JS-Kit/Echo comments for article at http://smallestminority.blogspot.com/2005/12/reasonable-people.html (75 comments)

  Tentative mapping of comments to original article, corrections solicited.

jsid-1134978917-336234  Keith at Mon, 19 Dec 2005 07:55:17 +0000

My jaw is still dropped--that just has to be the best post I've read on any blog this year.

jsid-1134992521-336243  reverend gisher at Mon, 19 Dec 2005 11:42:01 +0000

nice to see you were more than ready for my post, and thanks to you and your wife for her letter.

jsid-1134993681-244835  Trackback at Mon, 19 Dec 2005 12:01:21 +0000

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Title: Reasonable People
Excerpt: Go read this essay over at The Smallest Minority. A taste: Reasonable people adapt themselves to the world. Unreasonable people attempt to adapt the world to themselves. All progress, therefore, depends on unreasonable people.- George Bernard Shaw ...
Blog name: Yippee-Ki-Yay!

jsid-1135006633-336272  tomWright at Mon, 19 Dec 2005 15:37:13 +0000

Dude, that must be some serious coffee you are drinking. Where can I get some?

Thought provoking post. Mass movements of the past have indeed been deadly.
Some, like fascism, lasting only a few years, some, like communism, lasting generations, some, like theocracy, (of any sect), lasting centuries.

It is, I think, an unfortunate piece of human nature, to go along with the crowd. We are primates: Look to our distant cousins, Chimpanzees and Gorillas, and you will see similar behavior. Not the same, but echoes we can learn from.

Turning back a mass movement that is dangerous, such as collectivism, is something I do not think has ever been done. Not to say it can NOT be done, but I am uncertain we have the tools to do it.

Both the economic socialist movements of the left and the moral socialist movements of the right scare me.

For now, I just keep my eyes open, my arms clean, and my feet ready to move.

When I start to feel the need to keep my arms LOADED, is when the feet need to move. Whether towards a fight, or towards flight will depend on the nature of the mass movement we face.

jsid-1135011530-336287  Bilgeman at Mon, 19 Dec 2005 16:58:50 +0000


Nice post, chum, you chewed over those memes pretty thoroughly.

I did, however, note the absence of the word "cult" in describing the germination of mass movements in general, and modern Liberalism in particular.

To my mind, Liberalism, as we know it today, is like Communism back in the early and mid-20th century...a cult phenomenon.

And cultists being essentially idolators, one looks to what idol they are worshipping.

The "utopia" that they hold so dear, is a substitute for their "improved" Selves.

How wonderful they would be if only...

At some level, Liberals are demanding that all others, to be accepted, join them in their worship of the Self.

Explains their visceral antipathy for religious expression, doesn't it?


In case you haven't run across it.


jsid-1135018685-336302  Jack Cluth at Mon, 19 Dec 2005 18:58:05 +0000

While I am impressed by your research and the thought that you clearly put into your post, I still have to take issue what was seems to be your main premise: "Liberalism is the root of all evil."

No one school of thought of philosophical viewpoint has a monopoly on the truth. I am willing to learn from others who do not think like I do, but you seem so thoroughly convinced of your own moral, intellectual, and ideological superiority that I'd be better off talking to my dog.

The problem with your ideology is that your are so enamored of it that you refuse to consider that you might actually be wrong. Amerika uber Alles might be good for your self-esteem, but it is also why we are almost universally reviled around the world.

If Liberals are such horrible cretins, who do you think is responsible for the New Deal, the 40-hour work week, and many other social advances?

Reasonable people can and will disagree. After all, as Tip O'Neill once said, politics is the art of the possible- not the art of subjugating those who happen to not think as you do. Reasonableness simply means recognizing that your opinions and ideology do not supercede those of other, lesser mortals.

Of course, it's difficult to talk about reasonable people with someone who clearly is anything but reasonable. It must be nice being on top of the world....

jsid-1135019209-336310  Kevin Baker at Mon, 19 Dec 2005 19:06:49 +0000

I thought you didn't want to debate, Jack?

Go back and re-read the piece. Carefully.

If you'd actually like to discuss it - like reasonable people - drop me a line. I'll do it either publicly or privately.

I don't think you're a True Believer (yet), though you're headed that way.

Edited to add: Just looked at your site again. A Ted Rall cartoon on "shipping our dead home as freight."

Perhaps I was wrong about you not being a True Believer. Facts don't seem to mean anything to you, do they?

"you seem so thoroughly convinced of your own moral, intellectual, and ideological superiority that I'd be better off talking to my dog."

Pot? Meet kettle.

jsid-1135020873-336315  James at Mon, 19 Dec 2005 19:34:33 +0000

"If Liberals are such horrible cretins, who do you think is responsible for the New Deal, the 40-hour work week, and many other social advances?"

You have proven his point for him.

jsid-1135021093-336316  Tom at Mon, 19 Dec 2005 19:38:13 +0000

I think Jefferson knew exactly that of which you speak...

"The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants."

My only hope is that I am around when the call comes...and not my children.

I don't suppose any of that makes it easier to identify the opposition, except that I fear they may come quietly in the night rather than at on the open field of battle. The latter is easier to fight and cannot ultimately win. The former, on the other hand, is far more dangerous.

jsid-1135022450-336322  reverend gisher at Mon, 19 Dec 2005 20:00:50 +0000

i ask only this, do you not feel you have an obligation to get involved to try and work things out before our deimise, or do you feel it is ok to sit there stockpiling for the demise, and doing nothing to stop it? that is where the line is drawn in the sand for so-called reasonable people. there is after all the word reason in the word reasonable. is it being used accurately here?

jsid-1135022822-336323  Kevin Baker at Mon, 19 Dec 2005 20:07:02 +0000

Rev, what do you think this blog is for??

jsid-1135024311-336329  Bilgeman at Mon, 19 Dec 2005 20:31:51 +0000

reverend gisher:

"or do you feel it is ok to sit there stockpiling for the demise, and doing nothing to stop it?"

