Skip to main content

View Diary: Beware of Tyrants in Sheep's Clothing (215 comments)

Comment Preferences

  •  It doesn't say that. (19+ / 0-)

    It says it's the right of the people to alter or abolish it. In a democracy you don't need a violent revolution to do that. Alter it through democratic means.

    •  It does say that. (5+ / 0-)

      There are two such passages in the declaration of independence:

      it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government,
      There is no provision in the government for abolishing itself.
      it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security
      And there is the declaration of the right to overthrow.

      And before you play lawyer and parse the exact wording, recall that this is the crowd that used the words "chuse" and "brittish". There are such things as synonyms in the world, and parsing the words too onerously leads to people not bothering to even try to have conversations anymore.

      My academic question stands. What do you make of the right of the people to throw the whole thing out the window, especially since that right bears the signatures of many of those founders and eventual presidents?

      It's safe to trust a sane person with the keys to nuclear weapons, but it's not safe to trust an insane person with the cleaners under the kitchen sink. The answer is not gun control, it's people care.

      by JayFromPA on Sun Jan 20, 2013 at 06:14:14 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I'm not trying to play lawyer here (13+ / 0-)

        But I will say it's a loaded question. A government which has no representation at all is one thing. A democracy is entirely another. The same people who wrote it took great care to ensure that the same problem would not exist.

        The disturbing thing about the question you ask is "who are the people" in a democracy?

        They didn't stop writing at the Declaration of Independence, nor were they infallible. It's a loaded question.

        •  Of course it's a loaded question. (6+ / 0-)

          Over and over again I see people acting as if words written in books will make everything okay, completely ignoring the fact that it takes the consent of the governed for the ink in those books to be granted weight of law.

          Just a look back through history shows that if the people themselves don't go along, then the ink in the book isn't going to be worth the paper itself.

          It was against "the law" for the people of france to hang king louis. But without the consent of the governed, that law didn't count.

          It was against "the law" for the people of the colonies to toss the tea in the harbor. But without the consent of those being governed, that law didn't count.

          I was wondering if you had given any thought to the fact that government doesn't exist without the flesh and blood people... That government is a constructed process that rests upon the willing shoulders of the people in the same way that a constructed building of legos sits upon a table... if the table were alive and able to toss it off, I suppose.

          The consent of the people is the first source of governmental power, up to and including the existence of government itself. And if enough people withdraw their consent...

          I DO ask this in an academic intent. I wonder if you feel that government exists as a method of manipulating the people into a form that is chosen by the individuals who hold governmental power.

          It's safe to trust a sane person with the keys to nuclear weapons, but it's not safe to trust an insane person with the cleaners under the kitchen sink. The answer is not gun control, it's people care.

          by JayFromPA on Sun Jan 20, 2013 at 06:42:39 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  I know you think you're making a point (20+ / 0-)

            But  you really aren't. Consent is given on election day.

            When you have to resort to fallacies to prove you're point, it's proof enough that your point is invalid.

            I'm not going to respond to any more comments on this line because it's not constructive.

            •  He is making a point... (4+ / 0-)

              ...the problem is you don't want to hear it.

              "...when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security."

              As this article correctly points out, we are not living under absolute despotism currently. IF fascism does take hold over here in some form, maybe you will be less dismissive of these academic arguments about tyranny, but I doubt it.

          •  Sounds like you have read Gene Sharp. (7+ / 0-)

            http://www.aeinstein.org/

            We are the government and it is us because we are citizens of a federal republic.  Any movement away from this unity is a threat to the republic.  

            That said, citizenship does not stop after an election.  Write your representatives, argue for a more perfect and just union.  

            What I see going on here is the right is being a bunch of WATBs who see the end of their demographic dominance and want to stop the sun in the sky.  

            Under capitalism man exploits man, under communism the roles are reversed.

            by DavidMS on Sun Jan 20, 2013 at 07:23:52 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  A bit of homework is in order (16+ / 0-)

            before you talk about semantics and playing lawyer.

            This diary right here on DailyKos is quite helpful in separating fact and fiction when it comes to rebellion in the colonies, armed and otherwise.

            Samuel Adams, wealthy smugglers, and others who had profited from the smuggled tea called for agents and consignees of the East India Company tea to abandon their positions; consignees who hesitated were terrorized through attacks on their warehouses and even their homes.
            Revolution sounds noble but it's really all about power. The fact that ours led eventually to a democracy (eleven years later, don't forget) I consider more a lucky accident than anything.

            There are offenders on both sides of this issue. Sometimes the Occupy folks get a bit overly enthused too. This diary is a sobering note of caution as to how these things usually go.

            •  Good point, I would add (7+ / 0-)

              that the luck we had in becoming a democracy also had  to do with the enlightenment influence on many of the framers. The fact that the country was so new helped. No thousands of years of history.

              Now we get back to luck. Outside of a climate apocalypse that allows pockets of humans to survive, that combination can never happen again.

              If it does, I think they may have enough knowledge to create a fairly good civilization.

              "People, even more than things, have to be restored, renewed, revived, reclaimed and redeemed; never throw out anyone. " Audrey Hepburn "A Beautiful Woman"

              by Ginny in CO on Sun Jan 20, 2013 at 08:56:23 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

          •  It's very telling when (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            ban nock, BlueEyed In NC

            an entire community cannot (or refuses to) answer a simple question. What we are seeing is a discussion that is driven by a parralyzing fear, and any time a discussion is driven by fear, objective rational thought goes out the window. I don't own a gun, never have, and so I am not suffering from any "gun fetish" (as some people here seem to suggest) but that doesn't mean that I don't support the 2nd Amendment. Now, some people on daily kos want to claim that the 2nd Amdendment text does not establish the immutable right to bear arms for the individual, even though it clearly does, and any doubts are most certainly proven unfounded by "The States' Ratification Documents" even though I do believe the text of the US CONSTITUTION itself is sufficient. 

