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Tuesday, July 01, 2014

OTP - July 2014: Republicans Lose To Democrats For Sixth Straight Year In Congressional Baseball Game

As Time magazine recently reported, Republicans, frustrated by their 22-0 loss in last year’s game, sought a new coach to shake things up on the field this year. Some members even appealed to House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) to fire the coach, Rep. Joe Barton (R-Texas). But Boehner said he wasn’t powerful enough to control the baseball diamond, and Barton refused to walk away after spending 28 years with the game. Instead, he brought on Rep. Roger Williams (R-Texas), a former professional baseball player and coach at Texas Christian University, to coach while he stayed on as the team’s manager.

In the face of Wednesday’s loss, according to The Washington Post, Republicans are once again asking Boehner to remove Barton from the game. But with multiple pitchers giving up walk after walk, it seems that what the Republicans really need is a pitcher who can better match Rep. Cedric Richmond (D-La.), who previously pitched on Morehouse College’s varsity baseball team.

Bitter Mouse Posted: July 01, 2014 at 07:53 AM | 4025 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: politics, winning is fun

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   501. Mefisto Posted: July 03, 2014 at 12:54 PM (#4742688)
Most likely they didn't consider it because I'm sure the owners of a large business have a lot more to worry about with their business than checking every last offered treatment in an insurance plan
.

HL is self-insured. It was their own plan.
   502. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: July 03, 2014 at 12:57 PM (#4742695)
A better example from something you may remember in previous discussions - my brother had to take my three-week-old nephew with a degenerative chromosonal disorder off life support to prevent three more weeks - maximum - of living in further pain. Innocent, certainly, a pro-active decision by my brother, certainly. To me, he did not act wrongly; to you, he's turning us into ISIS.

Taking someone off life support is not killing, much less murder. We have no obligation to accept or inflict burdensome medical care, especially when all hope of recovery is gone.
   503. BDC Posted: July 03, 2014 at 12:59 PM (#4742697)
Rep. Roger Williams (R-Texas), a former professional baseball player and coach at Texas Christian University


OK, in the finest BBTF tradition, I'm fixing to ruin this bit of innocent fun from the feature story :)

Roger Williams was a 25th-round draft pick out of TCU in 1971, but never played professionally, unless in some obscure league unrecorded by B-Ref. Williams's Wikipedia page says that he "attempted to play professionally with the Atlanta Braves farm team. He returned to Texas to coach TCU's baseball team." And the latter is true; he was head coach at TCU for one season (1976).

The Wiki entry suggests that Williams isn't trying to Eddie-Scissons anybody, but sometimes writers get carried away …
   504. Lassus Posted: July 03, 2014 at 01:01 PM (#4742698)
Taking someone off life support is not killing, much less murder. We have no obligation to accept or inflict burdensome medical care, especially when all hope of recovery is gone.

Fair enough, although I think that speaks specifically to a lack of absolutism. I'm curious if you have thoughts on #486 as well.
   505. JE (Jason) Posted: July 03, 2014 at 01:05 PM (#4742706)
I suspect everyone is better off with the US not hugely influencing Kurdish Independence either way. the US has a long history of screwing those sorts of things up. We did good for our own freedom (topical!), but our track record for other countries is less good and in the Middle East we have a terrible track record.

Be sure to let the White House know how you feel, Mouse. They continue to stridently oppose any weakening of Iraqi sovereignty in the region, let alone Kurdish independence.
   506. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: July 03, 2014 at 01:07 PM (#4742713)
The problem with absolutism is not on the extremes, on the ends, but in the middle. Is not in your view homosexuality absolutely immoral? Do not plenty of people see gun control as absolutely immoral? Do not plenty of people see un-regulated AK-47s as absolutely immoral?

Sure, people disagree on the absolutes, and not everything is subject to an absolute truths. But, that doesn't mean certain absolute truths don't exist. The whole nature of philosophical and theological discourse in the search for those truths.

On the gun control one, the absolute to me is the right to self-defense, and reasonable means of self-defense. That doesn't mean every restriction on gun ownership is wrong; e.g. I have no problem with requiring a permit to carry a pistol, or the heavy regulation of automatic weapons.

Our 2nd Amendment rights probably extent beyond what I would consider our natural, absolute rights, just like I think our democratic rights to representative government, extend beyond the natural, absolute rights in regards to governance.

   507. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: July 03, 2014 at 01:18 PM (#4742721)
Fair enough, although I think that speaks specifically to a lack of absolutism.

I don't think so. I think it just speaks towards a careful definition of murder.

Murder involves a deliberate, positive action with the specific intent of ending someone's life. Not acting is rarely murder.

To stop giving CPR is not killing, even if you know the person will die. To not dive in to save a drowning man is not killing. To give large doses of morphine the relieve pain, even knowing there is a risk of death, is not killing.
   508. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: July 03, 2014 at 01:22 PM (#4742724)
On the gun control one, the absolute to me is the right to self-defense, and reasonable means of self-defense. That doesn't mean every restriction on gun ownership is wrong; e.g. I have no problem with requiring a permit to carry a pistol, or the heavy regulation of automatic weapons.

If only you could sign up most gun owners for that sort of a program, I think you'd find tons of liberals in your corner.
   509. Bitter Mouse Posted: July 03, 2014 at 01:24 PM (#4742727)
OOC, has anyone other than me actually ever been in a Hobby Lobby?


Yes. At least I think it is a Hobby Lobby. Kind of an odd store with interesting stuff than I am unlikely to ever buy - but everyone once in a while I go there for props.

Be sure to let the White House know how you feel, Mouse. They continue to stridently oppose any weakening of Iraqi sovereignty in the region, let alone Kurdish independence.


They don't listen to me nearly enough. I keep writing and calling and calling and writing and yet ... (OK I really don't).

Sure, people disagree on the absolutes, and not everything is subject to an absolute truths. But, that doesn't mean certain absolute truths don't exist. The whole nature of philosophical and theological discourse in the search for those truths.


I think there is a difference between absolute truth and absolute moral truth, but YMMV. And, perhaps oddly, I am on board with philosophy. Even though I don't think there exists an absolute moral truth I do think the search for that (non-existent) truth has value.
   510. Howie Menckel Posted: July 03, 2014 at 01:25 PM (#4742728)
coincidentally, a new Hobby Lobby store in North Jersey that had been scheduled to debut today went ahead with the launch.

in case anyone thought this "game changer" ruling must have led to an army of angry feminists marching on the store - well, nobody that fits that description did, angry or less so, I am told.

and neither were there large (or any size at all) groups of the fervently religious storming in en masse in a tidal wave of support for the victorious and brave store, either.

a crowd of about 80, though. some people like arts and crafts.

not me, alas. nttawwt
   511. A big pile of nonsense (gef the talking mongoose) Posted: July 03, 2014 at 01:26 PM (#4742729)
OOC, has anyone other than me actually ever been in a Hobby Lobby?


I think I was in one in Little Rock a time or two back in the '90s. Or it might've been Michaels.

I have no idea why; I must've been with a gf.
   512. Shredder Posted: July 03, 2014 at 01:27 PM (#4742730)
Most likely they didn't consider it because I'm sure the owners of a large business have a lot more to worry about with their business than checking every last offered treatment in an insurance plan.
Right. Bothering to care about something they have a "deep moral objection" to is really hard work. More likely they're a bunch of ####### liars, who didn't really care until they were approached by a conservative religious organization and asked to file suit against the ACA. From Politifact:
The Greens re-examined the company’s health insurance policy back in 2012, shortly before filing the lawsuit. A Wall Street Journal story says they looked into their plan after being approached by an attorney from the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty about possible legal action over the federal government’s contraceptives requirement.
   513. A big pile of nonsense (gef the talking mongoose) Posted: July 03, 2014 at 01:27 PM (#4742731)
- but everyone once in a while I go there for props.


You're that desperate for praise?

I am very sad.
   514. just plain joe Posted: July 03, 2014 at 01:29 PM (#4742732)
OOC, has anyone other than me actually ever been in a Hobby Lobby?


I have, my wife shops there and earlier this year, when she was recovering from major surgeries, I took her to Hobby Lobby a couple of times to buy craft supplies. I can't say that it felt any differently there than in other stores of the same ilk, ie Michaels, etc.
   515. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: July 03, 2014 at 01:30 PM (#4742733)
If only you could sign up most gun owners for that sort of a program, I think you'd find tons of liberals in your corner.

The history of gun control worldwide makes reasonable compromise problematic. Gun owners in this country look at many other Western countries, and see that regulation has begotten more regulation has begotten banning and confiscation. There is no trust that the anti-gun folks won't follow that path if allowed to.

