Keys Writings, Part 16

This entry is part 30 of 34 in the series 2011C

Oct 27, 2011
Definitions
Blayne and I have about exhausted ourselves going round and round on the first point of our discussion concerning the hit on Awlaki. It is time to ask what the root cause of the disagreement is.

One of the main problems in our communications is that we are using different definitions of core words.

I always use the most standard or obvious meanings of words unless I define them otherwise in my writings. Many people do not do this, especially those who have been immersed in some school of thought with a strong point of view. Such people often use their pet words with unorthodox meanings without explaining they are using non-standard definitions.

There are two words that have been interfering with our communication.

The first is “Right.”

Blayne thinks that the noun or legal “right” is similar in meaning to the word when it is used as an adjective or adverb. In other words you have a right to do a thing if it is right, moral and of good report.

He thus sees himself as having a right to own a gun because it is a good thing that we have the freedom to bear arms.

It is good that we have free speech therefore it is our right, even if it was not granted by the constitution or by any law.

The trouble with using this definition is that following it can get such a believer in trouble.

My friend Wayne went by this definition and thought it was right, moral and good that he should be able to drive without a license. Therefore, he thought he had “the right” to do so and went ahead and did it. This bullheadedness on his part brought him a tremendous amount of grief and expense. He was arrested regularly and several times spent time in jail. Not only me and my wife, but numerous friends tried talking him into getting a license, arguing that it would make his life so much easier. Unfortunately, he thought it was his right to drive without a license because it was immoral for the State to decree otherwise.

Wayne also thought it was his right to not pay income taxes. Because the tax was immoral in his eyes he just did not pay for about 40 years of his life. He would get calls every few years from the IRS but he told them that if they came to his door he would be waiting with a shotgun. Amazingly, that seemed to keep them at bay until he died.

He didn’t have such good luck with the city though. He put up some buildings on his property without building permits and the city fined him on a monthly basis. Again when the city threatened other action he told them he would be waiting with a shotgun and that seemed to physically hold them off but he had so many liens slapped on his property I don’t think his daughter got a penny of inheritance at his death.

I could write a book about Wayne’s unusual ways. I left out a lot of good stuff about him in The Immortal because I didn’t want to offend him or get him in trouble, but now he’s passed that won’t be such a concern.

Anyway, Wayne seemed to look at rights the same way Blayne does and it led to all kinds of trouble and possibly an early death. He wasn’t very happy with his life and didn’t even want a long life.

When I have been speaking of rights I have used he common definition which is, “legal authority.” If I have a legal right to do something then I will not live in fear of being arrested. We have the right to free speech and even have the right to criticize the president legally.

In North Korea they do not have that right and would be arrested if citizens criticize their Dear Leader there.

The second word Blayne and I are having a problem with is “legal.” Again I use the common definition that the dictionary says is something “allowed by law.”

On the other hand, Blayne associates legal with morality and feels that if something is illegal it is immoral. On the other hand, moral things are legal. Therefore, if he is doing good works and seems to be harming no one then he is always legal even if the cops and judges say he is breaking the law.

Judy suggested that Blayne use a term more in harmony with our legal system to enhance communication.

That would be helpful but we have probably gone as far as possible with the communication barriers we have. Blayne simply thinks that killing Awlaki was not legal and a violation of rights because it was immoral plain and simple.

It is difficult to turn around a person’s value judgments. For instance, I love my kids and no one is going to talk me out of this no matter what facts they present.

I think the rest of the group are pretty much in agreement on the Awlaki situation but we’ll proceed anyway and see what happens.

Oct 27, 2011
Definitions 1.1

This idea of there being a “right” definition or meaning to words that have multiple dictionary definitions is entirely on the wrong track for resolving our communication problems here.

Is there a right definition to the word cool? If I call someone a “cool dude” am I wrong because cool means a low temperature and therefore I am really saying that his body is cool?

That’s silly.

A word has the meaning that has been assigned to it in the context of speaking or writing it and that context is normally one of the definitions in the dictionary. If it is not clearly defined in the dictionary or is a minority definition then the communicator should explain what he means in using the word.

For instance I have used the word “purpose” with a different meaning than found in the dictionary but I went to significant lengths to explain what I mean so communication would not be confusing.

When I communicate I generally use the most common dictionary definition. If I do not do this then the context should indicate the definition used. If the context does not make it clear which definition is being used them I attempt to clarify, something that all good writers should do – if they want to be clear.

The word “right” has been defined in a number of different ways. None of them are right or wrong. They are what they are – the meanings that mortal man has assigned to them.

The most common definition of “a right” in connection with law is “legal authority” or authority from someone that has power over our lives. This is the way the word is used probably 90% of the time so if a person uses the word with some other meaning he should make it clear in the beginning that he is using a minority meaning.

Examples of majority use:

A family has a picnic in the park and are enjoying themselves when the governor arrives with a police escort. The police order the family to move because the governor needs their location for a photo op.

The family says, “We have the right to be here and stay here.”

They are not talking about some God-given theoretical right, but a legal right that would prevail in court.

Another family pitches a tent in a city park and decides to live there. A cop appears and chases them off declaring that they have no right to do this. Now a small minority may think that all people have a right to use public land however they please (think Wall Street Protesters) but most would not argue with the cop’s use of right as legal authority as being appropriate.

In common people have no problem with the use of this word as most use the word according to the common definition.

Even the Constitution seems to use the word “right” in connection with legal authority. The sixth Amendment says the accused has:

“the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law.”

Nothing in natural law or God’s law talks about a speedy trial which shall be held in a district which “shall have been previously ascertained BY LAW.”

The words “by law” does not refer to any God established moral law but law created by the legal authority or the Powers-That-Be.

The Constitution talks about the right to vote and the age, sex and race that can vote. These have changed over the years indicating that they were generally using the common definition of rights – not rights as an eternal moral thing that changes not.

So where has this idea of eternal God-given unchangeable rights emerged then?

This confusion over rights is mainly due to Jefferson’s beautiful poetic words in the Declaration of Independence. There he used poetic and creative license with his words to create an inspiring document.

I may have used the same choice of words myself in that situation for I heartily agree with the spirit of his words, but when we look the literal meaning we see that it is not technically correct.

The confusion comes mainly from this phrase:

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

“Unalienable” means “that which cannot be given or taken away.” It thus becomes problematic that all three of these, “Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness” can be taken away. A Tyrant, such as Kim Jong Ill has full power (a right in his own mind) to take all three away from his subject at a moment’s notice.

Obviously Jefferson was not saying that all people have the right or full power over their lives liberty and happiness, but it is self evident that we have the moral right. The moral right to these things cannot generally be taken away, but even here there one can throw up exceptions.

Suppose part of your pursuit of happiness is sexually abusing little kids. In this case the pursuit of happiness should be put to a screeching halt.

The spirit of Jefferson’s document is terrific but one could dissect it and find many shades of meaning and flaws.

The biggest problem it has created is that it has lead to Constitutional fundamentalists to use the word “right” in sort of an odd and esoteric sort of way that those outside of their group do not relate to accurately.

Constitutional fundamentalists have a perfect moral and legal right to use their slant of meaning when using the word

right” in connection with legal matters but they need to do two things.

(1) Since many will not fully understand their meaning they should explain their terms when speaking to people not connected with their thought form.

(2) If they do not explain their terms then they should use the common meaning that the person they are talking with will understand.

I have often found myself in a situation where the person I am talking to uses a word meaning in a way that I rarely do. I realize that if I use the word as I normally do that confusion will be created so I do one of two things. I either use the word as he seems to be defining it, or just tell him I attach a different meaning to the word and explain it to him.

Many senseless arguments are created because people do not do one of these two things but just proceed using a minority definition that they expect others to absorb by osmosis.

This reminds of a time way back in 1970 when I was desperate and took a job selling vacuum cleaners. The company presented the idea that their machine was so superior to other vacuum cleaners that we were forbidden to use that obsolete word to even describe it. If we were caught calling our machine a vacuum cleaner we were either disciplined or fired. It was just a “cleaner” and that was it.

On the other hand it was fine that we call any other vacuum cleaner as such but the word was always used despairingly by the staff.

This caused a problem for the salesmen for sometimes we had to take a significant amount of time explain why the machine wasn’t a vacuum cleaner.

Did we expect customers to understand without explanation that our machine was not a vacuum cleaner? Of course not. (Actually, it was a vacuum cleaner)

Even so, when a person uses a minority definition of a word in a conversation he needs to make sure the other person is aware of his meaning. The two need to agree as to the meaning of the various words or their argument will continue ad infinitum.

When an argument descends to being centered over definitions of words then real communication has generally been lost.

Oct 27, 2011

Re: Definitions 1.1

Larry W. I use Jefferson’s definition of the word, rights, and I’m sticking to it.

JJ There is more than one definition and I accept them all. Don’t you? Often his use just doesn’t apply to the term. How do you use it then?

Larry The fact that people watered it down has caused us to lose Jefferson’s high ideals.

JJ I don’t think they are watered down at all but his definition is just not practical in the common vernacular. If a person says, “I have a right to this seat because I was here first,” – that doesn’t have much to do with rights from God, but customs of man and that is naturally how the term “rights” is used most of the time.

Larry His definition teaches us a lot about the ideals of freedom. I would like to encourage everyone to return the high ideal that rights can be defined by who created them.

JJ The problem is that neither Jefferson or the writers of the Constitution defined what they meant by rights in the documents. The declaration gives one slant on their use and the Constitution another – a more orthodox one.

Larry Let me say that again, “…defined by who created them.” Human rights come from God, legal rights come from government.

JJ And whose version of God do we go by – Christians, Mohammeds, Hindus??? Which spokesman for God is there that we can trust to reveal the mind of God on rights.

