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07 January 2013


Ryan Mount

The point is, Professor Seidman, is the decay you speak of happened not because of the Constitution, but because we didn't follow it and its Amendments. The Fiscal Cliff dumbassness (as per the NYT op-ed) has NOTHING to do with Constitution requirement that all spending originate in the House. The reason the framers were insistent on this, was because the House is "closest" to the will of the people. And the power of the purse, as it was then as it is now, is *the* key lynchpin of liberty. All other principles are mere [important] footnotes to that.

But Professor Seidman, you knew that right? Being a "Constitutional Law Professor." Or perhaps you were cynically trying to score points with the sheepish, NY Times quasi-neo-Liberals? It sounds like anarchy, doesn't it, but it's really another form of plutocracy sold as populism. Sounds too familiar.

And right now, the will of the people is apparently that of a GOP America. And they don't like spending. Well, at least that's what they said they believed.

But forget all that originalist vs. textualist mumbo-jumbo, we have a process in place to Amend the Constitution if we don't like it, which was put in there to answer such issues. However if that's still not satisfactory, we (actual you, Professor Seidman) are free to disobey the law of the land by ignoring the Constitution. You're free, but ill-advised, to trespass on those prescriptions that you feel are "evil," to use your words. Good luck with that.

I'm mad as hell, and I completely plan to take it. But I will be very sarcastic while I take it. Alas, poor Yorick! I knew him, Horatio...

Ben Emery

I would love to hear your list of progressive violations or shredding of the US Constitution. I have a sneaking suspicion that your list will not pass the fact check test. As far a spending goes, anyone with half a brain can clearly see that Article I Section VIII gives congress the power to spend, tax, and provide for the common defense and general welfare.

Article 1 - The Legislative Branch
Section 8 - Powers of Congress

"The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States; but all Duties, Imposts and Excises shall be uniform throughout the United States;"

The other place to go is federalist #41 by James Madison on the ideas of general welfare. Yes, I have read the Federalist Papers, Anti Federalist Papers, much of the Journals of the Constitutional Convention by Madison, notes between the founders, and the US Constitution. This is why I find your very misguided belief that the founding of the United States of America were based solely on conservative/ libertarian ideology. The same arguments we have today were taking place in during the American Revolution Era as well. What is the role of government? I'm in the middle of revisiting some Thomas Paine writings. I am reading and discussing "Rights of Man" and "Agrarian Justice" with a number of friends from a former Constitutional group I belonged to before moving to Nevada County. It is very interesting to see how a group of people who share many political beliefs can read the same pamphlets and inject our own personal experiences/ perspectives into our interpretations.

I can give a long list of the violations of the US Constitution in the last two administrations alone. My guess you will lump President Obama into a progressive category when nothing could be further from the truth. As many might be inclined to lump George W Bush into a conservative category. I would never lump the Bush administrations as conservative outside his authoritarian style of governing. The added $6 trillion onto the national debt, preemptively invaded sovereign nations, dramatically expanded the federal government, and absolutely shredded the US Constitution. Here is a good progressive case against voting for President Obama in the 2012 election. I shared many of the views of the author and did not vote for President Obama in 2012 along with openly opposed and debated many who did vote for a second term.

George Rebane

BenE 204pm - Thanks for the comprehensive comment Ben. As do we on the Right, so do you on the Left divide yourselves in a more nuanced way. While one can find evidence of the Left accusing the Right of assaulting the Constitution, the overwhelming weight of the charges are lodged against the Left. Worthies of the Left are constantly identifying the Constitution as a dated document that should be abandoned; Seidman is only the most recent strong voice that now has the Gray Lady as his trumpet. I don't recall any conservative calling for doing away with that document. In fact, there are numerous organizations of the Right that have constitutionalism as one of their constituting principles.

To the rest of the world, cleaving Obama from the progressives is really a distinction without a difference.

Ryan Mount

I'm pleased that you've introduced the Federalist (and it's other rhetorical cousins) into the mix.

> This is why I find your very misguided belief that the founding of the United States of America were based solely on conservative/ libertarian ideology.

It certainly was a struggle between opposing and competing forces as you mention above, as it is today. Right now, the Hamiltonians are "winning" if I was to update the battle. Not sure George with disagree with that.

> I can give a long list of the violations of the US Constitution in the last two administrations alone

And beyond that for sure. But I hope we're in agreement that the issue is not getting rid or ignoring the Constitution, but reforming (amending) if need be. And that reforming should be done as outlined in the Constitution.

Professor Seidman's thesis is essentially that our elected politicians can make decisions outside public influence. That they, as Mr. Natelson notes, can

be trusted to make “considered judgments” and act “on the merits,” and that the public does not need to impose outside constitutional restraints on their power (except, perhaps, through elections). The Founders were wiser. They knew that the entire history of humankind suggests the opposite—as, in fact, does the current fiscal crisis. If Mr. Seidman thinks the United Kingdom is a stronger, freer, less dysfunctional, and more prosperous country because of its unwritten constitution, he should live there for a while, as I have. Britain’s relative decline has been precipitous over the past century. Without the support of America, it is doubtful Britain would have survived as a free country.

Bold mine.

Now I don't like the patronizing tone above, that "they'd be speaking German without us" rhetoric, but he makes a salient point. History is replete with villainy of one tyrant imposing their will on others by force. Professor Seidman's less than modest proposal would invite and enable a plutocracy that would make our current crony corporatocracy version look Jeffersonian by comparison.


