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'IF IT'S THE LAW, IT'S THE LAW . . .YOU HAVE TO ABIDE BY THEM'
The Libertarian ^ | October 20, 2002 | Vin Suprynowicz

Posted on 10/27/2002 9:28:03 PM PST by missileboy

'IF IT'S THE LAW, IT'S THE LAW . . .YOU HAVE TO ABIDE

What is the final safeguard of Americans' rights and freedoms?

The Founders carefully divided our government into discrete levels and branches, counting on the natural jealousy of those entrusted with one set of powers to act as a check on the rest — states using the 10th Amendment and their power to name senators to resist usurpations by Washington; Congress refusing to allocate funds for presidents overreaching their delegated powers, etc.

That has largely failed. Instead of jealously guarding their prerogatives, the states now run to Washington with their hands out for a share of the tax loot, while federal bureaucrats raid California marijuana plantations in blatant violation of the will of the voters, and of the ninth and tenth amendments.

Not to mention our once-proud U.S. Congress, deciding last week to forego the heavy lifting of actually debating and voting on a Declaration of War against Iraq, instead in effect telling President Bush "You figure it out; we're busy."

No, the "checks and balances" turn out to have been little more than a stopgap.

Instead, the final guarantor of our liberties is, in fact, a population taught from childhood that ours is a government of sharply limited powers — limited to those specifically listed in writing — established to protect the almost limitless rights and freedoms of the people.

In guarantee of which, each public officeholder is then required to swear a sacred oath to "protect and defend the Constitution." So how on earth could our liberties ever be endangered, so long as lawmakers understand they're bound by oath before God, by conscience and morality, not to enact or enforce any law not authorized by the Constitution, even if it's favored by the populace, 96-to-4?

How could any bad law ever be enforced if policeman, prosecutor, and judge each says in turn, "Wait a minute, I swore an oath not to enforce every law, but rather to protect and defend a Constitution which exists specifically to limit the types of laws that can be passed"?

But increasingly, we find ourselves surrounded by two generations of fellow Americans taught by their government schoolmarms that the government can do anything it wishes, so long as it's presented as being for "the general welfare."

This is absurd. If that were the case, the Constitution need contain only 25 words "The central government may do anything which the majority of both houses decide is in the interest of 'the general welfare'; have a nice day."

Instead, the document drones on for pages, stipulating that Congress has only those powers specifically delegated in Article I Section 8 — to fund not just any roads, but solely "post roads"; to own, occupy and administer not 87 percent of the state of Nevada, but only those lands "purchased by the Consent of the Legislature of the State in which the Same shall be, for the Erection of Forts, Magazines, Arsenals, dock-Yards and other needful Buildings" — while offering not a word of authorization for the federals to regulate or subsidize agriculture, drugs, education, energy, firearms (except to issue free automatic rifles to all us militiamen — take a look, it's in there), fish, forests, labor relations, medical practice, small business, space stations ... let alone the invasion and subjugation of the state of Georgia.

Whereupon, beyond that, our state constitutions and now the 14th amendment place additional sharp limits on the areas where state government can meddle in our lives.

Yet as local office-seekers come trooping through our offices every two years, angling for endorsements, do any of them take their upcoming oaths of office seriously enough to vow they will enforce no unconstitutional enactment?

Just the opposite. Candidates for attorney general, district attorney, and sheriff are particularly assertive in insisting they will enforce every statute and ordinance enacted, blithely assuming "some higher court somewhere" will serve as their conscience, telling them later on if something they've been enforcing turns out to violate the clear language of the Constitution.

Asked why he would enforce a state law against anonymous political leafletting even though that law clearly violates the First Amendment guarantee of free speech, for instance (heck, the "Federalist Papers" were originally published as anonymous leaflets), Republican attorney general candidate Brian Sandoval came into our offices at 930 a.m. Thursday, July 25 and explained he would enforce any enactment of the Legislature, no matter how obviously unconstitutional, since "I don't think the attorney general has discretion to not defend an unconstitutional law."

