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The Culture of Corruption
Posted by: Jon Henke on Monday, August 21, 2006

Democrats have used every opportunity to criticize the Republicans "culture of corruption", and virtually everybody is aware of the unethical actions of Tom DeLay, Duke Cunningham, Bob Ney and others. Many people are also aware of the Democratic Parties own ethical problems, which include Congressional Democrats like William Jefferson, Alan Mollohan, Cynthia McKinney and Patrick Kennedy. Naturally, being out of power, the Democrats currently have fewer ethical problems, but there's no ideological or biological reason that any one Party would be more or less susceptible to corruption. . .so that will change shortly after they regain control of Congress.
there's no ideological or biological reason that any one Party would be more or less susceptible to corruption
In the meantime, as the 'culture of corruption' theme is flogged, it's worth listening to the words of Democratic Party Chairman Howard Dean:
[I]t is galling to be lectured to about moral values by folks who have their own problems. [...] Everybody has ethical shortcomings. We ought not to lecture each other about our ethical shortcomings.
Howard Dean and the Democrats should be reminded of that statement when they flog the 'culture of corruption' theme. If they don't have concrete plans to make major changes to the Institutions, then they have no intention of ending the 'culture of corruption' — they just want a piece of the action.
"the truth is, as an American, it's better when parties share power."
And should the Democrats regain the House in November — a real possibility — Republicans would do well to remind voters that Howard Dean also said that, "the truth is, as an American, it's better when parties share power." A Democratic majority equivalent to the current Republican majority will be every bit as bad or worse.
 
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Comments
the truth is, as an American, it’s better when parties share power."
I’m sure that magnanamous sentiment only applies when the Dems are out of power....
 
Written By: Shark
URL: http://
It would be difficult to conceive of any party having as little regard for individual rights as do the Republicans. Democrats may tax too much, but they tend not to throw cancer patients into jail for using medical marijuana. The United States has more people in prison than India and China combined and imprisons a far larger percentage of its population than Sadaam did. But of course none of you are even aware of that, nor do you care. You would rather complain about all the liberal judges who let everyone go scot free. Indeed.

I have no more use for Republicans and their phony rhetoric about freedom and liberty. This country is far less free than it was 20 years ago. Bush and his corrupt cronies have had plenty of time to start dismantling leviathan and have only succeeded in making it bigger.

In all honestly, I see little to indicate that the majority of contributors on this site care one whit for freedom. They seem to be pro-interventionist and pro-captalist. They have little or no interest in shrinking government, reforming the criminal code or preserving the 4th Amendment. May the tidal wave drown in November drown the entire GOP and its bogus big government platform.
 
Written By: william
URL: http://
They have little or no interest in shrinking government, reforming the criminal code or preserving the 4th Amendment.
Come here often Sailor?

Obviously not.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
I come all the time and all I ever see is cheerleading for the effort in Iraq.

75% of the content on here has to do with the war. I see no one even questioning whether interventionist foreign policy is compatible with shrinking government. Point me to the links excoriating the Republicans for constantly expanding the federal criminal code and violating principles of federalism. Point me to the articles showing the Executive is the most dangerous branch. Point me to the articles upbraiding the Republicans for upping the failed war on drugs. Point me to the articles noting how the Republicans are providing millions of dollars in grants to teach religious organization how to get their "fair share" of the federal pie.

Yeah, there might be one here or there, but basically you are all pretty happy with the performance of the GOP.

This whole site is basically just a big love kiss for the President, and when it is not, it is only because you guys are to the right of him on foreign policy.
 
Written By: william
URL: http://
Democrats may tax too much, but they tend not to throw cancer patients into jail for using medical marijuana
Yeah, but try uttering a racial slur while taking a toke and you’ll see just how much tolerance there really is...
 
Written By: Shark
URL: http://
The United States has more people in prison than India and China combined and imprisons a far larger percentage of its population than Sadaam did. But of course none of you are even aware of that, nor do you care. You would rather complain about all the liberal judges who let everyone go scot free. Indeed.
I am very much aware of the problems with the prison systems in this country, and I am also aware that these problems have prevailed throughout both Democratic and Republican administrations. Certainly the problems did not go away during the 8 years that Clinton was in charge of the executive branch.

I have never read anyone here complain about liberal judges allowing criminals to go free. You are the first commenter who has attempted to put a partisan spin on the problem by laying it all at the feet of the Republicans.

The worst prisons tend to be state, not federal, institutions, and, here in California the single largest driving force behind the growth of the prison industry has been the extraordinary political influence of the prison gaurds’ union, and it is the Democratic party that has been in the pocket of that union, not the Republicans.
 
