Comments

  1. 2

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    First and rowdiest! It’s Friday night, let’s have a few drinks, and throw some punches! This blog is a saloon brawl! C’mon trolls, where are you, hiding under your beds?

  2. 3

    Michael spews:

    They’re talking about flooding in the Ohio River valley over the weekend. Hope they’ve paid to maintain those levees.

  3. 5

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    In a previous thread, Jackass Troll impugned President Obama’s patriotism for saying the Constitution is “flawed.”

    First of all, the Constitution created a government of the white male property owning class, by the white male property owning class, and for the hwite male property owning class. Everyone else … well, they just had to depend on the benign munificence of the white male property owning class.

    Here’s what Candidate Obama said about that:

    “I think it’s a remarkable document…

    “The original Constitution as well as the Civil War Amendments … but I think it is an imperfect document, and I think it is a document that reflects some deep flaws in American culture, the Colonial culture nascent at that time.

    “African-Americans were not — first of all they weren’t African-Americans — the Africans at the time were not considered as part of the polity that was of concern to the Framers. I think that as Richard said it was a ‘nagging problem’ in the same way that these days we might think of environmental issues, or some other problem where you have to balance cost-benefits, as opposed to seeing it as a moral problem involving persons of moral worth.

    “And in that sense, I think we can say that the Constitution reflected an enormous blind spot in this culture that carries on until this day, and that the Framers had that same blind spot. I don’t think the two views are contradictory, to say that it was a remarkable political document that paved the way for where we are now, and to say that it also reflected the fundamental flaw of this country that continues to this day.”Yeah, well, how about that — a black guy thinks a document that allowed white people to own black people was “flawed.” A black guy thinks the racism that persists in our society to this day is a cultural “flaw.” How about that.

    But although that’s the most glaring and obvious of the Constitution’s flaws, it’s not the only one. Nor is Obama the only law professor who thinks the Constitution has flaws. For example, Sanford Levinson, a white guy, and a law professor at the University of Texas, says:

    “It Is Time to Repair the Constitution’s Flaws

    “[T]the Constitution included several terrible compromises with slavery … because of those compromises I tended to regard the original Constitution as what the antislavery crusader William Lloyd Garrison so memorably called ‘a covenant with death and an agreement with hell.’ …

    “[I have] become far more concerned about the inadequacies of the Constitution … I [have] come to think that it is vitally important to engage in a national conversation about its adequacy rather than automatically to assume its fitness for our own times. …

    “I have become ever more despondent about many structural provisions of the Constitution that place almost insurmountable barriers in the way of any acceptable contemporary notion of democracy. …

    “I believe that it is increasingly difficult to construct a theory of democratic constitutionalism, applying our own 21st-century norms, that vindicates the Constitution under which we are governed today. Our 18th-century ancestors had little trouble integrating slavery and the rank subordination of women into their conception of a “republican” political order. That vision of politics is blessedly long behind us, but the Constitution is not. It does not deserve rote support from Americans who properly believe that majority rule, even if tempered by the recognition of minority rights, is integral to “consent of the governed.”

    These excerpts rather truncate the original article, but you get the drift. You can read the whole article here:

    http://www.utexas.edu/law/news.....6_che.html

    I don’t know who this next guy is, but he has an interesting opinion:

    “As much as I defend the Constitution, I don’t think we even should have one.”

    http://individualsovereignty.b.....ution.html

    I do know who William Safire is, or I should say was, because he now works in the Pressroom In The Sky — but for those of you who don’t, he was a journalist who described himself as a “libertarian conservative” — and he thought the Constitution is flawed too:

    “I want to be a delegate to the next Constitutional Convention (Con Con II). Here’s my platform: amend the Constitution to make it possible for naturalized citizens to become President or Vice President of the United States.”

    http://www.nytimes.com/1987/09.....gewanted=1

    Maybe they could call that the “Arnold Schwarzenegger Amendment. Or, if you’re a birther, the Obama Amendment.

    Even the Wikipedia article on the U.S. Constitution has an entire section entitled “Criticism of the Constitution,” which begins,

    “Several academics have criticized the Constitution for specific shortcomings.”

    You can read what they are here:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/U.....nstitution

    Well, if — as Chief Jackass Troll asserts — Obama is unpatriotic for criticizing the Constitution, then so is Wikipedia, and so are all of these other people. And, for that matter, so am I, because I think it’s undemocratic to give Alaska or Wyoming the same representation in the Senate that California or New York gets.

