Columbine will continue to happen. It is morally indefensible to simultaneously scream for gun bearing rights and then make those guns available to people who cannot, for whatever reason, respect the responsibility that goes with them.

So…we get back to the “well regulated” language in the second ammendment. Thank God the founding fathers had the forsight, unlike Cheney, to recognize the inherent danger that exists with guns.

RGF

Posted by: RGF at March 1, 2006 12:15 PM
Comment #130527

Ron,

But our Constitution does give the right to vote to it’s citizen’s, not to the people. See ammendment 14 section 1:

All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.

Posted by: SirisC at March 1, 2006 12:18 PM
Comment #130529

see also ammendment 15 section 1

The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of race, color, or previous condition of servitude

it specifically says rights of citizens there, many other rights specify people not citizens.

Posted by: SirisC at March 1, 2006 12:22 PM
Comment #130530

Ron,

Uh…The constitution protects non-citizens. I don’t know where you got the other idea, but it’s wrong.

When you travel, you can be sure that you may avail yourself of the protections of the laws in the country you are in. There are rights and privileges, such as voting for example, that are for citizens, but the protections of the Constitution work for us all.

In a nutshell, that is why the “detainees” are being kept by the military in Guantanamo Bay. They are cought between definitions. The attempt, rightly or wrongly, is being made to keep them defined as NEITHER POW’s which would require that we treat them appropriately under our treaty agreements, NOR criminal defendants, which would grant them certain protections under American law. It’s a very dangerous game being played and human lives are at risk. I would go so far as to say ALL of our legal protections are at risk because the protections of the law are not meant to selectively work for some and not others. This is a fine line of exceptions that is dangerous for all of American law and all of us. If you knock down the laws to get at the terrorists, and the terrorists turn on you at the end, THEY WILL HAVE WON! …and America and all it stands for will have been lost.

RGF

Posted by: RGF at March 1, 2006 12:28 PM
Comment #130533
and just to remind you, California has the insidious problem of setting precedence in other American locations.

I think I got that junk email from my sister…lol. You know what, if you don’t like San Fran then move to Ohio. You’re allowed to carry your little handgun (and conceal it too) here. But don’t think you can go around killing godless pagans, homos or dasterdly liberals, because that’s still illegal. Now, if you live in Florida you can kill some godless pagans, homos and liberals, but only if they insult you first (which by there very existence could be insulting, so maybe it’d be best for you to go there).

Posted by: Gratis at March 1, 2006 12:46 PM
Comment #130534

RGF,

When you travel you are not accorded the rights of full citizens. You may have some rights in their courts and in other respects. Each country is responsible to protect their citizenry and territories in whatever way they see fit.

I spent some time in foreign nations and some rather interesting times. In one place in particular, I was not permitted to travel to certain parts of the country, where a full citizen had no travel restrictions.

We don’t enjoy full citizenship rights in other nations just because we happen to appear at or within their borders. We have the rights THEY determine they wish to extend to non-citizens and that is the way it should work here.

Posted by: ILINDCon at March 1, 2006 12:46 PM
Comment #130537

IlINCon,

Yes you are correct. But then I was only referring to to the legal protections most relevant here.

There is a difference between rights and privileges and legal protections. In the current discussion, the most relevant issue is that of the legal protections afforded to PEOPLE within the borders of a country. This is mostly, if not entirely, the realm of the kinds of protections afforded to ciminal defendants, for instance.

I have nothing relevant to say to restrictions of movement or travel imposed by other nations. That is their affair. I have both travelled and lived abroad. The nations I was in aforded me certain protections just as our constituion affords the protections of the laws to non-citizens within our country.

That does not mean they have the right to vote here, for instance. That is not a legal protection, so much as a right under our constitution. The protection side of it comes when that right is infringed to those who ARE citizens, such as former slaves for instance, whose votes were being blocked, taxed, wrongfully divided in the South folowing the Civil War. …But that is a different issue entirely.

RGF

Posted by: RGF at March 1, 2006 1:01 PM
Comment #130538

“Tony,

The US Constitution is the law of our land, not every land in the world. Every country in the world has some form of constitution that defines the laws of their lands.

The document is worded in such a way that it assumes its applicability to citizens.

“We the people of the United States in order to form a more perfect union…” [our union, not everybody else’s, not like everbody else’s]

Tony, when is the last time you actually looked at the Constitution? It was established by the people of this country for the people of this country.”

“We the people” refers to the people making the document (preamble) but the CONSTITUTION says “All men are created equal.” This is made by people of the US for all people on US soil.