Would you have me join you on the beach and exhort the hurricane to pass us by?

There WILL be storms, reverend, this we know. There is precious little, if anything, we can do to prevent them, this we also know.

But we CAN prepare for them, and if our preparations are sound, we can survive them and flourish in spite of them.

IIRC, Christ told quite a few parables about the virtues of preparedness...the virgin who rationed her lamp oil comes to mind.


jsid-1135025168-336335  Kevin Baker at Mon, 19 Dec 2005 20:46:08 +0000

Just so you know, Bilgeman, the "Rev. Gisher" is about as ordained as I am.

jsid-1135031879-336358  reverend gisher at Mon, 19 Dec 2005 22:37:59 +0000

kevin that comment was not for you.

i am off for the day. you boys have fun excusing yourselves from doing anything.
say have you fellas heard about the rapture? might be the ticket for you. other folks use it to excuse themselves from doing something to help. maybe there is a new club in there somewhere, and i will be happy to be treasurer.

(not you again kevin geez)

jsid-1135039597-336377  P. Froward at Tue, 20 Dec 2005 00:46:37 +0000

So, Kevin, uh... what're you trying to say there, exactly?

Hyuk hyuk.

By the way, Jack, I know Tip O'Neill said that all politics is local, but I'm pretty sure that it was Juan Peron (or else his doppleganger on Broadway) who called politics "the art of the possible". I offer no judgement on the relative merits of those two fine gentlemen.

And by the other way, the New Deal isn't something brag about personally, and the 40-hour work week is possible only because of that evil awful competitive capitalism making everybody more productive. If French peasants in the 16th century had worked only 40 hours each week, they'd have starved. Rather, even more of them would have starved (but they'd have done it with organic farming methods!). And no, you can't make an inadequate food supply go farther by raising taxes. Seriously, you really can't. No amount of taxation will ever magically transform one hamburger into two hamburgers. No, not even if you throw a press conference, call Republicans bad names, and babble about "the children". Even banning guns won't turn one hamburger into two. I know what you're saying right now: You're saying "but they could have just gone and bought radicchio at Whole Foods!" Actually, somebody in France once made a very similar suggestion... Except she was only joking.

But do go right on regarding profit as a great evil, if it makes you feel warm inside.

P.S. Please don't take the above as a fling against radicchio. It would darn near break my heart if that worthy vegetable were to be defamed.

jsid-1135039666-336378  P. Froward at Tue, 20 Dec 2005 00:47:46 +0000

Correction: "The New Deal isn't something I'd brag about, personally."

jsid-1135051322-336401  Mark Alger at Tue, 20 Dec 2005 04:02:02 +0000


Great post. One complaint; too long.

I'll be blogging about it over t' BTB.



jsid-1135066431-245126  Trackback at Tue, 20 Dec 2005 08:13:51 +0000

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Title: Another DUMB@$$ AWARD wiener
Excerpt: Reasonable People It Takes a Lot to Piss Me Off DUMB@$$ AWARD wiener #338: Kevin Baker When it comes to bestowing the coveted DUMB@$$ AWARDS, I normally avoid (dis)honoring other bloggers. After all, we all know what opinions are like, and I don’...
Blog name: The People's Republic of Seabrook

jsid-1135068815-336429  daveawayfromhome at Tue, 20 Dec 2005 08:53:35 +0000

Damn. Too big, too dense, too much to pile into my poor tiny brain.

Mass Movement coming? Yeah, probably. Dangerous? Undoubtedly. But where's it coming from? I dont know, and neither does almost anybody. A conservative would tell you that it's Political Correctness and rampant Multi-culturalism, and he'd have a good point. A liberal would tell you that it's Self-serving Capitalism and the elevation of quantity of Profit over Quality of Life, and he'd have a very good point, too. More than likely the movement will be some ugly combination of the two that'll come out of left field and catch both sides by surprise.

You want an alternate working version of what a reasonable person is? How about this one: A reasonable person is one who makes sure that words equal actions.
It doesnt take much to see that all cultures were not created equal. Nor does it take much to see that the wealth of a society cannot be sustained by collecting that wealth in fewer and fewer hands.

You may not agree with everything the "Rev" is doing, I dont agree with it all myself, but you cant deny that he, and everyone, ought to try to do something. At worst, creating dialog among differing viewpoints allows people to have their mental motors idling (or better) when the movement finally is identified. (This is important, since we'll probably be right smack in the middle of it before recognising it - the better to be warmed up, rather than trying to cold start ourselves).

Feel free to argue with me, I'm certain I missed something in that thicket there.

jsid-1135081180-245219  Trackback at Tue, 20 Dec 2005 12:19:40 +0000

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Title: The Coming Conflict
Excerpt: Kevin over at The Smallest Minority has a great (and very long) post in which he seems to be looking for a way to define the opposing sides of what some see as the developing conflict within the US. The whole thing is quite involved so I won't try to...
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jsid-1135081447-245221  Trackback at Tue, 20 Dec 2005 12:24:07 +0000

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Title: Who fears an army of cowards?
Excerpt: We haven't visited the Smallest Minority much of late, largely because we don't have a lot of time and every time we visit Kevin's site, we end up having to write a lengthy response. His latest encyclical takes a look
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jsid-1135093015-336475  bob at Tue, 20 Dec 2005 15:36:55 +0000

I think Ronald Regan summed it up nicely:

"Well, the trouble with our liberal friends is not that they are ignorant, but that they know so much that isn't so."

jsid-1135098126-245318  Trackback at Tue, 20 Dec 2005 17:02:06 +0000

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Title: Reasonable People Need Reasonable People
Excerpt: Long time readers know that I’m a big fan of Kevin’s work at The Smallest Minority. Well, he’s done it again, another large post that is as thought provoking as it is scary.
Go read the whole thing. Done? Good!
And here’s ...
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jsid-1135103409-336501  daveawayfromhome at Tue, 20 Dec 2005 18:30:09 +0000

I think the same could be said for many conservatives out there, too

jsid-1135104288-336505  Kevin Baker at Tue, 20 Dec 2005 18:44:48 +0000

Depends on how you want to define it, really. That's one of the problems here - people keep using the same words, but the meanings keep shifting without anyone being informed.