"Come on, " I demanded, "you're saying that if the Legislature passed a law requiring all Jews to wear yellow stars of David sewn on the outside of their clothing, you'd enforce it?"

"It's my job to enforce it," Mr. Sandoval replied.

(To be grammatical, I suppose he should have said, "It would be my job to enforce it." But I've written down precisely what he said.)

Some of the witnesses, including editor of the newspaper Thomas Mitchell and managing editor Charles Zobell, turned their heads and looked at each other, probably expecting an immediate retraction or "clarification" of what Mr. Sandoval had just said. (I wrote in my own notebook, directly under the words of his answer, "Well, that's clear.") But none was forthcoming.

And candidate Sandoval didn't say this in some off-hand barroom conversation after a few beers. Brian Sandoval said it while decked out in a suit and tie at 9:45 on a weekday morning in a formal endorsement interview in front of multiple witnesses, busily taking notes.

Two months later, as this biennial season of endorsement interviews was winding to a close, Kevin Child, a Bonanza High School graduate and real estate salesman running as a Republican for the 8th District Assembly seat, came into the newspaper's offices for a similar endorsement interview. Mr. Child said he's personally going to vote "Yes" on Question Two, to place a ban on gay marriage in the state Constitution, "because I'm a Christian ... even though I don't think it's something the government should be involved in."

This struck me and fellow interviewer Steve Sebelius as curious. If Mr. Child doesn't think the government should be involved in the matter, why would he vote to make permanent in the Constitution just such a government prohibition?

"Well, it's on the ballot, so it's our right to vote for it," Mr. Child explained, puzzling us still more. No matter by what mechanism it comes before them, once any measure comes up for a vote, the voters have a right to OK it, and the Legislature must then obey the will of the voters, even if individual legislators don't believe this is an area in which government should be meddling, Mr. Child explained again.

Again, I found myself driven to ask, "Come on. What if a majority of voters OK'd a law that required all Jews to wear yellow Stars of David sewn on the outside of their clothing? You're not saying the Legislature would obey the will of the majority in a case like that — you'd approve such a statute, and then the people would have to obey it?"

"If it's the law it's the law," Mr. Child replied. "Whoever made these laws, if they're passed you have to abide by them."

Both these men said these things while sober and in the light of day, before witnesses who were taking notes, and to date have made no attempt to withdraw or amend them.

Are the gentlemen anti-Semites, who really want racial minorities to be "marked" for later round-up and removal, as practiced under Germany's Third Reich? I hope not. I hope they merely wanted to demonstrate consistency in defending an initial wrong premise — that a nation once proud of our tradition of breaking bad laws by throwing the tea in Boston harbor, or acquitting John Peter Zenger of libel, or by defying the Fugitive Slave Act, is now a land of dutiful little drones, enforcing and obeying any edict of the central state, showing our photo IDs and submitting to humiliating airport strip searches without ever raising our heads from our yokes far enough to ask, "Did we grant them this power in our Constitution?"

It's also worth noting that, while their statements are markedly stupider, Messrs. Sandoval and Child are hardly alone in embracing the underlying premise; few of the candidates we interview any longer harbor a true understanding of a "government of limited powers."

Seek among them for anyone who will say, "I can't enforce the gun laws. I'll be swearing to protect the Constitution, which allows no 'infringement' of the right to bear arms, whatsoever," or "War on Drugs? I've searched in vain for any authorization to ban or regulate the trade in drugs in either the state or the federal constitution. They had to pass a constitutional amendment to ban alcohol back in 1919, but they've never passed one to authorize the War on Drugs. Nope; I'll be setting all those fellows free." You will find none.

In the end, what's most disturbing here is not the pair of individual answers, but the fact that these two dangerous dimwits are only the tip of an iceberg of ignorance — ignorance of our own founding principles — on which our ship of state is now bearing down at full speed.

