The American Hypocrisy Union


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funnybone
July 7, 2008, 05:52 PM
:fire:

The American Hypocrisy Union

Ready Line contributor Ellen Wickham was delighted, as were most Americans, with the outcome of the recent District of Columbia v. Heller decision laid down by the U.S. Supreme Court. But then she read a link I posted to the American Civil Liberties Union, and its statement regarding the majority opinion handed down by the High Court

And she keeps wondering . . . what would ACLU founder Robert Baldwin think?

The American Hypocrisy Union
By Ellen Wickham

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) considers itself to be “our nation’s guardian of liberty.” In order to ensure that every citizen of this nation enjoys the freedom the Constitution sets forth, the ACLU works tirelessly in the “courts, legislatures and communities to defend and preserve the individual rights and liberties that the Constitution and laws of the United States guarantee.”

Unless of course they disagree. Then you are **** out of luck!

These are quotes taken from the ACLU’s “Guardians of Freedom” pamphlet. So I find myself a little confused when I read on the ACLU’s Blog of Rights website that they have chosen not to support the Supreme Court’s recent affirmation of the 2nd Amendment (D.C vs. Heller). You know, the one that says the citizens of the United States have an individual right to keep and bear arms.

It seems the ACLU disagrees with this decision. The organization thinks the Supreme Court got it wrong. I didn’t know it was the place of the ACLU to determine which amendments were right or wrong. I thought it was the organization’s place to defend the amendments regardless of the political popularity of the amendment and who it affects. In fact, I think they say just that in this paragraph taken from their own literature:

“Historically, the people whose opinions are the most controversial or extreme are the people whose rights are most often threatened. Once the government has the power to violate one person’s rights, it can use that power against everyone. We work to stop the erosion of civil liberties before its’ too late.”


So does this mean the ACLU will not be taking on any cases involving 2nd Amendment issues? They haven’t prior to the Heller decision, which may be understandable considering the ambiguity surrounding the collective versus individual right argument. But now that that has been decided by the highest court in our country, what is stopping them?

Oh yeah . . . their own biases, prejudices and ignorance.

According ACLU founder Roger Baldwin, “So long as we have enough people in this country willing to fight for their rights, we’lll be called a democracy.” Mr. Baldwin if you really believed this, then you must be rolling over in your grave. Because the very ideal you founded your organization upon is being ignored today, the document you held so dear is being discarded and the preservation of the rights of the individual is being tossed out the window by the very organization you founded to protect those rights.

What happened to the democracy you believed in?

Ellen Wickham is a Central Ohio educator.

Posted by Brent Greer at 5:17 PM

http://thereadyline.blogspot.com/2008/07/what-would-baldwin-think.html

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Standing Wolf
July 7, 2008, 08:58 PM
So long as we have enough people in this country willing to fight for their rights, we’lll be called a democracy.

The United States is a republic.

makarovnik
July 7, 2008, 09:00 PM
Amen!

Shung
July 7, 2008, 09:09 PM
are ?

Redtail
July 8, 2008, 01:39 AM
Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for launch. Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote.

Could you find democracy in the constitution? Try republic...

CSG
July 8, 2008, 01:50 AM
The ACLU has been a joke for decades. Just like the Southern Poverty Law Center and other left-wing organizations hypocritically claiming to be for our rights while doing everything in their power to restrict them or selectively defend them.

Leif Runenritzer
July 8, 2008, 03:13 AM
are ?

+1

robert garner
July 8, 2008, 07:28 AM
Shung, Well said.
robert

bensdad
July 8, 2008, 07:37 AM
Shung,
The sad thing is, most Americans would read your post and wonder what the heck you mean. I'll bet many HERE will wonder what you mean.

Microlon
July 8, 2008, 07:52 AM
Shung,

Before the American Civil War, people did indeed say "The United States ARE...", but afterward it became "United States IS..."

The war hammered home the idea that we are one nation, not a collection or federation of states. For good or ill, we say "IS" now, though it may be grammatically off-center.

230RN
July 8, 2008, 09:08 AM
Collected plurals is funny.

Hk91-762mm
July 8, 2008, 05:39 PM
The Right To Bear Arms

The Second Amendment has not been the subject of much Supreme Court discussion through the years. To the extent it has been discussed, the Court has described the Second Amendment as designed to protect the ability of the states to preserve their own sovereignty against a new and potentially overreaching national government. Based on that understanding, the Court has historically construed the Second Amendment as a collective right connected to the concept of a "well-regulated militia" rather than an individual right to possess guns for private purposes.

In Heller, the Court reinterpreted the Second Amendment as a source of individual rights. Washington D.C.'s gun control law, which bans the private possession of handguns and was widely considered the most restrictive such law in the country, became a victim of that reinterpretation.

The Court was careful to note that the right to bear arms is not absolute and can be subject to reasonable regulation.

====>>>>>>>>>Yet, by concluding that D.C.'s gun control law was unreasonable and thus invalid, the Court placed a constitutional limit on gun control legislation that had not existed prior to its decision in Heller. It is too early to know how much of a constitutional straitjacket the new rule will create.

I HAD TO LOOK HARD AND FAR ON THE aclu WEBSITE JUST TO FIND THIS LITTLE PARAGRAPH Ops caps ,
I was supprised That the aclu almost ignored the SCOTUS rueling.....