Jefferson talked about Nature’s God and rights that feel natural to man. These are indeed rights we should pursue, but there are legal rights also which are a different animal.

Again, rights are merely what someone defined them to be and right now there are several dictionary definitions and they are all valid and can be accurately used.

Larry: Besides, I thought this already was the mainstream definition – coming directly from America’s founding document as it does.

JJ Which founding document? The declaration gives one slant on rights and the Constitution another. They both have their place. Maybe one out of 20 times you see term “rights” (apart from right and wrong) is it used as Jefferson did.

Larry Finally, I have found it to be one of the best teaching tools I ever ran across for teaching the respectful and harmless principles of law. Since most everyone already reveres the Declaration, they accept these ideas directly from it quite readily. It’s not only a clear definition, defining rights by who creates them, but it also clearly shows the difference between eternal principles compared to manmade law. Why fight it, JJ? It’s a good thing. Join it.

JJ What gives you the idea I am fighting anything??? I’ve already praised Jefferson’s use of words. This doesn’t mean that “a right” doesn’t have several definitions and the most common use of the term today is not the one Jefferson was using. If I tell my wife that “I have the right to pick which show we see next” I am not in any way thinking of the Declaration of Independence – even though it would be a righteous thing to dwell more upon the document.

Oct 28, 2011
Re: Definitions 1.1

Larry Woods says, of course. Tom (Thomas Jefferson) and I define the word by WHO creates it. This parses the context for us very neatly. As I said and as Tom demonstrated, human rights come from God, who created humans.

JJ The trouble is that God has never spoken to us and told us what he means by rights or what he considers to be a right.

Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness are rights that all intelligent life in the universe seek to secure but there are many times in mortal life where they are not secure. The people in North Korea do not have the right over their own physical life for Kim Jong Ill threatens to take it from them if they step out of line. Nether do they have the right of liberty and to pursue happiness. They should have these things and one day will – if not in this life in a future one.

Now Blayne, and perhaps you, think that these rights exist for the enslaved even though they cannot exercise them (an oxymoron) because they morally should belong to all men, but not all things that should be exist in the present time. This seems like a somewhat convoluted way of defining a word to many. For instance, if we were to tell a North Korean that he has the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness he would probably look at us cross-eyed and say something like: “What are you talking about? I have no liberty and cannot pursue my dreams and if I do I will be put to death.”

On the other hand, if we told him that these are things he should have because it is morally right he would then quit looking at us as if we were out of our minds and agree.

The two ways of looking at Jefferson’s words are quite easy to understand and shouldn’t be the cause of misunderstandings and no matter how you look at the life liberty and the pursuit of happiness all spring from the eternal principle of Decision. Light exists eternally also but we are not always basking in it nor is it always available. Do you have a right to light if you are in the dark with no flashlight? This idea doesn’t make sense even though light is always in existence.

Larry: Legal rights come from the government, who created statutes. The rights that enable and create government come from We the People, who created the government. Didn’t I make that clear?

JJ This was never not clear.

Larry: Can you say that all the “rights” we get from government are really eternal words that don’t pass away?

JJ They are part of the eternal struggle and are all associated with life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. I am happier when the state lets me go 70 MPH rather than just 60 MPH. Larry: Of course not. In the context of government, what is the difference then between a right and a privilege?

JJ I do not care. I’ll go with whatever you pick from the dictionary.

Larry: Imagine this scene, which takes place in our court rooms every single day. The plaintiff talks about rights, thinking of principles and eternal rights from God, while the judge and all the attorneys present are thinking privilege. Do you think they will communicate well? No. Why not? Because the poor guy is ignorant that creators create rights and that the several definitions of rights depend upon their origin. Am I right about this?

JJ Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness did not have a creator for they are based on eternal principles and have never had a beginning. We can’t say they are defined by their creator for they had no creator. Even God would not exist without them. We are eternally seeking to enhance our lives, our liberty and pursue those things that bring us happiness and joy.

We are endowed by our creator with the impulse to seek to secure the physical right to pursue these things.

This knowledge is helpful in an individual life, but it won’t do you much good in a courtroom and it doesn’t have much to do with the first point as to whether Obama’s action was legal.

Somehow various definitions of rights got injected into the conversation. The question was quite simple. It was supposed to be dealing with the legality of taking out Awlaki and any rights discussed should have dealt with legal ones originating from this country.

We have yet to discuss the morality of the situation as a group – even though some individuals have.

Oct 28, 2011
The Two Definitions

Wow, Larry, instead of clarifying what rights are I think you are covering so many details that the discussion is just making people’s heads spin with little additional light filtering in.

You talk of eternal principles being associated with moral idealistic rights. Well, eternal principles are behind everything we do if we trace then back to the source. If I jump up and down in anger on my TV remote eternal principles are involved. If I go to court and am subject to arbitrary rights and privileges eternal principles are also involved. Eternal principles are involved in everything. Scratching your armpit can be traced back to them.

I do not see this rights conversation as having much conflict between us (some misunderstanding of communication perhaps). Instead we come down to two different basic ways of defining rights.

First there is a right as expressed in the Declaration of independence. I think “Right” was the correct word to use to create an inspiring document but I think the use there has caused some confusion. The confusion would have been minimized if he had said this more accurate statement instead:

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable just desires that must be made secure, that among these are the desire for a secure Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

Writing the document this way would have been more technically correct and would have avoided some confusion such as we have had here, but it wouldn’t have had the impact.

As it is there are two basic uses of the word caused by two ways of defining it.

(1) That which one has a moral claim or desire to have or express.

(2) That which one has power to do which is in harmony with the laws of the land in which he lives and those who have any authority over his actions.

Thus according to #1 the North Koreans have the right to free speech, but few would use this definition in relation to them and express it this way.

According to Definition Two they do not have the right to free speech.

Thus in our argument Blayne only used Definition One and claimed the North Koreans have the right to free speech whereas I used Definition Two and claimed they did not.

During our argument I attempted to get Blayne to recognize and use Definition Two so we could be on the same page, as that is what determines the technical legality of Obama’s actions.

I understood Blayne’s use of Definition One but it was not applicable to the discussion. I know he thinks it is, and from an esoteric point of view it may be, but for practically determining legality we must use Definition Two.

 

Copyright 2011 by J J Dewey

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Keys Writings, Part 15

This entry is part 29 of 34 in the series 2011C

Oct 25, 2011
Re: Letter of the Law 1.2

Blayne: If had to sum up the two sides it is this: Your side is that bunch of politically connected attorneys studied the evidence and concluded he was a threat worthy of death and you explicitly trust that decision despite the lack of verification/accountability. And the precedent that government has done this in the past secretly and or illegally etc. makes it ok.

JJ That’s about a million miles from my side. This tells me that you are reading what I write with tremendous filters on wit the purpose of defending your mindset and not even trying to understand what I am saying or trying to do.

Why don’t you read what I actually write and try restating what my side is.

Oct 25, 2011
Re: Letter of the Law 1.2

Blayne: If had to sum up the two sides it is this: Your side is that bunch of politically connected attorneys studied the evidence and concluded he was a threat worthy of death and you explicitly trust that decision despite the lack of verification/accountability. And the precedent that government has done this in the past secretly and or illegally etc. makes it ok.

JJ (Previous Post) That’s about a million miles from my side. This tells me that you are reading what I write with tremendous filters on with the purpose of defending your mindset and not even trying to understand what I am saying or trying to do.

Why don’t you read what I actually write and try restating what my side is.

Blayne: What part of my statements are wrong?

JJ So you can’t more accurately restate the stance I am taking? If you are going to argue with me you first must understand what I am saying and coming from else we will continue to go around in circles.

You seem to think I am coming from a value judgment stance in our discussing as you are. I am not. So far with you I have only attempted to conclude whether the action was legal or not. This is a conclusion dealing with the technicalities of the law – NOT whether Awlaki was “worthy” of death.

Let’s analyze what you think I am saying based on what I have been trying to accomplish with you.

Blayne “Your side is that bunch of politically connected attorneys studied the evidence and concluded he was a threat worthy of death.”

JJ I haven’t taken a side and have not said anything giving a value judgment as to whether Awlaki was worth of death. I have maintained that the evidence gives support to the idea that Obama’s action was legal. That doesn’t mean he was right or wrong or that Awlaki was “worthy’ of death. It means the action is assumed to be legal unless proved and accepted otherwise through the judicial system.

Blayne: “and you explicitly trust that decision.”

JJ I haven’t said whether or not I trust Obama’s decision let alone “explicitly trust.” Trusting or not trusting Obama’s decision has nothing to do with the first point that we are dealing with.

Blayne: despite the lack of verification/accountability.

JJ Again this has nothing to do with the first point – Is it legal? I do not believe I have given any value judgment related to verification or accountability yet.

Blayne: And the precedent that government has done this in the past secretly and or illegally etc. makes it ok.

JJ I didn’t use precedents to establish that anything was okay, but to give evidence of the legality.

Again, for the umpteenth time – if something is legal that doesn’t mean it is right, moral or okay.

Here is my correct position so far:

Evidence and facts indicate that Obama’s action was legal.

Oct 26, 2011
Letter of the Law 1.3

Blayne I agree with you here in fact there are a distinct lack of facts in this case which is one of the main reasons for my stance. So if the facts are not enough to support my conclusion how in the world are they enough to support yours?

JJ I didn’t say there were not enough facts but “facts are not enough to assure a correct decision,” meaning that two people can look at the same facts and come to different conclusions.

There are enough facts to establish the legality. You don’t need many facts for this like you would if we were evaluating how moral tor correct the action was.

