I also strongly recommend his latest essay, American Deserter.
Why, despite its clear violation of the First Amendment's Free Exercise Clause, is there still "In God we trust" on US currency and in courtrooms?I replied:
The Free exercise Clause:
'GOVERNMENT shall make no law respecting any organization of religion or prohibit the free exercise there of.'
AND The CONGRESS ACTION THAT WAS PASSED UNCONSTITUTIONALLY AND IN BLATANT VIOLATION OF OUR INALIENABLE RIGHTS:!!!
As a result, the 84th Congress passed a joint resolution "declaring IN GOD WE TRUST the national motto of the United States." The law was signed by President Eisenhower on July 30, 1956, and the motto was progressively added to paper money over a period from 1957 to 1966.
Federal endorsement of a deity or religion violates THE US CONSTITUTION.
So, in light of this should be removed asap.
You are aware that from the founding of the nation the Senate and the House of Representatives have each had, at government expense, a chaplain? And one of the duties of that chaplain is to open each session of each legislative body with a prayer?A reader took exception:
Are you familiar with the "Original Public Understanding" theory of Constitutional law? I suggest you look it up. Your understanding of the First Amendment is flawed.
Lisbeth Salandar wrote:Well! As Randall Munroe observed: I can't go to bed, someone is wrong on the internet! So of course I had to respond:
No Kevin, ACTUALLY having a chaplain say a prayer in a secular government body is also severly unconstitutional you history oblivious fool.
My understanding of the first Amendment is based entirely on the words contained within it cûlt boy.
You are competely entitled to your opinions which are not supported by evidence.
But the moment you spread that opinion as fact you are a liar.
And if you spread it as fact knowing well it is an opinion you are both a liar and a fraud.
Government shall make no law respecting any organization of religion or prohibit the free exercise thereof.
Can you read?
It isn't a bible you can just be an apologist for later and say is metaphor Ya non- reasoning dolt it's an INALIENABLE RIGHT-not subject to your falsifiable and cûlt deluded opinion.
Curios to see if he/she/it responds further.
Lisbeth Salandar wrote:My response:
Religions are all cults by design definition- Just large ones. INFACT that's what a religion is technically- when a cult gets too big to contain by authorities it gets relabeled as a religion- Pickup a dictionary or look at how any religion forms. What is it that you think these organizations provide to make such huge dividends? Needless fear.
Not to burst your bubble- but this has nothing to do with me you and my perceived ego- it has to do with accuracy and honesty and a blatantly disregarded HUMAN RIGHT.
I could care less what you delude- about your percieved sect of atheism- right there you show yo don't know what atheism is but at least you figured out part of the truth.
I didn't have a bad experience with cults- I have to read, participate and basically evangelize about a deity being trusted everyday- understand how that is unconstitutional?
No, I don't. We're discussing Constitutional law as it applies to religion here in the U.S. Your argument is that the government cannot even mention anything religious, but from the founding of the nation we've opened sessions of Congress with state-paid clergymen offering prayer to a Big Invisible Friend.UPDATE II: The conversation is also going on in the comments to the original question.
Your argument is invalid. The "original public understanding" of the First Amendment's defense of freedom of religion is not equal to your conception that it protects a freedom from religion.
You live in a society where a significant majority believe in a god or gods. The First Amendment protects their belief.
So suck it up, buttercup. Grow a thicker skin. If your atheism is so delicate that it cannot withstand evangelization and must be protected from same by government force, then I suggest it isn't all that solid to begin with.
Lisbeth Salandar wrote:To which I replied:
Government shall make no law respecting any establishment of religion or prohibit the free exercise thereof.
That answers what I think.
Endorsement of monotheism on legal tender is without QUESTION UNCONSTITUTIONAL. Why do you think we have a free exercise clause? So cults and non-reasoning illiterates as an ignore it? Surely not.
And, once again, where do you get your oddly worded version of the First Amendment? I assure you it does not use the word "organization." The word used is "establishment," oh great Constitutional Textualist. Do some research on the "Establishment Clause" in Constitutional law.Her return volley:
The premise of your argument is flawed. All other error flows from there.
