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I Breathed a 60% Nitrous Oxide Solution and Joined the ACLU Today


David

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...but so far, I've failed to find any connection between the two events. I'll keep looking, but wanted to keep you all in the loop.

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So why did you join? I used to be a member but thought they were too aggressive, I have my doubts about that now.

 

I'm so discouraged about certain directions that I'm looking anew at my options as a sole individual. And as much as I personally disagree with some of their stances, I need someone bigger to help fight some of this nonsense (I'm trying to not talk specifics so that we don't violate the "politics" rule).

 

Our best hope as a nation is very adversarial checks/balances organizations like the ACLU, adversarial but respected media outlets like NPR, or such widespread failure (read "pressure") at a national level that we finally get the courage to make the tough choices about who we are and what our role in the world is to be.

 

If my family heard that I joined the ACLU, I'd never get invited back to a family reunion.

 

Maybe I'll tell 'em. tongue.gif

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I signed up a few years ago. Joined the People for the American Way too. My hope is that they will form some sort of defense against the recent increases in executive power.

 

I was completely against both organizations when I was younger, as is most of my family. Things change.

 

Regards,

Peter Doege

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Our best hope as a nation is very adversarial checks/balances organizations like the ACLU, adversarial but respected media outlets like NPR, or such widespread failure (read "pressure") at a national level that we finally get the courage to make the tough choices about who we are and what our role in the world is to be.

 

I agree.

 

A democracy without a strong 'check and balance' process built into the mechanism of government, and without a strong, free and vibrant press, is not a democracy at all.

 

No matter how 'good' and 'moral' the message, how ever you care to try to define such things (and there's 'the rub', of course), it is extremely dangerous for circumstances to develop such that 'that' particular perspective is the only one tolerated by the government, or society as a whole.

 

If my family heard that I joined the ACLU, I'd never get invited back to a family reunion.

 

Maybe I'll tell 'em. tongue.gif

 

Every 'cloud' has it's silver lining grin.gifthumbsup.gif

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This is all very interesting, but how was your dental appointment and what procedure was performed?

 

Or were you just listening to a bunch of live Grateful Dead CDs. lmao.gif

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This is all very interesting, but how was your dental appointment and what procedure was performed?

 

No procedure--just the yearly cleaning on a complete wuss who likes to get high once a year and finally resist the urge to stay sane. grin.gif

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David,

 

Cliff notes rely in "code" to get past political scanners. blush.gif

 

Lifelong elephant. Only voted for two donkeys in my life...Geo McGovern...and John Kerry. dopeslap.gif

 

Where do I sign up for "active opposition"?

 

bncry.gif

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...but so far, I've failed to find any connection between the two events. I'll keep looking, but wanted to keep you all in the loop.

 

Happy April Fool's Day to you, too! eek.gifsmirk.gif

 

Oh wait...

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I only have one thing to say:

 

Convert or Die infidels!

 

(not sure what made me say this but I had...and it's gonna get me into trouble no doubt.)

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I hope there's a punch line soon...I'm getting sick to my stomach....

Maybe it's time to grind down the ol' choppers and fangs to the nubs and bond on some nice new veneers. The technology has really come a long way, and the results can last for 10 years or longer. It's expensive, but it doesn't have to be painful. And the payoff, well, you get to feel happy and confident as you flash your pretty smile. After all, study after study show that people respond positively to a nice smile more than any other physical factor.

 

As for David's dental procedure, well, my step father is a dentist, so I've pretty much heard it all before.

 

<rim shot>

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This is all very interesting, but how was your dental appointment and what procedure was performed?

 

Or were you just listening to a bunch of live Grateful Dead CDs. lmao.gif

 

I've seen that connection made several times at Grateful Dead shows ??? smirk.gif

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...but so far, I've failed to find any connection between the two events. I'll keep looking, but wanted to keep you all in the loop.

 

Does that entitle you to a discount at the NAMBLA gift shop?

