Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Is Tom Delay Stupid or Just Fucking Evil? What "Negative Liberty" Really Means

Tom Delay was just on Hardball, stating that Barack Obama hates the US Constitution because Obama has described the Constitution as being composed of "Negative Rights."

HOLY SHIT! I didn't know you could be THAT STUPID without your head exploding, but apparently Delay has mastered this art. Either that, or he is deliberately lying on the meaning of "negative rights." (Oh yeah, we're talking about Tom Delay.)

"Negative rights," also known as "negative liberty," is an essentially CONSERVATIVE philosophy regarding the rights granted under the Constitution. It does NOT mean that "the Constitution is Bad."

"Negative rights" or "Negative Liberty" means that the Constitution does NOT obligate the Government to grant citizens a bunch of entitlements. The Constitution does not give citizens the right to GET anything. Rather, the concept of "Negative Rights" means that the Constitution requires the Government to LEAVE PEOPLE ALONE.

THAT is the meaning of "Negative Liberty" or "Negative Rights." It is a perspective on Constitutional interpretation that has been developed most extensively by scholars at The University of Chicago School of Law. As a lecturer at U Chicago, Obama would have been very familiar with this essentially Conservative and Libertarian philosophy on Constitutional rights.

Accordingly, it should be clear that Obama was referring to an interpretation of the Constitution best summed up by Supreme Court Justice Louis D. Brandeis:

"The makers of the Constitution conferred the most comprehensive of rights and the right most valued by all civilized men — the right to be let alone."

To claim that Obama's description of the Constitution as made up of "negative rights" meant that Obama was saying that "The Constitution is bad," or that Obama doesn't like the Constitution is so stupid, ridiculous and deliberately misleading that an army of Constitutional Scholars need to be invited onto Hardball to personally kick Tom Delay HARD in the keester!!!


Friday, October 24, 2008

John McCain on NYC and DC "Elites": Who died on 9-11 you dirty fuck?

There isn't much that John McCain and his Caribou Barbie running mate, Sarah Palin, can say that doesn't make my skin crawl. In their interview this week with Brian Williams, McCain dropped some remarks that have me spitting blood:
New York, D.C.: Snooty elite central
McCain and Palin did differ on exactly what they meant when they criticized “elite” segments of American society, which they have mocked in an attempt to connect with what Palin called “hard-working, middle-class Americans.”

Palin said “elite” was a state of mind — “just people who think that they’re better than anyone else.” It cannot be identified by geography, income or level of education, she said.

McCain disagreed.

“I know where a lot of ’em live,” he said, laughing. The out-of-touch elites are “in our nation’s capital and New York City.”

“I’ve seen it. I’ve lived there,” he said, referring to Washington. “I know the town. I know what a lot of these elitists are — the ones that she [pointing to Palin] never went to a cocktail party with in Georgetown.”

These elites, he said, “think that they can dictate what they believe to America rather than let Americans decide for themselves.”

Oh, you mean like the people who were murdered on 9-11? Those bad guy members of the financial "elites" from companies like Cantor Fitzgerald, Thacher, Proffitt & Wood (a law firm, damned dirty lawyers!), and Oppenheimer Funds -- all companies that were housed in the World Trade Center, along with their elitist employees?

Who do you think died that day, sir? Who are the Americans who paid with their lives for the sin of engaging in free enterprise? For the sin of benefiting from deregulation policies that YOU supported? How could you forget those 658 employees of Cantor Fitzgerald, all trapped in the top floors of the North Tower, without hope? Do you mourn only for Joe the Firefighter? Joe the Port Authority Police Officer? Joe the Court Officer on his day off? Joe the Paramedic? But surely not Joe the Illegal Alien busing tables at Windows on the World...or should I say, "Jose the Busboy"...

Your out-of-touch elitists in Washington couldn't have included the people murdered at the Pentagon, could they? You must be so disappointed that the members of your hated Georgetown cocktail party set escaped with their lives, thanks to the heroic self-sacrifice of the passengers on Flight 93. How sad for you that that plane, believed to have been aiming for the White House or the Capitol Building, crashed instead in an empty field in Schwenksville PA. If only it had reached its target, there would be several hundred fewer Washington "elitists" for you to hate.

How quickly you forget, Mr. McCain, that these "elites" in NYC and DC are the envy of the world. Funny that your hatred and bitterness towards their vibrance and enterprising drive has taken on a creepy similarity to the contempt that motivated the mastermind of their murder, Osama Bin Laden to target them as the Root of All American Evil. And yet, here you are, giving tax cuts to their living peers. Olbermann nailed it: truly "McCain in the Membrane!"

The exploitative financial elites are your Frankstein monster, sir. You abdicated your responsibility as an elected official to reign them in with reasonable regulation. You're 120 years old, and you still haven't figured out that these guys on Wall Street push everything to the outer envelope of what is allowed by law? The crash of the housing and financial markets actually came as a surprise to you? And now you hide behind your bogus-populist facade, you flip-flopping fascist fuck.

Go ahead, shit all over the greatest city in the world, Ground Zero in the attack on the United States. We elitist residents of New York City, including all here who depend on the economic activities of the Financial District workers for our livelihoods -- Joe the Hotdog Vendor, Joe the Shoeshine, Joe the Waiter at the Blarney Stone, Joe the Stock Boy at the legal forms shop -- will never forget that it was our city, New York City and DC that took Bin Laden's hit right in the gut.

So we were American enough to be attacked by Bin Laden, but not American enough to be represented by you? So that's how it is, eh? Well that's just fine. Turn your back on my city. We New Yorkers never needed your shit anyway.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Random Thoughts on G-d and Good and Evil

Something got broken. G-d created everything, including good and evil, but G-d delegated responsibilities to human beings. Once things got delegated to us, everything got all screwed up. That is one theory.

I keep coming back to Job in the desert, covered in boils, having lost his wealth, his family, and his health, and he RAGES at G-d.


And G-d's response pretty much amounts to..."Excuse me, do you have an appointment?"

We are specks, flecks, dancing dust...with self-awareness. We are a miracle. And we are here to partner with G-d, to mend a broken world, to make connections, to send sparks of healing spirituality out into the world.

How the world got broken, I'll never completely understand. And G-d could certainly fix it without us. If humans disappear from the earth, G-d will still go on. The earth and the universe will still go on without us. Higher realms too. But while we are in the middle of this miracle of being here on earth, our job as humans, our duty to G-d, is to leave the world better for our having been in it.

Rep. John Lewis' Exact Words on McCain Campaign Hate-Mongering

Hear, hear!

"As one who was a victim of violence and hate during the height of the Civil Rights Movement, I am deeply disturbed by the negative tone of the McCain-Palin campaign. What I am seeing today reminds me too much of another destructive period in American history. Sen. McCain and Gov. Palin are sowing the seeds of hatred and division, and there is no need for this hostility in our political discourse.

"During another period, in the not too distant past, there was a governor of the state of Alabama named George Wallace who also became a presidential candidate. George Wallace never threw a bomb. He never fired a gun, but he created the climate and the conditions that encouraged vicious attacks against innocent Americans who only desired to exercise their constitutional rights. Because of this atmosphere of hate, four little girls were killed one Sunday morning when a church was bombed in Birmingham, Alabama.

"As public figures with the power to influence and persuade, Sen. McCain and Governor Palin are playing with fire, and if they are not careful, that fire will consume us all. They are playing a very dangerous game that disregards the value of the political process and cheapens our entire democracy. We can do better. The American people deserve better."