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Posts Tagged ‘first amendment’

We can’t know for sure whether or not she recognizes how unserious and unintelligent she is, but, in Sarah Palin, we can plainly see a reality show celebrity who seems to believe that national office doesn’t require the widely accepted prerequisite of “knowing things” — especially things that squarely relate to the national office she has sought in the past and the one she will likely seek this year. Only people with clinical personality issues, well beyond the reasonably normal purview of ego, believe they can achieve the most prestigious elected offices in the United States without, at the very least, knowing basic information about the universe of those jobs.

Ego isn’t new to politics. In fact, it’s almost as necessary as intellectual heft and leadership experience. Anyone who believes they possess the rare potential to be elected by an entire nation to the office of the presidency requires ego beyond that of, you know, everyone. The self-affirmational refrain “I can be the president” is an exceptional thing, so completely exceptional that only a handful of people out of 300 million dare to run for president every four years.

Sarah Palin’s ego, however, is way beyond just about anyone we’ve observed in modern politics. She’s purely narcissistic.

Psychologist Glen Gabbard divided narcissists into two subtypes: the “hypervigilant” shameful type, and the “oblivious” shameless type. Palin’s narcissism naturally falls into the latter end of the diagnostic spectrum. Shameless and oblivious. She appears to be so thoroughly clueless — so blinded by her self-importance and ambition that her syllabus of mistakes are ignored and left uncorrected, and so she arrogantly repeats the same mistakes over and over, and accompanied by, Winning!

There’s no other analysis or diagnosis that more adequately explains Palin’s ongoing problems with the U.S. Constitution.

During the 2008 election, she repeatedly and utterly failed to accurately describe the constitutional (or otherwise) role of the vice president. The very serious job she was seeking, by the way. Not only did she fumble the response once, she fumbled it at least three times. She couldn’t do it in the vice presidential debate against Joe Biden, she couldn’t do it during a post-debate softball interview on Fox News Channel and she couldn’t do it when interviewed by a third-grader. The answer that eluded the Republican vice presidential nominee is readily found in the Constitution. It’s not difficult to find or to read, at least for anyone with a internet access and a pulse.

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Crooks and Liars- By Nicole Belle Thursday May 20, 2010 6:00am

Normally, I’d cut this video down from its full 19 minutes, but truly, to appreciate the wonderfulness of Maddow’s approach and the sidestepping Rand Paul attempts to avoid the corner Maddow in which deftly places him, you really must watch the whole thing.

And boy, does Rand Paul squirm under the surgical questioning of Rachel Maddow. He never answers her questions, and how can he? His stance makes no sense. Taylor Marsh:

It’s the nakedness and naïveté of Mr. Paul’s views on civil rights laws, that legislation should not impact businesses, that is not only evidence that he’s unfit for Congress, but that he’s actually dangerous. To think that the United States would no longer require laws to protect minorities is just ignorant and lacking in experience in the real world.

As for his anti-women’s rights views, especially on individual freedoms, it’s absolutely discriminatory against women. It’s appalling in this day and age that a doctor would believe that women should be forced to carry a pregnancy to term against her will. The editorial board found his views “repellent” and they are correct. To say that the unborn has “equal” rights to the woman is simply wrong.

I think Taylor hit it on the head: his naïveté is dangerous. Like many–if not most–“isms”, libertarianism may make sense on an academic level, but only when conceived in vacuum of intellectual exercises. In the gritty friction of the real world, the exercise falls apart. To say that only publicly owned entities should be legislated from discriminating ignores centuries of oppression and injustice. Glibly dismissing any real examples such as the Woolworth’s lunch counter by claiming his “abhorrence of racism” and saying that people would vote with their dollar to not patronize those business is laughably naive.

Obviously, the tea party adulation, in all its authoritarian and uncritical glory, did not prepare Rand Paul for prime time. He’s clearly uncomfortable with follow up questions and being confronted with his own stances. Even though he brought it on himself by telling the Louisville Courier-Journal and NPR that he thought the Civil Rights Act should be done away with, Paul whines about “red herrings” and that the act is forty years old, so why is anyone asking him about it? Joan Walsh:

You’ve got to watch the whole interview. At the end, Paul seemed to understand that he’s going to be explaining his benighted civil rights views for a long, long time – but he seemed to blame Maddow. “You bring up something that is really not an issue…a red herring, it’s a political ploy…and that’s the way it will be used,” he complained at the end of the interview. Whether the Civil Rights Act should have applied to private businesses – “not really an issue,” says Tea Party hero Rand Paul.

Methinks Paul better get used to having to answer for his tacit endorsement of racism and oppression of minorities, especially if Tweety’s outrage is any indication of the larger media response. That may play well with the teabaggers, but they’re not going to win Paul the elections. If I was Jack Conway, I’d be smiling right now.

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Rand Paul On ‘Maddow’ Defends Criticism Of Civil Rights Act, Says He Would Have Worked To Change Bill (VIDEO)

Huff Post- First Posted: 05-20-10 02:13 AM   |   Updated: 05-20-10 02:21 AM

Kentucky Senate candidate Rand Paul believes that the federal government blurred the lines between public and private property when it passed the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and made it illegal for private businesses to discriminate on the basis of race.

