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post #11 of 36 (permalink) Old 06-19-2008, 08:40 PM
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Originally Posted by bottomline1 View Post
I agree with you. Those who voted for the bill will be seen as leaders, rational thinkers and very interested in our national security. As a bonus, they have averted a raid on the treasury of the cooperating phone companies.

Another victory for the Bush administration. Doesn't that just frost you?

What would be more interesting is a list of those suing and how they were harmed.
Naw it doesn't frost me. Takes much more than that. I just know that is one more item that will have to be rewritten as time goes by.

As someone who understands massive database mining, on projects such as Carnivore and Son of Carnivore, I understand the amount of personal information, such as every email, all international phone calls, much internet traffic is being sucked up and mined. You might not mind you thoughts and ideas being questioned by a bot, but your kids might. You never know what flag might be raised, what job might be lost, what clearance might be restricted.

Keep thinking that NeoCon mindset "We have to do EVERYTHING we can to stop Terrorists" and congratulations, they WON. You handed them the Grand Prize. They made us totally alter our way of life, rampage the Constitution and divide the country. And NeoCon paranoia led the way.




"People willing to trade their freedom for temporary security deserve neither and will lose both."

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Being smart is knowing the difference, in a sticky situation between a well delivered anecdote and a well delivered antidote - bear.

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post #12 of 36 (permalink) Old 06-19-2008, 08:57 PM
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It isn't the first liberty we have acquiesced to the federal government . . . it is rampant, as a matter of fact . . . the COTUS is ignored in so many ways, why get so uptight about this way?

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post #13 of 36 (permalink) Old 06-19-2008, 09:10 PM Thread Starter
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Nothing new for me, I'm just being consistent.

Here is the oath Bush took on Jan 20, 2000 and Jan 20, 2004: "I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States."

As one can easily see, rampaging the Constitution (as mcbear put it) is not an option. GW Bush did not swear to preserve, protect and defend the territory of the United States, the borders of the United States, the resources of the United States, or the people of the United States. He swore to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States to the best of his ability. The depth of his failure to attempt to execute that oath in good faith is abysmal.

"If spending money you don't have is the height of stupidity, borrowing money to give it away is the height of insanity." -- anon
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post #14 of 36 (permalink) Old 06-19-2008, 09:14 PM
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Do any of the prospective nominees of either party deserve respect from the American people? The answer partially depends on your knowledge, values and respect for the U.S Constitution.

When either Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton or John McCain take office, they are going to place their hand on the Bible and take the oath, "I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States."

It will be a phony affirmation, but what's worse is that the chief justice of the United States, who administers the oath, and the average American will believe the new president.

You say, "Hey, Williams, that's a pretty tall charge! Explain yourself." There's a measure introduced in every Congress since 1995, by Rep. John Shadegg, R-Ariz., called The Enumerated Powers Act that would require that all bills introduced in the U.S. Congress include a statement setting forth the specific constitutional authority under which the law is being enacted.

The Enumerated Powers Act currently has 44 co-sponsors in the House. In the Senate, it has never had a single co-sponsor, and that's a Senate that includes our three presidential aspirants. The question one might ask is why would Sens. Obama, Clinton and McCain have a distaste for, and fail to support, a measure binding them to what the Constitution actually permits?

There's a two-part answer to that question. First, few congressmen, including our presidential aspirants, have the integrity, decency and courage to be bound by the Constitution, but more important is that congressmen and presidents simply reflect the constitutional ignorance or contempt held by the American people.

Most of what Congress is constitutionally authorized to spend for is listed in Article I, Section 8 of the Constitution and includes: coining money, establish Post Offices, to support Armies and a few other activities. Today's federal budget is over $3 trillion dollars. I challenge anyone to find specific constitutional authority for at least $2 trillion of it. That includes Social Security, Medicare, farm and business handouts, education, prescription drugs and a host of other federal expenditures. Americans who have become accustomed to living at the expense of another American would not want Congress to obey the Constitution, especially if it left out their favorite handout.

A harebrained politician or lawyer might tell us that the Constitution's general welfare clause authorizes those expenditures. Here's what James Madison, the acknowledged father of the Constitution, said: "With respect to the two words 'general welfare,' I have always regarded them as qualified by the detail of powers connected with them. To take them in a literal and unlimited sense would be a metamorphosis of the Constitution into a character which there is a host of proofs was not contemplated by its creators."

Later, Madison added, "If Congress can do whatever in their discretion can be done by money, and will promote the general welfare, the government is no longer a limited one possessing enumerated powers, but an indefinite one subject to particular exceptions."

Thomas Jefferson explained, "Congress has not unlimited powers to provide for the general welfare, but only those specifically enumerated."

At one time there were presidents who respected the Constitution. Grover Cleveland vetoed hundreds of spending measures during his two-term presidency, often saying, "I can find no warrant for such an appropriation in the Constitution." Then there was Franklin Pierce who said, after vetoing an appropriation to assist the mentally ill, "I cannot find any authority in the Constitution for public charity," adding, "To approve such spending would be contrary to the letter and the spirit of the Constitution and subversive to the whole theory upon which the Union of these States is founded."

We should consider ending the charade and get rid of our 200-year-plus presidential oath of office and replace it with: I accept the office of president.

Walter E. Williams is a professor of economics at George Mason University. To find out more about Walter E. Williams and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at Creators Syndicate - Celebrating 20 Years as a World-Class Syndicate Of Talent.

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post #15 of 36 (permalink) Old 06-19-2008, 09:15 PM
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^a repost, of course, but an appropriate one.

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post #16 of 36 (permalink) Old 06-19-2008, 09:38 PM Thread Starter
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^ A fine piece.

"If spending money you don't have is the height of stupidity, borrowing money to give it away is the height of insanity." -- anon
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post #17 of 36 (permalink) Old 06-19-2008, 10:17 PM
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The leadership of the Bush administration has an obligation to know and strictly adhere to the laws of our land, in fact I would argue a far greater obligation than the rest of us, since good leaders must lead by example. If they were unaware that they were breaking the law and enlisting accomplices, they are not fit to lead, and they certainly shouldn't be willing to risk the lives of millions of Americans to pursue immunity for a handful of U.S. corporations, which is precisely what they claim to have done.
There's a non-sequitor for you. Data mining with the help of the phone companies risks the lives of millions of Americans exactly how?

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God Bless the America we're trying to create.
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post #18 of 36 (permalink) Old 06-19-2008, 10:23 PM Thread Starter
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As succinctly stated by Sen. Kennedy: "The President has said that American lives will be sacrificed if Congress does not change FISA. But he has also said that he will veto any FISA bill that does not grant retroactive immunity. No immunity, no FISA bill. So if we take the President at his word, he's willing to let Americans die to protect the phone companies."

Spot on.

"If spending money you don't have is the height of stupidity, borrowing money to give it away is the height of insanity." -- anon
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post #19 of 36 (permalink) Old 06-19-2008, 10:30 PM
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Political rhetoric, recklessly restated and exaggerated by you. The new bill grants the immunity. Kennedy was wrong; so are you. Bush prevails again over the silly wimps.

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God Bless the America we're trying to create.
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post #20 of 36 (permalink) Old 06-19-2008, 10:38 PM Thread Starter
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Are you suggesting that Bush was lying when he said that American lives will be sacrificed if Congress does not change FISA? What kind of light does that shine on his illegal (and thus unnecessary) little surveillance programs? Perhaps he was taking a page out of the Hermann Goering playbook....

"If spending money you don't have is the height of stupidity, borrowing money to give it away is the height of insanity." -- anon
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