Letters to the Editor

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CONGRESS: Legislation confers too much power

Letter by Erik Hovden, Olalla on Dec. 2, 2011 at 10:33 am with 51 Comments »
December 2, 2011 11:51 am

Everyone knows that Adolf Hitler was the absolute dictator of Germany for 12 years, but most people don’t realize he got that power legally. In 1933, the democratically elected German Reichstag passed what came to be known as the Enabling Act, which gave Hitler the power to rule however he pleased.

On Tuesday, the U.S. Senate voted to give the president so much power that it reminds me of a first step down that road.

In a military authorization bill, the Senate inserted a clause that gives a president the power to have the military arrest U.S. citizens and send them to a military prison — to be held indefinitely with no trial. Isn’t that something you would have expected from Nazi Germany or Soviet Russia?

This legislation will allow a president to unilaterally send any American to rot in jail with no hope of appealing to a court for a trial. All he has to do is claims the person is a suspect in some kind of terror-related crime.

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Leave a comment Comments → 51
  1. alindasue says:

    First the “Patriot” Act and now this. The fight for our freedoms is not won or lost on battle fields. It’s simple congressional acts like this that pose the greatest dangers to our freedoms. It is our job to hold our legislators accountable and not allow them to continue voting our freedoms away.

  2. LarryFine says:

    … must be George Bush’s fault Obama not only reniged on his campaign promises, but doubled down on the former… kooky that “hope and change” I tell ya.

  3. muckibr says:

    Now where the heck is philichi!? This is his topic. He can rant and rave all he wants to about Hitler, The Third Reich, Germans etc…

    This is The United States of America people, not post WW I Germany. No president will ecer be allowed to become a Fuhrer of the U.S. What a load of garbage!!!

  4. muckibr says:

    ecer = ever

    sorry for the typo!

  5. Vox_clamantis_in_deserto says:

    No one can miss the point so impeccably as you, muck. The writer was employing an analogy – the essence of which is the preposition “like“ – not to be confused with over-used adverb form. So, like, what were you thinking?

  6. muckibr says:

    I know that I am ignoring Vox_…, but like I had to school him in an earlier post about what constitutes a “mixed metaphor” I now have to correct him on the matter of analogies.

    Analogy is the comparison of two pairs which have the same relationship. The key is to ascertain the relationship between the first so you can choose the correct second pair. Part to whole, opposites, results of are types of relationships you should find.

    Example:
    hot is to cold as fire is to ice OR hot:cold::fire:ice

    There is no such analogous relationship to any paragraph, sentence or sentence fragment in the letter written by Erik Hovden.

    The “first step down the road” is not analogous to Hitler being legally made
    absolute dictator.

    The sentence “Isn’t that something you would have expected from Nazi Germany or Soviet Russia?” Is not analogous to any other sentence in the letter.

    In fact the word “like” is nowhere to be fond in Erik;s letter anyway.

    Vox_… add a course in analogies to the one you need to take on mixed metaphors.

    Again I say, this is The United States of America people, not post WW I Germany. Comparing the President of The United States to the Fuhrer of Nazi Germany is like comparing a big old Red Delicious Apple to a rotting decaying overripe Orange, and that my friends is an ANALOGY!

  7. muckibr says:

    Typo correction…

    In fact the word “like” is nowhere to be fond in Erik;s letter anyway.

    should be ===>>>

    In fact the word “like” is nowhere to be found in Erik’s letter anyway.

  8. took14theteam says:

    A little off topic there muckster_nos

    BTDT

    To coin a favorite phrase, “Gawd”

  9. LarryFine says:

    All that impeccabley mucky wallpaper… yet the topic of the letter left bare naked.

  10. beerBoy says:

    Every citizen should be outraged and flooding their Senators with calls, emails, letters protesting this idiocy. And, if this becomes law one hopes that the ACLU will do what they are supposed to do and this goes directly to the Supreme Court for a challenge.

    But….to start a letter with the Hitler analogy is just stupid.

