The View From 1776

No Postings for a Short While

Other matters will absorb my time over the coming days.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 04/29 at 01:45 PM
  1. The President is Out of Control

    Among the Babel of Liberal responses, about President Bush
    Posted by Richard G. Shuster  on  05/04  at  12:28 AM
  2. If you really believed in "Conservative-Constitutionalist principles", then you would not support wiretaps without judicial oversight, indefinite detention of US citizens without trial, "unitary executive theory", and all of the other assaults on our liberties.

    In reality, you are nothing but a Bush sycophant.
    Posted by ryan  on  05/04  at  01:55 PM
  3. Ryan,

    Have you bothered to read any of the excellent legal analyses done regarding Patriot and Patriot II? If you had, you would realize there is very little in them that are novel. Even those clauses pertaining to wiretapping have a long history going back to the 1920's and government efforts to address bootlegging and fraud. Where they are novel is in addressing a new class of stateless enemy (i.e., international terrorists) not covered under previous legal definitions of foreign subversives) and recognizing new forms of communication (e.g., email & internet); that make the Patriot Act (or something very close to it) both prudent and necessary. This means citizen rights are no more violated by these new statutes than were already compromised, and it is only by stretching the meaning of "rights" to cover non-citizens that any complaint can be made against them that could not already be made.

    There are some rights we recognize as natural and pertain to all regardless of citizenship (e.g., life, liberty, speech, fair trial, &c) and some that are a condition of citizenship (i.e., derivative measures that shield against abuse). Among these latter are voting, bearing arms, security against search or seizure, &c. By derivative, I mean they do not exist in nature; they arise out of social interaction and have meaning only through usage or convention. Even the due process clause in the 14th Amendment (so often cited in creating specious rights where none exist and to enfranchising the foreign at our expense) appertains only to natural rights, and has no bearing on 'citizen' rights. If you bother to study your Constitution, you will find, where it comes to the foreigner (especially those who act outside the pacts of their governments) or to the systems of communication they abuse with which to harm us, they have no rights beyond the most fundamental and have no share in those citizen-rights on which we rely against encroachment by our own government. If anything, extending such rights to foreigners is tantamount to an attack on the basis of those rights; by which means government may, thereafter, abrogate with impunity.

    Bush
    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  05/07  at  06:30 PM
  4. (continued ...)

    Still not satisfied and think this is unfair to foreigners who may or may not be plotting to kill us? Then, ask yourself what our government can do to prosecute foreigners based on their surveillance. So long as they stay outside our territory or that of our allies in the effort to defang them, there is precious little we can do to them or harm we can inflict on innocents among them. So far all we have done is monitor their communications for signs of terrorist activity, mostly in the form of traffic patterns. Now, one of them decides to visit our country. As he enters, we scoop him up and interrogate him about his communications with known subversives. If he is innocent of subversion we must let him go; if not, he can and should be held. This is no different than our government has done for decades and is well within its authority for our protection. More likely, though, we merely track and monitor him the more closely because picking him up only tips the enemy we
    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  05/07  at  06:39 PM
  5. Ryan,

    With all due respect, I never wrote or inferred the points you are trying to make. I simply was supporting the President's Executive Branch use of veto power to block the Legislative Branch from an attempted coup.

    Please don't look to me to stump for unbridled Patriot Act(s), but in war, and we are in war, we need protection against sworn enemies of the Republic and her citizens. The Jihadists who have sworn to remove us, will do just that if not stopped. I am not willing to have them rape, pillage and murder my family. I am also not willing to give my freedom, rights and liberties to one despot to prevent it going to another.

    It would be my suggestion for you to pay heed to Mr. Bob Stapler's wisdom and experience tempered observations of government and being governed. He knows of what he speaks.

    I, too applaud what appears to be your helmet of Libertarianism, but am concerned it may instead be a shield of Liberalism.

    Thank you for what I hope you believed to have been constructive comments.

    Richard G. Shuster
    Posted by Richard G. Shuster  on  05/07  at  11:36 PM
  6. I haven't noticed any intruders on my Liberties except from the collectivist crowd.

    They measure human value and Rights by the bunch. They take dead-aim at a target and miss...and hit other individuals.

    There are only indivviduals. At 82, I have yet to see 'a group.'

    Groups are convenient plural verbalizations about individuals. Not Reality! There are ONLY individuals.

    Collectivists live in an unreal ginger-bread world of words only. No wonder...!

    vincit veritas
    semkper fidelis
    Posted by Choicemaker  on  05/08  at  10:10 AM
  7. I appreciate that Mr. Stapler brings facts to the discussion, rather than empty rhetoric.