Nowadays, I'm considered a "dangerous radical" because I insist I can't find in my copy of the 2nd or 14th amendments any language that says "The right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed, except that any number of 'reasonable restrictions' can be enacted to make the soccer moms feel safe by preventing anyone from walking down the street with a bazooka."

Well, radical I am and mean to be — since "radical," from the Latin stem for "root," merely means we get to the heart of the matter.

But who is the more dangerous radical — those who would use their jealously protected arms to defend to the death the right of minorities to refuse to sew yellow Stars of David or pink triangles on their clothing?

Or does the real danger to our liberties come from folks like Brian Sandoval and Kevin Child, cheerfully "mainstream" dolts who assert they would happily enforce such laws, rounding up delinquent members of racial, religious, political, or lifestyle minorities in trucks and delivering them to the one-way box cars at the railroad yards if so ordered by someone "in authority," since "If it's the law it's the law. Whoever made these laws, if they're passed you have to abide by them"?


TOPICS: Constitution/Conservatism; Government
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Gee, isn't democracy great?

All of this kind of sounds like a famous trial in a Teutonic city that started with the letter N. "I was just following orders". Looks like a few more generations of little collectivists, put out by the government school system, should effectively erase any semblance of the idea of a government of limited powers. And surely, "no child will be left behind". All will effectively be indoctrinated as they're given a healthy dose of Ritalin.

Good thing we have juries or individual jurors that can throw out bad laws. That is, if they know they can do so despite the judge's treasonous instructions that they must just weigh the facts, and not the law itself. No doubt that this defense will have to be eliminated through the government youth propoganda camps as well. The "Civics" class of yesterday is the "Social Studies" class of today. "Social", as in Socialism.

Anything is up for a vote, and any law can be enacted, and must be obeyed once enacted.....I can't wait for the future.

1 posted on 10/27/2002 9:28:03 PM PST by missileboy
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To: missileboy
All Liberteens have a problem with the law. Deal with it...
2 posted on 10/27/2002 9:34:16 PM PST by Libloather
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To: Libloather
That is incorrect, and is a common strawman. "Liberteens" are pro-law, pro-government etc. else you wouldn't hear endless references to The Bill of Rights, The Constitution and the "Rule of Law". It's corrupted law and the abuse of power that libertarians are concerned with.

Or when guns are effectively outlawed in this country like they are in England, and you use a gun to prevent me from raping your wife, and they haul YOU off to the gulags, I'll be sure to let you know that it is your civic duty to "deal with it", komrade.

3 posted on 10/27/2002 9:40:41 PM PST by missileboy
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To: missileboy
"Liberteens" are pro-law..."

So, you're bitchin' about what, exactly?

4 posted on 10/27/2002 9:43:13 PM PST by Libloather
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To: Libloather
Care to read the article before asking about its content?
5 posted on 10/27/2002 9:45:39 PM PST by missileboy
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To: redrock; MadameAxe; Lurker; Coyote
Will the last American to care for the rule of law please bring the flag, and hit the lights.

Thanks

6 posted on 10/27/2002 9:46:27 PM PST by nunya bidness
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To: missileboy
The article is fine. I'm wondering what you're bitching at...
7 posted on 10/27/2002 9:47:18 PM PST by Libloather
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To: missileboy
As usual the Libertarian Party, detached from the emotionalism of the moment, reasons correctly. Unfortunately, the War Party (GOP) and its warmongering supporters carry the prevailing "wisdom" of the Nation. As times past, we shall endure such Wisdom ... with the realization that sane human beings shall eventually prevail in the end. The biggest joke in the end will be so-called conservatives who believe unfettered war is the answer to our problems.
8 posted on 10/27/2002 9:50:05 PM PST by LiberalBuster
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To: missileboy
In other words, what the hell is your problem and why does it involve those you wish to involve?
9 posted on 10/27/2002 9:50:10 PM PST by Libloather
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To: Libloather
Seek among them for anyone who will say, "I can't enforce the gun laws. I'll be swearing to protect the Constitution, which allows no 'infringement' of the right to bear arms, whatsoever," or "War on Drugs? I've searched in vain for any authorization to ban or regulate the trade in drugs in either the state or the federal constitution. They had to pass a constitutional amendment to ban alcohol back in 1919, but they've never passed one to authorize the War on Drugs. Nope; I'll be setting all those fellows free." You will find none.