When was the last time you looked that Constitution?

Posted by: tony at March 1, 2006 1:06 PM
Comment #130539

Hey, GRATIS,

You do an IMMENSE amount of good for the LIBERALS by screaming axactly the sentiments you are posting here, so get up on your soap box and keep it up! We could’t ask for better help. I hope all the republican voters in this country hear you. I can’t imagine anything more effective at causing reasonable people to turn off to the side of the political spectrum that voices such sentiments.

RGF

Posted by: RGF at March 1, 2006 1:06 PM
Comment #130540

“Then let’s give those rights to everyone in every country. Let’s let them vote in our elections. Let’s let them serve on our jurys. Let’s let them run for our offices. Let’s let them make our laws.
After all the Constitution doesn’t say “rights herein apply only to US citizens” So they must apply to everyone in the world.”

Not sure why you want to change things… the Constitution seems to work fine like it is… as long as people understand it.

Posted by: tony at March 1, 2006 1:08 PM
Comment #130543

Aye, there’s the rub.

Well said, tony. I am still flabbergasted that those who call themselves “conservative” almost invariably have so little understanding of our Constitution. It makes me wonder what they think they are ‘Conserving.’

RGF

Posted by: RGF at March 1, 2006 1:17 PM
Comment #130545

SirisC
But our Constitution does give the right to vote to it’s citizen’s, not to the people. See ammendment 14 section 1:


All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.

Posted by: SirisC at March 1, 2006 12:18 PM

I never said it didn’t. Bu if your going to follow Tony’s and Dave logic you have to extend those rights to everyone in the world. US citizen or not.

Posted by: Ron Brown at March 1, 2006 1:20 PM
Comment #130547

tony
I don’t want to change things. You do. You want to give the rights we have as citizens to non citizens. If we’re going to do that, then we have to give them to every in the world. I’m just following your logic here.
Non US citizen DONOT have the rights we have. If they did they could vote in our elections, run for office, and make our laws.

Posted by: Ron Brown at March 1, 2006 1:25 PM
Comment #130549

Ron -

Read previous threads… voting and other specific rights have stipulations. Being President or representing your state all have specific restrictions.

However, rights mentioned in the Constitution apply to ALL people on US soil (which includes US Embasseys.) I know you don’t like it, but it IS the way the US Constitution lays things out.

If you KNOW differently, I’d love to see proof.

Posted by: tony at March 1, 2006 1:32 PM
Comment #130556

Ron,

As usual your impudence is only slightly less remarkable than your ignorance. No one except you is suggesting that we offer the right to vote (or any other right that is reserved for citizens) to foreign nationals. How you cannot get your puny head around this is utterly beyond me.

However, there ARE rights that are afforded to ALL persons on American soil, like for example, the right to not be assaulted. If you are in England, BELIEVE IT OR NOT YOU GENIUS, and you are not a British citizen, they will still arrest some idiot who begins to beat you senseless when you mention that you are not a big fan of Manchester United. Similarly, a Brit in NYC will be afforded the SAME protection under the law when he is accosted after proclaiming no affinity whatsoever for the Yankees baseball club.

Now, take that logic (I know this logic stuff is difficult) and apply it to being taken from your home, having your head shoved into a black burlap sack, and driven in the back of a dark van to some airstrip and then to Guantanamo or perhaps to a Federal detention facility in the nearest large city. There you wait, for months and months, being interrogated, abused, tortured, burned, etc. You are never charged with a crime. You are never allowed a conversation with ANYONE of your choosing - no wife, friends, family members, and certainly no attorney. After a year and a half, you are finally released and deported to the custody of your native government.

While this kind of thing may occur in some banana republic in the middle of nowhere, it is NOT legal in the USA. And if you disagree with that, then there are a host of nations who may be more to your liking should you choose to explore your options.

Posted by: macsonix at March 1, 2006 1:50 PM
Comment #130563

macsonix -

While I def. agree with your take on things, you might want to chill on the tone of your posts. It makes for better conversations (and keeps the editors here from booting you.) I dig your perspective and would like to have you around.

Posted by: tony at March 1, 2006 2:13 PM
Comment #130569

Tony,

The Preamble to the Constitution is pretty clear,

We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

We the people is us sir.

You may be quoting from the Declaration of Independence which is not the law of the land but gives foundation to the Constitution because Tony you said,

…the CONSTITUTION says All men are created equal.

