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Friday, February 03, 2006 

Late Night Conversation

Below is the text of a conversation between myself (El Presidente vc) and my esteemed colleague Sandy Bledsoe (PunkItOut):

PunkIt0ut: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/ 2006/02/01/AR2006020101840.html

Auto response from El Presidente vc: "I see in the near future a crisis approaching that unnerves me, and causes me to tremble for the safety of our country. Corporations have been enthroned, an era of corruption will follow, and the money power of the country will endeavor to prolong its reign by working upon the prejudices of the people, until wealth is aggregated in a few hands and the republic is destroyed."
- Abraham Lincoln

El Presidente vc: it was procedural, the stay was only until wed. and they had already rejected his petition, or were about to

Auto response from PunkIt0ut: agh! late late late.

El Presidente vc: actually, perhaps not, that might have been the earlier of the two appeals on the case
PunkIt0ut: no it says now they're going to have an appeals court review whether or not lethal injection constitutes cruel and unusual punishment
El Presidente vc: yeah, I saw that, I had been reading about the case the day this was going on
El Presidente vc: I hadn't heard about the later round of appeals
El Presidente vc: The court, acting without Alito, rejected Taylor's appeal that argued that Missouri's death penalty system is racist.
PunkIt0ut: but i mean, as of right now, he's 1/1 in my book.
El Presidente vc: that was the decision that had made it procedural, as they had rejected his argument
El Presidente vc: when he's not just sworn in and following the precedent that was set earlier this week before he got on the court we'll talk
El Presidente vc: had he reversed this, it would have caused a huge outcry
El Presidente vc: as he would have been immediately joining the court and reversing things from the get-go in a situation that didn't call for it, as the case is similar to cases already remanded to appeal
PunkIt0ut: i'm just saying that at least he's willing to deviate from the standard opinion
PunkIt0ut: i'm not saying that i'm excited to have him on board
El Presidente vc: similar cases have already been sent back for review, it would have caused him more trouble than it's worth to immediately shift the court
El Presidente vc: I'm just scared of executive power and abortion cases
PunkIt0ut: i'm scared of power
El Presidente vc: I'll wait and see how he rules on those before I pass judgement
PunkIt0ut: we might get to see pretty soon
PunkIt0ut: with what just happened in san fran and new york
El Presidente vc: as well as civil rights cases, and corporate v. indiviual cases
El Presidente vc: gay marriage?
PunkIt0ut: what are his religious beliefs like?
El Presidente vc: I'm not completely sure, he was pretty guarded, I believe conservative roman catholic, but that's more a guess due to his father being and italian immigrant, he wasn't nearly as forward about his religion as roberts was and it wasn't made as much an issue
El Presidente vc: though it is interesting that his vote wouldn't have mattered in the outcome of the case, it would have just shifted the margin
El Presidente vc: though it would be sweet if this turned out to be one of those appointments that backfire
El Presidente vc: of the members of the court, only ginsburg and breyer were appointed by a democrat (clinton)
El Presidente vc: souter was bush sr., kennedy was reagan, and stevens was ford
PunkIt0ut: let's become super conservatives
PunkIt0ut: and work our way into really powerful positions
PunkIt0ut: and then be like "SURPRISE BITCH; I'M ON THIS COURT FO' LIFE"
El Presidente vc: I don't know if I could do it
El Presidente vc: it might be too much to suppress my beliefs that long
El Presidente vc: I'd rather do it out in the open and just take them on straight up and win
PunkIt0ut: i just think it would be funny
El Presidente vc: though it wouldn't hurt to have covert agents on the court
El Presidente vc: it'd be the progressive guerilla tactics
El Presidente vc: though it would be sweet to have a gung-ho humanist on the court
El Presidente vc: faith in humanities abilities when given the opportunity and training, belief in personal responsibility hand in hand with individual freedom, and protective of those who cannot protect themselves
El Presidente vc: god damn I love being an idealist
El Presidente vc: and above all, fairness before the law, no person is so great or so small that the law should see them as any different than another
El Presidente vc: and we might just run the risk of coming off as too conservative, in which case we'd put off the moderate republicans and not get approved
El Presidente vc: it would make for a interesting film/story/sketch
El Presidente vc: sorry, I kind of went off
El Presidente vc: it's rather amazing that FDR had 8 justices placed on the court
El Presidente vc: but then again he did threaten to have the size of the court increased to 15
El Presidente vc: and William Taft I believe is the only president to have served on the court
El Presidente vc: and chief justice at that
PunkIt0ut: FDR was tight.
El Presidente vc: hell yeah, progressiveness with an iron fist, and a war to back you
El Presidente vc: wait a second
El Presidente vc: take that and flip it
El Presidente vc: hmmm...
El Presidente vc: internment camps anyone?
El Presidente vc: so nobody's perfect
El Presidente vc: it's just a matter of doing more good than bad, I suppose
El Presidente vc: how sweet would it be if president clinton got named to the court?
El Presidente vc: obviously not under this administration
El Presidente vc: would you refer to him as your honor, mr. justice, mr. president, or some variation
El Presidente vc: http://www.supremecourtus.gov/about/members.p df
El Presidente vc: http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20060203/ap_on_go_c a_st_pe/defense_budget
El Presidente vc: During a speech Thursday, Rumsfeld said the Pentagon is learning to do more with less.
El Presidente vc: as they request a 5% increase over defense spending this year
PunkIt0ut: http://oreillyisbatty.cf.huffingtonpost.com/