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...but so far, I've failed to find any connection between the two events. I'll keep looking, but wanted to keep you all in the loop.

 

Does that entitle you to a discount at the NAMBLA gift shop?

________________________________________________________________________________________________

 

I'm glad you said it....I was thinkin it ...

 

Whip

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...but so far, I've failed to find any connection between the two events. I'll keep looking, but wanted to keep you all in the loop.

 

Does that entitle you to a discount at the NAMBLA gift shop?

 

I'll chose to take this in the spirit in which I'm sure you intended it, Steve, and I'd urge you to look below the bumper sticker message of your question and see where that vehicle is headed. smile.gif

 

There's a real sadness for me in doing this--the compromises are painful. What I yearn for is an environment with respected, trustworthy leadership where such a move is not necessary.

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...but so far, I've failed to find any connection between the two events. I'll keep looking, but wanted to keep you all in the loop.

 

Does that entitle you to a discount at the NAMBLA gift shop?

 

I'll chose to take this in the spirit in which I'm sure you intended it, Steve, and I'd urge you to look below the bumper sticker message of your question and see where that vehicle is headed. smile.gif

 

There's a real sadness for me in doing this--the compromises are painful. What I yearn for is an environment with respected, trustworthy leadership where such a move is not necessary.

 

____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

 

It's not a bumper sticker, it's a one way street to Amsterdam and Thailand....with no place to turn around.

 

 

Whip

 

and I'm out....... this is headin to "moderatorville"

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Mark Menard (Vita Rara)
Does that entitle you to a discount at the NAMBLA gift shop?

 

I sure as **** hope you forgot the wink smiley.

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It's not a bumper sticker, it's a one way street to Amsterdam and Thailand....with no place to turn around.

 

Larry, good people can disagree on this point. In my second post above, I said "and as much as I personally disagree with some of their stances...."

 

Just like free speech allows for speech that any group might not like, and just like attorneys must defend clients they don't personally admire, there are principles at stake.

 

While we wring our hands at the nature of the free speech that Steve's making fun of, real elected leaders are doing NAMBLA type stuff with our children. And supposedly from the family values side of the equation.

 

I'm conflicted about all this, but I don't know how to talk about it without creating headaches for the mods, so I'll just bite my tongue. When I try to separate myself from the muck and get a better perspective, I end up not knowing if I'm onto something or off my rocker. smile.gif

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It's not a bumper sticker, it's a one way street to Amsterdam and Thailand....with no place to turn around.

 

Larry, good people can disagree on this point. In my second post above, I said "and as much as I personally disagree with some of their stances...."

 

Just like free speech allows for speech that any group might not like, and just like attorneys must defend clients they don't personally admire, there are principles at stake.

 

While we wring our hands at the nature of the free speech that Steve's making fun of, real elected leaders are doing NAMBLA type stuff with our children. And supposedly from the family values side of the equation.

 

I'm conflicted about all this, but I don't know how to talk about it without creating headaches for the mods, so I'll just bite my tongue. When I try to separate myself from the muck and get a better perspective, I end up not knowing if I'm onto something or off my rocker. smile.gif

___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

 

David, very well said as usual.

 

I agree with everything you just said.....I'm just not sure the ACLU is the answer....but I don't have a better one either...as bad as it is in this country of ours at times it always works out. Have faith my friend.wave.gif

 

Larry

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Have faith my friend.wave.gif
I know for a fact that you don't have faith in our "leaders"! The ALCU is too aggressive in their actions, but how can they be otherwise and hold to their conviction that the principles of the land are correct, it's not their place to make judgements, just to get them made.
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Yeeha! Stephen
I hope there's a punch line soon...I'm getting sick to my stomach.... confused.gifconfused.gif

 

Whip

...must be the nitrous... eek.gifeek.gifdopeslap.gifdopeslap.gifgrin.gif

 

Not supposed to sniff Automotive Nitrous! It's got Sulfer in it!