Written By: Aldo
URL: http://
Yes, clearly the Democrats have made no concrete proposals about reforming the unprecedented corruption that the Republican majority has installed as "business as usual" over the last 12 years.

They’ve apparently hidden them somewhere on the internets.
 
Written By: Oliver Willis
URL: http://www.oliverwillis.com
william - The United States has more people in prison than India and China combined and imprisons a far larger percentage of its population than Sadaam did.

BS. China has far more if you include their "reeducation and reform" camps.

America has certain ethnicities with crime as low as in Sweden or Japan...unfortunately, we have other ethnicities with crime rates astronomically higher than the global norm outside Africa, certain "no-go" Muslim areas in Europe, and certain Latin cities.

*****************************

Yes, clearly the Democrats have made no concrete proposals about reforming the unprecedented corruption that the Republican majority has installed as "business as usual" over the last 12 years.

They’ve apparently hidden them somewhere on the internets.

Written By: Oliver Willis


I wonder if Soros is still paying Fillet-O-Fish (Oliver Willis) to Blog? Lately, his lack of talent and his own Site traffic appears to have forced him to troll other Blogs, just so someone can snicker at his thoughts. Sorry Oliver, a Kos you are not. You don’t even get invited to those sort of functions anymore, do you?
******************************
McQ - Democrats have used every opportunity to criticize the Republicans "culture of corruption", and virtually everybody is aware of the unethical actions of Tom DeLay, Duke Cunningham, Bob Ney and others. Many people are also aware of the Democratic Parties own ethical problems,

Unfortunately, Republicans came into power in 1994 pledging they would be clean and no longer permit the pigsty of corruption, nepotism, and greed DC had become after 40 years of Democrats running the House. Instead, after a few promising years, Delay, "show me the Pork!" Ted Stevens, and "you say "swill" like its a bad word!" Denny Hastert. The Corrupticans of Wall Street, the Corrupticans of K Street. Worse than the Democrats. The nepotism is everywhere as Republican whelps are the Princelings of the Lobbies and the Deputy Big Cheese slots in Gov’t. The greed of the Revolving door has only intensified since Gingrich left..

McQ is right that we need divided government because the Republicans squandered their chance at "Trust Us" and gave us reasons to trust them less than the Democrats. Hope they enjoyed their shot - which turned out to be a shot at millions. Billy Tauzin is still the most underpayed crook in DC - a shame to his Louisiana delegation for the paltry 2.2 million a year he gets from Big Pharma for the 13 trillion entitlement program Big Pharma got from him and several other Rep Leaders including DeLay.


 
Written By: C. Ford
URL: http://
This thread started off OK with Shark’s comment. Agree or disagree, it is business as usual. Then...well, are you people smokin’ something?
C. Ford, I am just beginning to appreciate you. Yes, I have staggered through most of your prior posts. You are a bit wordy for my taste. So, I may miss some wisdom. But you are definitely onto something here. You probably feel that you are "out of control".
Of course, there is always the possibility that I am warming up to you because you have nailed Mr. Willis. Mr. Willis deserves to be nailed. He knows it too. He is just cocky because few can do it well. I give Mr. Ford’s effort a B+.
 
Written By: Robert Fulton
URL: http://
I don’t even like fish, I thought you right-wingers didn’t like drugs but clearly you’re smoking.
 
Written By: Oliver Willis
URL: http://www.oliverwillis.com
The inclusion of McKinney and Kennedy in your list is the best evidence of your decline into "hackdom." They have their personal failings. But neither is guilty of the kind of "ethical" problem to which you allude.

Your preferred technique, as I have documented for years on this site, is "false moral equivalency." The technique serves two purposes: (1) it makes you seem "fair," even though you are traditionalist clearly against most liberal causes; and (2) it gives you a chance to beat up on anyone who does not swear loyalty to the Bush administration, without making you look like a partisan hack.

But in your heart, deep down there, you go to bed every night with contempt in your heart for liberal democracy, with the small "l" and the small "d."

After all, Jon, few in the blogosphere came as quickly to the aid of George Felix Allen as you did.

Shame on you.
 
Written By: mkultra
URL: http://
C Ford

Regardless of ones opinions of Oliver Willis, he did make a point which refuted a topic of the post and provided background.

As opposed to what you offered in rebuttal. Soros? Get out from under the bed much?
 
Written By: Davebo
URL: http://
few in the blogosphere came as quickly to the aid of George Felix Allen as you did
And McQ came to "the aid" of Biden. The only one who consistently shows no shame is you, MK.