Shung
July 8, 2008, 06:00 PM
thx for puting the gramatically correct explanation Microlon, I myself found that explanation some years ago, and was surprised by it.

my "are" was simply to remind what was the 1st and the correct (in my mind), name and meaning of your magnificent country.

United, of course (Switzerland is also a federal country) but this doesn't mean you have to forget about each and everyone specificities.

Centering the powers, always scared me.

ps: Beside english I speak 3 languages. French, Italian and German... and all of the keep using "USA are.." as they do for other, like the UAE for example.

siglite
July 8, 2008, 06:34 PM
Pfft...

Read here for hilarity. (http://blog.aclu.org/2008/07/01/heller-decision-and-the-second-amendment/)

RPCVYemen
July 8, 2008, 07:07 PM
The American Hypocrisy Union

Why is it hypocritical to disagree with a Supreme Court decision?

The ACLU agrees with some Supreme Court decisions, and disagrees with others.

I agree with some Supreme Court decisions, and disagree with others. Am I a hypocrite?

Do you agree with some Supreme Court decisions, and disagree with others. Are you a hypocrite?

The ACLU has a stated position that the 2nd Amendment guaranteed a collective right to protect the ability of the states to preserve their own sovereignty against a new and potentially overreaching national government.

Can anyone demonstrate even the slightest bit of hypocrisy in that belief?

hypocrisy: The practice of professing beliefs, feelings, or virtues that one does not hold or possess; falseness.

The only way for the ACLU's stated to be hypocritical is if they believed all those years that it was an individual right - while they were professing that it was a collective right. But they didn't do that. They believed that it was a collective right, and they professed that it was a collective right. How could that possibly be hypocritical?

If you profess what you believe, then you are not a hypocrite. You may simply be wrong in your beliefs.

Sit down, get yourself a glass of water, breath in and out slowly. The ACLU was wrong about the 2nd Amendment. Do I need to dial 911, or will you be OK?

It's scary to me that a "Central Ohio educator" doesn't know the definition of hypocrisy.

Mike

Happiness Is A Warm Gun
July 8, 2008, 07:33 PM
First post but this finally got me riled up enough to stop lurking (last couple months) and register.

Why is it hypocritical to disagree with a Supreme Court decision?
I agree with some Supreme Court decisions, and disagree with others. Am I a hypocrite?
Do you agree with some Supreme Court decisions, and disagree with others. Are you a hypocrite?

The point is that the ACLU doesn't claim to just defend ACLU rights they defend all AMERICAN rights. Their mission statement is that they will defend rights even among groups that they personally dislike or do not agree with (KKK/pedphiles/etc) because they defend the RIGHT not the group or person.

The ACLU claim is that they don't decide what is a right. The constitution gives the Supreme Court the role as the final arbiter of the laws and bill of rights in our country.

Personally I never liked the ACLU. I thought they went too far using an ivory tower thinking where world is completely black and white. I however could respect them (even when I disagreed with them) because I believed (as many others did) that they defended AMERICAN RIGHTS.


The only way for the ACLU's stated to be hypocritical is if they believed all those years that it was an individual right - while they were professing that it was a collective right. But they didn't do that. They believed that it was a collective right, and they professed that it was a collective right. How could that possibly be hypocritical?

That is a very narrow view, try looking at the bigger picture. Their role, based on their own literature is that they defend American rights. In this instance they are not defending an American right. They are deciding what is or is not an acceptable right based on their own personal values, the very thing they claims others are doing and they need to defend against. By saying the Supreme Court is wrong they have taken it upon themselves to decide (not defend) what is a right and what is not; contrary to Constitution (which entrusts that to the Supreme Court).

The hypocrisy is that they CLAIM to defend American rights when the truth is the ONLY defend rights they agree with (ACLU rights).

Now the belief in a collective right isn't hypocritical in itself. There was no clear precedent and while I personally have always believed in an individual right it is certainly understandable that others would not especially in the absence of clear authority.

After the ruling they should have updated their position. They claim to DEFEND not DECIDE rights. The Supreme Court (who is given the role of final arbiter by the American Constitution) has clearly defined the 2nd ammendment of the Bill of Rights as a Right. Since the ACLU defends all rights they should defend it. Since they didn't that indicates they DON'T defend rights, they only defend rights they agree with which is hypocritical.

The ACLU should simply clarify their statement from "defends American rights" to "The ACLU determines what is a right and what should be denied as a right. We know what is best for you and even when the highest court in the land rules that an American right exists, it doesn't matter because we don't accept any right as defined by anyone else (or the Constitution) which runs contrary to our personal views. While many will find this confusing because we have defended rights which ran contrary to other peoples views the difference is that we know better than you, the founders, the Supreme Court or any other political organization. To make it simple we will both define what a right is and then defend it.
If they did that they would be kooks but at least they wouldn't be hypocritical.

H088
July 8, 2008, 07:37 PM
The ACLU fights for the individuals right on all issues except for the 2nd amendment. They like ignoring any issue that doesn't fit into their social viewpoint of what America should be.

Their real name is American Civil Liberties we support Union.

siglite
July 8, 2008, 07:44 PM
Wow mike, you really missed the boat on this one. The hypocrisy is not in their consistently wrong interpretation of the second amendment. The hypocrisy is in the claim that they support civil liberty, yet disavow the 2nd.