            Now, this diary though brings up, I believe, the heart of the premise upon which the need for the 2nd Amendment is based. Of course, the assumption of this diary is that the "soft power" of an implied threat of an armed rebellion is not sufficient to prevent or temper the rise of a tyrrany in our nation, which i do find to be a flaw in the diarist's rationale, however this diary does strike to the heart of the question:

            Do we need the 2nd Amendment to defend our freedom from tyrrany or is the 1st Amendment sufficient?

            This is a valid question.

            This diarist thinks that the 2nd Amendment is unnecessary and he/she makes an interesting case to support his/her belief. 

            Now, clearly, as your question serves to illustrate, the founding fathers felt rather strongly that we needed BOTH the 1st and the 2nd Amendment. Anyone who claims that this is not true is, I believe, just not being honest. And unfortunately, whenever the historical facts are presented, or when respectful academic questions, like yours, are raised, the ensuing discussions on this site involve: (a) avoidance, (b) outright denial, or worst of all, (c) ad homonym attacks. Some members have even resorted to concocting an absurd story suggesting that the 2nd Amendment was to support slavery, with the obvious goal of trying to claim that anyone who supports slavery today also supports slavery. Which, again, is just plain absurd. It's also insulting . 

            Please. Just please! 

            Now, if this community wants to continue claiming to be a rational respectful "reality based community" then such denial of the documented facts of this nation's history will only marginalize this community's ability to influence public opinion and affect legislation. And insulting false accusations also do not help and only makes this community look bad. 

            The current legislation is focused on addressing issues of data collection to enforce existing laws to help the ATF do their job. I support this effort. I support this legislation. This is important legislation. We also need a head of the ATF and we haven't had one in six years. This is important. This is critical. Very critical. I also think we should punish the parents of children who commit gun crimes with their parent's guns. These are important objectives that would do us all good. We should agree on our shared goals and work towards them with respectful rational discussions. 

            Unfortunately, the irrational discussions that are occurring in both the republican communities AND the democratic communities are not helping. So please, everyone, try to be respectful. 

            Read this article, if you want to see my perspective and where I believe our priorities should lie:
            [Legislative Handcuffs Limit A.T.F.’s Ability to Fight Gun Crime - NYTimes.com]

            Now, as far as I am concerned, the assault rifle ban is, I believe, a red herring, for two reasons, but I am still none the less not against it. I am not against it because I think a hand gun (even with limited rounds) can be just as effective in defending our freedom as any assault rifle in the hands of a trained person. And, in fact, in close quarter combat, the handgun is superior, in terms of agility and accuracy -- and reloading  a new clip takes seconds, and a well placed hollow point will do just as much damage as any bullet from an assault rifle. So, any legislation to ban assault rifles serves little purpose, except (a) to make people who are ignorant, afraid of guns, and against gun ownership, feel more safe, and also, (b) it will make those people who are in support of gun ownership feel more paranoid that the real ultimate goal of this legislative effort is to completely repeal the 2nd Amendment. 

            Which leads me to: 

            The goal of this diary is the outright repeal of the 2nd Amendment. 

            The agenda of this diarist is to repeal the 2nd Amendment. 

            The premise of this diary is that the history of another nation's fight for freedom and to end tyranny, which this diarist witnessed first hand, is of the same nature and characteristic of the tyranny that this nation must guard against, and therefore, this is proof that we, in the United States of America, do not need the 2nd Amendment. There was another diary I read today which discussed the UK's gun laws, as well as, their manner of guarding their freedoms. And, these are both good and interesting discussions and valid arguments, which I do believe have merit. Unfortunately, these arguments, or rather, the fact that you all are making them within the context of a larger narrative that includes an irrational denial of this nation's history and the clearly documented intent of the founding fathers, an intent for which generations have fought to preserve, also confirms the worst fears of those who do feel that the 2nd Amendment is just as important as the 1st Amendment. In other words, when you do not respect the facts of this nation's history, you are not helping the cause of passing necessary gun legislation. 

            Executive orders are not permanent. Congressional legislation is also not entirely permanent but it is far more permanent and can be far more reaching than executive orders. Republicans can still block legislation, and if any legislation smells of a strategic attempt to eventually repeal the 2nd Amendment, there will probably even be Democrats who oppose it. And, the only way to overcome the irrational fears is rational discussion. 

            Rational debate is our friend. 

            Questions that stimulate thought, on both sides, should be respected, not ignored. Ignoring doesn't help you, or us, or anyone. 

            Personally, I think this diarist is wrong in two ways: 

            (1) the implied threat of an armed populace is sufficient to temper any extreme tyranny from rising to power. It need never be applied.  Ie: "talk softly but carry a big stick" 

            (2) comparisons to another nation's history, and the dynamics at play in that nation, do not take into account all that is at play in this nation's history, and the same is true of the UK. 

            FACT: 
            In the UK, the government grants rights to its subjects, and anything not explicitly granted to their subjects, resides with the government.

            Conversely...

            In the USA, the citizens grant rights to the government, and anything not granted to the government resides with the people. 

            And, the existence and history of the USA, in relation to the UK, has influenced the UK in far more ways than most realize, such that, it is impossible to say what the UK would be like today had the USA never happened. 

            But, having said all that, the diarist might be right, and I might be wrong. I am not close-minded in my position. I do think the 2nd Amendment is as important as the 1st Amendment, and I get that the diarist does not, and I get why she/he does not. But bear in mind, many in this nation agree with me and their dedication to defending this nation is no less than yours. And while I may be wrong, so too may you be. And remember, Obama and Biden are not fighting for the repeal of the 2nd Amendment, and any suggestion that they are, would probably have a disastrous effect on their ability to get ANY needed sane rational legislation passed.

            •  typo correction: (0+ / 0-)

              Some members have even resorted to concocting an absurd story suggesting that the 2nd Amendment was to support slavery, with the obvious goal of trying to claim that anyone who supports the 2nd Amendment today also supports slavery. Which, again, is just plain absurd. It's also insulting.

              And let me add: such attacks of this nature do not even deserve a response.