 
Written By: JWG
URL: http://
You would rather complain about all the liberal judges who let everyone go scot free. Indeed.
Damn William - read a little more before you paint with such a broad brush. The complaint around here in regard to liberal judges is what they ’read into’ the constitution... I’m not sure I’ve ever read a post about judges letting people ’go free’ (not saying there isn’t one - saying I never read/saw one). When opinions come down that include references to foreign law and ’hereditary power’, we tend to get concerned.
But in your heart, deep down there, you go to bed every night with contempt in your heart for liberal democracy
Wow - now MK can see all the way into Jon’s heart! What do you see in mine MK?
 
Written By: meagain
URL: http://
Yes, clearly the Democrats have made no concrete proposals about reforming the unprecedented corruption that the Republican majority has installed as "business as usual" over the last 12 years.
And the Republicans made no "concrete proposals" about reforming the unprecedented corruption which preceded their take over of the Congress in ’94, did they Oliver?

The point is, it is the whole system which is corrupted and unless you’re willing to start over, "concrete proposals" which don’t address the systemic problem aren’t going to solve the corruption but just put another crew in charge of it.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
Howard Dean also said that, "the truth is, as an American, it’s better when parties share power."
Well, duh. That way both parties get a strong share of the goodies.
 
Written By: Mark A. Flacy
URL: http://
The inclusion of McKinney and Kennedy in your list is the best evidence of your decline into "hackdom." They have their personal failings. But neither is guilty of the kind of "ethical" problem to which you allude.
Mary. Jo. Kopechne. So vehicular manslaughter is a "personal failing?" Oh, but he’s part of America’s royal family and a northeastern liberal Democrat, to boot, so he gets a pass.

Assaulting. A. Police. Officer. Another personal failing? Oh, but she’s a Strong Black Woman, so the normal rules don’t apply. If I had hit a cop, I’d be pissing blood for a month from the resulting internal damage. And the anti-semitism? Not to worry, sistah. MK’s got your back, yo!

The only hack here is YOU.
Your preferred technique, as I have documented for years on this site, is "false moral equivalency." The technique serves two purposes: (1) it makes you seem "fair," even though you are traditionalist clearly against most liberal causes; and (2) it gives you a chance to beat up on anyone who does not swear loyalty to the Bush administration, without making you look like a partisan hack.
First off, MK, you haven’t been here for "years." QandO was started on blogspot by Jon in 2003, IIRC, and has been on this domain for a whopping 30 months or so. So quit acting like you’re part of the f*cking Capitol Gang.

Second, Jon is the most liberal writer on this site! He believes in f*cking GLOBAL WARMING for goodness’ sake! Have you read Inactivist, the blog he keeps pimping? MONA POSTS THERE!!! Yeah, he’s a real "traditionalist clearly against most liberal causes."

A$$.

Third, you’ve put me in the position of defending Jon, which makes me feel slightly dirty. And for that, I most strongly CONDEMN you.

Joe, Shark, can I get a CONDEMN?
 
Written By: Jeff
URL: http://repatriate.blogspot.com
"Republicans squandered their chance at ‘Trust Us’ and gave us reasons to trust them less than the Democrats." Hard to argue with that statement. I want to fire all of them and start over with a new slate because what we have now—-on both sides—-is either corrupt, incompetent or so narcissistic they only care about themselves and not one iota about addressing the dangerous financial, domestic and international policy issues that are looming on the horizon and will soon swamp this nation. Why do we (the electorate) put up with any of it?

Having said that, I want to challenge Oliver to "point me" toward his sources that prove the US imprisons more people than China & India, "point me" to the sources that show the Dems want smaller government, "point me" to the sources that show the Dems are any less responsible for the "culture of corruption" the Deaniacs & Koskids keep screaming about (while conveniently ignoring Harry Reid’s little problems with influence pedaling in Nevada and William Jefferson’s odd habit of keeping "cold cash" in his home in New Orleans). We can go tit for tat, so don’t even go there Oliver or MK....you don’t have a pol to stand on.
 
Written By: Unscripted Thoughts
URL: http://
Jon, great post. You are beginning to sway me to the divided government position, although I still have reservations.

Mr. Ford, another good comment. Although we may passionately disagree on other matters, politically I don’t think we’re as dissimilar as I had once thought.

To Mk, let’s throw out McKinney. Substitute Carol Moseley Braun instead. Remember this incident and does the name Kgosie Matthews ring a bell? Nigeria sure does seem to crop up in the news a lot lately. Especially as regards Democratic Congresspeople. Hmm.