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Are they not making a judgement by the side they take on an issue????
They don't take a side as such, they usually represent a minority view but only by presenting it to the proper arbitrator, the courts.
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Are they not making a judgement by the side they take on an issue????
They don't take a side as such, they usually represent a minority view but only by presenting it to the proper arbitrator, the courts.

 

It seems to me that many times they have no client only an agenda.

 

A little more Fow News and little less Aljazeera would help you here grin.giflmao.gifgrin.gif

 

Whip

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A little more Fow News and little less Aljazeera would help you here grin.giflmao.gifgrin.gif
It's been over week since I listened to Aljazeera 1 or 2 now. (That's the BBC and NPR to the rest of you) But while I'm riding to the NCal tech days I'll catch up.
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It seems to me that many times they have no client only an agenda.

 

They usuallly do have a client. They certainly have an agenda, which is to protect the civil liberties guaranteed by the Constitution.

 

You may not believe in all the liberties the ACLU (and bear in mind, much is done by the regional offices), but that's far different than the implication of a political agenda. The ACLU's got a history of defending the liberties of folks of all stripes.

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"Disproportionate Minority Confinement

On March 30, the ACLU, in collaboration with local law schools and advocacy groups, will be hosting a day-long forum to discuss the over-representation of youth of color in the Massachusetts juvenile justice system. According to an ACLU report released in June 2003, the federal Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act requires states like Massachusetts to identify the extent to which minorities are over-represented in their juvenile justice systems, determine the reasons for that over-representation and take steps to reduce it."

_________________________________________________

 

Does anyone know what they came up with?

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While we wring our hands at the nature of the free speech that Steve's making fun of, real elected leaders are doing NAMBLA type stuff with our children. And supposedly from the family values side of the equation.

 

I'm conflicted about all this, but I don't know how to talk about it without creating headaches for the mods, so I'll just bite my tongue.

 

David, keep in mind that you may be getting swept up in a concerted effort to take the actions of a single person and paint an entire political party with a VERY broad brush. It's happened before in our not-too-distant history. People of despicable character come from all walks of life and hold a variety of political ideologies. Despise the individual and his/her actions, regardless of party. There are good people on both sides, just as there are bad.

 

As you said to me, Tennessee is one of the states where the Congressional battles are the most fierce and hotly contested, so you're getting inundated with every political smear tactic and maneuver imaginable as candidates and parties try to swing voters their way. And yes, it's ugly. But rise above the stench to your principles. Live them. Vote them. Whatever they may be. And take pride in having done so.

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Been an ACLU member for a long time. My family is convinced that I am going to hell cause I believe in a different C word than they do. My word is Constitution and theirs is Christ.

 

To me the constitution grants me the right to believe in the Christ.

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The ACLU's got a history of defending the liberties of folks of all stripes.

 

Communists, the KKK, Illinois Nazis, Westboro Baptist Church, John Scopes, and Oliver North. It's easy to defend the civil liberties of the popular, it's the unpopular who need defending.

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Illinois Nazis

 

I hate Illinois Nazis.

Wow. Interesting thread and interesting how it's been handled by all involved--kudos to you. You've all heard it in one variation or another:

 

Als die Nazis die Kommunisten holten,

habe ich geschwiegen;

ich war ja kein Kommunist.

 

When the Nazis came for the communists,

I remained silent;

after all I was not a communist.

 

 

Als sie die Sozialdemokraten einsperrten,

habe ich geschwiegen;

ich war ja kein Sozialdemokrat.

 

When they locked up the social democrats,

I remained silent;

after all I was not a social democrat.

 

 

Als sie die Gewerkschafter holten,

habe ich nicht protestiert;

ich war ja kein Gewerkschafter.

 

When they came for the trade unionists,

I did not speak out;

after all I was not a trade unionist.

 

 

Als sie mich holten,

gab es keinen mehr, der protestieren konnte.

