Sunday, January 31, 2016

Why does the US have a problem with insurrectionism?

This is something I have been pondering for a while since the US Constitution and its history make it clear that it does not condone rebellion.  Indeed the document is intended on establishing the rule of law, which runs contrary to the insurrectionist doctrine.

Recap: Shays' Rebellion was the event which led to the attempt to rework the Articles of Confederation.  Instead the Constitution came out of that movement with its specific intent of "insuring domestic tranquility".  The militia is supposed to "to execute the laws of the union, suppress insurrections and repel invasions":  Laws of the United States which shall be made in pursuance of the US Constitution.

The Constitution only mentions one crime: Treason. This is found in Article III, Section 3.
Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying war against them, or in adhering to their enemies, giving them aid and comfort. No person shall be convicted of treason unless on the testimony of two witnesses to the same overt act, or on confession in open court.
Levying war is defined as:
The assembling of a body of men for the purpose of effecting by force a treasonable object; and all who perform any part however minute, or however remote from the scene of action, and who are leagued in the general conspiracy, are considered as engaged in levying war, within the meaning of the constitution. 4 Cranch R. 473-4; Const. art. 3, s. 3. Vide Treason; Fries' Trial; Pamphl. This is a technical term, borrowed from the English law, and its meaning is the same as it is when used in stat. 25 Ed. III.; 4 Cranch's R. 471; U. S. v. Fries, Pamphl. 167; Hall's Am. Law Jo. 351; Burr's Trial; 1 East, P. C. 62 to 77; Alis. Cr. Law of Scotl. 606; 9 C. & P. 129.
The Constitution does not itself create the offence; it only restricts the definition (the first paragraph), permits Congress to create the offence, and restricts any punishment for treason to only the convicted (the second paragraph). The crime is prohibited by legislation passed by Congress: 18 U.S. Code § 2381 - Treason. Congress has passed laws creating other related offences that punish conduct that undermines the government or the national security (See 18 U.S. Code Chapter 115).
In many nations, it is also often considered treason to attempt or conspire to overthrow the government, even if no foreign country is aiding or involved by such an endeavour.
it should also be noted that the Declaration of Independence is a historic document with no legal authority under the US Constitution (Article VI).

Which take us back to the quote from Dennis v. United States, 341 U.S. 494 (1951):
“The obvious purpose of the statute is to protect existing Government, not from change by peaceable, lawful and constitutional means, but from change by violence, revolution and terrorism. That it is within the power of the Congress to protect the Government of the United States from armed rebellion is a proposition which requires little discussion. Whatever theoretical merit there may be to the argument that there is a “right” to rebellion against dictatorial governments is without force where the existing structure of the government provides for peaceful and orderly change.”
I would hold that the Bundy family and anyone else who would attempt to recruit for the purpose of starting a civil war has engaged in the act of Treason in accordance with this definition.  18 U.S. Code Chapter 115 - TREASON, SEDITION, AND SUBVERSIVE ACTS has  variety of options if you are not willing to call incitements to rebellion treason.
Additionally Section 3 of the Fourteenth Amendment states:
No person shall be a Senator or Representative in Congress, or elector of President and Vice President, or hold any office, civil or military, under the United States, or under any state, who, having previously taken an oath, as a member of Congress, or as an officer of the United States, or as a member of any state legislature, or as an executive or judicial officer of any state, to support the Constitution of the United States, shall have engaged in insurrection or rebellion against the same, or given aid or comfort to the enemies thereof. But Congress may by a vote of two-thirds of each House, remove such disability.
Very few people are willing to do anything about the promotion of the belief that people are somehow being patriotic and somehow following the constitution when the insurrectionists act in their seditious manner to the point of actual rebellion. There have been fewer than 40 federal prosecutions for treason and even fewer convictions since the Constitution was ratified. Several men were convicted of treason in connection with the 1794 Whiskey Rebellion but were pardoned by President George Washington.

Which is where the US differs from other countries with a Common Law heritage.  Yes, there have been rebellions in England, Canada, and Australia, yet they do not have the belief that there is somehow a "right" to rebellion (as they do not have a concept of a "right to arms/guns").  Unlike the US, where the largest rebellion, the Civil War/War Between the States, went without too many of the instigators being hanged, rebellion has been punished severely in other nations with a British heritage.  Only recently has the death penalty been abolished for treason in most Common law countries.

What I find even more bizarre are the people who somehow claim to be "conservative" while spouting seditious nonsense. Especially since the term "conservative" is defined as:
a political and social philosophy promotes retaining traditional social institutions in the context of culture and civilization. Some conservatives seek to preserve things as they are, emphasizing stability and continuity.
By that definition, insurrectionism and supporting sedition are hardly conservative qualities, but this gets into the bizarre notion of what is "conservative" in the United States.  If anything, true conservatism believes in the rule of law: not the rule of the gun.