In the end, what's most disturbing here is not the pair of individual answers, but the fact that these two dangerous dimwits are only the tip of an iceberg of ignorance — ignorance of our own founding principles — on which our ship of state is now bearing down at full speed.

Nowadays, I'm considered a "dangerous radical" because I insist I can't find in my copy of the 2nd or 14th amendments any language that says "The right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed, except that any number of 'reasonable restrictions' can be enacted to make the soccer moms feel safe by preventing anyone from walking down the street with a bazooka."

For starters, gun laws, and the WOD. There's also "campaign finance reform", federally-funded government schools,and the income tax, to name just a few all-time great usurpations.

10 posted on 10/27/2002 9:54:02 PM PST by missileboy
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To: missileboy
The Constitution was a great idea. Finding the means and ways to disregard whatever parts of it are inconvenient has been a triumph of the federal government, it's path to power.
11 posted on 10/27/2002 9:54:29 PM PST by gcruse
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To: LiberalBuster
...with the realization that sane human beings shall eventually prevail in the end.

I posted the entire Liberteen agenda, on this very forum, on September 12, 2001. Liberteens had a cow - said I was insensitive. Why?

12 posted on 10/27/2002 9:54:47 PM PST by Libloather
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To: Libloather
what the hell is your problem and why does it involve those you wish to involve?

Please clarify - who do you think I wish to involve?

13 posted on 10/27/2002 9:56:00 PM PST by missileboy
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To: missileboy
For starters, gun laws, and the WOD.

You have a lot to learn. How old are you?

14 posted on 10/27/2002 9:56:13 PM PST by Libloather
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To: missileboy
...who do you think I wish to involve?

You type statements like, "when guns are effectively outlawed in this country like they are in England."

Who is it, exactly, you wish to involve - other mind-numbed Liberteens?

15 posted on 10/27/2002 10:00:32 PM PST by Libloather
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To: Libloather
You have a lot to learn. No doubt. I'm all about learning. So tell me what it is that you think I have to learn - before you get personal.

Or, if you want to skip a reasonable debate and are just interested in serial debate putdowns, you can just move on to that. I won't bother responding to it, though.

16 posted on 10/27/2002 10:00:47 PM PST by missileboy
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To: missileboy
How old are you?
17 posted on 10/27/2002 10:01:08 PM PST by Libloather
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To: missileboy
How old are you?
18 posted on 10/27/2002 10:01:47 PM PST by Libloather
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To: missileboy
How many years have you been on this planet?
19 posted on 10/27/2002 10:03:05 PM PST by Libloather
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To: missileboy
How old are you?
20 posted on 10/27/2002 10:06:26 PM PST by Libloather
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To: Libloather
Who is it, exactly, you wish to involve - other mind-numbed Liberteens?

Exactly! Calling all mind-numbed Liberteens!

Involve how, in what, for what purpose? I'm still not understanding your question. I've made statements about policies that I disagree with, and about interpretations of the Constitution I disagree with. Where does the "who do you want to involve" question come from?

21 posted on 10/27/2002 10:06:28 PM PST by missileboy
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To: missileboy
How old are you?
22 posted on 10/27/2002 10:08:21 PM PST by Libloather
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To: missileboy
I've never known libloather to make a lick of sense.

Don't waste your time...it's like wrestling a pig.

23 posted on 10/27/2002 10:08:39 PM PST by eddie willers
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To: Libloather
How many guns do you own? Are you heterosexual or homosexual? Are you married?

Sorry - we're not that far along yet. I suppose you must know my age to evaluate the rationality of my response? Or perhaps you just want to start a pissing match?