They wouldn't know liberty if Sam Adams smacked 'em in the nose with a rolled up copy of the Declaration of Independence.

Psywarrior13
July 8, 2008, 07:55 PM
Must be hard for the ACLU to eat that much humble pie and admit that they were wrong.

Big45
July 8, 2008, 07:58 PM
Pfft...

Read here for hilarity.

Wow. Almost 1000 comments and they are getting absolutely pummeled. I love it!:)

SCKimberFan
July 8, 2008, 08:13 PM
And most all of them from other liberals and members of the organization...

RPCVYemen
July 8, 2008, 08:17 PM
The constitution gives the Supreme Court the role as the final arbiter of the laws and bill of rights in our country.

OK, that's fine.

After the ruling they should have either remained quiet and simply released a statement.

What? Is anyone obligated to silently accept a Supreme Court ruling? Is dissent prohibited?

By saying the Supreme Court is wrong they have taken it upon themselves to decide (not defend) what is a right and what is not which is contrary to Constitution (which entrusts that to the Supreme Court).

That doesn't follow. By disagreeing with the Supreme Court, they have doen no more or less than disagree with the Supreme Court. Are we all obligated to agree with every ruling?

You keep saying that the ACLU decides what is and is not a right. Sorry, that's not possible. The ACLU has no Constitutional power that I know of - certainly not to decide what it and is not a right. Where are you claiming they get that power?

You or I or the ALCU can decide what is or is not a right, but the final arbiter in a (US) court of law is the Supreme Court. That's what's in the Constitution.

Wow mike, you really missed the boat on this one. The hypocrisy is not in their consistently wrong interpretation of the second amendment. The hypocrisy is in the claim that they support civil liberty, yet disavow the 2nd.

The interpreted the 2nd differently than I do, and differently than the Supreme Court now does.

But I challenge you seriously to show where disavowed the 2nd - as opposed to interpreting it differently. Please give me a citation.

Mike

Psywarrior13
July 8, 2008, 08:21 PM
Ok, from their own website..

The ACLU disagrees with the Supreme Court's conclusion about the nature of the right protected by the Second Amendment. We do not, however, take a position on gun control itself. In our view, neither the possession of guns nor the regulation of guns raises a civil liberties issue.

REALLY? Are you kidding me?

siglite
July 8, 2008, 08:39 PM
But I challenge you seriously to show where disavowed the 2nd - as opposed to interpreting it differently. Please give me a citation.

Claiming it as a collective right is effectively disavowing it. The "collective" interpretation places the right in the hands of government controlled militia. This places arms as a sole authority of the government, not a liberty of the people. I'm sure you're familiar with this trainwreck of logic. As such, I'll leave it as that.

So, should I have said "disavow it as an individual liberty?" Would it be unfair to say that they disavow the first if they advocated restricting speech to government press offices? I think not.

They disavow the second as it is written, and as it is interpreted by the Supreme Court.

From the American Heritage Dictionary:


To disclaim knowledge of, responsibility for, or association with.

The ACLU is not the government, who would presumably control the militia. Therefore, they disavow it. It is not to be associated with them. Or us, under their interpretation. They would grant government a monopoly on force.

RPCVYemen
July 8, 2008, 08:40 PM
REALLY? Are you kidding me?

Read Heller. Aren't they agreeing almost word for word with Heller? Heller rejected an outright ban, but left open unspecified regulations. What are regulations? Gun control.

According to the SCOTUS, an outright ban (like DC's) is unconstitutional, but some level of regulation is not. It looks like Heller permits banning of certain weapons. Here's volokh on those regulations (he's a right wing Constitutional law scholar):

3. Limitations that are presumptively constitutional. As I read the decision, and especially the parts of the decision Orin has noted, several kinds of firearms regulations appear to be constitutional, at least as a general matter, whatever the level of scrutiny the courts settle on: (1) prohibitions on gun ownership by felons and the mentally ill; (2) prohibitions on gun possession in “sensitive places” like schools and government buildings, presumably including courthouses; (3) laws regulating the commercial sale of guns; (4) laws prohibiting the possession of unusually dangerous weapons, like sawed-off shotguns and machine guns; (5) prohibitions on carrying concealed weapons, which the Court describes as having been common and constitutional under Nineteenth Century case law; and (6) laws providing for the safe storage of weapons to prevent accidents (Op. at 60). The Court does not, of course, decide whether these restrictions are constitutional, and certainly doesn’t give a green light to unnecessarily onerous forms of these restrictions, but broadly speaking they’re probably acceptable. Note also that the Court’s list of presumptively acceptable limitations is not exhaustive.

http://volokh.com/posts/1214514180.shtml

Mike

siglite
July 8, 2008, 08:45 PM
Read Heller. Aren't they agreeing almost word for word with Heller? Heller rejected an outright ban, but left open unspecified regulations. What are regulations? Gun control.

Am I reading out of context, or are we still talking about the ACLU? The ACLU is fundamentally at odds with Heller, and with the 2nd amendment.

From the ACLU site I linked earlier:

The ACLU interprets the Second Amendment as a collective right. Therefore, we disagree with the Supreme Court’s decision in D.C. v. Heller.

No, it sure doesn't look like they're agreeing word-for-word with Heller.

jaholder1971
July 8, 2008, 08:46 PM
Take a look at who founded the ACLU and it says it all about this organization.