The problem is that like the Second Amendment revisionism, there has been a neglect of the concept of the rule of law in US society. The rule of law is that a nation is ruled by laws rather than the capricious whims of individuals.  It is part of the Constitutional Structure under Article VI.

The rule of law is expressed in these four principles:
  1. The government and its officials and agents as well as individuals and private entities are accountable under the law.
  2. The laws are clear, publicized, stable, and just; are applied evenly; and protect fundamental rights, including the security of persons and property.
  3. The process by which the laws are enacted, administered, and enforced is accessible, fair, and efficient.
  4. Justice is delivered timely by competent, ethical, and independent representatives and neutrals who are of sufficient number, have adequate resources, and reflect the makeup of the communities they serve.
This is also summed up in Article VI of The Declaration of the rights of Man and of the Citizen of 1789:
The law is the expression of the general will. All the citizens have the right of contributing personally or through their representatives to its formation. It must be the same for all, either that it protects, or that it punishes.
The bottom line is that the US has moved from the concept of the rule of law and somehow allowed the absurdity that individuals can decide which laws they can follow.  But the reality is as I pointed out in my post Sic semper proditores (Thus always to traitors):

 Just because you don’t like it doesn’t mean it is unconstitutional.

Thursday, January 28, 2016

The Delusions of the MN GOP

gold-plated clown car
This morning I heard an interview on MPR with MN GOP chair Keith Downey waxing rhapsodic over the glorious candidates available to conservative voters, including Donald Trump.  Downey was enthused with the diverse attention that candidates like Trump have brought to the 2016 race, viewing it as favorable to his party.

I think Mr. Downey needs to have his head examined for his apparently deliberate confusing of the gawker attention given to train wrecks as distinct from genuine admiration and support.  While it is the lunatic fringe most frequently turning out for caucuses and primaries, it is NOT the lunatic fringe on the right who most often turns out for the general election - as demonstrated in this Pew analysis of the 2012 election voters.

This analysis is based on 1,575 Republican and Republican-leaning registered voters who are part of Pew Research Center’s nationally-representative American Trends Panel, and who could be matched to the national voter file. 1
The GOP primary electorate represented a relatively small share of those who went on to vote in the general election. Of Republicans who were verified to have voted in the general election, only 25% are verified as having voted in Republican primaries or caucuses in 2012; while 75% do not have a record of having voted in the primaries or caucuses that year. 2

No one in their right mind would find anything wonderful in the 2016 cast of characters on the right, stuffed into what is now, at best, a gold-plated clown car (classy!)  I'm sure Mr. Downey is well aware, for example, of the recent Pew Poll from a week ago which examined how the candidates are regarded.

Hillary Clinton had the best result among those polled to be a great president, followed by Donald Trump; however Turmp far and away had the highest percentage of poll respondents who thought he would be a TERRIBLE president.

Fellow extremist Ted Cruz got far fewer views as a great president, but also fewer negatives, while Bernie Sanders came in ahead of Cruz (barely) as a great president.  Cruz, Sanders and Ben Carson all faced problems with respondents even knowing who they were, compared to either Trump or Clinton. 

Looking at the same time frame,  Pew Polling indicates Democrats hate Trump more than Republicans hate Clinton.

So while Clinton approval ratings may be declining, it is arguable that opposition to Trump is increasing far faster.  And even among Republicans, the opposition to the extremist crazies, like Trump, Cruz, and/or Carson is high.  Additionally, it's a pretty safe bet that Jeb hasn't a prayer of being the presidential candidate (now or ever, I would hazard).

From a Pew Poll the first week of January 2016:


While I expect Keith Downey to try to spin how crazy bad the candidates are on the right, the numbers are pretty clear.  Donald Trump is not electable, and I would argue neither is Ted Cruz, or Ben Carson who has largely disappeared from popular radar; while the enthusiasm is far lower for any of the other more sane establishment candidates, it is also less likely that any of them would bring out the voters either -- perhaps even less so than with the lack of enthusiasm for Mitt Romney last time around.

Perhaps it is unkind of me to be so skeptical of Downey and the conservative candidates - never more so than when the straw poll this time around will be for real.  Let me point out that the winner of the last presidential election straw poll was Santorum (who also won in the Iowa primary....eventually), while the convention winner for candidate later in the summer was Ron Paul.  Somehow all of that irrelevance escaped comment from Mr. Downey, at least in what I heard of his interview.

