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Will ACTA Be Found Unconstitutional?

timothy posted more than 4 years ago | from the but-it's-a-leaving-document dept.

Government 260

DustyShadow writes "Harvard's Jack Goldsmith and Lawrence Lessig have an interesting op-ed in Friday's Washington Post, arguing that it would be constitutionally dubious for President Obama to adopt the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) as an executive agreement. '[T]he Obama administration has suggested it will adopt the pact as a "sole executive agreement" that requires only the president's approval. ... Joining ACTA by sole executive agreement would far exceed these precedents. The president has no independent constitutional authority over intellectual property or communications policy, and there is no long historical practice of making sole executive agreements in this area. To the contrary, the Constitution gives primary authority over these matters to Congress, which is charged with making laws that regulate foreign commerce and intellectual property.'"

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260 comments

I hope so. (2, Insightful)

portalcake625 (1488239) | more than 4 years ago | (#31638600)

This isn't just piracy anymore.
It's Big Brother. And it's all linked together, you're always locked to BB.
Screw it.

canada IT WILL (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31639394)

Section 12 of the charter of rights and freedoms
CRUEL and UNUSUAL PUNISHMENT

Re:I hope so. (4, Insightful)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 4 years ago | (#31639456)

Yes.

But if I say something like "This is why I don't like Obama. He's just a continuation of Bush's anti-liberty/anti-individual rights policies," I'll get modded down.

Watch.

The people's will (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31638604)

Obama won the election and represents the will of the people. He can do what he wants. That's democracy.

Re:The people's will (0, Offtopic)

Jurily (900488) | more than 4 years ago | (#31638622)

Yeah. It's not like the US actually cares about international agreements they don't like, anyway. See Kyoto [wikipedia.org] .

Re:The people's will (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31638666)

Go back to school, do not pass go, do not collect grant money.

Re:The people's will (4, Informative)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | more than 4 years ago | (#31638690)

"Obama won the election and represents the will of the people. He can do what he wants. That's democracy."

No, that is not how American government works. The president is elected to oversee the implementation of bills passed by Congress, that is all -- presidents do not create laws, nor do they unilaterally decide that the US should sign a treaty. What Obama is doing is sidestepping America's democracy, so that Biden's friends in Hollywood can get what they want.

Re:The people's will (0, Flamebait)

Glock27 (446276) | more than 4 years ago | (#31639188)

What Obama is doing is sidestepping America's democracy, so that Biden's friends in Hollywood can get what they want.

Exactly. 0 is on a roll of ignoring the Constitution. It appears he views it as an outdated, inconvenient obstacle to be overcome.

Just as bad (or possibly even worse) the "Democrats", who're supposed to be the "party of the people" are ignoring the clear will of the people in many cases. For instance shoving healthcare "reform" down our throats which around 60% of the citizens don't want.

0 is shaping up to be one of the worst Presidents ever, and almost certainly a one-term wonder. I'm hopeful that the Dems will lose a lot of their power this coming November.

Re:The people's will (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31639268)

Eat a dick. No, seriously. I'm sure you were cheering when Shrub forced a trillion dollars of wars down our throats, wiretapped American citizens in direct violation of the FISA regulations, and illegally ordered prisoners of war to be tortured.

And your claim regarding HCR isn't even accurate, not that it would matter given how many lies the Rethugs have put out there. How can an elected body pass legislation with a majority of the votes and NOT represent the will of the people? THAT'S HOW DEMOCRACY WORKS.

Re:The people's will (0, Flamebait)

Glock27 (446276) | more than 4 years ago | (#31639448)

Eat a dick.

How eloquent. Nice job hiding as an AC, too. Man up and post so we know who you are, loser. :-)

No, seriously. I'm sure you were cheering when Shrub forced a trillion dollars of wars down our throats, wiretapped American citizens in direct violation of the FISA regulations, and illegally ordered prisoners of war to be tortured.

Nice talking points, with oh so little substance though. I guess you forgot there was broad bipartisan support for both wars, and almost every country's intelligence agency thought Iraq had a nuclear weapons program. Apparently many have forgotten that UN inspectors actaully observed both chemical and biological agents in Iraq.