    Jackass Troll isn’t “lost in a sea of blue” as he claims; he’s drowning in a cauldron of rightwing bullshit. Incapable of critical reasoning himself, he picks this shit up from the rightwing noise machine and parrots it on HA. Obviously, he gave no thought to what corners he might paint himself into by claiming that Obama’s criticism of the Constitution is unpatriotic — because it never occurred to his dogmatic mind that other people — some of them reputable, some of them even conservative or libertarian — have criticized the Constitution, too. There have been times when I’ve wondered whether we’d be better served by a parliamentary system, like all the other major developed democracies have, so we don’t necessarily have to wait four years to get rid of a Gingrich Congress or a George W. Bush. Does pondering that question make me unpatriotic? It would seem the Chief Jackass Troll thinks so. Well, let me say it up front: I think THE CONSTITUTION IS FLAWED. I think it would be less flawed if the Equal Rights Amendment had been adopted, but it wasn’t. The Republic will survive; we can work around that one. But there is no workaround for what I think the Constitution needs most: Proportional representation, based on population, in the U.S. Senate. Anything else is undemocratic — and therefore unpatriotic.*

    * Just kidding! Jackass Troll joke.

  4. 7

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @4 I can’t download video on my POTS-powered computer. It would take all night.

  5. 8

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    Some people advocate abrogating state pension obligations. Well, if we’re going to do that, why not abrogate private property rights, too? After all, a pension is a private property right, too. If I can’t keep the pension I earned and paid for, then why should you be able to keep a farm or a home that you earned and paid for? Personally, I think it’s better for everyone if we continue honoring contracts and property rights as we did in the past.

  6. 11

    proud leftist spews:

    Lee,
    That would work. Gonzaga will be going elsewhere. Huskies could be the home team. They do well in that role.

    Question: Have our trolls become even more averse to reality in the past few months than they were before? I try to be objective about political trends and such; I try to keep in mind that political winds blow in one direction, then the other. But, Lee, our trolls seem to be willingly dipping their dicks in frying oil and, instead of pulling out, they just push forward to make sure they get fully fried. I’m worried about our trolls. They are likely to end up with fried balls and no future. They simply seem to be incapable of understanding that their actions have consequences. Is there any way that we can save our trolls? (I am a member of Greenpeace, so I want to save endangered species.)

  7. 12

    nolaguy spews:

    @7 – I totally agree. Contracts should be honored. If not, we risk a total collapse of society. I’m being serious.

    I’m not so sure that “property rights” as most americans think they exist actually do, though. Just stop paying your property taxes and see what happens. Nobody really “owns” their property.

    And contracts? Ask the bondholders of GM about contracts…

    Serfdom for all…

  8. 13

    Mr. Cynical spews:

    Friday, March 12, 2010

    Undoubtedly driven in part by her continuing efforts to pass the national health care plan, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi remains the most unpopular congressional leader, as she has for months. Pelosi is now viewed unfavorably by 64% of voters, which ties a high reached in August. That number includes 47% with a very unfavorable opinion of the California Democrat. Twenty-nine percent (29%) have a favorable view of her. Just seven percent (7%) of voters have no opinion of Pelosi.

    Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is now viewed at least somewhat unfavorably by 56% of voters. That’s up 14 points from a year ago and the highest level measured since regular tracking began last February. That includes 35% with a very unfavorable view. Twenty-four percent (24%) view Reid favorably, the lowest level found since December. Twenty percent (20%) have no opinion of the majority leader.
    Reid, who is leading the charge for the health care plan in the Senate, is facing trouble at home. The longtime Nevada senator trails three top Republicans in his bid for reelection this November. Forty-two percent (42%) of voters nationally favor the health care plan working its way through Congress, while 53% oppose it. These views have remained largely unchanged since Thanksgiving.

    Yet another testimonial to the rotting of the Progressive Movement!!

  9. 14

    Mr. Cynical spews:

    7. Roger Rabbit spews:

    Some people advocate abrogating state pension obligations. Well, if we’re going to do that, why not abrogate private property rights, too?

    The Dept of Ecology has repeatedly abrogated private property rights via the Growth Management Act, Shoreline Acts etc.
    Welcome to the real world of Big Government consequences dumba$$.

  10. 15

    Gman spews:

    I heard Massa say that Max and PuddyNutz and three other of their conservative friends were the 5 guys that tackled Massa at his Birthday Party.

  11. 16

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @11 All species are not equally worthy of saving. Whales and dolphins, yes, dogs and trolls, no.

  12. 17

    spews:

    @10
    Question: Have our trolls become even more averse to reality in the past few months than they were before?

    No, they were already as averse to reality as one can possibly be. What’s happening is that on a couple of fronts, reality is becoming more painful for them.

  13. 18

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @12 I learned in law school that “property” is “a bundle of rights,” the most important of which is “the right to exclude” (see, e.g., recent local TV news reports of squatters taking over homes in foreclosure and asserting ownership through “adverse possession” — followed by the sheriff showing up to evict said squatters).