Blayne If had to sum up the two sides it is this: Your side is that bunch of politically connected attorneys studied the evidence and concluded he was a threat worthy of death and you explicitly trust that decision despite the lack of verification/accountability. And the precedent that government has done this in the past secretly and or illegally etc. makes it ok.

JJ See previous post.

Blayne My side is this: the only verifiable/accountable evidence is that he has spouted some anti-government rhetoric. That he was a credible threat is nothing more then accusations aired in the media. And that this does not warrant immediate assassination. And that past precedents of illegal actions do not make it ok,

JJ This has nothing to do with the first point we are discussing which is:

Was it legal?

Blayne: I actually agree with you here and this is why I am so astonished. I am definitely attached to the values and ideals of freedom and justice

JJ But that doesn’t have anything to do with the question: Is it legal? Your mind keeps translating this question into; “Was it the right thing to do?

You seem to have a problem in breaking a problem down to its component parts and analyzing them. You keep wanting to deal with the whole shebang at one time and this is one reason no one seems to be able to come to agreement with you in an augment and we keep going in circles.

Blayne and would rather error on the side of freedom then allow any encroachment because I have seen the pain misery and suffering trampled rights cause. My astonishment is that others who are otherwise intelligent would see this as not all that important and see my position as not a good thing

JJ Most people here value the principle of freedom just as much as you do. Judging whether or not a thing is legal has nothing to do with freedom. If I say that slavery was legal 200 years ago that does not mean I do not value freedom.

Blayne So let me make sure I understand you here. You are saying a principle must be like gravity always in operation despite what men do? JJ This could lead us to a diversion that could take us far off the topic and lead to days of going back and forth. I have already written volumes on principles.

A principle is the core thing that explains why something works. Gravity itself is not a principle though it is often called such but some principle explains its operation and why it is always at play. That principle has not yet been discovered but it will be related to the principled of cause and effect. A principle is always true and can be accessed once understood.

The principle of freedom is related to decision. Every decision we make either leads to greater or less freedom. Decisions are always at play.

My point was that if you see this as a principle then I can see why you think there should be no exceptions to it just as cause and effect is never negated.

JJ (Previous Post) You have a black and white view where the Solomon principle does not even apply, no exceptions, a person should be presumed innocent until found innocent or guilty by a jury trial.

Blayne This is an incorrect view of my position I have repeated several times there are some exceptions. Perhaps one of the reasons we can’t agree is because of wrong perception of my view?

JJ If this is incorrect then when can we discard the presumed innocent process of the legal system?

JJ (Previous Post) If a law is declared legal by constitutionally appointed judges and I do not agree with that law then it is still the law and legal and binding in your society. And what do you suggest we do with laws we do not like – break them and go to jail? Complain about them? That doesn’t do much good. If a person is really outraged then he should seek to make changes.

Blayne I have already proven this is not true and quoted A supreme court ruling and 16th volume of American Jurisprudence. Martin Luther King Broke the law and went to jail and it did change the law eventually.

JJ There’s nothing in your quote that disproves anything I have said.

The Constitution trumps all other laws like it says and unconstitutional laws can be discarded, but a law passed through proper channels will be in force until it is proven to be unconstitutional. Just because you think a law is unconstitutional doesn’t mean that others will see it the same way. If the Supreme Court declares a law is constitutional and you disagree then you will still be bound by it, even if you are sure they are wrong.

There are many laws that some argue as being unconstitutional that we are still bound by because judges think they are constitutional.

Just try and drive without a license if you think having one is unconstitutional. You can still go to jail as did my friend Wayne. You can’t just say, I’m ignoring this because it is not Constitutional.

Blayne You seem to feel that there is nothing we can do but then you seem to contradict yourself and say a person should change the law if he doesn’t like it.

JJ I said there is nothing we can do about bad law in THE SHORT TERM! In the long term we can attempt to change the laws. There is no contradiction.

Blayne: Your idea that any law passed is binding is the prevailing mindset and is the very reason why it is so hard to change things and the entire system.

JJ So are you saying that if a law is passed that you deem unconstitutional, but it has not been overturned then you can break it with impunity? I don’t think so. It didn’t work for Wayne. Where do you get such illogical unreasonable ideas?

Blayne: Do you believe government has a right to mandate health care coverage?

JJ I think it is unconstitutional but there are Supreme Court justices that disagree. Law is not subject to belief. If I believe that I should be able to drive without a license I can still go to jail over it no matter what I believe.

We should be getting a Supreme Court decision soon on the mandate and that will determine what is legal with the mandate independent of any belief you have.

Blayne If no then will you obey the law passed despite 70% of Americans opposition?

JJ I obey all current laws with draconian penalties. I think even Ron Paul does also.

Blayne: So by having this mindset that any law passed is binding which goes against all our founding principles and hundreds of years of jurisprudence and historical precedent we have created a society that think government has a right to intervene into every aspect of out lives.

JJ One thing has nothing to do with the other. Bad law, which is binding has been passed or incorporated since the beginning of civilization and will continue far into the future. Why you think that a law passed, but not overturned, is not binding and you can ignore it without penalty is an amazing piece of mental gymnastics to behold.

JJ (Previous Post) Once something is legal there is no line to draw. It is just legal and there is nothing you can do about it in the short term. You can disagree with it but you will still be subject to it until it is changed.

Blayne So if congress ever passes a law that it is ok for them to rape women at will then you would consider that binding and tell folks if they don’t like it then change it but until then they must abide by it? That is the logical conclusion of your view. You are dead wrong here my friend!

JJ I said we must abide by law or suffer the penalties attached. I didn’t say that we could not break the law through civil disobedience. In that case the penalty would still be there. Suppose there was this stupid law that said rape was okay and if you tried to stop one you would suffer the death penalty. You arrive on the scene like John Wayne and attempt a rescue. You are caught in the act of heroism and soon executed.

Was the law binding on you even though it violated all sense of right and wrong?

Yes, you did not escape the penalty.

Why would you think otherwise?

I feel like I am arguing with someone who is just dreaming up things that make no sense to be arguing about for the hell of it. JJ (Previous Post) Where do you get that idea? Of course the Constitution gives us rights. That’s why we have different rights here than people in other countries.

Blayne The constitution purports to protect rights it does not grant them. The right to bear arms in self defense like all rights has always existed just like gravity.

JJ Gravity exists in North Korea, but the right to bear arms does not exist. They do not have that right no matter how many times you shout it from the rooftops. If a Constitution like ours were in force there then they would have the right. And where would it come from? Not osmosis, but the Constitution.

Your confusing “a right” with something that is moral, correct, or right. It would be the right thing to do to give North Koreans the right to bear arms, but presently they do not have the right.

Blayne: So how could it grant rights that it doesn’t even list?

JJ See above.

Rights that were already in existence were merely guaranteed by the Constitution, but rights that were not in existence were created by it as well as protected. Before the Constitution, under the British rule, they did not have a right of protection against unreasonable searches. The Constitution granted that right and protected it.

Blayne: I am amazed at the lack of understanding. North Koreans have the same rights as we do as do all men.

JJ Then why can’t they have guns?

Are you sure you’re just not trying to give me a bad time as a hoot?

Blayne: Just because they are being oppressed and do not have power to overcome their oppressors at the moment does not mean they do not have the right to bear arms rise up and overthrow their oppressors just like we did in the 18th century.

JJ If they try and bear arms now they will be put to death. Obviously the right to bear arms does not exist there. If they overthrew their government they could establish that right in the future, but it does not exist now. I feel kind of silly having to explain this.

Blayne The idea that a piece of paper can grant rights is amazing. It is just an illustration of existing rights…

JJ If the ruling powers accept that piece of paper then the rights written there are granted. Of course, it is not the physical paper itself that grants the rights but the power of the words thereon which were initiated by intelligent effort and have a life of their own.

JJ (Previous Post) And what principle have I abandoned? The answer is none.

Blayne: You have abandon the principle of freedom and justice.

JJ That accusation is completely untrue with absolutely nothing to back it up – and beneath you.

Blayne: Where we disagree is that unsubstantiated accusations constitute an act of war.

JJ I have no idea what you are talking about here.

JJ (Previous Post) Then explain how slavery was both moral and legal if only the moral thing is legal.

Blayne Slavery was immoral and unconstitutional that was the basis for the argument for abolishing it. Slaves were not seen as men they were seen largely as animals which of course was an illusion but this was their reasoning in denying them the same rights as all men.

JJ If slavery was unconstitutional then why did we need a constitutional amendment to make it unconstitutional and illegal???

Legalities concerning slaves were referenced three times in the Constitution

Section 2 of Article I states that apart from free persons “all other persons,” meaning slaves, are each to be counted as three-fifths of a white person for the purpose of apportioning congressional representatives on the basis of population. Section 9 of Article I states that the importation of “such Persons as any of the States now existing shall think proper to admit,” meaning slaves, would be permitted until 1808. And Section 2 of Article IV directs that persons “held to Service or Labour in one State, under the Laws thereof, escaping into another,” meaning fugitive slaves, were to be returned to their owners.

Obviously the people thought slavery was Constitutional as many thousands of people owned them and were not prosecuted for breaking the law. It was also immoral to relegate them to being considered property.

You’re wrong on this point. Slavery was both immoral and legal in early America. It was also legal and immoral in Ancient Rome and Greece and many other nations.

Blayne LOL tell me what’s the difference between Hitler and the thugs I described except scale? Nothing!

JJ Big difference. The thugs are still subject to government and the law. Hitler was the government and the law.

Blayne They say unconstitutional laws are not binding as you keep claiming they are. Of course you omitted it here it clearly says such laws are not binding confers no authority AS IF IT HAD NEVER BEEN PASSED etc etc. it refutes your argument 110% ! Not it can be thrown out later. It clearly means it is null and void the minute it is passed like it never existed. I could post a dozen more and I am sure you would deny them also. Clearly you are to attached to your belief here to see the truth.

