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Posts by nathanbedford

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  • What If Democracy Is a Fraud?

    07/24/2014 1:02:22 PM PDT · 65 of 78
    nathanbedford to redgolum; Jacquerie
    I am coming increasingly to suspect that the opposition to the Article V movement from the right comes from the NRA. The supporters of the Second Amendment have somehow got it into their heads that an Article V convention would somehow run away and undermine their rights to keep and bear arms just at a time when it looks like the courts are beginning to actually recognize those rights. The Article V movement represents no realistic threat to The Second Amendment. Contrary to an optimistic view of our recent court decisions, that threat exists and it is growing every day quite robustly without the help of a constitutional amendment.

    The reaction by supporters of the NRA is understandable but it is both myopic and selfish.

    The Bill of Rights consists of more than just the Second Amendment. Every single amendment which go to make up the Bill of Rights is imperiled by our current course of government. It is illusory to believe that the Second Amendment alone can save the rest of our precious legacy which came to us as birthright. We cannot fight a 21st-century government armed with drones, computers, lasers, air power, and robots with sidearms and hope to preserve a decent society, we can only contrive to disintegrate into terrorism.

    Worse, the opposition to the Article V movement by the supporters of the Second Amendment leads them to a level of irrationality against which there is no argument which makes any headway because their commitment is entirely emotional. I understand the emotional attachment to the right to keep and bear arms, to protect oneself with self-defense, to be able to protect one's family, to exercise the liberty of a free man. But there is more to a civil society then the right to bear arms, the right to bear arms is neither a substitute for nor a solution to a new dark age.

    To ignore the loss of all our rights save the right to keep and bear arms out of fear of losing the right to keep and bear arms is worse than selfish, worse than irrational, it is ultimately self-defeating.

  • What If Democracy Is a Fraud?

    07/24/2014 11:37:09 AM PDT · 33 of 78
    nathanbedford to redgolum; Jacquerie
    There is no unacceptable risk to Article V as you suggest. The controls going in are too tight, the history is too clear, the ratification arithmetic is too overwhelming for any miscarriage that you describe.

    The left does not need an Article V convention to succeed in the mischief you describe, they are doing it every day and you and I are powerless to stop them apart from an Article V convention.

  • China Has Given More Than $40 Billion in Continued Aid to Venezuela

    07/23/2014 11:42:13 PM PDT · 2 of 3
    nathanbedford to Citizen Zed
    China buys access to the oil market with its deal with Venezuela. Venezuela sets up a system by which the oil wealth of the country can be stolen by the Communist Party officials, much as is being done in Russia.

    Although it is a long and expensive journey for oil to be shipped from Venezuela to China, it is likely that the oil China buys from Venezuela never goes China but is traded on the international market may well end up in Houston while Canadian oil or Arabian oil, in effect traded for the Venezuelan stuff, goes on to China.

    The pusillanimity of the Western European governments in dealing with the Russians over Ukraine can be traced to their energy needs. Many German politicians, like Gerhard Schroeder, have been bought and sold by the Russian gas company. Clearly, the geopolitical power of petroleum and the corruption that goes with it is working against America and will continue to work against America so long as Obama is in power.

    How much of the opposition in Europe to fracking is bought and paid for by Russia?

    The fungibility of oil means that merely controlling a single source does not stop the flow nor does it curb the corruption.

  • WashPost's Sally Quinn Insists Selfish Sarah Palin Needs a 'Long, Long, Silent Retreat'

    07/22/2014 10:18:15 PM PDT · 64 of 77
    nathanbedford to KC_Lion
    No they can't forgive Sarah Palin because she committed the unpardonable transgression against leftist canon, she knowingly gave birth to a mongoloid baby rather than abort.

  • Obama’s Law Professor: "I Wouldn’t Bet" on Obamacare Surviving Next Legal Challenge

    07/22/2014 10:04:05 AM PDT · 35 of 38
    nathanbedford to Clump
    Evidently the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals has just ruled in favor of the government creating a conflict and rulings and greatly increasing the likelihood that this will in fact go to the Supreme Court as you predicted.

  • Obama’s Law Professor: "I Wouldn’t Bet" on Obamacare Surviving Next Legal Challenge

    07/22/2014 9:50:39 AM PDT · 33 of 38
    nathanbedford to Clump
    I rarely listen to Rush but I am now to get his take on this case. He says that the DC court has 11 judges and everyone expects the seven appointed by Obama (or Democrat president?) to rule along party lines and approve the IRS payments.

    I suspect he is right and it is a very sad commentary on the state of justice in America. It has frightening implications for the rule of law and our society. As people catch on to what is happening, that is, that we have the "rule of party" as Limbaugh says rather than the "rule of law" we can expect cynicism and its handmaiden, corruption to spread even faster throughout the land.

    Widespread corruption means economic and social disintegration. One more legacy which has Obama smiling as his transformation proceeds apace.

  • Obama’s Law Professor: "I Wouldn’t Bet" on Obamacare Surviving Next Legal Challenge

    07/22/2014 9:19:20 AM PDT · 30 of 38
    nathanbedford to Clump
    Your reasoning makes perfectly good sense. But I'm not sure that logic is what will carry the day with Justice Roberts. As I meant to say in my reply, it depends on whether he seeks absolution or vindication.I simply don't believe he will proceed concerned only with doing justice.

    We all hope you're right.

  • Obama’s Law Professor: "I Wouldn’t Bet" on Obamacare Surviving Next Legal Challenge

    07/22/2014 8:54:14 AM PDT · 17 of 38
    nathanbedford to Biggirl
    My guess: the DC Court of Appeals will rehear the case en banc rationalizing the decision to do so by describing it is a matter of great public interest. Because Obama has recently stacked court with three judges whom the Republicans could not filibuster after they laid down and submitted to Majority Leader Reid's change of rules, the full court will reverse the decision below and uphold the power of the IRS to make payments to exchanges set up by the IRS.

    The Supreme Court will probably take the case especially if a different Court of Appeals rules to the contrary. However, we go into the Supreme Court with four justices presold (out) and questionable characters in Chief Justice Roberts and Kennedy whom we need or the case is lost. I have far more confidence in Kennedy than I do in Roberts.

    God only knows what kind of considerations will go through Robert's mind, that is, whether to redeem himself by declaring the payments unlawful or to vindicate himself by declaring them unlawful.

    There is a possibility that the Supreme Court will not take up the case which will be more likely if there is no contrary decision in any other federal court and that would imply that the en banc decision which I anticipate in the DC Court of Appeals would stand in the payments would be held to be illegal. My best guess is that another Court of Appeals will agree with this decision and declare the payments illegal. If not, the high court may regard the decision below as one of statutory interpretation and not of constitutional import and therefore decline the case.

  • Obama Dragged Down by Chaos at Home and Abroad, not by the Economy

    07/22/2014 5:14:09 AM PDT · 5 of 15
    nathanbedford to jocon307
    The radio personality is correct, the country has come to understand that wars on foreign soil, especially wars of nationbuilding, are ineffectual in defeating terrorism, costly in blood and treasure, and virtually feckless in the ambition to install democracy in a Muslim culture which is simply not advanced enough to accept it. Worse, fighting wars in Iraq or even in Afghanistan have no discernible relationship to preventing 19 terrorists with box cutters from attacking America.

    There are, however, two very serious reservations to this reality:

    First, the essential rationalization for the Iraq war remains: An Islamicist regime in possession of atomic weapons represents an existential threat to the United States because it might well pass those weapons off to terrorists who smuggle them into the homeland where they might be detonated. A series of American cities incinerated might well lead to surrender to the tyranny of sharia.

    Therefore, Iran simply cannot be permitted to acquire nuclear weapons.

