• http://www.amazon.com/Occupy-Innsmouth-ebook/dp/B009WWJ44A/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1361504109&amp raymondjelli

    Well if this space is mine….I’ll vent…
    New York *#$#%#$@# !! Rangers…Giving up a *%#+_() shorthanded goal in the $#@_!(#@$!@$ Playoffs !!!.
    Thanks. I feel better now….

  • Kevin_B

    If this space is mine, I would like to use it to ask a few questions regarding the Constitution. Now, I’m not American nor do I live in America, but I don’t think that prohibits me from asking questions about the American Constitution.
     
     
    My first question is how the conservatives/libertarians/conservative libertarians here at Bookworm Room view the interpretation of the Constitution. How is, in your opinion, the Constitution to be viewed and interpreted, and how does said interpretation relate to changing times and standards, changes in society and expanding civil liberties? 
     
     
    From what I’ve read, it seems that liberals are willing to re-interpret the Constitution to fit many agendas and causes, while conservatives seem to favor remaining closer to the text itself and its original meaning/intent. But how strict is this adherence to the ‘original’ and how much ‘wiggle room’ is there?
     
     
    I also came across an article that claimed that the “freedom of speech” and “freedom of the press” clauses in the First Amendment had an original meaning that was fairly limited, and pretty much only extended to the protection from government action for political speech and criticism of the goverment, while excluding pretty much all else. Is this a correct view of the original meaning/intent, or, in other words, what could the original meaning of afore-mentioned clauses have been? The above view sounds rather restrictive to me, but how broad where these clauses originally intended to be? 
     
    Related to this, how expansive to the people at this site think the First Amendment clauses are? Should these provisions be nearly absolute and what exceptions should exist? And are  for example libel, obscenity, fighting words or incitement acceptable exceptions? It does seem to me that ‘originalist’ views of these are somewhat restrictive, as is what they find constitutionally protected, but what view do the people here take?

    • http://www.amazon.com/Occupy-Innsmouth-ebook/dp/B009WWJ44A/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1361504109&amp raymondjelli

      Very easy to refute the views of the Left about the Constitution. Just read the Federalist. The idea of a modern Constitution is nonsense. The writers of the Federalist are very clear that they believe human nature is constant and the best way to improve political theory is to study the successes and mistakes of the past and not to allow theory to blind.  This is a bedrock of true conservative thought and actually any good thought.
      As for limited meanings it was rectified by the Bill of Rights which meant to further expand what rights were. These were rights an actual citizen has not rights that the government creates. It also is important to remember that limiting the Federal Government means giving more power to local governments and that is what the Founding Fathers intended. The more the people are politically literate and know how they can use the vote properly the better functioning the government. The more centralized the government. The less the people can influence the direction of the government directly.
      Every so called right the Leftists find is only possible by increasing direct government control over citizen behavior. Not a bug but for them a feature,

  • jj

    The Rangers have been overpaid underachievers only forever.  Very good at parties, though.  A lady to whom I am close was the girlfriend, back in her single days, of Islander’s #1 draft pick Billy Harris.  They went to a party one night in a very expensive, pretty exclusive NYC apartment building – where, when they knocked, the door was answered by a stark naked Rod Gilbert.  Always been as good at parties – probably better at parties – than hockey.  Always.
     
    But here’s the thing: there’s no incentive for them to ever be better.  There are three teams in the NHL that, over time, reliably make money.  (Other teams will show a profit for a year or two here and there, maybe even a few years on and off, but in the long term: no.)  The three teams that reliably show a profit over time are the Montreal Canadiens, the Toronto Maple Leafs – and the New York Rangers.  So: why should they be smart?  Why should they spend a lot of money?  Why should they strive to be better?  (Financially, which is all ownership cares about, they’re already better!)  Why should they be concerned with being more than they are?  Answer: clearly they shouldn’t, so they never will be.
     
    The NHL is much like the NBA: overall it’s a losing proposition.  And overall the teams are corporate write-offs, not enterprises that need to make money to stay in place.  Many of the “owners” are the presidents of the “parent company” of which the team is a part.  Some of the teams are purely corporations.  The Rangers, to stick with the subject, were owned by ITT, and more recently (and currently) are owned by the Madison Square Garden Company.  Nobody cares how they do.  How they do is: they make money.  And that’s fine.  The rest is irrelevant.

    • http://www.amazon.com/Occupy-Innsmouth-ebook/dp/B009WWJ44A/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1361504109&amp raymondjelli

      Come playoffs the NHL can put out an exciting product and the players really give everything.
      It is all too often true for the Rangers about that line in “On Thin Ice”. You can be a hockey player or a Ranger but not both. That has changed a lot. They’re a lot grittier but no flair for scoring. Rangers are no longer accused of being soft.
      At least I saw a Stanley Cup. Not many Rangers like Mark Messier. He came, He Saw and He conquered.

