Saturday, October 22, 2016
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Wednesday, August 17, 2016
For a number of years now, I have argued strenuously that the 2nd Amendment does not, in any sense, guarantee that private citizens have a right to own guns in this country. The NRA and most, if not all, gun owners, may disagree with me and the conservative gun-loving Supreme Court may also disagree but such disagreements do not nullify the truth that the only thing the 2nd Amendment guarantees is the right of "a well-regulated militia" to own and use weapons in the defense of the nation.
What follows is a grammatical argument which sustains my position. It was written by Daryl Sneath and appeared in the Huffington Post on August 16, 2016. Sneath is a novelist and self-proclaimed amateur grammarian.
Sneath notes that the most notable of our founders, namely Jefferson, Madison and Thomas Paine, who were directly involved in the construction of our founding documents, were well-educated, very wise men who knew a thing or two about language and they worked to make sure what they wrote was glaringly clear.
Thus, Sneath observes, based on the founding fathers understanding of grammar, it is not the right of every Tom, Dick, and Harriet to own guns which shall not be infringed, but rather the right to keep and bear arms is always predicated on the need for a well-regulated militia to ensure our freedom.
One of those things they knew about is the comma, the only purpose of which is clarity. Doubtless the writers were acutely aware of this grammatical truism (despite their apparent affinity for complex diction) when they drew their collective stylus southward (certainly aware too of that symbolic direction) making the little mark immediately following the phrase the right of the people to keep and bear arms. As such, the subject of the predicate shall not be infringed is clearly not the right of the people. No subject is ever separated from its predicate by a comma alone. Put more plainly, the principal clause (or declaration) of the whole amendment is this: A well regulated militia shall not be infringed. The middle bit modifies the main.
But the ‘right to pack’ contingent continues to unpack the latter half of the amendment such that, for them, it states matter-of-factly the right to keep and bear arms is theirs because The Constitution says so and ain’t nobody gonna say no different no how.
There’s no need for anybody to say any different—the third comma does.
In addition to the subject/predicate issue explained above, the third comma further indicates that the right of the people to keep and bear arms is a noun phrase which functions adverbially on the the participial phrase preceding it which, in turn, modifies the subject A well-regulated militia.
To clarify, the right of the people is only a right when A well-regulated militia is necessary to the security of a free state, all of which together is the thing that shall not be infringed.
Posted by Lowell at 2:48 PM
Tuesday, August 16, 2016
This photo, currently flitting about the Web, shows Ivanka Trump with her dear friend, Wendi Deng Murdoch while on vacation in Croatia.
Wendi Murdoch happens to be Vladimir Putin's girlfriend.
Did not da Trump say he hardly knew Vladimir? And did he not say he had no financial interests in Russia?
Is it possible da Trump is lying?
Is it also possible that Ivanka is purposely trying to derail her father's bid for the White House?
Posted by Lowell at 2:57 PM
Monday, August 15, 2016
Politifact: Donald Trump Is Way Ahead In 'Pants On Fire' Statements
I've been writing this for a while now, but Donald Trump lies like no other presidential nominee before him. I'm talking about the kind of lies that are easily debunkable and unnecessary. I'm talking about the kind of lies conspiracy theory nuts spew to the fringes of our society. And he's also a serial exaggerator about…
Posted by Lowell at 2:05 PM
Friday, August 12, 2016
What follows is from Daily Kos.
In 2007, Wolf Blitzer interviewed Da Trump. Da Trump was asked what he thought about the war in Iraq. Da Trump said this:
The war is a total disaster. It's a catastrophe, nothing less. It is such a shame that this took place. In fact, I gained a lot of respect for our current president's father by the fact that he had the sense not to go into Iraq. He won the war and then said, Let's not go the rest of the way. And he turned out to be right. And Saddam Hussein, whether they liked him or didn't like him, he hated terrorists. He'd shoot and kill terrorists. When terrorists came into his country, which he did control and he did dominate, he would kill terrorists. Now it's a breeding ground for terrorists. So, look, the war is a total catastrophe.
BLITZER: Who do you blame?
TRUMP: And they have a civil war going over there.
BLITZER: Who do you blame?
TRUMP: Well, there's only one person you can blame, and that's our current president. I mean, obviously Rumsfeld was a disaster, and other people that are giving him advice have been a disaster. And Condoleezza Rice, who's a lovely woman but she never makes a deal -- she doesn't make deals, she waves. She gets off the plane, she waves, she sits down with some dictator -- 45 degree angle, they do the camera shot. She waves again, she gets back on the plane, she waves -- no deal ever happens. So, I mean —
Then, Blitzer said, "Thank you very much. Let's talk politics. All right? A lot of people thinking about politics right now. I'm going to mention some names: give me your thoughts right away.
Da Trump said:
Very talented, very smart. She's a friend of mine, so I'm a little bit prejudiced. She's a very, very capable person and I think she'll probably be the nominee. We'll see, but I think she'll probably be the nominee.
BLITZER: Is she ready to be commander-in-chief?
TRUMP: I think she is. I think she's a very, very brilliant person, and as a senator in New York, she has done a great job. Everybody loves her. She just won an election with a tremendous majority and she really -- she's become very, very popular in New York. And it wasn't easy.
Posted by Lowell at 3:19 PM
Thursday, August 11, 2016
Look, having nuclear—my uncle was a great professor and scientist and engineer, Dr. John Trump at MIT; good genes, very good genes,
OK, very smart, the Wharton School of Finance, very good, very smart
—you know, if you're a conservative Republican, if I were a liberal, if,
like, OK, if I ran as a liberal Democrat, they would say I'm one of the
smartest people anywhere in the world—it's true!—but when you're a
conservative Republican they try—oh, do they do a number—that's
why I always start off: Went to Wharton, was a good student, went
there, went there, did this, built a fortune—you know I have to give my
like credentials all the time, because we're a little disadvantaged—but
you look at the nuclear deal, the thing that really bothers me—it would
have been so easy, and it's not as important as these lives are (nuclear
is powerful; my uncle explained that to me many, many years ago, the
power and that was 35 years ago; he would explain the power of
what's going to happen and he was right—who would have thought?),
but when you look at what's going on with the four prisoners—now it
used to be three, now it's four—but when it was three and even now, I
would have said it's all in the messenger; fellas, and it is fellas because,
you know, they don't, they haven't figured that the women are smarter
right now than the men, so, you know, it's gonna take them about
another 150 years—but the Persians are great negotiators, the Iranians are great negotiators, so, and they, they just killed, they just killed us.
Note: The video is from about a year ago. The transcription came from Daily Kos. The man really is crazy!
Posted by Lowell at 1:56 PM