Right to Bear Arms

May 27, 2014

A silly visual pun, but is it any more silly than the tortured “originalist” intepretations of the US Constitution by the likes of Justice Scalia when it comes to the right to “bear arms?”  Joe Nocera points out today in his column, that new scholarship makes clear, if it ever was not clear, that The Framers meant for citizens to have the right to form armed militias – they didn’t have, and didn’t want a standing army in those days. Now, we have quite an army; an entire military-industrial complex.  The one that the army guy, Eisenhower, warned us about.

Is Scalia listening? It really has nothing to do with hunters, homicidal maniacs, criminals, and other gun lovers, that many today feel should be regulated.

The justice likes to claim that he bases his opinions only on what The Framers said, or what they “meant,” but of course, he decides what they meant.  And his originalism is remarkably flexible, always hewing to the latest right-wing conservative line.

Now, none of this is too surprising, but what did bring me up a bit short was Nocera’s comment that this position by the Republican establishment is relatively recent, c. 1980.  It coincides with the Reagonzo Revolution, the ascendance within the Republican party of the angry, somewhat bigoted men, white men.  Thanks again, Ronnie.

Advertisements

“Love It or Leave It” – Full Circle!

November 19, 2012


There has been a lot of discussion about the surprise, even shock, felt by ‘conservatives’ at the failure of Romney to win the presidency.  Some of it, such as this article in the NYTimes today, has focused on the discomfort of right-wingers with the ‘new’ America.

Well, during the Vietnam War protest era, there was a popular bumper sticker directed at those dissidents:  America-Love It or Leave It!  Now, what goes around has come around, and I say to those guys in Montana and Wyoming who just can’t see where they fit into the new multi-cultural, irreligious, liberal-welfare-state Democratic America:  Love it or leave it, and I’d prefer that you just get up and leave, period!


Dreams of My Other

August 28, 2012

click for source

I think that this image is what some people in Lubbock, TX have in their minds.   From the NYTimes today, edited for emphasis by me.

LUBBOCK, Tex. — …Ms. Rogers said she supported the idea of increasing the property tax to 34.6 cents per $100 valuation from 32.9 cents to finance the hiring of additional sheriff’s deputies — with one reservation.

It was that, she said, “it does not fund a paramilitary to create an insurrection and rebellion against the United States.”

Her comments might have sounded absurd at some other time, in some other place.

… A few days before, the county’s top elected official, County Judge Tom Head, made an appearance on a local television station to generate support for the tax increase. He said he was expecting civil unrest if President Obama is re-elected, and that the president would send United Nations forces into Lubbock, population 233,740, to stop any uprising.

“He is going to try to hand over the sovereignty of the United States to the U.N.,” Mr. Head said on Fox 34 last week. “O.K., what’s going to happen when that happens? I’m thinking worst-case scenario: civil unrest, civil disobedience, civil war, maybe. And we’re not talking just a few riots here and demonstrations. We’re talking Lexington, Concord, take up arms and get rid of the guy.”

… Mr. Head, a Republican who serves as the county’s emergency management director and presides over the commissioner’s court, made international headlines. He has not apologized, though he said that his statements were taken out of context and that he was using civil unrest only as an example of how he must prepare for worst-case scenarios.

To many in Lubbock, the notion of United Nations armored personnel carriers rolling down the brick-paved Buddy Holly Avenue, past the Greyhound bus station and the Disabled American Veterans thrift store, has been an outrage and an embarrassment.

Kenny Ketner, the chairman of the Lubbock County Democratic Party, has called for Mr. Head to resign, as did the local newspaper, The Lubbock Avalanche-Journal. … Gilberto Hinojosa, the chairman of the Texas Democratic Party, publicly questioned Mr. Head’s “mental competency to hold elected office.” [Good point!]

Ms. Rogers, 74, said after the hearing that she took matters further, placing a phone call to the Secret Service. “There is an element in this city that is so anti-Obama that I think they have lost grip a little bit on reality,” she said.


Paranoia strikes deep…

October 23, 2008
Un-American Activities Committee

Un-American Activities Committee

C’mon you Baby Boomers, sing along…”into your life it will creep…”  Well, to paraphrase Eldridge Cleaver, Un-American activities, or the alleging thereof, are as American as apple pie.

Now we have Representative Robin Hayes saying

“…liberals hate real Americans that work and accomplish and achieve and believe in God.”

Not to mention Michele Bachmann of Minnesota who suggested that the news media should:

“…[ investigate] the views of the people in Congress and find out: Are they pro-America or anti-America.”

Gee, how would you know?  Funny, also, that she thinks the media, that supine tool of the Liberal Elite would do a decent job of digging out the truth.

Yep, it’s getting pretty nasty as the right wing is backed into a corner with nothing to declare but its stupidity.  And just in case you thought that this is a recent phenomenon, check out this classic essay by Richard Hofstadter on the Paranoid Style in American Politics.

This really is a right-wing thing, too.  When have you heard liberals talking about how conservatives like McCain “hate America?”  We just think he’s a jerk.


Thou Shalt Live!

March 21, 2005

Our congressional Solomon, Tom Delay, has declared we must investigate all circumstances before taking a life, so he is helping congress insert itself into the family torment over the feeding-tube. I wonder if, back home in Texas, he is similarly concerned for the lives of convicts on death row who have been represented by miserably paid, overworked, sometimes incompetent council, in cases that often have little resembling due process. Not that there aren’t people of whom, if they were hit by a bus in the street, I might say, “Well, they deserved it.” I just don’t think the highly fallible servants of the state, judges or juries, should be deciding the issue irrevocably. After all, it’s an adverserial procedure, trials are, not a family matter.