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Gender: Male
Hometown: North Carolina
Member since: Wed Aug 11, 2004, 06:57 PM
Number of posts: 3,813

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If you'd just expand rights, we could work together.

If you'd just work to expand rights, we could work together. I too favor "rights of citizens to clean air and water, to women for their full rights of citizenship, to all people in society for health care, education and worker rights." but, if you think that these rights can be achieved and protected by an authoritarian society that first nanny-states away one of the important rights we already have (for citizens to keep & bear arms), I'm afraid that you are delusional. Taking away liberties is opposite what Democrats should stand for.

Do you support people only having the right to 18th Century healthcare technology? How about only protecting people from the toxins we knew about in the 18th Century? Of course you don’t. That's because rights are grounded in principles, not technologies. The Founders granted Americans the right to keep & bear the very same arms employed by the military & police of their day. Our present right to keep & bear arms is already much narrower than that. If you really want to narrow it further, then I'm sorry, but we are anything but allies.


Thanks for this useful info, s4p

Thanks for this useful info and distinction, struggle4progress.

Despite a change in regulations being different than a change in law in a legal sense, I think that the ominous implications of this policy stand. Continuity of Government plans seem to attract the worst types of authoritarians and anti-democratic types. That was true during the early years of the Cold War, it was true when Ollie North was drafting plans for martial law under Reagan, and it certainly seems to be true now. Despite what Ikonoklast says elsewhere in this thread, this long history and stamp of approval by various authoritarian judges and other officials does not render them any more compatible with a free and democratic society.


Pentagon Unilaterally Grants Itself Authority Over ‘Civil Disturbances'


The manhunt for the Boston Marathon bombing suspects offered the nation a window into the stunning military-style capabilities of our local law enforcement agencies. For the past 30 years, police departments throughout the United States have benefitted from the government’s largesse in the form of military weaponry and training, incentives offered in the ongoing “War on Drugs.” For the average citizen watching events such as the intense pursuit of the Tsarnaev brothers on television, it would be difficult to discern between fully outfitted police SWAT teams and the military.

The lines blurred even further Monday as a new dynamic was introduced to the militarization of domestic law enforcement. By making a few subtle changes to a regulation in the U.S. Code titled “Defense Support of Civilian Law Enforcement Agencies” the military has quietly granted itself the ability to police the streets without obtaining prior local or state consent, upending a precedent that has been in place for more than two centuries.

The most objectionable aspect of the regulatory change is the inclusion of vague language that permits military intervention in the event of “civil disturbances.” According to the rule:

Federal military commanders have the authority, in extraordinary emergency circumstances where prior authorization by the President is impossible and duly constituted local authorities are unable to control the situation, to engage temporarily in activities that are necessary to quell large-scale, unexpected civil disturbances.

Bruce Afran, a civil liberties attorney and constitutional law professor at Rutgers University, calls the rule, “a wanton power grab by the military,” and says, “It’s quite shocking actually because it violates the long-standing presumption that the military is under civilian control.”

This disturbs me so much more than the (regrettable) errors which occurred in Benghazi last year, or the blunders of some IRS Agents. The surveillance of the press that has also recently come to light, on the other hand, shows that this sort of power grab is not an anomaly, not the work of 'a few bad apples,' and most certainly not the baseless fears of paranoiacs. Fellow citizens, when Ben Franklin said we would have a Republic, 'if we could keep it,' I think he was envisioning these very types of circumstances.

I have tremendous respect for the men and women who answer our country's call to serve in the military, but bad and unconstitutional policies such as these endanger enlisted ranks and civilians alike, making civil conflict, escalation, treason, and tyranny too likely.


I am pleased with my current ability to exercise my 3rd Amendment rights.

Tommy, I am glad that you caught my (deliberate) omission, and responded with humor!

My omission of any mention of the 3rd Amendment is because I am pleased with my current ability to exercise my 3rd Amendment rights. However, were any people here saying that what the 3rd Amendment REALLY means is that a whole army platoon lounging in my living room, making snacks in my kitchen, and swimming in my (nonexistent) pool is ACTUALLY totally compatible with the Constitution, because, hey they're not sleeping in my bed (yet), then yes, I'd have issues. I see things similar about the 2nd Amendment pretty often here at DU.