    And Larry….Bush? Really? Mentioning Bush as a way to attack Obama loyalists who haven’t commented yet is about as stupid a rhetorical trick as mentioning Hitler.

  11. Vox_clamantis_in_deserto says:

    muck seems to have missed the mark… again. Not only has muck never “schooled” anyone on anything here, but it seems to have me confused with an earlier exchange with ai. however, if you can link where you “had to school him in an earlier post about what constitutes a “mixed metaphor”, muck, I would appreciate it. i always enjoy reading your wiki-elementary school lectures.

    in the mean time, your lesson for today is to focus like a laser beam on this simple definition of analogy:

    Analogy:
    In rhetoric, reasoning or explaining from parallel cases. Adjective: analogous.

    HTH

    So, if I was to tell you that you are as annoying as nails on a chalkboard, would you say that statement was an analogy, simile, or metaphor?

    (You know what they say, “one good analogy is worth three hours of discussion.”)

  12. qq98411 says:

    Three things for ya bb –

    Why? Why should the collective we be outrage “protesting this idiocy?”

    From what I have read the “battlefield” is now extended to the soil of the United States of America and terrorist acts will be handled by the military as opposed to law enforcement.

    Bush – If I can cut your argument down before you utter a word I would too… :) It was a comparison to ‘The One’ who profess to be so different from the previous President (that was also described and compared to Hilter also.) Not right either way but you gotta admit kinda fun tossing that cowpie around huh?

    Though the letter writer could have done a better job of articulating (sorry writer dude), he is actually not far off. 250 words may be too short to make a case and I would have tied the Reichstag Fire Decree with the Enabling Act as well as others to establish the path to Nazism.

    And then done a comparison type treatment to the similarities between the Patriot Act, amendments in the Defense Authorizations Bills, doubling down with the extensin of the Patriot Act, closing with this amendment in the current authorization bill. (wowzers, you lefties must be going nuts with this incarnation of a President)

    This one is an interesting call for me. I can see your outrage bb, the possibility for abuse, the militarization of the Homeland…

    But in addition to shooting unarmed terrorist wearing pajamas in the face and usng a joystick controlled airplane to blow up American citizens in their fancy cars… what do we do to keep America safe from these yahoos?

    hmmm, what do we do…?

  13. beerBoy says:

    Since it is the SENATE that put this forward and Obama has threatened to use his veto to prevent it being put into law, I really don’t understand the pre-emptive Bush comment to deal with Obama supporters. On this issue, so far, Obama is the guy standing up for Constitutional rights (not that he won’t fold on this like he has done on so many other issues).

    Turning the US into a battlefield in a War against a Tactic of War is rather Orwellian don’t you think?

  14. is this something new? we’ve been spying on our own citizens and locking up whomever we deem a “terrorist” for years since the patriot act was passed. is the difference now that it legally defines u.s. citizens as potential targets instead of just the broad “terrorism” umbrella that they’ve been using in practice anyways?

  15. muckibr says:

    Your example (nails on a chalkboard) in not an analogy Vox_.. It’s a metaphor! And, it describes you better than me.

  16. muckibr says:

    Vox_…

    Here, your own definition of an analogy requires “parallel cases” to compare with each other to make the analogy work. There are no such “parallel cases” anywhere to be found in the original letter by Erik Hovden. (If I am wrong, show me! Prove it.)

    And, as far as your example “you are as annoying as nails on a chalkboard” goes… It is NOT an analogy! There are no “parallel cases” compared. In fact, that statement is a metaphor, and a complimentary metaphor at that since “nails scraping” on a “blackboard” are two things that go together in a classroom environment. And that metaphor does describe you, Vox_…” to a “T”.

  17. muckibr says:

    Vox_…

    As far as your latest comment goes…

    I schooled you on the proper use of metaphors on NOV. 28, 2011 AT 2:47 PM at the following topic…

    DEBT: Obama’s the problem, not the rich

    That was when you were using your kardnos screen name of aislander.

  18. muckibr says:

    Now back to the topic.