El Presidente vc: $1.3 billion for five of the new Joint Strike Fighters.
El Presidente vc: 1.3 BILLION for FIVE planes
El Presidente vc: are you shitting me
El Presidente vc: that's awesome
PunkIt0ut: have you checked out newstandardnews.net
PunkIt0ut: they just redesigned their website
El Presidente vc: not recently
El Presidente vc: did you hear new orleans got hit by tornadoes today?
PunkIt0ut: http://www.independent.co.uk/
PunkIt0ut: jesus
El Presidente vc: yeah
PunkIt0ut: i like that site too
El Presidente vc: I've always been a fan of the guardian
PunkIt0ut: what do you make of the business w/ iran?
PunkIt0ut: it's obvious that iraq never had nukes
El Presidente vc: I'm quite conflicted on me
El Presidente vc: it
PunkIt0ut: you really think saddam hussein would kill tens (or was it hundreds) of thousands of his own people, and not hesitate to fire a nuclear weapon at the US?
El Presidente vc: yeah
El Presidente vc: he wouldn't want to be taken out of power
PunkIt0ut: you really think the US would invade a country with the potential to fire a nuclear weapon at the US?
El Presidente vc: he was smart enough to know that if he attacked the US that he would face our full wrath
PunkIt0ut: and the wrath of the world
El Presidente vc: the worry never was about Iraq or Iran's ability to hit the US, they couldn't, they don't have the missiles
El Presidente vc: it was about them hitting Israel
El Presidente vc: which already has nuclear weapons
PunkIt0ut: yeah
PunkIt0ut: and since we've been buying our small arms munitions from israel for the last few years.
El Presidente vc: so allowing Iran to have them creates a situation of equalizing the equation int he middle east
El Presidente vc: yeah
PunkIt0ut: but israel has over 200 nuclear weapons
El Presidente vc: but at the same time, I don't think anyone should have nuclear weapons
PunkIt0ut: so i've read
PunkIt0ut: yeah
El Presidente vc: so I'm torn
El Presidente vc: because I do see nuclear energy as the best thing going as far as enegry needs across the globe at this point
El Presidente vc: we just need to find a way to dispose/reuse the spent fuel in a manner that's not destructive, either to ourselves or the planet
PunkIt0ut: i don't really trust it
PunkIt0ut: i just think it's too hazardous
El Presidente vc: technology has advanced quite a bit since the last nuclear plant was built in the us
PunkIt0ut: and i don't think burying it in a mountain is the answer
El Presidente vc: there's got to be some way to extract all the energy out of them to maximize the efficiency of each fuel rod, and leaving it non-hazardous/low enough to be dealt with easily
El Presidente vc: solar energy isn't efficient enough, hydropower can only due so much, wind power can't produce enough at this point, you've got relatively clean burning coal and natural gas technology at this point but it's still a non-renewable fossil fuel
PunkIt0ut: but if everyone was responsible for producing their own power, wind and solar power are totally legitimate
El Presidente vc: it may be the first and last time I ever even remotely agree with the president, but I do think that nuclear energy is something that we have to take a serious look at if we are to gain our indepence from oil
PunkIt0ut: instead of having 1 big power plant supplying huge regions
PunkIt0ut: have each home provide their own power
El Presidente vc: but then you get into cost factors
El Presidente vc: what if I don't have an area with enough wind/water?
El Presidente vc: do I have to pay someone who has surplus energy?
El Presidente vc: user level free market trade
PunkIt0ut: i'd rather buy it from a person than pay DTE
El Presidente vc: availability of energy on property because a driving factor in housing costs
El Presidente vc: thus only the wealthy can afford to buy property that has good resources for power
El Presidente vc: they then control the access to power
El Presidente vc: more power = more money = more control over power resources
PunkIt0ut: dude, that's ridiculous
PunkIt0ut: they are already leaps and bounds ahead of us
El Presidente vc: pretty soon you're dealing with the same thing all over again
PunkIt0ut: and that is already growing exponentially
El Presidente vc: who are they?
El Presidente vc: "they"
PunkIt0ut: the elite
El Presidente vc: I was just taking your situation as a starting point
El Presidente vc: it would require such a deconstruction of our current system, it isn't feasible in anything but the distant long-term
El Presidente vc: as in many generations of continues shift
El Presidente vc: continued
PunkIt0ut: but we have to consider the long-term when we talk about energy
PunkIt0ut: and the planet.
El Presidente vc: I agree
El Presidente vc: as is the way our society is structured with regards towards humanity
PunkIt0ut: but i think that the only solution for our country is a complete deconstruction
PunkIt0ut: i don't think the current system is capable of providing people with what they NEED
PunkIt0ut: and that makes it ineffective as a form of government.
PunkIt0ut: and thus, should be scrapped and rebuilt.
PunkIt0ut: using small communities
El Presidente vc: I think we need a deconstruction to an extent, but I think that as far as reconstruction goes the ideals as laid out in the declaration of indepence are worth going for, and I think that the Constitution lays out a pretty good framework for the attaining of those goals, provided an educated populous
PunkIt0ut: small sustainable communities
El Presidente vc: the kibbutz system works very well
El Presidente vc: to an extent
PunkIt0ut: i definitely think the constitution was a pretty good framework
El Presidente vc: you still need to have a population that believes whole heartedly in the system
PunkIt0ut: but i think when you're designing a society, i have to agree with john rawls that noone involved in the design process can know what role they will play in that society.
El Presidente vc: I agree
PunkIt0ut: i don't think that's possible when your government is only capable of satisfying 51% of the population
El Presidente vc: I think the protections provided in the bill of rights provide enough protection for the minority interests that the percentage truly satisfied is much lower