    Second, Ronald Reagan in the Cold War and George W. Bush after 9/11, faced an analogous challenge to the world that confronts Barack Obama. Reagan faced an adversary bent on destroying America but one which he simply could not engage on the battlefield because of the reality of nuclear weapons. So he started by establishing moral clarity: "we win, they lose." He followed moral rearmament up with actual rearmament. Finally, he deployed every conceivable non-belligerent weapon against the Soviet Union until it broke.

    George W. Bush reacted in much the same way. He asserted moral clarity: "you are either for us or against us." He supported and grew the military and acceded to the professionalism of his generals. He persevered in the face of daunting obstacles in Iraq war and courageously authorized a successful "surge" which effectively won the war. He failed, however, to keep the people with him in the face of determined Democrat and media obstruction.

    When people say that the country reacts against Obama but supports his passive policies, what they mean is they are reacting viscerally against his moral incoherence. They sense that he has no acceptable worldview that leads to the survival of the country in the face of an existential threat.

    Second, they do not approve of the evisceration of the military power of the United States but they do not want that power used indiscriminately. Obama has done both and, worse, he has done so without producing victory.

    Finally, the people sense that the war on terrorism is difficult but not impossible to win, however, they do not perceive that Obama wants to win it nor do they believe that he knows how to win it. They want solutions to a difficult problem such as those that were provided by Ronald Reagan.

    They do not want war, they want victory. Obama has given them the first but not the second.

  • Obama Dragged Down by Chaos at Home and Abroad, not by the Economy

    07/22/2014 4:46:07 AM PDT · 4 of 15
    nathanbedford to Kaslin
    What's wrong with the question is an assumption embedded within it, that what voters seek most from government and political officeholders is economic growth. I think there's something they value even more: the maintenance of order.

    I am not sure I buy this hypothesis.

    In modern times Eisenhower gave his eight years of splendid order and we elected Kennedy who got into office deploring the economy and debunking the "order."

    In 1968, after Johnson, we had extreme disorder and the electorate went for the other party and elected Nixon - A point for Barone.

    In '76 we had reasonable order but the country switched to the other party and elected Jimmy Carter. In 1980, Jimmy Carter had produced a certain level of disorder and an extreme level of economic deterioration, the country switched parties.

    Ronald Reagan gave us order and economic growth and the country stayed with his successor after eight years-the economy favored the incumbents and they were rewarded. After four more years in 1992, the economy was in fact quite good but Clinton was elected running against the economy-but by a minority of the voters. Was his election the result of an absence of order? Hardly. It was either the result of a perception of a weak economy or the third-party candidacy of Ross Perot.

    Clinton left the country in reasonable order but his administration was in extreme disorder, nevertheless, his party's candidate won a majority of the votes but not enough to prevail in the electoral college.

    During the first four years of George Bush the country sustained the shock of the attack on 9/11 yet George Bush was elected despite that shock, and problems with a war in Iraq, as well as the war in Afghanistan. How can one assess the effect of "disorder" on these elections?

    Barack Obama was elected in a time of massive economic shock, economic disorder, and wars abroad so was it disorder or the economy the put Obama in office? The world did not get much more orderly and the economy did not much improved but Obama was reelected in 2008. Why? In each one of these elections one can abandon the question was it the "economy or order" and ask, what was the perception in the electorate which was created by the media?

    1960, the media created the impression that the country was drifting and needed the messianic Kennedy. The media was bent on electing Kennedy.

    In 1964, the media slaughtered Goldwater and the reelection of Johnson was a foregone conclusion.

    In 1968, riots, assassinations, wars all combined to narrowly derail the media's effort to elect Johnson's vice president, Hubert Humphrey, and Nixon prevailed. In 1972, Nixon's approval was through the roof and media could not prevail against them, although they certainly tried.

    By 1976 the media had painted the Republican Party as the creature of Nixon, Ford was a fool and a tool of Nixon, and Jimmy Carter as the pristine knight of honor. The media prevailed.

    1980, the media turned every trick it knew to derail the campaign of Ronald Reagan but the combination of gas lines, terrible economy, interest rates, hostages in Iran, bumbling everywhere, plus Reagan's magical campaigning skills coupled with a strong conservative message carried Reagan decisive victory. His reelection was assured as his policies produced economic recovery. Note however, the media tried throughout to portray Reagan as a dangerous cowboy who could blow up the world, just as they had done to Barry Goldwater. It did not work with Reagan.

    1992, the media distorted the economy and painted George Bush as out of touch. Ross Perot did the rest.

    2008 economic disaster and the media's determination to deify the first African-American president overwhelmed everything. The electorate put in office a man of whose real biography they were appallingly ignorant. The media wanted it that way.

    My thesis: the media will elect Democrats unless events make it clear to a blind man that the Democrats are unfit for office.

  • VA Fears Opening ‘Floodgates’ to Private Care

    07/21/2014 9:45:57 PM PDT · 3 of 10
    nathanbedford to 2ndDivisionVet
    We have not historically managed to requirements. We have managed to a budget number” regardless of actual need. “And the veterans wound up being the shock absorbers in that process,” Gibson said.

    No one seriously argues that the budget process is not broken. Conservatives know that it is the victim of politicians playing politics rather than addressing problems. Until the postwar era ended September 11, 2001, the growing American economy could simply make up for the misfeasance of our politicians who, after all, are only pandering to the people.

    But our economy can no longer compensate for these self deceptions by which we govern ourselves. Detroit is an obvious example on the municipal level of a governmental entity that could not govern itself, resorted to self deception, and now cannot pay its water bill. The VA administration offers an example on the federal level. The reckoning is coming to the whole of America just as it came to Detroit.

  • Detroit Residents Fight Back Over Water Shutoff: 'It's A Life-or-Death Situation' [Just Like Food!]

    07/21/2014 9:30:38 PM PDT · 43 of 68
    nathanbedford to Steelfish
    Listen, man,” he added, leaning in and growing visibly angry. “These people are Americans. We will not blink an eye to send trillions of dollars overseas to wage warfare in an illegal war. But we can't come up with the money that it takes to keep a community in water, when it's in the throes of an economic catastrophe that was caused by Wall Street?

    This is how it works, this is what will happen when the reckoning comes to America. Nathan's second Maxim comes into play:

    the reform of failed socialism is inevitably more socialism.

  • Obama Gives Trillions for Wall Street, Not a Dime to Stop Murder in Black Chicago Neighborhoods

    07/21/2014 7:33:42 AM PDT · 27 of 67
    nathanbedford to Kaslin
    The left engages in the kind of logic that says because we have wrongfully gifted trillions to cronies on Wall Street we should squander trillions more on black voters in Chicago. We tried that once, indeed we are still trying it, we already have squandered trillions on black inner cities in a program once known as "The Great Society."

    Someone once pointed out: two wrongs don't make a right.

    Nathan Bedford could be forgiven for trotting out his first and second Maxim's:

    First Maxim: all politics in America is not local but ultimately racial.

    Second Maxim: the remedy for failed socialism is invariably more socialism.

  • Zogby Report Card: America is 'just giving up' on Obama

    07/20/2014 10:41:23 PM PDT · 73 of 73
    nathanbedford to beaversmom
    Thank you, June, I appreciate that very much. :-)
  • A Question for Article V State Amendment Convention Opponents

    07/19/2014 6:43:59 AM PDT · 84 of 101
    nathanbedford to RKBA Democrat
    Thank you for your thoughtful reply.

    I know of no opposition to alternative approaches to reforming our runaway federal government held by advocates of The Article V process except opposition to nullification which seems to be the obsession of the rump of the John Birch Society.

    Hell, I'm not even opposed to nullification if it works.

    I concede I am ignorant of the Internal Relocation Strategy to which you allude and I cannot therefore comment.

    Because it only takes 13 legislative bodies from 13 different states out of 99 legislative bodies to defeat an amendment, I am not optimistic about the chances of passage of real reform in the absence of some event that galvanizes the public and pressures state politicians to actually do something.