JJ I covered this a while back but let me recap. A law, once passed, has binding penalties are passed upon violators. Even if the law seems to obviously go against the Constitution it will still be in play and enforced until it is overturned. You can’t just wave a piece of paper and say “I’m not paying income tax because it is unconstitutional,” and then think you will be left alone because your proclamation has negated the law.

JJ (Previous Post) Blayne then gives a discourse on parking tickets and does not address the fact that it would be impossible to give every crime a jury trial.

Blayne The point you missed is that you assume everything that ends up in court is a crime based on your belief all legislation is binding.

JJ It’s not a belief. It is a fact that once a law is on the books it is binding until it is overturned. If I am wrong give me one example.

Blayne However if we actually followed the law we would have a minute fraction of cases and they could all be easily tried by jury.

JJ I’m with you on throwing out a lot of bad and unnecessary law but its unlikely to happen any time soon. Meanwhile the laws we have are enforceable unless overturned.

Blayne We have a lot of attorneys making a living off the misery and suffering of society much of which they cause and while contributing nothing to society. Sorry If I did not make that clear.

JJ You’ve always been clear as a bell on that point.

Blayne You can deny it all you want. I have used traditional application not assumptions, corruption does not make a fact an assumption. You are using typical leftist rhetoric saying the 5th and 6th amendments have nothing to do with each other. The left uses the same BS on the second amendment to say it was talking about only the militia not the people when every other amendment clearly denotes the people and the 2nd of no exception. JJ My points concerning two Amendments are nothing like the Left’s interpretation of one Amendment – the Second Amendment. There is no hard evidence that the sixth explains the fifth anymore than the seventh explains the sixth. All the Amendments paint a full picture but are independent entities.

Blayne: Still the 6th guarantees every man accused of a crime a trial by jury so any due process must offer every man that right outlined in the 6th. How you can extrapolate anything other then that is beyond all reason and logic.

JJ It says: “In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial,…”

In Awlaki’s case he was not criminally prosecuted but treated as an enemy combatant so one could argue the speedy trial does not apply. Also the Sixth says one should be tried in the district where the crime was committed. How could we have a jury trial for him in Yemen?

Blayne Yeah heaven forbid anyone should want government to follow the law that binds them down from mischief, why they must be extremists…

JJ I guess I’m an extremist then.

Blayne It is very interesting that you agree with the quote yet try to paint me as a fundamentalist for espousing it as part of my philosophy.

JJ You seem to overlook the fact that we both agree that the Constitution is the supreme law of the land and all other laws are supposed to be subject to it. We also both embrace the Principle of freedom to the best of our abilities. We just interpret things differently.

You think that a law has to be good righteous and moral before it is binding on citizens. You are the only person I have ever come across that thinks this way.

Everyone I know sees that there are some bad laws out there that have little to do with morality that can land us in jail if we violate them. Why you do not see this is very mysterious.

Oct 26, 2011
Re: anti-government movement claptrap

Dan: You said it brother, THEY do that kinda stuff to keep the sovereign man down. My 2nd cousin on my mother’s side had a friend that said his buddy knew someone who … and remember to stay under cover when you see them there chemtrails in the sky.

JJ Chemtrails, Moon landing hoax, false flag 911, secret NASA missions, Ron Paul enthusiast, Confederate supporter, Illuminati conspiracy, literalist view of the Constitution, Planet X, tax protesters… The are all so different subjects but believers are so much the same.

Oct 26, 2011
Re: anti-government movement claptrap

Blayne: Wow so we should not take the constitution literally?..So tell me what is it allegorical for?

And Ron Paul enthusiast? How about JJ Dewey enthusiast? Painting with quite a broad brush there aren’t you…

JJ Yeah, I might have stepped over the line but couldn’t resist… There’s a lot of interlapping in that list though.

People get in trouble when they take anything too literally whether it be the Constitution, the Bible, DK, me, or the voice of God himself. Judgement and discernment must always be in play or the pilgrim will be deceived.

Comet Elenin No More

This may be the last we hear of Comet Elenin. At least Blayne and I agreed on that.

Elenin Link

 

Copyright 2011 by J J Dewey

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Keys Writings, Part 14

This entry is part 28 of 34 in the series 2011C

Oct 21, 2011
Re: Letter of the Law 1.1

I don’t believe the Constitution differentiates between criminal and commercial law. You can go to jail over a traffic violation just as you can burglary. My friend Wayne went to jail several times over traffic violations without a jury trial. I didn’t see any reason to break the law down to its various parts when the Constitution did not.

Oct 21, 2011
Re: Letter of the Law

Eke: “The constitution is made for man and not man made for constitution.”

JJ Great statement Eke.

On a different note I notice that the posts of you and Judy both have a lot of unwanted characters. Usually this is caused from your creating the post in some incompatible software. What I’ve found that works is to convert your formatted text to raw unformatted text format and then post. This usually solves the problem.

Oct 21, 2011
Re: Muammar Gaddafi Killed

Have you ever seen a worse job of taking a video than the one associated with Gaddafi’s killing? You’d think for such a historical event someone would have made sure the camera was steady and focused. As it is it looks like it was filmed by someone wacked out on LSD dancing around a fire pit.

Oct 22, 2011
Re: Letter of the Law

I’ve been checking into what you said Larry and found a few things. I couldn’t find any evidence though that something like a speeding ticket would fall under commercial law. Do you have a reference on that? Most are in a different category than felonies or misdemeanors, I know that.

You are right that normal traffic tickets are called infractions. Others though can lead to misdemeanors or felonies such as DUIs, reckless driving, refusing to sign or pay a ticket, driving without auto insurance and failure to stop at the scene of an accident.

The next time I get my driver’s license I’ll have to see what I actually signed on for.

Now there are those who drive with no license and they didn’t sign up or agree to anything yet they can be charged with a number of crimes while driving and sent to jail like my friend Wayne. Speeding without a license has nothing to do with morality but it can certainly get you in trouble.

The Fifth Amendment says:

No person shall be … deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.

When one is fined for speeding he is indeed deprived of property (his money) without due process as some define it.

When I was talking about due process of law I was talking about all laws that can lead to loss of life liberty or property. That does lump the various categories together. I see nothing wrong with this as it has nothing to do with saying all law is the same or currently dealt with the same way. Why you thought I was saying such a thing is a mystery and such technicality has nothing to do with a ring-pass-not.

That said, thanks for your information on the various kinds of law. I learned several things.

Oct 22, 2011
Molecular Difficulties

A short time ago it was suggested that a molecule could be created through online communications. One of the things that will have to be dealt with in a molecule will be various disagreements. Since we had one here I thought it may be a good opportunity to illustrate two things. One is how difficult and slow it is to solve any problem online. We could have probably hashed out this Awlaki problem in person within an hour or so but here we have spent many days and intensive hours in writing and still we have not gotten beyond the first simple point of whether Obama’s action was legal.

The second problem that is illustrated is how difficult it is to solve personality disagreements when they come up. What seems simple and clear to some is very complex to others.

Another problem is that many tune out when a round of disagreements materialize whereas in person most people are willing to wade through a couple hours of arbitration.

I tried to break down the various elements of the problem in an attempt to make it solvable. If we started out talking about what is right or wrong then emotions will run high. I thought I would begin by examining whether or not the action was legal – which should have had nothing to do with good or bad, but still we did not escape confronting that from the beginning.

I think that seeing the futility here of bringing harmony between two good people illustrates the difficulty we will face in creating a united Molecule. Obviously, we will need to draw from a large pool of seekers to create the first unified molecule.

After the first one is created the second will be easier, however.

This arguing process is becoming very time consuming and not doing anything to convince our holdout – Blayne. What do you think? Should we continue on this subject or not?

Oct 23, 2011
The First Point 101
My Friends,

Thanks for your feedback. It sounds like the group would like us to see this subject through to see where it goes. Okay.. I’ll cooperate.

As you know, I’ve tried to simplify the discussion by breaking the conflict down to its simplest parts. This sometimes can be quite beneficial. Suppose person A is arguing with person B about Topic C. Perhaps Topic C is composed of five different parts and the two actually agree on four of those parts. This means the path to union is found in a correct understanding of the fifth part.

On the other hand, if they disagree on four out of five of the parts then the division is pretty wide and agreement will be difficult to negotiate.

The funny part about point one is that both Blayne and Duke thought the assassination of Awlaki was illegal, as well as myself. It turns out that looking into it changed my mind and caused strong disagreement from Blayne. I do not recall Duke even weighing in on the legality since the analysis began – so maybe they both disagree with my thoughts so far.

Let us first summarize where we are on point one.

Arguments can be made either way on this and both sides have their points.

One side claims it is illegal because Awlaki is an American citizen. As such before he can be punished he needs to be arrested, read his rights and then given a jury trial. Only then can we punish him. This they say is mandated under the Constitution.

The other side claims the Constitution is not so black and white and during a time of war we can attack those who are working to destroy this country whether they are citizens or not.

I found one scientific poll on this and 73% of the population agree with the second side.

Poll Link

The New York Times cites reasoning that Obama’s attorneys give for the action being legal. Among them are:

“The legal analysis, in essence, concluded that Mr. Awlaki could be legally killed, if it was not feasible to capture him, because intelligence agencies said he was taking part in the war between the United States and Al Qaeda and posed a significant threat to Americans, as well as because Yemeni authorities were unable or unwilling to stop him.

“Based on those premises, the Justice Department concluded that Mr. Awlaki was covered by the authorization to use military force against Al Qaeda that Congress enacted shortly after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001 — meaning that he was a lawful target in the armed conflict unless some other legal prohibition trumped that authority.