24 posted on 10/27/2002 10:08:43 PM PST by missileboy
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To: Libloather
All Liberteens have a problem with the law. Deal with it...

Before smugly casting aside the views of those who want the Constitution to be the law of the land even when their party's in power, one might want to spell one's insult correctly, mightn't one?
25 posted on 10/27/2002 10:09:27 PM PST by mysterio
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To: missileboy
How old are you?
26 posted on 10/27/2002 10:10:50 PM PST by Libloather
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To: missileboy
I suppose you must know my age to evaluate the rationality of my response?

No. How old are you?

27 posted on 10/27/2002 10:14:34 PM PST by Libloather
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To: missileboy
Gee, isn't democracy great?

Reminds me of the old saying:
"Democracy is five wolves and three sheep deciding what is for dinner."

The author of this article hits it on the head. I also agree with your point behind your reference to Nuremburg. It is fitting in the context of this article too, given the one DA candidate who said he would enforce a law forcing Jews to where the infamous yellow star if it were passed by the legislature. What's worse than this candidate's view that it's his duty to show no discretion in prosecution of laws is that many people will actually vote for this guy.

American society is weakened by its current prediliction for obedience. Our freedoms are literally dying the death of a thousand cuts - from the gun-takers to the anti-smoking nazis, to the people who now want to tax fast food out of existence. The problem is that the issues that lead to the decay of our freedoms in and of themselves appear innocuous. Our government does not (at least not yet) engage in radical policies (like Mao did, for example) that lead directly to the deaths of hundreds of thousands. Our freedoms and way of life are being destroyed for petty reasons - stuff reminiscent of playground disputes mediated in favor of teacher's pets.

28 posted on 10/27/2002 10:15:22 PM PST by citizenK
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To: mysterio
...one might want to spell one's insult correctly, mightn't one?

Sure. Are you another Liberteen?

29 posted on 10/27/2002 10:20:16 PM PST by Libloather
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To: missileboy
Just how old are you?
30 posted on 10/27/2002 10:20:57 PM PST by Libloather
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To: eddie willers
I've never known libloather to make a lick of sense.

Yet you waste bandwidth to say so. Nice job...

31 posted on 10/27/2002 10:23:46 PM PST by Libloather
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To: missileboy
Say, how old are you?
32 posted on 10/27/2002 10:24:39 PM PST by Libloather
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To: Libloather
No. I'm 27. Also, I'm not lacking in morality.

If you are asking if I'm a Libertarian, the answer is also no. I think I qualify as a small l libertarian.

Any more questions, or would you rather continue the typo name calling contest?
33 posted on 10/27/2002 10:25:00 PM PST by mysterio
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To: citizenK
The problem is that the issues that lead to the decay of our freedoms in and of themselves appear innocuous. Our government does not (at least not yet) engage in radical policies (like Mao did, for example) that lead directly to the deaths of hundreds of thousands

They only appear innocuous if the victor of the World Series occupies your thoughts constantly, or if you race home to catch the sitcoms everyday. To those paying attention, innocuous is not the word they use to describe it - I think malignant growth is more like it.

The idea of the government not yet engaged in radical policies is a key question. Force has illegally been applied in many cases. If you believe in principio obstate (resist from the beginning), in principle the radical policies have already begun. On the other hand, if you're a typical GOP strategist, and think we can compromise our way to freedom, then the slow, Marxist, dialectic process will slowly take us down into the abyss.

Either way, the end result is the same.

John Ross's book "Unintended Consequences" (which I'm currently reading) touches a lot on this. I highly recommend it.

34 posted on 10/27/2002 10:25:29 PM PST by missileboy
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To: citizenK
It is fitting in the context of this article too, given the one DA candidate who said he would enforce a law forcing Jews to where the infamous yellow star if it were passed by the legislature.

