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Total number of comments: 7 (since 2013-11-28 16:38:04)

Gilbert Miller

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  • The GOP, Race and Ted Nugent: If you won't Denounce Nazi Insults, What does that Say about You?
    • Ted Nugent's fried-brain logic apparently has its roots in some excessive consumption of illicit substances in the late 60's. Check out his then group's lyrics in Journey to the Center of the Mind, which feature theses pearls of wisdom:

      Take a ride to the land inside of your mind

      Beyond the seas of thought beyond the realm of what
      Across the streams of hopes and dreams where things are really not

      Come along if you care...

      But please realize you'll probably be surprised
      For it's the land unknown to man
      Where fantasy is fact
      So if you can, please understand
      You might not come back

      Come along if you care
      Come along if you dare
      Take a ride to the land inside and you'll see

      How happy life could be if all of mankind
      Would take the time to journey to the center of the mind

      --------

      Clearly Ted has been living in a fantasy world of his own construction for a very long time. His willful departure from reality is consistent with the right's approach to things over the last generation. Recall, for example, Reagan's repeated characterization of the Contras as the "moral equivalent of our Founding Fathers," the bogus link between Saddam and bin-Laden, the Bushies' claim, regarding Iraq, that reality was what they said it was, and Cheney's assertion that real men go to Teheran. All on journeys to the center of their minds.

  • America's Secret 4th Branch of Government: The NSA kept even Obama in the Dark
    • We don't know enough to conclude that Obama was left out of the loop. Something doesn't add up with Merkel. Why did she "write" (ghost-write??) that Washington Post piece supporting the invasion of Iraq in the run-up to the war in early 2003? That article was certainly an odd piece for a foreign opposition leader. Her piece was published shortly after the beginning of the surveillance. Could it be that intercepted material was used against her to induce the article? If that's the case, US intelligence would want to keep tabs on her to be assured that she had not divulged anything.

  • Would Israel's Netanyahu really Drag US into war with Iran?
  • Snowden Fall-out: European Denial of Overflight to Bolivian President Angers South America
    • The Vatican is a sovereign country. Could the Pope bestow a passport? Could he grant asylum? The humanitarian dimension of Snowden's plight would justify Francis's intervention.

  • Its the Corporations, Stupid: Why we are 2nd Amendment Fundamentalists but the 4th Amendment doesn't Count
    • We've been engaging in a long-term subtle shift in emphasis in our interpretation of the Fourth Amendment. The Fourth Amendment consists of two conjoined main clauses which operate with potential dissonance: (1) "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 (2) "and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause," etc. etc. The focus used to be on the warrant clause, with the idea that warrants are always required unless the search falls into narrow, traditionally recognized exceptions (eg. search incident to arrest, plain view), or the search was an administrative search in a traditionally heavily regulated activity. The requirement of a warrant was most important to the Founding Fathers, many of whom were upset and even personally affected by the tendency of the Brits to break into houses of suspected smugglers and tax evaders without warrants. This warrant requirement strand isn't dead -- it's slumbering, however. In the conservative trending 80's, the emphasis began to shift to the "reasonableness" clause. Previous thought equated "reasonableness" as the requirement of obtaining a warrant unless those traditional narrow exceptions existed. In the 80's, judicial opinions began to proclaim that the touchstone of the Fourth Amendment was "reasonableness," and a process of partial decoupling between the two clauses began. Thus, in New Jersey v. T.L.O., the Supreme Court in 1985 allowed public school officials to search a student's bag for evidence of marijuana dealing in a reasonable manner based on reasonable suspicion of wrongdoing without any need for a warrant. This was and is a problematic development, because "reasonableness" is a most subjective standard. Once this shift in emphasis occurred, it became only a matter of time, and one national security crisis, to accept the idea that an search of persons was constitutionally "reasonable" so long as national security officials issued a "national security letter." Thus, from 2003 to 2006 the Federal Bureau of Investigation issued 192,499 national security letter requests. With this shift, it's easy to see how we've gotten to our present situation. How we're going to recouple the two clauses of the Fourth Amendment and regain our rights under that Amendment is much harder to envision.

  • Top Five Objections to the White House's Drone Killing Memo
  • Fukushima Core Failure a Level 7 (the Worst)

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