Paul explained his views on “The Rachel Maddow Show” Wednesday, just one day after wholloping his opponent in Kentucky’s Republican primary.

Maddow focused on the Tea Party-backed candidate’s civil rights stance after he publicly criticized parts of the Civil Rights Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Paul told Maddow that he agrees with most parts of the Civil Rights Act, except for one (Title II), that made it a crime for private businesses to discriminate against customers on the basis of race. Paul explained that had he been in office during debate of bill, he would have tried to change the legislation. He said that it stifled first amendment rights:

Maddow: Do you think that a private business has a right to say that ‘We don’t serve black people?’Paul: I’m not in favor of any discrimination of any form. I would never belong to any club that excluded anybody for race. We still do have private clubs in America that can discriminate based on race. But do discriminate.

But I think what’s important in this debate is not getting into any specific “gotcha” on this, but asking the question ‘What about freedom of speech?’ Should we limit speech from people we find abhorrent. Should we limit racists from speaking. I don’t want to be associated with those people, but I also don’t want to limit their speech in any way in the sense that we tolerate boorish and uncivilized behavior because that’s one of the things that freedom requires is that
we allow people to be boorish and uncivilized, but that doesn’t mean we approve of it…

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Chris Hedges | Truthdig | Dec 28, 2009

The image of Uncle Sam is seen behind shattered glass at the military recruitment center in New York’s Times Square. - AP / Mary Altaffer

Syed Fahad Hashmi can tell you about the dark heart of America. He knows that our First Amendment rights have become a joke, that habeas corpus no longer exists and that we torture, not only in black sites such as those at Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan or at Guantánamo Bay, but also at the federal Metropolitan Correctional Center (MCC) in Lower Manhattan. Hashmi is a U.S. citizen of Muslim descent imprisoned on two counts of providing and conspiring to provide material support and two counts of making and conspiring to make a contribution of goods or services to al-Qaida. As his case prepares for trial, his plight illustrates that the gravest threat we face is not from Islamic extremists, but the codification of draconian procedures that deny Americans basic civil liberties and due process. Hashmi would be a better person to tell you this, but he is not allowed to speak.

This corruption of our legal system, if history is any guide, will not be reserved by the state for suspected terrorists, or even Muslim Americans. In the coming turmoil and economic collapse, it will be used to silence all who are branded as disruptive or subversive. Hashmi endures what many others, who are not Muslim, will endure later. Radical activists in the environmental, globalization, anti-nuclear, sustainable agriculture and anarchist movements—who are already being placed by the state in special detention facilities with Muslims charged with terrorism—have discovered that his fate is their fate. Courageous groups have organized protests, including vigils outside the Manhattan detention facility. They can be found at www.educatorsforcivilliberties.org or www.freefahad.com. On Martin Luther King Day, this Jan. 18 at 6 p.m. EST, protesters will hold a large vigil in front of the MCC on 150 Park Row in Lower Manhattan to call for a return of our constitutional rights. Join them if you can.

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7 Ways We Can Fight Back Against the Rising Fascist Threat

By Sara Robinson, Campaign for America’s Future. Posted August 13, 2009.

Why the right-wing extremism must be stopped in its tracks or else we face the threat of outright violence and goon rule.

Writing about fascism for an American audience is always a fraught business.

Invariably, a third of the readers will dismiss the topic (and your faithful blogger’s basic sanity) out of hand. Either they’ve got their own definition of fascism, and whatever’s going on doesn’t seem to fit it; or else they’re firm believers in a variant of Godwin’s Law, which says (with some justification) that anyone who invokes the F-word is a de facto alarmist of questionable credibility.

I get letters, most of which say something to the effect of, “Calm down. You’re overreacting. We’re nowhere near there yet.”

Another third will pepper me with missives that are every bit as dismissive — for exactly the opposite reason. To them, anyone who’s been paying the barest amount of attention should realize that America has been a fascist state since (choose one:) 1) 9/11; 2) Reagan; 3) McCarthy; 4) the Civil War; 5) July 4, 1776.

For them, my careful analysis and worried warnings are dangerously naive — clear evidence that I’m simply not seeing the full horror of America as it truly is, and always has been, at least since (insert date here).

Given this general crankiness, I probably wouldn’t bother with the subject at all — except for that final third who keep me going. From them, I’ve gotten a blizzard of anecdotes, questions, meditations, ideas, suggestions, manifestos and love letters (including lots of link love).

The piece sparked a lot of conversation all across Left Blogistan about what fascism is and what it ain’t, and what we need to be watching for. And that kind of thoughtful discussion is exactly what I hoped for. I wanted people to start paying attention.

In the post about fascism, I pointed out that the most insidious part of it is that by the time it’s finally obvious to absolutely everyone that these people are dangerously out of control, it’s too late to do anything about it.

Early warnings are even more valuable here than they are in most domains. And since futurists are — more than anything — in the business of early warnings, it falls to me to step up there and point out that according to at least a few of the more reputable atlases in the glove box, this looks a lot like the last turn into the parking lot of downtown Fascist Hell.

The good news is we’re not yet parked and locked, let alone committed to entering the building. (Which is good, because the doors appear to be all one way, just like in the “Hotel California.”) We’ve still got a few minutes to change our minds, back out of this and go spend our future somewhere else.

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