  • MacG

    Kevin, I’d like to start by saying that words get their meaning by definition in their proper context, this is a solid Hermenutic (the Art and Science of interpretation) to start with. Let’s look at the first amendment:
    Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
    In oxymoronic fashion those who claim it is a ‘living’ document hold fast to ‘the original language when it come to the establishment clause but the next 6 words, not so much.  A major fight over this amendment is “Congress shall make no law regarding the establishment of religion”.   Those who favor this clause as original intent fail to recognize how the Fathers completely ignore it in little things like the very first Senate opening with prayer.  This seems like a contradiction until one reads the context of the next six words “or prohibit the free expression thereof”.  Government cannot establish it NOR restrict it.  We have free religious expression because the Government cannot restrict it and by the Founder’s example allowing prayers in the Senate (even paying for a Chaplain with public funds) they exemplified that such prayers are not establishing religion but merely the free expression thereof and not the setting up of a religion.  The religious men that wrote this were coming from a country which the Church was in bed with the King and establishing a certain way of religion complete with persecution.  In this light they left because they were believers who wanted to worship as they saw fit not as the Government saw fit, so prayers in Congress utilizing the generic name for God, Creator etc. were utilized and not restricted.  Fast forward to today where a fifth grade class was told they had the next 90 minutes to read anything they wanted.  A boy chose his bible and the teacher told him no religious books were allowed. http://blogs.browardpalmbeach.com/pulp/2014/05/broward_teacher_allegedly_tell.php  That IS Government restricting the free expression thereof and he was only reading when everybody else was reading.  There is some speculation that if it was a Koran she would have been less vigilant since in some California schools they have ‘cultural’ class requiring students to do Muslim prayers etc.  http://www.wnd.com/2003/12/22289/.  BUt that is speculation.  She may have been adhering to the none or all principle which relates to renting public facilities.  Either rent to all or none at all “equal access’ I believe it is called. But I digress.
     
    The rest does come from the Founder’s beliefs that the People shall be able to have free speech when it comes to criticizing the Government.  But does it necessarily mean that that the Founder’s meant that there no right to free speech in ‘civil’ or societal matters?  Imagine that!  So let’s say that they intended no free speech in ‘civil’ matters, who would make those laws and enforce them – the Government which they just restricted?
     
    I think if they were alive today they would be either have some free speech exchanges with our Government or be done talking by now.
     
    Anyway I am not sure I answered your query but I just to say SOMETHING :)
     

  • Tara S

    It always kind of surprises me when liberals and conservatives reach the exact opposite conclusion while going in the exact same direction.
     
    All right, that sounded muddled. Here’s an example:
     
    There was a post on a blog I follow that contained a short video clip made in 2011. It was about Roger Stockham, a (white) veteran of Vietnam who drove to a mosque with a trunk full of explosives, apparently with the intention of doing some damage.
     
    The reporter in the video clip laid out these facts, and then concluded with a statement along these lines:
     
    “If this man had been a Muslim, his face would be plastered over every newspaper and TV screen in the country. Instead, the coverage on this story has been slim to nil. …”
     
    The point, of course, was to give an example of a conservative/anti-Muslim bias in the mainstream media, and I found this fascinating, because 95% of the political blogs I read claim the exact opposite. And that’s what I mean: it’s interesting to see how liberals and conservatives can arrive at such similar, yet diametrically opposed conclusions.
     
    (Incidentally, that video surprised me enough that I went looking for some facts on this Roger Stockham character. Turns out that, yes, he’s a white veteran, but he a) served jail time for threatening to bomb a veterans’ affairs office and threatening to kill George W. Bush; b) claimed to be a Muslim convert; c) used a Muslim name in some Facebook posts and threatening phone calls; and d) was deemed legally insane in 1980. Also, the “trunk full of explosives” turned out to be Class C fireworks, aka “consumer” or “common” fireworks, which could have done some damage but not nearly as much as the phrase “trunk full of explosives” brings to mind. Bottom line: the mainstream media declining to cover this story shows a conservative bias, my FOOT.)

  • Mike Devx

    KevinB,
    I think you’ll find that we each have our own opinion on this, but most opinions will (of course) skew conservatively toward the original meaning and intent of the Constitution’s words.
     
    You focus on “expansion of civil rights” so I’ll mostly address that.
     
    1. Women’s right to vote:  Before 1880, in the Western World there was little female suffrage.  In the US until 1920, states were free to allow or disallow women’s vote.  Right around 1920, we passed a Constitutional Amendment guaranteeing women’s right to vote.  In other words, states could no longer deny it. 
     
    After WWII, and all the efforts of women in the workforce to support the war, there really was no going back.  There was some cultural retrenchment in the 50s forcing women back into subservient roles, but it was not enforcable by law, and in the larger scheme of things, was short-lived.
     
    2. Black/Negro liberty:  This one’s a lot tougher.  The US has struggled.  The infamous Plessy vs Ferguson case in 1896 upheld states’ right to ‘separate but equal’ segregation, a polite term for apartheid.  If states chose, they could continue to implement such policies, and many states did.  It interests me that this decision seemed to have been fairly popular at the time among white people.
     