            •  You make all kinds of assumptions (9+ / 0-)

              In trying to shoehorn a different conversation into this.

              Mabye the diarist just didn't want the diary highjacked.

            •  The point of the diary (3+ / 0-)

              ... is that the Second Amendment does not allow a "right to overthrow". The Constitution is quite clear attempting the violent overthrow of the government is treason. The militia is subordinate to the state and federal government.

              There's also the question of what types of arms people may have, where and in what circumstances they may be taken, and in what circumstances they may be used.

              There are few who would claim the right to keep and bear nuclear weapons, but that is a restriction. If you accept that restriction, then it simply is a matter of what sort of restrictions are allowed.

              The wolfpack eats venison. The lone wolf eats mice.

              by A Citizen on Mon Jan 21, 2013 at 06:07:48 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

            •  There's no written rule about this (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Laconic Lib

              but it's widely accepted that this much verbiage, no matter how apropos, belongs in its own diary and not in a comment.

              That said, I'll briefly address your question

              Do we need the 2nd Amendment to defend our freedom from tyrrany or is the 1st Amendment sufficient?
              To me, that's a little bit like asking Do you need the steering wheel to get to work, or is the drivetrain sufficient? But even responding that way assumes that I accept your premise that the 2nd Amendment is helpful for defending our freedom from tyranny. That premise may have been true in the days of the Founders, but I believe it's widely off-base today, when the firepower available to the government is vastly superior to that which we could tolerate in the hands of ordinary citizens.

              So to me, a more accurate answer to your question is that the whole of the Constitution is essential to defend us from tyranny -- and I believe that the 2nd Amendment could be excised from that whole, and would not be missed any more than I would miss my appendix if it had to be removed.

              (I may be wrong about the need for the 2nd Amendment; but I'm quite sure that if you're looking only at the 1st and 2nd Amendments, you're missing the big picture.)

              Let us all have the strength to see the humanity in our enemies, and the courage to let them see the humanity in ourselves.

              by Nowhere Man on Mon Jan 21, 2013 at 07:40:24 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Thank you. (0+ / 0-)

                I am new to daily kos.

                And, after posting my comment and reading Backell's comment above, I actually did go and create my own diary re-posting my comment a little more flushed out.

                But, having said that.

                Thank you for responding to the question, and I did not mean to imply that the 2A should be taken out of context of the entre USC. But, even so, I do respect your opinion. I don't agree with it. But I do respect it. I think that this is a subject that some of us are going to have to agree to disagree. One problem though, if we muddy this current legislation with an agenda involving an ultimate intent to repeal the 2A, this will derail any progress, since a large portion of this nation feels it is necessary, if for no other reason than as an implied "soft power" ... that need never be applied. And, given the fact that we could elect an Obama after a Bush/Cheney is a testimony to the fact that our Government works without any need for violence. However, one might ask whether Bush/Cheney would have relinquished power had we not had the 2A. Makes you wonder.

                •  But this is the problem (0+ / 0-)

                  'if we muddy this current legislation with an agenda involving an ultimate intent to repeal the 2A, this will derail any progress, since a large portion of this nation feels it is necessary, "

                  Rhetoric like this is the problem. Fear mongers trying to go beyond the scope of the ACTUAL national conversation. No one seriously trying to repeal the second amendment.

                  In fact, no one is seriously trying to take away anyone's guns.

                  I'm fairly certain that Bush/Cheney would have relinquished power. We have to stop looking at every political figure as inherently evil people (well except for Cheney.)

                  •  Well, actually, (0+ / 0-)

                    if you read through the responses on the diary that I went and posted, due to your comment above, 35% of the 37 people who voted said they felt 2A is not needed. Now, 37 voters is not a lot, no. But, if you read through the comments on my diary, and if you read through the prolific REC list diaries, and the tens of thousands of comments therein, like in this very dairy itself, it is very clear that there is a prevailing MEME being pushed that... 

                    (a) ...that 2A is not needed,
                    (and you all viciously attack anyone who does think it is needed, calling us paranoid right wing fanatics, in the worst instances, (with unfounded HR abuse / harassment) or treating us with great disdain and contempt, in the least... I am not seeing ANY mutual respect or civil rational discourse coming from anti 2A folks, yet I am seeing great patient rational respectful discourse, time and time again, coming from mine)

                    (b) ...that 2A does not protect individual gun ownership rights, 
                    (even though historical documents prove that it clearly does, and when the irrefutable proof of this is presented, it is blatantly ignored)

                    (c) ...that 2A was not intended by the founding fathers to protect individual gun ownership rights, 
                    (even though the historical documents prove that it was, and this is also ignored, just as the question up thread was ignored) 

                    (d) ...that 2A supporters are racist slave owners, 
                    (which is is an extremely insulting way to silence opposing views, and is based upon an obscure reference in an obtuse connection, yet is entirely unfounded given the main discourse in the congress) 

                    (e) ...that 2A supporters are right wing extremists who's "gun fetish" makes them a threat to society, 
                    (which is just another insulting disrespectful  way to silence opposing views)

                    (f) ...that the founding charter / documents of this nation are not sacred to our nation and its traditions,
                    (therefore, if they do support an individual's gun ownership to protect against government tyranny, who cares, because that was 225+ years ago, and it's not like there hasn't been dozens of generations who swore to fight with their life to protect the US Constitution, except, of course, there has been... oh yeah, a minor factor in this discussion ... not! 

                    So, yes, the majority of this community ABSOLUTELY IS pushing for an outright ban on all guns. ALL GUNS. That is not paranoia, that is demonstrated by your complete intolerance for any arguments involving a belief that the 2A is just as necessary as the 1A to protect our freedom from government tyranny... which is not just my belief, but it was our founding fathers' belief, as well as, the belief of generations since. Call me a radical, but I sort of revere the founding fathers and their vision, and so did my / our ancestors. 