“The memo concluded that what was reasonable, and the process that was due, was different for Mr. Awlaki than for an ordinary criminal. It cited court cases allowing American citizens who had joined an enemy’s forces to be detained or prosecuted in a military court just like noncitizen enemies.”

NYT Link

In my opinion the second side makes the strongest case. Suppose an American citizen had an atomic bomb pointed at New York and we had the chance to take him out before he pressed the button. Would we allow millions of people to die just so we can adhere to a black and white surface interpretation of the Constitution?

No. This does not make sense.

So far all judges and attorneys involved in decision-making have deemed the action legal and its legality thus stands unless the some action through the legal system proves otherwise. If this were to happen then I would agree that the action is illegal, even though I wouldn’t agree with that assessment.

Question: Is there anyone besides Blayne that disagrees with my conclusion? If so, why?

Oct 23, 2011
Re: Cyclopean vision

Good points, John. I’m sure that advanced beings with one eye do not suffer from the limitations of seeing that one of us have with one eye. Evolution always goes forward, not backwards. It is quite possible they can see more with the eye closed than we can see with both eyes open and that eye works in combination with other sight centers they use creating not only three dimensional seeing but dimensions we cannot even see. There are reasons the masonic symbol is called the “all-seeing eye.”

Oct 23, 2011
Re: Molecular Difficulties

Larry W JJ quote, “…we see that the Molecule is basically a representative government, but with maximum authority (which can be removed at any time) in the hands of the leaders. It follows the Middle Way principle and uses the best of the democratic system combined with the efficient elements of the authoritarian system.”

I think if you look at the context where you got that quote, Dan, you will see JJ was talking about the business molecular relationship there.

JJ This principle basically applies to the spiritual molecule as well.

Oct 23, 2011
Re: Molecular Difficulties

Good point Rick. If there is a principle involved you are on to it. Creation involves going from the disorganized to an almost perfect organization. In between there will be broken eggs. Perhaps we can call this “the broken eggs principle.” Without the broken eggs you will not have that great tasting omelet.

Oct 24, 2011
New Principle
Steve:
What springs to mind is the ‘Push the Boundary’ Principle. Children do it all the time, and it seems a natural aspect to growth.

The flip side is that those in power under glamour and illusion will also use it to their own gain, more often than not to the detriment of others. Once a precedent is set, it can be like opening a new door of opportunity for them.

JJ Glad to see you guys thinking about principles.

There is indeed a principle involved and “Push the Boundary” is a great name to describe one of its effects. But this is a branch of the real principle which gives us an opportunity to do some discovery:

Question: What is the real principle behind this Push the Boundary force and how it works?

Oct 24, 2011 Re: Moving Onward

Duke: Lincoln suspended civil liberties during an undeclared war, but so far we have not elected someone so evil as to twist that into justification for imprisoning political opponents.

JJ

Good point.

Oct 25, 2011
Letter of the Law 1.2

Blayne: I admit I could have a blind spot. However I go to great lengths to try and re-examine things when told that or several I respect disagree with me. Could I still be missing it? Sure but after going over the facts several times there is nothing to suggest to me that I am missing something here.

JJ Unfortunately, facts are not enough to assure a correct decision. A number of us here are familiar with the same facts yet come to different conclusions. You have come to one conclusion and everyone else with the same facts has come to another.

And why is this?

It isn’t because you are honing in on some fact the rest is missing. Instead, it is that you have a strong attachment to certain values or ideals that are not that all-important to the rest of us. This causes you to take the same facts we use and come to an entirely different conclusion.

And what is that difference in values? You give a hint in your next statement.

Blayne: I hear yours and others reasoning and it is contrary to the principle of innocent until proven guilty.

JJ This is not the core reason for most of our disagreements but a branch reason. We’ll deal with this for now.

First, innocent until proven guilty, is not a principle, but a procedure and not all nations practice it or believe in using it. In reality a person is guilty the instant he commits a crime. Instead of being a principle it is a procedure that has a place in our legal system.

If you believe it to be a principle then I can see why you would be fairly black and white that it must always transpire just as gravity always works.

So, here seems to be the reason we cannot agree on the first point.

You have a black and white view where the Solomon principle does not even apply, no exceptions, a person should be presumed innocent until found innocent or guilty by a jury trial.

I do not think anyone else here thinks that way. Here is my view that most here seem to support.

Innocent until proven guilty is a procedure and all procedures are subject to exceptions. In other words, there are times when the procedure does much more harm than good and in such cases they should be abandoned and replaced by something more efficient.

For instance, if we had evidence that a certain citizen was going to detonate a nuclear bomb in New York and there was not time to follow standard procedure then to hell with procedure – let us instead save millions of lives and neutralize the situation anyway possible. The people, as the final arbitrators of the law, would support such an action.

This is where the Second Key of judgment comes in.

Wise judgment always trumps procedure from a higher point of view.

Does this mean that the legal procedure of innocent until proven guilty is meaningless? No, of course not. All of our laws and legal procedures stand as written unless sound judgment and the will of the people decrees they should be overridden.

Does this mean that we should make a list of 10,000 exceptions to our legal procedures?

No. This again goes against the key of judgment. The people will have a feel for when a wise judgment is made that overrides procedure and if the judgment is in a gray area they will be forgiving.

Obama taking out Awlaki was in a gray area, but 73% of the people support it which gives evidence that good judgment was used.

Blayne I can’t do much more then that if all the arguments don’t make logical sense to me, and I am not going to concede until they do.

JJ The arguments do not make sense because they do not harmonize with that to which you give great value. If your values were the same as the rest of the group then the arguments would start to make sense.

Blayne Your excuse that I am just being a fundamentalist here does not apply because we are dealing with foundation principles of justice here; innocent until proven guilty.

JJ Justice and “innocent until proven guilty in a court of law” are two very different things. True justice is only created by good judgment. “Innocent until proven guilty” requires no judgment but is a black and white procedure that usually helps insure justice, but not always. We should always seek justice, but we should not always seek the same black and white procedure.

And since we are dealing with black and white things the idea of “innocent until proven guilty” rarely happens even in a jury trial. Sometimes a person is proven guilty, as was O J Simpson. He was judged innocent because of bias. Other times there is not solid evidence of guilt but the guy is still found guilty. Rarely is a person proven guilty beyond any doubt.

You want “innocent until proven guilty by a jury trial” for every crime which is a different animal than a mere “innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.” Those who judged the Awlaki situation most likely presumed he was innocent until the evidence convinced them beyond a reasonable doubt that he was guilty of treason and more. So the procedure was most likely applied there, but without a jury trial. You do not have to have a jury trial to be convinced beyond a reasonable doubt. On the other hand, a jury trial does not always establish a judgment beyond a reasonable doubt as in O J Simpson.

Blayne Basically what you are saying is because judges and government have perverted the foundations of law through precedent we have to just go with it.

JJ Perverted is your choice of wording not mine. What perversion are you talking about?

If a law is declared legal by constitutionally appointed judges and I do not agree with that law then it is still the law and legal and binding in your society. And what do you suggest we do with laws we do not like – break them and go to jail? Complain about them? That doesn’t do much good. If a person is really outraged then he should seek to make changes.

Blayne So where do we draw the line?

JJ Once something is legal there is no line to draw. It is just legal and there is nothing you can do about it in the short term. You can disagree with it but you will still be subject to it until it is changed.

Blayne: Do we just abandon the principles of justice and allow ourselves to devolve until all the principles are no longer adhered to in any meaningful way because generations of corruption are the precedent?

JJ I’m certainly not abandoning any of my principles.

Blayne First of all the constitution does not give any rights at all.

JJ Where do you get that idea? Of course the Constitution gives us rights. That’s why we have different rights here than people in other countries.

We have the right to bear arms here but in North Korea they do not. What gives us that right where the North Koreans do not have it?

The Constitution and the will to uphold it.

We have many rights because of the Constitution that many in other countries just do not have.

There is a difference between something being right (correct) and “a right.”

Blayne Just because all branches approve does not mean it is lawful.

JJ Wow. If all branches of government cannot make a law which is legal then who can? By your reasoning then it would seem that nothing legal exists anywhere if legality cannot be decided by anyone living.

Blayne: So according to you since that is the reality we might as well abandon its principles.

JJ And what principle have I abandoned? The answer is none.

Blayne In light of this (the power of juries) why is it so hard for you to understand that a star chamber of attorneys approving hits is wrong and un-American?

JJ Not all legal decisions in the universe are made by juries. In Awlaki’s case the attorneys advised but did not make the decision. I understand it was the military in connection with Obama giving final approval. If you try and apply one solution to all legal problems this will create more problems than it solves.

Blayne: The Jury is the the forth branch and government and the most important.

JJ Yes juries are extremely important and need to be restored to their rightful place. They even have power to negate Constitutional law. But in times of war many things do not go through juries. One size does not fit all.

Blayne What is not logical about law needing to be foundationally moral? It is perfectly logical.

JJ You are not hearing me. I said nothing even close to this conclusion you have conjured. Whenever possible a law should be moral. I have NEVER said anything contrary to this.

BUT I have said that a law does not have to be moral to be legal. If those who have power to make law pass a law that says slavery is legal then it would be legal, but that wouldn’t make it moral. Oh, wait, we’ve already had a law like that which was Constitutional.

Blayne What is not logical is putting the stamp of some legislative and judicial process on something immoral and calling it legal.

JJ It happens now and then but it’s still legal just as immoral slavery once was.

Blayne: You still haven’t addressed the rape law scenario. Calling that legal would be absurd that is what is called “color of law” meaning it has the color of law but is not really law as it is immoral or harmful.

