Palin’s Ignorance of the Constitution

October 31, 2008

Every once in a while, when we aren’t setting off fireballs inside of pumpkins, I tell LB that I’d really like to see more empirical research done on Americans’ conceptions of the scope of the Bill of Rights. My assumption has always been that in many areas, such as freedom from unreasonable searches and seizures under the Fourth Amendment, Americans are either unaware of, or uncomfortable with, the restrictions on state action created by the founding charter and the court opinions interpreting it. LB then tells me that she’d be happy to do the work if I’d like to pay for it. That shuts me up for a while.

But hey, it’s not just average, Joe Six-Pack, Hockey Mom Americans who don’t understand what the Constitution does and doesn’t do. Here’s the freakin’ Republican candidate for Vice President of our great nation on a conservative talk radio show today, demonstrating that she didn’t get the part in eighth grade civics about the Bill of Rights only restricting state actors:

“If [the media] convince enough voters that that is negative campaigning, for me to call Barack Obama out on his associations,” Palin told host Chris Plante, “then I don’t know what the future of our country would be in terms of First Amendment rights and our ability to ask questions without fear of attacks by the mainstream media.”


Another fun video (LB said to entertain ourselves)

October 31, 2008

This one–“The Vet Who Forgot To Vet”–is good, too:


after all the vitriol, this is heartening

October 31, 2008

after all the vitriol of the election season, this gave me belly laughs.  good for a friday procrastination break (it’s 25 minutes long)


Cool video–calms the spirit–

October 31, 2008

I can’t link directly to the video, but if you go here, you will find a really cool rap that I find soothing . . .


The guy knows what he’s doing

October 30, 2008


busy, but if you have a minute . . .

October 30, 2008

My parents are here. I am organizing a conference that has been in the works for 5 years for next week. 2,000 miles from where I live.

I may be away a lot in the next week or so — entertain yourselves.

If you pray, pray for KoolAid. He is safe but he reports some deaths close (in feelings, but not physical proximity) to him.


Local politics get ugly

October 30, 2008

Ok, so I decided I should use my one letter to the editor this fall to try to discredit a local candidate who is a real schmuck.  I’ll spare you the back story, or at least as much as possible.  Here is the letter.  It’s about how he didn’t pay his property taxes on time and how I think that should disqualify him from claiming that he’ll be a “good steward of our tax money” since he shows contempt for legal obligations.  He and his wife are Purdue area slumlords who own many rental properties so they make tons of money off students and are angry at things like overcrowding ordinances being enforced against them.  They also hate anything having to do with social welfare–but they’re really good “Christians” and pillars of their community.

So this morning I get a call from the candidate himself.  He’s furious about my letter and threatening to sue me for slander.  I try to tell him that he’s got it all wrong; it’s libel he wants to go for here, because what I said was in written form, but he’s not listening to me; he’s too busy pointing out that he’s lived here for 62 years.  What’s your point? I ask.  He says that he’s lived here his life.  I say have you paid your taxes every year?  Do you deny failing to pay them or failing to pay them on time?  He won’t say.  He demands to know how long I have lived here.  He starts yelling at me.  I tell him we have nothing further to discuss.  I hang up on him when he won’t stop yelling.  I promptly send a note to all the local Democrats about this exchange.  I also call the newspaper, in the hopes that this incident will persuade them not to endorse him, but I’m told they’ve already made their endorsements, which will appear tomorrow.

Here is a picture of this bully, just so you can have a visual:

basham