It was founded by Communists in an effort to use our own Constitution to destroy this nation. So far they're doing a pretty good job.

1911Tuner
July 8, 2008, 08:46 PM
Before the American Civil War, people did indeed say "The United States ARE...", but afterward it became "United States IS..."

The war hammered home the idea that we are one nation, not a collection or federation of states. For good or ill, we say "IS" now, though it may be grammatically off-center.

Bingo, and thanks for bringing that up. I was about to.

As for being gramatically incorrect...it becomes correct when you add "Of America" to "The United States."

Say it...

"The United States of America...IS...a republic.

Sounds about right...don't it?

cambeul41
July 8, 2008, 08:58 PM
Is or are?

Does anyone here vote for "A million dollars are a lot of money"?

mnrivrat
July 8, 2008, 09:20 PM
Now the belief in a collective right isn't hypocritical in itself. There was no clear precedent and while I personally have always believed in an individual right it is certainly understandable that others would not especially in the absence of clear authority.

Once again I urge some of you to read the findings of the senate juditiary committee study of the second amendment done in 1982 (97th congress as I recall)

This study was very clear regarding the 2nd being an "individual" right . The ACLU as well as the 4 supreme court judges in Heller chose to ignore this study by what should have been a clear authority on the matter. Even the likes of Ted Kennedy and Joe Biden who sat on this committee have chosen to ignore its findings which were derived from an exausting study by experts in the field.

230RN
July 8, 2008, 09:26 PM
You're right, Siglite, that ACLU Blog is hilarious:

http://blog.aclu.org/2008/07/01/heller-decision-and-the-second-amendment/

Tom Servo
July 8, 2008, 10:22 PM
what would ACLU founder Robert Baldwin think?

You mean THIS (http://www.worldnetdaily.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=45959) Roger Baldwin?
I am for Socialism, disarmament and ultimately, for the abolishing of the State itself … I seek the social ownership of property, the abolition of the propertied class and sole control of those who produce wealth. Communism is the goal.

Roger Baldwin loved Communism, and he had no problem with the disarmed being abused towards that end. In 1934, he had his face rubbed in the abuses of the Soviet regime, and still, he supported the system:

I saw in the Soviet Union many opponents of the regime. I visited a dozen prisons — the political sections among them. I saw considerable of the work of the OGPU. I heard a good many stories of severity, even of brutality, and many of them from the victims. While I sympathized with personal distress I just could not bring myself to get excited over the suppression of opposition when I stacked it up against what I saw of fresh, vigorous expressions of free living by workers and peasants all over the land. And further, no champion of a socialist society could fail to see that some suppression was necessary to achieve it.

–Soviet Russia Today, original copy researched by Eugene Volokh (pdf) (http://www.law.ucla.edu/volokh/blog/baldwin.pdf)

The ACLU's two biggest supporters are George Soros' Open Society Institute ($4,949,080 since 1998) and the Tides Foundation ($1,213,477 since 2004).

They're not a civil-rights organization; they're a political lobbying machine.

I think Baldwin would be quite happy with his organization :mad:

thebaldguy
July 8, 2008, 10:37 PM
The NRA has shown to be a powerful lobby in the USA; I can't help but think that if they changed their tone on the 2nd Amendment, they might have a few NRA members donate to the ACLU.

RPCVYemen
July 8, 2008, 11:07 PM
Roger Baldwin loved Communism,...

Do you have the intellectual honesty and personal integrity to tell the whole story?

Mike

Tom Servo
July 9, 2008, 02:38 AM
Do you have the intellectual honesty and personal integrity to tell the whole story?
Not sure what you mean. I know he recanted a bit in the post-war years, when such associations were political suicide.

I haven't researched it as closely as I'd like, so if I'm missing something, I'm all ears.

Thin Black Line
July 9, 2008, 08:34 AM
The war hammered home the idea that we are one nation, not a collection or federation of states. For good or ill, we say "IS" now...

However, if we were a "collection" of states we'd have more votes in various
NWO orgs just like the FRY, FSU, FBE, etc now do. Right now we have just
one vote. Imagine what 52 would do for the cause of global freedom? ;)

junyo
July 9, 2008, 11:44 AM
Do you have the intellectual honesty and personal integrity to tell the whole story?
I'm assuming you mean:
...Baldwin's ideological stance underwent an alteration starting in the mid-thirties, the byproduct of personal and political developments... This was the same period when Baldwin became increasingly disturbed by events in the Soviet Union, where purge trials were being undertaken, and by politically troublesome accusations leveled at the ACLU by the House Committee on un-American Activities.