Lisbeth Salandar wrote:And the reply that, I think, caused her to delete her initial comment:
There fixed it. Thanks- but you are dead wrong about the rest.
Monotheism establishes a singular God. Be honest would you- that is establishing MONOTHEISM excluding all else; hence a direct violation brainiac.
Monotheism is established as being only one God worshipping. That isn't religious establishment to you? It is to everyone who doesn't have schizophrenia and even a smidgen of science literacy.
So we've established that you, self-proclaimed Constitutional Textualist, cannot accurately quote the particular Constitutional clause you're basing your position on, that you accuse ME of being a "history oblivious fool," (though you've now deleted said comment), you accused me of belonging to a cult - sorry, "cûlt," for not agreeing with you, and now you're banging your MONOTHEISM! gong.
But we were discussing LAW. As I pointed out, what the law meant when it was adopted is what the law means NOW, unless and until that law is CHANGED through legislation - NOT by the proclamation of some robed priest sitting at the judicial bench handing down Truth.
Is "In God We Trust" unconstitutional? I very much doubt it, given the HISTORICAL FACT that both houses of Congress have government-paid clergy on staff, and have had since the inception of those legislatures. The law DID NOT MEAN WHAT YOU THINK IT MEANS when it was adopted. It doesn't mean that now. I'm sorry that this historical FACT harshes your mellow, but there it remains.
You want to change that? Lobby and get new legislation passed. Don't go looking for the solution in the courts.
"I would like my pudding now nurse. And then I think I'd like to... write... something... I don't remember what."
Standing in the corner, he waits. The sand slowly flows, but it nears its end. The old man still glows, as thousands of threads spread away from him.
I AGREE. IT IS A SHAME TO SEE HIM THIS WAY.
NO. I DO NOT KNOW WHAT WILL HAPPEN.... BUT I CANNOT WAIT TO ASK HIM HOW IT ALL ENDS.
The old man looks up, through them at first... and then he sees them. For once, the smile on the hooded figure's skull is genuine.
"I... I remember you. The anth... ant..."
"Yes, that. We knew each other?"
ONCE. AND WILL AGAIN, SIR.
He so rarely said it, and these feelings... remembering his young apprentice, and beloved daughter. The beautiful child they have.
"There... is a girl, yes?"
SHE IS SPEAKING TO THE AUDITORS, SIR. THEY ARE UNWILLING TO LISTEN.
"Well then. You know what they say, two things you cannot avoid. Taxes and..." He looks into the fiery blue eyes, and becomes aware.
"Quite right. Is it time already? I have so much left to do."
YOU HAVE GIVEN ALL YOU CAN SIR.
"No, not cancer. Alzheimers."
I AM AWARE.
"So, where is the boy? I remember a boy."
"Ahh. Never much trusted cars. Or horses."
THEY GET YOU WHERE YOU WANT TO GO.
SOON. BUT WE MAY SIT HERE AWHILE.
DO YOU HAVE ANY BISCUITS?
"No. Shame really."
"Is it truly turtles?"
ALL THE WAY DOWN. I HAVE SEEN THEM.
"Ahh. I would love to see it. Perhaps a small trip before?"
IT WOULD BE MY PLEASURE.
"The light is slower there... and there's a monkey...."
ORANGUTAN. SAME PRINCIPLE.
"Yes... will they remember me?"
"What was that? I could not hear you."
HE SAYS WE WILL, SIR.
"I never much liked the trouble people had with you. You seem like a nice fellow."
I HAVE MY DAYS.
"Don't we all?"
SOME LESS THAN OTHERS.
"Is it quick?"
YES. AND I BROUGHT THE SWORD. CEREMONY DICTATES IT.
"Ahh. How about a cup of tea?"
I WOULD ENJOY IT. DO YOU PLAY CHESS?
"No. how about checkers?"
And so they sat, two old friends regaling each other, and though the old man could not remember all of the details, the cloaked man and his rat filled him in, when it was needed.
RIP Sir Terry Pratchett, 1948-2015
Stolen from /tg/ on 4chan years back and came to me via FB.
