November 27, 2007

Bloggingheads!

Check it out. I'm back... with a vengeance.

ADDED: Topics:
Norman Mailer on women

The subliminal seduction of Mr. Whipple

Living and loving with Alzheimer's

"Leave me alone to have my guns"

Huckabee and Obama: pragmatic idealists

Is Hillary man enough to be president?

Judith Regan's secret dirt on Giuliani

28 comments:

christopher said...

Hey everybody --

Get your wingnut revisionist history right here!!!
http://www.charlierose.com/shows/2007/11/21/1/a-conversation-with-karl-rove

Karl Rove claims the Democrats pushed Bush into war with Iraq prematurely!!!!!

If you guys can spin this one, you can spin anything....

George said...

Nice background--bland.

Other lady was badly lit...

Never could read Normal Mailer.

Marilyn...Ancient Evenings....yikes!

Tough Guys Don't Dance....unwatchable...

Funny how time has been kinder that other '60s literary icon Truman Capote, what with two biopics 'n' all. Infamous...great movie....

rcocean said...

I'm listening to your BHTV and loving it. Regarding the misinformation on Roe 90 percent of the "average" people" I talk to think:

-There is a right to privacy written into the constitution. I don't mean an implied right, I mean an explicit right.

-If Roe is overturned, abortion will be illegal. Of course, liberals have done everything possible to spread this myth.

Ann Althouse said...

"Normal Mailer" ... I typo Norman that way every single damned time.

The Drill SGT said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
The Drill SGT said...

I think that any discussion of whether the second amendment is a group or an individual right must consider the concept of an unorganized militia which is embedded in our current law and that I think flows from the orginal intent.

Title 10 USC:311. Militia: composition and classes
(a) The militia of the United States consists of all able-bodied males at least 17 years of age and, except as provided in section 313 of title 32, under 45 years of age who are, or who have made a declaration of intention to become, citizens of the United States and of female citizens of the United States who are members of the National Guard.
(b) The classes of the militia are—
(1) the organized militia, which consists of the National Guard and the Naval Militia; and
(2) the unorganized militia, which consists of the members of the militia who are not members of the National Guard or the Naval Militia

lurker2209 said...

drill sgt--

The obvious rejoinder is to question whether an unorganized militia can be "well-regulated."

But the more interesting question involves the relationship between Federal law and the constitution. I don't think the right of individual firearm ownership can be dependent on a law that congress could easily over-turn. Basically, if congress repealed Title 10 USC:311 tomorrow, would there be an individual right to own a gun? I don't pretend to be a legal scholar, but it seems to me that this sort of ambiguity is exactly why the supreme court needed to hear the case.

The Drill SGT said...

2209,

my rejoinders are:

- perhaps "well regulated" meant "well equipped". There are lots of colonial era laws specifying the arms that families must keep.

- clearly law doesn't trump the constitution. my point is that the USC clearly defines militia as more and different than just today's national guard. it means the general populace of able bodies male citizens. and if today's law still says that, why is it a shock that the constitution could have meant that as well.

Ruth Anne Adams said...

If that 'Charmin=vaginas' doesn't start the vortex a-swirling, nothin' will.

Simon said...

Sarge, that section of the code isn't particularly compelling as to original meaning insofar as it was enacted in 1956. That said, I agree with you as to the original understanding of who or what composed the militia, and there's not really any serious historical argument to the contrary.

But with both of those things said, I disagree with most commenters (here and elsewhere) that the original meaning of "militia" is in any way relevant. The amendment says that a "well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the People to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed"; I don't see any basis whatsoever for reading the the second sentence to be conditional on the first. That being the case, the question of what if anything the first sentence means (if indeed it must be read to mean anything: the prohibition on surplussage is strong but not inviolate) may be interesting, but it's not dispositive. The second sentence is wholly self-executing; to read the first as imposing a conditional veto rewrites the amendment to mean "for as long as it is thought that a well regulated militia is necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the People to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed," and I think that's an even less tenable conclusion than the risk of rendering it purely decorative.

Revenant said...

The obvious rejoinder is to question whether an unorganized militia can be "well-regulated."

There are lots of things that are regulated by the government without being formally organized by it. There is, these days, almost nothing that ISN'T regulated by the government in some way, from sex and marriage to food manufacture and telecommunications.

So even if you believe the phrase "well-regulated" is being used in its modern sense, rather than in its 18th century sense, that still doesn't imply that the State has to directly command the militia in question.

lurker2209 said...

drill sgt-

If well-regulated means well-equipped, then that's another condition that certainly isn't being met today, since the majority of those defined as being in the unregulated militia don't own firearms.

My point is that militia appears to have meant one thing in 1776, and another in 1959 and may not mean much of anything to most of us today. And as a strict constructionist, I find that very troubling. If you're arguing by analogy that the SCOTUS can find a rationale to define militia as everyone because federal law does, that's fine, but I think it's also the job of the SCOTUS to give us that rationale.

amba said...