If liberals really want to make progress towards reasonable standards, your best bet would be to stop trying to weaken the 2nd Amendment, and strengthen it instead. In fact, another Constitutional Amendment guaranteeing individual gun ownership and possession, would make it much easier to reach a reasonable common ground.
   516. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: July 03, 2014 at 01:30 PM (#4742734)
Murder involves a deliberate, positive action with the specific intent of ending someone's life. Not acting is rarely murder.

To stop giving CPR is not killing, even if you know the person will die. To not dive in to save a drowning man is not killing.


No, but you better hope that Judge Vandelay doesn't hear about it.

If you know how to administer CPR and yet refuse to do so, that's not murder, but I doubt if Jesus would approve.

If you know how to swim, and can rescue a drowning man with little risk to your own life, wouldn't you be properly ashamed of yourself for not making the effort?

   517. Lassus Posted: July 03, 2014 at 01:32 PM (#4742735)
I have, my wife shops there and earlier this year, when she was recovering from major surgeries, I took her to Hobby Lobby a couple of times to buy craft supplies. I can't say that it felt any differently there than in other stores of the same ilk, ie Michaels, etc.

Seemed oddly expensive to me, but at the moment I can't remember why I thought so. Xmas wrapping paper? We preferred Michaels for our random weird craft purchases, probably because I find Michaels a weirder store.
   518. BDC Posted: July 03, 2014 at 01:37 PM (#4742737)
I believe I was once in a Hobby Lobby with my wife, but I've been divorced for five years and we weren't in a scrapbooking mood for quite a while before that.

I used to go to Michaels, or a Texas version of it called MJ Designs, all the time, but I can't remember why anymore. Just to gawk, I suppose. It was between a Target and a Petsmart where I actually bought stuff.
   519. Bitter Mouse Posted: July 03, 2014 at 01:45 PM (#4742741)
You're that desperate for praise?


Yes <sob>, hold me.
   520. Greg K Posted: July 03, 2014 at 01:46 PM (#4742742)
I have no idea who the Archer family is.


Then why'd you bring up ISIS?


If an honest misunderstanding this is hilarious.

If, as is more likely, it's just some leg-pulling, still funny.
   521. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: July 03, 2014 at 01:47 PM (#4742743)
If you know how to administer CPR and yet refuse to do so, that's not murder, but I doubt if Jesus would approve.

If you know how to swim, and can rescue a drowning man with little risk to your own life, wouldn't you be properly ashamed of yourself for not making the effort?


Sure, but failing to do good isn't the same as actively doing evil.
   522. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: July 03, 2014 at 01:48 PM (#4742745)
If an honest misunderstanding this is hilarious.

I have no idea who the Archer family is, or what their connection to Islamic Fundamentalists could be. Google isn't helping, but I didn't try that hard, just googled "Archer family".
   523. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: July 03, 2014 at 01:50 PM (#4742748)
If liberals really want to make progress towards reasonable standards, your best bet would be to stop trying to weaken the 2nd Amendment, and strengthen it instead. In fact, another Constitutional Amendment guaranteeing individual gun ownership and possession, would make it much easier to reach a reasonable common ground.

I'd be perfectly fine with an amendment that guaranteed the right of individual gun ownership, with only the following conditions:

1. Proof of competency, similar to what you need to get a driver's license, with periodic renewal and stricter testing for anyone over 65 or 70.

2. No felony convictions or convictions of any crime involving the use of force or violence.

3. Registration of all weapons with a national database, and a limit on the number that one can own without demonstration of a plausible reason for exceeding that number. Gun hobbyists could receive such waivers.

The bottom line for me is that guns per se aren't the problem, so much as the overly lenient standards for gun ownership, or more the the point, the lack of enforcement of the current standards. Hunters aren't the problem, and with proper precautions, neither are people who keep a pistol on hand for self-defense. The main problem is a group of paranoids who equate registration and reasonable regulation with some sort of a sinister prelude for confiscation. If it takes an amendment reiterating the right of ownership to assuage those sorts of fears, I wouldn't be opposed to it.

Of course the rebuttal is that we've already got the second amendment, but as we all know (or should know), the weakened state of gun regulation today is wholly dependent on a series of Supreme Court decisions that are only as permanent as the life span of the members who issued those decisions. A few more justices who don't take their talking points from the NRA, and it's hardly beyond the imagination that you could get far more serious state and local restrictions than because of historical circumstance we happen to have in 2014.
   524. formerly dp Posted: July 03, 2014 at 01:53 PM (#4742750)
I have no idea who the Archer family is, or what their connection to Islamic Fundamentalists could be. Google isn't helping, but I didn't try that hard, just googled "Archer family".
This whole exchange is easily the most amusing thing in the thread. Thanks.
   525. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: July 03, 2014 at 01:54 PM (#4742751)
If you know how to administer CPR and yet refuse to do so, that's not murder, but I doubt if Jesus would approve.

If you know how to swim, and can rescue a drowning man with little risk to your own life, wouldn't you be properly ashamed of yourself for not making the effort?


Sure, but failing to do good isn't the same as actively doing evil.


Of course not, but along the spectrum of good and evil such failures to act aren't even as forgivable as the the inactions of the "good German" bystanders of the Third Reich era, since at least those people could legitimately claim a reasonable fear of reprisal for not aiding Jews who asked them for sanctuary.
   526. Greg K Posted: July 03, 2014 at 01:55 PM (#4742752)
I have no idea who the Archer family is, or what their connection to Islamic Fundamentalists could be. Google isn't helping, but I didn't try that hard, just googled "Archer family".

In the television program "Archer", which is really funny by the way, the main character, Sterling Archer, works for a intelligence and espionage organization called ISIS, which is run by his mom.

EDIT: For the record, the hilarious misunderstanding would be if Brian honestly thought you were referencing Archer, since it was fairly obvious from context that you were talking about the current shenanigans in the Middle East.
   527. formerly dp Posted: July 03, 2014 at 01:56 PM (#4742754)
In the television program "Archer", which is really funny by the way, the main character, Sterling Archer, works for a intelligence and espionage organization called ISIS.
And now it's ruined.
   528. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: July 03, 2014 at 02:04 PM (#4742755)
I'd be perfectly fine with an amendment that guaranteed the right of individual gun ownership, with only the following conditions:

1. Proof of competency, similar to what you need to get a driver's license, with periodic renewal and stricter testing for anyone over 65 or 70.

2. No felony convictions or convictions of any crime involving the use of force or violence.

3. Registration of all weapons with a national database, and a limit on the number that one can own without demonstration of a plausible reason for exceeding that number. Gun hobbyists could receive such waivers.


1. I'll give you a mandatory safety course, which periodic refreshers. No testing; too easily abused by local authorities. How many blacks do you think would have passed the test in the Jim Crow South? Do you think Muslims might have trouble passing in some jurisdictions today?

2. Yes to felonies. I'd also include no history of serious mental illness.

3. No national registry. Clear pre-cursor to confiscation, and does nothing for safety. What difference does the number make? You can only shoot one gun at a time. I'd be fine with a requirement that over 5 guns, you must secure them in a safe, and/or have a burglar alarm with monitoring.

You missed the biggest one; universal background check for all sales. I'd actually have every driver's license and passport stamped whether or not the person is allowed to own guns. Then every sale could be checked, and you could prosecute private sales to ineligible people.
   529. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: July 03, 2014 at 02:12 PM (#4742759)
I'd be perfectly fine with an amendment that guaranteed the right of individual gun ownership, with only the following conditions:

1. Proof of competency, similar to what you need to get a driver's license, with periodic renewal and stricter testing for anyone over 65 or 70.

2. No felony convictions or convictions of any crime involving the use of force or violence.

3. Registration of all weapons with a national database, and a limit on the number that one can own without demonstration of a plausible reason for exceeding that number. Gun hobbyists could receive such waivers.


1. I'll give you a mandatory safety course, which periodic refreshers. No testing; too easily abused by local authorities. How many blacks do you think would have passed the test in the Jim Crow South? Do you think Muslims might have trouble passing in some jurisdictions today?

I think we're really talking about the same thing here, since my testing would be wholly safety-related.

2. Yes to felonies. I'd also include no history of serious mental illness.

Totally concur.

3. No national registry. Clear pre-cursor to confiscation, and does nothing for safety. What difference does the number make?

But the whole point of the amendment would be to guarantee against confiscation. National registration makes tracking down of illegal sales a lot easier.

You can only shoot one gun at a time. I'd be fine with a requirement that over 5 guns, you must secure them in a safe, and/or have a burglar alarm with monitoring.