JJ Just as slavery was legal when declared legal by the authorities even so would rape be legal if it was passed as a law. In some countries rape is pretty much legal and one can legally rape his wife or even beat her. Not much morality there in what is legal – but it is still legal.

JJ (Previous Post) I keep telling you this first point has nothing to do with right and wrong, but legal and illegal. They are two different things.

Blayne And you are wrong here it is in our jurisprudence. I have studied this stuff in depth.

JJ Then explain how slavery was both moral and legal if only the moral thing is legal.

Blayne: Basically what you are saying is if some group of thugs comes and takes over your neighborhood or town and starts abusing everyone and there is no one to stop them since that is the reality then that makes it legal as they are the new law.

JJ That’s crazy talk. We have a legal system set up and those who operate outside of the system cannot decide what is legal within that system.

On the other hand, if a group of thugs overthrew our government and instituted their own then they would have power to decide what was legal, just as Hitler did when he took over Germany.

You do not seem to be able to get it in your head that legal is not always moral. It was legal to abuse Jews in Hitler’s Germany but that was not right or moral.

You have a very strange ephemeral idea of what legal is and that is making this discussion a thousand times more complicated than in talking with anyone else here about this subject.

Blayne What you are saying in essence is might makes right or legal in this case.

JJ No. I’m not saying anything close to that. Legal is not always right. Might has not produced bad law here but it is the result of legal representatives we have chosen through election.

Blayne When in fact everyone knows it is not legal because it is not right. Sure everyone knows that is the reality but that does not make it legal. Well what the heck here is a couple references the second one a US supreme court ruling that bad laws are not law at all:

(Wordy legal quotations omitted)

JJ Your quotations say nothing about laws being moral only that they need to be in harmony with the Constitution or they can be thrown out. Both sides of the argument already believe that so why spend so much time on this?

The problem is that you think it is your sense of morality that determines Constitutional law rather than constitutionally appointed judges. Everyone thinks their interpretation of the Constitution is the right one and to avoid bedlam certain judges must be appointed to interpret law.

Blayne (Previous Post) So far each point that you have tried to say was open to interpretation in the constitution I have easily refuted and pointed out the plain meaning.

JJ (Previous Post) I don’t recall you refuting even one that I have not demolished. Care to refresh my memory one even one thing.

Blayne Sure you said that due process of law in the 5th Amendment has no clear meaning leaving the door open to interpretation to allow star chambers of politically connected attorneys to order hits on American citizens. The sixth amendment defines due process as trial by jury by saying all are entitled to it. It could not be much more clear then that.

JJ I didn’t say “no clear meaning” I said “It can indeed be argued.” The President, his attorneys and military chiefs in a time of war are hardly a star chamber. The sixth amendment is a separate entity from the fifth and doesn’t even contain the phrase “due process.” How can it be defining something it does not even reference??? Due process merely means a legal process.

I don’ think you’ve refuted anything here.

JJ (Previous Post) So you maintain then that EVERY single crime needs a jury trial. You are really in a minuscule minority here. Even applying this to one crime, parking tickets for example, would be crazy talk.

JJ Blayne then gives a discourse on parking tickets and does not address the fact that it would be impossible to give every crime a jury trial.

Blayne What part of the Constitution being the law of the land do you not understand? I have showed you twice now how it DOES define due process and has been used in that definition.

JJ No you have not. You keep referencing the Sixth Amendment that does not even contain the words “due process” neither does it define the term. It is not clearly defined anywhere in the Constitution.

You are using traditional assumptions.

Blayne So you refuse to acknowledge the clear language of the 6th amendment that all men are guaranteed trial by jury. If all men accused of a crime are guaranteed such how is it that due process could be anything else? It is illogical to think otherwise.

JJ The sixth amendment does not even use the term “due process” is but speaks of some legalities which can be part (but not the whole) of due process.

The 14th Amendment says: “nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law;”

This gives the only other hint as to what due process is. Note the term “due process of law.”

Due process is merely considered to be following that which is legal. Most of the legal minds agree that Obama’s action was legal along with 73% of the people and, after all, the people are the final judge of the law.

Blayne: “I consider trial by jury as the only anchor ever yet imagined by man, by which a government can be held to the principles of its constitution.” – Thomas Jefferson

JJ Good quote. He is in harmony with my thinking.

Blayne: We know what the Founders meant when they wrote it we have plenty of their writings of them telling us what they meant, as if the language of it was not plain enough.

JJ Not all the founders were in agreement on the contents of the Constitution. What they said may have influence on a judge’s interpretation but what is written in the actual Constitution is paramount and many of the lines are subject to interpretation. If you do not think so then you are in a very tiny minority.

You seem to think that a dozen people can read any line in the document and the wording is so clear that all will come to the same conclusion. This is La La Land thinking and history proves you absolutely incorrect. You and I who are both libertarians and we cannot even agree on many lines and you and I would both unitedly disagree with many Leftist interpretations.

Blayne: Tell me what is the spirit of the words of “In ALL criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury” It says “all” not some.

JJ Awlaki was notified a year before his execution that that he was a wanted man and if he could not be captured and tried by jury he would be taken out. He had a year to exercise his right to a jury trial, but refused. So the word ALL did include Awlaki. He was then turned over to the due process of a military action.

What is and is not a criminal prosecution is also subject to interpretation.

Your thinking that everything in the document is crystal clear and no interpretation is needed is strange indeed and none of the Founders support you in this thinking. If there were not numerous ways of looking at the words and interpreting the words then we wouldn’t even need judges for this purpose. The Founders would not have created the Supreme Court if no interpretation of the Constitution was needed..

Blayne: I in fact would like to abolish the constitution.

JJ Wow. Who would have thought? What would you have in its place?

Blayne: So you can stop trying to associate me with the fundamentalist moniker.

JJ Pick six people here and ask them whether or not you sound very fundamentalist in your interpretation of the Constitution.

Blayne’s quote: “In questions of power, then, let no more be heard of confidence in man, but bind him down from mischief with the chains of the Constitution.” Thomas Jefferson.

JJ Again – a good quote.

JJ (Previous Post) This is like listening to the extreme religious fundamentalist say something like:

“Jesus says I should pluck out my eye if it offends and my eyes caused me to lust after a woman so I guess I’ll pluck them out.”

Just like that scripture has shades of meaning even so are there differing ways to interpret the Constitution.

Blayne And this is like listening to a liberal leftist saying oh the constitution is a living document and it means what ever some judge Attorney or the president says it means as long as he agrees with my liberal belief’s.

JJ This is the first time in my life I have been compared to a liberal leftist.

When leftists speak of the Constitution being a living document they are NOT referring to the fact that intelligent people can have differing interpretations. They are saying that they should be able to negate what is written as immoral and create law true their version of what is right and moral rather than by what is written or by adding amendments. I am totally against the leftist view of the “living document” as they understand it.

JJ (Previous Post) And how do you know that the decision of a jury is true. You don’t. There is not 100% surety in any decision made. Without some element of trust nothing can get done. With too much everything falls apart. This is why the Key of Judgment is so important.

Blayne This is getting ridiculous. Nothing is perfect the point is all the evidence is heard by an impartial jury not a bunch of politically connected attorneys who are biased to an agenda. The attorneys are supposed to be making the case to a jury not ordering deaths.

JJ The question under consideration is – was the action legal? If it was then there was probably no more bias involved than would occur in the regular jury process. It looks like our main difference in thinking.

You think that a law has to fit in with your version of what is Constitutional, right and moral to be legal.

I think that laws are legal, whether I think they are right or not, if they have been created through our Constitutional process.

I’d say that over 90% of the people would agree with me on this and when 90% of the people support what is deemed to be legal then that legality will indeed be upheld until it is changed by new law.

I’m talking about legalities here, not whether Obama made the best possible choice in dealing with Awlaki. That comes later.

 

Copyright 2011 by J J Dewey

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Keys Writings, Part 12

This entry is part 20 of 34 in the series 2011C

Oct 13, 2011
Re: Secret panel can put Americans on “kill list’

Blayne: Let me get this straight do you think this justifies executing citizens on the presidents word he is a terrorist threat with no accountability authority or evidence?

JJ No. That’s not what I said. I posted that example from George Washington’s execution without trial to illustrate that much worse has been done by our heroes. The men Washington executed appears to have been less of a threat than Anwar al-Awlaki is to us.

I agree with you that the law needs to be followed. It does look liked he could be tried for treason as he apparently is advocating a violent overthrow of the United States openly on his web site. Treason has carried the death penalty in the past.

If this guy is a threat that needs taken out then Obama should work within the law to accomplish this. If there is no way to bring him in then perhaps he could be tried in absentia or have his citizenship revoked and treated accordingly.

So, do you agree with George Washington’s executions I cited? If not then what should he have done?

Molecular Disagreements

Blayne and Duke are among my favorite people so I do not relish them going after each other and disagree so strongly but such things happen. After all, a number of the good members here have gone around with me a number of times. Such disagreements are likely to surface in the molecule now and then so this provides an opportunity to ask some new questions.

Let us suppose that Blayne and Duke are in a molecule together and this very argument breaks out.

Would this disagreement interfere with the spiritual flow? After all the subject is somewhat removed from spiritual conversation.

Let us suppose the topic involved a spiritual principle. Would such a disagreement create a problem?

In both cases can anything be done to cause them both to look through the eyes of the sol together and see as one?

The Governing Principle Blayne writes: Perhaps we can try an experiment here? Point out what you think my illusions are on this issue and lets see of we can at least agree on what the issue is and is not and if we can come to agreement there then we can seek soul contact on if it was handled appropriately?

JJ Thanks for the brave suggestion.

