No, not the new Denzel Washington movie; I'm talking about Eugene's series on the status of detainees at Gitmo. I was planning to scribble a few notes in response to Old Skool's post on this topic earlier today. But my views track Volokh's perfectly, and he's done a fine job of laying them out. See:
I particularly like this observation, which I think really puts things in their proper perspective: "As a matter of constitutional history and military need, enemy soldiers have long been treated by military justice and military detention, with virtually no intervention by civilian courts. It is a harsh system, as is the system of shooting and trying to kill them (with no trial, arrest warrant, or anything else) before they're taken captive."
I'd add these thoughts, which really just emphasize points Eugene made:
We the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.
About the Preamble, Justice Story said, "Its true office is to expound the nature and extent and application of the powers actually conferred by the Constitution . . . " The Preamble is an insight into what was on the Framers' minds when they drafted our Constitution:
-A more perfect union . . . of American states.
-Justice . . . for Americans.
-[American] domestic tranquility.
-The common defense . . . of Americans.
-The general welfare . . . of Americans.
-The blessings of liberty . . . quite explicitly for Americans.
Really, isn't that the only sensible reading of the Preamble, and the Constitution more generally? Those who ordained and established the Constitution -- the American people and their states -- were its intended beneficiaries. I simply see no evidence that it was ever intended to benefit non-Americans. Period. (Does the term "the people" -- or, in my parlance, "Americans" -- mean solely American citizens? The Supreme Court says no, not necessarily. But that's largely if not completely irrelevant for the Gitmo detainees, most of whom have no connection whatsoever with the United States and have never even set foot on American soil.)
Does this mean our government is free to do anything it wishes to anyone it wishes (besides Americans), anywhere in the world, at any time? As far as constitutional law goes, yes I think it does -- as long as the constitutionally required decision makers agree on whatever it is that we're planning to do. That freedom is limited -- by treaties, by the democratic process, and by practical considerations involving trade, diplomacy, international relations and the like. It's limited by the very fact that we're Americans, and we generally worry quite a bit about doing the right thing. But it's not limited by the Constitution.
Can anyone point me to a single historical example that suggests the Framers could have imagined habeas corpus rights being extended to foreign combatants, lawful or otherwise, captured by American -- or English -- armed forces during war? I'm pretty confident that the answer is "no" -- and in my view, that's awfully telling. But I'll happily reconsider if someone can show me such an historical example.
Instead of buying a TV station, as it was previously rumored to be considering, the NRA has decided to take its message to the Internet via NRANews.com, "Freedom's Last Channel of Communication." They'll have daily webcasts, including a three-hour live segment. Advantages?
-Not having to deal with the FCC.
-Less pesky FEC/Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act crap to worry about; FEC regulations implementing BCRA expressly exempt Internet communications from the definition of "electioneering communications." For now.
-And maybe some others that I've missed.
Today is its NRA New's first day of operation. The first live webcast is at 2:00 p.m. EST. Check it out!
UPDATE: I guess I should've said "in addition to buying a TV station."
From the Daily Progress (Charlottesville, VA):
It’s that T-shirt again. Already a loser in federal court, the Albemarle County School Board will get more grief today over the infamous NRA shirt case.
For the first time in recent memory, two events in Virginia have garnered Jefferson Muzzle Awards from the Thomas Jefferson Center for the Protection of Free Expression. The awards are given to people and groups guilty of outrageous freedom-of-speech violations, according to center officials.
If it were up to me, I don't think I'd give Muzzle Awards to private actors. "Free speech" does not equate to "an entitlement to a forum in which to speak, and a guarantee that no one will criminally interfere with your speech." Some of the "winners" listed here, like Dale Petroskey and CBS, did nothing more than deny a forum to a particular message -- not as agents of the state, but as private citizens. That's a very different proposition than government censorship and, at least in the case of non-criminal acts like those of Petroskey and CBS, the libertarian in me believes there's nothing wrong with private actors saying, "heck no, we don't like your message, and we're not giving you a place to say it." (The world has to work that way in a nation of property rights, doesn't it?)
Still, I like the sentiment behind the Muzzle Awards, and I think they're appropriate for the Albemarle County School Board and many of the other entities listed.
The anti-civil rights crowd never gives up, does it?
The Ohio Coalition Against Gun Violence filed a complaint on Friday, April 9, 2004, asking the Ohio Supreme Court to order local sheriffs to cease issuing carrying concealed weapons (CCW) permits. The Ohio Coalition complaint listed numerous problems with the new CCW law including inadequate procedures, funds and resources to properly enforce safety provisions in the CCW law, all of which make the statute unconstitutional, according to the Coalition.