"This is why I find your very misguided belief that the founding of the United States of America were based solely on conservative/ libertarian ideology." - Ben

Off base as usual, Ben. It was revolutionary libertarian ideology that drove the founding of the US. Nothing "conservative" about it; the Tories were on the *other* side.

Yes, the Federalists were focused on granting enough power to a central government for it to be able to endure, and the Anti-Federalists were focused on limited that power and did so with the first 10 amendments, but taken as a whole, the Constitution and the Bill of Rights remain a wholly libertarian document.

Ryan, don't call Progressives by the name "Hamiltonians", I can feel him spinning in his grave from the mere suggestion.

Paul Emery


do you consider the Partiot Act to be Constitutional and can you refresh me as to what administration proposed it?

George Rebane

PaulE 741pm - oh, you clever person you.

Passed first under Bush2 in response to the 9/11 terrorist attack, the act has been modified and corroborated by congresses and administrations under both parties. Debate on the constitutionality of its various provisions continues. Its provisions have again been reestablished under President Obama who has adopted and continued almost the entire anti-terrorism program and procedures of the Bush2 era.

I am as leery of it as are you, in that it can be turned against American citizens by a rogue federal government.

Ryan Mount

We really need to get off this Adam raised a Cain mentally, blaming previous Administrations for our current woes. I'm as guilty as anyone, but I generally find all post WWII (the ones that matter relative to the American Empire) Administrations in contempt with the Constitution. But Bush II is gone. Clinton is gone. The Contract with America is gone.

Hindsight is indeed 20/20. The issue at hand here is that there are sections of our electorate who have ostensibly lost the Constitutional debate. For whatever reason (I cite laziness and incompetence largely by the Left for not making their case in things like McDonald v. Chicago and Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission...lost twice!), some notables on the Left think that it's just time to start ignoring the Constitution, or at least the parts they don't like. They've actually given up on the debate that the document is "living" and gone straight to the "we should just get rid of it" line of argument. This isn't some tinfoil hat observation by me, this is clearly articulated in Professor Seidman op-ed. And it has been echoed around these parts as well.

It's a rather serious proclamation. And it is also stupid is, as stupid does.

To justify this neo-anarchy the it appears that the Left is blaming some kind of combo of Right-wing ideology and transnational corporatism (which are real), rather than their pathetic and sophomoric representation efforts in the courts. Our greatest minds have become petulant whiners.

D. King


Ah ha ha ha ha ha.....



The Constitution was hollowed out in 1942, so blame it on FDR's and his SCOTUS:
"Once it was established that the federal government could regulate not only interstate commerce itself, but anything with any potential effect on interstate commerce, the Tenth Amendment’s limitations on the powers of the federal government virtually disappeared.

Over the years, “interstate commerce” became magic words to justify almost any expansion of the federal government’s power, in defiance of the Tenth Amendment. "

Douglas Keacie

Here's a real defender of the Constitution, you pick which one:


Ryan Mount

Alex Jones *always* loses it. 24/7. He "lost" in his local airport on the way to this show.

However he's fun to watch like any one of the end of the world movies. And because of this, he's an easy target due to his need for (and lack of) medication. Naturally he's perfectly fit to run a media outlet such as InfoWars. And also to appear on other ones like Piers Morgan.


Just like all MSM, it's sensational entertainment. When elephants fight, it is the grass that suffers.

Paul Emery

So George in your view is the Patriot Act Constitutional? You avoided that question by citing you are "lerry" of it.

I go with this argument, that it indeed s unconstitutional for these reasons:


Freedom from unreasonable searches: The government may search and seize Americans' papers and effects without probable cause to assist terror investigation.

Right to a speedy and public trial: The government may jail Americans indefinitely without a trial.

Right to legal representation: The government may monitor conversations between attorneys and clients in federal prisons and deny lawyers to Americans accused of crimes.

Freedom of speech: The government may prosecute librarians or keepers of any other records if they tell anyone the government subpoenaed information related to a terror investigation.

ight to liberty: Americans may be jailed without being charged or being able to confront witnesses against them. US citizens (labeled "unlawful combatants") have been held incommunicado and refused attorneys.

And this from Ron Paul

“The PATRIOT Act was written many, many years before 9/11,” Paul said. The attacks simply provided “an opportunity for some people to do what they wanted to do,” he said.

“Think of what happened after 9/11, the minute before there was any assessment, there was glee in the administration because now we can invade Iraq, and so the war drums beat,” Paul said Thursday night before a packed room of more than 1,000 students and supporters. “That’s exactly what they’re doing now with Iran.”

And back to Mr Clarke

After 9/11 the government drew up the Patriot Act within 20 days and it was passed.

"The Patriot Act is huge and I remember someone asking a Justice Department official how did they write such a large statute so quickly, and of course the answer was that it has been sitting in the drawers of the Justice Department for the last 20 years waiting for the event where they would pull it out."



I am shocked (shocked!) that the Justice Department knew for years what extra powers they might find useful.

The Congress and the President have regularly, over the last couple hundred years, stepped on the Constitution. It's the SCOTUS that ends up pushing back.

Get them to revisit Wickard v. Filburn and the PATRIOT excesses will fall out eventually.

George Rebane

PaulE 1232pm - Where did "lerry" come from?

Given the truth of the items on your list, the Patriot Act is definitely not constitutional.


George, what they did (and it was not widely recognized) is to carve out terrorist activity from civilian law in order to treat it with wartime powers, martial law.