I wouldn't even mind legitimate sportsmen or gun hobbyists owning more than five.

You missed the biggest one; universal background check for all sales. I'd actually have every driver's license and passport stamped whether or not the person is allowed to own guns. Then every sale could be checked, and you could prosecute private sales to ineligible people.

I did miss that, but I'd certainly agree with it.
   530. Joe Kehoskie Posted: July 03, 2014 at 02:15 PM (#4742761)
3. Registration of all weapons with a national database, and a limit on the number that one can own without demonstration of a plausible reason for exceeding that number. Gun hobbyists could receive such waivers.

What's the point of a national database? Also, could you list some prominent 2A types who are against the regulation of "automatic weapons" (#508)?
   531. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: July 03, 2014 at 02:19 PM (#4742763)
I think we're really talking about the same thing here, since my testing would be wholly safety-related.

OK, but you have to limit the discretion of the local authorities. That's been the whole reason for shall-issue carry laws. Local sheriffs and chiefs of police can, and do, wrongfully deny people their rights.

But the whole point of the amendment would be to guarantee against confiscation. National registration makes tracking down of illegal sales a lot easier.

Right, but you can still end up with a regime that disregards the Constitution. I see no need for a universal registry, and it will do no good because there are so many guns outstanding anyway.

I wouldn't even mind legitimate sportsmen or gun hobbyists owning more than five.

I'm saying no limitation on the number owned (for whatever reason) but additional requirements to safeguard the guns, and prevent them from falling into the wrong hands, if you own a lot.

If you're a serious collector, you're spending tens of thousands of dollars on guns, so an additional layer of security for them should not be a burden.
   532. The Yankee Clapper Posted: July 03, 2014 at 02:29 PM (#4742768)
I am neither a legal nor historical scholar, but I am pretty sure corporations were a very different animal back in the day, which makes originalist arguments around rights and corporations even more problematic than most originalist arguments.

Bitter Mouse is correct that he is "neither a historical nor legal scholar", but wrong in his argument that corporations were different in The Founding Fathers Era. The two main characteristics of corporations - limited liability and unlimited life - remain unchanged. Those suggesting that the Bill of Rights doesn't apply to corporations have an extremely weak case. Newspapers and magazines have been mainly owned by corporations for well over a 150 years, perhaps longer. There was never any controversy about a corporate ownership structure somehow causing a forfeiture of 1st Amendment rights. Whether fewer newspapers were owned by corporations in 1789 or 1850 or 2014 is immaterial, because at all times they were entitled to 1st Amendment protection. That was never in doubt.
   533. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: July 03, 2014 at 02:31 PM (#4742770)
A very good post by Brad deLong:

In Edward Filene’s vision, the welfare-capitalism of America’s large highly-efficient mass-production firms would see those firms performing two roles. In their role as producers, firm owners and managers would employ workers, and owners and managers would be the principals: they would take the risks and reap the profits of entrepreneurship and enterprise. In their role as benefit purchase agents, firm owners and managers would work for their workers and their families, and would be the agents of the workers.

One of the most interesting thing about Burwell vs. Hobby Lobby is that there are now five justices on the Supreme Court whose understanding of the employer-employee relationships is not “welfare capitalist” but is, I must say, positively medieval. The pooling provided by firms in benefits provision is no longer seen as the firm’s acting as a benefits-purchasing agent for the workers. The nexus of contracts that is the firm is no longer seen, in this role, as the agent of the workers–and thus as an instrumentality the workers use to exercise their right to pursue happiness as they choose. Instead, the firm’s provision of benefits is seen as a free gift from the owners and managers to the workers...


Read the whole thing.
   534. GregD Posted: July 03, 2014 at 02:32 PM (#4742771)
I would add an absolute prohibition on private sales. Only licensed gun-stores can sell them. Anyone who sells a gun privately is immediately barred from ever owning a gun. Guns that are purchased for other people must be registered at the time of purchase, or again the purchaser is barred from ever owning a gun for life. Guns to pass down a family (as I got mine) have to go through probate to ensure the recipient is eligible.

But I have to say that the whole exercise is good as a thought experiment but as a prelude to the NRA joining on board reasonable gun control, it's Lucy with the football.

Gun control supporters could let Wayne LaPierre write a new amendment and pass it, and he would be running commercials the next day about jack-booted thugs.

The NRA and its backers aren't responding to things that have been done to them; they are responding to 1) their funders who make money off of gun sales and 2) a crazed but organized minority of gun owners

The simplest proof of this is that the NRA didn't become radicalized by restrictive laws; it became radicalized as the laws became more favorable to it. It's a reflection of the corporate takeover of the NRA that isn't going away no matter what gun-control advocates compromise on.
   535. The Yankee Clapper Posted: July 03, 2014 at 02:37 PM (#4742774)
But the whole point of the amendment would be to guarantee against confiscation. National registration makes tracking down of illegal sales a lot easier.

National registration makes confiscation a lot easier, too. As a practical matter, the 2nd Amendment isn't being amended anytime soon, so the argument is rather theoretical.
   536. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: July 03, 2014 at 02:37 PM (#4742775)
I would add an absolute prohibition on private sales.

Makes no sense. Why should you ban the selling of legally owned property to someone legally allowed to purchase it?

We don't require cars to pass through dealers, even though there are lots of unlicensed, and uninsured drivers, who cause lots of death and destruction.
   537. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: July 03, 2014 at 02:39 PM (#4742777)
National registration makes confiscation a lot easier, too. As a practical matter, the 2nd Amendment isn't being amended anytime soon, so the argument is rather theoretical.

It's an interesting thought experiment. What's wrong with that?
   538. The Yankee Clapper Posted: July 03, 2014 at 02:46 PM (#4742780)
I would add an absolute prohibition on private sales. Only licensed gun-stores can sell them. Anyone who sells a gun privately is immediately barred from ever owning a gun. Guns that are purchased for other people must be registered at the time of purchase, or again the purchaser is barred from ever owning a gun for life. Guns to pass down a family (as I got mine) have to go through probate to ensure the recipient is eligible.

The suggestion that this is a "reasonable" form of gun control seems out of touch with reality. I don't claim to be an expert, but I believe that even most jurisdictions with fairly restrictive gun laws don't attempt to ban sales or transfers form one legal purchaser to another (as opposed to original straw-man purchases). Passing obviously enforceable laws like that only erodes respect for the law. But if someone wants to campaign on that platform, have at it, although I think that is a vote loser many places, and I doubt such a statute would survive Constitutional challenge.
   539. GregD Posted: July 03, 2014 at 02:52 PM (#4742782)
All of these are vote losers! If you want gun control to have an effect, though, cutting off the private resale market is huge. Of course that's exactly what the gun stores don't want, since they make so much of their profit off of knowingly selling to straw buyers (since they're actual buyers aren't able to legally buy guns.) Many stores in Virginia are literally in the business of selling to criminal buyers; they wouldn't survive without it, and that is why they go to such extremes to shut down any investigation of their dealings.

A bill that said gun owners could buy anything they wanted if they just said please would be a vote loser.

As long as the NRA is representing gun makers and especially gun retailers, its only goal is maximizing sales. It's a trade organization, and that's fine. But we shouldn't give a second's thought to it as an organization that gives a #### about the Constitution. It would set the Constitution on fire to increase gun sales.
   540. Mefisto Posted: July 03, 2014 at 02:52 PM (#4742783)
Bitter Mouse is correct that he is "neither a historical nor legal scholar", but wrong in his argument that corporations were different in The Founding Fathers Era. The two main characteristics of corporations - limited liability and unlimited life - remain unchanged. Those suggesting that the Bill of Rights doesn't apply to corporations have an extremely weak case. Newspapers and magazines have been mainly owned by corporations for well over a 150 years, perhaps longer. There was never any controversy about a corporate ownership structure somehow causing a forfeiture of 1st Amendment rights. Whether fewer newspapers were owned by corporations in 1789 or 1850 or 2014 is immaterial, because at all times they were entitled to 1st Amendment protection. That was never in doubt.


Now Mouse is getting blamed for my comments. Nobody deserves that.

Yes, it's true that corporations in 1791 had limited liability and eternal life. The rest of your argument is a non-sequitur. My point was that there is zero evidence -- none, nada -- to show that the Framers expected or intended the BoR to apply to for-profit corporations. Not only did the subject never come up, but the BoR didn't even apply to the states, which chartered the few corporations which then existed. Remember too that at that time, every corporation had to be individually authorized by the legislature; it's not like they were a common feature of business.

