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Restoring the Constitution

2007-02-16 00:02:30.95876+00 by Dan Lyke 17 comments

Senator Dodd introduces the "Restoring The Constitution" act, to...

...restore Habeas Corpus protections to detainees, bar information acquired through torture from being introduced as evidence in trials, and limit presidential authority to interpret the meaning and application of the Geneva Conventions.

[ related topics: Politics Law Civil Liberties ]

comments in ascending chronological order (reverse):

#Comment Re: made: 2007-02-16 00:24:34.441782+00 by: ziffle

and repeal the patriot act, impeach most of the supreme court and disabuse us of the notion of the 'living constitution'

and next time declare war and impose marshall law IF there need to be strong measures taken, just like they have done in the past when an emergency existed. Then when it's over you declare 'peace' and all the measures taken for the emergency are are automatically repealed.

and elect someone other than republicans or democrats or any of the current breed we have had for the last 40 years.

Ron Paul for President! Not perfect but a start.


#Comment Re: Ron Paul for President! made: 2007-02-16 05:03:28.375996+00 by: jeff

Ron Paul for President! Not perfect but a start.

<roger that>

#Comment Re: Constitution made: 2007-02-16 14:21:53.40685+00 by: m

We seem to need to pass a law to establish and give meaning to existing law. It is frightening to know just how fragile our Constitutionally formed government really is.

#Comment Re: made: 2007-02-16 22:06:24.3862+00 by: spc476

I felt that given that the Legislation's purpose is to pass laws, that all laws in the United States, with the exception of the Constitution, should expire after 20 years. Then the Legislation will be too busy keeping the existing laws on the books to draft any new laws.

#Comment Re: The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy made: 2007-02-18 19:49:13.914965+00 by: jeff [edit history]

Here is well understood and vetted scholarly background on why it currently doesn't matter which party is elected to Congress or to our presidency:

The Lobby

This has been happening for at least several decades, but the influence in recent years has reached apocalyptic proportions. The very future of our society is at stake, due to the disproportionate influence of these "lobbies."

If you decide to vote in 2008, several questions to ask your potential representative in Congress:

  1. How many jobs will you allow to be outsourced?
  2. How many illegal immigrants will you allow in our country?
  3. How much money did "lobbies" contribute to your political campaign?

The Original Harvard sources This link also includes a non-substantive and weak ad hominem response (typical of Alan Dershowitz) against the researchers.

#Comment Re: made: 2007-02-18 23:13:17.547537+00 by: ziffle

Jeff, surely you are joking.

#Comment Re: made: 2007-02-19 11:47:57.38063+00 by: jeff [edit history]

Ziffle--gotta love your dry humor here. ;^)

Did you read both the research paper and the response?

#Comment Re: made: 2007-02-19 16:35:08.561845+00 by: ziffle [edit history]

Not dry humor - but directly asked.

I skimmed the paper and just now read the response - reading the response was not necessary however as the paper is aweful. As he said:

"It would take a much longer article to debunk all the factual errors in the paper, which truly is a collage of misinformation."

And so it is. As you say its a weak response - because its not forceful enough. But why take the time to rebuke this kind of writing?

Flutterby is apparently not the place for a lengthly discussion of this type, as its for Dan to watch the world go by 'Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds' so I'll leave it at this and be done with it:

It is right for the US to support Israel in every way. They are a peaceful country and are living an existence surrounded by nut cases with nothing better to do than blame the Jews for everything that is wrong for them. Israel's error is not being more forceful against those that attack it. Their location makes every action precarious due to the abundance of people around them who have been filled with a hatred of life and believe death is better - e.g. Islam.

Christians used to act in this way, and most still believe it, but their actions have been muted by the rise of freedom and capitalism - the 'Renaissance' which by its results scattered their death lovng ideas to the wind. Properly so.

Islam someday will succumb to the same ideas but it will be a while. Already cracks are appearing in some few circles, whereby certain Islamic ideas are being discounted as not useful. Someday Islamic scholars will look back on this period with astonishment and a 'smile' just as Christians do on their own religions' violent past.

The Jews, like Americans, believe in living and enjoying life - this is the commonality. They are not a threat to anyone - who leaves them alone.

Further, they suffer from being disliked in many places - mainly due to others skewed religious views but also due to their financial skills. Dispute this and remove yourself from intellectual discourse. I have been to the Dachau Concentration Camp - I have seen and touched the ovens where thousands were cremated to further dreams of mystical glory. I have seen the writing, in charcol, on the oven door which said "My Mother died in this oven".

Enough is enough. Leave the Jews alone. Let them be.

First they came for the Jews

and I did not speak out

because I was not a Jew.