I support laws against committing murders with firearms. James Holmes and Adam Lanza committed horrible crimes, for which I hope Mr. Holmes gets punished severely (I hope that Mr. Lanza, being beyond our reach, has come to an appropriate reckoning in the afterlife).

I posted my thoughts about the best strategies for preventing violence in reply #28, but to reprise:

The surest method toward reducing violence is attacking root causes: poverty, mental illness, lack of economic opportunity, an education system that fails to adequately cultivate empathy and civic engagement, and a failed and misdirected war on drugs contribute far more to gun violence than the presence or absence of any particular hardware or attendant features.

These are issues that ALL Democrats can (and should) rally around in unison!


Not gonna happen.

Asking gun owners to advocate for the ban of the majority of contemporary firearms technology is a non-starter if I've ever heard one. I might as well ask that you lead the charge to open the NFA registry (i.e.- allow the importation and manufacture of new machine guns for private citizens). You game to take this courageous stand on behalf of Constitutional rights "for the good of our society, the future of our country?"

I didn't think so.

The natural right of self-defense goes far, far back into English Common Law. The Second Amendment has been with us since 1791, and there is no sign that it is in any danger of repeal by US Constitutional processes. So let's start from there. Semi-automatic firearms are necessary for effective self-defense and fit well-within the scope of the Second Amendment. If you want to discuss ideas that will reduce unjustifiable violence, let's do so within a 2nd Amendment/ 4th Amendment/ 9th Amendment 10th Amendment/ 14th Amendment-compatible framework.

Here's my first thought on that front: the surest method toward reducing violence is attacking root causes: poverty, mental illness, lack of economic opportunity, an education system that fails to adequately cultivate empathy and civic engagement, and a failed and misdirected war on drugs contribute far more to gun violence than the presence or absence of any particular hardware or attendant features.


Yeah, what's the big deal about any Constitutional rights?!1??11/!!

What's the big deal, 'newmember'? Oh, just that the majority of firearms technology during the past century-plus has been in the areas of semi-automatic weapons (as well as, of course machine-guns, which are already heavily-regulated enough to be effectively banned for most people of moderate means). Banning semi-automatics would send citizens back to the 19th century, while criminals (and law enforcement, etc.) would still access modern firepower: a clear violation of the intent and meaning of the 2nd Amendment. If the issue of gun control is as cut & dry as you pretend it is, just advocate repealing the Second Amendment. Or save yourself some time and admit that you have no chance of doing so.

Our Constitution protects the expression of dangerous ideas (via the 1st Amendment), because dangerous ideas are necessary and potentially helpful to an open society. The Constitution also protects the possession of potentially dangerous (but also potentially helpful) tools via the 2nd Amendment. Privacy and waiting for due process can be dangerous (or helpful) to society; we (should) protect them too, as enshrined in the 4th and 5th Amendments.

As far as I am concerned, the debate about guns (i.e.- individually-deployable 'arms', i.e.- NOT tanks, helicopter gunships, etc.) should have been settled once and for all when our Founding Fathers reserved to citizens the right to keep & bear military-grade arms via the explicit text of the Second Amendment. We have fallen away from this ideal considerably already, what with NFA regs for fully-automatic firearms, but it's here I draw the line. My semi-automatic pistols and rifles will not harm you, newmember. Indeed, they are not intended for offensive use against anyone.

I believe that citizens have the rights to think dangerous ideas, speak dangerous words, protect dangerous privacies, and, yes, possess dangerous weapons. Your choice to forego weapons (or only buy bolt action rifles & revolvers if you so choose) is fine by me. My weapons will not harm you. Nonetheless, I will remain that peaceable, but armed, citizen.

The Democrats' history with gun control begins in the late 1960's at the earliest. That's hardly some bedrock tradition, nor does any gun control platform (banning semi-auto's especially) rest upon any foundation of coherent principles that I can tell. One can be against innocents & children dying at the hands of crazed criminals (I certainly am) yet seek to redress the roots of these problems in manners that do not undermine yet another piece of the Bill of Rights.