    Comparing Adolf Hitler and Nazi Germany to President Barack Obama and 21st Century America is unworthy of any thinking person. And, it would be just as unworthy for anyone to compare George W. Bush to Adolf Hitler as well. I can say I never did that. Although I might have compared George W. Bush’s intellect to that of Howdy Doody!

  19. qq98411 says:

    “On this issue, so far, Obama is the guy standing up for Constitutional rights (not that he won’t fold on this like he has done on so many other issues).”

    On what issue dude? the shooting an unarmed person in the face or the targeting and killing of an American citizen in a foriegn country?

    The hope and change candidate as President, BHO is no saint with this stuff, please do not pretend nor attempt to dish out in any way BHO is the protector of Constitutional rights… nope and you sir just need to copy and paste your own comments on this issue… puleaze…

    Fold… probably…

    “I will veto this bill if passed…”

    ah, cap, they passed it, dang it! Get the back room ready to sign the bill when it gets here. Tell em the brown paper envelope as usual… use the same door where we kicked out the Dalai Lama”

  20. Vox_clamantis_in_deserto says:

    That was when you were using your kardnos screen name of aislander.

    LMAO, you should change your name to mercuryibr.

    Apologies in advance for muck’s derogation, ai, but I’ll take it as a compliment.

  21. Vox_clamantis_in_deserto says:

    Your example (nails on a chalkboard) in not an analogy Vox_.. It’s a metaphor!

    Comprehension, muck, comprehension. I asked a question, you answered – congratulations! But your answer is only half-right, given that a metaphor is a type of analogy. Therefor, the only wrong answer was simile.

  22. Vox_clamantis_in_deserto says:

    Here, your own definition of an analogy requires “parallel cases” to compare with each other to make the analogy work. There are no such “parallel cases” anywhere to be found in the original letter by Erik Hovden.

    Wow, just wow.

  23. LarryFine says:

    I wasn’t “attacking Obama” bB.

  24. muckibr says:

    A metaphor is a figure of speech that uses one thing to mean another and makes a comparison between the two. The key words here are “one thing to mean another.” So, when someone says “He’s become a shell of a man,” we know not to take this literally, even though it’s stated directly as if this person had actually lost his internal substance.
    Simile

    A simile compares two different things in order to create a new meaning. In this case, we are made explicitly aware that a comparison is being made due to the use of “like” or “as” (He’s like a shell of a man). For fun, the next time someone corrects you and says “That’s a simile, not a metaphor,” you can respond by letting them know that a simile is a type of metaphor, just like sarcasm is a type of irony. Resist the urge to be sarcastic in your delivery.
    Analogy

    An analogy is comparable to metaphor and simile in that it shows how two different things are similar, but it’s a bit more complex. Rather than a figure of speech, an analogy is more of a logical argument. The presenter of an analogy will often demonstrate how two things are alike by pointing out shared characteristics, with the goal of showing that if two things are similar in some ways, they are similar in other ways as well. But, it should be noted that an analogy is an analogy and not either a simile or metaphor, ever.

  25. qq98411 says:

    wow, who would have thunk it… a conversation that starts with Hilter and somehow ends up as a use of the English language lesson.

    If I was a supporter of the big O man I too would be talking about anything else except the pitiful record he has as the current President of the United States.

    I probably wouldn’t waste time speculating about whether he has the cojones to veto the NDA. Especially since he said he would if it included the amendment.

    I probably wouldn’t want to talk about how some Senate Democrats voted against my wishes as the leader of the Democratic Party. What is wrong with those guys? Don’t they know I will travel to their states to campaign… especially those swinger states… I like them.

    Nope, not me…

  26. muckibr says:

    This is a terrific example as to why it is pointless to debate with the right-wing robots. Even when you can absolutely prove them wrong, as I have on something as simple as what a mixed metaphor really is or what an analogy is, they absolutely refuse to accept the truth and the facts. They instead prefer to live in their own little deluded world of lies and denials.