Also, Jon, just to show that you can’t swear by genetics, check out Bob Ney’s ancestry. Here’s a man who was executed because of his beliefs. Somehow I don’t think the distinguised gentleman from Ohio is capable of the same courage. Talk about thinning of the blood line.
 
Written By: The Poet Omar
URL: http://www.asecondhandconjecture.com
Once again, we see nary even an attempt at a serious answer to the question as to why the United States, supposed bastion of freedom, imprisons far more people than any other nation on the face of the earth. It just is not something that interests so-called libertarians of the GOP.

If you look at the other countries at the top of the list, they are not the type of nations that most of us would like to be associated with. If you look at other former British colonies such as Australia, Ireland, New Zealand and Canada, we are once again off the board, imprisoning many times more of our own people. To me, it is laughable how many of you claim that it is our destiny to spread "freedom" abroad, when we have a criminal justice system at the federal level that is more likely to convict than the old Soviet system. Shame on all of you.
 
Written By: william
URL: http://
According to the International Centre for Prison Studies at King’s College London(2004), the U.S. currently has the largest documented prison population in the world, both in absolute and proportional terms. We’ve got roughly 2.03 million people behind bars, or 701 per 100,000 population. China has the second-largest number of prisoners (1.51 million, for a rate of 117 per 100,000), and Russia has the second-highest rate (606 per 100,000, for a total of 865,000). Russia had the highest rate for years, but has released hundreds of thousands of prisoners since 1998; meanwhile the U.S. prison population has grown by even more. Rounding out the top ten, with rates from 554 to 437, are Belarus, Bermuda (UK), Kazakhstan, the Virgin Islands (U.S.), the Cayman Islands (UK), Turkmenistan, Belize, and Suriname, which you’ll have to agree puts America in interesting company. South Africa, a longtime star performer on the list, has dropped to 15th place (402) since the dismantling of apartheid.
 
Written By: william
URL: http://
South Africa under Apartheid was internationally condemned as a racist society.

* South Africa under apartheid (1993), Black males: 851 per 100,000
* U.S. under George Bush (2004), Black males: 4,919 per 100,000

What does it mean that the leader of the "free world" locks up its Black males at a rate 5.8 times higher than what was formerly the most openly racist country in the world?

Statistics as of June 30, 2004 from Prison and Jail Inmates at Midyear 2004, Tables 14; except for the race rate statistics which are calculated from Table 13 and Census Bureau population estimates. South Africa figures from Marc Mauer, Americans Behind Bars: The International Use of Incarceration. All references to Blacks and Whites are for what the Bureau of Justice Statistics and U.S. Census refer to as "non-Hispanic Blacks" and "non-Hispanic Whites".)
 
Written By: william
URL: http://
William, the correlation you make between incarceration rates for black males and the US Justice system is inaccurate and is being used by, among others, you for smear purposes only.

Examine the socio-economic climate of the African-American male in the US including his cultural norms. They go a long way toward demonstrating the numbers you cite as opposed to some vast governmental conspiracy. Also, comparing the United States to apartheid-era South Africa is ludicrous. Let’s take a look at a few opposing views. Is it just me or did I notice 42 African American members of Congress with full rights and privileges? And how about a national multi-million dollar organization dedicated specifically to African American issues? Whew, that sure doesn’t seem like apartheid to me.

And, while we’re discussing racism. It seems like you’ve just gone ahead and ignored the rest of the US minority population in your attempt to smear the US with black victimhood. You might want to give that article a good read and then a good re-read.
 
Written By: The Poet Omar
URL: http://www.asecondhandconjecture.com
Alcee Hastings ring a bell anyone?
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
Omar, nice job of once again failing to explain why the "freest" country in the world imprisons far more of its own people, black, white, Asian, hispanic and other than any other nation.
 
Written By: william
URL: http://
I come all the time and all I ever see is cheerleading for the effort in Iraq.
You need to distinguish between the various authors.
Yes, clearly the Democrats have made no concrete proposals about reforming the unprecedented corruption that the Republican majority has installed as "business as usual" over the last 12 years.
Those proposals are good steps, but they are not the structural changes to the institutions that would deal with the game theory and public choice problems effectively.
The inclusion of McKinney and Kennedy in your list is the best evidence of your decline into "hackdom." They have their personal failings. But neither is guilty of the kind of "ethical" problem to which you allude.
I did not allude to a "kind of ethical problem".
I wonder if Soros is still paying Fillet-O-Fish (Oliver Willis) to Blog?
Please leave that kind of personal insult off this blog. Oliver and I (and you) disagree on some substantive issues on occassion; that is not cause for personal attacks.
After all, Jon, few in the blogosphere came as quickly to the aid of George Felix Allen as you did.
I write what I think. If you think I’m being intentionally dishonest, you should probably not read me.
Once again, we see nary even an attempt at a serious answer to the question as to why the United States, supposed bastion of freedom, imprisons far more people than any other nation on the face of the earth. It just is not something that interests so-called libertarians of the GOP.
It’s largely due to the ’war on drugs’. In case you’re completely unfamiliar with the libertarian movement, you should know that opposition to the war on drugs is just about the only policy that libertarians uniformly support. Including us.
 
