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Random Thoughts for an Inauguration Day

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When I was five years old, my mother sat me down in front of the television on a cold January Chicago day and made me watch the inauguration of John Kennedy. I remember the power of his speech, although had I not heard it over and over in the years since, I probably would not have remembered its content.  But it didn’t matter. What did matter was that it was an historic moments. A defining speech for a step into the unknown for my parents generation. Kennedy talked of space and sputnik; of service and of dreams, of freedom and its challenges. The times have changed, the mission is slightly altered but the essence of Kennedy’s words still resonates.                                                                                                               

Today at noon comes another moment in history.  I can sense it; I can hear and see it. I can’t remember the last time people waited with such excitement and anticipation for the inauguration of a new president. Personally, I feel like one HG Wells’ Time Machine  Eloi, who having lived in the dark for years, finally emerge into the sunlight of a new day. Eight years of arrogant hubris, of “my way or the highway;” of “you’re with us or against us.” Eight years of a president and an administration, that believes that the Constitution of this great country is fungible upon the whim of an imperial presidency by executive fiat;  that confuse disagreement and debate with disloyalty and betrayal. That patriotism equals blind acquiescence.

More than year ago, I wrote my prescription for the next US President (although I have to confess, I was not supporting Obama at the time):

“We need a president who will help us regain our standing amongst nations; who will renew our status as the shining light of freedom; who will enable us to lead, not with our might, but with our spirit; not with our power, but by our vision and creativity.” But ”one who carries in his brief case a (practical and implementable) plan to make that vision come alive. A person who will inspire the children and young adults of a new generation to reach beyond themselves; to instill a sense of engagement with government (their government); but, at the same time, have the street smarts and common sense to make things happen. Not by fear; not through manipulation of the facts; not by fraud and lies. But through honesty, transparency, creativity, and the hard work of bi-partisanship.”

Undoubtedly, as Obama takes the Oath of Office this noon, tears will fill my eyes. As they already have each time someone stops by my office to talk about the inauguration festivities that EVERYONE seems to be watching in a truly shared American experience. Make no mistake. When we wake up tomorrow morning and the next, and the next after that, very little of substance will have changed. The economy will still be in free-fall; terrorism will still loom large; the world will remain on the brink of serious and irreparable climate change; we will still be engaged in two wars. This won’t be easy; but for the first time in eight years, I feel we have a fighting chance.

 

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About Barbara Barnett

Barbara Barnett is publisher and executive editor of Blogcritics, as well as a noted entertainment writer. Author of Chasing Zebras: The Unofficial Guide to House, M.D., her primary beat is primetime television. But Barbara writes on an everything from film to politics to technology to all things pop culture and spirituality. She is a contributor to the book called Spiritual Pregnancy (Llewellyn Worldwide, January 2014) and has a story in Riverdale Ave Press' new anthology of zombie romance, Still Hungry for your Love. She is hard at work on what she hopes will be her first published novel.
  • Cindy D

    When we wake up tomorrow morning and the next, and the next after that, very little of substance will have changed.

    I agree with that.

  • Brunelleschi

    What America gets with Obama is a better mood, great imagery, and a new chapter in history (and the end of Reaganism).

    We are going to see a lot of him waving to large, supporting crowds.

    Nothing wrong with that in a time of crisis.

    Don’t expect miracles.

  • http://dracutweblog.blogspot.com Mary K. Williams

    very nice Barbara – and here’s to hoping that things of substance will be changing soon.

  • Orange450

    I’m a nursery teacher. Today, right before noon, our principal’s voice came over the PA, announcing that our new president would shortly be taking office, and the whole school would be listening live, as he took the oath. We quieted the children – 3 and 4 year olds – and told them what was about to happen. We’ve been discussing the election for the past few weeks, so they have some semblance of awareness.

    I told them that when they are grown up, people will ask them where they were when President Barack Obama was inaugurated, and they should remember that they were eating lunch in Nursery Katom with us, their teachers. Then we listened in silence – the children wide-eyed – to our new president’s voice. I had tears in my eyes. I know I’ll remember this day forever. I hope they will, too.

  • barbara barnett

    Orange–My office sits across the hall from the nursery school. As I went to join colleagues, the nursery school teachers took the kids down to our youth lounge to be a part of this great day, watching the inauguration on television.