    They, the right wing robots can never, ever accept that they can ever be wrong about anything. As I have so demonstrated by these examples of metaphors and analogies. It is entirely pointless to discuss anything with anyone so closed-minded as this.

    Back to topic, let’s debate this…

    Was George W. Bush was more like Adolf Hitler: because Bush was in office when The Patriot Act was forced upon the American people just as the Nazi Loyalty Oath was forced upon the German people.

  27. qq98411 says:

    “As I have so demonstrated by these examples of metaphors and analogies. It is entirely pointless to discuss anything with anyone so closed-minded as this.

    Back to topic, let’s debate this…”

    Why if is it pointless? oh, my mistake ‘entirely’ pointless…

  28. beerBoy says:

    On what issue dude?

    Senate Bill 1867

  29. Vox_clamantis_in_deserto says:

    beerBoy wrote in this thread:

    But….to start a letter with the Hitler analogy is just stupid.

    Hmmm, someone doesn’t agree with your grammar lesson, mucky. And I think bB is a lot smarter than you.

    But I did get a good laugh outta’ the self-portrait that was your last post. Leave out the last two paragraphs, exchange a few descriptive words and phrases and we have… you.

    Thanks for that.

  30. qq98411 says:

    ‘Senate Bill 1867′

    I answered this before… he sounds tough, the Senate defied him, the House? If he actually gets the bill will he veto it as stated. No I think he will cave and sign it.

    As far as arbiter of the Constitution… uhh, you yourself have issues there so I jut refer you to your own postings.

  31. LarryFine says:

    LMAO again… seems muck and RW share the same habit of pulling stuff from their rear. I schooled muck’s buddy, RW, the other day about NO Child Left Behind and now muck is about to get schooled about the PATRIOT ACT.

    muck says : “George W. Bush was more like Adolf Hitler: because Bush was in office when The Patriot Act was forced upon the American people”

    The Act was passed in the House by 357 to 66 (of 435) and in the Senate by 98 to 1 and was supported by members of both the Republican and Democratic parties. (wiki)
    .
    And then on May 26, 2011, President Barack(Barry)Obama(Soetoro)signed a four-year extension of three key provisions in the USA PATRIOT Act: roving wiretaps, searches of business records (the “library records provision”), and conducting surveillance of “lone wolves” kooky
    .
    NOW, if you’d like an example of something being “forced” on the American people and the Nazi comparision… look no further than ‘Obamacare’ …it passed the Senate on December 24, 2009, by a vote of 60–39 with all Democrats and two Independents voting for, and all Republicans voting against.[ It passed the House of Representatives on March 21, 2010, by a vote of 219–212, with 34 Democrats and all 178 Republicans voting against the bill. Kooky

  32. beerBoy says:

    I wrote this:
    On this issue, so far, Obama is the guy standing up for Constitutional rights (not that he won’t fold on this like he has done on so many other issues).

    double Q wrote this:
    I answered this before… he sounds tough, the Senate defied him, the House? If he actually gets the bill will he veto it as stated. No I think he will cave and sign it.

    Not sure how you see any difference in what we are saying.

  33. beerBoy says:

    LF – so now you are comparing “Obamacare” to the Nazis.

    Seriously dude….you complain about another poster’s “wallpaper”??!!!??

  34. qq98411 says:

    bb – again not sure what the issue is… Ok, we seem to have a similar view of a specific bill working its way through the process.

    “On this issue, so far, Obama is the guy standing up for Constitutional rights (not that he won’t fold on this like he has done on so many other issues).”

    You were clear abouth ‘this issue’ I am generalizing by saying Obama is not the pure arbiter of the Constitution that we all like to think he is.

    “Turning the US into a battlefield in a War against a Tactic of War is rather Orwellian don’t you think?”

    We didn’t turn the US into a battlefield, our enemy did by taking a joy ride into two towers, a dead recruiter, and alot of dead and injured in Texas. Also we it not for the fact that those answering the ‘Terrorist R’ Us ads are not the sharpest knife in the drawers there would be more dead… injured…

    None of us know exactly where to put the line, on a granular lever, between keeping us safe and our constitutional rights. But when you are strip searching little boys and granny’s in wheel chairs, I see is less as a Constitutional issue and more of a ‘you really must suck at your job to think this is a good idea’ issue.