The States ratified the Constitution, Tony. The representatives of the people of the United States sent their representatives to put it together and ratify it. We live in a republic and our representatives do our bidding and so we can say just as then, ‘We the people.’ While the preamble has no force in law, it does tell us why and who put together the finest governmental document ever written. So Tony, you and I are the people and we affirm the Constitution as our rule of law as citizens of the United States not some other nation.

Posted by: IL IndCon at March 1, 2006 2:23 PM
Comment #130570

You know folks - I don’t so much think of the prisoners in Gizmo as citizens or non- citizens. They are human beings, and deserve some rights. I think it is essential that they know why they are there, when they can anticipate being freed, and have a lawyer to represent them.

Afterall, we profess to care about human rights in other countries, but now we are violating human rights ourselves.

Actions speak louder than words…

And I believe that you catch more flies with honey than with vinegar.

Posted by: Linda H. at March 1, 2006 2:23 PM
Comment #130576

“So Tony, you and I are the people and we affirm the Constitution as our rule of law as citizens of the United States not some other nation.

Yes - but we have established out laws to reflect people on our soil. It’s a very basic concept - if you are here, you have certain rights, end of story. This has nothing to do with other Nations, it has solely to do with people here - regardless of their citizenship.

The concept that foreigners are not protected under our laws is such a bizarre take on the Constitution. Do you seriously think that our laws only apply/protect actual US citizens? Seriously?

Posted by: tony at March 1, 2006 2:41 PM
Comment #130584

Tony,

Foreigners on our soil are not granted all the rights of US citizens. If I travel to England for instance, I am not granted the rights of a full citizen.

A foreigner on our soil who is not a citizen, cannot and does not have the right to vote. The Constitution does not, therefore, grant all the rights of a US citizen to a resident non-citizen. It doesn’t need to and it ought not. The Constitution was written by Americans and for Americans. It establishes our rule of law and the limits of government for America and its citizens. While non-citizens are afforded some protections under our laws, they are not afforded all the protections and rights of a citizen (native born or naturalized).

Posted by: IL IndCon at March 1, 2006 3:22 PM
Comment #130587

IL IndCon,

The DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE, sir, says all men are created equal, NOT the constitution.

The constitution, and I say this with respect, was not in the least concerned with equality since it did not extend suffrage to blacks until 1868, and to women until 1920. This is without even mentioning how, for census purposes, black slaves counted as three fifths of a human being and native americans counted as none.

Or how about the fugitive slave language, which required that fleeing slaves be returned to their owners across state lines? Yes, we must respect original intent, musn’t we?

I think you would find a number of posters on this site from differing backgrounds who might agree that the constitution, while responsible for the freedoms and protections we enjoy today, is not perfect and whose original intent was specifically for the benefit of white european male landowners.

What is unacceptable to me is that when conservatives talk about the plain meaning of the constitution, they mean all the original language that still makes sense.

Posted by: CPAdams at March 1, 2006 3:28 PM
Comment #130588

Tony - yes, you are correct. Please accept my apologies, everyone. Especially Mr. Brown.

I guess I get carried away when we find ourselves unable to even establish a solid foundation upon which to erect sustainable and effective debate. If conservatives, libertarians, liberals, and moderates can’t even agree on basic principles of American government that are normally ingrained into the national consciousness sometime around the age of fifteen or sixteen, then I fear greatly for our abilities to form anything resembling a cohesive and constructive forum to consider and enact positive change. Perhaps I have touched upon the proverbial elephant in the room here - all I know is that we seem to be spending an inordinate amount of time focusing on petty issues and minutiae instead of gaining a firm hold on the bigger pictures at hand. And I mean that in the context of this blog and the general national political climate as well.

Posted by: macsonix at March 1, 2006 3:28 PM
Comment #130591

and to your last post IL IndCon, the Constitution had a narrow definition of citizen.

1 Stat 103-104, the first US naturalization law, was limited to “free white men”. That leaves a whole lot of people off the list, doesn’t it?

Posted by: CPAdams at March 1, 2006 3:35 PM
Comment #130594

macsonix,

it is easy to get carried away here, as I do myself. The mantra is critique the message, not the messenger. It is hard to do when the messenger seems to have ear plugs on…

Posted by: CPAdams at March 1, 2006 3:39 PM
Comment #130598

CP,

You need to read my message more carefully. I was quoting Tony who said the Constitution said all men are created equal. I corrected him. I know the Constitution doesn’t mention that.