 

When they came for me,

there was no one left to speak out.

 

 

Wiki-link.

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...but so far, I've failed to find any connection between the two events. I'll keep looking, but wanted to keep you all in the loop.

 

Does that entitle you to a discount at the NAMBLA gift shop?

 

I'll chose to take this in the spirit in which I'm sure you intended it, Steve, and I'd urge you to look below the bumper sticker message of your question and see where that vehicle is headed. smile.gif

 

There's a real sadness for me in doing this--the compromises are painful. What I yearn for is an environment with respected, trustworthy leadership where such a move is not necessary.

 

It was a tough call. When I originally posted this, it was entirely in a satrical tone and I intended to put the requisite 'laugh' emoticon for clarity. Then the Devil got ahold of me. tongue.gif

 

I thought it might be entertaining to see how it would be intrepreted. Kind of like throwing an M80 in the punch bowl at a dinner party, some will find it hilarious, others are not amused.

 

But, seriously (as if that is at all possible with me), I'm not entirely decided about the ACLU. In my mind, some of the things they defend are abhorrent, others are crucial. I guess that's part of the baggage when an organization is standing for a principal, consistancy is important.

 

I've been thinking about the erosion of civil liberties for some time. How much freedom are we willing to sacrifice for safety? For convenience? For survival?

 

It's a tough question, one for which I personally don't have an answer. Is the erosion/protection of freedom caused by special interested groups, or the society as a whole? Can groups like the ACLU really effect the outcome, or are societies, such as ours, doomed to eventual self destruction?

 

History does not paint a very bright picture here, but one thing is certain. The bitterness which divides our country today is pulling us in the wrong direction. A direction which I believe will eventually result in our second civil war. frown.gif

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David, keep in mind that you may be getting swept up in a concerted effort to take the actions of a single person and paint an entire political party with a VERY broad brush.

 

No, that's definitely not it. The example I cited carefully above never even occurred to me until Steve threw the M80 into the punchbowl. In fact, while I have been aware of the "excesses" of the ACLU (since they were thrown in my face as a kid since I was raised in a religious environment), I had to Google NAMBLA to learn what he meant.

 

And this is not a knee jerk reaction on my part. It's been brewing for a long time.

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John Ranalletta

Things I think about when I ponder this issue:

  • Pain in the abstract is not pain
    I heard a person (a dumbass as they're known in these parts) say that unlike John McCain, he'd never have given up the goods at the hands of a VC torturer. Obviously, he didn't have the good fortune to hear his own muscles and tendons rip apart as shoulder joints separated. Imagined bravado is a helluva lot easier to pull off than is the endurance of real pain. We'd all like to think we could pay the price, but few of us would volunteer. Given that, how willing are we to create martyrs of others in the name of preserving these rights? As a nation we've also been willing send our young men and women into harm's way, but will we increase our risk of a dirty bomb in Titan stadium in exchange for privacy protections if our family has season tickets?
     
  • Perspective
    The ACLU (and other agonists) are in an enviable position: It operates retrospectively. In short, it's easier to be a critic than a composer. (This is not an argument to ban critics - see "Balance".)
     
  • Balance
    The only (non-violent) way to achieve it in our system is through the political process. Do we tolerate "fundamentalists" of any stripe regardless of whether they are ACLU stalwarts or teaching in a madrassa?
     
  • Politics
    Political leaders have to act prospectively; and, because they're human, they tend to act in their own (political) self interest. Will voters indemnify a political leader from ballot box retribution if s/he makes an objective decision that leads to real pain in defense of individual rights? If a political leader is faced with the choice of (a) infringing the rights of a small group (hoping) to prevent an attack or (b) protecting rights at the risk of attack; how would s/he be judged politically if s/he chose (b) and the attack succeeded? How many politicians, including ACLU leaders would show up at the funerals to boast about the constitutional victory?
     