    The concept behind this amendment is to attempt to define that line and moving it from a law enforcement to a miliary defense environment. Uncomfortable for us common folk, yes.

    Makes you rethink how important your vote really is doesn’t it.

    Read more: http://blog.thenewstribune.com/letters/2011/12/02/2012-national-defense-authorization-act/#ixzz1fa53DDA8

  35. qq98411 says:

    bb – again not sure what the issue is… Ok, we seem to have a similar view of a specific bill working its way through the process.

    “On this issue, so far, Obama is the guy standing up for Constitutional rights (not that he won’t fold on this like he has done on so many other issues).”

    You were clear abouth ‘this issue’ I am generalizing by saying Obama is not the pure arbiter of the Constitution that we all like to think he is.

    “Turning the US into a battlefield in a War against a Tactic of War is rather Orwellian don’t you think?”

    We didn’t turn the US into a battlefield, our enemy did by taking a joy ride into two towers, a dead recruiter, and alot of dead and injured in Texas. Also we it not for the fact that those answering the ‘Terrorist R’ Us ads are not the sharpest knife in the drawers there would be more dead… injured…

    None of us know exactly where to put the line, on a granular lever, between keeping us safe and our constitutional rights. But when you are strip searching little boys and granny’s in wheel chairs, I see is less as a Constitutional issue and more of a ‘you really must suck at your job to think this is a good idea’ issue.

    The concept behind this amendment is to attempt to define that line and moving it from a law enforcement to a miliary defense environment. Uncomfortable for us common folk, yes.

    Makes you rethink how important your vote really is doesn’t it.

  36. qq98411 says:

    wow, i read LF’s post as an example of ‘forced,’ little adolf never crossed my mind.

    Really bb, you took it that way…?

  37. beerBoy says:

    NOW, if you’d like an example of something being “forced” on the American people and the Nazi comparision… look no further than ‘Obamacare’

    Not sure how you couldn’t take it that way.

  38. beerBoy says:

    We didn’t turn the US into a battlefield, our enemy did by taking a joy ride into two towers, a dead recruiter, and alot of dead and injured in Texas.

    The terrorists didn’t force the PATRIOT Act or S 1867 – our representatives did it all by themselves.

  39. qq98411 says:

    enough with the Nazi crap, one could go down that road, I don’t have the time…

    …by themselves… really? the smell of burning jet fuel, corpses, buildings gone… that had nothing to do with it?

    You wanna make a case they were reactionary then make it.

    Or better yet how about this for a conversation stopper…

    What would you propose in reponse to the attack on 911?

    What do you propose for the continued probes, attempted attackes and the successful attacks on our soil?

  40. At the time that our Constitution needs/needed the most vigorous defense is the time they so readily gave it away. There can always be found a horrific enemy – and there have been many through out history – but it is our Congress and President who are the ones that are responsible (and the many citizens who were so eager to give our rights away for a perception of security – me…..I think duct tape and plastic sheeting made more sense).

    The Constitution and Bill of Rights need defending precisely when a case can be made that it would be more convenient if we just eased back on those freedoms.

    Those Who Sacrifice Liberty For Security Deserve Neither
    Benjamin Franklin

  41. I am not asking to ease back on any constraints imposed by the Constitution on our government. I am asking that they use some sense when applying the current laws with a focus on the mandated task of defending America.

    You don’t offer a whole lot of specifics so I gotta ask… is their anything in your mind that is unconstitutional in hte Patriot Act?

    What specific freedoms were eased or trampled upon with the passage of the Patriot Act?

    Are their provisions of the Patriot Act that are questional related to the Constitution?

    Are their parts of the Partriot Act that you feel are effective and comply with the Constitution?