    It took another 50 years to overturn Plessy vs Ferguson.  We Americans are still arguing about racism.  I grew up in the North and I’ve lived 30 years now in the South (Texas), and I think the South has overcome nearly all racism.  I find the North much worse in racial attitudes these days.
     
    3. Gay rights: As a gay guy, I’m glad I’m no longer threatened with prison for being gay.   Compared to 40 years ago, I have complete freedom and liberty to live my life.  The law -as it is supposed to – applies to me as equally and fairly as anyone else, and I’m not singled out by the law for punishment.
     
    There’s a battle over gay marriage.  I think a conservative position in support of gay marriage could be made, but since 99.99% of gay marriage advocates are using gay marriage as part of a broader assault to destroy conservative traditional  values, that conservative position does not matter.  Those conservatives comfortable with gay marriage are mostly willing to leave it up to the people of any state to enact it for their state only; and as long as judges are not involved, and it’s the people who choose it, we’re fine.  Other conservatives consider gay marriage a fundamental destruction of core American principles and are against it in any way, shape or form.
     
    In sum, then, what I see is that our Constitutional protections have remained rather solid and stable.  Sometimes we require an Amendment to repair a flaw.  But mostly it comes down to laws based on the Constitution being enacted fairly.  And sometimes that just doesn’t happen.
     
    The will of the people *CAN* and *does* allow bad law to be passed.  That’s where the “wiggle room” comes in.  Cultural attitudes change over time.  And when you get a large majority – I would say about 2/3 of the people – being in favor of a new cultural attitude, well, eventually they will not be denied.
     

  • http://ymarsakar.wordpress.com Ymarsakar

    ” In other words, states could no longer deny it. ”
     
    What are you talking about. Most of the new states had to ban women from voting to be admitted to the union. It was the Eastern smucks that didn’t like women voting.

    • http://ymarsakar.wordpress.com Ymarsakar
    • Mike Devx

      Well, after the Amendment, states *could* no longer deny it, eastern or western.  I have no idea what you’re objecting to.   Perhaps the newer western states (about  10 of them, 1889-1896) had to ban womens’ vote to be admitted to the Union, yet four of those (Utah, Wyoming, Idaho and Colorado) passed women’s suffrage before the 20th Century.  Unless I have my facts wrong, I don’t understand your objection…
       

      • http://ymarsakar.wordpress.com Ymarsakar

        The way your history line is setup, it makes people infer that top down hierarchy is what made states do a Good Thing, and by missing out on what really happened between the Gap years this inference is left unchallenged.
         
        So it’s not the facts I object to but the way they are massaged to form a conclusion.

  • Charles Martel

    I always liked that it was the rugged westerners of the Rocky Mountain region who extended the franchise to women. Kind of hard to say no to delicate things who could shoot Indians and wrassle bears just about as well as men. Plus run the household. And rear the kids. 
     
    Where it went wrong is when the franchise eventually got extended to the eastern forebears of wusses like Hillary, Lena, Katie, Whoopie, MoDo, and other empty suits who are pretty much inept at anything they do. 

    • http://ymarsakar.wordpress.com Ymarsakar

      Sarah Palin, wolf, bear, buck, pew pew from helicopters.
       
       

  • Blick4343

    Kevin, your are correct the freedom of speech is generally related to political speech. Commercial speech, advertising, announcement signs can be regulated according to the Supreme Court. (don’t have the case name handy) I worked for a city and political campaign signs had minimum  restrictions, ie safety for traffic and falling hazards. Business Names, advertising, sale announcement signs  could all be regulated as to size, placement, safety, Materials, and design, etc. Newspaper, magazine, Radio and TV political speech is not regulated but programming and advertising must meet Truth in advertising standards, nudity, profanity, etc. standards.  Blick

    • SADIE

      Does the internet fall into the newspaper/magazine category? One of my daily blog stops is WeaselZippers (news aggregator). Posted yesterday on the site: http://weaselzippers.us/185377-google-cracks-down-on-wz/ 
       
       
      AND on the very same day, the FEC announces….. 
       
      Government officials, reacting to the growing voice of conservative news outlets, especially on the internet, are angling to curtail the media’s exemption from federal election laws governing political organizations, a potentially chilling intervention that the chairman of the Federal Election Commission is vowing to fight.
       
      “I think that there are impulses in the government every day to second guess and look into the editorial decisions of conservative publishers,” warned Federal Election Commission Chairman Lee E. Goodman in an interview.
      “The right has begun to break the left’s media monopoly, particularly through new media outlets like the internet, and I sense that some on the left are starting to rethink the breadth of the media exemption and internet communications,” he added.

  • Caped Crusader

    Just read Angelina Jolie commenting on the Nigerian terrorists who kidnapped the 300 girls said, “We’ve got to start arresting these kind of people and punishing them for this kind of behavior”. Are  there really humans breathing air and drawing huge salaries who are this incredibly stupid?

    • http://ymarsakar.wordpress.com Ymarsakar

      Jolie probably means it, though, unlike her co workers.

    • SADIE

      The very same Angelina Jolie, who was appointed Goodwill Ambassador to UNHCR – no doubt over qualified for the prestigious position.