                    Now, as I said to numerous people in my diary, if you believe that the 2A is not necessary, fine. I respect that belief. I don't agree with it. But I do respect it. However, please don't claim that "black is white" by trying to deny the historical facts. This and these sorts of irrational disrespectful actions makes all of you anti 2A folks characteristically similar to the right wing folks, and as a "reality based community" the last thing you should be doing is stubbornly denying historical facts when they conflict with your bias, nor should you be demonstrating an incapacity for rational respectful discussion. Poor form, as they say.... very GOP of you. You see, liberal vs conservative is not merely determined by your positions, but rather, by the high ideal of a shared appreciation for respectful honest discussion between opposing viewpoints. GOP is intolerant of dissenting opinion, liberals are not. Ironic how the roles have reversed on this issue. Strange but true. Now, the NRA is bad, no doubt. But you guys are worse these days, and I am sorry if this offends you, but it is sadly shockingly true. 

                    And last but not least, Bush/Cheney attempted what can easily be said to be an outright coup, involving massive corruption, public admission of torture on national tv, tyrannical wars under false pretenses with trumped up lies killing untold hundreds of thousands of people, repeal of Habeas Corpus, illegal wire taps, corporate corruption on a massive scale, stolen elections in 2000 and 2004, etc etc etc .... and with the very real threat of a tribunal at the Hague for War crimes, or maybe even war crimes here.... I am sorry, but no, I absolutely do not believe that Bush/Cheney would have relinquished power had it not been for the 2nd Amendment. 

                    And I think if you are really honest with yourself, neither do you. 

                    But, be that as it may: 

                    You have your beliefs.

                    I have mine.

                    I respect you and your beliefs. 

                    Please respect me and mine.

          •  There is another problem with this line of (4+ / 0-)

            argument. It's based on history that was consistent for a LONG time. It ignores the recent history that has established a new, effective path for overcoming tyrants.

            Gandhi, King and Mandela successfully took peaceful, non violent resistance to a national level in the 20th century. It was studied, further developed, and greatly enhanced with technology. In the 21st century it has been working in various ways and means around the globe, with powerful in vivo development.

            This is not to say there has been no violence or weapons used, or that all the resulting governments are free of non democratic actions. It takes time to build a government that works for it's subjects. The newcomers need a few people who know how the system worked. We started with the Articles of Confederation and totally chucked them to create the Constitution.

            Government can clearly exist

            as a method of manipulating the people into a form that is chosen by the individuals who hold governmental power.
            A form also chosen by those who hold power over the government. Religion, military, wealthy, ideologues.  It's been part of government since it began. The Framers were quite familiar with all of them. They put stuff in the Constitution to ward off the problems. People with lots of power, over time, have removed or diluted many of the prohibitions. And carried on using the standard sociopathic playbook, scheming ever new power grabbing tactics.  Many of us have seen it becoming a really tough battle to change the laws and the status quo. See: US Supreme Court.

            We are willing to get in the streets or where ever we will obstruct their doings. If we get jailed, injured, killed; so be it. Killing other people is a very, very last resort. I would not totally exclude it if resistance does not work. Entirely because of climate change denial, which is also a  unique situation in history. It would need to be very targeted, with as much probability as Frodo dropping the One Ring in Mt. Doom. Best to keep working the non violent approaches.  Including computer hacking... another new tactic.

            "People, even more than things, have to be restored, renewed, revived, reclaimed and redeemed; never throw out anyone. " Audrey Hepburn "A Beautiful Woman"

            by Ginny in CO on Sun Jan 20, 2013 at 09:57:44 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

      •  You're confusing the Declaration of Independence, (36+ / 0-)

        which was a declaration of rebellion against the English king, with the Constitution, which is the basis of government for this country.

        Strength and dignity are her clothing, she rejoices at the days to come; She opens her mouth with wisdom, and the law of kindness is on her tongue.

        by loggersbrat on Sun Jan 20, 2013 at 06:37:24 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Oh hey! (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          DeadHead, Beetwasher, Jane Lew

          That's what I said, only much more succinctly!

          All knowledge is worth having. Check out OctopodiCon to support steampunk learning and fun. Also, on DKos, check out the Itzl Alert Network.

          by Noddy on Sun Jan 20, 2013 at 07:39:00 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  Both documents memorialized the intent (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          DefendOurConstitution

          of the founding fathers in establishing this nation.

          Both documents have been the rallying cry for generations of Americans who built and fought for this nation.

          Both are sacred and have guided us through dark and bright times.

          Please do not insult us by denying the sanctity of this nation's most cherished words.

          •  Words. (5+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            leftreborn, newfie, RUNDOWN, Laconic Lib, Noddy

            Sanctity, not so much.

            Same with the implication that the comment you were replying to was some kind of insult to said cherished words.

            I swear, the "sacred" idolization of words is almost comical.




            Somebody has to do something, and it's just incredibly pathetic that it has to be us.
            ~ Jerry Garcia

            by DeadHead on Mon Jan 21, 2013 at 12:08:22 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Hasn't it though? (4+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              sensetolisten, backell, Noddy, DeadHead

              Why is it that we would have to adhere to one interpretation of words for the rest of existence.  Oh you can't say that it defiles the sacred words. It is too sad to be funny really.

              "You have attributed conditions to villainy that simply result from stupidity"

              by newfie on Mon Jan 21, 2013 at 05:37:50 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Exactly (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                newfie

                Original intent versus living document.

                I fall into the latter category.

                For such an 'immutable' document, it sure has been amended alot.

                ;)




                Somebody has to do something, and it's just incredibly pathetic that it has to be us.
                ~ Jerry Garcia

                by DeadHead on Mon Jan 21, 2013 at 12:06:05 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

            •  Are you an Anerican? (0+ / 0-)

              Where were you born?

              Where were you raised?

              If those words are not sacred to you, being the very words upon which the United States of America was founded, words that generation after generation have fought to preserve, shed blood sweat and tears to preserve, the sanctity of which being demonstrated by the reverence with which the forefathers of this nation have enshrined them, then clearly you are not from this land.