The rest of your claim is mere assertion, not argument.
   541. GregD Posted: July 03, 2014 at 02:56 PM (#4742787)
Makes no sense. Why should you ban the selling of legally owned property to someone legally allowed to purchase it?

We don't require cars to pass through dealers, even though there are lots of unlicensed, and uninsured drivers, who cause lots of death and destruction.
We do require car sellers to register their purchase with the government immediately. Or the old seller who didn't transfer the deed properly is on the hook for any damage done by the new owner. You game for that?

But if you have no registration and no ban on resale, the solution here is worse than the current, because you're just funneling money to gun store owners and guns to gangs.
   542. DJS and the Infinite Sadness Posted: July 03, 2014 at 03:00 PM (#4742789)
Right. Bothering to care about something they have a "deep moral objection" to is really hard work. More likely they're a bunch of ####### liars, who didn't really care until they were approached by a conservative religious organization and asked to file suit against the ACA.

And your theory of their benefit in all of this is under the storyline you've constructed is...what exactly? Their nefarious plot to pay hundreds of thousands of dollars (at least) in fees, make their business controversial, so that they can get out of the cost of providing a benefit that they were already voluntarily paying for anyway?

Maybe next they can file lawsuit against minimum wage laws so that they no longer have to pay their starting employees $14 an hour. Minimum wage is $14 an hour, right?

Without this insidious scheme, your theory is that advocacy lawyers try to represent clients that are relevant to something they're advocating against. Which, I have to admit, is absolutely shocking. For example, did you know that Richard Loving and Mildred Loving were actually an interracial couple? The lawyers should have tried to challenge anti-miscegenation laws in a fairer manner, like represent two white dude who were poker buddies or the staff of a Cedar Rapids Dairy Queen, rather than deviously use people that were actually affected by those laws.

And naturally, if what you say is correct, then the Hobby Lobby decision is absolutely irrelevant. If lawyers had to actually fabricate companies that are against contraception, then there's absolutely no risk of anybody's employer not providing contraception, thus making the progressive histrionics a bunch of bald-faced lies.

So, either your theory is bullshit or progressives are liars. I'll let you choose.
   543. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: July 03, 2014 at 03:01 PM (#4742790)
But if you have no registration and no ban on resale, the solution here is worse than the current, because you're just funneling money to gun store owners and guns to gangs.

It's certainly no worse than current.

Go after the straw buyers then. Track the people who purchase numerous guns, and the guns later turn up in a crime.

It should be a pretty easy case to make if John Doe purchased 50 pistols, no longer possesses any of them, and 5 end up used in crimes or seized from criminals.
   544. Bitter Mouse Posted: July 03, 2014 at 03:04 PM (#4742794)
Now Mouse is getting blamed for my comments. Nobody deserves that.


Well I did mention the subject, but sort of assumed my comments were superseded by yours which are both more cogent and more authoritative. He brought me into it, because either mine was first, mine was much easier to attack, or he conflated the two.

I would like to again assert that in fact corporations were different, both quantitatively and qualitatively, despite the fact that a few entities had the name and shared a couple of the characteristics. Sharing two characteristics (even if you label them as the "main characteristics") does not mean they were the in all particulars the same, or even all that similar.

Mefisto, you seem very knowledgeable on the subject, do you know when did corporations evolve into their current state? Was there a watershed time frame, or was it slow and steady evolution? Any idea?

   545. DJS and the Infinite Sadness Posted: July 03, 2014 at 03:06 PM (#4742795)
Man, now I'm really shocked. In the Redskins case, it appears that the lawyer actually *recruited* plaintiffs based on age to specifically correct a flaw in the lawyer's *previous* legal case against the Redskins.

I can't find the post in which Shredder calls the Native-American plaintiffs in the suit ####### liars. Now, I'm not that shocked, I assume Shredder made one, but it's probably that the site's Google Search isn't working properly.
   546. SteveF Posted: July 03, 2014 at 03:12 PM (#4742800)
My point was that there is zero evidence -- none, nada -- to show that the Framers expected or intended the BoR to apply to for-profit corporations.

This is undoubtedly true. Personally, I wouldn't even allow (edit: Constitutional) free speech rights to the NYT, but my position on the Constitution is towards one end of the bell curve. Though, strictly speaking, the issue is the meaning of 'person' in RFRA and not the Constitution. There were plenty of corporations around in 1993, all of whom had at least partial first amendment protection at the time that law was passed.

I think there is a reasonable argument (maybe not in terms of law, but in terms of policy) in favor of corporations as people in the context of the first amendment. We acknowledge that individuals have this freedom of religion right, so a sole proprietorship would presumably have this protection. Now imagine this person incorporates and nothing else changes. Why should the act of incorporating alone change Constitutional protections? Should the cost of limited liability protection in that case require a sacrifice of first amendment rights?

(Edit: I should point out that I do believe it's good public policy that corporations have free speech rights.)
   547. Bitter Mouse Posted: July 03, 2014 at 03:23 PM (#4742806)
Why should the act of incorporating alone change Constitutional protections? Should the cost of limited liability protection in that case require a sacrifice of first amendment rights?


I would suggest that the person hasn't surrendered any of their rights, they still have them. After incorporating the business there are now two entities, the person that was their before with all the rights accorded to a person and the corporation that is new that gets the rights of a corporation, and I see no reason why they have to be the same rights.
   548. Howie Menckel Posted: July 03, 2014 at 03:24 PM (#4742807)
if the Hobby Lobby ruling was supposed to feed the "War on Women" narrative as has been suggested, it's pretty thin gruel to start (yeah, it's Rasmussen....). talk about a groundswell!

http://www.rasmussenreports.com/public_content/politics/current_events/healthcare/june_2014/49_favor_religious_exemption_from_contraceptive_mandate_39_oppose

"The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 43% of Likely U.S. Voters think businesses should be required by law to provide health insurance that covers all government-approved contraceptives for women without co-payments or other charges to the patient. Slightly more (47%) say companies should not be required to meet this contraceptive mandate included in the new national health care law."

a compilation of polls from CBS News (prior to the ruling) shows that Americans are, in fact, all over the map. some feeding:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/the-fix/wp/2014/06/30/americans-are-really-confused-about-whether-they-like-the-supreme-courts-birth-control-decision/?Post+generic=?tid=sm_twitter_washingtonpost

"It suggests that Americans' opinions on the topic are quite malleable and — by extension — pretty soft. If Americans can offer such different responses based on just a few words being changed in the question, they probably don't feel all that strongly about the issue or haven't really paid attention. That doesn't mean that there aren't people who feel very strongly. It just means they they are probably in the minority.

Which means today's Supreme Court ruling is probably a lot more about precedent and legal wrangling than about the 2014 election."

I think that was my initial point. a narrow, complicated, even arcane ruling in early July that will be forgotten by most by Labor Day.
   549. The Yankee Clapper Posted: July 03, 2014 at 03:25 PM (#4742808)
My point was that there is zero evidence -- none, nada -- to show that the Framers expected or intended the BoR to apply to for-profit corporations.

Then there should have been some controversy when the 1st Amendment was "extended" to include corporate-owned newspapers and magazines. To my knowledge there wasn't -- none, nada, zip, zero - but perhaps you can provide evidence to the contrary?
   550. The Yankee Clapper Posted: July 03, 2014 at 03:43 PM (#4742815)
Now Mouse is getting blamed for my comments. Nobody deserves that.

Just to be clear, Bitter Mouse is "getting blamed" for his post #453, which I even quoted from. That I also addressed "those suggesting the Bill of Rights doesn't apply to corporations" - a larger group that also includes Mefisto - doesn't mean I was conflating their comments, just noting that others shared BM's [incorrect] position.
   551. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: July 03, 2014 at 03:47 PM (#4742818)
I think we're really talking about the same thing here, since my testing would be wholly safety-related.

OK, but you have to limit the discretion of the local authorities. That's been the whole reason for shall-issue carry laws. Local sheriffs and chiefs of police can, and do, wrongfully deny people their rights.


I'm talking about a federal amendment which would set federal standards with clear guidelines and definitions.

But the whole point of the amendment would be to guarantee against confiscation. National registration makes tracking down of illegal sales a lot easier.

Right, but you can still end up with a regime that disregards the Constitution.


Well, if we ever had "a regime that disregards the Constitution" to the point of trying to confiscate weapons unlawfully in the face of my proposed amendment, I think we'd have come to a point where such an amendment or lack of it wouldn't matter one way or the other.

I see no need for a universal registry, and it will do no good because there are so many guns outstanding anyway.

Don't let the perfect be the enemy of the good.

I wouldn't even mind legitimate sportsmen or gun hobbyists owning more than five.