I'm less a "conservative" than I am a "classic liberal" - I believe in liberty - which means I'm on the other side of a lot of what are now "conservative" shibboleths. Certainly there are "conservatives" who believe things that are demonstrably not true - it's been said that human beings are the only creatures who can hold three or more mutually exclusive beliefs simultaneously.

jsid-1135108617-245363  Trackback at Tue, 20 Dec 2005 19:56:57 +0000

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Title: Differings
Excerpt: Kevin Baker is winning deserved plaudits for his Reasonable People cri de coeur. It's a worthy compendium of piercing thoughts on the all too evident derangement that has the political Left -- that is, everyone to the left of Dick Morris a...
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jsid-1135119544-336550  reverend gisher at Tue, 20 Dec 2005 22:59:04 +0000

let me first correct something... this was an excellent essay kevin, and thoughtfully done. heavy on the word count side, but who am I to complain. fantastic piece. ok now I rip you a new one:

i hate to be a smartass with kevin but i agree you are a smart guy who misread the constitution. and i did not just rely on my own impressions on this, i have a mother who was a phenom as a contract lawyer, and a brother who eats other constitutional lawyers for breakfast who have looked at that document, and see it as exactly what dave expressed, protection for puritans, and a benchmark demanding seperation. the statement on money, and the pledge were added much later (not through a amendment, but snuck past) by very strong meddling movements. as for the second amendment which you salivate on, i have read it, and it does protect your right to have guns, but you must read it in context, and ask why every gun owner does not volunteer for the national guard in their state.(notice i said i ask why, not that the law demands national guard involvement, just a thought kevin) before you try and take me on in constitutional law, as smart as you are, and that is very damn smart, you might also beware of just who may be typing these words right now, and it ain't elmer fudd.

jsid-1135124222-336563  reverend gisher at Wed, 21 Dec 2005 00:17:02 +0000

"I'm dwiving in my cahw. I tuwn on the wadio. I puw you cwoseh. You say noh-oh-oh-oh. You say you don't wike it, but I know you'w a wiah. When we kiss, oo-oo-oo-ooh . . . . fi-wah."'

jsid-1135133999-336606  -B at Wed, 21 Dec 2005 02:59:59 +0000

You have put into words, and expanded upon, the very idea that I have had ruminating in my head for quite some time.

One need only look to the Democratic Underground or Moveon-dot-org who exemplify what you are refering to perfectly.

To be quite frank, it worries me, more than just a little. Any of us who are paying attention to what is being said, reading the opinions of the other side, and for me particularly, engaging in various fictions on the subject these days. Some of it is far too plausible for my mental well being.

As for the idea that the Reverand has regarding the volunteering of us self-described "gun nuts" in the National Guard, I would have to point not only him, but everyone, to Vin Suprynowicz's excellent book, "The Ballad of Carl Drega." Read the whole thing, but the most relevant part starting at about page 323 and going to about page 342, regarding the idea of "militia."

That is MY two cents about the context issue.

jsid-1135144693-336647  Eric Sivula at Wed, 21 Dec 2005 05:58:13 +0000

Mr. Gisher, as a male adult in the United States I am not required to volunteer for the National Gaurd. By Federal Law, the Militia Act of 1956, I am already a member of a militia, since I am old enough, 18 to 45.

So why again should I volunteer for a branch of the Federal Armed Forces over which Governors have some command, when i am already part of the "well regulated Militia" to which the Founders were referring?

As for your family's great understanding of the Constitution, I am glad that they do. However some people would claim that Justice Breyer has a great understanding of the document, and he believes that his job is to implement "active liberty" into the Cosntitution. His justifaction to altering the meaning of the document by fiat from five Justices instead of the Amendment process in the document? The beginning of the document says "We the People..", not "We the People of 1787..". Breyer actually believes that this means he is allowed to reinterpret the meaning of English words in the Cosntitution.

So in conclusion, being good at MODERN Constitutional law means being good at getting a judge to agree with you that "wall of Seperation" is what Madison meant when he wrote "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion", even though Madison never mentioned the wall, Jefferson did.

And since I am legally part of a militia by Federal Law, the Second Amendment does apply to me, and every other non-felon adult in America, thank you very much.

As for reasonable people disagreeing, how can reasonable people argue over the meaning of words, in English, in the Constitution? *Even* if the words meanings have changed in common useage, we have DICTIONARIES from the period. We do not have to determine meaning from context, we can read the meanings IN ENGLISH.

jsid-1135147003-336651  daveawayfromhome at Wed, 21 Dec 2005 06:36:43 +0000

I got this from David Brin's blog and he got it from somebody named Russ Daggart, so double-check away:

"How often has each justice voted to strike down a law passed by Congress?

Declaring an act of Congress unconstitutional is the boldest thing a judge can do. That's because Congress, as an elected legislative body representing the entire nation, makes decisions that can be presumed to possess a high degree of democratic legitimacy. ... Until 1991, the court struck down an average of one Congressional statute every two years. Between 1791 (the court's founding) and 1858, only two such invalidations occurred. ...