Then they came for the Communists

and I did not speak out

because I was not a Communist.

Then they came for the trade unionists

and I did not speak out

because I was not a trade unionist.

Then they came for me

and there was no one left

to speak out for me.

Pastor Martin Niemöller

"No, you do not have to live as a man; it is an act of moral choice. But you cannot live as anything else - and the alternative is that state of living death which you now see within you and around you, the state of a thing unfit for existence, no longer human and less than animal, a thing that knows nothing but pain and drags itself through its span of years in the agony of unthinking self-destruction. " John Galt

Barry if you read this - I am one with you.


#Comment Re: No, I'm sorry Ziffle, you left out a verse. made: 2007-02-19 19:14:02.211347+00 by: BC

Then they came for the Palestinians And there was no one left To speak out for them.

Ziffle, I would have to say your view of history is skewed. Muslims, Christians and Jews lived in relative peace for centuries in Palestine prior to the arrival of the extremist Jewish sect known as Zionism. Anyone who supports a state based on ethnicity can only be viewed as a bigot. I suggest you go back to your history books and do some more reading. Look up Deir Yassin and the literally hundreds of peaceful, bucolic Palestinian villages that exist only in the memory of those who once lived there. The Zionists have cleansed the land of Palestnians and planted pine trees in those places. For one who feels so strongly about the tragedy experienced by the Jewish people it is astounding that you would not feel the same compassion for the Palestinians. Israel created a much larger ghetto following their takeover of Palestine after 1948. I, and many people who understand the injustice that has taken place in Palestine, simply shake our heads in disbelief when individuals, like yourself, try to place blame on the Palestinians. It is one of the greatest tragedies on Earth today. Ignorance is a terrible thing.

#Comment Re: made: 2007-02-20 01:32:06.437266+00 by: TheSHAD0W

BC, I have to disagree with you. First off, there are "Zionists", but they aren't a sect, just a bunch of idiots. Second, the peace didn't collapse with the coming of Zionists, it collapsed with the coming of the British. They did a wonderful job of stirring both Palestinian and Jewish settlements with sticks, putting them at odds with each other.

#Comment Re: made: 2007-02-20 02:27:56.133578+00 by: BC

Actually the Zionists were perfectly happy with the British until the British produced The White Paper, which told the Zionists to cut back on the numbers of Jews coming to Palestine. It was at this point that groups like the Irgun, the Hagganah and The Stern Gang began using terrorist tactics to drive the British out. One of their favorites was to kidnap a British soldier, murder him and then hang him up. They would booby trap the body so that when the British attempted to cut down their murdered comrade more British were killed. The state of Israel and the Zionists that lead it have always used the most brutal of tactics and they will be loyal as long as they get what they want. One need look no further than their own first president, Chaim Weissmann. Despite all that he had done for the Jewish people throughout his life, when he grew older and moderated his stance on the Palestinians they politically lynched him. They had no further use for him. He was expendable. Incidentally, two of Israel's future Prime Ministers came from these early terrorist groups.

#Comment Re: made: 2007-02-20 02:41:43.465258+00 by: TheSHAD0W

Well, that's violence against the British, not violence by Jews against Palestinians. Which also happened, but largely because the British fomented it.

For instance: The British would go to an Jewish/Palestinian settlement, subject it to a massive search, confiscating all firearms and weapons. Then, as they left, they'd tip off the nearby Palestinian/Jewish town about what they had done and that some fun could be had. Then they'd watch the fireworks.

So with Jewish/Palestinian relations in a nice simmer, and the British being chased out by politics and violence, the Zionists did manage to push the formation of the nation of Israel - though as a Democratic rather than a religious state. That's what really tore it. First off, Allah has commanded the Moslems to never cede territory once it's been placed under Sharia law. Forming a Democratic Republic, big no-no. Grounds for holy war!

But there's something else the Moslems feared: Prophecy. Somewhere buried in the Koran is the note that the Jews would come back to the land they'd left. Okay, fine. But the original extents of the Kingdom of Israel reached Northward to Turkey, South to a nice-sized chunk of Africa, and about half of the Saudi Arabian peninsula to the East. Several people in high places decided it'd be a good idea to prevent the formation of Israel rather than risk its future expansion.

And the rest, as they say, is history.

#Comment Re: made: 2007-02-20 04:48:05.380147+00 by: jeff [edit history]

All of which tells us we need to "disengage" from the region, both politically and economically. We haven't built a nuclear power generating facility in over 30 years, and I'd rather spend those hundreds of billions in lost opportunity costs instead on starting the road towards energy independence--rather than fighting proxy wars, killing and maiming American soldiers on Israel's behalf, and polarizing a good portion of the Muslim world against US in the process.