I'm saying no limitation on the number owned (for whatever reason) but additional requirements to safeguard the guns, and prevent them from falling into the wrong hands, if you own a lot.


Which a national gun database would make easier to do.

If you're a serious collector, you're spending tens of thousands of dollars on guns, so an additional layer of security for them should not be a burden.

And given what you wrote above about the not-so-benign tendencies of local officials, why wouldn't you rather have this be done on the federal level?


   552. Mefisto Posted: July 03, 2014 at 03:56 PM (#4742825)
do you know when did corporations evolve into their current state? Was there a watershed time frame, or was it slow and steady evolution? Any idea?


The usual date given is the NY general incorporation law of 1811. There were a couple of earlier such laws -- none dating back to 1791 -- but it was NY's law which proved influential. However, widespread use of the corporate form didn't become common until the 1830s (roughly).

Then there should have been some controversy when the 1st Amendment was "extended" to include corporate-owned newspapers and magazines.


If you want the 1A to apply, then you have the burden of showing that it does. The fact is that the Court has held that free speech applies to corporate newspapers since 1932 (Near v Minnesota), but has never offered any justification for the fact of corporate ownership, focusing solely on the 1A. At that point in time, not surprisingly, the theory that corporations could assert Constitutional rights, first advanced in 1886, was fully accepted. But that's a living constitutionalist argument, not an originalist one.
   553. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: July 03, 2014 at 04:09 PM (#4742828)
Totally a propos of nothing, this has got to be one of the creepier stories I've read in months:

Most men would rather shock themselves than be alone with their thoughts

People, and especially men, hate being alone with their thoughts so much that they’d rather be in pain. In a study published in Science Thursday on the ability of people to let their minds “wander” — that is, for them to sit and do nothing but think — researchers found that about a quarter of women and two-thirds of men chose electric shocks over their own company.

“We went into this thinking that mind wandering wouldn’t be that hard,” said Timothy Wilson, University of Virginia professor of psychology and lead author of the study. “People usually think of mind wandering as being a bad thing, because it interrupts when you’re trying to pay attention. But we wanted to see what happens when mind wandering is the goal.”

Wilson didn’t think his subjects would struggle with the task. “We have this big brain full of pleasant memories, and we’re able to tell ourselves stories and make up fantasies. But despite that, we kept finding that people didn’t like it much and found it hard.”

The researchers tried everything they could think of to make the task of being task-less easier. “We tried to give them time to prepare,” he said, “so they could think about what they were going to spend their time thinking about.”

But even going into the exercise with a plan — an upcoming vacation to plot, for example, or a particularly dreamy celebrity to daydream about — didn’t seem to help participants enjoy their time alone. Those who completed the study at home often admitted to cheating by picking up their phones or a book, and many reported that the six to 15 minutes spent thinking had been unpleasant.

People, and especially men, hate being alone with their thoughts so much that they’d rather be in pain. In a study published in Science Thursday on the ability of people to let their minds “wander” — that is, for them to sit and do nothing but think — researchers found that about a quarter of women and two-thirds of men chose electric shocks over their own company.

“We went into this thinking that mind wandering wouldn’t be that hard,” said Timothy Wilson, University of Virginia professor of psychology and lead author of the study. “People usually think of mind wandering as being a bad thing, because it interrupts when you’re trying to pay attention. But we wanted to see what happens when mind wandering is the goal.”

Wilson didn’t think his subjects would struggle with the task. “We have this big brain full of pleasant memories, and we’re able to tell ourselves stories and make up fantasies. But despite that, we kept finding that people didn’t like it much and found it hard.”

The researchers tried everything they could think of to make the task of being task-less easier. “We tried to give them time to prepare,” he said, “so they could think about what they were going to spend their time thinking about.”

But even going into the exercise with a plan — an upcoming vacation to plot, for example, or a particularly dreamy celebrity to daydream about — didn’t seem to help participants enjoy their time alone. Those who completed the study at home often admitted to cheating by picking up their phones or a book, and many reported that the six to 15 minutes spent thinking had been unpleasant.

When it became clear that people were desperate for distractions, the researchers decided to give them one. “It dawned on us: If people find this so difficult,” Wilson said, “would they prefer negative stimulations to boredom?” He gave them access to a device that would provide a small electrical shock by pressing a button. It wasn’t a very strong shock, as the device was built around a 9 volt battery. “But we weren’t even sure it was worth doing,” he said. “I mean, no one was going to shock themselves by choice.”

But they did. The researchers removed the curiosity factor by giving subjects a sample shock beforehand. They even asked them how much they would pay, given a $5 allowance, to prevent another shock. Most offered up a hypothetical dollar or two. But when left alone in the room for a 15-minute thinking session, the participants exhibited some shocking behavior. One man (whose data was left out of the study) shocked himself 190 times. “I have no idea what was going on there,” Wilson said. “But for most people, it was more like seven times.”...


Sugar Bear has my official permission if he wants to cite this as evidence of societal decline, although since the test only involved 42 people, I'm not sure how far I'd want to go with it.




   554. Howie Menckel Posted: July 03, 2014 at 04:25 PM (#4742832)

what part of the body was the shock device attached to? asking for a friend
   555. The Yankee Clapper Posted: July 03, 2014 at 04:46 PM (#4742844)
The fact is that the Court has held that free speech applies to corporate newspapers since 1932 (Near v Minnesota) . . .

If Mefisto is trying to suggest that there was any doubt as to the 1st Amendment's application to corporate-owned newspapers prior to Near, he's being deliberately misleading. Near is a prior restraint case involving a "scandalous newspaper". The Supreme Court found an injunction prohibiting publication unconstitutional, for obvious reasons, but never even discusses the newspaper's corporate status as an obstacle to 1st Amendment protection. That's not a serious argument that anyone outside of BBTF ever makes. The idea that people forfeit their Constitutional protections by doing business in corporate form is similarly a new creation, unsupported by history or law.
   556. Mefisto Posted: July 03, 2014 at 05:05 PM (#4742853)
If Mefisto is trying to suggest that there was any doubt as to the 1st Amendment's application to corporate-owned newspapers prior to Near


You continue to misstate my position (not for the first time in these threads). First let's clarify the law. The 1A was never applied to anyone prior to Near (it was assumed to apply in one case before that). The Court in Near never discussed the issue of corporate ownership (as you yourself admit), nor has any case since AFAIK.

Now back to the actual point I made: that the Framers never even contemplated that the BoR would apply to for-profit corporations. They didn't intend that and never expected it. Thus, conservatives have no originalist argument -- the only kind they claim to recognize as valid -- for giving corporations the protection of the BoR.

As a matter of practice, without any discussion of the issue, the Court has in fact applied the free speech clause to corporate-owned newspapers. This is a matter of the dreaded living constitutionalism. Whether that particular clause should apply to corporations has never been litigated AFAIK. However, it's treated as law by everyone.

The debate over HL is whether for-profit corporations can claim to exercise religious rights. This is a statutory question in the HL case, not a 1A question, but the 1A has come up for discussion. The fact that the Court previously applied the free speech clause to for-profit corporations is entirely irrelevant to whether it should go further and apply the free exercise clause to them. That's true for mostly textual reasons -- corporations don't have religious beliefs -- but also for historical reasons: the lack of both original application and any historical precedent (unlike the case of free speech rights).

   557. The Yankee Clapper Posted: July 03, 2014 at 05:18 PM (#4742863)
Now back to the actual point I made: that the Framers never even contemplated that the BoR would apply to for-profit corporations.

That simply is not true. There are no cases that I know of denying 1st Amendment protections to newspapers because of their corporate ownership. Find one if you can, but I bet it was reversed on appeal pretty quickly. The Framers envisioned 1st Amendment protection for all who wished to publish or speak, and that protection didn't depend on the form in which they conducted their business. Period. Full stop. There is no problem with an Originalist interpretation reaching that result, either, that's another red herring. Corporate-owned newspapers became common when corporate-owned businesses of all types became common. There was no lag while the newspaper industry and Courts grappled with whether incorporating cost a newspaper it's 1st Amendment protections.
   558. villageidiom Posted: July 03, 2014 at 05:19 PM (#4742864)
The main problem is a group of paranoids who equate registration and reasonable regulation with some sort of a sinister prelude for confiscation.
It does not take any level of paranoia at all to recognize the world has a great degree of historical precedent in which would-be ruling oppressors will first aim to remove all viable means of defense from the people they wish to oppress. Once they achieve that, oppression is easy to enact and maintain. This is the foundation for the second amendment, that the right to keep and bear arms is necessary to ensure oppression does not ever begin.