    I am however optimistic, or should I say, pessimistic, that such a national event will occur in view of precarious nature of our finances and the increasing overreach of the federal government. Some time in the not too distant future the rubber band will break. This is not the politics of crisis but the fact of how the American democracy usually works. Democracies do not usually anticipate and avoid problems they correct problems after they occur when it is more expensive but when the political will is clear because the problem is clear.

    So I don't think I am saying anything radical or terribly pessimistic, this is the way we function. We did not have a convention until it was clear that the Articles of Confederation had failed. We did not have a 13th amendment until we fought a civil war. We did not get Ronald Reagan until we had Jimmy Carter. We will not get reform of a system living on a credit card until we max the card out.

  • A Question for Article V State Amendment Convention Opponents

    07/18/2014 10:17:40 PM PDT · 78 of 101
    nathanbedford to RKBA Democrat
    Please see my reply #51.

  • Elizabeth Warren for President?

    07/18/2014 10:03:55 PM PDT · 13 of 77
    nathanbedford to Graybeard58
    I agree and I think she might prove a more formidable candidate than Hillary who has so much baggage she needs a forklift truck but this gal has only the fraud of pretending to be an Indian trailing her. Warren is articulate, very good on her feet in front of cameras, female, and possessed of a whole new rationalization for more socialism.

    I think her alleged distance from the media described by the author has to do with money rather than diffidence. Warren probably sees that Hillary has the money and the IOUs from the party establishment all monopolized and an Obama style upstart probably would have no chance this time around with the insiders who provide the indispensable funds.

  • A Question for Article V State Amendment Convention Opponents

    07/18/2014 9:49:30 PM PDT · 76 of 101
    nathanbedford to RipSawyer
    Please see my post #31.

    If, for example, term limits are imposed much of the dynamic which generates the culture which ignores the Constitution will be changed for the better. So it is with a series of "process" amendments. It is virtually impossible, for example, to evade a term limit amendment.

    So, we will not be giving "the same crowd" a new constitution to ignore, we will be creating a "new crowd" who in their turn will spawn future generations of Washington insiders that will piss off our great-grandchildren. Meanwhile, the Republic might be saved.

    Let us avoid the counsel of despair and let us not permit the perfect be the enemy of the good.

  • A Question for Article V State Amendment Convention Opponents

    07/18/2014 4:45:37 PM PDT · 71 of 101
    nathanbedford to T Ruth
    I fully agree with your point which I describe as culture trumps politics.

    However, with respect to your point:

    "Trying for offensive gains with inadequate force and on unfavorable terrain is likely to result in serious defeat and loss of positions that could have been defended"

    I disagree on both points. If our forces are inadequate, they will never be stronger until we have a black Swan event. The terrain is not unfavorable but rather the most favorable available among a majority of Republican held conservative states rather than in an electoral college with the numbers are not to our advantage anymore or in the national legislature were, even when we have a nominal majority, establishment Republicans sell us out.

    There is the possibility of a moral defeat with the loss of conviction and persistence but that is an imponderable which is difficult to quantify and it might just work in precisely the opposite fashion.

  • A Question for Article V State Amendment Convention Opponents

    07/18/2014 4:38:00 PM PDT · 70 of 101
    nathanbedford to LS
    The original Articles delegates had "restrictions" placed upon them "by the states."

    You are rewriting history.

    And don't give me this crap about what "fight" I'm in

    You have not answered the point that the left is already attempting to rewrite the First Amendment proving that the left does not need us to initiate an Article V process. You are indeed in that fight but don't worry they are not going to be able to change the first or the Second Amendment because of the arithmetic I pointed out in my post #52 which I again recommend to your attention.

    There is a history of conventions and there is a history of states controlling their delegates. The United States has never had a runaway convention including the Constitutional convention in Philadelphia in 1787 which was fully within the charter of the Articles of Confederation and the authorizations of the states and was properly ratified.

    In short there is no historical American basis for your fears.

  • A Question for Article V State Amendment Convention Opponents

    07/18/2014 4:03:51 PM PDT · 55 of 101
    nathanbedford to LS
    1. Please see my post #52 which is responsive to your objections.

    2. In fact the left is already fashioning an amendment to rewrite the First Amendment and you are in that fight whether you like it or not. If the left could rewrite the first and second amendments in 30 seconds, would they not already have done so?

    3. I have not slightest fear that the left will prevail in rewriting the first or second amendments because of the arithmetic I outlined in my post #27. 4. There are other impediments to rewriting the first and second amendments which include the restrictions placed upon delegates to the convention by the states.

    The idea of a runaway "con con" is utterly remote. It represents a danger relatively inconsequential compared to de facto constitutional amendments we are suffering every day.

  • A Question for Article V State Amendment Convention Opponents

    07/18/2014 3:47:33 PM PDT · 51 of 101
    nathanbedford to T Ruth
    You are quite correct, the forces of inertia are massively aligned against effectuating new constitutional amendments by either side by either process. That is why it has long been my belief that the Article V amendment process will only succeed in the wake of some national event, what some have described as a "black Swan" event. We should get ready for such an event because in the absence of reform the country is hurtling ever faster toward a reckoning.

    I do not underestimate the malevolence of the other side, I simply say that a good general chooses the ground on which to give battle and I would much prefer to fight in the legislatures of the 50 states than in the federal legislature or in the United States Supreme Court. But make no mistake, fight we must.

    The left is fully capable of bringing on a constitutional amendment-in fact it is already doing so-they are fully aware of their options under Article V acting through the federal legislature or the state legislatures. Right now they are prudently acting under the federal legislature. Failing that, they will continue on as they have been, amending the Constitution in the courts, in the Oval Office, in the bureaucracies and we will go on debating the dangers of Article V and decrying the unfairness of it all.

    I advocate taking hold of the events before they take hold of us.

  • A Question for Article V State Amendment Convention Opponents

    07/18/2014 3:09:19 PM PDT · 42 of 101
    nathanbedford to DiogenesLamp
    I, for one, shall not be surprised if they make "Gay Marriage" a constitutional amendment. Same thing with Abortion.

    Don't you get it? It has already happened!

  • A Question for Article V State Amendment Convention Opponents

    07/18/2014 2:25:58 PM PDT · 34 of 101
    nathanbedford to Star Traveler
    Respectfully, I find two major flaws with your reasoning which I know expresses the best concerns of a conservative mind.

    First, the idea that we must find the right people to rule over us was never shared by the framers as an exclusive remedy to tyranny. Although we have Adams' warning that a democracy requires virtuous people, the motivating premise among the framers was that men are inherently not virtuous, indeed, in the 18th century argot they are sinners and prone not only to committing sin but to misfeasance and corruption in office.

    Hence the framers spent a whole summer concentrating all their energies and their vast knowledge of political philosophy of Locke and Montesquieu as well as the history of Rome and Greece to devise a system which would protect us from the failings of sinful leaders. That is why we have a Constitution so carefully constructed with separation of powers and checks and balances.

    The framers never assumed that we would have good men governing over us or that the electorate would be wise enough to find them. They turned to the Constitution.

    The impetus for the Article V movement is not so much that the voters at the ballot box have failed the government but that the government has failed the voters. In other words, our problem is not that majority will is being done but that an elite minority is frustrating the majority will.

    This is done in innumerable ways. One need only look at the accretion of rulings from either the Supreme Court or from administrative agencies to recognize that an elite of very few, unelected judges and bureaucrats are ruling against the will of the majority.

    One can hardly review the history of Obamacare, either by its cynical and corrupt method of passage or by way of its extraconstitutional implementation by the Obama administration and conclude that it represents the will of the people.

    The examples are being made every day and the conclusion becomes more and more apparent that the elites have taken control, that they are immune from the will of the majority expressed at the ballot box, that the Constitution which was designed to prevent the state of affairs has been finally subverted.