I suppose you've also forgotten that 0, among his myriad broken campaign promises, has kept right on slogging both in Iraq and Afghanistan.

And your claim regarding HCR isn't even accurate, not that it would matter given how many lies the Rethugs have put out there.

"Rethugs", how clever.

At any rate, you are dead wrong once again. Check out this Gallup poll [newsweek.com] , showing only 36% approve of 0's handling of healthcare. Even the most left leaning of "news" sources can't ignore the facts. Get yours straight next time.

How can an elected body pass legislation with a majority of the votes and NOT represent the will of the people? THAT'S HOW DEMOCRACY WORKS.

Your comprehension of English is abysmal. The "will of the people" is most directly what the majority of the people want. Of course, we don't live in a pure democracy, we live in a republic, but I'm sure you knew that. THAT is why our "elected representatives" have power instead of it being straight majority rule.

The idiocracy currently in power will find out about the true will of the people in November this year, and on election day 2012. That is if 0 doesn't ban elections in the name of some convenient crisis or another. I'd put very little past him given his narcissism, arrogance and hatred for America.

Re:The people's will (2, Insightful)

NeutronCowboy (896098) | more than 4 years ago | (#31639532)

Just as bad (or possibly even worse) the "Democrats", who're supposed to be the "party of the people" are ignoring the clear will of the people in many cases. For instance shoving healthcare "reform" down our throats which around 60% of the citizens don't want.

I thought the point of a "republic" was that it isn't just a tyranny of the majority. Maybe, just maybe, Healthcare reform is something that needs to be implemented over the objections of a majority? Or would you like to argue that direct democracy is a better form of government? Or is it just that you're pissed that your will isn't followed by all around you?

0 is on a roll of ignoring the Constitution. It appears he views it as an outdated, inconvenient obstacle to be overcome.

You mean, he doesn't agree with your interpretation of the constitution. Or did you miss the parts of the constitution that were ignored in about, oh, a half-dozen major changes to the American Landscape in the last decade?

The arguments you're making are nothing but hot air and empty rhetoric, that can be applied to any situation. Unfortunately, that means that even if Obama would do exactly what you want him to do, the US would just continue down its current path - because you don't have a problem with the system, just merely with the direction the system is heading in.

Re:The people's will (1)

Glock27 (446276) | more than 4 years ago | (#31639688)

Just as bad (or possibly even worse) the "Democrats", who're supposed to be the "party of the people" are ignoring the clear will of the people in many cases. For instance shoving healthcare "reform" down our throats which around 60% of the citizens don't want.

I thought the point of a "republic" was that it isn't just a tyranny of the majority. Maybe, just maybe, Healthcare reform is something that needs to be implemented over the objections of a majority?

I actually agree in principle with the idea of healthcare reform. It's just that real reform wouldn't look anything like the abortion that the Dem majority and President have conceived.

Even despite their constant lying about the cost, people have seen through them. The cost will in reality be enormous and force enormous direct and indirect taxes on the middle class. Yet another broken campaign promise.

Forcing Americans to buy insurance is flat-out unconstitutional and un-American.

Or would you like to argue that direct democracy is a better form of government?

Not at all, just that the "Democrats" are supposed to be more, not less, directly responsive to the people. Many of them have been famous for their changing positions based on polls. Clearly, 0 isn't in that category.

Or is it just that you're pissed that your will isn't followed by all around you?

That's probably a good idea, but I leave that as optional. ;-)

0 is on a roll of ignoring the Constitution. It appears he views it as an outdated, inconvenient obstacle to be overcome.

You mean, he doesn't agree with your interpretation of the constitution.

Show me where in the Constitution (note capitalization) that the Federal Government is authorized to mandate that citizens buy goods or services. It's not a matter of "interpretation", the language is quite clear. Amazing that the Constitution accomplishes so much in just a few pages, so very unlike modern legislation that apparently requires thousands, and that legislators don't even bother reading or understanding before voting. It's ridiculous.

Or did you miss the parts of the constitution that were ignored in about, oh, a half-dozen major changes to the American Landscape in the last decade?

Not at all, nor did I like all of those changes. The thing I want least of all, though, is a change that vastly expands the Federal Government while very probably bankrupting the country.