    Too much… or the above questions related to Senate Bill 1867, specifically the Amendment sec 1031, 1032

    I thing the goevernment is more stupid in its application of this stuff then maliscious. (except Rahm Emmaual, he is maliscious)

  42. LarryFine says:

    Pay attention bBoy… upthread one of your wallpaper buddies made this a$$inine statement…

    “Was George W. Bush was more like Adolf Hitler: because Bush was in office when The Patriot Act was forced upon the American people just as the Nazi Loyalty Oath was forced upon the German people.”

    If you’re going to stalk me, at least have the courtesy to get up to speed before commenting. ;)

  43. beerBoy says:

    dubleq –

    Rather than repeat what others have written – go to the “controversy” section
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/USA_PATRIOT_Act#Controversy

  44. qq98411 says:

    Trying to work my way around the ‘weasel words’ is there a specific issue you have with the Patriot Act? You can point and say ‘ugh’

    OK, you have an issue with all, most, some, varients of the preceeding…

    Again, don’t know what to ya. Yes, wee can all call our Congressman as you suggested earlier but to tell them what?

    ps – the ‘weasel words’ I can handle but the reference to Michael Moore… jeeze please not again…

  45. LarryFine says:

    Arts… obviously you guys have a habit of inserting words such as “unfettered” and “forced”, when no one suggested anything resembling such… it’s the whole “red herring” thing you guys keep trying to foist on people you disagree with.

    Lyndon LaRouche group… Nooo kidding.

  46. beerBoy says:

    Not sure how I can get any more direct than this:

    PATRIOT Act = No probable cause required for search and seizure.
    Also – more problematic, is that the government is not disclosing how it is interpreting the law.
    http://www.wired.com/dangerroom/2011/05/secret-patriot-act/

    S. 1867 = No right of Habeas Corpus for citizens.
    The Senate refused to amend the bill to clarify that citizens would be given habeas corpus rights.
    http://www.activistpost.com/2011/12/entire-united-states-is-now-war-zone.html

    As the above-cited states – there is a very real probability that Obama will, once he is done with his puffed-up preening for the press, sign the bill into law when it hits his desk.

  47. LarryFine says:

    Not sure how I can get any more direct than this…

    muck says : “George W. Bush was more like Adolf Hitler: because Bush was in office when The Patriot Act was forced upon the American people” YET
    The Act was passed in the House by 357 to 66 (of 435) and in the Senate by 98 to 1 and was supported by members of both the Republican and Democratic parties.

    As I stated earlier… a more accurate example of something being “forced” on us is ‘Obamacare’… you know, we had to “pass it to find out what’s in it”…60–39 in the senate, 219–212 in the house.

    There ya go and here’s your sign> “intentionally obtuse or willfully ignorant”

  48. qq98411 says:

    BB – do you have one case of even a kinda case, even from one of your sources where it is pausible that an abuse of Constitutional protections is document… I’ll even take alluded to…

    I have rhetoric but no real case, do you?

  49. qq98411 says:

    here ya go bb – occupyLV has madea statement against S1867…

    http://www.occupylv.org/news/occupy-las-vegas-repudiates-national-defense-authorization-act

    the trial for treason is a little much though… Treason? how do yo make that case?

  50. Why the Patriot Act’s expansion of records searches is unconstitutional
    Section 215 of the Patriot Act violates the Constitution in several ways. It:

    * Violates the Fourth Amendment, which says the government cannot conduct a search without obtaining a warrant and showing probable cause to believe that the person has committed or will commit a crime.
    * Violates the First Amendment’s guarantee of free speech by prohibiting the recipients of search orders from telling others about those orders, even where there is no real need for secrecy.
    * Violates the First Amendment by effectively authorizing the FBI to launch investigations of American citizens in part for exercising their freedom of speech.
    * Violates the Fourth Amendmentby failing to provide notice – even after the fact – to persons whose privacy has been compromised. Notice is also a key element of due process, which is guaranteed by the Fifth Amendment.
    http://www.aclu.org/national-security/surveillance-under-usa-patriot-act

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