There is some rationale for that (I think it was Gingrich who stated the Constitution wasn't a suicide pact in the PATRIOT context but that thought goes back to Jefferson and Lincoln) but the sheer amount of activity that is shielded from view even by Federal court judges is chilling.

The Congress won't get rid of it, and Obama is arguably more authortarian than Bush. SCOTUS is the route for a fix.

George Rebane

Gregory 416pm - yes, I do understand that there is a difference between something being constitutional, or being unconstitutional but also necessary for the survival/safety of the Republic. The latter, though, requires our greatest attention and concern - governments cannot nor should be trusted in such matters.


BTW Jones never "loses it". It's his style and in the case of Piers M, it was arguably the only way for him to make a case. PM was using a cheap debate trick of making a series of quizzes rather than a statement of fact and a rational argument derived from it. Jones, responded with a flurry akin to the Tasmanian Devil that Bugs used to contend with, only Morgan is no Bugs Bunny. Half the IQ and twice the hubris.

Paul Emery

In this situation we can surely agree that the unconstitutional Patriot Act is surely a bipartisan effort. Another example of the good old Republicrats in action.


Greg 1:22pm - I remember making one of my few public statements at the NC City Council meeting when they were asked to officially protest the Patriot Act. My argument was that in past cases where the government suspended parts of the constitution for security reasons, it was in relation to an actual war against an actual country. In the "War on Terror" there would not be a neat conclusion with a formal surrender, and therefore Big Brudda could rationalize keeping the act indefinitely. Looks like I was right.

Bill Tozer

What drives the libs up the wall more than anything is when groups like the Tea Party mention the Constitution and can quote it. Definitely a threat to the liberal mindset. Hang them misfits carrying copies of The Constitution in their back pockets on the Tree of Woe!

Ryan Mount

The Patriot Act is evil. Period. But when everyone is afraid, it's easy to herd them whatever way you want. And as Mr. Crabb rightly points out, since there is no tangible enemy, Big Brother's Inner Party can keep this war going on indefinitely.


And Alex Jones is literally the last person pro-gun advocates want making their case. Maybe "losing it" is over the top, but I think calling him somewhat unhinged is probably appropriate. Maniac? Entertaining? Also, I'm not convinced he's not a charlatan capitalizing on everyone's fear.


"There are executives orders, there's executive action that can be taken. We haven't decided what that is yet." Biden, on guns

Ryan Mount


Executive orders are subject to the Constitution and its Laws too. Biden is an asshole. And not even the fun kind.

IMHO, This issue with gun control is the 2nd Amendment. There is no such guarantee for things like automobiles, hammers and whatever. So it's much easier for the government to seize control (regulate) of these things that can kill with equal efficient.

So the anti-gun lobby has only two options:

1) Amend the Constitution to their liking, and good luck with that.

2) Or as Professor Seidman suggest, simply ignore it.

George Rebane

MikeyM 951am - Almost all of America used to know that the 2nd Amendment was appended to enable a free people to resist a rogue government. Three generations of leftwing education has erased much of that knowledge from our population. Today we note that in the public debate on guns, no politician brings up that overriding aspect of gun ownership. The discourse is all about not needing guns for self-protection and/or hunting - needs for which a properly organized society has other solutions.

When we consider Biden's "executive action" comments, it sounds as if we're contemplating switching from today's road to serfdom to a road to the gulag.

Ryan Mount

BTW, I think we'd be wise to examine Madison's early drafts of the 2nd Amendment, as well as Hamilton's refinements in the Federalist #29.

It is clear, at least in early drafts, that the focus was on Militia and not personal gun ownership outside the membership in said Militias.

Hamilton favored "small" militias regulated by each State. Madison seemed more concerned with larger ones and the looming Central Government. For example, here is Madison's 1st Draft of the 2nd Amendment that was approved by the House:

"A well regulated militia, composed of the body of the people, being the best security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed; but no person religiously scrupulous shall be compelled to bear arms."

The intention seems clear to me:

1) To define who can own arms, which is people in a well regulated Militia

2) That people can belong to a Militia and NOT be forced to join one. (that "no person religiously scrupulous" clause at the end is very curious. It's a statement against conscription, IMO. It was later struck completely.)

3) A statement regarding general paranoia about the about the tyranny of the State at the sake of the individual.

And to cut people's criticism off at the pass, just form a Militia of one if you're worried about not being part of a team.

Michael Anderson

George wrote: "Almost all of America used to know that the 2nd Amendment was appended to enable a free people to resist a rogue government." Used to know? I doubt very many people misunderstand why the 2nd Amendment was included in the Bill of Rights.

But here's the deal George: technology has outstripped it's viability, unless you are willing to enforce the 2nd Amendment to its modern day equivalent, which is to admit that for a citizen to keep a rogue gov't at bay, she would need to keep a hydrogen bomb in her basement.

Here's a perfect example of how a document written when the steam engine was poised to bring us into the modern age can have certain elements that are now obsolete.

Brad Croul

Perhaps we should adopt the South African constitution...


Todd Juvinall

Joe Biden announced today that Obama will be issuing a dictatorial order, errr, Executive Order, on guns. What do you think that might be?

My question for the liberals is do you think this is the intent of the Constitution?

Ryan Mount

It's really simple. If we don't like the Constitution, we're free to Amend it. What's stopping us? The NRA? Excuse me as I spit my milk out Mel Brooks style. The problem for the anti-gun crowd, are gun owners and their love of their weapons. And the fact that there's hardly enough on their (anti-gun crowd) team to change the Constitution.