    I had tears in my eyes from the opening strains of “Simple Gift” to the closing benediction. It sounds like hyperbole, but I feel we are emerging just now from a national nightmare.

  • http://ruvysroost.blogspot.com Ruvy

    Like you Barbara, Kennedy’s inauguration address was the first I ever witnessed – on our black and white TV in the Midwood section of Brooklyn. In those days, a kid could still walk home for lunch, and I did. At noon the TV went on. I had watched the debate between Nixon and Kennedy and I was 9½ when I saw a new president take office.

    To be truthful, I did not comprehend the real significance of what was occurring that afternoon. The real significance of what was occurring was that the office was PEACEFULLY transferred from one individual to another.

    There are many nations where that is the exception, not the rule. But to return to my thoughts, I could not help comparing the speech Obama gave to the one Kennedy gave and Obama came up short. But what really saddened me was the knowledge of America’s limits.

    America, a debtor nation with a shrinking economy and a shrinking world presence can only do so much and no more. And in the end, I felt very sad watching this man take office, knowing that even with the best of intentions and the greatest of wisdom, he will not do your nation much good. He can’t.

    It’s all sizzle now. The bankers, oilmen and thieves ate the steak. Obama will be serving up more pain, more sacrifice and not much more of anything else in his tenure in office.

  • Hope and Change?

    Ruvy…well said! But due to the media and hollywood hype around Obama..i think it is going to more like “Paris Hilton (Obama) Goes to Washington”… alot of photo ops and spound bites with little hope and chamge!!

    Ameicans wake up…our elected officials got us into this mess…it is up to US….NOT THEM to get out of it!

  • barbara barnett

    Wow, Hope and Change…wasn’t that sort of Obama’s point?

  • http://jetssciencepage.blogspot.com/ Jet

    “spound bites with little hope and chamge!!”…

    Those little pink pills must be wearing off?

  • Hope and Change?

    Barby…rather than be goo-goo over the hype –listen too and read what he ACTUAL says…

    “What the cynics fail to understand is that the ground has shifted beneath them – that the stale political arguments that have consumed us for so long no longer apply. The question we ask today is not whether our government is too big or too small, but whether it works – whether it helps families find jobs at a decent wage, care they can afford, a retirement that is dignified.”

    This is contrary to everything the Founding Fathers stood for. They understood the need for limited government and feared its growth and power more than anything else. Obama has no such concerns. Just as we have seen when he’s gotten testy with hard questions and questioners, what Obama fears most is substantive public dissent.

    It is not the governments job to help me find work, feed my my family, establish my income level or plan my retirement!!! Government is broken because it is trying to do things for and to me rather than stay out of the way!

    Hope and change?? Really now….

  • http://jetssciencepage.blogspot.com/ Jet

    Unlike you I’m only one Jet Gardner-(unlike you I’m not plaural,) I write my articles by that name and I’m listed in the phone book under that name. I don’t need to hide behind aliases

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    Perhaps he’s got you confused with a New York City-based pro sports franchise…

  • Arch Conservative

    “Don’t expect miracles.”

    Why the hell not?

    That’s what we were promied!

  • Hope and Change?

    Yes Doctor I did! It was rather a simple mistake you see they are both….er….um…you know…losers!

  • Brunelleschi

    Arch-

    If Obama “promied” you a miracle, what was it? Give us a direct quote…

    #10 H&C-

    True, the founding fathers were worried about big government, but you need to understand the context, and understand modern times.

    I may write this up and send it in, but a short version-

    The Founding Fathers needed a governmental philosophy that protected Founding Fathers-18th century white males of property.

    How does a property owner write a government that protects private property in the 18th century? They turned to Locke, an English philosopher who was working on this problem in England. His solution was a government that protected property owners from despots (the King). Protect private property, and you protect the middle class, and get stability and law and order-at least better than “The King decreed it.”.

    Fine so far.

    Righties today are trying to shove 18th century concepts into a new, modern world.

    The humble middle class property owners are now tiny compared to huge corporations, which the Founding Fathers didn’t foresee. Corporations are allowed to run as entities themselves, with “owners” not personally responsible for screwups, and no morals other than “fiduciary responsibility.”

    It’s a great excuse for putting profit ahead of everything- “I CAN’T do the right thing. I have stockholders to answer to. I have to make as much money as possible, or I will be replaced.”