The arguments you're making are nothing but hot air and empty rhetoric, that can be applied to any situation. Unfortunately, that means that even if Obama would do exactly what you want him to do, the US would just continue down its current path - because you don't have a problem with the system, just merely with the direction the system is heading in.

I would like to see the "system" revert to that described in the founding documents, with a limited government that mostly minds its own business and stays out of mine.

The country might even become prosperous again under such a system. ;-)

Re:The people's will (2, Interesting)

WNight (23683) | more than 4 years ago | (#31639628)

Funny how someone who didn't needlessly start a war over lies and waste trillions outside the country can be "one of the worst".

Somewhere in the bottom 50, you mean?

Re:The people's will (1)

ceoyoyo (59147) | more than 4 years ago | (#31639632)

Actually, it seems that the US government doesn't really work the way you think. There doesn't seem to be anything clearly illegal about a president "making law" by signing treaties unilaterally. The article says it's even fairly routine in some situations.

Perhaps your constitution needs a bit of a clean up. Such as requiring that treaties be ratified by your legislative branch before becoming law.

Re:The people's will (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31638794)

And here we have a typical Obamabot.

What is sad is that a large majority of Slashdotters will agree with this guy because regardless of age, they are essentially still the ignorant, mouth breathing, annoying, know it all 14 yo that lives in the basement and whacks off to the underwear advertisements in the Sunday newspaper.

And the ignorance on display here is astounding. But then again, it's the ignorance that got Obama elected. How many people are now waiting for their Free Heath Care card to arrive in the mail? Many, many more than anyone is willing to admit.

Re:The people's will (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31639072)

LOL, seems to me like the teabaggers have a fair share of assburgers as well. Fix your sarcasm detector, nerd.

Re:The people's will (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31639538)

Better to wait for a Free Health Care card than the Men In Black swooping in and shooting up your whole family because your neighbors reported you for...anything - 2001-2009. McCartyism Part II

It's all part of the plan (-1, Troll)

Porchroof (726270) | more than 4 years ago | (#31638610)

The Kenyan's plan is to lead America into socialism and fascism and to do that he will not balk at using any means possible, legal or illegal, constitutional of unconstitutional.

Re:It's all part of the plan (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31638774)

You took the post right out of my mouth. Kenyan wasn't the word I would've used though.
I think after this and the Clintons, No one with any brains would vote for or claim to be Democrat.
It would affect getting or keeping a job. It would affect getting respect from fellow military personnel and a "don't ask, don't tell" policy will probably be instituted. Property values in Democrat neighborhoods will plummet. They'll lynch Democrats in Mississippi and burn them out.
They won't be allowed to marry, adopt children or teach in public schools( except in New Hampshire of course). Their peace and equal rights marches and quoting Kennedy and King will go ignored. I notice even Negroes don't talk as boldly about having "one of their own" in the White House or at all , for that matter. You might as well claim to be a Nazi Lesbian Drug Dealing Pedophile as to admit you are a Democrat.
        I think this false notion of a two party system is headed off the radar screen. I doubt the Republicans will profit much from it though, as they might as well be Democrats by their actions as well.

Re:It's all part of the plan (1)

NeutronCowboy (896098) | more than 4 years ago | (#31639284)

The next Republican who claims that Slashdot is a liberal haven where republican/conservative views are squashed due to groupthink will get this comment and its informative mod linked.

Re:It's all part of the plan (1)

Kral_Blbec (1201285) | more than 4 years ago | (#31639484)

I think after this and the Clintons, No one with any brains would vote for or claim to be Democrat.

When did they?

Only hope has passed... (5, Interesting)

cbope (130292) | more than 4 years ago | (#31638646)

I believe the only hope in passing ACTA was to keep it secret. The cat's out of the bag with the leaked and commented document. Yes, I've read it and yes it's very scary. Much of it goes way beyond countering counterfeiting and piracy.

Now that the public has access to the leaked document, hopefully a lot of people will read it, make their own conclusions, and let their representatives know how they feel about it. That's the way to defeat this. At least here in the EU, our MEP's have said wait a minute, let's take a deeper look into this.

If ACTA passes as it is today, we are all going to be screwed. Keep up the pressure on your elected representatives.