    For the very reasons I expressed in my first post on this thread, to believe that the ballot box will save the Republic is illusory.

  • A Question for Article V State Amendment Convention Opponents

    07/18/2014 2:02:37 PM PDT · 31 of 101
    nathanbedford to Star Traveler
    If the “old constitution” isn’t being followed, the “new constitution” won’t be followed either ... :-) ...

    The "old constitution" was followed for many decades and was only seriously altered 80 years later as a result of the Civil War. Thereafter the amended "old constitution" was followed well into the 20th century even after Wilson until the New Deal. So the old constitution gave us quite a long stretch of service.

    We do not know whether the "new constitution" will be followed but we certainly have no historical warrant to foreclose the probability that it will in fact be followed for decades, perhaps even long enough to save the Republic.

    Much of what comes out of the Article V process of course depends on the kind of amendments which might be ratified. As one FReeper has already posted on this thread, it will be difficult to fail to follow an amendment which prescribes term limits. Other amendments, carefully drafted, would be equally difficult to evade. In any event, careful drafting will modify the old constitution and bring it back to its original conception and should not therefore simply be dismissed as a "new" Constitution but should be considered the restoration of the old.

    Most of the advocates of this process support "process" amendments which change the way we are governed. I for one like an amendment which says that bureaucratic regulations which are not confirmed by a majority vote of both houses of Congress within a specified time limit are automatically repealed. We might not like the results we get in Congress when it comes time to ratify these regulations but at least the new process brings the bureaucracy under scrutiny and democratizes what has become a tyrannical combination in the executive of lawmaking, adjudication, and punishment. It would also return us to a separation of powers in this area.

    My point is that process amendments make it more difficult for the establishment powers to play their games.

    Finally, I simply cannot accept an argument of despair which says since it might not work we should not bother to try.

  • A Question for Article V State Amendment Convention Opponents

    07/18/2014 1:48:29 PM PDT · 27 of 101
    nathanbedford to P-Marlowe
    There are 99 houses in 50 state legislatures. Any leftist amendment would require only 13 of these legislative bodies from 99 to defeat ratification. In other words, three quarters of the state legislatures must ratify or 38 states. If 13 legislatures fail to ratify the amendment is defeated. Since ratification by legislatures requires both houses to consent, only 13/99 are required. That is very close to 13%.

    If the Congress of the United States elects to have the ratification procedures conducted by conventions rather than legislatures, the method of selecting the delegates to those conventions would be chosen by the legislatures. If only 13 legislative bodies out of 99 object to the method chosen by the other body because it is considered to favor a leftist amendment, there is no ratification forthcoming from that state.

    By either procedure the odds of a liberal amendment getting past so many conservative legislative bodies in so many states is both arithmetically and practically remote.

    Finally, this is only the last line of defense, there are innumerable steps along the way which make a "runaway convention" virtually impossible and render the need for the states to fail to ratify very likely superfluous.

  • A Question for Article V State Amendment Convention Opponents

    07/18/2014 1:04:22 PM PDT · 6 of 101
    nathanbedford to Star Traveler; buckalfa; Jacquerie
    Nathan Bedford's first Maxim of the American Constitution:

    The Constitution has become so distorted in interpretation and application that it has become at best ineffective in protecting liberty and at worst an instrument inflicting tyranny.

    Nathan Bedford's second Maxim of the American Constitution:

    The American Constitution is being amended everyday without the consent of the governed.

    In order to believe that a Convention of the States presents a greater threat to liberty than our current state of politics one must believe:

    1. The Constitution is not being amended by three women in black robes +1 liberal in black robes +1 swing vote on a case by case basis.

    2. The Constitution is not being amended at the caprice of the president by executive order.

    3. The Constitution is not being amended at the caprice of the president when he chooses which laws he will "faithfully" execute.

    4. The Constitution is not being amended daily by regulation done by an unaccountable bureaucracy.

    5. The Constitution is not being amended by simply being ignored.

    6. The Constitution is not being amended by international treaty.

    7. The Constitution is not being amended by Executive Order creating treaty powers depriving citizens of liberty as codified in the Bill of Rights.

    8. The Constitution is not being amended by international bureaucracies such as, UN, GATT, World Bank, etc.

    9. The Constitution is not being amended by the Federal Reserve Bank without reference to the will of the people.

    10. The federal government under our current "constitutional" regime has suddenly become capable of reforming itself, balancing the budget and containing the debt.

    11. The national debt of the United States is sustainable and will not cause the American constitutional system and our economy to crash and with them our representative democracy, the rule of law, and the Constitution, such as it is, itself.

    12. The Republican Party, presuming it gains a majority in the House and the Senate and gains the White House, will now do what is failed to do even under Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush and balance the budget, reduce the debt, stop regulating, reform the tax system, end crony capitalism, appoint judges who will not betray us and, finally, listen to the people.

    13. That a runaway Convention of the States will occur, that it will persuade the delegates from conservative states, that it will be ratified by three quarters of the states' legislatures among whom conservatives control a majority, and the end result will somehow be worse than what we have now.

    14. If we do nothing everything will be fine; if we keep doing what we have been doing everything will be fine; we have all the time in the world.

  • Constitutional Convention is Within Reach For Conservatives

    07/17/2014 6:22:06 PM PDT · 44 of 57
    nathanbedford to St_Thomas_Aquinas
    Thank you, you are the second poster who has suggested that the reply be republished as a vanity and I will do so when I have more time and I think the timing is right.

  • Constitutional Convention is Within Reach For Conservatives

    07/17/2014 5:57:36 PM PDT · 42 of 57
    nathanbedford to terycarl; GeronL; stylin19a; C19fan; Jagdgewehr
    Nathan Bedford's first Maxim of the American Constitution:

    The Constitution has become so distorted in interpretation and application that it has become at best ineffective in protecting liberty and at worst an instrument inflicting tyranny.

    Nathan Bedford's second Maxim of the American Constitution:

    The American Constitution is being amended everyday without the consent of the governed.

    In order to believe that a Convention of the States presents a greater threat to liberty than our current state of politics one must believe:

    1. The Constitution is not being amended by three women in black robes +1 liberal in black robes +1 swing vote on a case by case basis.

    2. The Constitution is not being amended at the caprice of the president by executive order.

    3. The Constitution is not being amended at the caprice of the president when he chooses which laws he will "faithfully" execute.

    4. The Constitution is not being amended daily by regulation done by an unaccountable bureaucracy.

    5. The Constitution is not being amended by simply being ignored.

    6. The Constitution is not being amended by international treaty.

    7. The Constitution is not being amended by Executive Order creating treaty powers depriving citizens of liberty as codified in the Bill of Rights.

    8. The Constitution is not being amended by international bureaucracies such as, UN, GATT, World Bank, etc.

    9. The Constitution is not being amended by the Federal Reserve Bank without reference to the will of the people.

    10. The federal government under our current "constitutional" regime has suddenly become capable of reforming itself, balancing the budget and containing the debt.

    11. The national debt of the United States is sustainable and will not cause the American constitutional system and our economy to crash and with them our representative democracy, the rule of law, and the Constitution, such as it is, itself.

    12. The Republican Party, presuming it gains a majority in the House and the Senate and gains the White House, will now do what is failed to do even under Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush and balance the budget, reduce the debt, stop regulating, reform the tax system, end crony capitalism, appoint judges who will not betray us and, finally, listen to the people.

    13. That a runaway Convention of the States will occur, that it will persuade the delegates from conservative states, that it will be ratified by three quarters of the states' legislatures among whom conservatives control a majority, and the end result will somehow be worse than what we have now.

    14. If we do nothing everything will be fine; if we keep doing what we have been doing everything will be fine; we have all the time in the world.