I've reviewed the link, and it may work for a relatively small, somewhat affluent African country, but I doubt such specific enumerations like "freedom and security of the person" could ever be ratified here, specific to the gun debate. Think of the varying definitions of "security" we have in the USA regarding the debate: Liberals regard security as the absence of guns; Conservatives regard security as a dependency on guns. Both hinge on individual liberty (more on that below), although more Social Liberals tend to inflate the arguments to include collections/factions of people...schools for example.

And there's this:

"The Court's overall responsibility is to determine whether the infringement on the right is proportional to the resulting societal benefit."

Well, one might argue that we HAVE this in place already. I don't think so, but I've heard this complaint from the Right. Never would work here. And I'm skeptical that this is a good thing given that we (rightly, IMO) place primacy on personal liberty over "societal benefit." To generalize is to be an idiot, William Blake warned. And this is what the South African Constitution does with it's "Limitations" clause. It's carefully disguised as individual rights, which is trumped by the State. Not good.

That said, generally more modern Constitutions are less adversarial than ours.

George Rebane

MichaelA 1029am - Right on schedule. That argument against the 2nd Amend and the continued viability of the Constitution is a classical liberal shibboleth. It assumes that any rebellion will be a stasist standoff between a permanently underarmed populace and a permanently superior state sponsored military, with its foregone outcome. This is a gross error that has been disproved an uncounted number of times, and as recently as by the Arab spring uprisings and the current civil war in Syria. And please reread my par force paper so we don't have to go around this 'hydrogen bomb in the basement' nonsense again.

A rogue government will immediately seek to brand armed citizen resistance against it as fomented by foreign terrorists or a sedition by a minority (the latter is technically correct). Any successful resistance must stay alive long enough to get its message out to the nation, and to the armed forces. Anyone who has been in the US military knows how that institution will respond when asked to engage underarmed citizens willing to lay down their lives for liberty.

As history has shown, it is all in how well any resistance can go through its fragile birth and make its cause known. That is why tyrants and pre-rogue governments want a disarmed populace so that massive arrests can take place quickly and quietly. It was ever thus.


" technology has outstripped it's viability, unless you are willing to enforce the 2nd Amendment to its modern day equivalent, which is to admit that for a citizen to keep a rogue gov't at bay, she would need to keep a hydrogen bomb in her basement"

No, everyone agrees there are limits. The whole concept that the 2nd could be negated just by advances in weaponry is ludicrous; if MA's concept was true we'd have just nuked Afghanistan, Iraq, North Vietnam, North Korea and even Grenada rather than sent troops carrying rifles and pistols.

Brad Croul

Ryan, maybe not replace our constitution with the So. African constitution; but neither should we assume that our constitution is perfect and accept it lock, stock and two smoking barrels.


Ryan needs to read up on SCOTUS on the recent DC v Heller decision:

(1) The Second Amendment protects an individual right to possess a firearm unconnected with service in a militia, and to use that arm for traditionally lawful purposes, such as self-defense within the home. Pp. 2–53.

(a) The Amendment’s prefatory clause announces a purpose, but does not limit or expand the scope of the second part, the operative clause. The operative clause’s text and history demonstrate that it connotes an individual right to keep and bear arms.



Hey, folks, I just figured out how you can get rid of semi-automatic weapons using the 2nd... US v Miller, 1939. Flawed because there were no attorneys for Miller at the SCOTUS, who had passed away from flying lead poisoning, possibly from the guys he claimed he needed the sawed-off for protection.

"In the absence of any evidence tending to show that possession or use of a 'shotgun having a barrel of less than eighteen inches in length' at this time has some reasonable relationship to the preservation or efficiency of a well regulated militia, we cannot say that the Second Amendment guarantees the right to keep and bear such an instrument."

So, all you need to do is show is an AR-15 (or a gun like it) has no reasonable relationship to any military purpose. Exactly the opposite of the antigun meme, but give it a try.

Ryan Mount

Oh yeah, Brad. I didn't mean to come off so rigid. I was pointing out that some of the assumptions in the South African version, like the State or "societal good" trumping individual rights is not tenable here. Or is it? Depends on who is complaining: Left = guns (Michigan militia wackos running though the forest shooting effigies of Obama); Right = same-sex marriage ("gays" fabulously destroying the institution of marriage and indoctrinating our kids with Mazda Miatas and episodes of Downton Abbey.)

Our Constitution is horribly imperfect, which is why there are mechanisms built in to Amend it if enough of the people want it. The Founders knew that we'd have to fix it "in the editing room," so to speak. I believe that was one of the key and long-lasting innovations of the document.

My point is, with regard to gun rights, is that there's not enough people to Amend it. So people (citizens, politicians, etc.) are choosing to ignore it to their own peril.

Brad Croul

I am embarrassed! I did not know Miatas were gay -although they definitely not as bad ass as my import! I hear they are good budget sport car platforms.

Ryan Mount

Greg> "Ryan needs to read up on"

Greg. Think about it. Do you think if I'm quoting original texts, that I'm not abreast of things like the recent Heller decision? Or the even more recent Chicago decision which I regard as even more important because it invokes the 14th Amendment, something that Conservatives traditionally don't like, but now do because it's "gun cool" and not just about gay rights or whatever they're thinking.

So I suppose you missed my point, which was an examination of what was on Madison's and Hamilton's minds and that it should inform our perspectives.

Of course, as I noted, according to more source versions of the 2nd Amendment, not to mention Hamilton's Federalist Paper commentary, it appears that they were more focused on the ability to people to gather into Militias (quickly) in defense of, well, whatever, than personal gun rights. However, like the Citizen's United decision, Militias, like corporations, are made up of individuals first, endowed full of rights. So it's seems a technicality, as I also mentioned above (make a Militia of one person), that people have to belong to a Militia.