    Corporations have become mini-governments themselves, the same thing the Founding Fathers didn’t want. But, since they are PRIVATE mini-governments, no one sees it. They have more political power than the middle class, they hold the levers of economic power, and they own the media.

    It just took a while for them to work around the constitution and take the King’s place.

    So next time you revert back to the Founding Fathers to whine about Liberalism or whatever, think of what those same humble middle class property owners would have thought about superpower companies that can wipe them out and not think twice.

    The world has changed a lot since the founding fathers met. People trying to use their thinking to justify the present are guilty of taking the past out of context, and when you take something out of context, you change it’s meaning.

  • Cindy D

    Nice post Brunelleschi. I hope you write an article on that with more depth.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ Roger Nowosielski

    “People trying to use their thinking to justify the present are guilty of taking the past out of context, and when you take something out of context, you change it’s meaning.”

    Great thought, Brunelleschi. Keep it on. The world moves on, and those who don’t recognize it shall perish. Old conceptions will fade away, and those who hold on to them are doomed.

    There’s a new vision in the making, a better, more enlightened vision. And it shall prevail. Count on it. Ultimately, we shall overcome.

  • Brunelleschi

    Thanks Cindy and Roger-

    Think about that and replace founding fathers with Christianity.

    Same problem.

    When you base your system on “It is written,” you are in deep doo-doo.

    The right and Christian right (and Ruvy!) are looking back all the time, just to different eras. I think this is why they are so threatened by what they label as “liberalism” (progress).

    I see their point really, at least on the political side. Washington is full of people trying to make progress out of modern realities, and people trying to stop them.

    A 200+ year-old document is not a blueprint for progress in these times. It just provides the basics. All people that push for progress can do is pass reforms. Conservatives then fight back with counter reforms. The competition between them has led us to big government, and both sides of the aisle are guilty.

    We don’t have a clear, modern philosophy of government besides the battle of reforms.

  • Clavos

    A 200+ year-old document is not a blueprint for progress in these times.

    Repeal it then.

  • Brunelleschi

    Sometimes the cure is worse than the disease. It’s sloppy to keep tagging on reforms, but it works, and as Dave pointed out, we have had 44 peaceful transitions of power.

    First, what are you going to replace it with? What is it based on?

  • Hope and Change?

    Brunelleschi you are condescending [Personal attack deleted by Comments Editor] —“you need to understand the context, and understand modern times.”

    In addition you out yourself a just another racists with your opinion that “The Founding Fathers needed a governmental philosophy that protected Founding Fathers-18th century white males of property.”

    [Personal attack deleted by Comments Editor] Gee…I am so glad we are in the age of Aquarius -of Hope and Change…

    The news reports that King Barry started his day going to a 90 minutes church service this AM to pray!! Where is the media outcry that attacked Bush for seeking Gods help in times of trouble??? No where is sight…

    According to the media and the left loons–

    Bush asks god for help = he is a moron
    King Barry asks for Gods help = hes a genius

    Almost a full day…and still no hope and change in sight!

  • Hope and Change?

    Corporations have become mini-governments themselves, the same thing the Founding Fathers didn’t want. But, since they are PRIVATE mini-governments, no one sees it. They have more political power than the middle class, they hold the levers of economic power, and they own the media.—-

    Um….er….for profit private corporations are owned…um….er…by private citizens who put their money and capital at risk for their personal gain….um…er…you know.

    “Mini governments” – what kind of left wing socialist crap is …um…er….you know…that!

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ Roger Nowosielski

    Bru,

    You must have gotten something wrong about #18. Where did you get the idea I was even going there?

  • STM

    Oh, now I get it … hope and change? is most likely a supporter of that failed candidate who wanted to take America back to the era of the coonskin cap as favoured headgear – what’s his name, that failed candidate? I’ve forgotten already.

    Hope and change? is one of those folk who can talk ad infinitum about the founding fathers and the constitution, but when a president is elected exactly according to how the constitution lays it out as a democratic process, doesn’t like it and wants to take his bat and ball and go home.

    Of course, that other (failed) candidate would have delivered real hope and change, right?

    Policies that would have taken Americans back to living in log cabins might have come as a bit of a shock though.

  • http://theugliestamerican.blogspot.com Andy Marsh

    Davey Crockett!

  • http://theugliestamerican.blogspot.com Andy Marsh

    Hey Stan! I voted for the other guy…his name is John McCain…be nice…he’s a war hero dammit!