Since the Supreme Court assumed its current composition in 1994, by our count it has upheld or struck down 64 Congressional provisions. That legislation has concerned Social Security, church and state, and campaign finance, among many other issues. We examined the court's decisions in these cases and looked at how each justice voted, regardless of whether he or she concurred with the majority or dissented.

We found that justices vary widely in their inclination to strike down Congressional laws. Justice Clarence Thomas, appointed by President George H.W. Bush, was the most inclined, voting to invalidate 65.63 percent of those laws; Justice Stephen Breyer, appointed by President Bill Clinton, was the least, voting to invalidate 28.13 percent. The tally for all the justices appears below..."

Thomas: 65.63%
Kennedy: 64.06%
Scalia: 56.25%
Rehnquist: 46.88%
O'Connor: 46.77%
Souter: 42.19%
Stevens: 39.34%
Ginsburg: 39.06%
Breyer: 28.13%

Who are the activists on the court?

jsid-1135147081-336652  daveawayfromhome at Wed, 21 Dec 2005 06:38:01 +0000

I just couldnt let the comment about Breyer go by. Propaganda. Facts.

You decide.

jsid-1135147675-336654  reverend gisher at Wed, 21 Dec 2005 06:47:55 +0000

ooooooooh you hurt me. ouch. oh the pain. please stop you are killing me.

ok let's get a few sandwiches back in your picnic basket.

the Militia Act of 1956?

what are you smoking? i want some.

let me lift a comment for you you missed knee-jerking your way across the page:

"but you must read it in context, and ask why every gun owner does not volunteer for the national guard in their state.(notice i said i ask why, not that the law demands national guard involvement, just a thought kevin"

read it again after you take some remron.. I WAS JOKING WITH KEVIN. GET IT? JOKING...wipe the spittle of your chin you will short the keyboard.

"However some people would claim that Justice Breyer has a great understanding of the document, and he believes that his job is to implement "active liberty" into the Cosntitution. His justifaction to altering the meaning of the document by fiat from five Justices instead of the Amendment process in the document? The beginning of the document says "We the People..", not "We the People of 1787..". Breyer actually believes that this means he is allowed to reinterpret the meaning of English words in the Cosntitution."

every hack believes he has the right to reinterpret the meaning of English words in the Cosntitution. now if you want to do that you aid the people that say gun ownership is not allowed. they say we no longer have a militia. you though feel as though you are a card carrying member of a militia. boy what are you smoking?

the constitution applies then and now. you said as much yourself, as a matter of fact you said too much, you cannot have both sides of an arguement, and you are unaware of how you conflict with your own logic trail. in fact, i am not putting this up for you, because you won't get what i am saying. i am putting this up for people who still have teeth left to brush.

further, do you know what a law clerk does for a supreme? do you know what i did till i got sick of it? do you know i hold little respect for beyer, or for that matter the rest of them?

"And since I am legally part of a militia by Federal Law, the Second Amendment does apply to me"

the Militia Act of 1956?

you are some soldier their sport. yea buddy. maybe in the twilight zone.


jsid-1135148923-336655  reverend gisher at Wed, 21 Dec 2005 07:08:43 +0000


i just realized i left out a detail that i better correct quick before google crashes from all the searches done. the clerks for the supremes vary in talent more than the supremes do. do you know who the smart clerks call when they are drafting up something for the boss who's screwing off, and want to confirm their thinking? they call a person who works for a lawyer that cannot stand to lose a case in front of the supremes. scary isn't it?

know thy enemy.


nice point there daveaway. beyer is the most ballless jerk of all.


jsid-1135156077-245502  Trackback at Wed, 21 Dec 2005 09:07:57 +0000

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Title: What kind of fortress can one build with marshmellows?
Excerpt: That was fast. In our comments, Kevin Baker offers this rebuttal:I hope you're right. I really do. However, I don't think humanity has changed all that much in the last two milennia, and I think Eric Hoffer's observations on the
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jsid-1135174087-336681  geekwitha.45 at Wed, 21 Dec 2005 14:08:07 +0000

>>~~numbers of congressional provisions overturned~~~

followed by the challenge

>>Who are the activists on the court?

Russ Daggat does not take into account any measure of the degree of constitutional conformance of Congress over time, and therefore his numbers have not context. Without the context, the point he seeks to make, that "conservative" justices are actually the activists is not made.

With a Congress whose constitutional incursions are frequent and flagrant, there is a richer field of targets of opportunity for SCOTUS review, and consequently invalidate.

Furthermore, one need not take positive actions such as voting to strike down a congressional provision to be "activist". Simply looking the other way to let a law of dubious constitutional authority stand is the source of endless catastrophe.

>>Declaring an act of Congress unconstitutional is the boldest thing a judge can do.

Boldness is a poor measure of "activism".

Most of the damage done since the 30s has been the result of judicial cowardice.

Bold and Gallant judges, dedicated to the spirit and text of the constitution are precisely what we need.

jsid-1135174579-336682  geekwitha.45 at Wed, 21 Dec 2005 14:16:19 +0000


>> That's because Congress, as an elected legislative body representing the entire nation, makes decisions that can be presumed to possess a high degree of democratic legitimacy.

Daggat's flawed argument depends on what Barnett terms the "presumption of Constitutionality" that congress enjoys.

Given the wild discrepancies between what the Constitution SAYS and what the congress DOES clearly indicates that this presumption is no longer warranted, if indeed it ever was.