And I always typo him "Maler" (there are crumbs under certain of my keys) -- put those together they'd be pretty funny.

amba said...

Ruth Anne: FLUSH. And the vortex xwirls counterclockwise in the northern hemisphere.

Zeb Quinn said...

In 1791 "well regulated" did not mean anything like what it means now. How could it? Think about it. What in the world was "regulated" in those day? The very sine qua non of life in 1791 was unregulation. This was, after all, long before the concept of socialism, liberals, and progressives was invented. It was the era of rugged individualism. The drill sgt is probably about right, "well regulated" meant a good distribution of arms.

Revenant said...

If you're arguing by analogy that the SCOTUS can find a rationale to define militia as everyone because federal law does, that's fine, but I think it's also the job of the SCOTUS to give us that rationale.

Er, would you mind telling us at which point the law didn't consider all able-bodied men to comprise the militia?

Although it is really kind of a moot point -- like Simon pointed out, the "militia" clause says nothing to limit the right to militia-related purposes.

Hector Owen said...

Simon,

There's only one sentence. As I said back on "Let's talk about guns," the first part of the amendment, about the well-regulated militia, is a nominative absolute, the English version of the Latin ablative absolute. Back in the old days (harrumph!), people learned rhetoric from Latin examples, and the ablative absolute would have been familiar to an educated person.

Clang!Honk!Tweet! said...

I was surfing around YouTube after watching this vlog and came across some old Elvira Mistress of the Dark clips.  Okay, they're not all gems.

Anyway, I'd like to see her do a vlog with Althouse.  Here's a topic:

"A well-equipped hostess, being necessary to the enjoyment of the free Internet, the viewing of the right Women wearing plunging necklines shall not be infringed."

Hellooo, Amanda!

Hector Owen said...

Simon,

that is, I agree with you entirely that the main clause of the amendment "is wholly self-executing." And with very strong language at that: not merely "Congress shall make no law," but "shall not be infringed." I hear a "by anybody, anyhow, anytime!" after the period.

Clang!Honk!Tweet! said...

Ooh, from Latin grammar lessons to Elvira.  Where else will you find this entertainment value?

Vivo Caesare, we wouldn't need guns.

Hector Owen said...

Our daggers being sharp, we went to the Forum.

rhhardin said...

The frog that does not jump out, or jumps out, of the slowly heated water is a phallic symbol. How do we castrate the men. I suppose focus on the vagina/Charmin caused that to be overlooked. It's clearly a step in the same fantasy, though.

Vicki Hearne had a frog poem in its honor, in fact.

rhhardin said...

And then there's all that talk about Mailer's vulnerabilities makes him a woman.

All those V words, V itself so pictorial.

I'm surprised they let it in the alphabet.

Simon said...

Hector, with that, the Althouse blog really does wander into Yes Minister land! ;) I appreciate the correction, although as I think you intimated, reading the ablative absolute section you linked to would tend, in my view, to reinforce my earlier comment that the first - let's say - section is not a condition for the latter. One would not read a text that said "the right of the people to be tried by their peers being necessary to liberty, all crimes will be tried by jury" as requiring trial by jury only when it's necessary to liberty. The former clause provides a reason, not a prerequisite.

Simon said...

Hector Owen said...
"And with very strong language at that: not merely "Congress shall make no law," but "shall not be infringed." I hear a "by anybody, anyhow, anytime!" after the period."

Just to riff a little on this thought: Since the Bill of Rights acted purely on the federal government, do you think you could you read the strength of the language in the Second Amendment - if "shall not be infringed" bars all federal action against arms by any of the three branches - and infer that the First Amendment's proscriptions on Congress should consequentially be taken at face value, as applying only to Congress and legislative action, rather than court judgments or executive action? I'm not advocating that reading, but does that make some kind of sense as an idea?

Fen said...

The obvious rejoinder is to question whether an unorganized militia can be "well-regulated."

Not really.

Take the sentence: "A well-educated Congress, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and read books shall not be infringed"...

....doesn't mean you have to be a well-educated Congress-critter to keep and read books. It means that since Congress-people come from the citizenry, that citizenry should be well-educated. Nor does it mean everyone's books should be stored in public libraries.

Also, lets change the requirements of the militia to include females. Some of our laws have changed since then...

Fen said...

Christopher/Lucky: Karl Rove claims the Democrats pushed Bush into war with Iraq prematurely!!!!!

I don't know why you keep pushing this bs. Its already been pointed out to you that Rove was referring to the Republican controlled House.

Hector Owen said...

Simon: "I think this thread's dead, Fred!" But somewhat more seriously: Your interpretation, "if it says Congress, it means Congress, and that's all it means," works nicely to get Lincoln off the hook for his habeas corpus violations, and the shutting-down of Copperhead newspapers. And brings back the Jackson question, stated as: "John Marshall has made his decision, now let him enforce it!"

I don't think I want to see the three branches of government actually fighting each other any more than they do now. Of course the other quote that comes to mind in this connection is Stalin: "The Pope? How many divisions has he got?"