I have never mentioned race or the status of any individual who authored or had part in creating the Constitution. Your latest remarks are almost offensive. I am also not engaging in name-calling or labelling. I am trying to avoid that.

I never said or implied the Constitution was perfect. If it wasn’t for our Constitution you and I and the others would not be able to debate the issues and get better educated (me in particular). It needed amendment and probably still does but that shows its imperfection and its flexibility and the wisdom of the Framers.

Posted by: ILIndCon at March 1, 2006 4:07 PM
Comment #130606

ILIndCon,

I did misread your quote. My apologies. I did not name call - no apology offered.

My point was that rights have been denied to unfavored groups throughout our history under color of law (no pun intended). Calling forth the constitution to justify who should and shouldn’t be protected suffers from the same flaw - the Constitution has, over time, failed to protect groups of people long after it should have.

The problem in Guantanamo in particular is an example of how this administration has tried to deny rights to individuals (citizens or not), to have the law of the United States apply everywhere but there.

As someone with a pretty solid legal education, I find the contrived distinctions used for Guantanamo detainees as much a red flag as the Japanese internment. Certainly not the same scale, but clear wholesale denial of rights we believe in and claim to be fighting in Iraq to protect.

The Jose Padilla case is part of the same problem. He is a native born US citizen who was held for 3 years in military custody without being charged.

The problem is people of a particular background are being denied rights because of that background. Their guilt or innocence is being determined under a different standard of justice because of that background.

Posted by: CPAdams at March 1, 2006 4:49 PM
Comment #130609

ILIndCon,

And if you think I am wrong about the prejudice,

cite one example of a native terrorist (like the Oklahoma City bomber) without arab or muslim ties, who has been denied due process of law.

Posted by: CPAdams at March 1, 2006 4:53 PM
Comment #130616

I’m not denying anyone the equal protection of the law. Anyone in the US has the right not to be a victim of crime. They also have the right to go peacfully about their business. And if accused of a crime they can have a lawyer represent them. But that’s as far as they go. They have NO other rights.
The prisoners of war however are the enemy of the US and as so and NOT being citizens of the US, they have NO rights under the Constitution.
They have rights under the Ganeva Convention. And should be given these rights. But as prisoners of war, we CAN hold them indefinnitly WITHOUT a trial. Even the Ganeva Convention allows for this.

Posted by: Ron Brown at March 1, 2006 5:25 PM
Comment #130617

CP,

I think we agree on some items. I’m glad.

First, some rights have been denied to some groups in our history. Not good.

Second, you can correct me if I am wrong. Isn’t Gitmo essentially a military base and run by the military (USN)? I know that doesn’t absolve them of Constitutional responsibility but they have a whole different situation down there and things are done according to US military regulation.

Third, I am not sure if I would attempt to draw the same conclusion about the internment camps during WWI and Gitmo either. One affront of the internment camps (let alone that we thought this was an intelligent thing to do and it was immoral) is that our gov’t also targeted US citizens. The prison on Gitmo is populated by non-citizens, right? I don’t think we are throwing US citizens in Gitmo without good reason.

Padilla was held in custody. I am not sure why 3 years. However, he had connections with overseas terrorists. That kind of makes him a POW of sorts (waging war against his own nation). I am not sold that it was his background but rather his associations that governed the way he was treated.

Posted by: ILIndCOn at March 1, 2006 5:25 PM
Comment #130618

“A foreigner on our soil who is not a citizen, cannot and does not have the right to vote. The Constitution does not, therefore, grant all the rights of a US citizen to a resident non-citizen. It doesn’t need to and it ought not. The Constitution was written by Americans and for Americans. It establishes our rule of law and the limits of government for America and its citizens. While non-citizens are afforded some protections under our laws, they are not afforded all the protections and rights of a citizen (native born or naturalized).”

First off - i never said a non-citizen had ALL of the rights of a US Citizen, that would be stupid. However, can you tell me exactly how many rights do not apply to non-citizens?

Do they have freedom of speech? Yes
Do they have the right to own a gun? Yes (with a few exceptions)
I’m pretty sure you can’t force soldiers to live in someone’s hotel or house, even if they are not a citizen.
Search and seizures? Same rights as we have.

and so on… “The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.” that’s a pretty interesting take on your post directly.

To my read - only voting and representation in our government has specific mention of US Citizenship.

Even where citizenship is defined, it still states “nor shall any state deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.”

I’m guessing non-citizens can drink. Everyone here should def. have that right.