The rational consistency and electoral platform for which I call rests on American traditions stretching back to 1789. It may still be radical (for our Founding Fathers were indeed both liberals and radicals in their day) to demand that the Bill of Rights guide all our policies and laws, and consistently constrain the power of the state, but it's a lot more rational than speaking about Constitutional rights only some of the time, on some issues, and most particularly when an 'R' is president.

I want to see the 1st, 2nd, 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th, 14th, & 15th Amendments enforced more vigorously than they ever have been in my lifetime. I believe that these Amendments enshrine not only Democratic principles, but truly American values. Being forceful about these views, all of the time, is a recipe for electoral success for Democrats. Wishing rights away when one finds them inconvenient or disturbing is a recipe for either electoral failure and/or tyranny. I'd prefer to avoid both of these outcomes, thank you very much.


As a NC-ian, I am VERY proud of Hagan for this.

As a North Carolinian, I am VERY proud of Hagan for this. I have called her office multiple times over the past few months asking that she stand up for SS's integrity. I take her stated position at face value: Hagan is a Democratic Senator standing up for a core Democratic program that has worked well for the American people for around seventy years now. So called 'Democrats' wishing to do otherwise (cough, Obama, coughcough) are the problem, not Senators standing firm.

msongs, if you really think that disagreeing with the President about destroying Social Security in the name of paltry compromises about short term budget issues makes one a 'closet Republican,' well, that's pathetic. I'm a Democrat, not an Obamaton. I think that a little more critical thinking on your part might be in order.


Agreed. I try to avoid voting for assholes.

I despised Edwards long before the infidelity scandal surfaced: for his co-sponsorship of the Patriot Act & the Iraq War Resolution / AUMF, for being Senator Gone during his one partial term 'representing' NC, for his smarmy, fake-assed two Americas spiel that was never backed by action, and or his sulking, desultory performance in the VP slot in 2004.

Both because of, and regardless of the (many) parallels with Sanford, I will never vote for Edwards again. Let Republicans vote for smarmy, lying fucktards if they want. I expect better of my leaders.


Jeff (& Kim): This is the crucial point.

"That being said, a battery-powered car could be recharged by a solar array."

Jeff (& Kim): This is the crucial point.

Kim's questions are good ones about why we don't have self-contained solar cars, and Jeff, your answers about the laws of physics and energy density are excellent. But this point about cars & solar arrays; that is key.

What's larger than a car, and sits in partial or total (depending upon site) sunlight all day long? A building. And where do most cars sit for most of many days? Near buildings.

So it only makes sense for the site of solar power generation to take place on building, while cars can help play a role in solar power storage. A 100 hp (or 200 or 300 hp) electric car or truck will need lots of energy-dense batteries in order to make the fastest & or longest hauls possible when it needs to. But I only use my big pickup to haul and tow at full capacity a few times per year, and my little commuter vehicle only travels more than 100 miles in a day maybe one month out of the year. All the rest of the time, my vehicles (were they similar-capacity but electric) would have 'power to spare' for from and to which the grid might upload and download spare power while these cars were parked near buildings with solar arrays. If I were to pay for charging my battery while parked near a solar-powered, grid-intertied building, but receive payments and/or electricity bill credits every time the grid needed some spare power and tapped my car's batteries for it, I might be willing to allocate 50% of my car batteries and 50% of my truck batteries to the grid on most days of the year. Multiply this by the millions of cars and trucks out there across the country, and the problem of distributed-generation grid-power storage could be solved with many fewer batteries in buildings.



The proto-fascist-apologists, Obama-cheerleaders, & Party Politboro Faithful may try to deflect blame toward Eisenhower & other past presidents, but the fact is that Obama had a choice. He could have chosen to (1) issue a proclamation honoring American workers on May Day, or (2) proclaimed nothing in particular about 5/1.

But what did our Hope & Change President choose? Oh, (3)!, issue a proclamation about a proto-fascist & reactionary 'holiday' that honors Red Scares & corporatist fearmongering, dredging up some of the worst of American history's divergence from our stated ideals of liberty & freedom.

Fuck your Loyalty Day! I remember the Haymarket martyrs; why does Chicagoan Obama not?

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