El Presidente vc: but I do agree with your point, I think that the ultimate failure of the Constitution was that it got caught up in the intersts of the individuals at the convention
El Presidente vc: the "economic" interests of the elite writing it led it to fail the basic principles of the declaration of indepence
El Presidente vc: the 3/5ths clause being the prime example
PunkIt0ut: precisely
El Presidente vc: but that's in the details of the document, and was corrected, I'm in no way saying it's a perfect document, but it is a living document and able to adapt and to change with both the times and towards fulfilling the ideals that it was created to codify
PunkIt0ut: i think that our constitution needs to be constantly reevaluated and rewritten
El Presidente vc: it is
El Presidente vc: that's what the courts do
PunkIt0ut: no, i don't mean amended
El Presidente vc: I know
PunkIt0ut: but i definitely understand your point
PunkIt0ut: but i think that the problem with america is that it has become this giant cacophony
PunkIt0ut: where people are so caught up in bullshit partisan politics to realize that we're all people trying to fucking survive
El Presidente vc: it's their job to interpret the constitution and change the meaning to fit the times and the ideals being aimed for
El Presidente vc: I would definitely agree with that, I think it's the dumbing down of america
PunkIt0ut: i agree with the first part
El Presidente vc: the destruction of our attention spans, and a lack of a proper education system
PunkIt0ut: but "to fit the times and the ideals being aimed for"
PunkIt0ut: i dont
PunkIt0ut: there's a lagwagon lyric
PunkIt0ut: "big brother isn't watching anymore; he knows we are distracted and absorbed"
PunkIt0ut: from the song lullaby, about the chuck pahlaniuk book
El Presidente vc: I phrased it that way to account for the loose vs. strict constructionists, as they both have ideals of what the Constitution/constitution actually is
El Presidente vc: I myself am a loose constructionist and believe in the constitution meaning the Constitution, the Declaration of Independence, the Federalist Papers, and other documents surrounding the founding principles of the republic
PunkIt0ut: but i think that certain things, like the right to bare arms
PunkIt0ut: are no longer necessary
El Presidente vc: vs. say a strict constructionist that holds to the text of the Constitution exclusively
El Presidente vc: I completely disagree
PunkIt0ut: it makes sense in the late 1700's to bare arms
PunkIt0ut: because of the militia
El Presidente vc: what happens if Bush decides to take over, using the military to do so
PunkIt0ut: i would hope that the UN would say fuck off
El Presidente vc: I sure as hell would like to be able to have a weapon to fight back with if needed
El Presidente vc: with what power
El Presidente vc: they have no military
El Presidente vc: the UN is so weak it's ridiculous
PunkIt0ut: i don't really mean the UN as an entity
El Presidente vc: I wish it wasn't, I love the UN, but it has no real power
PunkIt0ut: i mean other industrialized nations
El Presidente vc: I don't think they could do much about it, unless of course china was involved
El Presidente vc: and russia
PunkIt0ut: so you really think you and your 9mm would make a difference?
PunkIt0ut: against trained killers?
El Presidente vc: that's why I'm always conflicted about assault rifle bans, I mean, you don't need an AK to hunt deer, and they are just for killing people, but that's the problem they're for killing people and that's what our military has
El Presidente vc: hence my conflict over the whole issue
El Presidente vc: I still see the need for militia in the sense they were first created in the Revolutionary War
El Presidente vc: not as state militia for military use, that became obsolete with the rise of a national army
El Presidente vc: though the national guard serves the function of state militia at this point
El Presidente vc: and I don't have a problem with people having guns as long as you have real education programs and people are taught responsibility
PunkIt0ut: so whose responsibility is it?
PunkIt0ut: the governments?
PunkIt0ut: where are you going to get the money?
PunkIt0ut: you're not going to use my money to train civilians to kill each other
El Presidente vc: while it's not a great example due to size and homogeny, look at Sweden, one of the highest rates of gun ownership in the world and one of the lowest murder rates
El Presidente vc: so you'd rather that only the NRA and their ilk know how to use weapons? are you planning on using urban youths as your military if a revolution breaks out, it works for our military (along with the rural poor)?
PunkIt0ut: i'm against guns
PunkIt0ut: because i'm against violence
PunkIt0ut: i'd rather die than shoot someone
PunkIt0ut: who am i to say that i'm more fit to live
El Presidente vc: while I believe in non-violence and most major change in the world has come through it, I also agree with Malcolm X that there may be a point when violence is necessary
PunkIt0ut: and i hope i never have to find out at what point i decide i need to use violence
PunkIt0ut: because that's not the kind of world that i want to raise kids in
PunkIt0ut: where people justify owning weapons for defense.
El Presidente vc: I hope I never have to either
PunkIt0ut: guns are guns, and they only have one purpose.
PunkIt0ut: and i'm against that purpose, and i'm against those weapons.
El Presidente vc: as am I, but I'm looking at the underlying argument for having the 2nd amendment, and the reason they put it in there is still a threat (however remote), as many people/our society doesn't agree with us
PunkIt0ut: banning guns is certainly a catch 22.
El Presidente vc: and I wouldn't want to raise my kids in that world or live in that world, but it would be my duty to everyone else that their children don't have to either
El Presidente vc: quite
El Presidente vc: I don't think there's a perfect balance
PunkIt0ut: but anyway, i have to go to bed.
El Presidente vc: aight, it was good chatting with you as always
PunkIt0ut: humans fucked up any sort of balance a long time ago
El Presidente vc: yeah
PunkIt0ut: likewise
El Presidente vc: catch you on the flip side