So - what’s the point to non-citizens not being covered under the Constitution? (As far as the previous post… “we the people” vs “All men are created equal” and basic constructs, not literal quotes. Obviously.)

Posted by: tony at March 1, 2006 5:33 PM
Comment #130622

ILIndCon,

Isn’t Gitmo essentially a military base and run by the military (USN)? I know that doesn’t absolve them of Constitutional responsibility but they have a whole different situation down there and things are done according to US military regulation.

Which regulations? When speaking to the Red Cross and the UN, this administration defends its right, because of a state of armed conflict with the Taliban and Al Qaeda (a war), to hold these people (yes Ron, we do have a right to hold people until the end of a war) until armed hostilities end.

But they are not POWs and they are not being accorded POWs rights.

When the war is over (and I use that term very loosely - this is not a war), what process will we use to determine where these people are returned to?

Their nationalities.

We are not in a state of war with any country, are we?

So, since we are fighting terrorism indefinitely (Bush has acknowledged that this type of ‘war’ is not likely to end), against no state in particular, we have decided to imprison people indefinitely in conditions designed to “extract intelligence” and not subject to international monitoring.

Folks, those are police state tactics and it makes us hypocrites. I know most of you on the right will be offended by that characterization.

But you cannot defend the tactics but resent the label. They go hand in hand.

Posted by: CPAdams at March 1, 2006 6:07 PM
Comment #130625

Wouldn’t a WAR require an actually declaration of war from Congress?

Posted by: tony at March 1, 2006 6:13 PM
Comment #130626

Padilla looks and smells like a dirty bird but the handling of his case, the years in custody without charge, and the complete reversal of the official story regarding his eventual charging all smell pretty fishy too. It’s a very grey area but I do agree with the Tonys and CPAdams on this site that we have to err on the side of protecting civil rights here. This guy is by no means an angel, so why can’t the gov’t make its bloody mind up what his crime is and get on with it already? Once you open that door to allow this kind of treatment to prisoners, enemy combatants, POWs and the like, then you are moving on a very slippery slope indeed. This is a textbook case of the current administration’s bungling and tendency to err on the side of secrecy, indecision, and short-term thinking.

Posted by: macsonix at March 1, 2006 6:13 PM
Comment #130629

macsonix,

agreed. Padilla is a thug and likely worse. But if he hadn’t taken a muslim name, he would have worked his way through the federal courts just like the Unibomber or the Okla City bomber.

Tony,

yes, declaring war might warrant some oversight from Congress. But Bush Co. is not about accountability. It is not their game.

Here’s a nice rhetorical question for everyone -

It seems that every leak of actions by this administration has revealed some infringement of civil rights or a military action in contradiction to our values and modern history (lets NOT use our 19th century history as a benchmark).

Assuming the people working within this government are moderately competent, and their capacity to keep secrets is at least average,

what actions have we not found out about that would also shock us?

Posted by: CPAdams at March 1, 2006 6:25 PM
Comment #130631

I think it must have been a hundred posts ago, but the same adage we teach our kids MUST and DOES still apply here:

Just because there are other countries who do this kind of thing does not mean it’s okay for us to do it.

A war with no identifiable means of determining victory, with no identifiable enemy, with no identifiable framework, battle plan or battlefield, indeed with no identifiable and tangible goal, in spite of the admirable notion that one could possibly rid the world of this scourge of loathesome, cowardly, terrorist thugs - this war is most definitely NOT the war where we can peel back layers of ethics, levels of decency, norms of conscience. For if we do - and the practice becomes commonplace rather than an exception to standard procedures, then we have plunged ourselves headfirst into the very evils we seek to overcome.

Posted by: macsonix at March 1, 2006 6:32 PM
Comment #130632

I dug up some info on PBS.org about the rights of non-citizens on US soil. I did some verification of the info, it’s entirely consistent with what I found elsewhere on the web.

This text is from Doug Kmiec, Professor of Law at Pepperdine Law School:

” In my judgment, the Constitution does permit a distinction between citizens and noncitizens, especially with reference to matters of national security, but more generally as well.

First of all, as a textual matter, only citizens have privileges or immunities under the Constitution as well as the full protection of the equal protection and due process clauses - including individual liberties like speech and association that are sheltered within those provisions by judicial construction.

By comparison, by Supreme Court determination, noncitizens are entitled only to some often ill-defined (but far lesser) level of protection under both the due process and equal protection clauses of the Constitution.