Which brings me back to my original point. Israel is of absolutely NO geopolitical interest to US. Israel has no oil, and we don't have military bases in that country. And for numerous reasons there are no tangible moral justifications to continue the disproportionate support. Yet the all-powerful "lobby" keeps us there, serving its own special interests.

Wake-up, America.

#Comment Re: made: 2007-02-22 02:10:02.798516+00 by: BC

Jeff, I couldn't agree more. I would venture to say most Americans would agree with you. That being the case, you have to ask why do we never hear this in our media? Why is there not an open and honest discussion? Why is it when even an ex-President of the US expresses his opinion he is accused of anti-Semitism? It is true what Joe Sobrans said about anti-Semitism. He said anti-Semitism is when the Jews don't like you. Anti-Semitism no longer carries any weight. It is like the boy who cried "wolf" once too often.

#Comment Re: made: 2007-02-22 02:48:46.936701+00 by: Dan Lyke

I think that most of Israeli policy can be explained if you look at it cynically: The Israeli government wants the continued attacks from the Palestinians because it strengthens their need for security and a strong central government. At any point there are a number of cease fires that could have been kept had the Israeli's not responded to lone instigators, but by keeping the myth of collective punishment alive, they've managed to maintain a power based on fear.

I think the recent Israeli pyrrhic victory in Lebanon supports this: Militarily they were able to claim victory, but the end result of the invasion was (and could only have been) pissing off the Christians in Lebanon.

Meanwhile, the Palestinians are cowed by the local gangs, some of which gain enough critical mass that they occasionally manage to call their structure a "government" and extort money from external countries, which they manage to squirrel away in foreign bank accounts.

Number of Israelis killed? Well, it's probably about the same risk factor to be an Israeli living in Israel as it is to live in LA. So the fighting isn't that much more than an inconvenience, and their government and leaders are singing "safety" while deliberately riling up the other side, so are you going to vote for a less "strong" stance?

The only good guys in this scenario are the poor sods who are hunkered down trying to not get killed as armed thugs fight with gangs through their neighborhoods.

#Comment Re: made: 2007-02-22 12:14:38.631429+00 by: jeff [edit history]

Dan--I think you've provided some interesting insight. The Likudian Knesset has assuredly ruled on a premise of fear. Much in the same way that the neoconservative elements of our own GOP have (Bush/Cheney/others). The two political movements have had synchronized goals since the convenient catalyzing event of 9/11, and the subsequent birth and self-promulgating concept of "the war on terror." Some background on the government of Israel:

Likud Party

Likud Knesset Members

2006 Israeli Legislative Elections

On a positive note, we've seen the GOP pay a heavy price (2006 elections) for its neocon alignment, and I expect they'll pay an additional price in 2008 and perhaps through several additional elections. The Likud was also routed in the 2006 elections in Israel. This is probably not apparent from many of my posts, but I personally grew up Republican (both parents were staunchly conservative), however, I've mostly voted independent of party affiliation since the early 90's. I do NOT align with many of the aims of the Project for the New American Century, and it's good to know that PNAC (and its goals) have become better understood by more of mainstream America.

It is also refreshing that in our free society (for now) we can have such a dialoge, exchange of ideas and critical thinking as we are having here. In other parts of the world, some of this could be censored.

#Comment Re: made: 2007-02-22 14:53:34.576242+00 by: BC [edit history]

Dan, I agree with everything you have said. However, one key point that needs more emphasis, in my opinion, is the degree of culpability. You mention it and you are correct but don't go far enough.

You state: "The only good guys in this scenario are the poor sods who are hunkered down trying to not get killed as armed thugs fight with gangs through their neighborhoods."

It should be said that the vast majority of Palestinians are caught in the crossfire. They attempt to live their lives as best they can in a war zone. Though there are skirmishes between Fatah and Hamas, the reality is Israel and only Israel could end the violence tomorrow. They hold all of the cards, all of them.

Only Israel is bulldozing Palestinian homes. Only Israel and their settlers are poisoning wells. Only Israel is bulldozing olive groves, taking away the livelihood for many Palestinians. Only Israel is imprisoning innocent men, women and children, leaving them to rot in Israeli prisons. The only recourse some Palestinians take is random bombings. When this occurs the Israelis strike back 5, 10 fold using random, collective punishmnent.

I would argue the Israelis are using the most primitive, barbaric tactics of any nation today, especially given the history of the Jewish people and the support and sympathy the world has given them due to their plight in WWII.

Their actions are unconscionable, their attitude cavalier.