Given their past track record, I would NOT expect much of what passes for the MN GOP caucus to have any relationship to the actual election in November.

gold plated clown charm

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Sic semper proditores (Thus always to traitors)

OK, all you supposed "Constitutionalists" out there:
  1. The Constitution makes it clear that waging war on the US is treason (Article III, Section iii--it's the only crime mentioned in the Constitution!). 18 USC Chapter 115 tells you what laws you are violating and it was passed in accordance with US Constitution Article VI.
  2. The Second Amendment does not explicitly repeal any of the main Constitutional provisions relating to treason and insurrection.
  3. Just because you don't like it doesn't mean it is unconstitutional.
Dennis v. United States, 341 U.S. 494 (1951) puts paid to the insurrectionist theory:
"The obvious purpose of the statute is to protect existing Government, not from change by peaceable, lawful and constitutional means, but from change by violence, revolution and terrorism. That it is within the power of the Congress to protect the Government of the United States from armed rebellion is a proposition which requires little discussion. Whatever theoretical merit there may be to the argument that there is a “right” to rebellion against dictatorial governments is without force where the existing structure of the government provides for peaceful and orderly change."
Verb sap.

Monday, January 25, 2016

Call it what you like: Right Wing Losing is still losing!

Kim Davis and the religious right wing nuts claim they have somehow 'won' in their fight to deny marriage civil rights to gay couples. Losing is a series of decisions that the bigot beliefs of the religious right don't entitle them to special privileges to hurt other people.

And the other big 'win' came nearly two weeks ago; Kentucky is going to have to pay, and pay big, for their bigotry under the false label of religious freedom to discriminate and hate.  From the AP and WCPO news, there is this little nugget underlining that loss for the right:

Kentucky to pay $1.1 million in same-sex marriage case
LOUISVILLE, Ky. -- A federal judge awarded a team of Kentucky attorneys more than $1 million for their role in the landmark United States Supreme Court case that struck down bans on same-sex marriage.
The state will have to pick up the $1.1 million tab.
In 2014, U.S. District Judge John Heyburn ruled the state's ban on same-sex marriage unconstitutional. Attorney General Jack Conway refused to appeal. But former Gov. Steve Beshear hired outside attorneys to continue defending the ban.
The case, and others like it, made its way to the U.S. Supreme Court, which effectively legalized same-sex marriage last summer.
Jessica Ditto, spokeswoman for Gov. Matt Bevin, a Republican who took office last month and opposes same-sex marriages, said in an email Wednesday evening that the governor's general counsel is reviewing the ruling.
"We are pleased that the court did not award any bonus attorney fees and eliminated certain fees and expenses that the court deemed unnecessary," Ditto said.
Federal law mandates that losing parties in civil rights cases pay the winning side's attorneys' fees and expenses.
Now the right likes to deny and lie when the facts are not on their side - as is the case here with who won and who lost.

If you follow the lame logic of the evangelical crazies, those like Michele Bachmann (who has been strangely silent for a while) or lunatic fringie Sarah Palin, then the recent east coast blizzard that shut down the coastal states with snow must mean God, aka Jebus, does not support those who are anti-abortion.

Readers here may remember the push-back in 2011 when Bachmann asserted, as an example of right wing 'magical thinking', a form of mental illness:

"I don't know how much God has to do to get the attention of the politicians. We've had an earthquake; we've had a hurricane. He said, 'Are you going to start listening to me here?'"

Hello anti-choicers? Apparently God just slapped you down with his fluffy white wrath in unmistakeable terms, clearly intending to block your efforts. Not a peep out of Bachmann or Palin on the topic. Shutting down early and being stranded on a turnpike is not 'winning', it is not an endorsement of your position from God.

Friday, January 22, 2016

Conservatives: Inaccuracy, Hypocrisy, Vulgarity and Lack of Accountability – part 2 / Palin

It appears that in the course of endorsing Donald “turnip-top” Trump, the tea party bimbo Sarah Palin has attempted to blame President Obama for her son’s PTSD, and his domestic violence charge.  Palin claims that Obama’s failure to respect the troops is responsible for her idjit son Track’s violence towards women and chronic abuse of alcohol.

Instead, Palin appears to either be hoping very much that this claim will slide by the crazy, ignorant base who doesn’t give a tinker’s damn if Trump (and his supporters) are factually accurate or even vaguely truthful.  If not, her endorsement might quickly prove to be more of a liability than a benefit to the eccentric right winger leader.  False claims about military service are one of the few things that might antagonize Trump’s ignorant followers.