  • Pope: Kids Crossing US Border Illegally Should Be ‘Welcomed’

    07/15/2014 1:06:45 PM PDT · 25 of 105
    nathanbedford to Gen.Blather
    The Pope delivered this homily in Calabria, Italy a place which is the target of African "refugees" who attempt to infiltrate into the Italian peninsula. Italy is not known for its benevolence in the reception it accords these Mediterranean boat people.

    Perhaps the Holy Father should bring his sights down to his own backyard and welcome those refugees into his many church facilities before he lectures others across different seas and on a different continent.

  • Why We Must (Gently) Disagree With Rich and Ramesh (great article)

    07/15/2014 12:49:48 PM PDT · 2 of 3
    nathanbedford to cotton1706
    Just the other day I posted a reply which suggested that we ought to reconsider William F Buckley's famous maxim that we should vote for the most conservative candidate who can win. In view of the shenanigans in Mississippi and the chronic betrayal of conservatism by Boehner and McConnell in their respective official capacities, I question whether the time has now come to actually undermine the candidacies of Boehner and McConnell in the general elections.

    The danger of forfeiting a chance to take control of the Senate was considered and the danger of such a course of action running out of control was also considered. Nevertheless, in carefully limited context it might now be time to openly demonstrate the power of The Tea Party to wreck establishment Republican chances just as they have sought and actually succeeded in wrecking conservative candidates chances in election after election.

    All of this I bring up to note that the bona fides of rich Lowry as a movement conservative and one who is reliably conservative have been in question now for some time.

    In view of the century history of the tension between conservatives and establishment Republicans outlined in this article perhaps it is now time to have a second look at the occasion in which Bill Buckley read the John Birch Society out of the Republican Party. Were all the equities on Buckley's side? I make no insinuation, but perhaps it is time to reassess the role of National Review in setting political correctness for the right.

    I do not forget who Bill Buckley's son has become.

  • Four DARPA Projects That Could Be Bigger Than The Internet

    07/15/2014 12:28:22 AM PDT · 10 of 27
    nathanbedford to steve86; raj bhatia
    When I first read raj bhatia's comment I had the same reaction you did, how can we as conservatives countenance pouring federal money by the hundreds of billions into "pure research?" What is the difference between that and pumping billions into Solandra?

    Obama has indulged in crony capitalism to the ruin of our American system and it cannot be tolerated if we are as a country to emerge from this mess as a capitalist country. Yet, if we do not accomplish these goals through research we are liable to be looking at the wrong side of history written in Chinese characters and we will not like what we cannot read. We have to be honest with ourselves and concede that we have an Internet partly because the government "built that" and we have a defense budget which pumps hundreds of billions of dollars every year into procurement and much into pure research.

    Evidently, the question comes down to, whose research will we have, Barack Obama's or that which we need to give America the strongest military power on earth?

    We cannot afford to stay out of the space race and it's going to cost billions of dollars to reenter. The whole idea of facing off against Chinese missiles with vulnerable aircraft carriers is rapidly becoming obsolete. The next war will be won, or better, the next war will be avoided, because we have spent the money and kept a decisive and recognizable edge in the technology that matters.

    On the domestic side, we have got to break away from this Ponzi scheme in which we try to sustain a top heavy welfare state with programs like Social Security by flooding the country with unskilled workers. Goods and services are increasingly going to be delivered to us by robots and drones and unskilled, illiterate, politically naïve, immigrants will be a burden and not a salvation. Hence, we need a way of replacing human labor with technology. That means that technology will have to be researched and funded. Put another way, human labor is increasingly and inevitably going to be replaced by technology, how do we cope with the social consequences and remain a representative democracy committed to individual liberty?

    Some of that funding will have to come from the government whether it be for domestic or for military needs. The question is how do we control it? This is a question not dissimilar from that which confronted the founding fathers when they sought to write a constitution which would permit a government which was effective and powerful in the areas where it had legitimate competency but was checked, controlled and even walled off from areas which were not legitimate, which belonged to the states or to the people, and which might lead to tyranny if the government were not controlled or the problem were not managed.

    How do we keep the likes of Barack Obama from getting his hands on this money and misdirecting it while at the same time providing for the fundamental needs of a modern nation in a modern economy?

    It will not do to throw money at these problems, nor will it do to stick our heads in the sand and deny all government involvement. We must solve the riddle just as the founding fathers and the framers solved the riddle with a solution that lasted until about a generation or two ago.

  • Some Sharks fans object to plan of using 'ice girls'

    07/14/2014 7:55:43 PM PDT · 10 of 46
    nathanbedford to ConservativeStatement
    In the factory we make cosmetics, at the counter we sell hope.

    … Charles Revson, founder of Revlon

    Why are men blamed for objectifying women when women get boob jobs? It seems that not a few of them want to be objectified.

  • 10 Things I Learned From Eavesdropping on Conservatives Talking About ‘America’ At the Movie Theater

    07/14/2014 7:37:51 PM PDT · 103 of 104
    nathanbedford to Political Junkie Too
    I do not accept the assessment that Obama is inarticulate when unscripted. I think that assessment is similar to the idea that Obama commits mistakes rather than acts deliberately in furtherance of his radical leftist philosophy which is to say that he is acting willfully against the interests of America.

    I believe that he was advanced in the ranks of politics precisely because he is articulate off-the-cuff as well as behind a Teleprompter. He has seduced the likes of George Soros to divert from supporting Hillary to supporting Obama in 2008. He appears well in his interviews in the sense that he appears presidential. He performed well enough in all his the dates except one debate against Mitt Romney. He projects "gravitas."

    Obama is not stupid, he is not inarticulate, he is malevolent.

    He is not Valerie Jarrett's puppet, they mutually use each other to reinforce their worldview. He wants her to keep the barbarians outside the gate and knows exactly what she is doing.

    We make a gross error if we continue to judge Obama as someone who is bumbling from crisis to crisis and speaking only as a sock puppet. He is engineering crises and exploiting crises fully in concert with the likes of Valerie Jarrett and the Attorney General Holder but not as the stooge of anyone, Valerie Jarrett included.

    Barack Obama is an empty suit in the sense that he has not personally accomplished anything other than winning elections to warrant his office. He got his office by virtue of his ability to seduce people-a typical trait of a narcissist. He uses Valerie Jarrett just the she uses him-two narcissists in a symbiotic relationship. We make a fatal error when we think Barack Obama is stupid, he is not. He Got through Harvard Law School with very little background by virtue of his wits. He has been living on his wits all his life and he has substituted that for genuine accomplishment.

    He is an empty suit, a narcissist who knows how to con people. He is not stupid, he is not inarticulate, he is dangerous.

  • Kentucky Senate Race will be one of most watched races in 2014

    07/14/2014 7:11:48 PM PDT · 12 of 48
    nathanbedford to martiangohome
    To coin a phrase, "what difference does it make?"

    Seriously, it would of course make a big difference if it means winning or losing the Senate. But from another perspective it doesn't make much difference if we have majority leader McConnell halfheartedly opposing Obama publicly but behind the scenes facilitating many of the Obama initiative is designed to transform America.

    Do we really believe that McConnell will repeal Obamacare? I do not. Do we really believe that McConnell will not collaborate with Obama on amnesty? I do not. Do we really believe that McConnell will do anything effective to curtail spending? I do not.

    What difference does it make?

  • Kentucky Senate Race will be one of most watched races in 2014

    07/14/2014 6:59:09 PM PDT · 8 of 48
    nathanbedford to Slump Tester

    Conservatives are in a lose-lose situation in Kentucky. If the Democrat wins we lose his Senate seat and, nearly as bad, conservatives will be in no position to say "I told you so" because we will not have established a visible vehicle by which conservative anger can be expressed. To do that we need a third-party candidate or at least a well publicized campaign to write in a third-party candidate so that the shortfall in McConnell's column is so clearly the work of conservatives that the mainstream media cannot report otherwise.