In his new book, 1919, The Year of Racial Violence: How African Americans Fought Back, David F. Krugler, professor of history at the University of Wisconsin–Platteville, looks at the actions of people ... who resisted white incursions against the black community through the press, the courts, and armed defensive action. The year 1919 was a notable one for racial violence, with major episodes of unrest in Chicago; Washington; and Elaine, Arkansas, and many smaller clashes in both the North and the South. (James Weldon Johnson, then the field secretary of the NAACP, called this time of violence the “Red Summer.”) White mobs killed 77 black Americans, including 11 demobilized servicemen (according to the NAACP’s magazine, the Crisis). The property damage to black businesses and homes—attacks on which betrayed white anxiety over new levels of black prosperity and social power—was immense.Worth your time to read. And the top-rated comment:
While there is a notable cluster of examples of black communities fighting back in the racial conflicts of 1919, the history of armed self-defense goes back even further. Law professor Nicholas Johnson points to fugitive slaves who armed themselves against slave-catchers as some of the earliest examples of the practice. In another dark period of racial violence at the end of the 19th century, Ida B. Wells-Barnett, a journalist and investigator of lynching, advocated "boycott, emigration, and the press" as weapons against white aggression, outlining the rationale in her 1892 pamphlet Southern Horrors: Lynch Law in All Its Phases. When those peaceful strategies failed, Wells-Barnett thought a more active strategy was the answer, observing: "The only times an Afro-American who was assaulted got away has been when he had a gun and used it in self-defense." For this reason, she wrote, "[A] Winchester rifle should have a place of honor in every black home, and it should be used for that protection which the law refuses to give."
Anyone who found this article interesting should immediately read Justice Thomas's concurrence in McDonald v. Chicago, a gun control case wherein Thomas argues very persuasively that the right to bear arms was intended to be one of the "privileges" protected by the 14th Amendment, specifically aimed at giving newly freed slaves in the South the right to carry weapons to protect themselves from whites.I am a gun enthusiast, but I too have made that argument repeatedly here in this blog. I concur with Mr. Alexander - American jurisprudence would have been better had the "privileges and immunities" clause been resurrected.
I am by no means a gun enthusiast, but Thomas's concurrence makes some excellent points and had it been the majority opinion, American jurisprudence would have been the better for it. - John Marshall Alexander Jr.
I agree with the Court that the Fourteenth Amendment makes the right to keep and bear arms set forth in the Second Amendment "fully applicable to the States." I write separately because I believe there is a more straightforward path to this conclusion, one that is more faithful to the Fourteenth Amendment’s text and history.Which is what Alan Gura argued for and was told to shut up about by people on our side. But the Court dodged the opportunity, not (I believe) wanting to upset the mountain of bad law that a century of stare decisis has created.
Applying what is now a well-settled test, the plurality opinion concludes that the right to keep and bear arms applies to the States through the Fourteenth Amendment's Due Process Clause because it is "fundamental" to the American "scheme of ordered liberty," and " 'deeply rooted in this Nation's history and tradition,' ". I agree with that description of the right. But I cannot agree that it is enforceable against the States through a clause that speaks only to "process." Instead, the right to keep and bear arms is a privilege of American citizenship that applies to the States through the Fourteenth Amendment's Privileges or Immunities Clause.
The notion that a constitutional provision that guarantees only "process" before a person is deprived of life, liberty, or property could define the substance of those rights strains credulity for even the most casual user of words. Moreover, this fiction is a particularly dangerous one. The one theme that links the Court's substantive due process precedents together is their lack of a guiding principle to distinguish "fundamental" rights that warrant protection from nonfundamental rights that do not. Today's decision illustrates the point.
(A)ny serious argument over the scope of the Due Process Clause must acknowledge that neither its text nor its history suggests that it protects the many substantive rights this Court's cases now claim it does.
I cannot accept a theory of constitutional interpretation that rests on such tenuous footing. This Court's substantive due process framework fails to account for both the text of the Fourteenth Amendment and the history that led to its adoption, filling that gap with a jurisprudence devoid of a guiding principle. I believe the original meaning of the Fourteenth Amendment offers a superior alternative, and that a return to that meaning would allow this Court to enforce the rights the Fourteenth Amendment is designed to protect with greater clarity and predictability than the substantive due process framework has so far managed.