Here are the apparent problems with Palin’s claim:

1. there appears to be no credible diagnosis of PTSD from a health professional re Track, and there is a huge questionmark over Track Palin having been in combat;

2. there is no credible evidence that how a president feels or doesn’t feel affects anyone having PTSD, re the subjective perception of respect for the military;

3. Track enlisted in 2007, served for a year in 2008, BEFORE Obama became president.  If anyone is responsible for problems resulting from Iraq, it would be Dubya, not Obama; and

4. the entire Palin clan is prone to drunken violence, without the rest having served anywhere in our armed forces.  It is a ‘Palin’ family thing, not a PTSD problem.  The family appears to be a bunch of armed alcohol abusing louts, such that a more plausible explanation for Track’s behavior is that he learned it at home.

From we see that it appears that Track Palin served a little over a week of active service under the Obama administration’s first term of office; further that his prior year of active service does NOT appear to have been in combat, from the available description on his discharge papers.  There have been vets who have been in theaters of conflict in other countries WITHOUT having themselves been in combat.  I would further underline that nowhere (so far) have I found Track Palin himself making the claim he was a combat veteran, OR that he suffers from PTSD.

From on how one checks combat service records, which indicates Track Palin is NOT a combat veteran, via the Veterans Disability blog:

That was the case today when speaking with a Veteran about combat. His question was: “What exactly makes anyone a combat Veteran?” Some may be quick to say that serving in combat makes you a combat Veteran, but there is more to it than that.
The VA lists several different ways in which a Veteran can prove he or she was in combat.
· If you received a combat service medal, then you are considered a combat Veteran
· If you received hostile fire pay, imminent danger pay or tax benefits
· If you received military service documentation that documents combat theater
So, does serving in a foreign country automatically qualify me as combat Veteran? Not necessarily. Even if you served in Iraq or Afghanistan during the past ten years, it does not guarantee that you are a combat Veteran.
How can you find out? Well, your DD-214 is a great place to start. Your Discharge won’t automatically say that you were a combat Veteran though…that would be too easy. Box 13 on more modern DD-214’s is where they list medals, awards and ribbons. The VA does recognize certain medals etc. as a qualifier for combat service. (That list will appear in an upcoming blog.)
Also listed on your DD-214 is the type of pay you received. Box 18 would be the place to find out if you received Hostile Fire Pay, or the Imminent Danger Pay. It is important to note that this can appear in box 13, though it is rare for it to appear there.
And a vet who has served in combat, and who has served with Track Palin, is quite adamant he is not a victim of PTSD, nor have I found anyone who served with him who substantiates that Track Palin was a combat veteran or was symptomatic for PTSD.

From Salon:

…if this wasn’t about a 26 year-old grown man currently charged with fourth-degree assault, fourth-degree misconduct involving a weapon and interfering with a report of domestic violence.
Earlier this week, Track, who divorced his first wife in 2012, was arrested over an incident at the Wasilla home he shares with his parents. Police noted his current girlfriend had “bruising and swelling around her left eye” and described Track as “uncooperative, belligerent, and evasive with my initial line of questions.” A breath sample registered his blood alcohol level at 0.189. In her conversation with the police, Track’s girlfriend claimed he had threatened to kill himself, and an unloaded AR-15 was found near the scene. Palin denied using a weapon but told police “that they were spread throughout both residences on the property.”
Track Palin was serving in Iraq as an air guard in the “Arctic Wolves,” the Army’s 1st Stryker Brigade Combat Team, during his mother’s 2008 bid for vice president. He is routinely described in the press as a combat veteran, though some within the veteran community, based on Palin’s discharge paperwork, dispute his actual combat duty.

Unless, perhaps, we want to redefine the acronym PTSD to mean (Sarah) Palin’s Totally Stupid Dypsomania (alcohol abuse)?

Here is a review of the charges against Track Palin.

This entire family of Alaskan hicks (the adults anyway) act more like trailer trash than pious folks demonstrating those wholesome family values they give such annoying lip service.  For example, we have anything-but-chaste Bristol Palin, who took a ton of $$$$ to espouse abstinence having yet another child out of wed lock, and brother Track, who is dad to a daughter born 3 months after his wedding, (a fitting repeat of his parents behavior – Track was also conceived before his own parents’ engagement and elopement) and we have this past example of Palin family drunken brawling from less than a year and a half ago.

These are NOT ‘law abiding people’, these are not ‘family values people’ who present a clear understanding or example of how people behave morally and ethically in a civil society.  These are over-privileged cretins with too little judgement and too much money, and a mind-boggling capacity for ignorance and bad behavior, and a grotesque degree of hypocrisy and a false sense of entitlement apparently.

What they are NOT is personally accountable — but apparently, on the right, that’s just a requirement for OTHER PEOPLE.  Another example of right wing do-as-I-say-not-as-I-do morality, the kind that holds other people to a higher standard than they hold themselves.  How apt that Palin endorses the oh-so-vulgar Trump; they are noisy, garish birds of a feather in a  gold paint gilded cage, hip deep in their own guano baggage, a ‘yoooge’ ‘classy’ gilded cage.