"Democratic legitimacy" is one thing, and constitutional conformance is another. Degenerate democracy is something our Republic was specifically designed to minimize.

jsid-1135203887-336773  thirdpower at Wed, 21 Dec 2005 22:24:47 +0000

And thanks to this post, I just trashed a guy on a message board who tried to use Massey as a posterboy for anti-war protesting.

jsid-1135214321-336799  Kevin Baker at Thu, 22 Dec 2005 01:18:41 +0000

You're welcome!

jsid-1135214446-336800  reverend gisher at Thu, 22 Dec 2005 01:20:46 +0000

OK kevin you have me on record now as defending your treasured amendment. and i will defend your right and mine to own these large caliber suckers, right by your side. other than asking for penalties for parents who do not secure and supervise children with their guns, i have no legal challenges for you. responsible gun ownership, is about all I ask. you are a responsible gun owner. what the heck else do i have to do to get a permanent spot on your sidebar.... i can tap dance for you in a tutu if you like. maybe some nice impressions... i do a great groucho marx.

jsid-1135215007-336802  Kevin Baker at Thu, 22 Dec 2005 01:30:07 +0000


Why are you so damned desperate for a permalink from a third-tier blog?

I think that bothers me more than anything.

jsid-1135223207-336827  reverend gisher at Thu, 22 Dec 2005 03:46:47 +0000

it's a principal thing, inclusion diversity, good for the whole hive kinda thing my man, plus i do like your writing.

jsid-1135224451-336830  daveawayfromhome at Thu, 22 Dec 2005 04:07:31 +0000

Okay, let me see if I've got this straight: "Activist" judges "create" laws, even though they are unelected, by overturning the laws rightfully created by Congress.
But! By also not overturning laws rightfully created by Congress (but a "wrongheaded" Congress), they are considered to be "Activist".


Okay, I got it. What you seem to be saying is that when Congress, a body legally elected by the People, makes a law that The Framers just simply wouldnt agree with, that an "Activist" judge would let it stand. And if Congress miraculously manages to create one that Ol' Tom and George and John would like, those bad old "Activist" judges would overturn it quick as they could, no doubt working in tandem with the ACLU or some other un-American organization.

Is that about it?

What a load of crap.

Even if the only American History you know is from a VHS copy of 1776, you'd know that even the Founding Fathers disagreed about a whole lot of things.
They wrote the document, then they started to use it. Now it's our turn. If you dont like the laws made by Congress, then do more of what the Republican Party has done so well the last couple of decades: elect your own people who think like you do and after changing the rulemakers, change the rules. But dont exect me to like it, or to sit back quietly while you do it.

And especially, dont give me that More-Framer-Than-Thou bullshit. If Thomas Jefferson were here today, he'd probably bitch-slap you.

jsid-1135226653-336837  daveawayfromhome at Thu, 22 Dec 2005 04:44:13 +0000

Please excuse the "bitch-slap" thing. That was rude. I stand by the rest, though.

jsid-1135228573-336840  Kevin Baker at Thu, 22 Dec 2005 05:16:13 +0000

Nothing like a little calm, sober discussion, is there?

Anyone want to discuss Wickard v. Filburn?

How about U.S. v. Cruikshank?

Or, if you'd rather be more modern, how about Kelo v. New London?

And that's just three example from SCOTUS.

jsid-1135229266-336841  Kevin Baker at Thu, 22 Dec 2005 05:27:46 +0000

"it's a principal thing, inclusion diversity, good for the whole hive kinda thing my man, plus i do like your writing."

That's not an answer to my question - at least not the "desperateness" aspect of it.

And, while I think that one post cute, I find myself in agreement (SHOCK!) with James - your writing tends to be a little on the bizarre side.

Perhaps it's just me.

jsid-1135229962-336844  geekwitha.45 at Thu, 22 Dec 2005 05:39:22 +0000

>>Is that about it?

Actually, no dave, that's not it at all.

It's not about laws the framers would agree or not agree with.

Nor is it about being duly elected through a democratic process. 51% of a district's vote is NOT carte blanche to vote as one will on legislation, nor is 51% vote of a legislative body carte blanche to enact whatever seems like a good idea at the time.

Congress, even properly elected, may make no law but that for which We the People have granted them authority to make. The powers we have ceded to government in our charters are finite, and reasonably well spelled out.

Furthermore, our charters, with reasonable clarity, spell out rights unto which government may not trespass.

They have done both, with near impunity.

The righeous role of the judge is, in part, to impartially ensure that the acts of the congress and the executive do not overflow those constraints.

A judge may not construct law where there is none, nor may he turn a blind eye to the transgressions that innevitably occur.

It's not about agenda, dave.

It's not about the extraconstitutional agendas of the left, and it's not about the extraconstitutional agendas of the right.

Of course, since most of those constraints have been largely thrown out the window over the last 70 years, all bets are off. Actually, all bets are on in a wild free for all the likes of which this Republic has never seen, and it has largely become entirely about the agendas of the extremes, with we the people shat upon in the crossfire.

This scheme was envisioned to limit the damage that may be done, and in so doing, also limits the good, which is the unnavoidable other side of the coin.

In seeking to achieve the good, we have blasted down the dike that held back the sea, and now we fight over who gets to turn the torrent upon whom.

These constraints were put in for good and serious reasons, dave. They were put in precisely to prevent our Republic from degenerating into a mere majoritarian excercise, a prospect you appear to relish.

jsid-1135242140-336868  daveawayfromhome at Thu, 22 Dec 2005 09:02:20 +0000

Actually, Geek, your last post works for me. I dont think the Liberals have done any better of a job than the Conservatives are doing right now. But how do you assure that a nominee is not a knee-jerk activist for either side. Do you really think that BushCo is willing to choose a non-partisan justice (which is what we're really looking for here, isnt it).
I dont believe in a tyranny of the majority any more than I believe in a legal trip down memory lane. I do believe in Fairness to Everybody, and I dont see how the Bush Administration, which is the current face of the Conservative movement, does anything but look out for its own and to hell with the rest.

jsid-1135260404-245985  Trackback at Thu, 22 Dec 2005 14:06:44 +0000

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jsid-1135264537-336889  Kevin Baker at Thu, 22 Dec 2005 15:15:37 +0000

"I dont believe in a tyranny of the majority any more than I believe in a legal trip down memory lane"

Well, the "tyranny of the majority" in a democracy is real, whether you believe in it or not. That's what a Constitution is supposed to protect against.