Re:Only hope has passed... (5, Informative)

flyneye (84093) | more than 4 years ago | (#31638990)

I wrote my senators and congressman. It took 5 minutes of my time using copy/paste after I wrote the first one.
Finding their contact pages was easily googled , just put in the term" [your state here without brackets] senators" and another "[your state here without brackets] congressional district map" should get you there. Bookmark for future reference. Without any input from people, these clowns will pretty much do whatevers convenient for them at the time. Speak up and be heard, they are your voice and this is your interface for representation.
If you do nothing or maintain and spread the false attitude that your opinion won't be heard, you have no right to complain about your government.
Your message may not be personally read, but the information is used like poll info to let them know what their constituents are thinking.
Get on with it, pull up a tab and DO IT NOW!

Re:Only hope has passed... (2, Insightful)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 4 years ago | (#31639478)

I wrote all 535 (well almost - a few I couldn't locate). And before you say I shouldn't do that, I'm merely following the example of folks like Tim Geitner, Congressman Murtha, Charlie Rangel, Vern Buchanan and so on.

Apparently the American House/Senate now operates on the same principles as the Old Roman Senate. (For those that don't get the reference, replace Roman Senate with Star Wars' Senate.)

Re:Only hope has passed... (1)

WNight (23683) | more than 4 years ago | (#31639706)

They KNOW what we're thinking. That's why they rush to pass ACTA.

All a "representative democracy" does is make a dictatorship look like you have some say. It combines the worst aspects of mob rule and tyranny.

How about this: "Dear Rep, I do not agree you have the power to sign treaties for me - in your dealing, please make clear that you do NOT speak for everyone."

Uh, isn't that covered in the constitution already (3, Informative)

Rich0 (548339) | more than 4 years ago | (#31638654)

Ok, let's read Article II, Section 2 of the US Constitution:

He [the president] shall have Power, by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, to make Treaties, provided two thirds of the Senators present concur;

So, how is a trade agreement not a treaty?

Re:Uh, isn't that covered in the constitution alre (4, Insightful)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | more than 4 years ago | (#31638670)

It is not being called a "treaty" because then the senate would have to vote on it, giving the American public a small window of opportunity to review it and decide whether or not we want it. Copyright lobbyists know that would be bad news for them, since they have not yet convinced the American public that their business interests are more important than our rights and freedoms (but they are working on that -- brainwashing schoolchildren and all), so they convinced their friends in the White House to sidestep democracy. Really, these people have no interest in freedom or democracy, unless it applies to them and their business; when it is inconvenient, they are quick to abandon it.

What is scary is that we have a president who stands with them on it.

Re:Uh, isn't that covered in the constitution alre (2, Insightful)

DoofusOfDeath (636671) | more than 4 years ago | (#31638812)

It is not being called a "treaty" because then the senate would have to vote on it, giving the American public a small window of opportunity to review it and decide whether or not we want it.

If you're right, I'm really concerned and sadenned. Bush et al weren't proscuted for committing torture, perhaps simply because they refused to accept that choice of terminology. If the other two branches of government let the same, humiliatingly vapid technique keep them slapping down Obama regarind a treaty that he has no right to enact, then I just don't know what to say. I know that people in power (all three branches) get away with ignoring the Consitution, but it's starting to seem like the norm rather than the exception.

I know people often say, "If .... happens, I'm moving to Canada / Australia / Europe." Usually when I say it, I'm just joking. But if the U.S. adopts ACTA and Europe does not, I really might be getting close to the tipping point of seeking a visa for some European country. It just seems like there are more and more straws on the camels back, starting with around W's presidency.

Re:Uh, isn't that covered in the constitution alre (1)

ground.zero.612 (1563557) | more than 4 years ago | (#31639274)

I know people often say, "If .... happens, I'm moving to Canada / Australia / Europe." Usually when I say it, I'm just joking. But if the U.S. adopts ACTA and Europe does not, I really might be getting close to the tipping point of seeking a visa for some European country. It just seems like there are more and more straws on the camels back, starting with around W's presidency.

Now that you've posted that, your IP has been logged for future denials of said visa requests.

Re:Uh, isn't that covered in the constitution alre (2)

WNight (23683) | more than 4 years ago | (#31639798)

The US and the shit they spread - ACTA/DMCA, Iraqi/Afghan war, torture mentality, killer cops, etc is covering the whole world, where do you hope to go?