There could be something to the complaint, I suppose. . . but forgive me if I don't hold my breath. (I haven't yet been able to find the petition online. If you have it, please forward it to me.) Of course, they have to resort to every obstructionist legal maneuver they can think up. They're losing the political battle, big-time:
*Images courtesy of Radical Gun Nuttery.
"The people have spoken, the bastards."
They're a whole lot bolder than my generation -- which is pretty darned recent, dammit! According to this article, a school in Massachusetts has had to install locks on faculty restrooms because teenagers are allegedly using them (as well as student locker rooms) for sex. And the student newspaper reported it! No independent confirmation on the sex-in-faculty-restrooms allegation, but two students were suspended for having sex in a student restroom.
That's it: We're moving to rural Montana and homeschooling. Polycarbonate windows, reinforced concrete walls, sandbagged positions on the roof. Concertina around the permiter, a pack of half-wild Rhodesian Ridgebacks outside, and claymore mines oriented along all avenues of approach. With the detonators rigged to male pheromone detectors. (I don't know if there are such things, but I'll invent one if I have to.)
The state is at it again: it sets up its own monopoly over the lottery, and then when a ma and pop run their own business in violation of the state's laws, the state shuts them down. Note that they were actually paying better than the state lottery, whcih suggests that the state is not paying fair odds to the particpants. No doubt the ma and pop will be found guilty and pay a huge price for this, but this still doesn't change the fact that when the state monopolizes something, you get less of it.
In Egypt, for example, the state has decided to return to bread lines, and of course the evil profiteers will show up and be maligned.
Well we saw in California what bread lines look ala electrity. Note that there were competing electric providers at the turn of the century. The state enacted laws that granted monopolies to the various utilities. There is no reason for any electricity crisis if the market is allowed to work. When california deregulated, it did not do so properly. By freezing rates for consumers (including industrail customers) it did not allow the market to respond properly to shortages. But it forgot to do what Egypt is doing: namely ration the electricty. You can't have cheap electricty when the cost is high. And so the profiteers showed up.
The fact is that speculators and profiteers are the ones who help the market function, and not the other way around.
If you want an example of a profiteer and speculator - then on this holy occasion look no futher than Joseph. In Genesis 41, he interprets the Pharoh's dream to mean that seven good years followed by seven bad years. So he kept a bit of the wheat over the seven years for the upcoming seven years of famine. This is how the market would also react. If the market learnt that drought would hit soon, we would see "profiteers" buy up wheat now driving up the price today to allow for more to be availabe tomorrow. But today, the state would punish them as profiteers and demand that cheap wheat be available to all, and then when tomorrow comes, they would blame the market.
1. That Brit. that was going to bet all his belongings actually won! Puts a big dent in my check their return ticket theory of immigration.
2. Run-DMC wants to be the poet Laureate of Queens. Hey to that I say: fo shizzle my nizzle.
3. This man is sick.
4. From Israel: whiz kid develops Linux for Windows - now that is progress.
The problem of illegal immigration seems to be a global issue. Ballots are going up around the country to deny them benefits, and at the same time, the prez's brother Jeb Bush wants to give them driver's licenses. This shows that the issue is neither Dem no Rep. The prez has even offered an amnsesty as did the Gipper before him. In a distant land, though, I was surprised to learn that they stopped 50,000 illegal attempts in a single month. And you thought California had problems! What to do about this: many in the blogosphere have proposed solutions, and I won't add to the debate. I just found it interesting that this issue consumes so many nations in similar ways.If you think it is just a rich country's problem, here is a very poor country that is also suffering from the problem with no solution in sight.
Why is Tiger Woods in a slump? Two words: Elin Nordegren. It always happens: John McEnroe and Tatum O'Neal, Andre Agassi and Brooke Shields. (BTW for those of you who reach this page looking for nude pics of Elin - they are fake.
But speaking of photos:
In this new bio of J. Edgar Hoover, the usual stuff emerges, except for one odd quote towards the end:
Hack: “He had nudes of many people. There was an obscene file that he kept himself.”
Hockenberry: “So you think he was interested in pornography?”
Hack: “Oh, he was definitely interested in pornography. He would say from an intellectual standpoint of course to know what was out there so he could fight it.”
And whose nude pictures does Hack say Hoover had? Well, Marilyn Monroe, perhaps no big surprise, but there was also another.
Hack: “Eleanor Roosevelt, for one.”
Huh - Eleanor Roosevelt - Old Skool wants to know more. Forget Elin