As far as "a legal trip down memory lane," that's called stare decisis - that's real too, regardless of your belief.

"I do believe in Fairness to Everybody...."

What's "fair"? Who decides?

And I ask in all seriousness.

jsid-1135273653-336914  daveawayfromhome at Thu, 22 Dec 2005 17:47:33 +0000

Well, the "tyranny of the majority" in a democracy is real, whether you believe in it or not. That's what a Constitution is supposed to protect against.

What about they tyranny of the minority. BushCo is now below 50% approval. Would he win an election today? When a war is unpopular, and yet still fought, does that count? Just because something starts off popular, should it always be pursued?
I think the trick there is the word "tyranny". I think Dubya is either a tyrant, or eyeballing the idea real hard. Others will disagree, and I will agree that my own opinion is mostly hyperbole. But I still dont like him, I think recent revelations of his behave reveal perhaps impeachable offenses, and I wonder what's been going on behind the scenes that we still dont know about.

stare decisis: I like stare decisis, except (here's the tricky part) when it's in the service of injustice.
To which you inevitably ask, what's "injustice"?

What's "fairness"?

What's "morality", for that matter. And no, I'm not a wishy-washy every-thing-is-a-truth moron liberal. I learned Right and Wrong at my Mama's Christian tit, but it seems to be a different Right and Wrong from the rather cruel sense of it used in Washington these days. Remember the days when Robin Hood was a Hero?
Now it's slash the pay of the worker and give the Boss a bonus for his cleverness. It's talk big about the investment value of a college education while raising tuition to unaffordable levels and cutting financial aide. It's giving lip-service to health care while making sure that the real winners are medical corporations. It's talking about the benefits to stockholders while knowing that the only people making any real money in the stock market are the Wheelin'-Dealin' stock speculators.
Is that Fair? Is that Moral? Is that Right?
I dont think so, and as an American, it's my right to say so, and you can pry that right out of my cold, dead hands.

But guess what, as hard as I might argue/fight for what I believe to be right, I'm not arrogant enough to think I'm absolutely right in what I believe. I dont see that attitude in most of the Conservatives wielding power these days, nor do I see it in a sizeable chunk of Liberals. When the Liberals are back in power (and we all know the pendulum swings) I'll rail at them for their stupid ideas and unbendingness.
Today, though, it's the Conservatives, and mean, nasty, greedy bunch they're turning out to be. Do we let them get away with it because we dont want Liberals in their place acting with opposite stupidity?

To paraphrase someone (Ed Meese, maybe?) I cant define "fairness", but I know it when I see it.

jsid-1135275278-336921  Bilgeman at Thu, 22 Dec 2005 18:14:38 +0000

Small Minor;

"Why are you so damned desperate for a permalink from a third-tier blog?

I think that bothers me more than anything."

I'm from the yoo-nyun, we can nee-goash-eeyate.

Give the reverend his stinkin' link conditional upon his taking you, or one of the NoR volunteers up on their offer to go shooting.

E-mail pictures of the rev,(in full reverential regalia...Roman collar would be the grooviest), complete with muzzle-blasting firearm, to be the deal-sealer.

Is this agreeable to both parties?


jsid-1135277276-336925  Kevin Baker at Thu, 22 Dec 2005 18:47:56 +0000

"What about they tyranny of the minority. BushCo is now below 50% approval. Would he win an election today? When a war is unpopular, and yet still fought, does that count? Just because something starts off popular, should it always be pursued?"

(Shaking my head...) Dave, I think you just inspired another post.

jsid-1135277813-336926  reverend gisher at Thu, 22 Dec 2005 18:56:53 +0000


i find you almost as amusing as kevin. as for you kevin, your writing is at times tight. however, if some other "gun nut" that does not advocate violence will link swap with me, i will let my salad tongs loose from your paranoid throat kevin. i have no deperation save the desire to bring many divergent opinions together to calmly discuss what ails us all, and to find agreement on the areas we can so we can get something done instead of pissy-fighting to death. from all of the gun blogs i have seen, yours kevin, is the deepest. plus i like your wife, she is an amazing lady. you started this blog to educate and defend your posistion, and i will never ask you to change your blog, all i am asking for is a dad-gummed link on the sidebar. i ask you, would that kill you?

jsid-1135278097-336929  -B at Thu, 22 Dec 2005 19:01:37 +0000

Tyranny of the minority...

Kind of like Clinton winning, TWICE, without a majority.

Don't recall that, do you Dave.

Short memories, those leftists have.

jsid-1135278846-336933  reverend gisher at Thu, 22 Dec 2005 19:14:06 +0000


about to go back out and play but wanted to stick up for dave and remind you that if ole big ears hadn't made it a three way, we would never have known all the fun things that you can do with cigars.

jsid-1135279112-336934  Robert at Thu, 22 Dec 2005 19:18:32 +0000

Kevin, while I have visited your site several times, for some reason never got around to a link until this post. I should have done it a long time ago!

Hey Rev., you got a link too. But not a blogroll--yet. Like I said in my post, I'm a little suspicious that you're an agent of the ELF. ;)

jsid-1135282000-336940  -B at Thu, 22 Dec 2005 20:06:40 +0000


Please understand that this response is not presented in anger, nor directed at you.