I must have missed that story. Could you provide a link to it?
35 posted on 10/27/2002 10:26:32 PM PST by Dimensio
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To: citizenK
It is fitting in the context of this article too, given the one DA candidate who said he would enforce a law forcing Jews to where the infamous yellow star if it were passed by the legislature.

I must have missed that story. Could you provide a link to it?
36 posted on 10/27/2002 10:26:33 PM PST by Dimensio
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To: mysterio
I think I qualify as a small l libertarian.

You THINK? I doubt it...

37 posted on 10/27/2002 10:29:36 PM PST by Libloather
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To: missileboy
I highly recommend it.

But, how old are you?

38 posted on 10/27/2002 10:30:47 PM PST by Libloather
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To: Dimensio
It comes right out of the article posted above.
How could you miss it?

Asked why he would enforce a state law against anonymous political leafletting even though that law clearly violates the First Amendment guarantee of free speech, for instance (heck, the "Federalist Papers" were originally published as anonymous leaflets), Republican attorney general candidate Brian Sandoval came into our offices at 930 a.m. Thursday, July 25 and explained he would enforce any enactment of the Legislature, no matter how obviously unconstitutional, since "I don't think the attorney general has discretion to not defend an unconstitutional law."

"Come on, " I demanded, "you're saying that if the Legislature passed a law requiring all Jews to wear yellow stars of David sewn on the outside of their clothing, you'd enforce it?"

"It's my job to enforce it," Mr. Sandoval replied.

39 posted on 10/27/2002 10:34:37 PM PST by citizenK
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To: missileboy
Is this a HARD question? How old are you?
40 posted on 10/27/2002 10:34:55 PM PST by Libloather
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To: Libloather
All Liberteens have a problem with the law. Deal with it...

Traumatic toilet training.

41 posted on 10/27/2002 10:35:26 PM PST by Cultural Jihad
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To: Libloather
Color me burned by your superior wit.
42 posted on 10/27/2002 10:36:02 PM PST by mysterio
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To: Dimensio
Ooops, I mistakenly referred to it as a DA race - actually the guy is running for Attorney General...
43 posted on 10/27/2002 10:36:20 PM PST by citizenK
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To: mysterio
Color me burned by your superior wit.

Thanks. NEXT!

44 posted on 10/27/2002 10:37:13 PM PST by Libloather
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To: missileboy
None of this is news. We have an Attorney General who professes to believe that abortionists kill human beings at abortion clinics--but if YOU try to stop an abortionist from killing people, the Attorney General will see to it that you are arrested, prosecuted, bankrupted, jailed, etc. And every Governor in the country will do the same thing, including every single governor</> who professes to believe that the Constitution does NOT "guarantee a right" to kill people at abortion clinics.
45 posted on 10/27/2002 10:39:04 PM PST by Arthur McGowan
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To: Libloather
No one but liberteens claim that laws are laws and must be obeyed. Anyone is free to civilly disobey any law which offends their conscience, and indeed are obligated to do so. The Nuremberg trials well established this precedence that conscience should be followed above any mere human law. Henry David Thoreau wrote a pamphlet about this very issue, but the moral-liberals seem to think the title was: "Civil Insurrection, and How to Whine About the Consequences of One's Actions"
46 posted on 10/27/2002 10:42:08 PM PST by Cultural Jihad
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To: Arthur McGowan; missileboy
None of this is news.

But finding the age of missileboy maybe news.

Just how old is missileboy?

47 posted on 10/27/2002 10:42:09 PM PST by Libloather
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To: Libloather
I have a problem with laws that disrespect to the constituion, and the bible.
48 posted on 10/27/2002 10:43:35 PM PST by MatthewViti
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To: Cultural Jihad
Anyone is free to civilly disobey any law which offends their conscience, and indeed are obligated to do so.

That maybe more leftist than the leftists of the 60's!

Is this crap coming around for another go?

49 posted on 10/27/2002 10:45:55 PM PST by Libloather
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To: missileboy
(Just how old are you - really?)
50 posted on 10/27/2002 10:51:01 PM PST by Libloather
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