As noted by multiple other individuals who are far better entitled to address the topics of the US military and PTSD:
‘Palin is using PTSD as an excuse to shift blame away from her son’s domestic violence,’ Brandon Friedman, the former digital media director for the Department of Veterans Affairs, said in an interview with Huffington Post.
‘She never mentioned the actual victim. She portrayed her son as the victim, but never talked about his girlfriend, apparently crying and hiding under a bed because he beat her.’
Friedman also said; ‘The fact is, veterans who have PTSD are far, far more likely to harm themselves than they are to harm others.’
As for Palin’s comment about President Obama, Friedman said; ‘It’s ironic that people like Sarah Palin are in the party of “personal responsibility” but as soon as someone in her family is arrested for domestic violence, it’s Obama’s fault.’
Paul Rieckhoff, who heads Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America, seemed to reiterate this statement, telling NBC News; ‘It’s not President Obama’s fault that Sarah Palin’s son has PTSD.
‘PTSD is a very serious problem, a complicated mental health injury, and I would be extremely reluctant to blame any one person in particular.’
He also said that he hopes Palin does not turn this into ‘a political chew toy in a political campaign’.

Hooray for the 43rd anniversary of Roe v. Wade

We've stood up for the reproductive rights of women affirmed by the SCOTUS for over four decades, in spite of the attempts to subjugate women, control our bodies, and deprive us of our right to autonomy and choice.

The efforts from the right attacking both contraception and safe and legal abortion continue, largely fueled by factual inaccuracies, unfounded emotion, and straight up manipulative propaganda, with copious amounts of violence and intimidation employed when the propaganda lies fail.

It's time to push back against unreasonable and destructive anti-abortion efforts; they harm all of us, not only women.

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Update on Conservative Lack of Accountability and Bigotry in the 2016 election cycle, and Nikki Haley

courtesy of
s the 2016 election cycle ramps up, we see more examples of the faulty morals and ethics of right wing propaganda, outright lies, and a whole lot of denial instead of accepting responsibility.  Let's review some of the recent examples, particularly those relating to racism and immigration issues.

We see it in S.C. Governor Nikki Haley's rebuttal to the state of the union address by President Obama earlier this month, which was really more of a rebuttal to Donald Trump, making false claims about bigotry in our country's laws regarding race and religion.  We do in fact as a nation, from our earliest days, have a pretty shameful history.  It is quintessentially conservatives, especially those of the tea party stripe, who promote revisionist history and other fact-averse curricula in our schools, attempting to throw out fact based education.  It is the antithesis of accountability and taking responsibility for past actions and for present proposed actions that are bigoted, intolerant, and exclusionary, both on the basis of race and ethnicity, and religion.

Not surprising that Governor Nimrata Haley, nee' Randhawa, doesn't use her actual name very often in her public life or political career, which would be too 'ethnic' for many right wing voters.  It is all too common for people from her own background of Sikkhism, (which ignorant bigot conservatives routinely confuse with Islam) to be referred to as 'rag heads' on conservative talk radio, for example.  These are the same conservatives who claim that Indian American beauty pageant contestants are not 'American' enough to wear a tiara and represent the USA. But there is just no excuse for Haley to deny (or to be unaware) of the laws in this country which banned people like her family from becoming citizens based on ethnicity.  Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal doesn't use his real name either, Piyuash, apparently for similar reasons of distancing himself from his race/ethnicity.

Conservatives are swarming to support bigot peddling more than ever this election cycle, and always have.  The Salt Lake Tribune hit the nail on the head:
Pitts: Nikki Haley living in Fantasyland