Todd Juvinall

Here is a little story on how a family defended itself by killing the home invader.


Michael Anderson

Greg wrote: "The whole concept that the 2nd could be negated just by advances in weaponry is ludicrous."

I didn't say negated, I said it would become less viable.

Let's ponder why that might be, by first taking a look at some reasonable gun controls that don't violate the 2nd Amendment and might help to decrease gun violence in America:

1. All guns must be registered at the state level. Buying guns at a gun show is just like buying them at Wal-Mart. Gun registration must be renewed every two years.

2. All high-capacity magazines are banned from over-the-counter sale. Only those who apply for a special cert. and show proficiency can own them.

3. All guns and ammo are required to be stored in a certified gun safe when not being used. If a gun crime occurs involving a gun that was not properly secured, the sentence would be similar to vehicular homocide for the owner of the gun.

I don't support an assault weapons ban because it violates the 2nd Amendment and it also has a record of not decreasing spree killings. I do think that assault rifles, automatic weapons, and even some heavy military weapons should be allowed, but only with a cert. showing proficiency.

If the NRA doesn't make some effort to have a reasonable discussion about guns, the gun control crowd is going to prevail with rules and regulations that really start to erode the 2nd Amendment. Just saying "we don't have to do anything because it's in the Bill of Rights" is a losing strategy and dumb politics.

George Rebane

Re MichaelA's 318pm - His point #3 would make guns for home defense useless. The other two points are nuisances that will do nothing to stop future mass killings. Registration is already onerous, but necessary if certifiable and certified mental defectives are to be kept from buying guns.

Ryan Mount

George, see my commentary above regarding the Great Divide on this issue. People on either side (is there only two?) of this issue have very different perspectives on safety/security.

1) anti-gun/reform bunch: want safety *from* guns

2) Pro-gun/let's not change anything bunch: want safety *with* guns

As long as that dichotomy exists, we're in for a long fight.

I believe Michael is trying to take a moderate approach here. Not sure if that's gonna to work until we change the Constitution, which I believe is probably impossible. That is, requiring all guns to be locked in a safe (#1) is just not gonna fly with the I'm protecting my home crowd (#2). Although everyone I know stores most of their weapons in a safe, and keeps a handgun more easily assessable.

George Rebane

RyanM 341pm - agreed on your commentary - since I share it with you;-) Amending the Constitution has always been the proper way promoted here. Drafting a specific amendment and having a national debate on it would be very productive in all cases - it might even start identifying common ground, which now (at least to me) is non-existent.

Michael Anderson

Re GR's 326 pm - I'd like to amend #3 to some sort of biometric technology--only the licensee can pull the trigger by default, it can be opened up by the licensee only to "all shoot," and again if a crazy person gets a hold of the gun and it's "wide open" the licensee is charged with homicide.

Your two statements, "[#1 is a] nuisance that will do nothing to stop future mass killings" and "Registration is already onerous, but necessary..." do not jibe unless I'm missing something.

Ryan Mount

Well at least we're down to details now.


Why not just get 2 magazines then? I get the idea. The idea is to limit the number of mass shootings and their deadly effectiveness (which are very rare) by limiting, slowing really, the access to ammunition. The assumption is, that murderers will have frankly less bullets to shoot. So what's to stop them from having 3 handguns?

The biometric thing is interesting, but I'm not sure this kind of Demolition Man technology exists yet. And and how would it be administered? via thumbprint? I suppose this proposal is to get around George's home protection assertion.

Michael Anderson


Check here: http://www.biometric-security-devices.com/biometric-trigger-lock.html

It's coming.

The idea behind magazines only holding 5 rounds is that it will take longer for a bad guy to kill lots of people. The more time it takes, the less people will be killed before a good guy with a gun arrives to stop the bad guy.

Ryan Mount

So the random and frankly rare mass killer kills 12 instead of 23?

That's progress? I guess so.

When you start getting into the details, this certainly becomes a weird conversation.

Michael Anderson

After Port Arthur in Australia, gun control laws were passed.

Ryan Mount

Most of these "massacres" listed here are of of unarmed indigenous people.

And besides, if you dig into Australia's own studies, they conclude that the reduction in massacres really had nothing to due with the new laws. The biggest part of the new laws was not so much the restrictions on semi-autos, et al, but rather the massive buy-back program that ended in 1997.


See Abstract on Page 2 or the Conclusion on page 23. In a nutshell, they look at the past studies and through a rather extensive structural analysis, way above my pay grade, they conclude this:

Using a battery of structural break tests, there is little evidence to suggest that it had any significant effects on firearm homicides and suicides. In addition, there also does not appear to be any substitution effects – that reduced access to firearms may have led those bent on committing homicide or suicide to use alternative methods.

Ryan Mount

OK. Weird. Stupid Tube Internets.

The direct link to the study is NOT working, hover the Google site search version is. Use this:


Ryan Mount

Argh. Mother. Poop-sicle!



George, my apologies for barf on your blog. Just trying to get the study up. This one works.


"Re GR's 326 pm - I'd like to amend #3 to some sort of biometric technology-"

Outside of James Bond movies, it really doesn't exist and to be truly effective you need a fully grown and hungry Komodo Dragon for mop-up.