              You can belittle and dismiss many things, but when you do so of the Decleration of Independence or the US Constitution, then you cross a line, sir. Either we share these enshrined values, or we do not. Clearly you do not.

              Good day, Sir.

              •  When we post our written words here at Kos in a (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Laconic Lib, DeadHead

                diary or a comment, we're offering our ideas for discussion.  We don't generally intend to make ourselves the topic for discussion.

                Communication is improved when the back and forth commentary stays focused on the opinions posted here, not on the people who post them.  

                In a competition of ideas, you don't advance your argument by criticizing and attacking the people who disagree with you. Your point of view should be able to stand on its own merits, if it has any and if you are able to articulate them.  

                It comes down to a choice.  Use your intellect, fluency, persuasiveness, and knowledge to give others something to think about or maybe even change the way that other people think.  Or change the subject so that the writers and commenters become the subject for a lashing when you disagree with them.  That's up to you and you don't win the debate with personal insults, disparaging remarks, derisive comments about the other participants.  

                Asking other participants for any personal information is never a good idea.  There's a difference between public and private information.  

                Let's remember the high ideals and principles of our country's founders and respect the right of everyone to have their own way of looking at things.  We may disagree but we should always remember to defend the right of others to have their own opinions.

                "Democracy is a life; and involves continual struggle." ---'Fighting Bob' LaFollette

                by leftreborn on Mon Jan 21, 2013 at 07:31:46 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

              •  I am not an "Anerican". (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                S F Hippie, DeadHead, luckydog

                But I'll assume you meant "American", and I am an American.

                Yanno, the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution with its Amendments are important documents, but they were NOT written by any god I know of, nor were they written by saints, prophets, or others who claim to speak for some deity or other. They were written and signed by human beings, not gods.

                Therefore, while they are important, they are not sacred. They are worthy of respect.

                Your assumption that DeadHead is not American because he doesn't conform to your strict and rigid theocratic view of what makes someone American is unworthy and mean-spirited.

                We do not have to share "enshrined" values because American is NOT a theocracy.

                This is America - we can can hold different views of what's important. Being different, holding different views, expressing our views and concerns in different words is what makes us Americans - working together with, because of, and in spite of, our differences,makes us stronger Americans.

                You need to apologize to DeadHead for questioning his birthright.

                All knowledge is worth having. Check out OctopodiCon to support steampunk learning and fun. Also, on DKos, check out the Itzl Alert Network.

                by Noddy on Mon Jan 21, 2013 at 11:56:04 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  :) (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Noddy

                  You and I shall be waiting a long time for that apology, Noddy.

                  That's ok, the typo in the original comment will have to suffice. ;)




                  Somebody has to do something, and it's just incredibly pathetic that it has to be us.
                  ~ Jerry Garcia

                  by DeadHead on Mon Jan 21, 2013 at 01:39:30 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

              •  If you mean American (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                S F Hippie

                and not 'Anerican,' well, I was born in Encino, California, in 1969. I've lived here all 43 of my years.

                Does that qualify? Or do I need to agree with you on everything, first?

                 If I have a view that puts less emphasis on words written like, two centuries ago, does that make me a commie or something?

                In rejecting your degree of reverence, do I by default also reject any person who's done the right thing over the course of the country's history, or is it all-or-nothing?

                Just tell me what you want me to believe, so I can believe it.




                Somebody has to do something, and it's just incredibly pathetic that it has to be us.
                ~ Jerry Garcia

                by DeadHead on Mon Jan 21, 2013 at 12:00:37 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  Those were rhetorical questions (0+ / 0-)

                  and yeah, with my iPhone my typing is prone to typos: AMERICAN.

                  Tell you what I want you to believe? No. Believe whatever you want to believe. But, to me, the Decleration of Independence and the US Constitution memorializes an ideal that is "sacred" to me, and it is "sacred" to me because it inspired and guided our nation to be born, and inspired / guided generations to preserve this nation. Now, if you want to dismiss their importance with cavalier contempt, then you are also dismissing the importance of this nation with cavalier contempt, because those words define who and what this nation is. And again, that is your choice. You dishonor this nation, the founding fathers, and the generations who have shed blood, sweat, and tears building it. Your choice. Now, I don't think you actually do have contempt, and I think you are American through and through, but I also think that your anti-2nd Amendment bias has so colored your opinion, that you are dismissing the importance of those documents because they conflict with your agenda, which is to repeal the 2nd Amendment. It is inconvenient for you that the founding fathers' opinion, and the founding charter /documents are in direct opposition to your agenda. So what do you and your anti-2A friends do? 

                  You lie about that history.
                  (and when that doesn't work)
                  You deny that history. 
                  (and when that doesn't work)
                  You ignore that history.
                  (and when that doesn't work)
                  You trivialize that history.
                  (and when that doesn't work)
                  You attack the people reminding you of that history...

                  ...rather than honoring that history. 

                  Now, if you don't think that the 2A is needed anymore. Fine! I respect that. I don't agree with your opinion, but I respect it. But, if you trivialize with contempt, what generations have fought to preserve, don't be surprised when this results in people responding to you with contempt.

                  I asked you those rhetorical questions not because I didn't think you were American, I asked you those rhetorical questions to remind you what it means to be American. 

                  And if you don't know why...

                  Federal law requires everyone who enlists or re-enlists in the Armed Forces of the United States to take the enlistment oath. The oath of enlistment into the United States Armed Forces is administered by any commissioned officer to any person enlisting or re-enlisting for a term of service into any branch of the military. The officer asks the person, or persons, to raise their right hand and repeat the oath after him. The oath is traditionally performed in front of the United States Flag and other flags, such as the state flag, military branch flag, and unit guidon may be present.

                  In the Armed Forces EXCEPT the National Guard (Army or Air)

                  I, (NAME), do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; and that I will obey the orders of the President of the United States and the orders of the officers appointed over me, according to regulations and the Uniform Code of Military Justice. So help me God.