Nikki Haley's 44th birthday is this week. You would think her a little old for fairytales.
But a bizarre, little-reported remark the South Carolina governor made last week suggests that, age notwithstanding, Haley lives in Fantasyland, at least insofar as American history is concerned. The comment in question came the day after her Tuesday night speech in response to President Obama's State of the Union address, in which she cuffed Donald Trump for his strident anti-Muslim, anti-immigrant bigotry.
Haley told reporters, "When you've got immigrants who are coming here legally, we've never in the history of this country passed any laws or done anything based on race or religion."
Or the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882, whose title and intent are self-explanatory?
Or the Immigration Act of 1917, which banned immigrants from East Asia and the Pacific?
Or Ozawa v. U.S., the 1922 Supreme Court decision which declared that Japanese immigrants could not be naturalized?
Or U.S. v. Bhagat Singh Thind, the 1923 high court ruling which said people from India — like Haley's parents — could not become naturalized citizens?
So yes, however you slice it, Haley is wrong and Haley is ignorant. But one wonders if Haley is to blame.
Americans, the historian Ray Arsenault once said, live by "mythic conceptions of what they think happened" in the past. And as school systems, under pressure from conservative school boards, retreat from teaching that which embarrasses the nation's self-image, as ethnic studies classes are outlawed, as textbooks are scrubbed of painfully inconvenient truths, as standards requiring the teaching of only "positive aspects" of American history are imposed, we find those mythic conceptions encroaching reality to a troubling degree.
They're right. The problem is, even if you concede that point, Haley is still grotesquely wrong. She thinks no immigration laws have been passed "based on race or religion"? What about:
The Naturalization Act of 1790, which extended citizenship to "any alien, being a free white person."?
Or the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882, whose title and intent are self-explanatory?
Or the Immigration Act of 1917, which banned immigrants from East Asia and the Pacific?
Or Ozawa v. U.S., the 1922 Supreme Court decision which declared that Japanese immigrants could not be naturalized?
Or U.S. v. Bhagat Singh Thind, the 1923 high court ruling which said people from India — like Haley's parents — could not become naturalized citizens?
So yes, however you slice it, Haley is wrong and Haley is ignorant. But one wonders if Haley is to blame.
Americans, the historian Ray Arsenault once said, live by "mythic conceptions of what they think happened" in the past. And as school systems, under pressure from conservative school boards, retreat from teaching that which embarrasses the nation's self-image, as ethnic studies classes are outlawed, as textbooks are scrubbed of painfully inconvenient truths, as standards requiring the teaching of only "positive aspects" of American history are imposed, we find those mythic conceptions encroaching reality to a troubling degree.
Haley was born in 1972; US v Bhagat Sing Thind took place in 1923 affirming people from India could not become citizens - just slightly less than 50 years earlier.  We're not talking ancient history here, by a long shot.  Read more about this case here  but here is an excerpt to highlight the gist of the case and what resulted, courtesy of wikipedia:

Not only were new applicants from India denied the privilege of naturalization, but the new racial classification suggested that the retroactive revocation of naturalization certificates granted to Asian Indians, of which there were many, might be supported by the Court's decision, a point that some courts upheld when United States attorneys petitioned to cancel the naturalization certificates previously granted to many Asian Indians. Some of the consequences of revoked naturalized status are illustrated by the example of some Asian Indian land owners living in California who found themselves under the jurisdiction of the California Alien Land Law of 1913. Specifically, Attorney General Ulysses S. Webb was very active in revoking Indian land purchases; in a bid to strengthen the Asiatic Exclusion League, he promised to prevent Indians from buying or leasing land. Under intense pressure, and with Immigration Act of 1917 preventing fresh immigration to strengthen the fledgling Indian-American community, many Indians left the United States, leaving only half their original American population, 2,405, by 1940.
...the Asian Indian community finally succeeded in gaining support among several prominent congressmen, as well as President Franklin D. Roosevelt. The support culminated in the signing into law by President Truman on July 2, 1946, of the Luce-Celler Act. This Act reversed the Thind decision by explicitly extending racial eligibility for naturalization to natives of India, and set a token quota for their immigration at 100 per year.
In 1965, President Lyndon Johnson signed the Hart-Celler Immigration Act, which phased out the national origins quota system first instituted in 1921. In 1965–1970, 27,859 Indian immigrants entered the United States. Immigration from India in 1965–1993 was 558,980
Neither Governor, Haley or Jindal, are likely to be unaware of bigotry in law or common practice, current or historical. So that makes it an intentional convenient political lie in an attempt to minimize ADMITTING that this appeal to bigotry is part and parcel of our conservative politics in the United States. Jindal and now Haley are nothing but political tokens for the right, selling out their origins in exchange for individual acceptance. That makes them far worse than simple liars, and it gives the greater lie to responsibility on the right for the reality of their bigotry. To lie like this means they KNOW the problem exists, and they choose to deny it rather than own it. Haley and Jindal, Trump and Palin, and those who support them, tend to be racist bigots and also religious bigots.  Own it.  Take responsibility for it.  It is quintessentially conservative.  Expect to see it reflected in the 2016 right wing primary election results.

Meanwhile, right wing media whore Ann Coulter tweeted that Trump should deport Nikki Haley..... asuch intolerance for those who are not white and of European descent among conservatives.  Apparently among some far right conservatives at least, Nikki Haley is not "American" enough to be a citizen residing in this country?

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Nikki Haley lied in her state of the union rebuttal

In the effort to squash turnip-top Trump rather than respond to Obama's speech following the state of the union address last week, Nikki Haley lied.

Apart from the fact that she appears to have done nothing to slow the Trump momentum among the stupid party voters, it is revisionist history to assert that the United States has not passed laws against anyone on the basis of race or religion.