Dave was trying to make, what I feel, was a weak argument with that sad mantra about how "illegitimate" GWB's terms are, because of his lack of popularity. Three way or not, Billy Boy was, still is, despised by guys like me.

The last FOUR presidential elections have come down to who won...by way of electoral votes, which is, with the exception of two states I believe, a winner take all situation.

I am not an avowed Pro-Bush supporter, but neither am I a blood-sucking leftist. I was merely trying to illustrate to Dave how his conclusion about popularity is inaccurate.

There were many "conservatives", probably in the numeric majority, but split with the Perot factor, who didn't at all care for Clinton and his administration. Bill wasn't nearly as popular as Dave seems to recall, yet I'm sure that doesn't matter to him, because he has his rose colored glasses on about those years spanning '93-'01. His logic, not mine.

jsid-1135286074-336946  Bilgeman at Thu, 22 Dec 2005 21:14:34 +0000


"i find you almost as amusing as kevin"

Imagine how amusing I be after 3 weeks at sea...you'd be so amused you might want to jump over the side.

"and to find agreement on the areas we can so we can get something done instead of pissy-fighting to death."

Well, here's your opportunity. If it's amenable to Small Minor, all you have to do is scare up a cassock and a Roman collar, and spend a day passing the time shooting some other fellow's firearm.

You get a permalink, Small Minor gets a .jpg of a "man of God" shooting a firearm..."Reverend Rambo", if you will.

What say?


jsid-1135288261-336947  geekwitha.45 at Thu, 22 Dec 2005 21:51:01 +0000

Hi Dave,

I'm glad my last post works for you, because it explains the post before that.

It also indicates what is more or less my position on these matters.

It also seems that it just _might_ form the basis for agreement.


In agreeing that there are some things a government simply cannot rightly do, and that these are spelled out in its founding charters, you've taken a step back from the edge of the cliff.

I don't know if you'll be willing or able to walk entirely away from the edge or not, because the path leads past some gruesome sights you probably won't like, given the neoliberal flavor of your blog, and your description of the many supposed evils of the Right.

{OOOH! I like that! Is neoliberal already taken, as a distinguisher from classical liberal?}

{Sidebar: OMG! They right encourages people to make money! At the same time, they have the magical power to raise tuition and the cost of healthcare! Implicit in all these things is the incorrect supposition that a) the whole thing is a zero sum game when it's not, that b) the government can do something about these things you find so offensive, and c) that they SHOULD do something about these things. What do you propose? Which property redistribution scheme suits your liking, and appeals to your sense of social justice?}

The place I started from is not the place in which I currently stand. There are lots of government activities, many benign and many arguably beneficial that I did not question. This is the good that we sought to do by laying aside the charters. It might have been fair to describe me as slightly left of center, but with firm notions that the government is limited, and must protect individual rights such as indicated in my previous post as bedrock.

When I beheld the many travesties, the wreckage that the bill of rights has become, I saw that the bad was not limited because the charters had been mangled beyond recognition, I came to question how it is that we had come to this state of affairs, and set about looking into the matter, backtracking as far as I needed to to establish the most proximate causes of this constitutional degredation.

It's not about the last 10 years, or even the last 20 years of history. It's about the last 70 or so.

You've got to courageously trace back the money, the power, who gives, who gets, and ask yourself questions like "When did the federal government get so big?" "How did it get that big?" "How is it that charter clauses whose text appears to restrain government, or provide the citizen with some protection or another come to null effect?""Whose agenda would suffer the most if we were able to stuff the constitutional genie back into the bottle?"

The part that you're not going to like is the fact that much of the neoliberal agenda is dependent upon the extraconstitutional powers that have been expropriated over this last century, much more so than the extraconstitutional aspirations of the Right, and that the cruddy stage of near infinite governmental power upon which we now play out this sordid drama was largely created by the left.

Your team did it.

While the Left & Dems of 2005 bitch and moan about the excesses of the GOP, they essentially fail to acknowledge that the GOP does this only by having stood upon the foundation that they themselves have laid in the last 70 years, and the neoliberal left adamantly refuses to come to grips with their significant contributions to this state of affairs.

The central problem is the overall amount of power available, that the levers of power now move in any direction without apparent limit, and I'm afraid that so long as the Dems cling to their ideologically driven will to wield extra constitutional powers, there are very real limits as to what can be meaningfully done to reform the GOP.

That is the central problem that needs addressing.

On the other hand, something else you said concerning the swing of the pendulum strikes a chord, that of the pendulum swinging, and this I think is the strategy of some on the left to bide their time, play the victim, milking the role for all that it's worth, pay some lip service to the notion of constrained government, all the while waiting for that pendulum to swing them back into power, so they can have their chance to fondle the levers of power and put them in place more suited to their liking.

Sorry, but we can't allow that.

The genie must be stuffed back into the bottle, and to achieve that peacably, y'all are going to have to cooperate and stop fighting us on certain issues that you have no business differentiating yourselves from us on.

Like, for example, a sincere commitment to limited government of enumerated powers in the context of open ended individual rights.

This cold civil war isn't about whether the future of America looks like the right or the left, and it's not about whether America will be as it is, or as it was.

It's about what shape it will take in its next iteration.

It's largely about whether the full meaning of the founding charters, the mechanism of Republic will be refreshed to have some coherent force, or selectively cherry picked to death into a giant bloody mush, in an all bets are on free for all orgy of self destruction.

That is the question for our generation.

You in, or out?

jsid-1135288914-336949  geekwitha.45 at Thu, 22 Dec 2005 22:01:54 +0000

Oh, I guess I gotta clarify.