                  I am sorry, but no, I don't think I owe you and your friends here an apology. I think you and your friends owe this nation an apology. But I'm not holding my breath. And no, I don't think you're a "commie." Who said anything about communism or socialism? I most certainly did not. And the last time i checked, there is no mention of that in the DOI or USC. So why did you bring it up? For the record, I have no problem with Social Security or Medicare or Obamacare, or any other social welfare programs. I hope we one day have single payer. I think these make our nation stronger. And my mother and father are sure thankful of them. I like capitalism too, for some things, but not all things. And it is prone to corruption, so strong regulatory oversight is necessary for a healthy economy. And I strongly believe that a massive stimulus package is needed right now. Shall I go on? Or do you still think I am a RW wacko just because I happen to think the DOI and the USC memorialize a "scared" ideal. Look, I don't think anything about you other than this: I just don't think you honor this nation's "sacred"!ideals, as memorialized in the DOI and USC. 

                  I have nothing more to say to you, Sir. 

          •  At no point did (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            DeadHead

            loggersbrat deny the sanctity of the documents, only that they serve different purposes. One is a declaration of intent towards another government, and the other is the original governing document of a new country.

            Different things, equally sacred, but not to be conflated.

            All knowledge is worth having. Check out OctopodiCon to support steampunk learning and fun. Also, on DKos, check out the Itzl Alert Network.

            by Noddy on Mon Jan 21, 2013 at 11:42:27 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

      •  A declaration is not the same (20+ / 0-)

        as a constitution. One is a manifesto, a letter of intent, an explanation of what the author(s) is (are) about to do. It is not a governing document. The Constitution is, it outlines how our country operates.

        One is a vision, the other is the action.

        Our Constitution has provided us with peaceful ways to change how our government and our elected employees work. We have the methods, from the smallest local government unit to the largest national one, ways to direct our government. Our Constitution was written with checks and balances, and to take one part and elevate it at the expense of the rest of the document defeats its purpose.

        Those who threaten violence to their fellow citizens because they disagree with them don't understand that, don't understand we are all in this together,whether we agree or not, and our government isn't just about them or just for them. It's for us.

        All knowledge is worth having. Check out OctopodiCon to support steampunk learning and fun. Also, on DKos, check out the Itzl Alert Network.

        by Noddy on Sun Jan 20, 2013 at 07:37:11 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  social contract (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          ban nock
          Our Constitution was written with checks and balances, and to take one part and elevate it at the expense of the rest of the document defeats its purpose.
          Checks and balances.

          But one of those checks was the assumption, explicitly mentioned in the Federalist Papers, that the people would be able to "check" the power of the federal government to do blatantly tyrannical things... because they were presumed to be just as well armed as the federal government.

          It does not defeat the purpose of the Constitution to say that the government cannot torture me.
          It does not defeat the purpose of the Constitution to say that the government cannot forbid me from speaking.
          It does not defeat the purpose of the Constitution to say that the government cannot disarm me, either.

          the purpose of the second amendment is to promote a well-regulated militia, in the same sense that the purpose of the first amendment is to promote a well-informed electorate.

          by happymisanthropy on Sun Jan 20, 2013 at 08:43:31 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  That is a fantasy... (10+ / 0-)

            You state:

            because they were presumed to be just as well armed as the federal government
            Truth is, we aren't.  The government has aircraft carriers, submarines, tanks, artillery, nuclear weapons, guided missiles, bombs, fighter jets, bombers, stealth fighters and bombers, ground assault aircraft, attack helicopters, armored personnel carriers, and numerous small arms that are illegal for citizens (list is not comprehensive).

            The cops have better weapons at their disposal too.  A heavily armed citizen couldn't even defeat a SWAT team.

            The thing that prevents our government from becoming a tyranny is not the gun, it is the vote.  

            •  which is to say (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              RUNDOWN
              The thing that prevents our government from becoming a tyranny is not the gun, it is the vote.

              it's mostly just a question of when.

              the purpose of the second amendment is to promote a well-regulated militia, in the same sense that the purpose of the first amendment is to promote a well-informed electorate.

              by happymisanthropy on Sun Jan 20, 2013 at 09:48:10 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Is It? Why? (6+ / 0-)

                Do you vote? That's your chance to change things to your vision. Persuade others of your vision. If you can't, too bad. That's democracy.

                So, in your opinion it SHOULD be guns, then? Guns should prevent tyranny? Do they? Or do they enforce it?

                This post is dedicated to myself, without whom, I'd be somebody else. Though I'd still be an asshole. My Music: [http://www.myspace.com/beetwasher]

                by Beetwasher on Sun Jan 20, 2013 at 10:24:17 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

              •  Yes, at some point... (4+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                DeadHead, FiredUpInCA, RUNDOWN, Noddy

                ...people will learn to talk to and listen to one another instead of retreating into their foxholes ready to shoot the "others" when they come.  Differences will be resolved without violence.  People will learn that they can disagree with people and still not hate or fear them.  People will learn to live with people different than themselves.  We have a lot of work to do, but we've made some progress on developing tolerance within at least one party in this country.  We also instituted programs that create a social obligation that we all share to help each other (Social Security, Medicare, etc).

                Yes, there are dangers.  The main negative impacts of government are precisely those areas where the government is expected to carry the fears of its citizenry.  As a result, governments ruin their economies with pointless military spending, and build wasteful police forces to hunt down the criminals.  Demagogues arise who spread fear and hatred of their fellow citizens (Rush).

                But the answer is not to give in to those same fears and retreat even further from the world into our own personal shelters, but to engage the world and fight the fears that are the real source of the problem (with words).  And we have to be willing to stop pretending that each of us is an island.  We'll all have to accept our obligation to our fellow citizens.  Some of our "freedoms" will be lost, just as the freedom of the slave owners was restricted when the slaves were emancipated.  

                This is the progressive project, and it isn't tyranny.  But if we succumb to our fears and turn to violence tyranny is what we'll get.