Hello - anyone remember Jim Crow, so serious a blot on the history of Haley's own state of South Carolina?

Anyone remember the laws passed in support of segregation, including those which discriminated against Jews? We've had them.

In addition we have had laws in this country which precluded Latinos and Hispanics and people of Asian descent, notably Chinese, from owning property or holding office.

The notion that we should do something similar against Muslims has a long and ugly history in this country, one that is closely linked to conservatives historically and to conservatives in our modern era.

When faced with inconvenient or embarrassing facts, conservatives lie.  They rewrite history, they deny, they pretend, to make themselves feel better, and then they try to justify it in the name of  so-called patriotism.

Trump is appealing to the bigots on the right; own them, they are yours, they are you.

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Trump picks a dangerous tactic in attacking Bill Clinton

Bill Clinton is an extremely popular former president, more popular than any recent past president and more popular than the current sitting president, Obama, and much more popular than any recent Republican president (either Bush), per  President Bubba is generally regarded as the most popular president of the past 25 years.

THAT makes Bill Clinton a major threat to the potential success of Donald Trump, as a major asset to Hillary Clinton.  Since Bill cannot be elected to a third (or fourth) term as president, it is arguably the next best thing to elect him first spouse, putting him back in the White House in what would presumably be at the very least an advisory capacity. 

As a substantive thinker and accomplished speaker, aka the Explainer in Chief, Bill by simply existing, by doing 'that thing he does', underlines the failings and shortfalls of Trump in every important category, including appearing presidential, without ever acknowledging Trump by name.

It is a weakness on the part of the thrice-married Trump to go after either of the Clintons for any issue relating to marital infidelity, given his own egregiously bad track record in that regard.  While Trump's excuses for his infidelity has been that he was too busy with his work to be a good husband, it is a hard sell that he was busier, or had more obligations and responsibilities than the leader of the free world.  And Bill Clinton has survived his public womanizing scandals just fine -- and those scandals have NEVER translated into his being unsympathetic to the advancement of gender equality.

UNLIKE Donald Trump, Bill Clinton has never been accused of domestic violence towards his wife or any other woman.  And contrary to claims by Trump, Bill Clinton never 'lost' or was denied a license to practice law either.  But Trump and his conservative supporters don't value facts in the slightest.  They thrive on attitude over substance.

There is every possibility that attacking Bill Clinton to get to Hillary Clinton will backfire on 'the Donald', who is more of a cartoon character than a serious candidate.

The Chicago Tribune noted just today, in covering Bill Clinton:
The former president is the most resilient politician of this, and probably any, era. He seemed doomed when the sex scandal involving a White House intern erupted during his presidency. Republicans then foolishly tried to remove him from office for lying about sex. That backfired: Bill Clinton led his party to unusual gains in the 1998 midterm elections and left office in 2001 with a 66 percent approval rating.
Even right wing nut not-news, Newsmax, home of crackpot conspiracy theories and fact-free rubbish, noted that failing right wing extremist candidate and former Arkansas governor and purveyor of quack diabetes cure,  Mike Huckster-be, admits that Bill Clinton is extremely popular --- even among Republicans, a huge concession from the far right.
GOP candidate Mike Huckabee said Monday that he does not agree with critics who say Bill Clinton will be a liability for Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign, saying that even Republicans would pick the former president after seven years of President Barack Obama.
..."He's still popular with a lot of Americans. Frankly, after seven years of Obama, a lot of Republicans would take Bill Clinton back, warts and all, just because at least he understood how to govern. He was not the kind of person who utterly demonized the other side legislatively."
Meanwhile, Turnip-top Trump is broadly viewed as a huge - or 'YUGE' embarrassment, and never more so than while our closest ally, the UK, is debating banning Trump from visiting the country. The king of rubbish plans for border walls is being kept out - such poetic justice, such pure and unadulterated Karma. In spite of his inexplicable emotional rather than substantive appeal to Republicans, (because there IS NOTHING substantive about Trump) it is unlikely that he will succeed in attacks against either Hillary or Bill Clinton using this lame and extraordinarily hypocritical appeal.  I would expect that we will be seeing proxies for Clinton underlining this moral failing on the part of Turnip-top.

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

REAL "Independents" - hungry 'paragons of bootstrappy manhood'

So, it seems that the Brits have turned their brutally sharp wit on the idjits in Oregon.

Yup, the rest of the world (or ROW, as Eddie Izzard called it) is laughing at them as well, for their hypocrisy and ineptitude.  Consider the fools thoroughly skewered, like a kebab, roasted on the grill to a crispy turn.

AT them, not with them; it is important to make that point very clearly and sharply.

I give you an excellent piece from the esteemed Independent, of the UK.