    But I’m also willing and hopeful…yeah, I used the “H” word, to give him a shot and see him do well…

    I liked reading what you said yesterday about staying up all night and watching our “show”. It really is a pretty cool thing, ain’t it?

  • Hope and Change?

    Oh, no….STM….now I get it … STM is a supporter of those old and failed democrat party ideas who want to turn America into a “great society” where personal freedoms are destroyed, the government tells what to eat, read these books, cant say these words and where the government tells us how much money we can make. And if we are self sufficient the punish us by taking our “personal profits” and distributing it to who “they” think deserve it. Yes and era of where the readings are Karl Marx are favored over Jefferson.

    [Personal attack deleted by Comments Editor]

    Of course, the soon to be failed Presidency will never deliver real hope and change, right?

  • http://www.EurocriticsMagazine.com Christopher Rose

    H&C – That’s three personal attacks from you just this morning. One more and I will ban you. This is your only warning…

  • Brunelleschi

    #23 Roger-

    I know you didn’t go there. I was just adding that as a parallel.

    I see righties hanging on to 200+ year old writing and trying to make it work now, and Christian righties using 2,000 year old writing and trying to make it work now.

    That was my real point. It’s wasn’t very clear, sorry.

  • Brunelleschi

    Christopher

    Click away. H and C isn’t here to discuss anything. This person is just trolling.

  • http://theugliestamerican.blogspot.com Andy Marsh

    Are you saying our constitution doesn’t work?

  • Brunelleschi

    Would you drive across Europe with a 200 year old map?

  • http://theugliestamerican.blogspot.com Andy Marsh

    No, but I’d move into a house with a 200 year old deed.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ Roger Nowosielski

    Bru,

    I might agree with you on both points. I’m not certain, however, about which points you see the Constitution defective. It is being sold to us as a timeless document. So perhaps you can elaborate. Interestingly, the Brits don’t have anything like that in writing, so how are they managing without the written text. Perhaps Doc or Christ or STM can enlighten us here.

    As to the scriptures, matters of faith are more important to be than any particular dogma.

    Roger

  • Brunelleschi

    What if the deed came with a blueprint of the house, and it had no wiring on it, and someone said you could use the house, but it has to be configured per the blueprint?

    Would you pull the wiring and live without electricity?

    Think of all the things that have developed since the constitution…

  • http://theugliestamerican.blogspot.com Andy Marsh

    I could be mistaken, but in the constitution I think they call those Amendments…there’s a whole slew of ‘em too!

  • Brunelleschi

    There is no such thing as a timeless document.

    What I see in America right now is chaos. Divisions between left and right seem to be getting wider and more bitter.

    Small government types, who are correct to use the constitution as a guide, are defeated. We have two parties fighting over how big government is going to be, and who will benefit, who will decide.

    Laws pile upon laws. We tack on reform after reform, and we like government less all the time.

    What’s wrong?

    Can’t we slow down and look at government again, and ask ourselves the right questions? That’s what philosophers do.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ Roger Nowosielski

    Bru,

    I was being somewhat facetious. Of course it must be capable of evolving. But what do you mean by re-thinking it? You know that process and precedence are integral aspects of Anglo-Saxon approach to parliamentary problems and common law. And we come from that tradition. I think it’s a good tradition, providing both for safety and stablity.

    Roger

  • Brunelleschi

    I think it is too. I was thinking more about the simple world of Locke, part of our tradition as well. Do we stop there?

    Locke thought about the problem of the King’s power, and his answer was a middle class of private property owners, who were protected from that King.

    I’m sure you would agree history doesn’t stop there. Who is still thinking about this stuff? Who is our philosopher NOW?

  • (Mark) Eden

    The world moves on, and those who don’t recognize it shall perish. Old conceptions will fade away, and those who hold on to them are doomed.

    There’s a new vision in the making, a better, more enlightened vision. And it shall prevail. Count on it. Ultimately, we shall overcome.

    To this cliche let me add mine. The world is not one of thought alone, and while ‘enlightened visions’ are nice, ‘a chicken in every pot’ is where it’s at.

    I don’t see any positive paradigm emerging on the heels of Dave’s 80% urban death rate when capitalism fails. Best to do all that we can to avoid that and not resign ourselves to its necessity.

    To that end we need to develop a new ‘philosophy-in-action of production’. Roger’s visions and the new philosophy of government that Brunelleschi calls for will develop along with it.