Would it be too much to ask for you to stay there and fix the problem? Excessive lobbyists could catch a little "civilian lobbying", politicians who don't do what they say (or break the law) could be hung...

Not only would it help the world, but you'd be able to stay home and it wouldn't suck. Clean up your yard.

Re:Uh, isn't that covered in the constitution alre (2, Insightful)

krou (1027572) | more than 4 years ago | (#31638828)

Isn't it likely to get passed anyway since the US is really a plutocracy [wikipedia.org] ? I'm not sure the American public have as much say on it as you think; the public mouthpieces (i.e. the media) would make sure they argue the case for it to sway public opinion. Maybe there'll be one or two minor concessions, but I doubt it. And what do you mean "it is scary is that we have a president who stands with them on it"? Did you really expect Obama be different to any other US president that have all continually been pro-corporate? That's where their bread is buttered.

Re:Uh, isn't that covered in the constitution alre (1)

khallow (566160) | more than 4 years ago | (#31639022)

Isn't it likely to get passed anyway since the US is really a plutocracy?

No. Wealth is not the only power in the US.

Did you really expect Obama be different to any other US president that have all continually been pro-corporate?

Who says ACTA is pro-corporate? Sure ACTA is supported by the usual *AA suspects. They tend to be corporations. But it is opposed by corporations as well (Google, for example). Like most such legislation, there are both winners and losers on the business side. There's no universal "pro-corporate" face here.

Re:Uh, isn't that covered in the constitution alre (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31639510)

No. Wealth is not the only power in the US.

It might not be but it is increasingly becoming the only power that matters.
Most of the non-corporate lobbying groups have single issues and rarely get involved in
matters outside of whatever they have a chip on their shoulder about. The others mostly
dont have the money or resources to do anything.

While Google might be against ACTA it doesn't seem to go against Google's "future" business
interests. Google wants to become everyone's gateway to the net. They want to be your ISP,
your search engine, your browser, your office suite, your medical records keeper, your
entertainment provider. They want everything you do to be with them. Its all data they can
collect, index and sell to advertisers. If ACTA passes they'll still want to be your ISP
but one that sells you a walled garden where you can legally share music, tv & movies (with
targetted ads of course).

Ultimately ACTA requires closer monitoring of people's internet usage and that is that Google is all about.

Re:Uh, isn't that covered in the constitution alre (1)

WhatAmIDoingHere (742870) | more than 4 years ago | (#31639616)

You have to be a millionaire to get elected. Wealth is the greatest power in this country.

Re:Uh, isn't that covered in the constitution alre (1)

khallow (566160) | more than 4 years ago | (#31639044)

Keep in mind that they would need 2/3 support in the Senate for this treaty. Given that the Democrats don't have that amount, that means some Republican support from a group that has in the recent past been very keen on obstructing Obama initiatives. Sure, that vote could happen as you expect, but it'll result in more work and a few bruises that Obama can avoid merely by bypass the Senate and the Constitution.

Re:Uh, isn't that covered in the constitution alre (1)

Kral_Blbec (1201285) | more than 4 years ago | (#31639508)

They needed 2/3rds for health care too.. See how much that stopped them?

Re:Uh, isn't that covered in the constitution alre (4, Interesting)

MindlessAutomata (1282944) | more than 4 years ago | (#31638684)

How is a "police action" (a la Vietnam) not a war? Hairsplitting and semantic quibblings go far in the world of politics. After all, nobody is more powerful than the politicians and courts themselves to challenge them, and so long as they give themselves the appearance of expertise and authority political consensus can do whatever the hell it wants.

Re:Uh, isn't that covered in the constitution alre (1)

Vancorps (746090) | more than 4 years ago | (#31638900)

I believe the new definition is one where a draft can be constituted versus one where a standing army alone is deployed. This of course is not the definition I agree with but it seems to be the one that they role with seeing as how congress has not declared war officially. Naturally expecting congress to do their job would be too much to expect. They could have stopped the ridiculous spending of the Bush era thus preventing Obama from using the new powers that Bush assumed. This would have extended to Iraq although Afghanistan would still have been a target being the source country for 9/11.