In asking whether you're in or out, I'm not asking you to abandon your neoliberalism.

You can be as neoliberal as you want to be, within the constraints of our charters. If you don't like the charters, you can work to change them, right up to the limit of individual natural rights. I cede no more of those to anyone. For example, I have never yielded my right of arms to any polity, and never will. I have fought to excercise them, and will continue to do so, to the death if need be. (Hopefully not.)

You can be on my team and still lean left. All it takes is a commitment that the mechanism of the Republic cannot be ignored when inconvenient.

jsid-1135289863-336953  reverend gisher at Thu, 22 Dec 2005 22:17:43 +0000


maybe i don't get what you are saying, but i have been shooting all of my life. i have squeezed off an M1 grande, (my shoulder never recovered) and a PPK, as well as dozens of sidearms and muzzleloaders(yes i have packed shot)and currently possess an aresenal which includes a 12 gauge perugini & visini armi side by side, which i use for skeet shooting (no it does not stay on a shelf)it's my pride and joy. i am busy trying to save idiots from themselves right now, and will leave the tryouts to newbees for kevin and you guys, i do not have time. did i miss your point?

jsid-1135290250-336955  reverend gisher at Thu, 22 Dec 2005 22:24:10 +0000

ooops i forgot Bilgeman

i owned all ten gold bars which i can wear on my chest, by age ten, if you know what the gold bars are.

jsid-1135301778-336983  Bilgeman at Fri, 23 Dec 2005 01:36:18 +0000


"maybe i don't get what you are saying"

Just trying to facilitate an agreement between you and Small Minor,

You both get something marginally useful at a minimal inconvenience.

I wanna be yoo-NITE-er, not a DEE-vai-dur...like mah Prezzy-dent sez.

And ya gotta admit, a "Reverend Rambo" pic would be entertaining to many of us, and would scare the dickens out of others, depending on their politics.


jsid-1135302634-336984  Bilgeman at Fri, 23 Dec 2005 01:50:34 +0000

Oh, Rev;

In re: your arsenal, (groovy btw, although I've never heard of a side-by-side being used for skeet), you've illustrated a point I used to harp on long ago in a context somewhat similar to heading off the mass movement that Small Minor seems worried about.

This country is capitalist from the top of its' head to the tip of its' toes...therefore, if you attack Property, or the Value of Property, you will see the desired effects much more quickly than from shooting down_____(insert enemy name here), by the busload,(they just hire more).

As I recall, I used the example that if one cemented the toilets in the federal Building, one would have rendered it unusable, and MUCH more effectively than blowing it up, since a ruin is worthless...it just gets knocked down and replaced... but a building with cemented sewer lines still has value.

I think you, certainly I, and perhaps Reasonable People would be much more inclined to shout down the glazed-eyed zealots among us if they are mindful of what they stand to LOSE...in case what they stand to GAIN slips their mind,(or is not to their liking).

Property, Reverend, the key is in Property.


jsid-1135355686-337039  reverend gisher at Fri, 23 Dec 2005 16:34:46 +0000

i like your cement toilets. sounds alot like a retired protester i know. there a many ways to get at someting without violence. nice job.

jsid-1135355948-337040  reverend gisher at Fri, 23 Dec 2005 16:39:08 +0000

as for my choice of skeet guns, I have 2 remington gas autos, but there is little respect for history, with them, and with 5 shots what clay target has a chance?

jsid-1135356298-337041  tomWright at Fri, 23 Dec 2005 16:44:58 +0000


this is like watching 4 dimensional tennis.

jsid-1135356753-337043  reverend gisher at Fri, 23 Dec 2005 16:52:33 +0000

ping pong. oh bidgy, i noticed your property comment, but that is a whole other debate, and you already have me on your side with that silly ass militia amendment. it holds, but it is a silly lame ass protecter. i know, i knwow, property yada yada, are you kevin's brother?

jsid-1135357326-337047  reverend gisher at Fri, 23 Dec 2005 17:02:06 +0000

sorry i took so long had to make a phone call to verify:

stick to second amendment. even if you stay out of tax and debt problems, there is still some squeak room with eminent domain. shaky ground, yes, but possible.

4o love

jsid-1135396117-337101  Gagdad Bob at Sat, 24 Dec 2005 03:48:37 +0000

I just now noticed your comment on my blog, and immediately ran over here and skimmed your post--or, should I say "small book." I need to devote my full attention to it before I can comment further. However, I can tentatively say that I more or less agree with most of my quoted material, the author's notorious pretentiousness notwithstanding.

jsid-1135397946-337103  Kevin Baker at Sat, 24 Dec 2005 04:19:06 +0000

Take your time. According to one professional writer, the essay fits in length somewhere between "short story" and "novelette.";-)

jsid-1135633950-337379  Jon Davison at Mon, 26 Dec 2005 21:52:30 +0000

There's another reason this movement is gaining momentum -- these people, these whiny social progressive narcissists who think nothing worth personal sacrifice were usually eaten by bears 100 or more years ago. Now they languish in our universities under the "socialism in a bottle" of tenure and their opinions are held up as the model of thinking for us all.

jsid-1135640637-337388  robert in england at Mon, 26 Dec 2005 23:43:57 +0000

To Jack Cluth,
Do you know what defines absolutely the fascist, the fanatic, the anarchist. It's really quite simple, and always evident; indeed it is how you most easily detect such people.
They cannot allow that there is honesty in their opponents. Everything must be a lie, a power grab, a wilful act of betrayal of 'the people' or 'the cause'. Know why that is? It's because if they are honest in their disagreement, then there is just a chance they could be right, and if they can be right, you can be wrong.

jsid-1142208103-281628  Trackback at Mon, 13 Mar 2006 00:01:43 +0000

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