The problem with any gizmo to keep the thing from operating is that the buyer has to accept the possibility of malfunction at exactly the wrong time. It's unlikely than anyone but a guilt-ridden Volvo driver would actually pay more money for a technology that could fail them at the worst time imaginable that really doesn't do anything more than a simple lock would.


"Registration is already onerous, but necessary if certifiable and certified mental defectives are to be kept from buying guns."

George, certified mental cases, felons, etc etc are exempted from all registration laws.

It's a 5th Amendment thing.

Michael Anderson

Greg, I buy gizmos that work. If a biometric trigger is invented and gets good reviews on Yelp!, I'll buy it.

Ryan Mount


You're up too late! Or I'm up too early, either way, that's not good.

[wonders out loud] How big would such a biometric device be? I'm thinking it might be as big as the weapon. How about a key/chamber locks instead? Although we still have George's question regarding home invasion, etc. Maybe key locks should be mandatory for assault-ish type weapons?

I think some States are required to sell gun locks. Not sure if owners are required to use them.


(Note, the is from the Brady outfit but seems to have some good info)

Should we just adopt CA standards + gun show "loopholes?" Would that make everyone STFU?


Dumbest Laws‏@DumbestLaws

We didn't ban guns when it was the government killing innocent students at Kent State University in 1970...


MAnderson also sent me one of his silly threats to sue me last night at 1AM-ish... apparently he really is a "guilt-ridden Volvo driver". Too funny!

Michael Anderson

Greg, you have a stalking history. Just another shot across the bow. Take it like a man and move on dude.


"Greg, I buy gizmos that work. If a biometric trigger is invented and gets good reviews on Yelp!, I'll buy it." M Anderson

Maybe, just maybe, you should wait until one is actually invented and tested by tens of thousands of owners before you again start suggesting they should be *required*.

Ryan Mount

Hey now. There's nothing wrong with a Volvo. A Miata? Yes. It's already been discussed here.



No worry. No matter where we go, we've got these to protect us...

Police Protection is ALWAYS an afterthought. And sometimes, it's not even protection. This is not to disparage the police in anyway, it seems to be more a matter of documented fact.


"Greg, you have a stalking history."

That is absolutely FALSE, and defamatory.

Todd Juvinall

Ann Coulter has a current article correcting the bimba liberal extremist Rosenthal of the New York Times. Ann takes the lib to task for bad or no facts on the Australia gun laws.

Greg, if there is a stalker on these blogs it sure isn't you. I would say it may be a MA! LOL!

Douglas Keachie

Teaching Algebra is yet another push by liberals for socialism in schools, according to this Fox commentator:



"Greg, you have a stalking history."

That is absolutely FALSE, and defamatory."

I think I'll take that statement with many grains of celery NaCl.


Well, Todd, my first run in with "mandersonation" was on TheUnion.com when he was doing his 'scary' Climate Nazi act trying to shut up my AGW scoffer rhetoric. It didn't work.

Mike, take this like a man: Nut up or shut up. Have your "lawyer" drop me an email and I'll send him the email I sent my lawyer when you pulled the BS that I mention above. And he can tell me why any of your threats hold any water, especially given the public persona of "mandersonation" and your NevadaCityFreePress sideline, modest as it may be.

I still think it's hilarious that my Volvo owner stereotype hit so close to the mark. Rarely does life imitate snark so closely.


Keach didn't follow the link to the "Distribute the Wealth" worksheet example. It really is a math worksheet that many parents could be expected to choke on:

Ryan Mount

Re: distributing the wealth

OMG. How many times have I've been transporting teenagers around Nevada County and had to suffer with their amateur political science? Being broke, most (not all) happily tell me how much better America would be if we just had "socialism." What I suspect they're complaining about, is how their parents are ragging on them to get a job, and the fact that have no money having exhausted all of the low-hanging fruit arguments about why they are "too busy."

This is not indoctrination, but more a common youthful indiscretion. It's like that Winston Churchill line about being young/having a heart/Liberal and old[er] and Conservative/having a brain. Typically I choose my battles and do not argue with them. Because explaining the economy of scale of a pencil, for example, would invariably lead to, "we're destroying the planet by deforesting it for writing implements!" And perhaps proclamations that I am a dick. It's best not to negotiate with terrorists and simply force them into re-education work camps. Or at least force them to pick up their rooms.

Michael Anderson

Greg, my timeline in dealing with your nonsense is my own. Just keep on bein' you.

George Rebane

RyanM 625am - My sadness is that, as products of our socialist oriented school system, these young people enter the adult world with a totally broken worldview and vote that worldview. This is why Democrats are so enthusiastic to sign up young voters because they are almost uniformly ignorant, i.e. loaded, aimed, and cocked to support every leftist cause out there. Some will shift later when they gain experience, but many (most?) of them will become lifelong collectivists because of bad education/job choices, or just not having the double helix for anything else.


"Greg, you have a stalking history." - Michael Anderson, 10 January 2013 at 09:02 AM

That is absolutely FALSE, and defamatory. By the National Center for Victims of Crime, "Virtually any unwanted contact between two people [that intends] to directly or indirectly communicates a threat or places the victim in fear can be considered stalking". That fits your words in TheUnion (you know which ones) to a "T".

MA, your baseless threats of legal action are a continued harassment (though easier than making a cogent argument, aren't they?) but I've no doubt any lawyer you'd actually hire would look at what you've written and tell you to give it up.

Todd Juvinall

Jim Neilson won the 4th Senate District last Tuesday. He whipped the democrats ass real good. He got 66% of the district wide vote and 60% here in the "purple" county.