I acknowledge the volume of precedents that have been built upon the substantive due process framework, and I further acknowledge the importance of stare decisis to the stability of our Nation’s legal system. But stare decisis is only an "adjunct" of our duty as judges to decide by our best lights what the Constitution means. Moreover, as judges, we interpret the Constitution one case or controversy at a time. The question presented in this case is not whether our entire Fourteenth Amendment jurisprudence must be preserved or revised, but only whether, and to what extent, a particular clause in the Constitution protects the particular right at issue here. With the inquiry appropriately narrowed, I believe this case presents an opportunity to reexamine, and begin the process of restoring, the meaning of the Fourteenth Amendment agreed upon by those who ratified it.
Simply put, gun control cannot survive without an accompanying sea of disinformation. - Anonymous (But accurate.)
You've probably heard by now that the Obama administration has been a boon to the U.S. firearm industry. Gun manufacturers boosted production by 31 percent between 2011 and 2012. National tragedies from Newtown to Ferguson are accompanied by stories of surging gun sales.Except I've been there, fisked that before. May, 2013: DECLINING GUN OWNERSHIP!!
But data released this week from the General Social Survey, widely regarded as the gold standard for social science survey research, shows that in 2014, the number of American households owning guns remained at 40-year lows.
It has often been observed that Christianity follows changing moral fashions, all the while believing that it stands apart from the world. The same might be said, with more justice, of the prevalent version of atheism. If an earlier generation of unbelievers shared the racial prejudices of their time and elevated them to the status of scientific truths, evangelical atheists do the same with the liberal values to which western societies subscribe today – while looking with contempt upon “backward” cultures that have not abandoned religion. The racial theories promoted by atheists in the past have been consigned to the memory hole – and today’s most influential atheists would no more endorse racist biology than they would be seen following the guidance of an astrologer. But they have not renounced the conviction that human values must be based in science; now it is liberal values which receive that accolade. There are disputes, sometimes bitter, over how to define and interpret those values, but their supremacy is hardly ever questioned. For 21st century atheist missionaries, being liberal and scientific in outlook are one and the same.If the topic interests you, RTWT.
It’s a reassuringly simple equation. In fact there are no reliable connections – whether in logic or history – between atheism, science and liberal values. When organised as a movement and backed by the power of the state, atheist ideologies have been an integral part of despotic regimes that also claimed to be based in science, such as the former Soviet Union. Many rival moralities and political systems – most of them, to date, illiberal – have attempted to assert a basis in science. All have been fraudulent and ephemeral. Yet the attempt continues in atheist movements today, which claim that liberal values can be scientifically validated and are therefore humanly universal.
The statement has been made and the Kool-Aid has been drunk. In the wake of the ATF statement about the impending ban on any 5.56mm/.223 ammunition that is loaded with the 62-grain, SS109 LAP bullet (the one cartridge specifically named by the ATF&E being the M-855) known colloquially as "green tip", the masses have laid siege to my shop, buying large quantities of any and all 5.56/.223 ammo, the most common statement from the aforementioned group being: "I can't believe you guys still have any two-two-three ammo on the shelves! The government is going to ban it!" or words to that effect. The fact that Rush Limbaugh stated that the government was going to ban .223 ammo on his radio show last week has had the expected result. I shudder to think what the lines in front of ammo vendors at gun shows will look like in the foreseeable future, though thankful that I will not be one of those folks standing in those lines.It does indicate that pretty much everyone who wants an AR has an AR, doesn't it?
We don't have any limits on .223 ammo nor have we increased our prices. Despite the predictable reaction from the "masses", we aren't worried about running out of 5.56/.223 ammo anytime soon though our stock of 62-grain, "green tip" ammo is quite low. Not everyone has fallen for the misinformation. The vast majority of those individuals scampering out of the shop with an arm-load of .223 are of the "tacti-cool" variety. There are a goodly number of folks that actually ask: "What is the deal with the ban on two-two-three ammo?" And I happily explain it to them. Strangely enough, while the sales of ammo have spiked, the sales of "black rifles" have not. I find that a bit amusing actually.