    Mark

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ Roger Nowosielski

    Mark,

    Re # 41, I was only exercising my prerogative to engage in poetic flight. You’ve got to read in context.

    Roger

  • (Mark) Eden

    No problems Rog…just riffing ‘materialistic’.

  • Ruvy

    The right and Christian right (and Ruvy!) are looking back all the time, just to different eras. I think this is why they are so threatened by what they label as “liberalism” (progress).

    Leave me out of this mess, Brunelleschi. I’m a syndicalist who leans towards socialism. I never liked liberalism, even when I was an atheist. My memories are of the United States, but my future is here.

    I registered my thoughts on the matter of this inauguration. They are simple; Obama can’t pull you out of the shithole you’ve been dug into – even with the best of intentions. I don’t think Obama has the best of intentions.

    But that is your problem now. And you are welcome to it.

    As for your analysis of the American constitution, I think it is an excellent one. The American constitution has been an excellent document and has served well. But the governments of the world are located in corporate HQ’s these days and democracy has been nearly snuffed out. That is as true in Europe as it is in the United States. There are a few places where democracy as a form of governance actually does work; town meetings in the USA, cantonal assemblies in Switzerland. But beyond that, it is pretty much dead. Freedom of speech appears to remain – until the chilling effects of a government (corporate or otherwise) being able to trace your every move electronically begins to seep into the culture. The best hope for the lot of you (and for me) is self-employment. That way you can curse out the SOB who ruins your life every time you look in the mirror to shave or put on lipstick (or both, as the case may be).

    And now, boys and girls, I have to get back to work – before someone comes to cut the juice here.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ Roger Nowosielski

    Pretty good, Ruvy,

    Maybe it’s the size thing. What do you think of the communitarian movement/philosophy in the eighties initiated by Amitrai Etzioni and others? It was quite hot at the time – a reaction against globalization trend – and then petered out.

    Roger

  • http://ruvysroost.blogspot.com Ruvy

    I’d love to stick around and chat, Roger, but I’m working on a book my neighbor needs. And I need money to make sure the juice doen’t get cut off here. I wasn’t joking about that.

    Amitai Etzioni – an Israeli name, isn’t it? In the eighties when this stuff was hotter, I was bottom feeding in the States, trying to survive. Seems like I’m doing the same thing these days, too.

    The communitarianism of Etzioni was pulled out the syndicalist socialist movement that successfully built this country. I’ll let you all chew on that for a bit….

  • http://www.EurocriticsMagazine.com Christopher Rose

    Oh look, two Americans divided by a common language!

    Bruni: The right and Christian right (and Ruvy!) are looking back all the time, just to different eras. I think this is why they are so threatened by what they label as “liberalism” (progress).

    Ruvy: Leave me out of this mess, Brunelleschi… I never liked liberalism.

    Me: LOL!

    As to the rest, it sure is time consuming doing these ruvality checks but as I’m here: the USA has challenges but isn’t in a shithole, although arguably Ruvy is; and the USA isn’t a democracy, it is a representative republic (thanks to Dave Nalle for the distinction), so it would presumably be a better idea for it to export that rather than democracy, which can easily become a particularly ugly version of mob rule.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ Roger Nowosielski

    Yeah, Ruvy; he was a Chair at Columbia. Later then!
    Roger

  • http://ex-conservative.blogspot.com Glenn Contrarian

    To those who think the Constitution (and its amendments) is outdated:

    What, exactly, is it that’s outdated? Voting? Or just voting by women? How about freedom of speech? Freedom from search without a warrant, or imprisonment without a trial? Freedom of religion? Or how about the right to bear arms? Or the makeup of the three branches of the government?

    WHAT EXACTLY IS OUTDATED ABOUT THE CONSTITUTION?

    Oh, I forget! The following ARE outdated:

    – Voting (see “voter suppression by the Republican Party”, and a certain speech by the founder of the Heritage Foundation (“Elections have NEVER been decided by a majority vote!”))

    – Voting by women (see “Ann Coulter”)

    – Freedom of speech (almost every book ever banned in the U.S. has been banned because it offended conservative ‘values’)

    – Freedom from search without a warrant (see “George W. Bush”)

    – Freedom from imprisonment without trial (See “Patriot Act”)

    – Freedom of religion (see “He’s Muslim and that means he pals around with terrorists!!!!”)