The number of such oppressive regimes worldwide has mitigated somewhat (a) since the rise of USA as a superpower in the wake of WW2 and (b) among our allied nations. Prior to (a), nearly every nation in Europe, Africa, Asia, and Central and South America was oppressed or in danger of such oppression, pretty much throughout their existence unless conditions equivalent to (a) and (b) prevailed. That our allies today live with more restrictive rules for arms among its citizenry is not to be taken in isolation from the circumstances of (a) and (b); one of the obstacles to oppression in these nations is that the USA will step in and kick ass as needed. The USA does not have a similar protector today, and thus does not get the luxury of letting its guard down.

That there is no imminent danger of oppression might be seen as a cause to welcome restrictions to the second amendment - after all, if there is no danger, one isn't giving up much of anything in enacting restrictions. OTOH, that there is no imminent danger of oppression might be seen as a direct byproduct of the second amendment, and thus fully justifying its continued strength.

I am not a fan of guns nor slippery-slope arguments. But it has not been demonstrated - and I think unfortunate that it probably cannot be demonstrated - that the purpose of the second amendment can be fulfilled by anything less than the second amendment.

(FWIW, today is the first day I have ever attempted a full-on defense of the second amendment. It might show in the argument. Prior to today, I have wanted to argue for restrictions. Hell, I still want to argue for restrictions. But today I decided to argue the converse, and was surprised how easily the argument came.)
   559. Bitter Mouse Posted: July 03, 2014 at 05:34 PM (#4742870)
There are no cases that I know of denying 1st Amendment protections to newspapers because of their corporate ownership.


This doesn't seem to answer the question at all. How about this.

1) When was the first time Free speech was explicitly asserted for a corporation?
2) When was the first time it was denied to a corporation?

in other words when was the first time it was applied at all? If the nearest you can get, the first time the two are mentioned together, are decades after when the Bill of Rights was established, then you need something to tie the two together if you want to make an originalist argument.
   560. BDC Posted: July 03, 2014 at 05:45 PM (#4742874)
villageidiom, a problem with #558 is that there is no particular correlation, historically, between an armed populace and degrees of oppression. Or to put it another way, one can find bunches of gangsters running around with weapons to be as oppressive as any state apparatus.

There's a remarkable degree of religious freedom in the U.S. today, for instance (to connect to the other subthread here) but I'm darned if I can figure out where my neighbors' extensive handgun collections have played the slightest role in bringing that about.
   561. Mefisto Posted: July 03, 2014 at 05:48 PM (#4742875)
Bitter Mouse gets at the essential point in 559. The very first time the 1A ever applied to any party at all was 1932, 140 years after the BoR. That case therefore can't serve as evidence of what the Framers intended or expected. Thus, when YC says "The Framers envisioned 1st Amendment protection for all who wished to publish or speak, and that protection didn't depend on the form in which they conducted their business. Period. Full stop." he's simply making #### up. There's literally no evidence that the Framers "envisioned" any such thing (plus there's the continuing bait and switch to free speech instead of free exercise).

What YC is trying to do is rely on a living constitutionalist argument -- and not a very good one, even if well-established -- while pretending to be an originalist. And even then he has to switch to "free speech" or some general reference to the 1A, rather than focus on the particular issue of free exercise.
   562. Joe Kehoskie Posted: July 03, 2014 at 05:53 PM (#4742877)
villageidiom, a problem with #558 is that there is no particular correlation, historically, between an armed populace and degrees of oppression. Or to put it another way, one can find bunches of gangsters running around with weapons to be as oppressive as any state apparatus.

Nonsense.

***
Bitter Mouse gets at the essential point in 559. The very first time the 1A ever applied to any party at all was 1932, 140 years after the BoR. That case therefore can't serve as evidence of what the Framers intended or expected. Thus, when YC says "The Framers envisioned 1st Amendment protection for all who wished to publish or speak, and that protection didn't depend on the form in which they conducted their business. Period. Full stop." he's simply making #### up. There's literally no evidence that the Framers "envisioned" any such thing (plus there's the continuing bait and switch to free speech instead of free exercise).

I love when the law blog heroes try to tell us that no one had any idea what the Constitution meant until the guys in robes started weighing in.
   563. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: July 03, 2014 at 06:04 PM (#4742880)
villageidiom, a problem with #558 is that there is no particular correlation, historically, between an armed populace and degrees of oppression. Or to put it another way, one can find bunches of gangsters running around with weapons to be as oppressive as any state apparatus.

Nonsense.


Sure it's nonsense, if you want to pretend that we're living in Godwinland, or in a real fascist or Communist state. It's not nonsense if you're talking about the country we actually live in.

I realize you likely think that the private arsenals of America are all that's stopping Obama from throwing you and your friends into jail for life, but not everyone has quite so fevered an imagination.

   564. tshipman Posted: July 03, 2014 at 06:08 PM (#4742882)
I am not a fan of guns nor slippery-slope arguments. But it has not been demonstrated - and I think unfortunate that it probably cannot be demonstrated - that the purpose of the second amendment can be fulfilled by anything less than the second amendment.


I think this is just wrong.

First of all, just in very recent history, Tunisia had one of the lowest rates of gun ownership prior to their revolution, which we did not intervene with in the slightest, making it clear that an armed society is not a *necessary* condition of a successful revolution.

Second of all, the current second amendment is very much a "living constitution" interpretation. As has been pointed out ad nauseum, states had a number of restrictions on weapons that people were allowed to own. There was no question of constitutionality, because those rights were not extended to the populace.

The "purpose of the second amendment"--or allowing for armed revolution in the face of tyranny--in fact would seem to have been enabled in the United States' own history. The Civil War, an armed rebellion, happened even though greater restrictions on firearms were allowed than under the current interpretation of the 2A.

Saying that the current interpretation of the 2A is necessary ignores both recent world history and the country's own history.
   565. Joe Kehoskie Posted: July 03, 2014 at 06:25 PM (#4742892)
Sure it's nonsense, if you want to pretend that we're living in Godwinland, or in a real fascist or Communist state. It's not nonsense if you're talking about the country we actually live in.

He wasn't talking about the "country we actually live in," except with his flippant comment about guns and religious freedom.

Also, still waiting for that list of prominent 2A activists who are against the regulation of automatic weapons. Are you still working on it?

***
Second of all, the current second amendment is very much a "living constitution" interpretation. As has been pointed out ad nauseum, states had a number of restrictions on weapons that people were allowed to own. There was no question of constitutionality, because those rights were not extended to the populace.

To whatever extent this is true, it was true of restrictions, not prohibitions.

Saying that the current interpretation of the 2A is necessary ignores both recent world history and the country's own history.

It does neither.
   566. The Yankee Clapper Posted: July 03, 2014 at 06:26 PM (#4742893)
There are no cases that I know of denying 1st Amendment protections to newspapers because of their corporate ownership.



This doesn't seem to answer the question at all. How about this.

1) When was the first time Free speech was explicitly asserted for a corporation?
2) When was the first time it was denied to a corporation?

in other words when was the first time it was applied at all? If the nearest you can get, the first time the two are mentioned together, are decades after when the Bill of Rights was established, then you need something to tie the two together if you want to make an originalist argument.


As far as I know, no one has ever seriously contended that corporate-ownership was an impediment to 1st Amendment protection before you & Mefisto raised the argument at BBTF, of all places. You find it it inconvenient that the 1st Amendment has always protected corporately owned newspapers, so you make up stuff suggesting it is a recent creation, or isn't provided for by the 1st Amendment.. Not true. Corporate status has never harmed a newspaper's claim to 1st Amendment protection. Those who would deny 1st Amendment protections to corporately owned newspapers know neither law nor history. It's a fool's argument.
   567. tshipman Posted: July 03, 2014 at 06:49 PM (#4742905)
To whatever extent this is true, it was true of restrictions, not prohibitions.


What? Black people were forbidden to own guns in many parts of the country. Less commonly, women were.
   568. zenbitz Posted: July 03, 2014 at 06:53 PM (#4742909)
Morality is public opinion backed by force.
   569. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: July 03, 2014 at 06:53 PM (#4742910)
Now back to the actual point I made: that the Framers never even contemplated that the BoR would apply to for-profit corporations. They didn't intend that and never expected it. Thus, conservatives have no originalist argument -- the only kind they claim to recognize as valid -- for giving corporations the protection of the BoR.

That's nonsensical. For profit corporations commonly existed at the time. Hell, the first settlement in America was founded by a for-profit company.