Ryan Mount


Hi. I'm just not convinced that youngster's embrace of "socialism" is nothing more than youthful exuberance and naivete, than some kind of programmatic indoctrination. Although there does seem to be some evidence here and there.

But if our schools are so bad at teaching math, then they've got to be bad at teaching everything else including communism/socialism/whatever. A lowering tide lowers all ships. Or are collectivist ships spared?

My explanation is more along the lines of laziness, narcissism, parental negligence, and frankly too much privilege and liberty that was just *handed* to our kids.

George Rebane

RyanM 935am - you are correct in as far as you go. But it has always been the youngsters' embrace of socialism that serves the autocrat. They are the easiest cohort of (Lenin's) "useful idiots" to convince of the blessings of collectivism.

I maintain that it's almost impossible to screw up teaching socialism; its principles are so simple, and also so simply beguiling. The young person, no matter how poorly endowed, feels accomplished on understanding his first major ideological tenets of a belief system that is accepted by respected adults, besides their having made such an impact in correctly taught history.

Ryan Mount

I find this interesting. And I'm not sure I agree with you George about socialism being easier to teach, but it's a tantalizing thought that I haven't considered until I asked the rhetorical question above. My assumption was that a bad school would teach all subjects poorly. So why are we worried about proto-Leninists coming out of NU. My bets would be on more pot smokers and other people who hang around the downtown Safeway.

How about this, which might be consoling: we're raising slacker, poorly trained, and inept socialists. (or is that redundant?)

George Rebane

RyanM 1121am - good points. First, I have found that in the teaching of various subjects one encounters widely different challenges - say, between forms of governance and differential calculus. Even an overall bad school will teach some subjects better than others. Simple principles (no matter their incorrect application) like 'share and share alike' are easy to demonstrate and teach.

However, your offered consolation is no doubt correct. Nevertheless, the downside of regularly releasing hordes of "inept socialists" into our society is that they can do just as much, if not more, harm in a republican democracy than the studied elite socialists. (Love your "proto-Leninist" appellation.)

Ryan Mount

So It's like what we say in the kitchen: the more dangerous thing is a dull knife.


"But if our schools are so bad at teaching math, then they've got to be bad at teaching everything else including communism/socialism/whatever."

Teaching the little darling they should be given stuff just because they deserve it is easy. Math is hard.

Douglas Keachie

Greg, so a little girl handing out cash, as a way of establishing a mnemonic for the distribute properties in multiplication is going to cause parents to choke?


For a quick review, done well, try this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pYapIz2dPzg


"Distributing the wealth" is it's own message, Doug. Sounds like one of your lessons?

Douglas Keachie

Use the phrase all the time, as in, "This country is run by and for the benefit of multi-millionaires and up, and they decide how to distribute the wealth, based on the lobbyists they can afford to buy." The poor and middle classes certainly aren't doing that job.

Michael Anderson

Greg wrote: "...but I've no doubt any lawyer you'd actually hire would look at what you've written and tell you to give it up."

The lawyer I actually hired knows the whole story. He's read everything.

He thinks you're mean and nasty, and he says that when you publish private information about people on public blogs, you cross various lines that I won't go into detail at the moment. He also has great concerns about blog administrators that don't keep a short leash on blog comments that could lead to litigation.

George Rebane

Administrivia - Gentlemen, we have another contest going on re whose lawyer has the lightest trigger. Cut out the inter-personal shit, and get back to talking about the issues. Capice?

Douglas Keachie

For those math majors who don't understand clear English, here's the visual aid for my 4:41 pm.



George, I'm sorry to find now you're being warned about litigation. It's all I've gotten; warnings. I'm still waiting to hear what defamation is alleged, or what private information I have been accused of divulging. As far as I know, I've never *ever* written anything that fits either.

What I have done is stand up for my understanding of AGW and I'm happy to say my thoughts in March '07 stand up pretty well, and the folks who were trying to pound me down on other blogs including mandersonation, a score or more of Keachie's dirty socks, Frisch, Pelline and even a PhD biologist who managed to never take a single physics class did their best to try to shut me up.

The problem seems to be I hit back.

The biologist who was musing about suing me said the lawyer, perhaps the same one, didn't actually find anything I wrote that was defamatory, just never went over that edge. Not a surprise, unlike some of the more erratic of my harassers, I don't make stuff up.

Once again, anyone who either posts at blogs or runs one should be very aware of the Electronic Frontier Foundation guidelines. The defamation guide is front and center, the left sidebar as many other interesting links.

George, your protections under the law include these gems that seem to contravene MA's not so veiled threats:

George Rebane

DougK 639pm - And I'm sure you have an equivalent one for Democrats, right?


Regarding the math lesson some parents seem to have thought to have a political message, "Distribute the Wealth", Doug seems to agree, it's just that he likes the message.

A neutral title that even George Soros would like would have been "Distributing profits". Little Mary got twice as much as Tiny Tim because she invested more and earlier. She owned that share of the profits. What a concept.

Michael Anderson

Greg wrote: "[Various people who allegedly] did their best to try to shut me up."

No one is trying to shut you up, Greg. NO ONE. You clearly are not receiving the message. Your detractors just want you to just stop being such a complete pill.

That's it. That's all there is to it.

Every one of your responses, regardless of the subject, is a personal dig about that person's veracity, intelligence, or understanding of the subject matter. You are ALWAYS the smartest boy in the room, according to you. And not once, NOT ONCE, have you ever said, "gee, that gives me something to think about."

Then you wrote: "The problem seems to be I hit back."