    – The branches of the government (see Dick Cheney “The Vice President is NOT part of the Executive Branch!”)

    I guess that if the Republicans and neo-cons would have their way, the Constitution would consist of EXACTLY eleven words: “Anyone can bear any and all guns whenever they want to”.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer/dan_miller Dan(Miller)

    Glen,

    Here is a proposed change to the U.S. Constitution which you may have missed. Possibly though unlikely, the reason may to bring the U.S., Venezuela and Russia into closer harmony.

    Dan(Miller)

  • Baronius

    Glenn – Presidential elections have never been decided by a majority vote.

    Did you read my quote from Coulter, when you raised this same point last week? It said, in essence, that it’s her way of expressing her frustration with the way the majority of women vote. There’s nothing unconstitutional about it.

    Freedom of speech – oh, come on. You were phoning that one in. You didn’t even bother to cite an inaccurate cliche for that one. I would suggest the Palin bookbanning next time.

    Warrantless searches – interestingly, not in the Constitution. Freedom from imprisonment without trial is at least ambiguous in the case of non-uniformed enemy combatants, but just for kicks, I’ll give you these two, because although you don’t argue the points well, it’s possible to do so.

    What does the quote you cited have to do with freedom of religion? Is it now unconstitutional to call someone a Muslim?

    Cheney is right that the VP has legislative duties. So by my charitable count, you have only five apologies to offer for your seven examples.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer/dan_miller Dan(Miller)

    The Presidential oath of office having been “flubbed,” President Obama took it again privately “Just to make sure” and thereby to avoid any subsequent arguments that the flubbed oath might cast doubt on his presidency. This strikes me as the right and proper thing for him to have done.

    I am curious, however, about why comparable steps were not taken to obviate any lingering questions about his Constitutional qualification for the office based on status as a natural born U.S. citizen. These questions, even if a bunch of nonsense as some contend, seem almost certain to come up again and again until they are finally resolved, in a context where the questioner has standing to raise them.

    It seems likely that any person directly and adversely affected by an act which only the President can Constitutionally perform will have the requisite direct interest. For example, someone tried under a Federal criminal statute signed into law by the President would seem to have a direct interest and therefore standing.

    These questions could easily have been put to rest — as were any questions arising from the flubbed oath of office — by dealing proactively with them quite some time ago. They could still be dealt with now, proactively, before the are raised in court. The whole question may not seem important, but even facially unimportant things often take on a life of their own with unfortunate consequences.

    Dan(Miller)

  • Baronius

    Dan, that reminds me of something I’ve always wondered about. The District of Columbia has a vote in the House. Isn’t that unconstitutional? And doesn’t that make all laws passed by the House invalid?

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer/dan_miller Dan(Miller)

    Baronius,

    As I understand the situation, the District of Columbia has only a nonvoting representative in the House. Ms. Norton can vote in committee but not otherwise have a say on whether legislation is enacted. Legislation has been introduced to change this, most recently this month. It may pass, but since the District is not a State, Constitutional problems seem likely, including the one you raise.

    Dan(Miller)

  • Baronius

    See, dude, this is why I ask. Thanks for the info. The Hawaii birth has been verified to the satisfaction of everyone but the craziest Paul and Hillary supporters, as far as I know.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer/dan_miller Dan(Miller)

    Baronius,

    I don’t know what the “facts” are, but the questions are many. That they may have been asked by a bunch of raving lunatics does not mean that they have no basis. Even some folks who suffer from extreme paranoia can be in real danger. Here, as Robert Frost wrote,

    We dance around in a ring and suppose,
    While the secret sits in the middle and knows.

    The questions could probably have been answered just as easily and satisfactorily as the proper oath was retaken; no big deal. My concern is that when the questions are presented in a context where standing is not the main issue, big problems may arise. When big problems can be dealt with through very little effort, that seems to me to be the best course.

    Dan(Miller)

  • Clavos

    Great Frost quote, Dan(Miller)!

    Thanks!

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    Warrantless searches – interestingly, not in the Constitution.

    Wrong, Baronius. The Fourth Amendment expressly prohibits warrantless searches.

  • http://ex-conservative.blogspot.com Glenn Contrarian

    Baronius –

    I guess I must have closed the browser before I posted the preview of my reply. Too bad – its only fault was the length, for I showed your error in every case.