First off, I have to say that I definitely agree with 90% of what was said in this conversation string. Guns should always come as a privilege to those who are not only educated, but also educated on the harms/benefits of gun ownership. Ultimately, we have to realize though that only the educated individual having educated gun ownership would happen only in a "perfect world"; which is completely implausible for humans to create on a mass level. Secondly, I'd like to ask PunkItOut if he believes in evolution; and if so, doesn't life ultimately come down to survival of the fittest? Therefore if you choose to die as a result of not taking up arms, is the owner of the gun, and ultimately your murderer, thus deemed the "fittest" in evolutionary survival?

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11:31 AM  

I appreciate your comment and hope to further discuss this with you but I have to disagree; doesn't society kind of undermine the concept of evolutionary survival? If you really wanted to advocate survival of the fittest, then why not just let the old, sick and crippled die in the streets? We could just start shooting the people who come up HIV positive (or we could just vote republican).

By Blogger Sandemonium, at 8:16 PM  

Society does undermine it to an extent, but we will never truly break free of evolution's survival even with the wall society creates. Ultimately when it comes down to it, if society were to crumble to any varying degree there would be some sort of "survival of the fittest", and the old, sick and crippled would die in the street. If "evolution" is a fact, then it is something that is not "advocated" by humans, but is enacted on an instinctual and animalistic level; something that we as humans can never seem to outgrow.

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 12:44 PM  

On the topic of evolution- I think that today evolution is not about the physical being. The only major difference in the human skeleton in the past 600 years has been an enlarged area above the eye (forehead). If you are gonna talk about evolution in today's terms you have to realize that survival today is based off of the economy and physical beauty. Those people who have the most money and are teh most attractive to others are those who will produce more offspring and have the opportunity to do so for longer. It's as natural as the evolution of other species, just different because we humans have the great ego and since ages ago we found that the average human being could adequately feed and shelter themselves, physical evolution, except for a larger forebrain, has not really progressed all that much. Finally like Chris ROck (?) said, don't make guns illegal, make the bullets illegal. THen everyone can own a gun, shoot blanks, go buck wild, but without the repercussions.

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 5:45 PM  

I definitely agree with what you are saying, particularly about what I will paraphrase as being "survival of the [priviliged]". I just can never wrap my head around the concept of killing some to save all. I think it's interesting to note that Charles Darwin was a vegetarian (but then again, so was Hitler.)

By Blogger Sandemonium, at 10:41 AM  

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