    If McConnell wins after his brutal campaign in the primary, the media will continue to portray it as a vindication of the Republican establishment and the weakness of the Tea Party.

    My own view is that McConnell will probably pull it out but this gal is very attractive, one poll has are slightly in the lead, and McConnell will be dragging around a corpse so it will be tight.

    If he is going to lose let us as conservatives at least gain something from the loss of the seat.

  • 10 Things I Learned From Eavesdropping on Conservatives Talking About ‘America’ At the Movie Theater

    07/14/2014 12:03:14 PM PDT · 65 of 104
    nathanbedford to ansel12
    Well said.

    This article is unintentionally revealing of the pathology which is rife in the African-American community. Can you imagine how this would sound if the writer had the ability to tone up his bigotry and express it with oh so plausible language?

    There is an article on a companion thread which describes the negative influence of Valerie Jarrett on the President of the United States and many FReepers have offered up their theories as to why she should have such power over Obama. I tend to think of it as not so much a power that Jarrett enjoys over Obama but a common worldview they mutually possess and mutually reinforce.

    Obama is very articulate and he's very clever, as most narcissists are, and he is smart enough and wary enough not to betray himself often but I think he shares everyone of the preposterous notions outlined in this article but he is too clever and too articulate to be caught out often.

    This article illustrates for me a pathology which confounded white observers when we looked at the facts of the George Zimmerman trial and found no evidence of Zimmerman's guilt and plenty of evidence of Martin's aggression. When the author of this piece says that logic makes no headway with conservatives, he is clearly projecting and it is this article, the George Zimmerman affair, and Obama's actions in the White House which make that clear to me.

    This writer is obviously obsessed by race but I submit that Obama is equally obsessed by race but an obsession shaped by a Marxist worldview.

  • Zogby Report Card: America is 'just giving up' on Obama

    07/13/2014 4:32:57 AM PDT · 56 of 73
    nathanbedford to Gluteus Maximus
    I respectfully but emphatically dissent from your well expressed reply.

    I remain fully committed to Nathan Bedford's second Maxim of American politics: Failed socialism is invariably "reformed" with more socialism.

    That is simply a new way of describing Cloward and Piven. I do not think that the public's perception of government or of Washington is central to the outcome, the great mass of voters who are ill-informed but who decide elections vote their pocketbooks, vote their perceived self-interest, and see those interests often as personalities rather than issues.

    Hence, the more tragic the consequences of failed socialism the more likely the man on horseback.

    I know of no institution beginning with the media, running through academia, continuing on to our churches and our eleemosynary foundations, which will support true reform or even begin to educate the electorate about what really is going on. These are the institutions which inform and shape our culture and it is culture which trumps politics.

    This is an occasion in which I deeply hope that I am wrong and you are right.

  • Gun Control

    07/13/2014 4:05:28 AM PDT · 11 of 49
    nathanbedford to beaversmom; CitizenUSA
    I am not sure that it makes much more sense to blame the police than it does to blame the guns. We are doing to policing what we have done to education, diverted the teachers and the cops away from their basic and legitimate mission to try to cope with overall cultural breakdown.

    If we try to use the school system as a place of remediation for the dysfunction of the home we find that the school simply cannot cope and where they do not cope they attempt more and more to compensate with arbitrary and draconian regulations. A kid draws a picture of a gun and becomes a three-year-old felon.

    So it is with the police, if we spread them too thin we should not be surprised if the rubber band breaks at the weak point and cops overreact or just simply make tragic mistakes.

    It is easy for politicians to pile responsibility after responsibility on teachers and on police and equally easy for them to demand more and more as they get less and less. Most politicians say, throw more money at the problem and the result is they get bigger and better financed problems or they get mega school systems loaded with administrators in the educational arena and they get SWAT teams hanging on armored personnel vehicles at a local precinct.

    What could go wrong?

  • IRS UNION BOSS COLLEEN KELLEY: The Missing Link to Obama?

    07/13/2014 1:39:37 AM PDT · 6 of 27
    nathanbedford to 2ndDivisionVet
    We are experiencing the breakdown of our political central nervous system and as the disease advances it invariably proves fatal.

  • Obama's Law Professor: ‘I Wouldn’t Bet’ on Obamacare Surviving the Next Legal Challenge

    07/11/2014 10:15:29 PM PDT · 19 of 25
    nathanbedford to faithhopecharity
    Laurence Tribe emerges periodically from Harvard Law School to do more than plead cases before high courts, he is presented to put an erudite face on raw liberalism. He has borked judge Bork and he has borked Clarence Thomas. He has been on the left side of every issue since he got out of law school. He is an entirely inbred product of Harvard, having taken three degrees from undergraduate studies through law school there. He is a bloodthirsty abortionist.

    When the time comes, he will be on the side of upholding Obamacare and in doing so he will lend the most attenuated findings of legislative intent a patina of reasonableness. He is an advocate to be feared because he carries an aura of fairness and erudition but he is in truth an ideologue posing as a detached professor.

  • Soros Network Ready to Boost Radical Groups

    07/11/2014 5:15:06 AM PDT · 13 of 23
    nathanbedford to markomalley; Biggirl
    the Democracy Alliance have reportedly funneled $500 million or more into leftist and pro-Democrat organizations. The goal of the Alliance is to foster a permanent political infrastructure of left-wing nonprofits, think tanks, media outlets, leadership schools, and activist groups.

    What we must understand and then reckon with is that this half billion dollars is intended to be leveraged and become many billions. How will that happen? At your expense.

    If we look at the Soros nonprofits, indeed if we look at virtually all left-wing nonprofits and left-wing organizations which affect the culture and ultimately the vote, we will see that most of these organizations are subsidized somehow by government. In some instances, like government unions, the government forces employees to pay a share of their government wages to union bosses to turn over to the Democrat party. In other instances, like academic excursions, the government directly underwrites left-wing projects with grants and the university itself indirectly with student loans. Outreach groups are subsidized like Acorn who was provided fat contracts to allegedly do good as they emphatically did well.

    As these multiplicity of left-wing organizations grow they breed dependent worker bees who not only vote but get out the vote on behalf of Democrats.

    The leveraging effect generates more economic and political power which feeds upon itself and grows inexorably until we see a Republican Establishment so utterly intimidated that it expands its energies to frustrate its own base rather than to take on such a powerful and well-financed left-wing juggernaut.

    With all his faults, Mitt Romney at least understood how this process was working when he made his 47% comments and spoke that which must never be uttered. The reality is that conservative electoral chances are being diminished not just by a demographic tsunami engulfing us but by and economic juggernaut overwhelming us. The numbers are clearly worse than 47% today.

    My feeling is that if we do not act promptly through the one possible line of resistance, Article V amendment process, we simply will be overwhelmed at the polls and despised in Washington.

  • Ann Coulter: the Manchurian Columnist

    07/10/2014 9:21:21 PM PDT · 62 of 77
    nathanbedford to Norm Lenhart; Jim Robinson
    Rather than discuss personalities let us search out a formula which guides us toward conservative governance which has a chance of saving the Republic.

    I am actually suggesting abandoning the principle which I articulated in my last post and which I operated under in 2012: To support the most conservative candidate who can win.

    Below the presidential level (and perhaps even including the presidential level), we should now consider a nuclear option: if a senator or congressman is insufficiently conservative in Washington, we conservatives should turn against him even at the cost of losing the election and enabling a Democrat to take the office.

    This option is very dangerous and is liable to go out of control. It certainly cannot be employed across the board because that would mean suicide for conservatism as well as fratricide for Rino-ism. But an isolated examples such as in Mississippi or, perhaps, against Boehner or McConnell, conservatives should consider running a third-party candidate or even voting for the Democrat. But to do so is to understand that if it is done in more than one or two races it would ultimately be self-defeating. It must also be understood that there is no ready means of controlling such a movement and it is therefore liable to run out of control. Finally, if it is not made clear by the media that it is conservatism that has turned the balance in the election (an unlikely scenario), the point will be lost and the seat will be pointlessly lost.