                •  I reject your premise (0+ / 0-)

                  that a society can't be both democratic and well-armed.

                  the purpose of the second amendment is to promote a well-regulated militia, in the same sense that the purpose of the first amendment is to promote a well-informed electorate.

                  by happymisanthropy on Sun Jan 20, 2013 at 11:02:45 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Not sure where you found that (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    a2nite, RUNDOWN

                    premise in the above post.  Rather I tend to read the opposite in other posts - that a society cannot be democratic unless it is well armed.  

                    For the record, I say that Democracy is not dictated by the presence or lack thereof of guns.

                    And some even go beyond that premise.  Their premise appears to be that there cannot be a Democracy unless "we" ) are allowed to have any (and as many) guns that we want.

                    "You have attributed conditions to villainy that simply result from stupidity"

                    by newfie on Mon Jan 21, 2013 at 05:43:00 AM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                  •  I reject the idea that policians will (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Laconic Lib

                    vote for the best for everyone when a gun from one group is to their head (and not just metaphorically).

                    David Koch is Longshanks, and Occupy is the real Braveheart.

                    by PsychoSavannah on Mon Jan 21, 2013 at 08:11:06 AM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                  •  As long as the armed citizens (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    JayRaye, DeadHead

                    are well-regulated and responsible ones, there's no reason we can't have both a democracy and citizens who choose to bear arms for whatever reason other than murder or committing crimes.

                    It's when gun owners are careless with their guns - shooting grannies because they couldn't take 2 simple precautions:  pointing the weapon away from people and carrying it unloaded to a large gathering of like-minded people, or allowing mentally unstable people access to them to commit massacres of children - that the rest of society has to rise up in rebellion and say - ENOUGH. If you gun owners can't regulate and behave responsibly on your own recognizance with your weapons, then we as a society must take action and impose some limits on you.

                    We gave the gun owners (aka the NRA, who were once the voice of reason about guns) lots and lots of time to talk among themselves and come up with ways to prevent the misuse of guns in our society - and all they could come up with was to arm everybody!

                    That is not a viable solution, so the rest of society is now taking on the burden the gun owners should have shouldered to enact rules and regulations to keep gun ownership safe and responsible.

                    Notice we aren't using guns against the irresponsible gun owners - we're using votes and pressure on our legislators, we're using words not bullets, to make those changes.

                    All knowledge is worth having. Check out OctopodiCon to support steampunk learning and fun. Also, on DKos, check out the Itzl Alert Network.

                    by Noddy on Mon Jan 21, 2013 at 08:28:45 AM PST

                    [ Parent ]

          •  We can check the power (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            leftreborn, backell, DeadHead

            with VOTES not guns.  

            At the moment, our government is not so bad that we truly are oppressed, repressed, unrepresented.  We are nowhere near living in a tyranny in America where we must overthrow our oppressors.

            I have no problem with people owning guns - you'd know that if you paid attention.

            What pisses me off is people like you coming in and assuming that I am not a citizen of my country and my voice doesn't count because I don't believe as you do.

            We had an election.  The majority of the people and the majority of the Electoral College representing us made a choice.  The people spoke. I am sorry (but not too sorry since the other choice was Romney) that the majority voice wasn't yours, but just because your voice wasn't the majority voice doesn't mean you are oppressed.

            You show me where the "tyranny" is in America that's so bad you need to shoot your fellow Americans.

            I'll show you where the freedoms are:

            You still have freedom of speech,

            you still have the freedom to gather,

            you still own those guns your like-minded people are waving around loaded, carelessly shooting grannies at gun shows and babies in schools,

            you still have the freedom to live where you want,

            you still have the freedom to call your government and elected employees names,

            you still have the freedom to work to change the next election,

            you still have the freedom to apply for a job of your choosing (the corporations and business owners control whether you get hired, not the government - unless you're applying for a government job...)

            you still have the freedom to cruise the internet,

            you still have the freedom to become educated,

            you still have the freedom to own your own home (your finances willing),

            you still have the freedom to go to movie theaters,

            you still have the freedom to travel (except by flight, and I'm working on changing that) anywhere in the US,

            you still have the freedom to shop where you want to shop and to own what you can afford to own,

            you still have the freedom to dress as you please,

            you sill have the freedom to sire or birth all the babies you can handle with a willing partner,

            you still have the freedom to marry whom you will (oops, sorry, you only have that freedom if you're a man/woman couple, but we're working on it - you can still love whom you will, though),

            And you have many many more freedoms.

            None of which you'd have in a tyranny that cried out for you to overthrow it.

            I am very happy with the country I have.  It has its flaws, and we can work to fix those flaws because we have the freedom to legally alter our country - by activism, by speaking out, by persuasion (the kind that isn't backed by the coercion of weapons or threats), by votes, by supporting those who share our views, by writing editorials and giving speeches, by putting signs in our yards, by marching, by protesting, by striking.

            If I don't like something, I have the freedom to campaign for change.

            And so do you - without resorting to guns and threats.

            As Asimov said, "Violence is the last refuge of the incompetent."  By advocating gun violence against our government, not only would those people doing so be guilty of treason, they are demonstrating they are too incompetent to use the tools we have to make any necessary changes.

            All knowledge is worth having. Check out OctopodiCon to support steampunk learning and fun. Also, on DKos, check out the Itzl Alert Network.

            by Noddy on Mon Jan 21, 2013 at 08:15:16 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

      •  When the citizens of Great Britain, (5+ / 0-)

        through their Parliament, vote one party out of power and place a different party in control, it is said that they have established a new government. I don't have any knowledge of how long this term has been in use, but it's evidence that, in actual usage, a new government does not necessarily mean a new constitution (with a lowercase "c'".)

        Let us all have the strength to see the humanity in our enemies, and the courage to let them see the humanity in ourselves.

        by Nowhere Man on Sun Jan 20, 2013 at 07:41:38 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  This is where the argument about tyranny and the (9+ / 0-)

          Second Amendment hinges.  In a democracy like ours, Great Britain or any of the others, is it even possible to claim that tyranny exists when people still have the right to vote, and there are other checks on the system.  Citizens can recall an elected official, the President can be impeached, etc.