Written By: Jon Henke
URL: http://QandO.net
William, I think that I listed some major causes of the overpopulation of our prison system. Also, Jon’s point about the "war on drugs" was equally strong.
 
Written By: The Poet Omar
URL: http://www.asecondhandconjecture.com
No, Omar, you went into some sort of rant about Black culture. The War on Drugs is a significant part of the problem and let us all note that neither party has done much to alleviate it, but it is Bush and his cronies who made us all safer by imprisoning Tommy Chong and imprisoning medical marijuana patients, without a single peep from anyone in the GOP leadership. The way I see it, it makes the GOP leadership a bunch of thugs. If that is the kind of freedom you guys want to export, leave me out.

There are many other problems however, such as the Supreme Court’s failure to apply the double jeopardy clause to the states and its failure to grant jury trials in misdemeanor cases and the rampant politics of the GOP, which are always and everywhere to demonize "criminals", most of whom are in jail because of the drug war, and constantly seek greater sentences, to the point where even the most conservative judges in the country refuse to give anything but the bottom of the sentencing guidelines. If you want to free people, why not start at home?
 
Written By: william
URL: http://
William finally speaks up - and he is wrong. Still, he is a new voice with a different perspective and that is always good - if they are brief. I doubt william will stay. Not enough Bush-bashing for his taste.
 
Written By: Robert Fulton
URL: http://
Nor enough logic, Robert. I guess I am wrong. You genius logic has set me straight. I am wrong because you say so. I must have just imagined the fact that we have more people in jail than any other country in the world. We actually have the greatest judicial system in the world and everyone in prison deserves to be there. I guess the only nice irony is how many of the GOP leadership will soon be experiencing the prison system that they created. I wonder if they will find it to be Club Fed after all.

I also find it intriguing when people want to call themselves libertarians but have little interest in any issues at home. Maybe the reason that they hate us abroad is not because of our freedoms but because of the authoritarian nature of our government.
 
Written By: william
URL: http://
Uh, I think you were the one who brought up the race angle, William. You also smeared the US by comparing us to apartheid South Africa, communist Russia and China, Turkmenistan, Suriname, etc. I pointed out that there are several other explanations other than pure skin color and ethnicity. I’m not sure citing a few articles that differ with your initial comment qualify as a "rant."

Yes, the "war on drugs" must end. I doubt you’d find disagreement with that statement from many on this site. For a guy pouncing on freedom, you sure seem willing to sacrifice liberty in the process.

"...the Supreme Court’s failure to apply the double jeopardy clause to the states and its failure to grant jury trials in misdemeanor cases"

So, increased judicial activism is a positive thing? Why wouldn’t you want this sort of issue handled at the state level by the electorate?

Yet when others seek to use the same methodology that you recommend above, you call them out,

"...the rampant politics of the GOP, which are always and everywhere to demonize "criminals", most of whom are in jail because of the drug war, and constantly seek greater sentences"

Which is it? Are you in favor of a more active, liberty-encroaching judiciary, or not? In fact, contrary to your notion that the US isn’t exactly a beacon of freedom, take a look at this. The nations you named as in competition with the US for most imprisoned don’t rate so well according to this particular organization.
 
Written By: The Poet Omar
URL: http://www.asecondhandconjecture.com
William,

I regretfully have to point out that you are a ignorant fool.

The war on drugs is a disaster that has been supported by both parties with equal enthusiasm.

A quote from the San Franciso Examiner

"The appeal was not surprising in light of the intense legal battle waged by the Clinton administration against Proposition 215 since California voters approved it in November 1996. The initiative allowed patients to use marijuana with their doctor’s recommendation without risking prosecution under state drug laws."

So contrary to what you said the democrats have been doing their best to throw cancer patients into jail for using medical marijuana, long before the republicans were in the whitehouse.

I support civil liberties and would vote for democrats if they showed any inclination to supporting them. What the democrats give us are a lot of lip sevice and then a 99 to 1 vote for the patriot act.

You are such a tool.
 