Thus, the level of constitutional protection that noncitizens have often varies by context. In the context of a terrorist threat of the magnitude we face, both Congress (in its design of the immigration laws) and the President (in his exercise of inherent Executive authority related to foreign affairs as our commander in chief in a time of war) have the capacity to exclude noncitizens from the country, and with respect to those already present, to limit their access to sensitive public positions, and to scrutinize their behavior in ways that the privileges and rights of citizenship would not permit with regard to American citizens. “

The link to the full discussion is:

http://www.pbs.org/newshour/forum/october01/civil2.html

I personally thought non-residents were entitled to the full panoply of Constitutional protections, but I was mistaken.

Posted by: Arr-squared at March 1, 2006 6:33 PM
Comment #130637

Interesting article - here’s more from the same:

“Under our Constitution, certain rights are afforded only to “citizens.” But in the area of civil liberties, which generally refer to those rights guaranteed by the Bill of Rights, the Constitution does not make distinctions based upon citizenship status, but guarantees certain basic rights to all “persons.”

This reflects our view that the legal system, particularly the criminal justice system, must treat everyone equally. Certain basic rights, e.g., due process, must be equally applied across the board for the integrity of the legal system as well as for the benefit of the individual. (And as a purely practical matter, it would be difficult, if not impossible, to have different standards for basic rights, since government officials would not necessarily know the citizenship status of each individual at the beginning of each interaction.)”

Posted by: tony at March 1, 2006 6:53 PM
Comment #130676

There you have it. Non citizens don’t have the Constitutional rights we have as citizens. Even yaalls own liberal professors admit it.

Posted by: Ron Brown at March 1, 2006 10:37 PM
Comment #130679

>>The prisoners of war however are the enemy of the US and as so and NOT being citizens of the US, they have NO rights under the Constitution.


ron brown,

Which war?

The war on Drugs…

The war on terror…

The Iraq war…

The war in Afghanistan…

The war in Congress…

The war to cover up bungles…

The war on Whittingtons…

The war on our own spies…

The war against citizens (wiretapping)…

Posted by: Marysdude at March 1, 2006 10:42 PM
Comment #130734

“But in the area of civil liberties, which generally refer to those rights guaranteed by the Bill of Rights, the Constitution does not make distinctions based upon citizenship status, but guarantees certain basic rights to all “persons.”

Ron -

Did you read the posts, or just the one that works best for you?

Posted by: tony at March 2, 2006 6:44 AM
Comment #130736

Ron -

Did you take the time to read the article? It realy seems like you are taking the point that fits your argument and ignoring the rest. (Careful, wars have begun that way.)

One more quote - same article:

“In cases dating back almost a century, the Supreme Court has found that constitutional guarantees, including the First Amendment and Fifth Amendment due process protections, apply equally to any person living within our borders. While non-citizens do not have the “right” to enter the United States, once in the country they are protected from arbitrary government action and have a right to seek judicial review of government actions taken against them.

Although non-citizens do not have those rights reserved for the citizenry - for example, the right to vote - the Supreme Court has found that non-citizens still have fundamental human rights that cannot be violated.”

—Loretta Lynch, the former U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New Yor

By the way - the LIBERAL PROFESOR you mentioned is Douglas Kmiec, dean of the Catholic University School of Law - LIBERAL? Are you sure?

Posted by: tony at March 2, 2006 6:52 AM
Comment #130748

And just to beat this into the ground:

“After the Government obtained an arrest warrant for respondent—a Mexican citizen and resident believed to be a leader of an organization that smuggles narcotics into this country—he was apprehended by Mexican police and transported here, where he was arrested. Following his arrest, Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) agents, working with Mexican officials, searched his Mexican residences and seized certain documents. The District Court granted his motion to suppress the evidence, concluding that the Fourth Amendment—which protects “the people” against unreasonable searches and seizures—applied to the searches, and that the DEA agents had failed to justify searching the premises without a warrant. The Court of Appeals affirmed. Citing Reid v. Covert, 354 U.S. 1—which held that American citizens tried abroad by United States military officials were entitled to Fifth and Sixth Amendment protections—the court concluded that the Constitution imposes substantive constraints on the Federal Government, even when it operates abroad. Relying on INS v. Lopez-Mendoza, 468 U.S. 1032—where a majority assumed that illegal aliens in the United States have Fourth Amendment rights—the court observed that it would be odd to acknowledge that respondent was entitled to trial-related rights guaranteed by the Fifth and Sixth Amendments, but not to Fourth Amendment protection.”

SCOTUS - February 28, 1990

Posted by: tony at March 2, 2006 7:51 AM
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