If the founders had intended to restrict the Bill of Rights to individuals acting as individuals, they could and would have. Absent that restriction, the guarantee of rights has to be held in the broadest way possible.
   570. tshipman Posted: July 03, 2014 at 06:57 PM (#4742913)
If the founders had intended to restrict the Bill of Rights to individuals acting as individuals, they could and would have. Absent that restriction, the guarantee of rights has to be held in the broadest way possible.


The founders didn't even intend the Bill of Rights to extend to individuals, let alone corporations. There were no individual rights until 1865.
   571. Joe Kehoskie Posted: July 03, 2014 at 07:12 PM (#4742919)
What? Black people were forbidden to own guns in many parts of the country. Less commonly, women were.

Black people weren't seen as people, so I don't see how that helps you much.

The founders didn't even intend the Bill of Rights to extend to individuals, let alone corporations. There were no individual rights until 1865.

LOL. This is getting more absurd by the minute.
   572. Bitter Mouse Posted: July 03, 2014 at 07:14 PM (#4742920)
Absent that restriction, the guarantee of rights has to be held in the broadest way possible.


You might want to rethink this sentence. The wording doesn't limit things to just people and corporations. Chickens have the right to be free from cruel and unusual punishment. After all the text is ...

Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.


Had they meant only people (and not corporations and chickens) they would have said people, like they did (for example) in the 5th Amendment:
No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offence to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.


Silliness like this is why the originalist arguments and fine parsing of the Constitution for exact word usage often degenerates .
   573. tshipman Posted: July 03, 2014 at 07:18 PM (#4742922)
Black people weren't seen as people, so I don't see how that helps you much.


It must be easier to respond to arguments by ignoring half the text.


If you would like to provide a source for the existence of individual rights prior to the 14th amendment, I'd love to see you do so.
   574. The Yankee Clapper Posted: July 03, 2014 at 07:19 PM (#4742924)
The wording doesn't limit things to just people and corporations. Chickens have the right to be free from cruel and unusual punishment. After all the text is ...

You might want to rethink this sentence. It makes you look out of your depth.
   575. Bitter Mouse Posted: July 03, 2014 at 07:20 PM (#4742926)
LOL. This is getting more absurd by the minute.


Clearly JoeK took several classes in college related to constitutional law and its history, way more than me at any rate.
   576. Bitter Mouse Posted: July 03, 2014 at 07:23 PM (#4742928)
You might want to rethink this sentence. It makes you look out of your depth.


That whoosh you heard was my point zooming over your head. No worries though, it happens.
   577. Shredder Posted: July 03, 2014 at 07:32 PM (#4742934)
Well, if it's a post from the increasingly off the rails DJS, it must be full of ####. I'd expect nothing less. Maybe if the Loving couple had previously never expressed a preference for interracial marriage, or the native Americans who brought the Redskins suit had previously been big Joe Theisman fans, Dan would have a point. Maybe Dan doesn't see the difference, but the point is not that th HL folks are advocacy plaintiffs (it's cute that you're dumb enough to believe they're paying for their own legal representation, btw). The point is that they never particularly cared what contraception they provided until the uppity black guy told them what they had to provide. Cue the outage about providing ella and Plan B, which they'd been providing of the own accord the whole time, despite no requirement to do so. They find those dugs so morally objectionable that they never even bothered to give two shits about them in the past.

I have no problem with people being recruited for advocacy lawsuits. I have a problem with them inventing their beliefs out of whole cloth. But they play for Dan's team, so they're motives are pure as the driven snow.
   578. Joe Kehoskie Posted: July 03, 2014 at 07:43 PM (#4742944)
Well, if it's a post from the increasingly off the rails DJS, it must be full of ####. I'd expect nothing less. Maybe if the Loving couple had previously never expressed a preference for interracial marriage, or the native Americans who brought the Redskins suit had previously been big Joe Theisman fans, Dan would have a point. Maybe Dan doesn't see the difference, but the point is not that th HL folks are advocacy plaintiffs (it's cute that you're dumb enough to believe they're paying for their own legal representation, btw). The point is that they never particularly cared what contraception they provided until the uppity black guy told them what they had to provide. Cue the outage about providing ella and Plan B, which they'd been providing of the own accord the whole time, despite no requirement to do so. They find those dugs so morally objectionable that they never even bothered to give two shits about them in the past.

I have no problem with people being recruited for advocacy lawsuits. I have a problem with them inventing their beliefs out of whole cloth. But they play for Dan's team, so they're motives are pure as the driven snow.

Maybe they changed their minds, like Obama reneging on his pledge to accept public campaign financing, or his flip-flop re: gay marriage, or a hundred other things.

***
If you would like to provide a source for the existence of individual rights prior to the 14th amendment, I'd love to see you do so.

What was the purpose of the Bill of Rights if not to guarantee rights? Applying your theory to the gun discussion, how would one have exercised one's (alleged, under your apparent interpretation) "federal" right to keep and bear arms while simultaneously abiding by, e.g., D.C.'s gun ban?
   579. Mefisto Posted: July 03, 2014 at 07:44 PM (#4742945)
That's nonsensical. For profit corporations commonly existed at the time
.

I mentioned above that there were just 7 for-profit corporations in the US at the time (eight if you count the Bank, which had just come into existence). Only the Bank could possibly have been covered by the BoR, and I guarantee that nobody thought it had free exercise rights.

Hell, the first settlement in America was founded by a for-profit company.


True. So was the second settlement. Both companies were long defunct by 1790.

If the founders had intended to restrict the Bill of Rights to individuals acting as individuals, they could and would have.


If the Framers had intended to extend the BoR to non-human entities, they could and would have. Not only does your suggestion prove too much (and cut both ways), it's inconsistent with actual practice. The Framers certainly knew how to exclude people without being explicit about it: see the 3/5 clause.
   580. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: July 03, 2014 at 07:44 PM (#4742946)
If you would like to provide a source for the existence of individual rights prior to the 14th amendment, I'd love to see you do so.

Who the hell else does the Bill of Rights apply to?

The right to trial by jury can't be exercised collectively.

You might want to rethink this sentence. The wording doesn't limit things to just people and corporations. Chickens have the right to be free from cruel and unusual punishment. After all the text is ...

This is just foolish.
   581. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: July 03, 2014 at 07:48 PM (#4742948)
If the Framers had intended to extend the BoR to non-human entities, they could and would have. Not only does your suggestion prove too much (and cut both ways), it's inconsistent with actual practice. The Framers certainly knew how to exclude people without being explicit about it: see the 3/5 clause.

A corporation is not a non-human entity. It is a group of people acting collectively. A collective human entity, like a partnership or a family. Despite their collective actions, they don't lose their individual rights.

Do you think the CEO of a corporation can be censored by the Gov't when he speaks on behalf of the corporation? Do you think the police can search a corporation's offices without a warrant because they are not the property of an individual? Do you think corporations don't have due process rights when being indicted and tried criminally?
   582. Bitter Mouse Posted: July 03, 2014 at 07:53 PM (#4742949)
This is just foolish.


Hey you are the one who wants to exercise in the broadest possible terms so long as it is not explicitly excluded. To continue the foolishness I picked that particular amendment because it is clearly aimed at the state and not the individual. It speaks to the punisher (who presumably is a person) and not the victim.

It never says anything about the victim and never implies any sort of personhood for them. According to your theory of broadest possible application, why shouldn't it include all possible victims?

To be clear (for YC especially) I am not making this argument, especially because I am not an originalist and don't spend my life parsing word nuance in the context of the founding fathers - that is your side of the argument. I am just pointing out using exact words in the broadest possible sense leads to some very dumb places - like Chicken rights and Corporate Personhood.
   583. Bitter Mouse Posted: July 03, 2014 at 07:58 PM (#4742952)
A corporation is not a non-human entity. It is a group of people acting collectively. A collective human entity, like a partnership or a family. Despite their collective actions, they don't lose their individual rights.


Which they can exercise individually. You know as individuals. There are plenty of laws that apply to public businesses that don't to people. A taxi driver needs liscensing to do there job and is under more restraints than a normal driver. But when they are acting as a normal driver they are not subject to those specific laws. In an analogous fashion officers of a corporation don't lose their individual rights when they are not acting in in an official capacity, but they may face addition constraints while they do act that way.

And by the way a corporation is a non-human entity. It is a legal construct. It is not a person, it was not born, it has no sentience. The pretend chicken in my example is more human that a corporation is, unless you consider every legal construct to be a person. Was my marriage a person, it was a partnership of two people.
   584. Joe Kehoskie Posted: July 03, 2014 at 07:59 PM (#4742953)
And by the way a corporation is a non-human entity. It is a legal construct. It is not a person, it was not born, it has no sentience.