Written By: TJIT
URL: http://
Nice logic, IJIT. I don’t do the name calling thing. The laws are using passed by both sides of the ailse. It was the Bush DOJ who decided to actually enforce the law and seek criminal convictions, a singular act of vile reprehensible behavior, even for someone as low as Bush.

The Dallas Morning News - October 20, 1999
Bush backs states’ rights on marijuana
He opposes medical use but favors local control

By Susan Feeney

WASHINGTON - Gov. George Bush said he backs a state’s right to decide whether to allow medical use of marijuana, a position that puts him sharply at odds with Republicans on Capitol Hill. "I believe each state can choose that decision as they so choose," the governor said recently in Seattle in response to a reporter’s question.

Chuck Thomas, spokesman for the Marijuana Policy Project, a medical marijuana lobbying group, praised Mr. Bush as "courageous" and "consistent on states’ rights. I would hope he would be an example for Republicans in Congress."
 
Written By: william
URL: http://
Feature: Move to Block DEA Medical Marijuana Raids Heads for House Floor Vote Next Week 6/23/06

The amendment responds to a real need: According to Americans for Safe Access (ASA), a medical marijuana defense group pushing for the amendment, at least 20 California dispensaries and collectives have been raided by the feds since the Supreme Court gave the DEA a green light with its decision in the Raich case almost a year ago. In that case, the court held that federal law making marijuana illegal superseded — but did not invalidate — any state medical marijuana laws.

Although the bill is cosponsored by California Republican Rep. Rohrabacher, voting has hardly been bipartisan. Last year, 145 Democrats voted for the amendment, while only 15 Republicans did.
 
Written By: william
URL: http://
Although the bill is cosponsored by California Republican Rep. Rohrabacher, voting has hardly been bipartisan. Last year, 145 Democrats voted for the amendment, while only 15 Republicans did.
And you assume what? That the libertarians on this blog would back the Republicans on this?

Heh ... not a chance in hades.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
In a perfect world I guess you guys would support drug legalization, but it doesn’t seem to be a high priority, vis-a-vis foreign policy and cutting tax rates by 2%.

With respect to the Double Jeopardy Clause, that cannot be resolved at the state level because of the separate sovereigns doctrine, Omar. In essence, the Supreme Court wrote the Double Jeopardy Clause out of existence. With respect to handling things at the state level, often this is no longer politically possible because Congress has passed legislation mandating specific standards. Furthermore, Congress has virtually overlapped almost every state criminal statute. In 1960, or thereabouts, when the separate sovereign was announced, the notion of a federal offense was far different than it is today. The founders did not anticipate a complete duplication of the federal criminal code essentially on top of the state codes and laws. You may remember the case involving the L.A. police officers and Rodney King, where eseentially they were tried twice for the same offense. Believe it or not, there are many other countries which have a version of the Double Jeopardy Clasue, where it actually means what it says.
 
Written By: william
URL: http://
On the issue of Double Jeopardy, I stand corrected. I should have read-up on the specifics a bit more, William. My original complaint still stands, however. You seem to favor a more active judiciary, which history generally shows is antithetical to liberty. Yes, Congress has vastly overstepped its powers regarding not just criminal laws, but virtually everthing else, too.

Most of those here at QandO, including myself, favor abolition of these types of Congressional power grabs. In fact, I daresay we favor abolition of just about everything the feds have done since at least the 1930’s. At the same time, we don’t see two wrongs equalling a right. In my case, I don’t think pushing for increased federal interference to "right the wrongs of the past" is a particularly attractive or intellectually consistent approach.

You misread the fact that bloggers (including myself) regulary address headline topics as apathy to other topics. We most certainly do care about the ongoing loss of liberty in the US and actively oppose many power-grab measures supported by both parties. Although I suspect many here (including me) do certainly lean somewhat toward the DP or RP, that in no way reduces our commitment to liberty and the advancement of "libertarian" causes. Before you write us all off as partisan hacks, or "in the tank for Bush," you should more carefully examine many of the past debates held here and at other libertarian leaning blogs. Although we are guilty, in some senses, of being supportive of an an aggressive national security policy as opposed to classic doctrinaire Libertarian isolationism, we don’t, as a rule, support any move toward US hegemony either. Give QandO and its diverse, highly talented posters (Jon, McQ, and Dale) a chance, I promise that they don’t disappoint.
 
Written By: The Poet Omar
URL: http://www.asecondhandconjecture.com
Omar, nice job of once again failing to explain why the "freest" country in the world imprisons far more of its own people, black, white, Asian, hispanic and other than any other nation.
I apologize if this has been responded to, but I can’t wait to get through all the posts or my HEAD is going to explode. William - what the H3LL are you getting at??? Rule of law... system of justice... either of those ring a bell? Being a free society does not imply people won’t go to jail for breaking the law. And if you are going to keep comparing the US to places like China, let’s get a grip on how many people are in prison or reeducation camps because of their political views...
 