Let’s handle this as if we were in a molecule and we are trying to bring harmony and agreement on this issue.

Now the problem with many disagreements is that both sides of the issue are often not understood or articulated well. For instance, I have had people disagree with me when they really agree but just did not understand what I was saying. If they have their mind made up to be disagreeable it seems that no clarification satisfies them.

It doesn’t do any good to attempt to solve a disagreement through group soul contact unless both sides are clearly understood. If the problem is nebulous then the soul cannot give a clear answer.

In addition the principles involved must be understood and articulated as much as possible.

Steve asks – what shall we do if two or more principles are involved? Which one should we follow?

The answer is that there will always be a dominate principle governing the situation. More often that not, the governing principle concerning the action of a disciple is to accomplish the greatest good for the greatest number of people.

For instance, we are told to not kill which falls within the principle of harmlessness. But suppose you were in a bank and a crazy man had planted a bomb and was about to detonate it when such a blast would kill about 100 people. You just happen to have a gun and know you can take him out before he presses the button? Do you do it when this action seems to violate the principle of harmlessness?

Yes, you do because the overriding principle is to follow that course which brings the greatest good to the greatest number. If you shoot the guy you will take one life and save 100 thereby doing a much greater good than doing nothing.

That said, let us look again at the argument between Blayne and Duke. Answer these questions.

List all the principles involved.

Whose reasoning seems to support the greatest good for the greatest number?

Why?

If you think it is neither side then what action would have been the greatest good.

Believe me, the answer will not be as simple as some may think.

Oct 16, 2011

Re: The Governing Principle

Good comments again today by the group. If we are to harmonize we need to hone in on the principles that apply to the subject.

I think we all agree that the most desirable outcome for an action is the greatest good for the greatest number.

The problem is that both Blayne and Duke believe their conclusions support that direction. What causes two intelligent people to come up with opposite conclusions here? There are several things.

(1) The primary one is the Second Key of Judgment. This is the Second Key of Knowledge because it is of prime importance, right up there with the power of decision itself.

(2) Different core beliefs.

(3) Different values.

(4) Different focus.

Blayne places great emphasis on individual; freedom and focuses in that direction.

Duke places emphasis on flexibility to achieve the greatest good.

Both points of focus have their place and, used with judgment, can produce good results but understanding this will not bring them to agreement. Let us therefore look at the two perspectives and the principles involved in understanding the argument.

Blayne and Duke are free to correct me if I am not accurate.

Blayne sees the killing of an American citizen, Anwar al-Awlaki, by the decree of our president as a major threat to the freedom of us all. He broke the law to do this, and if he gets away with it this means that the government can target anyone they dislike. All they have to do is discredit them and then take them out. This could lead to a situation where everyone would be afraid for their lives if they criticized the government.

Duke thinks there is enough evidence to prove that Anwar al-Awlaki was a threat. Maybe not an imminent one but one that was planning an attack on Americans that would take many lives. Since there is no way to just arrest him to neutralize the threat Duke thinks that it is good common sense and serve the greater good to take him out even if it is not clear that such an action is technically legal. After all, we targeted thousands of American citizens for death that had similarly withdrew from the union during the Civil War.

I think the first question to settle is whether of not the assassination was legal. Read this article (or Google others) and give your opinion. If it was legal, that may not mean it was right, but it would mean that the action was justified legally.

Was it Legal?

Oct 16, 2011

Re: The Governing Principle

It is interesting that both Blayne and Duke were arguing from the conclusion that the action in taking out Anwar was illegal. But the New York Times article indicates that it may have been legal after all. Actually any president has to confer with many legal advisers in taking any controversial action.

One of the reasons Blayne was against this was because it was illegal and established a bad precedent. But if it was already legal then the action does not establish anything as it is already legal.

Duke was arguing that it is okay to break a law when the greater good is at stake.

But if the action was legal it appears that both of the were arguing about a point that does not even exist.

It appears then that the argument should just boil down to this question.

Was the action the right thing to do. In other words, was the greater good served by taking him out or not?

Is this assessment correct? What do you think?

NOTE I want to stress that even though this is not a metaphysical subject our end goal is very spiritual in quality. One out of a 1000 of these type of arguments end in agreement so if can accomplish this it will serve as an example and be worth whatever effort it takes.

I must admit that i have not read all the dialog in this ongoing discussion. I’m sure many others haven’t also. Therefore, for those who want to catch up I posted all the pertinent dialog at:

Discussion Link

Oct 17, 2011 Good comments today and I enjoyed them all but we are becoming a little scattered here. To unravel this subject and find agreement we have to dissect it into its pieces and then put them back together. If we just argue the whole subject we will have a cacophony indeed.

Here was the question that needs to be our first point of focus.

“I think the first question to settle is whether of not the assassination was legal. Read this article (or Google others) and give your opinion. If it was legal, that may not mean it was right, but it would mean that the action was justified legally.”

NYT Link

When I made my first comment on this subject I was under the assumption that Obama was operating outside the law in going after this guy. Then I read the New York Times article and changed my mind. After studying the details it appears that Obama may legally squeak by on this and it looks like Ron Paul may not have much of a case in his talk of impeachment.

The courts and the legal experts seem to accept that we are legally at war with terrorists and that those who take sides with the terrorists are fair game citizens or not.

To this Blayne replies: As for the courts ruling blah blah it does not matter the courts are wrong here and I addressed why. There is no authority for such in the document that defines the scope of congress and the president. The courts have long ago given up their duty to stick within the scope of the constitution.

JJ I often think the courts are wrong, but it is still their decisions that determine the interpretation of the Constitution and the laws of the land. Sometimes I think they are right and others way off base, but it is a fact that they determine legality.

It is a hard fact that many lines in the Constitution are open to interpretation. Yes it says that Congress shall have power to declare war, but is the only way to do this with a document that says, “We declare war”?

Congress has authorized the war in Iraq and the War on Terror and these have been upheld by the courts as legal war action.

It appears then that Obama operated within the law and as proof of this we will see that those who disagreed with him will be powerless to legally prosecute or even do much to bring an investigation into the matter.

The Fifth Amendment guarantees due process, but what this is, is subject to interpretation. I’m sure Obama believes he went through due process through his legal maneuverings.

I’m sure that FDR felt he was legally justified in taking away the freedom of Japanese Americans during World War II. Woodrow Wilson also jailed thousands of Americans without normal due process during World War I.

Many things presidents have done have been very questionably legally and morally, but if thy are upheld by the constitutionally mandated courts of the land then they are technically legal.

We can say the Constitution says otherwise, but the opinion of a U.S. citizen does not make law.

If citizens to not like certain laws then they can pressure Congress to write better laws that are more just – as well as clearly written.

One of Blayne’s concerns is that Obama’s action will set a bad precedent so in the future a President could pick on someone he just doesn’t like, declare him a terrorist and take him out.

If we had a dictatorship this could happen, but a dictator doesn’t need any precedent. But what about this concern as it applies to our current system? Is this something we should lose sleep over?

Oct 17, 2011

Legalities

I’ve been thinking of a conclusion on the legality of Obama’s decision to take out Awlaki that we could all agree on. Blayne seems to have strong opinion that the act was flat out illegal and unconstitutional, but there are arguments in both directions and it is always important to see the logic of both sides. I thought this New York Times article was fairly balanced on the issue:

NYT Link

Another Link

Here’s my conclusion that I would like Blayne and Duke to consider and would also like comments from the rest of the group.

My Conclusion: Obama’s taking out Awlaki, an American citizen, was controversial with some believing it to be illegal and others legal. In reality if it was clearly illegal the ACLU (which thinks it is illegal), Ron Paul and hundreds of Obama’s Republican enemies in power could bring Obama and others up on charges.

Since this hasn’t happened, nor is likely (and the courts seem to support Obama’s action) we have to conclude that the action was technically legal enough for Obama to proceed with impunity.

This is not an attempt to judge whether or not the action was morally right or wrong but merely to reach consensus on the legality of the issue.

Note: This part of the process has nothing to do with soul contact but we are merely using our minds and best judgment to go as far as we can on our own.

Oct 17, 2011
Re: The Governing Principle

Blayne: Hitler came to power in a democratic election (yeah I know it was not a majority) still he did not seize power by brute force. He did not just implement his plan over night. He gradually implemented it over time.

JJ Actually Hitler did not receive enough votes to become Chancellor. Because of the lack of majority needed he managed to use his influence to get himself appointed. After that, things did not change gradually but was pretty much overnight. He used the full force of his will and power from the moment he took office.

Oct 18, 2011
Re: Conclusion for Consideration

Okay, we are at step one in this harmony seeking process concerning Obama’s termination of Anwar al-Awlaki.

In the beginning I thought Obama broke the law in his action and I think several others did also. But then after studying the details I can see the logic in the legal argument on both sides. The law in this case is not clearly demarked and seems to favor Obama’s action. Even though a number disagree and threaten legal action it is doubtful that Obama will wind up in any trouble over this.

In the early days of this country we published wanted posters stating: “Wanted Dead or Alive.” A reward was offered to anyone who would bring outlaws (U.S. Citizens) in dead with no trial, no judge and no jury. This idea of going after obvious criminals without a jury trial is not new.

It appears that everyone but Blayne who has responded agrees that the matter is not black or white – that Obama could be legally justified.

From the Beginning Blayne took the stance that the action was just plain black and white, crystal clear illegal and unconstitutional and nothing was going to change his mind.

Nothing did.

He still thinks the same way, hasn’t budged an inch, and sees absolutely no value in any argument or legal defense made. It would appear that if God, Thomas Jefferson and George Washington appeared to him to show him any error in his thinking he would not consider changing his mind.