Re:Uh, isn't that covered in the constitution alre (1)

zippthorne (748122) | more than 4 years ago | (#31639058)

No, if the troops are used for more than 90 days, war must be declared by congress. They don't have to use the specific words, "we, the xxxth congress of the US, declare a war on blahbahstan." A "force authorization" is also a declaration of war, in the same way that "warranted search" does not mean that there needs to be a specific document with the title of "warrant." There are circumstances which warrant search.

It might be nice if we did require them to use those specific words, though.

Re:Uh, isn't that covered in the constitution alre (1)

Vancorps (746090) | more than 4 years ago | (#31639318)

I specifically said that the definition in use is not the correct definition. You are correct on what the actual definition is but congress has not declared war on Iraq and we've been there for many years now. There have been many engagements lasting longer than 90 days that we have participated in without a declaration from congress.

Hence my statement about Congress stopping Bush from spending trillions on Iraq. Many thousands of died as a result and there is no declaration from Congress.

Re:Uh, isn't that covered in the constitution alre (0, Troll)

Kral_Blbec (1201285) | more than 4 years ago | (#31639518)

"The ridiculous spending of the Bush era..."
How quaint. When Bush did it, it was bad. When Obama speeds it up a gazilion times, its good?

Re:Uh, isn't that covered in the constitution alre (0, Troll)

WhatAmIDoingHere (742870) | more than 4 years ago | (#31639626)

When Bush spent billions, it was to kill poor brown people.

Re:Uh, isn't that covered in the constitution alre (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31638958)

Did you, uh, read that at all before you pasted it?

He [the president] shall have Power, by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, to make Treaties, PROVIDED TWO THIRDS OF THE SENATORS PRESENT AGREE.

This article is about him signing this as something that requires only his signature, with no senators needed. Thanks for playing.

Re:Uh, isn't that covered in the constitution alre (1)

insufflate10mg (1711356) | more than 4 years ago | (#31639230)

That was his point.. thanks for playing...

Re:Uh, isn't that covered in the constitution alre (2, Insightful)

Thiez (1281866) | more than 4 years ago | (#31639060)

> He [the president] shall have Power, by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, to make Treaties, provided two thirds of the Senators present concur;

The key is not to have any Senators present, or just 1 who supports ACTA ;)

Re:Uh, isn't that covered in the constitution alre (1)

erroneus (253617) | more than 4 years ago | (#31639202)

That sort of reminds me of how the DMCA got passed.

NAFTA also isn't a treaty. (1)

Oxford_Comma_Lover (1679530) | more than 4 years ago | (#31639190)

IIRC, NAFTA also isn't a treaty.

> How is a trade agreement not a treaty?

Treaties are more complicated than one line in the Constitution. Not only is there international law regarding what constitutes a treaty and how a treaty's to be interpreted (See the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties, for example), but most countries, including the United States, have their own jurisprudence on what constitutes a treaty and what legal effect it has.

Regarding sole executive agreements, the President can make them because he is "the sole organ" of the nation in matters of state, which basically just means he's the head of state and speaks for the country. He doesn't have treaty power there, but he has a certain limited power, particularly in areas where executive agreements are historically useful.

For example, unfreezing the contested assets of a foreign country in the United States as part of a diplomatic arrangement. (IIRC, Reagan did this with Iran, unfreezing contested assets to send them to an adjudication process both countries had agreed on.)

Consider, also, that US Law differentiates between self-executing and non-self-executing treaties; the latter require domestic legislation to implement. Sometimes that means states have to implement treaties, and sometimes they don't. For example, Texas doesn't comply with the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations (Medellin v. Texas, and if I'm remembering the right treaty--it's been a while).

Re:Uh, isn't that covered in the constitution alre (1)

I_Voter (987579) | more than 4 years ago | (#31639308)

RE: Article II, Section 2 of the US Constitution: The Supremacy Clause

The fact that fully ratified treaties have constitutional authority, became more significant to me when I discovered that President George H.W. Bush had signed something called The Copenhagen Document.