Written By: meagain
URL: http://
And if you are going to keep comparing the US to places like China, let’s get a grip on how many people are in prison or reeducation camps because of their political views...
How dare you? How can you make an argument based in moral equivalence if you use something besides just numbers?

Why, if you did that you might get the idea that the number of dead in Lebanon wasn’t disproportionate or something.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
The notion of Rule of Law is one of the most important in all law, certainly. Nevertheless, I am unaware of any scholarship or theory showing that the U.S. has such a substantially different concept of the Rule of Law from, say Canada or the U.K., as to explain these differences in imprisonment rates. In fact, the U.S. regularly receives fairly mediocre scores on the Corruption Index which is published annually.

If you are asking me whether all these statutes have been passed and signed in accordance with law, yes, they have. To me, the more interesting question is why do politicians reflexively reach for the criminal level virtually every time a policy issue comes up in the U.S. Enron and WorldCom fail—boom—new federal statutes. A few children disappear—boom—new federal statute. People downloading music "illegally." Boom—new federal criminal statute or in the alternative, an amended version with new draconian penalties. People gambling online—new federal criminal statute which has recently been enforced by snatching foreign passengers from connecting flights passing through the U.S., with aid of the new Patriot Act laws—see, it’s good for gambling laws too. Putting more people in jail, a la Martha Stewart is not nececssarily the policy answer to every question.
 
Written By: william
URL: http://
About the re-education camps, virtually every drug offender in this country is made to undergo mandatory drug treatment and drug testing, regardless of whether this person thinks he or she has a problem or not. Drug testing will involve urinating unclothed in front of a court officer. A further part of "treatment" is to make every "offender" recant publicly about the utility of using illegal substances. Domestic abuse charges may at times be dropped if the individual agrees to anger management or agrees to state publicly in court that the incident was his or her fault. See how well a defendant does at sentencing in court if he tells the judge that he intends to use drugs again in the future. A person who offends others during the course of an alleged crime, may be order to take sensitivity training. Of course, all of this education creates a semi-permanent bureaucracy who will continue to urge more criminalization so that they can continue to feed at the trough.
 
Written By: william
URL: http://
I agree with William that this country has over-criminalized itself to an unhealthy level. I think it’s a reflection of the enduring political power of the "War on Crime," which morphed into the "War on Drugs." Politicians continue to fall all over themselves urging more and more Draconian penalties — mandatory minimum sentences, sentencing guidelines — because there is no political downside. Let’s face it: criminals aren’t a very potent voting bloc. Like shooting fish in a barrel. Of course, we know who will be paying the freight for all those geriatric criminals sitting in penitentiaries until they die because they sold drugs when they were thirty.
 
Written By: David Shaughnessy
URL: http://dsthinkingloud.blogspot.com/
Good grief, William. Are you honestly comparing drug rehab facilities with totalitarian political re-education centers?
 
Written By: The Poet Omar
URL: http://www.asecondhandconjecture.com
Omar, you compared the Amish to Al Qaeda.

Yoursm TDP, ml, msl, & pfpp
 
Written By: Tom Perkins
URL: http://
Clean your monitor, Tom. I gave a list of slurs used against Muslims. You agreed that those slurs were accurately given. Read the comments again. Since you believe that slurs such as primitive, backward, dangerous, etc. are accurate descriptions of the world’s Muslim population, I gave examples of how such features could be found in Western society. Amish are voluntarily primitive compared to the rest of 21st century America. I don’t fault them for that, but to deny that they are primitive is idiotic. That’s the reason that I listed them under the "primitive" slur. I wasn’t comparing them to Al Qaeda. You merely needed a method to slur me in some way, so you chose deliberate intellectual dishonesty as opposed to reasonable dialog. And speaking of name calling, check out your last post to me right here at QandO:

"I suggest that you can’t have a worthwhile political discussion with a liar or an embecile." Tom Perkins, August 16, 2006.

 
Written By: The Poet Omar
URL: http://www.asecondhandconjecture.com
Omar, you wrote what you wrote.
What I wrote:
Omar wrote:

Almost every single one of those attacks can be perfectly turned around on Western secularists or Christians or Jews.
Yeah, if you turn the clock back to 1634, or if you look at the sorts of societies that were written about in Orwell’s 1984. Demon’s dealt with in the far or recent past.