          It's like everything is being turned inside out and upside down.

          Even though it was a democratic election, if I disagree with the result, I'm not going to respect the will of the majority and I won't accept the result. The minority believes it can prevail over the majority by force.  That used to be the definition of tyranny but now it isn't.  Instead, if my party loses an election and I disagree with their policies, we'll call that tyranny, even though there was a legitimate election.

          It's all backasswards.

          "Democracy is a life; and involves continual struggle." ---'Fighting Bob' LaFollette

          by leftreborn on Sun Jan 20, 2013 at 08:52:48 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  I seem to recall that (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            leftreborn

            the old Soviet Union (and its vassal states) held regular elections, the proletariat enjoyed the right to vote. Sometimes with restrictions based on ethnicity, language, sex, class, etc., but we've seen some of that here too.

            Deal was that it didn't matter how anyone voted because all the candidates were duly approved aparachniks of the Communist Party. We have two powerful political parties in this country (and several very minor, not powerful parties). The two primes differ radically in rhetoric and the 'vision' they're selling, but not in substance because they are both wholly owned subsidiaries of the economic oligarchy that actually calls the socio-political shots.

            "Freedom" can also be an empty word in modern usage. So long as you are inclined to do what The Powers That Be [TPTB] want you to do, you are 'free' to do anything you like. It's only when you try to do something TPTB don't want you to do that you may find yourself stripped of 'freedoms' altogether.

            •  I've had moments of pessimism when I compared (0+ / 0-)

              our system to the Soviet Union too.  And I heard that the Ds and Rs are the same when I was in France during the 1970s.  It's not new to me.  

              To say the Ds and Rs are the same today is like saying an AR15 is the same as an AK47.  They're not the same and it comes down to whether anyone wants to know the difference.

              Look at Paul Ryan's Budget and President Obama's budget line by line and tell me they're the same.  They're far apart.  If the Ds and Rs were the same, why would the Rs filibuster 252 times in four years?  If their policies are the same, why can't they agree on anything?  I look at granular details and I see differences.

              The Republicans front for a privileged few.  The Second Amendment is part of their agenda.  The so-called guardians against tyranny would only be paving the way for a complete takeover by the oligarchs.

              "Democracy is a life; and involves continual struggle." ---'Fighting Bob' LaFollette

              by leftreborn on Mon Jan 21, 2013 at 12:24:33 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  I didn't say they're the same. (0+ / 0-)

                I said they differ vastly in rhetoric and the 'vision' they're selling [to the people in exchange for the people's votes]. But that in the end, they are all functionaries for the ruling elite. Obama's the one pushing cat food, you know. The other guys would just as soon let us starve en masse, and keep us from any health care at all to ensure we die sooner rather than later. I'm quite sure cat food is preferable to nothing, but a bag of Meow Mix for the week doesn't resemble a healthy human diet in anybody's book. [Aside: Who wants to bet it'll be Purina that gets the gub'ment contract for Soylent Green?]

                Do not be fooled by appearances, rhetoric or any grand 'vision' they're peddling. Or by the sleight of mind distractions that perpetually keep us fighting amongst ourselves for bare crumbs so we won't notice the wasteful gluttony of their war-feast. The people have spoken, loudly, with the only voice we've got: our votes. We might as well be mute for all the attention the Kabuki players will pay to us before the next time they want our votes.

                We prefer the Dem's kinder, gentler austerity to the Puke's mean-spirited "let them starve" attitude. It's austerity either way, as it was designed to be when the time came for the Boomer generation to retire (despite the 'extra' couple of trillion dollars Boomers have put aside into the mal-named "SS Trust Fund" to cover the cost of the demographic bulge Boomers present). Because there is no plan on either side of the aisle to make the rich repay what they've stolen, the young (and chronically, perhaps permanently un/ underemployed) simply don't have enough wealth to shift the burden down the line.

                We've been [tax] "farmed" during our productive lives to generate wealth our financial/governmental overlords could steal once they'd stolen everything else. Only land/homes and labor are worth anything of actual value in this world, hence "credit default swaps" on real estate so the land/homes could be stolen outright, along with a taxpayer bailout of the gamblers so they could cash out twice on the same properties. Double Indemnity! Plus a "jobless recovery" to the 21st century's Great Depression (scheduled to last another 20 years at least to facilitate global repositioning for the next Big Cash-Out).

                It's harvest time again, happens every generation or two when the Masters of the Universe cash out on the life's savings of the people. Last time it was the S&Ls, this time it's the banks and their Wall Street operatives. This is how our system has operated over the last century (at least), it can be no surprise that the biggest generation's retirement from the workforce would signal the biggest cash-out.

                Doesn't mean I'm not fully invested in the Democratic version of kinder, gentler austerity over the Puke's bottom-feeder creed of hatred and division (just shoot us). It only means I can see past the funny makeup, bad costuming and dumb plot line to get the gist of what's really going down.

      •  the declaration (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        DeadHead, Beetwasher, a2nite, Laconic Lib

        is not the constitution.

        The cold passion for truth hunts in no pack. -Robinson Jeffers

        by Laurence Lewis on Sun Jan 20, 2013 at 08:21:24 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  We actually seem (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      FiredUpInCA

      to be having revolution through initative though as states we don't always agree one common a direction.

      It is the heart that makes a man rich. He is rich according to what he is not what he has -Henry Ward Beecher

      by PSWaterspirit on Sun Jan 20, 2013 at 06:37:36 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  What about colonies held by a (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Catesby

      parliamentary democracy led by a monarch who is mostly a figurehead?  Is revolution acceptable under those conditions?

      the purpose of the second amendment is to promote a well-regulated militia, in the same sense that the purpose of the first amendment is to promote a well-informed electorate.

      by happymisanthropy on Sun Jan 20, 2013 at 08:35:06 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site