    Nevertheless, I think we conservatives should work our way through to a viable doctrine to modify Bill Buckley's doctrine because the times have changed and time is running out. The establishment of the Republican Party by its actions in Mississippi and in the seventh district of Virginia have behaved so egregiously as to make clear beyond doubt that they cannot be reformed. I don't think they can even be intimidated, but it is worth a try. The odds are against either reforming our intimidating the Rino establishment because the establishment has control over big money and uses it to swamp conservatives. The last step is a whole new party or a revolution within the party. If we can make clear in controlled and limited elections that conservatives hold Rinos' electoral future in their hands and are now willing to pull the trigger in other elections, perhaps intimidation will suffice.

    The alternative, is a third-party which will either take over the Republican Party or be taken over by the Republican Party and while that occurs Democrats will rule and we will have ruin.

    Norm, as you will see I am moving toward what I believe is your position.

  • Ann Coulter: the Manchurian Columnist

    07/10/2014 8:38:00 PM PDT · 42 of 77
    nathanbedford to Norm Lenhart; Jim Robinson
    Because she spent many shows calling Romney a great evil, then when the chips were down, actively reversed course and tried to get her listeners to forget everything she said and vote for him.

    That scenario fits me and, by the way, fits Jim Robinson. I don't think either one of us were liars, I think we were trying to make the best of a bad field of options in 2012.

    People call George Bush a liar because there were allegedly no WMDs in Iraq. That was akin to calling a weatherman a liar because his prediction does not prove out. The only intelligent definition of a liar is:

    One who knowingly tells an untruth

    Laura Ingraham probably took similar positions to me in the primaries which was to support more conservative candidates-my choice at the time was Newt Gingrich-and to support Romney when the matter was virtually settled and the choice was no longer between an admittedly flawed conservative Republican and a Rino Republican but between a Rino Republican and a Manchurian Marxist.

    Bill Buckley famously said that we should support the most conservative candidate who can win. Honest conservatives can and inevitably will disagree when it comes to the application of that doctrine but that does not make either side of the argument a liar. Can Senator Cruz win? I fear he can not win but I am going to support him as long as his candidacy is viable and no more conservative and electable candidate comes to the fore. That does not make me a liar but rather a prudent conservative.

  • Ann Coulter: the Manchurian Columnist

    07/10/2014 8:11:54 PM PDT · 29 of 77
    nathanbedford to 2ndDivisionVet; Mamzelle; WXRGina; Norm Lenhart
    Cochran won the runoff by 7,667 votes, according to the certified vote count announced this week. McDaniel's partisans don't just have to prove that more than seven-thousand ineligible voters went to the polls, but also that they all voted for Cochran, not McDaniel.

    This assertion is the contrary to every written account which I have seen which are all to the effect that McDaniel need only show 7667 double votes.

    Which version is true?

    Why is Laura Ingraham being lumped in with Ann Coulter who has gone off the reservation more than once? No one, not even Mark Levin, has been better on immigration than Laura Ingraham.

  • Court: Cops can't stop drivers based on the color of their cars [FL]

    07/10/2014 10:13:42 AM PDT · 140 of 146
    nathanbedford to reed13k
    I think my reference to the arrest as being indisputably valid had to do with the Supreme Court case, Maryland vs. King (2013).

    I agree with your analysis about the necessity for an initial valid arrest and the obvious conclusion that color of auto does not qualify.

    So in the Supreme Court case the important issue for me as a conservative is whether the court will permit the accumulation of a databank on individuals arrested (the majority limits it to "serious crimes") which exists somewhere, probably unsecured from further government intrusion, and certainly available for use in other crimes and probably for Obamacare etc.

    I think this is a far more dangerous potential than the case-by-case basis of cops finding the fruits or means of a crime "in plain sight" somewhere in an auto because there is a review in every case. There is no review in the databank unless the DNA is used in the crime for which he is arrested. Evidently, DNA can be taken routinely at least from "serious criminals" now.

  • The awesome (and chilling) genius of the Germans: From soccer to supermarkets,

    07/10/2014 7:25:34 AM PDT · 16 of 28
    nathanbedford to C19fan
    Ah yes, Germany and Japan, pound for pound and ounce for ounce two of the most efficient and competitive societies on earth. What is the secret of their success, you ask?

    Why diversity is their strength, of course.

  • Court: Cops can't stop drivers based on the color of their cars [FL]

    07/10/2014 7:06:45 AM PDT · 111 of 146
    nathanbedford to reed13k
    You make a good point and one which I have commented on several times. If we really wanted to root out and punish the guilty we would do away with search and seizures restrictions on law enforcement and even indulge in waterboarding. I bet crime would drop way down, but is that the kind of society we want? One might apply those considerations to the war on drugs.

    So you put your finger on an important issue when you speak of "alpha error rather than beta error." What values do we want to advance even when they compete against the efficient administration of criminal justice? Some time ago I wrote a rather lengthy reply (no surprise there) which ponders this question in the context of the Supreme Court case (Maryland vs. King, 2013) permitting the taking of DNA incident to an arrest.

    Perhaps you would be interested in that reply:

    The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

    It is always worth the time to look at the text. The first thing I read is that I have a right to be secure in my person. Thus the fourth amendment is there to protect my "right." The right extends to my "person." The right extends to a prohibition against "unreasonable searches and seizures." So, the amendment protects my person against a search which is unreasonable and even says that that right shall not be "violated."

    I extrapolate further that the amendment does not undertake to protect me against reasonable searches and seizures, although it does not say so. Nor does the amendment define what is reasonable or what is unreasonable. That is left to the legal process as the founding fathers understood that from their inheritance of the Anglo-American system of common law.

    One could read the amendment to prohibit all searches done without a warrant or one could read the amendment, as the courts have done, to permit warrantless searches under some circumstances such as searches conducted pursuant to a valid arrest.

    In the case at point we indisputably have a valid arrest. In fact, courts have held that searches conducted after valid arrests are permissible. The minority in its dissenting opinion, written by Justice Scalia, finds the search to be unreasonable. Could the deficiency which concerns Justice Scalia been cured if the police officers had gone to a magistrate and secured a warrant? This question is now mere academic speculation because the majority opinion permits these DNA searches conducted subsequent to a "serious" arrest and permits the DNA evidence to be used to prove an unrelated crime. However, to focus our thinking, we should consider whether the values at stake and which are considered to have been "violated" by the minority would have been cured if the officers had secured a warrant permitting them to swab the defendant's mouth for DNA. That raises the question, what would the officers have alleged to a magistrate which would justify him signing a warrant authorizing such a DNA swab? That question, while academic now, focuses our thinking as conservatives upon the meaning of the fourth amendment and the values which it seeks to protect.

    There are Three Harridans who joined Justice Scalia in dissent but their eagerness to protect the underlying values of the fourth amendment is suspect at best. We should not forget that a fourth amendment case is a privacy case and these bloodthirsty abortionists cannot be presumed to be motivated by any other consideration than to protect the right to kill the unborn. As a matter of academic honesty, I dismiss their participation in this case.

    Justice Scalia, of course, operates on a higher level. On the other side we have at least two reasonable justices, Thomas and Alito. From a conservative point of view, then, this is not an obvious case and this case, as with any other case, should not be found either persuasive or repugnant to conservatives merely by counting judicial noses. Nor should we find ourselves committing the same sin which I allege motivates Ginsburg, Sotomayor and Kagan.

