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Comment Re:And now where does this go? (Score 1) 511

That part has been upheld by the SCOTUS repeatedly.

Doesn't matter.


The focus on the SCOTUS to decide everything is dangerous and it seems to be designed to let the guilty off the hook. The NSA operates within government oversight and it is our elected officials who decide what it does. So blame your Congressmen, your President and yourself for electing them, not the Justices or the Constitution.

The Constitution is a small document and it cannot decide every issue perfectly. For example the government could pass a law that parents do not have right to raise their children and that instead they will be raised by government approved personnel. The Constitution simply does not say anything about that so that would not be found unconstitutional either.

Not unconstitutional (very arguable in this case) != OK.

Comment Re: expediency (Score 1) 511

This childish nonsense is tiring. First of all, neither is really true and many of them wrote against slavery but they operated within the bounds of what was possible at the time. Pick any venerated historical figure from another time and you will find a bunch of things that are wrong from the present day perspective.

Secondly, they are not worshiped as Gods personally but admired for their political wisdom which was ahead of their time. Constitution they wrote is not perfect but it's pretty damn good.

In any case, most of the the value of the Constitution is not in its perfection as a document or the perfection of its authors but in the fact that it stands above the elected officials (rule of law, not rule of men) and that it is very difficult to change to suit whoever happens to be in power at the time. Having a constitution that can be changed fairly easily by a simple majority (like in many countries) is like having no constitution at all since majority can always trample on minority's rights.

Comment Re:Something has to give, buddy (Score 1) 466

Thank god that in a free society you don't get to decide what each of us needs, according to your priorities. Let's go through your closet and see which of your clothes you really need (since ugly clothes protect from cold just as well as fashionable clothes - and do you really need more than one pair of pants?), and which car you really need (since even the cheapest car will take you from a to b), and how much do you spend on coffee, sugar, snacks (not needed, comrade - there are hungry people in Africa) etc etc.

Comment Re:What a great man (Score 4, Informative) 311

Reagan after the Congress vote on SA sanctions:

"America - and that means all of us - opposes apartheid, a malevolent and archaic system totally alien to our ideals. The debate, which culminated in today's vote, was not whether or not to oppose apartheid but, instead, how best to oppose it and how best to bring freedom to that troubled country ....
Punitive sanctions, I believe, are not the best course of action; they hurt the very people they are intended to help. ...
It would be tragic to lose this opportunity to create a truly free society which respects the rights of the majority, the minority, and the individual. There is still time for orderly change and peaceful reform. South Africans of good will, black and white, should seize the moment."

He (correctly IMHO) believed that gradual change was the best course and that suddenly weakening the government would hand the power to ANC which at the time was a strongly anti-capitalism, pro-USSR, extremely violent (look up its practice of "necklacing") movement.

It is to Mandela's credit that he controlled such a vicious organization and managed to bring about peaceful change instead of the race and ideological war that would have taken place with just about anybody else in his place.

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