Do, by all means, check out the entirety, but here are a few of my favorite excerpts by the Independent, mostly from the Twittersphere, under the headline, "Oregon 'terrorists' don't plan siege very well, put out desperate plea for snacks and supplies":

"Take your guns and hunt for your own damn snacks you paragons of boot-strappy manhood."

Every successful revolution starts with takeover of closed visitor center with gift shop.

 Wait... They're anti-government yet they want to use the USPS? This calls for a *facepalm*

 my mom cooked hella pallau and chalau last night. Think they'd be ok w/ afghan food?
I know it is early yet, but 'paragons of boot-strappy manhood' is going to be my favorite phrase for 2016.  It doesn't get better than that.

As for more domestic scorn of the dullards, on this side of the pond, from Raw Story:
‘Y’all Qaeda’: Twitter users mock Oregon right-wing militia action — and it’s awesome
follows a strict interpretation of Shania law.

and from elsewhere on social media, a more poignant bit of insight:

And a brilliant example of what is wrong with the right, again from FB, this time from FreeDumb Nation:

That awkward moment you rely on the federal government for money to go and participate in overthrowing the federal government.

Monday, January 4, 2016

Starting the New Year off with a whimper on the right, Oregon goes round the bend

So, we have the crazy Bundy bunch (nothing like the wholesome Brady bunch) out in Oregon, making asses of themselves to start out the new year. Think Progress has the best review of the details, here.  It is NOTHING like what the right would have you believe.  Here is the essential element omitted in most of the recent media coverage:
The Hammonds set a fire in 2001 that ultimately burned 139 acres of BLM land. The ranchers say they began it on their own land with agency approval, but prosecutors say they were in fact seeking to cover up illegal deer hunting on the BLM acreage near their property. A second, much smaller fire in 2006 burned another acre of BLM land during a “burn ban” imposed to allow agency firefighters to combat a blaze caused by lightning.

What a bunch of maroons, who apparently are more likely to be turning blue with cold than any shade of red soon.

I liked the way the STrib described these losers in the location they chose to occupy.
"...the refuge area, which is remote even by rural Oregon standards."
So far, it doesn't seem as if anyone cares, at least not in a positive way. As noted on FB by comedian Andy Borowitz, who has equally sharp wits and tongue:
OK, by now I've heard a lot of great names for the Oregon gang: "y'all-qaeda," "yee-hawdists," "yokel haram." But I think my favorite is "fucking idiots."
And all hope of practical support seems to have failed from the right wing nut job militia sector; for example the Oathkeepers, who ran away scared from daddy Cliven Bundy, are actively discouraging their members and others from supporting Bundy Jr. aka Bundy light(in the sense department) by calling this latest farce the opposite of the Bundy Ranch, per the ever-vigilant (as distinct from vigilante right wing nuts), Right Wing Watch noted:

Oath Keepers Urge Members To Back Off Oregon Standoff: 'This Is The Opposite Of The Bundy Ranch'
After sons of rancher Cliven Bundy led armed militia members in occupying a federal building in Oregon in protest of a federal court ruling regarding two ranchers who were sentenced to jail time for arson on federal lands, at least one “Patriot” group is urging its members to “stay out of” the situation: The Oath Keepers.
The leader of the extremist Oath Keepers, one of the biggest players in the standoff at the Bundy ranch in Nevada, thinks that the Bundy brothers have gone too far. In a statement issued on New Year’s Day, Oath Keepers leader Stewart Rhodes said that although he’s sympathetic to Dwight and Steven Hammond, the ranchers convicted of arson, he wants no part in the Bundy sons’ takeover of a federal wildlife refuge because the Hammonds had not asked for help.
In a video statement, Rhodes said that the Oregon situation is “exactly the opposite of the Bundy ranch,” claiming that while militia groups “went to Bundy ranch to prevent that family from being Waco’d,” the current standoff is being “manufactured by potheads who want a fight” and is no longer a “peaceful protest.” He added that the Hammonds “were found guilty by a jury of their peers.”
It is a distinction without meaning or merit; the Bundy's have been properly found guilty plenty of times and are equally deserving of being behind bars for their lawlessness and looting of federal land too, which takes away valued resources out of ALL our pockets. A jury of peers is just as legitimate, neither more nor less, than any other court in the country. The notion put forward by the Bundy's and the rest of the unraveling lunatic fringe is that they are entitled to something that does not belong to them, but rather belongs to US to YOU AND ME, as citizens and residents of these United States. The government is all of us; the people they are attempting to screw over are the rest of us, who are not holed up as trespassers and vandals indulging delusions of relevance.

Time for a good yawn, and for these morons to get a good kick in the seat of their pants, which appears to be the part of their anatomy they use to attempt thought, (a failed aspiration).