Nope, wrong again. The problem is that you hit first. And if anyone responds, you hit again. You're a bully, that's really all there is to it. And for some reason, George tolerates it here. I don't quite understand why.

Michael Anderson

BTW Greg, as I have written before during the past 3 years on the various blogs, I personally have a much better understanding of the alleged claims of AGW thanks to the links you have provided on various blogs, under your own name, since the summer of 2009. I have learned a lot thanks to you, and many others with a serious HT to Russ Steele (along with Watts Up With That?, which I never would have found it not for these blogs).

But in Nevada City this weekend, the theme is about the crisis of AGW. Isn't this the place where you would want to get out the message? The answer is "yes." But you have to MARKET it, with boots on the ground. Your boots!

Greg, you have to engage, and SELL IT to the wealth producers from the Silicon Valley who are here for a nice weekend of feel-good, have completely taken over your town, and are dumping oodles of cash money into the local economy.

Got growth?


You seem to be projecting again, Mike. What a tantrum.

"Every one of your responses, regardless of the subject, is a personal dig about that person's veracity, intelligence, or understanding of the subject matter. You are ALWAYS the smartest boy in the room, according to you."

Really, Mike, get a grip. I'd say none of those fit any of my posts in this thread, with this specific exception regarding a statement of yours..."Greg, you have a stalking history." False, and defamatory.

Michael Anderson


Just dealing with the bully. Not sure why I bother.

Did anyone on the "left" write anything in the last few months that you found compelling?

George Rebane

MichaelA 1152pm - AGW skeptics being at this weekend's film festival with "boots on the ground"? I do think that would impolite and disrespectful to the attendees.

You see, AGW skepticism, along the lines argued on WUWT, Russ Steele's blogs, and RR, is based on critical examination and debate of the science behind climate change. For the attendees of the film festival AGW is a religious matter, and the occasion is a faith-based happening. There is, and never has been, anything science can say to dissuade the political capital that has been piled high and dry on this cause to implement more government controls on our lives (cf Agenda21).

To put our boots on the ground at that festival and once more argue the science would be as rude as a bunch of secular humanist Lefties crowding in the door of the sanctuary during Sunday worship shouting 'God is dead!' Not nice, not nice at all.

We'll continue making the case after their own AGW services are over.


George, in other words, it would be equivalent to the old counsel not to try to teach pigs to sing, as it wastes your time and it annoys the pig.

"Faith-based happening" is exactly right. These are people who, like the FUE, think it's a given that Hurricane Sandy was caused by everyone else's CO2 emissions. I wouldn't bother crashing a Sunday service of snake handling evangelicals to talk about orbital mechanics or evolution, either.

Catastrophic AGW is sliding towards oblivion at the moment. NONE of the models are doing anything but worse when compared to what the world is actually doing. Some of the rhetoric is getting more shrill but that's to be expected; the true believers know they just have to keep it going until the rapture (or maybe all that warming in the pipeline no one can find) occurs.


"Just dealing with the bully. Not sure why I bother."

The "bully" (nice dehumanizing word, isn't it?) thinks they're doing the same. Your past bullying had my wife shaking in fear until I convinced her that you were probably just a computer geek hiding behind a screen, tossing crap into the aether and wouldn't actually be doing anything.

One just doesn't forget things like that, and here you are, still making threats, the last one because I dared make fun of Volvo drivers and that was a divulging of private information that I didn't actually have. Oh! the humanity!

George Rebane

Gregory 1128am - "Catastrophic AGW is sliding towards oblivion at the moment." Agreed, but it still has a way to go. Along this vein, this piece in today's WSJ may enlarge the perspectives of where Team Gore is on the matter.

And Russ Steele's piece expands further.

Douglas Keachie

Careful fellows: http://www.recordnet.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=%2F20130112%2FA_NEWS02%2F301120321

Douglas Keachie

Greg, do a search for the word "Sorry" and you'll find a great many posts that Michael references. It's your favorite word when dismissing other folks' opinions, you must have played the game a lot as a kid.


Sorry, Keach, one more dismissal of an opinion of yours. You'll just have to live with it.

George, a more interesting discussion from the middle is usually at judithcurry.com, Dr.Curry being a lukewarmer who talks to both sides. For example, the most recent post includes her comment regarding a draft US document,

"The document is framed around the assumption that climate change is caused by anthropogenic forcing, and that future adverse impacts are extrapolated through climate model projections. Any characterization of uncertainty seems like an afterthought... I am very concerned that the highly confident story being told here has enormous potential to mislead decision makers."

Unfortunately I'm not a WSJ subscriber, and Russ, while well meaning, just doesn't have all that much to add.


Sorry, a link didn't get copied in my last note:


Douglas Keachie

Primer for Rebane's Ruminations:



"Greg, you have to engage, and SELL IT to the wealth producers from the Silicon Valley who are here for a nice weekend of feel-good, have completely taken over your town, and are dumping oodles of cash money into the local economy.

Got growth?"

Got goosebumps? One feelgooder particularly confident in their ability to weather anything, was walking around in shorts. It was 25F when I got home 9ish last night, and it looks like it will be about the same tonight.

It may be the newly renamed Al Gorejeera effect, really cold temps whenever an AGW event occurs. Nothing teaches like a good example at a teachable moment, and there's nothing like walking out the door of an alarmist documentary with a nice dose of reality to put things in context. Eventually, the lack of palpable warming, as opposed to bad weather (be it especially cold or hot, wet or dry) being blamed on warming, will be noticed.

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