Roger in his beloved canoe (Courtesy of Peggy Lamson)

Baldwin became less happy with the Popular Front approach and concerned about the very existence of the ACLU after the announcement of the Nazi-Soviet Non-Aggression Pact in August 1939. The following spring, in an effort to stave off criticisms of the organization and the cause he had devoted much of his adulthood to, Baldwin orchestrated a campaign to revise the ACLU charter. Henceforth, those affiliated with totalitarian organizations would not be allowed to serve on the ACLU board. The immediate target was the former-Wobbly and present Communist Party member, Elizabeth Gurley Flynn. An organizational "trial" of Flynn ensued, resulting in her ouster and establishing a pattern for anti-communist policies and programs that flourished during the Cold War. In the meantime, Baldwin and the ACLU wrestled with the issue of internment of Japanese-Americans and Japanese aliens, which had been demanded by the U.S. military. In contrast to many of his longtime colleagues at the ACLU, Baldwin continued to challenge such violations of civil liberties, but he also sought to maintain good relations with the federal government. He opposed the prosecution of native fascists and Trotskyists alike, just as he later challenged the moves by government officials to abridge the rights of communists.
http://www.harvardsquarelibrary.org/unitarians/baldwin.html

He later denounced communism in his book, A New Slavery, which condemned "the inhuman communist police state tyranny"http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roger_Nash_Baldwin

In 1940, the ACLU formally barred communists from leadership or staff positions, and would take the position that it did not want communists as members either. The board declared that it was "inappropriate for any person to serve on the governing committees of the Union or its staff, who is a member of any political organization which supports totalitarianism in any country, or who by his public declarations indicates his support of such a principle." The purge, which was led by Baldwin, himself a former supporter of Communism, began with the ouster of Elizabeth Gurley Flynn, a member of both the Communist Party USA and the IWW.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/American_Civil_Liberties_Union#History

However, in light of the fact that the ACLU was constantly under fire from the government due to the number of communist and socialist in it's early leadership, it could be argued that such a "change of heart" by the man/organization was pragmatic and cosmetic. Baldwin, et al., certainly didn't do much to help fight communism.

RPCVYemen
July 9, 2008, 12:05 PM
Not sure what you mean. I know he recanted a bit in the post-war years, when such associations were political suicide.

Try again. Baldwin turned virulently anti-communist and purged the ACLU of Communist Party members in 1940 - clearly not "post-war" years. Baldwin purged the ACLU of communists at a time when the Soviet Union was about to become an ally of the US. He did not "recant a bit" - he forced all communists out of the ACLU:

In 1940, the ACLU formally barred communists from leadership or staff positions, and would take the position that it did not want communists as members either. The board declared that it was "inappropriate for any person to serve on the governing committees of the Union or its staff, who is a member of any political organization which supports totalitarianism in any country, or who by his public declarations indicates his support of such a principle." The purge, which was led by Baldwin, himself a former supporter of Communism, began with the ouster of Elizabeth Gurley Flynn, a member of both the Communist Party USA and the IWW.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ACLU

I may have rushed to judgment, but since the exact same page you quoted from - Eugene Volokh's article on Roger Baldwin - had the story of Baldwin's recantation exactly one paragraph away from the paragraph you quote:

Did you not see the following paragraph?

To his credit, Baldwin apparently recanted in 1939 (though, as I said, that was mighty late), and turned into a severe critic of the Soviet regime. And of course even in the 1930s, many in the ACLU were anti-Communist, and today's ACLU ought not be judged because of the failings of an ACLU leader in the 1930s.

http://www.volokh.com/posts/1126138099.shtml

Note that Eugene Volokh is no fan of the ALCU - he accuses Baldwin of being an "FDR socialist" (i.e., a supported of the New Deal). Even though Volokh has no love for the ACLU, he is honest enough to tell the whole truth.

If you did not know that Baldwin rejected his support for communism before WWII, then I withdraw my comments.

I am however puzzled, because the Volokh article from a debate between Eugene Volokh and Geof Stone over whether the ACLU's refusal to permit communists to be members is Constituitional. So the exclusion of communists from the ACLU was not a minor detail of the article you cite - it was the main topic of debate.

Here is Eugene Volokh's defense of the exclusion of communists:

http://volokh.com/archives/archive_2005_09_04-2005_09_10.shtml#1126047007

Here is Geof Stone's defense of that exclusion:

http://volokh.com/archives/archive_2005_09_11-2005_09_17.shtml#1126718016

Here is Eugene Volokh's discussion of Baldwin's 1934 statements about communism - including the PDF that you quoted:

http://volokh.com/archives/archive_2005_09_11-2005_09_17.shtml#1126718016

The very same web page also includes a notice of Baldwin's anti-communist book, "A New Slavery", which details his rejection of communism. Though - to be fair - the discussion of that book is pretty far into the web page.

I am also glad to see Prof. Volokh reiterate his point that Baldwin "recanted in 1939 (though, as I said, that was mighty late), and turned into a severe critic of the Soviet regime." Anyone who questions Baldwin's "recantation" and criticism of the Soviet regime should read his book: A New Slavery: The Communist Betrayal of Human rights.

So if you missed all that, I apologize and withdraw my comments about intellectual honesty and personal integrity.

If you did in fact know that Baldwin completely rejected communism by 1940 - even a staunch conservative like Volokh accepted that the recantation was real - and decided to tell only a partial truth in an attempt to smear the ACLU, then shame on you. Half-truths are a low road tactic - whether told by the anti's, or by us.

By the way, for those who care, here's Volokh's reasoning for defending the ACLU against false accusations - even though he disagrees with them about nearly everything:

Why Do I Keep Blogging About Unsound Criticisms of the ACLU? Two reasons. First, people and organizations that are wrongly criticized deserve to be defended, even if on balance these are people and organizations with whom one disagrees on many matters. That's especially so if the wrongful criticisms come from people who are at some broad level of generality in one's own political camp. If liberals are wrongly faulted by conservatives, we conservatives should correct those errors. (Don't argue please that liberals don't do the same when the shoe is on the other foot; some do and some don't, and in any case their failings wouldn't excuse our failings.)