So why hasn’t the Moslem world, the ummah, taken a hint from those painful lessons and skipped the learning curve…

…Because most moslems still need to learn those lessons.
So then you wrote:

1) The Amish being among us means we are choosing primitiveness and not attacking people, and I suspect would restrain others among if they were doing so. So we shouldn’t be tolerant of them?
2) White Supremacists among us means we are backward, and presumably bigoted. They get a lot of support, win lots of elections, eh?
3) Florida 2000 means we are incapable of democracy (more like Democrats are incapable of losing gracefully).
4) Dangerous? Thank God we’re dangerous, and only very rarely make targeting errors.
5) The murder of Kitty Genovese means we are a woman hating society? You can claim that with a straight face, when the people living on that road were all but universally despised by the larger society?
6) Wife-beaters: Are prosecuted as vigorously as their victims testimony and the evidence allows. Two word reply, "Honor Killing". Among what people are those still popular? Moslems.
7) Bigamy (and Polygamy) are also vigorously prosecuted, outside of Utah, and there tolerated only when ending it would take killing a lot of women and children. As to the website, you got a problem with the 1st amendment? Oh, what religion still thinks they are a good idea, The Moslem one.
8. Clinton being power-hungry? A) Yeah what’s your point? B) I bet she stays inside the rule of law, however power hungry she is, again, what’s your point?
9. Franco a facist? Why yes, he was. And so were a few other people. When they became annoying enough, we killed them until they were all dead or changed hobbies. Again, what did you imagine your point was?
10. Communist. Ditto re the facists.
11. Theocratic. The Terry Schiavo case had no more to do with theocracy than do laws against murder. Are you in favor of murder?
12. Demon-possessed pedophiles: Got to admit that’s a problem in this society. You can’t swing a dead cat without hitting a demon obsessed pedophile. This place is lousy with them. And you can’t get a dead cat that hangs together for more than two or three days, they just don’t make them like they used to. When I was boy, dead cats would walk up to you so you could swing them, uphill both ways. That’s all the seriousness you deserve, Omar.
13. Death cultists : Yeah, you run into those all the time. Just the other day, they hijacked four planes and tried to crash them into buildings. Worked three out of four tries, killed arounf 3,000 people. You might have heard of those death cultists.

They’re quite a problem.

They’re moslem.

Omar, you make as much sense on this topic as Henke the other day supporting the idea that a suicide bomber and a fireman are the same sort of people, except on this topic you make all that sense all the time.

And then you wrote, "I am not attempting tu coque here". Except that’s all you were doing.

The SE Asian moslems you’ve proclaimed not to be part of the problem are part of a society where an uppity woman commonly gets acid thrown in her face, and where the Bali bombings happened.

You’re very silly, Omar. And frankly, with Western World as PC as it is, you’d be better off to drop your anonymity and come out to your colleagues as having submitted to what a pedophilic murderer named Mohammed made up to be the word of God.
"PS It was about time someone called Tom on that ridiculous sign-off."
Since you are ineducable, I’m glad to entertain.

And my original point stands, that the majority of Moslems in the world are attitudinally accessories before the fact with respect to Al Qaeda’s crimes. The fact you are not does not mean that you are not such a rare bird among Moslems as to be ineefectual in restraining your co-religionists.

Tom Perkins,
molon labe
montani semper liberi &
para fides paternae patria
 
Written By: Tom Perkins
URL: http://
William,

I agree with much of your comments on the crimminal justice system. This is a bipartisan problem and throwing bricks at conservatives / republicans is not going to help understand why the problem exists or come up with solutions to it. I would point out with the states that have some of the highest prison populations and punitive criminal justice systems (Texas, Louisiana, Mississipi, etc.) were under democratic party control when much of the system was put in place. If you want to help solve the problem try and have a discussion with conservatives and try and educate them on the problems with the system.

I attribute much of the problem to the media and the if it bleeds it leads approach. This gives a highly inaccurate impression of crime risks. Another big problem is the politicians rush to throw out quick "get tough on crime" legislation without determining its effectiveness or expense. If the media was doing their job the impact / effectiveness of these proposals would get a better airing and some of the more counterproductive proposals would be stopped.

 
Written By: TJIT
URL: http://
William,

When it comes to individual rights your republicans bad democrats good template is, to be charitable, flawed at best.

The liberals on the supreme court voted against Kelo and other individuals and gave government the power to take houses from individuals and give it to private companies.

The dissenters in the Raich case were all conservatives. Thomas wrote a blistering opinion that savaged the majority for their ruling against medical marijuana.

 
Written By: TJIT
URL: http://

 
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