    There are different kinds of property, but let’s start with real estate, as it’s arguably the most important and is readily understood by everyone.

    Much of human history consists of migrations and displacements. It’s clear from both history and logic that “property rights” are no greater than what you can hold onto. As it is virtually impossible for an individual or family grouping to do so against a larger organized force, stable property rights come into being only with the existence of some form of government willing and able to defend them; and, in most cases, the right to occupy and use land came to the individual through some sort of grant by the sovereign power that seized or occupied it (usually from someone else) in the first place.

    Regardless of whether the sovereign entity is a conqueror, monarch, or democratically elected government, it always retains ultimate control over the land occupied by its subjects or citizens. A farmer in Iowa, for example, can’t lease his property to a foreign power for use as a foreign military base without the permission of our government; and I doubt that any of our rightwing xenophobic friends would dispute this principle.

    Well, the right of the government to regulate what private property owners can do with their land in furtherance of various governmental interests, such as protecting public resources or public health and safety, is merely a logical extension of the same principle. For example, if a stream flowing throwing your property empties into a municipal water supply, who could argue the government doesn’t have a right to require the property owner to fence off his cow pasture so the cows don’t shit in the stream? And, by extension, to send inspectors to the property to verify compliance or remedy noncompliance?

    And, along those lines, doesn’t it make logical sense that government also can assert the authority to punish a property owner who bars an inspector from the property, or threatens or assaults him for doing his job?

    Clearly, there is a public interest in preventing private property owners from engaging in actions that can harm others. In a city, for example, the government clearly should have the ability to prevent your neighbor for using his shed for dynamite storage, because if the stuff goes off, it’ll blow up your house and family.

    What it boils down to is this. In our system, the democratically-elected government is the sovereign power. All legal title to land flows from original grants of ownership by the government, and is of practical value only because of government’s willingness to defend the owners’ occupancy and enforce the laws defining property rights. Government clearly has the power to reserve to itself the right of entry for certain purposes, and the right to regulate what the property owner does on the property in order to protect the public health, safety, and welfare.

    Thus, property rights are granted and enforced by the government and are qualified not absolute. How far those rights extend, and limits on governmental intrusion, are public policy questions to be resolved through established political and legal processes. In short, where real estate is concerned, there is no divine right of property ownership that supersedes the sovereign authority of government. All property rights are subordinate to the powers of the sovereign entity that controls that portion of the earth’s land.

  14. 19

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    Personally, I don’t think property owners should be allowed to hump their goats in plain view of kids walking to school, even on their own property, even in Montana. It’s a bad influence on the kids. I support zoning restrictions that require them to do it in an enclosed shed where the general public doesn’t have to watch this spectacle.

  15. 20

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @14 “The Dept of Ecology has repeatedly abrogated private property rights via the Growth Management Act, Shoreline Acts etc.”

    Bullshit, goatfucker. If the Legislature authorizes Ecology to enforce the GMA, SMA, etc., then it can do so. See #19. Nobody is above the law.

  16. 21

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    Hey Cynical! Listen up. Living in Montana, an arid Great Plains state, maybe you’ve had the good fortune to learn all about Western Water Rights.

    You see, out west where water is scarce you don’t own the water under, above, or on your property. The government does. In certain circumstances you’re granted what’s called a “usufruct” in the water which means you can use it, if the government says you can. But that depends on whether someone else has a higher priority claim to that water. If the local tribe wants it, you’re pretty much fucked, thanks to the Winter Doctrine. If you don’t know what that is, you should look it up, before you plant crops needing water on any Montana land within 500 miles of an Indian reservation, which means all of Montana.

    You see, goatfucker, when the Indians were given their reservations by the U.S. government they also were granted a right to take the water needed to use their reservation lands productively, and that claim has higher priority than any other water claim, because it’s an aboriginal right that predates any other usage.

    Hell, nowadays, you can’t even pump water out of the ground without a permit, depending on where you live. That’s because underground aquifers aren’t inexhaustible so gummint has to regulate how much everyone can pump out so they don’t pump the damn thing dry and then everyone is fucked.

    It’s just common sense that when there isn’t enough water to go around either the government has to divvy it up or people will do it themselves with Winchester rifles. In fact, that’s exactly how it was done in the old days before regulation got established.

  17. 22

    Zotz spews:

    @19: The sad fact, Roger, is that Ecology doesn’t have the wherewithal to enforce anything these days.

    The Shorelands section which I deal with on an ongoing basis spent its legal budget within 6 weeks of the fiscal year in 2008 and had none last year.

    Enforcement is all at the local jurisdiction (county, city, etc.) and that’s dicey if you care about damage to the environment these days.

    Bottom line: the regulatory structure in the state is effectively defunct because it has been defunded, and neutered by Sanders, Johnson et al at the State SC.