    Likewise, the fourth amendment is not there to provide lawyers with a full employment plan who can profit by endlessly litigating search and seizure cases where the game is to win a technical acquittal on behalf of a defendant who is by definition guilty because he was found to be in possession of the thing which proves his guilt. The purpose of the fourth amendment is not to reward with a get out of jail free card anymore than it is to provide a rationalization for abortion. This begs the question, can a search be deemed reasonable because it will increase the likelihood of apprehending criminals and thereby reduce crime? Can it be justified by arguing that DNA will also vindicate the innocent? What are the real values of the fourth amendment which we should seek to further?

    The language quoted and parsed above establishes that the purpose is not the inviability of our right to privacy but to provide protection against unreasonable intrusions of our privacy. It is in this context that we find Scalia on the one hand and Thomas and Alito on the other hand thinking at cross purposes.

    The majority opinion, written by Kennedy, says that the reasonableness of the search which occurs here without a warrant but after valid arrest is "reasonable" because the physical intrusion of the Q-tip into the mouth to take the swab is minimal. There is no puncture, no pain, no threat of injury. Therefore, the search is reasonable. I find it strange that the majority says that this innocuous intrusion is not to be countenanced except when conducted against people who have been arrested for a "serious" crime. Remember, the DNA obtained by this search is not to be used for the crime for which the defendant has been arrested but to be placed in a databank which can be digitally searched and the DNA evidence extracted to be used to convict the defendant of another crime . Why does the seriousness of the arrest make this valid? Why would DNA evidence collected from the perpetrator of a minor infraction having equal constitutional value? Why does the allegation of a serious crime change the degree of protection owed by the fourth amendment to the defendant?

    It is at this point that the thinking at cross purposes of those holding Scalia's view enters the picture. I cannot believe the Scalia is concerned about the physical intrusion of a Q-tip, clearly he is concerned about the creation of a databank which in effect exists in a cyber cloud which can rain upon any one of us at the whim of the government which controls the data. Once the DNA results are logged and placed into this cloud, supervision over the data by the legislative and judicial branches seems at best to be ill-defined if it exists at all. One of the purposes of the fourth amendment is to protect the citizen by subjecting searches and seizures of the executive branch to scrutiny by the judicial branch, a classic separation of powers. Even if the DNA is never used for criminal purpose, it might be used for any number of nefarious purposes and, in any event, privacy is compromised and it is compromised in secret, in a digital cloud wholly beyond judicial review.

    Nor is there any assurance that a seizure which might have been considered reasonable because it provides evidence which might be used in the realm of the criminal law will not be exploited by the government for other purposes. The world is turning over ever faster in the digital age and we have no idea to what purposes DNA might henceforth be applied.

    These arguments are compelling to conservatives when we consider that the history of overreach by the Obama administration makes plain the real danger of executive tyranny. We know from recent news accounts, for example, that the IRS has recently equipped itself with multimillion dollar data collecting and crunching computer power which tells the IRS hundreds of facts about millions of Americans which the IRS can use to profile a lifestyle. For example, does the taxpayer have an interest in horse racing? If so, his tax returns might be culled for audit, an audit in which the taxpayer himself bears the burden of proving his own innocence while styled as a "devotee of the Sport of Kings." We learn that there is no legislative or even executive control (in the case of the Obama administration that is a good thing) over the collection and use of these data.

    It is now established fact that the IRS has violated the law and misapplied the tax code against conservatives. We also learn that, in addition to accumulating data about the lifestyle of Americans culled from our charge cards and our Google browsing, the very same IRS is to be handed enforcement powers in Obamacare and now, presumably, the IRS will be collecting data about our most intimate bodily functions and conditions. It is of little comfort to know that we are to be protected against leakage of our private and intimate data by "firewalls." Firewalls failed to protect The Tea Party. My view is that it is inevitable that the pythons which were supposed to be confined to captivity will inevitably find their way into the Everglades and once there they will hunt.

    I think that is Justice Scalia's view as well. As a conservative with a pesky libertarian streak, I am alarmed at the prospect of the government in possession of all these data. But as a constitutional conservative I must pause, even as I think Justice Scalia finds himself in a bit of an ideological twist. Where does the fourth amendment say that the judicial branch shall consider the propriety of the government's databanks in the abstract? The Bill of Rights came along with the adoption of the Constitution in 1789 and none of this, not DNA, not the computer age, not the spreading tentacles of the federal Leviathan could have been anticipated by our founding fathers. They envisioned the courts would rule on cases and controversies. In the fourth amendment realm, even conceding that they anticipated John Marshall and the assertion by the Supreme Court that they could determine the constitutionality of acts of Congress and acts of the executive, did they really believe that the court would, in effect, preemptively strike to set limits on the kind of data the government could acquire and do so in a criminal case involving some cops and a criminal?

    Are we really ready to pass this legislative power to our courts? It is one thing to rule on the constitutionality of a matter before the court as a case or controversy and quite another indirectly to shape vast areas of policy by judicial fiat. All his judicial career Scalia has applied judicial restraint and sought to conform his rulings to an original interpretation of the Constitution. His reasoning here, while persuasive, does seem to be a departure from his reluctance to substitute his own judgment for Congressional or state policy where original intent does not intrude.

    I am really saying the Justice Scalia doesn't like the threat of the government Leviathan perched on that cloud. I share his view but I also share his long-standing view of the limitations on the scope judicial review. The court is not constitutionally invested with the power to make policy, is responsible to rule on cases. Justice Scalia would preempt the power of the government to get a hold of this data and in doing so he would set policy. So be it. I predict that when the pythons get into the Everglades, Justice Scalia's dissent will become the majority view.

    Will it be too late?

  • Court: Cops can't stop drivers based on the color of their cars [FL]

    07/10/2014 6:28:55 AM PDT · 98 of 146
    nathanbedford to gimme1ibertee
    It seems that The Court has been inexorably limiting the scope of the old doctrine of a reasonable search incident to a valid arrest.

    Relative to the example you give, one point of view is to observe that the police, having arrested the driver, now take possession of the automobile thus foreclosing any possibility of contamination or loss of evidence and ensuring that they have ample time to secure a warrant.

    The other point of view, of course, is to observe that that's not human nature, it is almost a reflex to continue the search under those circumstances. The reply to that, no doubt, is that cops should be trained to delay the search until the warrant is obtained of four an impounded auto.

    I'm not too exercised about these situations because proper training should be able to limit freeing criminals to a reasonable minimum. I don't like the expense and the bureaucratic tangle but it is not quite the same as wholesale release of guilty felons.

    Perhaps my judgment is clouded by a reflexive despair over the course of the war on drugs, its futility and the terrible damage it is doing to our criminal justice system and our society.

  • Let's go with 'content of character' next time

    07/10/2014 6:16:21 AM PDT · 14 of 20
    nathanbedford to rktman
    Why a black president, or a woman president, instead of simply the best person for president?

    Because the impulse to shape society was too strong to resist. The statist by his very nature regards the masses as chronically in need of his instruction and in no area of human relations do the masses require more instruction than on the issue of racism. The opportunity to shape America by the election of an African-American who could deliver an inspiring speech and who held all the right politically correct policy positions-especially on the Iraq war-was the perfect vehicle by which to finally bring America to salvation on the issue of race.

    Many institutions are preoccupied with the need to shape lesser beings. We can think of academia and see how they run their campuses to achieve the latest flavor of social engineering which beguile them. But, as stated, no issue ever surpasses race for academics or for any other institution as the foremost cause celeb.

    When it comes to elections the media have the power to shape the outcome and they certainly strove to do so in 2008 when by electing the first African-American as president of the United States they could not only educate America and bring it into the 21st century, but they could vicariously live again the great glory days of the media involvement in the American Civil Rights Movement.

    The temptation was irresistible. By the election of 2012, the media and so much invested in Barack Obama that they simply continued running interference for him. Today, there is no scandal which truly cracks the wall of protection which this praetorian guard has erected around their Caesar.

    Why a black president? They could not do otherwise.