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I am not very politically correct and the constitution guarantees that I don't have to be.

 

The ACLU has overstepped it's boundaries in many instances. Tolerance is one thing, but forcing the majority into a role well beyond acceptance of "differnce" is going too far. An example is Hollywood, why is it that with a 1%-2% gay population current television programming includes 50% plus gay agenda?

 

To affect a change in our country it would be better served for people to begin a grass roots campaign to vote out the politicians pandering to the people instead of working for the people. Too many politicians are more interested in the money and power than actually making a tough decision and fighting for what is right. It is quite obvious in Washington that if you step outside the "Party Lines" on either side and do what you feel is right you will be ostricized.

 

Like Forrest Gump, "That's all I have to say about that"!

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Hypocrites. Three moderators and one former board owner have touched this political thread, and yet it is still permitted to have legs. I call on Mikey to swoop in and kill it with a good Republican can of whup-ass. It seems that it takes a military man to keep the honor that this board so richly deserves.

 

I'm calling Fish if this keeps up. smirk.gif

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It doesn't have to be a political thread.

 

The ACLU is primarily a legislative/judicial organization--not a political one. smile.gif

 

Now back on track, I'll share a thought I had this morning while munching on a biscuit w/ gravy via my very clean teeth:

 

The more polarized the society, the more it requires a nutcase with extremist views to get anything done. Either that, or the society must experience great collective pain for the masses to wake up.

 

That's my thought for the day.

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To affect a change in our country it would be better served for people to begin a grass roots campaign to vote out the politicians pandering to the people instead of working for the people. Too many politicians are more interested in the money and power than actually making a tough decision and fighting for what is right. It is quite obvious in Washington that if you step outside the "Party Lines" on either side and do what you feel is right you will be ostricized.

 

While I'm not going to comment on the remainder of your post, I think you are correct in this paragraph. The problem is that I have the interest without hte time to do that. So I'm left with assisting others to bring about change.

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John, I'd make these observations about your four points:

 

1) You've described the difference between a shepherd and a sheep.

 

2) They are often proactive about pending legislation.

 

3) See my comment above about how to bring about change in polarized society. I think you're on to something.

 

4) You've put your finger on a fundamental flaw in our system of government. A benevolent dictatorship would make a lot more sense. smile.gif

 

Things I think about when I ponder this issue:
  • Pain in the abstract is not pain
    I heard a person (a dumbass as they're known in these parts) say that unlike John McCain, he'd never have given up the goods at the hands of a VC torturer. Obviously, he didn't have the good fortune to hear his own muscles and tendons rip apart as shoulder joints separated. Imagined bravado is a helluva lot easier to pull off than is the endurance of real pain. We'd all like to think we could pay the price, but few of us would volunteer. Given that, how willing are we to create martyrs of others in the name of preserving these rights? As a nation we've also been willing send our young men and women into harm's way, but will we increase our risk of a dirty bomb in Titan stadium in exchange for privacy protections if our family has season tickets?
     
  • Perspective
    The ACLU (and other agonists) are in an enviable position: It operates retrospectively. In short, it's easier to be a critic than a composer. (This is not an argument to ban critics - see "Balance".)
     
  • Balance
    The only (non-violent) way to achieve it in our system is through the political process. Do we tolerate "fundamentalists" of any stripe regardless of whether they are ACLU stalwarts or teaching in a madrassa?
     
  • Politics
    Political leaders have to act prospectively; and, because they're human, they tend to act in their own (political) self interest. Will voters indemnify a political leader from ballot box retribution if s/he makes an objective decision that leads to real pain in defense of individual rights? If a political leader is faced with the choice of (a) infringing the rights of a small group (hoping) to prevent an attack or (b) protecting rights at the risk of attack; how would s/he be judged politically if s/he chose (b) and the attack succeeded? How many politicians, including ACLU leaders would show up at the funerals to boast about the constitutional victory?
     

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