    Elections – they are won by a majority electoral vote count…but these electoral votes are awarded (in some cases proportionally) by the MAJORITY VOTE in their respective states. (and I note you didn’t want to touch the ‘voter suppression’ thing….)

    Coulter – Her freedom of speech isn’t unconstitutional…but she IS influential among conservatives, and by her own words she is against suffrage for women.

    Freedom of Speech – Try Googling ‘banned books’ – the Wikipedia’s got a decent list – and you’ll see that almost ALL were banned because they offended this or that conservative ‘value’, whether for sexual content, patriotic, whatever. The SOLE exception I could find was ‘Huckleberry Finn’, which liberals tried to ban for racist content (and most liberals are AGAINST such a ban).

    Warrantless searches – As Doc pointed out, it’s in the Fourth Amendment…and do you really need for me to point out how the Bush administration imprisoned even an American citizen in almost total solitary confinement for nearly six years without trial? Look up Jose Padilla – and whatever you may think of his crime, he was and IS still an American citizen.

    Freedom of religion – Baronius, you’re not stupid. You know full well that I’m referring to how much the Republicans distrust and even hate Muslims, because they ASSUME that Islam is a violent religion. That’s what my entire post was about! If the Republicans had their way, well…watch The Handmaid’s Tale.

    Cheney and the Executive Branch – Yes, the VEEP has legislative duties – but so does the president! Does this mean that the president is ALSO not part of the executive branch? Before Cheney made this ridiculous claim (as you well know, to hide his crimes), can you really imagine ANY Republican trying to make such a claim? And what would the Republicans have said if Al Gore had said that????

    Baronius, the Republicans have screwed up big time. I recommend that you, like SJ, violate Republican dogma by standing up and saying loudly and proudly just how badly screwed up they really are…for the Republican Party can never know how to improve itself if it refuses to hear where it is wrong.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer/dan_miller Dan(Miller)

    Doc,

    Close but no cigar; a cigarette, perhaps. The Fourth Amendment provides,

    Amendment IV

    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 no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.(emphasis added)

    Reasonable searches are frequently permitted without a warrant when it would be difficult, impossible or even dangerous to secure a warrant prior to the search. For example, a policeman in the course of an arrest can lawfully search the person being arrested for weapons which might be used to harm him or someone else. Stuff other than weapons found in the legitimate course of such a search (e.g, prohibited substances in the guy’s pocket where a gun might have been but wasn’t found) is admissible in evidence.

    Bottom line, some searches without a warrant are OK and some are not. Ditto some searches pursuant to a warrant. A lot depends on the circumstances.

    Dan(Milelr)

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    Indeed, Dan, but I do wonder if that was the original intent, considering the etymology of the words reason and warrant – the latter as used today in the words warranted and unwarranted.

    The use of the words unreasonable and warrant in the same run-on sentence*, without any distinction, is what makes me wonder.

    * Even taking into consideration 18th Century Man’s love of verbosity.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer/dan_miller Dan(Miller)

    Doc,

    Original intent? What’s that? Is it like original sin?

    Even more seriously, the word “warrants” in the Fourteenth Amendment appears to be a plural noun: “no warrants shall issue. . . .” rather than a verb, an adjective or even adverb. This suggests that the verb “to warrant” was not in the minds of the Intelligent Designers of the Constitution.

    Dan(Miller)

  • http://ruvysroost.blogspot.com Ruvy

    Dan, I had a lot more fun studying conract law than con law. Contract law was all about people – screwees and screwors. Con law appears to be about lofty principles – which is why it is such a con! It’s all about the ugly exercise of power!

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer/dan_miller Dan(Miller)

    Ruvy, Contract law was all about people – screwees and screwors. So how is that different from con law?

    Dan(Miller)

  • http://ruvysroost.blogspot.com Ruvy

    Dan, did you mean “con law” as in how to con people (you know, like Con Ed) or did you mean Constitutional Law, which was the con I was referring to?

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer/dan_miller Dan(Miller)

    Ruvy,

    I meant it the same way you did.

    Dan(Miller)

  • http://ruvysroost.blogspot.com Ruvy

    Well now that you’ve clarified that major legal issue, Dan, the screwors who screw people over in the name of a government have a whole pack of armed goons to back them (the government); when some Haim swindles Yankel, on the other hand, it’s basically between the two of them. The funnest cases for me are the one sided contracts that corporations try to inflict on people, though. Guess there ain’t that much of a difference after all….