I would admonish Blayne to consider this. He alone is holding to his view with absolutely no wiggle room. We have an intelligent group here. If they are intelligent and this case is so crystal clear to anyone with a brain – then why cannot even one other person see with this crystal clear vision you have?

Is it possible that you are holding on to your interpretation so tightly that you are not looking at or considering the other side?

If you know the sky is blue and someone says it is green then you feel justified in flat out rejecting them because the truth is so obvious. But civil law is not so black and white. It has shades of gray and it appears to me and others here that there are shades of gray in judging the legality of Obama’s action.

I’d like to hear feedback from the group on this.

Next question.

It appears that Obama’s legal team has worked pretty much in secret and wrote up a 50 page legal memo justifying the action. Parts of this memo have been leaked but the process and the details are kept secret.

Is Obama justified in this? If not what should he have done?

Oct 18, 2011
Letter of the Law
Quoting JJ In the early days of this country we published wanted posters stating: “Wanted Dead or Alive.” A reward was offered to anyone who would bring outlaws (U.S. Citizens) in dead with no trial, no judge and no jury. This idea of going after obvious criminals without a jury trial is not new.

Blayne: So you think this justifies killing American citizens without trial?

JJ We haven’t got to this yet in the process I am attempting to guide. We are just dealing with whether the action was legal or not.

Blayne Nowhere have I said this sort of thing is new.

JJ You had me fooled. Here is what you said in post # 54101

“This sort of thing is unprecedented in American history and is the act of a dictator pure and simple. This is not supposed to happen in America.”

You have also talked about this setting a bad precedent many times as if such a precedent had not been set before.

In truth there have been many times American Citizens have been executed without a trial with the blessing (right or wrong) of the legal powers.

Placing a bounty on outlaws “dead or alive” is just one example. If you are worried about precedent that is a much more egregious one than the Awlaki case.

Blayne: You act like I have just dismissed everyone’s arguments without consideration when I have explained my reasoning on every point some many times.

JJ Just because you give your reasoning (which is in this case unconvincing) does not mean you have considered the opposing views. It sounds more like your mind was just set in stone and you found what you were looking for – for you anyway, but not for anyone else here.

Blayne; Yeah we have nearly 200 years of due process meaning trial by jury as defined in the 6th Amendment and Article III, Section 2, Paragraph [3] of the US constitution and wars being handled by formal declaration and lesser actions by letters of marque and reprisal but I am the one being unreasonable here because we have departed from those sound principles of freedom in the later half of the 20th century… OK…

JJ I agree with you (as I am sure many others here) that in many cases we have gone astray from the original Constitution and original intent. In many cases it has been to our detriment, but others not so much. Let us take that section of the Constitution you referenced. It reads:

“The Trial of all Crimes, except in Cases of Impeachment, shall be by Jury; and such Trial shall be held in the State where the said Crimes shall have been committed; but when not committed within any State, the Trial shall be at such Place or Places as the Congress may by Law have directed.”

Like many laws there is more than one way to interpret this.

Is it saying that all crimes must be tried by a jury or is it telling us how to handle all crimes that are to be tried by a jury?

I haven’t checked but judges must have not gone by the first interpretation because most crimes are NOT tried by a jury. Even in the crime of murder only 20% of those caught wind up before a jury. For the letter-of-the-law guy this would be unconstitutional.

If we followed the letter of the surface interpretation here the legal system would be so bogged down that there would be no justice served anywhere.

Judges here were forced to discover wiggle room or face disaster.

Blayne: So by this logic I should just give in to peer pressure and ignore my own reason and logic when nothing has been presented that refutes my logic?

JJ No. I would never suggest this. I have always advised to follow the highest you know and for all of us the highest we know will be wrong at times.

The disciple must continually question and examine the highest he knows and challenge himself to see from a higher angle of vision. If he does this continually then the highest he knows will he more accurate as his life proceeds.

In your case, you are surrounded with other seekers who are also intelligent. When none seem to agree with you on this legality (that I have seen) then it would be wise to ask yourself if there is something you are not seeing. Is there a blind spot, an illusion, a dogma held too close etc?

I know you do this at times but it doesn’t seem to happen in the midst of an argument. In your quiet moments, where you have time to think, you do digest higher soul guidance and you are indeed making progress overall.

Blayne: After saying I would be trying very hard to consider the other sides point of view what makes you think I have not?

JJ Not only in this case but in many other arguments I have seen powerful evidence presented that you are not correct and you either dismiss it or ignore it and change the subject.

In this case, the greatest legal minds in the country are looking at the situation and most do not see the issue as black and white the way you do, yet you dismiss them. If you were adhering to some principle I could give you some slack but legalese deals more with data and angles of interpretation than principles.

Blayne: So far I have just been lectured on why I have not considered anyone else’s view. I asked folks to point out where they think I am wrong but I only get why they think they are right without addressing my points and reasoning.

JJ Yet you have offered even weaker arguments as to why you are right. The Jefferson story makes little sense to me concerning your case.

Blayne: Apparently not giving in to peer pressure means to you I must not have considered the other sides point of view.

JJ If this happens time and time again then it may be a sign you need to examine your thought process.

There was only a couple times where Churchill had to stand against the many. More often than not his logic was strong enough that the many stood with him.

Blayne: So does considering the other sides point of view mean I should not give counter points where ever I see them? Heaven forbid of those that responded could they all be wrong?

JJ You are on the right course by being honest and speaking your mind. If you are not correct on some issues then (if you are honest with yourself) then you will eventually make corrections. I am hoping this little exercise will make that time come sooner rather than later.

Quoting JJ: If you know the sky is blue and someone says it is green then you feel justified in flat out rejecting them because the truth is so obvious. But civil law is not so black and white. It has shades of gray and it appears to me and others here that there are shades of gray in judging the legality of Obama’s action.

Blayne: Believe me I know firsthand that civil law is anything but black and white. The constitution is pretty black and white though and we have ample writings from the founders on their intended meanings written into it.

JJ I don’t think the Constitution is black and white at all. If it were we wouldn’t have thousands of different interpretations arising from it. Many Fundamentalist Christians think the Bible is black and white as they read it, but obviously it is not which is evidenced by thousands of different interpretations.

Blayne: How many of you have even read this law that you think may give Obama legal authority? Correct me if I am wrong but none of you have even read it right? So how can you make any judgment never having read it not knowing the facts of what it actually says?

JJ I’ve read legal interpretations concerning this and it sounds more plausible than someone just shouting “follow the Constitution!”

Blayne Where is the wiggle room in the 5th and 6th amendments that no American can be deprived of life liberty and property without due process and the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury?

JJ Let’s look at the pertinent language of these two:

Fifth Amendment: “No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, … be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law;”

JJ In Awlaki’s case the due process was conducted by the President and his legal team. So far this has been accepted by the Constitutional judges of the land. It can indeed be argued that Awlaki had due process and the process deliberated for about a year on the matter. That is much more consideration than most criminals have.

Sixth Amendment In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State …

JJ As I said earlier this usually doesn’t happen because it is not practical and if it did justice would be destroyed. It doesn’t say that every lawbreaker will be subject to regular criminal prosecution. Awlaki was not even subject to a regular criminal prosecution so this does not even apply to him.

Blayne: People say the 2nd amendment is not black and white on bearing arms either however it is about as black and white as it gets when is say the right to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.

JJ I agree with you that this amendment is pretty black and white and those that say that only militias can have guns are being disingenuous.

Blayne: You also seem to be ignoring that I said even if we accept this law as legal that Obama has still over stepped even that.

JJ That may or may not be true but I am trying to go one step at a time.

Blayne As far as being legal lets take your version of legal to its logical conclusion. Do you think interning Japanese Americans who committed no crime or act of war was legal? After all it was justified because of war and done based in interpretation of the Presidents legal power to conduct war. This is another case where the majority was in agreement and but they were wrong. If congress passes a law that it is ok for congressmen and Judges to rape women at will and the courts uphold it is that legal? After all it went through the legislative and judicial process so it must be technically legal right?

JJ I think rather than asking if such things are legal you should be asking if they are right? That which is legal is not always the right or moral thing. If Congress passed a law saying that women could be raped and it was upheld by judges then it would be legal, but it would be immoral as it has always been.

Again, what is being asked is this: Was Obama’s action legal? The question was NOT: Was Obama’s action the best of all possible choices.

Oct 19, 2011
Question Three

Blayne and I are still dissecting the first question – Is it legal? – but let’s move ahead on some others.

Here was the second question.

It appears that Obama’s legal team has worked pretty much in secret and wrote up a 50 page legal memo justifying the action. Parts of this memo have been leaked but the process and the details are kept secret.

Is Obama justified in this? If not what should he have done?

My thanks to the few who responded to this. I think the group will agree with my conclusion here which is:

It’s fine if he checks with his attorneys in secret and has them do some research and write up a memo. But to proceed with a controversial action he should be sure enough of his legal correctness that he can release all the legal justification around the decision.

LWK made a good point in that he promised an open administration, supposedly the opposite of Bush, but he is even more secretive than Bush was.

Awlaki has been a target for some time so the legal justification for taking him out should have been out there for all to examine from the beginning. If the legality receives a serious challenge and he thinks it is essential to continue then Congress would need to pass legislation placing the action on more secure legal grounds.

Unless I hear some disagreement with this conclusion I will assume that all feel this is reasonable.

Next question: For this question let us assume that it would be legal to assassinate Awlaki and Obama is open and honest about the legalities, motives and details connected with it. The next natural question is would such an action be the right thing to do?

This question has already been tossed around like crazy and no agreement has been reached. Instead of asking that question now let us ask this?

If such an action were legal under what circumstances would it be the right thing to do?

 

Copyright 2011 by J J Dewey

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