Second, as I've said before, I often disagree with the ACLU, and I sometimes even condemn it with some force for its actions. I want to have company in such expression, and many readers of this blog are natural sources of well-founded condemnation of the ACLU.

But we'd both open ourselves up to making false allegations (which is bad itself) and look foolish (which is bad instrumentally) if we fall into a visceral hostility to the ACLU that clouds our judgment, and leads us both to ignore the correct positions that the ACLU takes and to misstate the ACLU's supposed errors.


I wish that THR posters had the gumption to say "If liberals are wrongly faulted by conservatives, we conservatives should correct those errors."

Mike

Mike

one-shot-one
July 9, 2008, 12:15 PM
i thought ACLU
was the American Comunist Liberals Union.:confused:

torpid
July 9, 2008, 12:25 PM
If liberals are wrongly faulted by conservatives, we conservatives should correct those errors.

That was easy! :)

The [ACLU] interpreted the 2nd differently than I do, and differently than the Supreme Court now does.

They are blatantly wrong in their refusal to acknowledge the fact that it is indeed an individual right, and it it stands out like a sore thumb compared to their unswerving dedication to other civil liberties.

And this ridiculous posturing has a substantial portion of the ACLU's member base (the ones who care about all our rights and civil liberties) re-evaluating the moral honesty of the organization.

RPCVYemen
July 9, 2008, 12:37 PM
Volokh is a good read. He's a conservative/libertarian legal theorist who's a very good friend of 2nd Amendment. He is a stickler for the truth - even when that leads him to defending the ACLU against the standard Rush/O'Reilly lies. Volokh actually thinks lying is wrong, and makes you look foolish.

http://volokh.com/archives/archive_2006_01_08-2006_01_14.shtml#1137223560

Here's what he said about the ACLU and gun rights in 2006 - he captured my sentiments exactly:

ACLU of Texas and Gun Rights: I think it's too bad that the ACLU takes a collective rights view of the Second Amendment, and generally doesn't do much to defend state constitutional rights to bear arms. (As readers of this blog might realize, I don't think they're evil or even hypocritical for disagreeing with my interpretation of the Second Amendment, or even for declining to defend the clearly individual state constitutional rights. They're entitled to pick and choose what rights they think are most important to defend, just as the NRA and my two favorite conservative/libertarian public interest law firms, the Institute for Justice and the Center for Individual Rights, are entitled to do the same. I just think the ACLU is mistaken in its views.)


http://volokh.com/archives/archive_2006_01_15-2006_01_21.shtml#1137534663

He writes well, and helps me understand how legal scholars think. Here's his web page. Lot's of Heller posts:

http://volokh.com

Mike

phydaux
July 9, 2008, 01:53 PM
The ACLU's founder, Roger Baldwin, stated: "We are for SOCIALISM, disarmament, and ultimately for abolishing the state itself... We seek the social ownership of property, the abolition of the propertied class, and the SOLE CONTROL of those who produce wealth. COMMUNISM is the goal." (Source: Trial and Error, by Geo. Grant)



Following are some of the stated goals of the ACLU, from its own published Policy Issues:

*

the legalization of prostitution (Policy 211);
*

the defense of all pornography, including CHILD PORN, as "free speech" (Policy 4);
*

the decriminalization and legalization of all drugs (Policy 210);
*

the promotion of homosexuality (Policy 264);
*

the opposition of rating of music and movies (Policy 18);
*

opposition against parental consent of minors seeking abortion (Policy 262);
*

opposition of informed consent preceding abortion procedures (Policy 263);
*

opposition of spousal consent preceding abortion (Policy 262);
*

opposition of parental choice in children's education (Policy 80)

-- not to mention the defense and promotion of euthanasia, polygamy, government control of church institutions, gun control, tax-funded abortion, birth limitation, etc. (Policies 263, 133, 402, 47, 261, 323, 271, 91, 85).



Ruth Ginsburg was General Counsel, (1980–1993) American Civil Liberties Union
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SCOTUS


The ACLU is not my friend!:mad:

phydaux

torpid
July 9, 2008, 02:12 PM
I'm sorry, but if those speaking for the ALCU go to such tortured lengths to knowingly misinterpret the Amendment which acknowledges the means to the most basic human right of self defense, and a check against a tyrranical govenment, there's something fundamentally wrong with the leadership of the organization. An organization that actively encourages the public perception of their being the "champion and watchdog" of the people's* civil rights, needs to embrace all of our rights, not attempt to rationalize away support for rights that may interfere with their ideology or sources of funding.

This disingenuous "oh, it's so nebulous, we can't see it as an individual right" position is laughable considering the context of "the People" mentioned in the Second Amendment among the others in the Constitution, and the not very subtle attitudes seen in the personal writings of the creators of the document itself. Add to that 9 Supreme Court judges (including dissenters of the Heller ruling itself) reinforcing that individual right, and we have a most unseemly farce.

I have to agree with the observation made by a commenter on the ACLU blog noting that our civil rights seem to be interfering with the ACLU's agenda.


*and no, I do not mean collectively

Tom Servo
July 9, 2008, 02:15 PM
So if you missed all that, I apologize and withdraw my comments about intellectual honesty and personal integrity.