    My point was not directed at the Patriot Act specifically, but rather at the various participants on this comment board that claim to have true conservative principles, or some sort of special insight into how the founding fathers think, and yet would never dream of raising their voice against our Dear Leader. It's a fair position to be a Bush supporter, but let's be honest about it, shall we?

    I'm surprised that Mr. Stapler and Mr. Shuster have no problem with our government detaining American citizens with no trial, and charges that can't be revealed because they are classified. Maybe Jose Padilla is in fact a terrorist (though this has yet to be proved). But maybe the next person detained in the same way will be a mere protester, or worse, a political opponent. Could we trust Nixon with these powers? Clinton? Guiliani? (When asked if he would arrest US citizens without review, Guiliani said he would want to use these powers only infrequently. How reassuring!) Oversight and checks and balances are the keystone of the protection of our liberties, and removing those is far more of a threat than terrorists. Mr. Shuster is worried about terrorists raping his family. Actual cases of terrorists raping American families: 0. Actual cases of Bush detaining citizens with no oversight: 1 (that we know of). It's clear to me where the greater danger lies.

    (Note also the irony that neoconservatives will accept no verdict of guilt when one of there own is accused. Lewis Libby, convicted by a jury after due process, and with excellent counsel, was the victim of "runaway prosecutors". So we are to believe that Libby is definitely innocent despite his trial, whereas Padilla is definitely guilty, without a trial?)

    I don't buy these arguments of terrorism as an existential threat to our nation (frequently used to justify extraordinary measures). If indeed the very existence of the United States is at risk, then why are the citizens not being mobilized? On Sept. 12, there was an opportunity to focus the entire country on fighting terrorism. I was willing to sacrifice. Instead we were told to go back to the mall. Where are the war bonds and victory gardens? Where is the draft? When preparing for the war on Iraq, we could have been told to brace ourselves for a long conflict, upon which the future of the country rests. Instead, we were told it would be a "cakewalk" that could be "fought on the cheap". So, tell me, given all that, is it really the case that the very fabric of our way of lives is at stake? I think the threat of terrorism is being played for political points. The problem of terrorism will be solved not by sweeping globe-girdling gestures, or conventional warfare, but by good (unglamorous) police work, judicious use of technology, and diplomacy. This is how terrorism was successfully combated in Ireland. Unfortunately, it doesn't bring good headlines.

    But the most insidious aspect of the politicization of the "War on Terror" is that this war has no clear ending. What event will let us declare V-T Day? So any measures that are being proposed as "wartime" have no end. This is why I take issue with the characterization of these laws as "wartime" or "emergency".

    Mr. Stapler thinks we can trust Bush, but maybe no other president. We're close to agreement on that: I don't trust Bush or any other president. We can be certain that the founding fathers didn't intend an imperial presidency, and an conservative who casts a blind eye to Bush's power grabs is no conservative at all.
    Posted by ryan  on  05/09  at  09:21 AM
  8. What Are the Real Issues?

    A liberal friend was asking me recently, "as a conservative, Rick, in your opinion, what are the real issues confronting the United States?" What follows is a heartfelt series of issues that I feel are the core of this nation's political, moral and individual concerns.

    The "War on Terror" is, in reality, World War 3. The war in Iraq is but a small part of the bigger picture. No effort should be minimized to target and destroy these sworn enemy fascists who are the enemy of civilization, liberty and freedom.

    Inadequate pay, medical care, disabilities and other earned benefits for today's military and for all veterans and their loved ones.

    Ignoring the real economic, historical and cultural issues created by out-of-control illegal immigration. There is a real need to enforce the laws and shore up our borders, both north and south.

    Lack of honesty, responsibility and accountability in government, business, media and the private sector.

    The insidious spread of socialism, which is the redistribution of wealth through taxation from those who work and earn to those who choose not to but expect the same as those who do.

    Destruction of founding faith in God and Judeo-Christian principles through wholesale slaughter of unborn children, same gender couples demanding equal status of marriage and teaching of acceptability of its practices.

    The corruption of our written and taught history and general focus on left of center socialistic teachings in our schools, governmental units and even the new age feel-good "churches".

    The illegitimizing of our Constitution and other founding documents by courts, judges, justices and politicians.

    The timidity of facing our enemies and allies eyeball to eyeball, for fear we will appear aggressive.

    Richard G. Shuster (from Rick's Random Ramblings, What are the real issues?)
    Posted by Richard G. Shuster  on  05/12  at  12:46 PM
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