So the police can raid the Democratic National Committee's headquarters without a warrant so long as no humans are on the premises, right?
   585. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: July 03, 2014 at 08:00 PM (#4742955)
Which they can exercise individually. You know as individuals.

And can also exercise collectively. See my second paragraph for examples of other Constitutional rights corporations enjoy.
   586. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: July 03, 2014 at 08:03 PM (#4742956)
Hey you are the one who wants to exercise in the broadest possible terms so long as it is not explicitly excluded. To continue the foolishness I picked that particular amendment because it is clearly aimed at the state and not the individual. It speaks to the punisher (who presumably is a person) and not the victim.

It never says anything about the victim and never implies any sort of personhood for them. According to your theory of broadest possible application, why shouldn't it include all possible victims?


It is absolutely clear that the entire Constitution refers to people, not animals. The idea of animals enjoying these rights would have been as ludicrous then as now.

Corporations however were a well known phenomenon, along with partnerships and sole proprietorships. Why would we assume people acting in corporate form have less rights than people acting in partnership or sole proprietorships?
   587. zenbitz Posted: July 03, 2014 at 08:08 PM (#4742958)
can anyone dispute that this company IS people???
   588. Bitter Mouse Posted: July 03, 2014 at 08:09 PM (#4742961)
So the police can raid the Democratic National Committee's headquarters without a warrant so long as no humans are on the premises, right?


You were so close to trapping me. Next time use the GOP headquarters and I might bite. After all Obama is the tyrant here, you know then it would have been believable.

And can also exercise collectively. See my second paragraph for examples of other Constitutional rights corporations enjoy.


I was addressing your incorrect suggestion that: "Despite their collective actions, they don't lose their individual rights." When their individual rights have nothing to do with it.
   589. zenbitz Posted: July 03, 2014 at 08:10 PM (#4742962)
I will leave the originalist interpretations of the constitution to you theologers.
   590. Joe Kehoskie Posted: July 03, 2014 at 08:13 PM (#4742965)
You were so close to trapping me. Next time use the GOP headquarters and I might bite. After all Obama is the tyrant here, you know then it would have been believable.

I don't see an answer in there.
   591. Bitter Mouse Posted: July 03, 2014 at 08:17 PM (#4742967)
It is absolutely clear that the entire Constitution refers to people, not animals.


Well then why are some rights specifically written specifying "Person" and "people" and others not?

What I am saying is you don't get it both ways. You don't get to read into it things that are "clearly there" but never stated and then fall back into word weaseling about exact verbiage. You can't logically limit it to only their specific intent and then immediately make an appeal to the broadest possible application.

Well I guess you can, but it is as you rightly stated foolish.

   592. The Yankee Clapper Posted: July 03, 2014 at 08:19 PM (#4742970)
The founders didn't even intend the Bill of Rights to extend to individuals, let alone corporations. There were no individual rights until 1865.

That's incorrect. Or perhaps confused. It is true that the Bill of Rights was thought to be a restriction on the federal government and not applicable to state governments, until the second half of the 20th century when the Supreme Court eventually ruled that the 14th Amendment - which did apply to the states - incorporated various protections contained in the Bill of Rights. However, from the beginning, the Bill of Rights protected individuals from the federal government.
   593. Joe Kehoskie Posted: July 03, 2014 at 08:21 PM (#4742971)
Well then why are some rights specifically written specifying "Person" and "people" and others not?

To maintain proper English?

What I am saying is you don't get it both ways. You don't get to read into it things that are "clearly there" but never stated and then fall back into word weaseling about exact verbiage. You can't logically limit it to only their specific intent and then immediately make an appeal to the broadest possible application.

Well I guess you can, but it is as you rightly stated foolish.

Actually, people with a nickel's worth of common sense do get to have it both ways. That's why we don't hear arguments over, e.g., the right of chickens to keep and bear firearms, or the right of chickens to keep the executioners out of their coops unless a warrant is obtained.
   594. The Yankee Clapper Posted: July 03, 2014 at 08:23 PM (#4742972)
To be clear (for YC especially) I am not making this argument, especially because I am not an originalist and don't spend my life parsing word nuance in the context of the founding fathers - that is your side of the argument. I am just pointing out using exact words in the broadest possible sense leads to some very dumb places - like Chicken rights and Corporate Personhood.

I'm sorry, but that Bitter Mouse thinks his Chicken Rights Constitutional Theory is a serious argument against originalism is weak sauce. It's a silly argument, not even worthy of BBTF.
   595. Mefisto Posted: July 03, 2014 at 08:26 PM (#4742973)
A corporation is not a non-human entity.


Yes, that's exactly what it is. It's a legal fiction which receives certain privileges (and gives up certain rights) when the corporate form is adopted. But in any case, your whole premise is wrong, as Mouse has pointed out. Individuals have rights, and they keep those rights as individuals. But we all agree that corporations can't exercise at least some of the BoR. I assume you agree that a corporation can't assert cruel and unusual punishment or claim that it's being held in slavery. The individuals who make up those corporations, though, can continue to assert such rights.

Do you think the CEO of a corporation can be censored by the Gov't when he speaks on behalf of the corporation?


Are you asking my personal opinion or asking what the law is? The law is that the CEO can't be censored in that situation.

Corporations however were a well known phenomenon, along with partnerships and sole proprietorships.


The only "common" corporations at that time were religious corporations. They were not protected by the 1A at that time because the 1A didn't apply to the states and there were no federal religious corporations to which the BoR might apply. The very first case to apply the free exercise clause to anyone at all was in 1947.

The next most common category was municipal corporations. Do you believe that towns and cities have "free exercise" rights? Would it take a warrant and/or reasonable cause to get public papers from a town or city?
   596. Bitter Mouse Posted: July 03, 2014 at 08:32 PM (#4742975)
I will leave the originalist interpretations of the constitution to you theologers.


Your wisdom is an example to us all.
   597. Howie Menckel Posted: July 03, 2014 at 09:58 PM (#4743016)

on another note, can confirm that losing power for 3 hours tonite re this insane NJ/NY storm sucked.
having lost power for only about 4 hours during Sandy, I need dozens more of these before I can plead for empathy from about 20 million people. But it's a start.

   598. BDC Posted: July 03, 2014 at 09:58 PM (#4743017)
So, Joe & other fans of bearing arms: how does the high level of gun ownership in the US defend any of our rights except those to bear arms themselves? Meanwhile we have an obscene rate of gun violence in this country. Is the solution more guns?

Mind you, I'm not sanguine about gun control. We need a cultural sea-change. Guns need to be seen as uncool, not as some kind of ersatz rightwing Viagra.
   599. DJS and the Infinite Sadness Posted: July 03, 2014 at 09:58 PM (#4743018)
Well, there were fewer TVs when the Constitution was signed than corporations, so clearly the Constitution didn't envision the free speech being applicable to TV or the internet either. So no free speech there. Gay marriages didn't exist at the time, either, so when two gay people marry, they don't have free speech rights either. Also, you can't use words that didn't exist then either. So if you say "forsooth" that word is protected. But if you say "internet" you can be given lethal doses of radiation, none of the actinides being discovered until much later. Note that it doesn't say Burger King in the constitution - everything the police do to you there is good and legal.

You know how many people were dropped from planes while alive as punishment for crimes? None. So the 8th amendment doesn't actually cover that.

This "there were no corporations at the time" is utter sophistry, the typical usage of the civil-authoritarian left in their War Against Free Speech. The rights expressed by groups of people stem from their rights as individuals, whether or not the manner in which people choose to express their rights of freedom of association were specifically named and identified at the time of the Constitution.

So enjoy the right to be secure in your houses. That is, unless you live in a CONDOMINIUM or happen to be eating lunch AT THE MALL. You know who never went to any malls? That's right, James Madison. So slurp down that Orange Julius hippy, it's time for your body cavity search!
   600. tshipman Posted: July 03, 2014 at 10:30 PM (#4743037)
What was the purpose of the Bill of Rights if not to guarantee rights? Applying your theory to the gun discussion, how would one have exercised one's (alleged, under your apparent interpretation) "federal" right to keep and bear arms while simultaneously abiding by, e.g., D.C.'s gun ban?


Who the hell else does the Bill of Rights apply to?


The purpose of the Bill of Rights was to prevent the federal government from enacting laws that could have encroached on the states. The rights in the BoR did not extend to individuals until the 14th amendment. This is pretty basic stuff, guys. A state could make a law that enfringed on free speech, on the right to bear arms, on whatever they wanted.

There were no individual rights. There were only things the Feds were prevented from doing.
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