If you did in fact know that Baldwin completely rejected communism by 1940 - even a staunch conservative like Volokh accepted that the recantation was real - and decided to tell only a partial truth in an attempt to smear the ACLU, then shame on you. Half-truths are a low road tactic - whether told by the anti's, or by us.
So are ad hominem attacks.

Those aren't half-truths. Yes, Baldwin did reject communism, but statements supporting suppression and human suffering to support dictatorship aren't the rash, impulsive utterances of a headstrong young man. Nor are they easily ignored.

If a political candidate had made those statements at any point in his past, do you think he'd have any chance of getting elected?

Feel free to check out the foundations from whom the ACLU gets large portions of their funding. They may have toned down the rhetoric, and it may seem friendlier, but the agenda they're pushing is very similar to that of Northern European nanny states.

There is no such thing in our Constitution as a "collective right," and an organization of civil-rights lawyers should know that better than anyone.

RPCVYemen
July 9, 2008, 02:55 PM
Yes, Baldwin did reject communism, ...

If you had noted in your post that Baldwin in fact recanted his infatuation with communism - even if you thought that it was insincere - then I would not have objected.

Reporting his infatuation while skipping his recantation reported on the same web page strikes me as a cheap smear tactic.

We accuse anti's of reporting half truths all the time. We should cleave to a higher standard.

Mike

MJRW
July 9, 2008, 03:06 PM
Mike,

Just wanted to chime in here to say "thank you." I find even here that people hold views that are unreasonable and I believe that to be right, one must be reasonable. To be reasonable, one must admit that which is true even though they do not like the truth. I agree that the ACLU is wrong, not hypocritical, and when we have to argue over whether or not they are hypocritical.

I'm pro-2A, I largely agree with the Heller decision, and I do not find the ACLU to be hypocritical, just disagreeable.

MGshaggy
July 9, 2008, 04:09 PM
I'm pro-2A, I largely agree with the Heller decision, and I do not find the ACLU to be hypocritical, just disagreeable.

And I'll agree with you on that...at least with respect to the ACLU's position on the 2nd Amendment. No group is perfect and while I think the ACLU does some great work when it comes to the 1st amendment, I disagree with their position on the 2nd. Perhaps they'll eventually come around; it took years for Larry Tribe to finally come to the conclusion that the 2nd was an individual right, but he did, and I think the ACLU may eventually also. But the fact thatI disagree with them on one issue does not negate the fact that I agree with them on others. By contrast, I wonder how many of the people vilifying the ACLU here and calling them hypocritical for their position on the 2nd would also vilify the NRA and call them hypocrites? The acknowledged mission of the NRA is to promote and defend the 2nd Amendment rights of law-abiding Americans, but it was the NRA that helped get 922(o) in place (the ban on new manufacture of machineguns), they didn't do anything to help the 1934 Group's case challenging the arbitrary and capricious nature of the CLEO signoff requirement for NFA weapons, and the NRA tried to scuttle Heller because they didn't want it to go to the SCOTUS. Even though the NRA has done damned little to get back our rights with respect to NFA weapons (which THEY sold down the river), I'm still a member of the NRA and I think they do some good work in other areas of the 2nd Amendment.

H088
July 9, 2008, 04:16 PM
The NRA couldn't really do anything legally about the NFA in regards to the 2nd because there was no ruling on what the 2nd amendment stood for, now its recognized as an individuals right. This will be one of the key components in fixing the NFA or at least forcing open the machine-gun registry.

MGshaggy
July 9, 2008, 04:23 PM
H088 - I think you're confusing this with Heller. It was the NRA that allowed the 922(o) ban on new machineguns to go through in the first place (1986). They gave their blessing to the bill with the ban because they wanted to get the rest of FOPA passed. In essence, they sold NFA enthusiasts down the river. However, while they did that, they promised gun owners they'd work to get 922(o) repealed in seperate legislation. That never happened and they've shown a staggering amount of reluctance to do anything related to the NFA ever since.

shdwfx
July 9, 2008, 04:38 PM
Why is it hypocritical to disagree with a Supreme Court decision?

Obviously, there is nothing intrinsically hypocritical about any action taken only by itself. The ACLU's non-support of the 2nd Amendment as an individual right in light of their claimed support for civil liberties is.

Read Heller. Aren't they agreeing almost word for word with Heller?

I have and no they aren't. Hardly. None of the nine wraiths (even Stevens) believes the 2nd is a collective right.

On the other hand...

(link (http://blog.aclu.org/2008/07/01/heller-decision-and-the-second-amendment/)) The ACLU interprets the Second Amendment as a collective right. Therefore, we disagree with the Supreme Court’s decision in D.C. v. Heller.

To assert the ACLU is in agreement with Heller, especially when even they assert their position so clearly, is...absurd.

RPCVYemen
July 9, 2008, 06:27 PM
The ACLU is not my friend!

Bad news, my friend - I agree with with just about every policy you list. Of course your descriptions of the policies on the wacky side, so it's not real clear what the underlying policy really is, and I don't know how to look them up by policy number. For example, I think policy #264 had nothing to do with "promotion of homosexuality" - I suspect it's a policy that the government should not discriminate against same sex couples when it comes to civil marriages. I don't really care to have the government tell any two adults that they can't get married. My marriage don't need defending by any right wing wackos - my wife and I are doing just fine, thanks. :)

The ACLU is my friend.