    BTW: Nice riff on property / water law and government and the follow ups were a hoot!

  18. 23

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    Contracts are a form of property, too, but they’re a little bit of a different deal. When you lend money to GM by buying their bonds you take on what’s called “investment risk.” This means if the company goes bust you might not get paid. However, you will get paid ahead of the shareholders, but behind the secured creditors (banks, etc.).

    Because you’re not 100% guaranteed of getting your money back, naturally you want to be paid for taking risk, so GM has to pay you interest in proportion to the risk you’re taking, or you won’t buy their bonds. At least, not if you have any brains, you won’t.

    Government pensions are subject to investment risk, too, of course. However, to get people to work for lower wages, the state keeps this risk low by guaranteeing the pensions, in the same way that it gets itself a better interest rate when it borrows by guaranteeing its genreal obligation bonds with the full faith and credit of the state. (Special purpose bonds are a different story; they’re usually guaranteed only by the revenue the bridge, toll road, or other project produces, so they’re riskier and must pay higher interest.) And, as the state can’t go bankrupt, pensioners can enforce their pension claims in court as long as the courts are still functioning. Collecting the pension could become a problem, though, if the state becomes so broke there no longer are any courts or sheriffs to enforce court judgments, and I was aware of that when I took the job. If that happens, I’ll resort to self-help by carting off portable state property I can sell, as there won’t be anyone to stop me.

    What the legislature cannot do is retroactively modify the pension contract. They can’t say paying the pension is inconvenient because they’d rather spend the money on something else, because such a law would be unconstitutional. The state’s own courts will never permit that — does anyone really believe the judges would jeopardize their own pensions that way? If there’s one thing you can count on a judge to do, it’s covering his own ass when the rest of the world is caving in around him. In fact, that’s a lot of the reason for going to the trouble of becoming a judge in the first place.

  19. 25

    Daddy Love spews:

    RR

    I’d like to reinforce the point in 17 and 20 (really liked 17, BTW) that the government in question that both owns and regulates is really US, as a community.

    If Cynical doesn’t like the GMA and can round up enough votes from the community to elect anough representatives to change it, then it WILL be changed, and that’s just how it works, both ways.

    The current crop of “property rights” activists want their minority opinion to “abrogate” the will of the majority who put representatives in place to pass a GMA, and that’s NOT how it works.

  20. 26

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @25 “The current crop of “property rights” activists want their minority opinion to “abrogate” the will of the majority who put representatives in place to pass a GMA, and that’s NOT how it works.”

    It’s a bit more complicated than this, because in fact we do protect certain minority interests against the will of the majority, by writing them into the federal and state constitutions. For example, you can’t be deprived of your right to vote by popular opinion, not legally anyway, although there are other ways.

    http://www.ibc34.com/sitebuild.....15;410.jpg

    But when that happens we expect the government to intervene to protect minority rights.

    http://www.ibc34.com/sitebuild.....15;410.jpg

    But getting the government to do so can be difficult, which is why government should be run by liberals who believe in the rule of law, instead of conservative throwbacks to the Middle Ages.

  21. 27

    Daddy Love spews:

    25 RR

    Yes, but I am talking mostly about zoning and land use regulation. I still remember the lawn watering lynchings. It was an ugly period in suburban hisotry.

  22. 28

    Mr. Cynical spews:

    Daddy Love–
    Ever hear of a “taking”?
    Happens all the time..often to folks without the finances or stomach to sue the government who has lots of resources…including the victims tax money.

    How about redoing the Union Pensions….”taking Style”??

  23. 29

    Puddybud is Sad my friend died spews:

    Here is some suggested urban renewal…

    Get rid of Eric Holder… Of course as we learn more and more of this AG and his feckless positions and actions in private practice, he become worse and more worse than the actions of John Ashcroft.

  24. 30

    Puddybud is Sad my friend died spews:

    Where is correctnotright and Daddy Love on NASA’s globull worming (credit to Max)…

    “The NASA scientists also felt that NASA GISS data was inferior to the National Climate Data Center Global Historical Climate Network (NCDC GHCN) database. These emails, obtained by Christopher Horner, also show that the NASA GISS dataset was not independent of CRU data.

    Further, all of this information regarding the accuracy and independence of NASA GISS data was directly communicated to a reporter from USA Today in August 2007. The reporter never published it.” Emphasis Puddy.

    And here’s the clincher…

    But the emails reveal that at least three of the four datasets were not independent, that NASA GISS was not considered to be accurate, and that these quality issues were known to both top climate scientists and to the mainstream press.

    Butt correctnotright and Daddy Love claimed they were independent. NASA data was for “modeling”. James Hanson said so. Oh really now. Doesn’t stop correctnotright or Daddy Love from their latest scream.