Oddly enough, so is Justice Ginsburg. :) Not professionally or philosophically, and definitely peripherally. But invoking her name doesn't cause me to faint dead away at the keyboard.

I'm pro-2A, I largely agree with the Heller decision, and I do not find the ACLU to be hypocritical, just disagreeable.

And I'll agree with you on that...at least with respect to the ACLU's position on the 2nd Amendment. No group is perfect and while I think the ACLU does some great work when it comes to the 1st amendment, I disagree with their position on the 2nd. Perhaps they'll eventually come around; it took years for Larry Tribe to finally come to the conclusion that the 2nd was an individual right, but he did, and I think the ACLU may eventually also. But the fact that I disagree with them on one issue does not negate the fact that I agree with them on others.

I am in agreement with both of you.

To assert the ACLU is in agreement with Heller, especially when even they assert their position so clearly, is...absurd.

I stand corrected - I was wrong. What I should have said is:


The Heller decision does not contradict a gun control agenda at all - it rejected a philosophical position that would have permitted a complete ban (the "collective right" theory), but left almost every other gun control law in place.

The Heller decision scored an important philosophical point, but I was disappointed that Heller apparently permits:


prohibitions on gun ownership by felons and the mentally ill;
prohibitions on gun possession in “sensitive places” like schools and government buildings, presumably including courthouses;
laws regulating the commercial sale of guns;
laws prohibiting the possession of unusually dangerous weapons, like sawed-off shotguns and machine guns;
prohibitions on carrying concealed weapons, which the Court describes as having been common and constitutional under Nineteenth Century case law; and
laws providing for the safe storage of weapons to prevent accidents


While Heller rejects the "collective right" argument, it didn't appear to me to do anything to prohibit current gun control regulations that are not bans. The list above agrees pretty well with the ACLU's position that gun control is in fact permitted.

Particularly by permitting states to prohibit concealed carry (#5 above), Heller seems (so far) like an endorsement of gun control! #3 - regulating commercial sales looks like it could permit states to implement "x handguns per month/year" legislation.

Heller doesn't appear to prohibit much in the way of gun control. Subsequent decisions may have more impact.


Mike

torpid
July 9, 2008, 07:23 PM
The list above agrees pretty well with the ACLU's position that gun control is in fact permitted.

If the ACLU is an organization dedicated to the protection of our civil rights, and chooses to disagree with the SCOTUS, might I propose these "non ban" gun control measures be the focus of dissent instead of disagreeing with the Court's affirmation of our existing individual rights?

shdwfx
July 9, 2008, 08:16 PM
The Heller decision does not contradict a gun control agenda at all - it rejected a philosophical position that would have permitted a complete ban (the "collective right" theory), but left almost every other gun control law in place.

Rejecting the philosophical foundation for an outright ban was a critical first step in rolling back gun control laws, and Scalia left a lot of opportunity for successive litigation. For all the shortcomings of a very narrow ruling, it could have easily gone the other way.

To the extent that the ACLU opposes this and supports a "collective rights" interpretation of the 2nd Amendment, they are no better than the Brady bunch. Their position supports an out-right ban, and that is unacceptable.

While Heller rejects the "collective right" argument, it didn't appear to me to do anything to prohibit current gun control regulations that are not bans.

Agreed. It was a very narrow ruling. But, the other way of looking at it is the court ruled only on the laws contested by the plaintiff. Heller did not contest licensure, fitness conditions, etc.
To the extent that a judiciary over-reaching its bounds is bad for our system of checks and balances, I support their restraint.
Worse than bad legislation is a judicial aristocracy usurping the responsibilities of the legislature.

k_dawg
July 9, 2008, 08:41 PM
the ACLU's actions are no different than the southern white racists who refuse to acknowledge that blacks have rights.

RPCVYemen
July 9, 2008, 08:58 PM
To the extent that a judiciary over-reaching its bounds is bad for our system of checks and balances, I support their restraint.

Eugene Volokh would agree with you. I was a little disappointed. If the freedom to keep and bear arms is like freedom of speech, then it seems to me as though it should have as few restricts as producing and handing out a pamphlet. It seemed like a bit of a Pyrrhic victory. I guess we'll find out more in the future as litigation determines what are and are not "reasonable" restrictions.

But we are way off topic here.

I don't find anything hypocritical about the ACLU's positions - I think it's simply wrong. I am a member of both the NRA and the ACLU - I think that's the only way I know of to support all of the Bill of Rights.

To quote Volokh again,

[QUOTE] As readers of this blog might realize, I don't think they're evil or even hypocritical for disagreeing with my interpretation of the Second Amendment, or even for declining to defend the clearly individual state constitutional rights. They're entitled to pick and choose what rights they think are most important to defend, ... /QUOTE]

Mike

mnrivrat
July 10, 2008, 12:09 AM
I don't find anything hypocritical about the ACLU's positions - I think it's simply wrong.

I guess that's a matter of perspective ,in the sense that if you believe an organization whose propose is to in general fight for your rights, then I believe their stance on the 2nd to be hypocritical. I believe all rights are worth fighting for, not just the ones that tweek your twinkle.

I too agree with the ACLU's stand on many issues , and indeed I also agree with you that they are wrong on this one. The right to be wrong in this case is not allowed in my opinion ,when I consider them friend or foe for the purpose of RTKBA . That makes them a lot harder to support as an organization for me.

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