The Copenhagen Document of the Helsinki Accords states in part:
(7.6) - respect the right of individuals and groups to establish, in full freedom, their own political parties or other political organizations and provide such political parties and organizations with the necessary legal guarantees to enable them to compete with each other on a basis of equal treatment before the law and by the authorities;..

I would love to have the Senate ratify it, and have that treaty become Constitutional law.
See: Copenhagen Document
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ballot_access [wikipedia.org]

Re:Uh, isn't that covered in the constitution alre (1)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 4 years ago | (#31639514)

Because the new Executive Agreement effectively does this to the People's Constitution: "He shall have Power, by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, to make Treaties (strikethrough) provided two thirds of the Senators present concur (/strikethrough)"

I wonder if this EA idea also applied to the EU? Would their new president have the power to ratify treaties without the concurrence of the Parliament?

More proof (3, Insightful)

Schraegstrichpunkt (931443) | more than 4 years ago | (#31638656)

This just goes to show that ACTA is really all about policy laundering.

The Constitution (4, Insightful)

MindlessAutomata (1282944) | more than 4 years ago | (#31638664)

Appeals to the Constitution are not necessary. Modern political thought is wishy-washy on the Constitution--it's something to trot out as a convenience if it agrees with you, but also safely ignored if the Constitution runs contrary to your agenda. And, hell, whose to say you can't just reinterpret it through a postmodern perspective (as a "living document")?

The sheer amount of 5-4 decisions on the court should indicate that the court makes political decisions, and not merely informed, unbiased interpretations of law. The fears, wants, desires, and agendas of the judges affect constitution rules moreso than whatever the constitution itself says.

Re:The Constitution (5, Insightful)

tm2b (42473) | more than 4 years ago | (#31638850)

The sheer amount of 5-4 decisions on the court should indicate that the court makes political decisions, and not merely informed, unbiased interpretations of law.

Not really. It just suggests that cases where the law is clear (and thus would have larger majorities) don't tend to make it to the Supreme Court.

Re:The Constitution (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31639346)

Even when this is made to the Supreme Court, guess who Obama nominated for the Supreme Court?

http://news.cnet.com/8301-13578_3-10157381-38.html

Re:The Constitution (1)

DoofusOfDeath (636671) | more than 4 years ago | (#31638884)

The sheer amount of 5-4 decisions on the court should indicate that the court makes political decisions, and not merely informed, unbiased interpretations of law.

There's other evidence for that conclusion as well. On NPR a few weeks ago, there was an interview with some guy who studies the SCOTUS. He claimed that there have been numerous times that a Chief Justice bribed other Justices, who were on the fence, to rule the way he wanted them to, by offering to them the privilege of authoring the majority opinion in the ruling.

I that's true, I for one would like to see all Justices who engage in such a transaction hanged for treason.

Re:The Constitution (2, Interesting)

insufflate10mg (1711356) | more than 4 years ago | (#31639254)

That doesn't seem to make much sense, though. "Here buddy, if you flip-flop your political position I'll give you the ability to publicly endorse mine!"

Re:The Constitution (1)

NeutronCowboy (896098) | more than 4 years ago | (#31639366)

If you listened more carefully to the broadcast, you'd have noticed that they explicitly said that it is a very, very subtle and very, very faint way of trying to convince somebody. I.e., you're not going to convince somebody who has some legal objections to a law. But you might get to sway somebody who is really on the fence over it... in which case it is similar to "If you vote with us, you'll get to go home tonight instead of continue to sit in this jury box."

Re:The Constitution (1)

DoofusOfDeath (636671) | more than 4 years ago | (#31639460)

If you listened more carefully to the broadcast, you'd have noticed that they explicitly said that it is a very, very subtle and very, very faint way of trying to convince somebody. I.e., you're not going to convince somebody who has some legal objections to a law. But you might get to sway somebody who is really on the fence over it... in which case it is similar to "If you vote with us, you'll get to go home tonight instead of continue to sit in this jury box."

I think you're only arguing about a quantitative difference, not a qualitative one. And your second example, regarding juries, is nearly as troubling to me; the only difference being that the SCOTUS decisions usually have broader impact.

If a Justice is really that on the fence about a decision, he can always abstain.

Re:The Constitution (1)

bhagwad (1426855) | more than 4 years ago | (#31639004)

Make that "living and breathing" document!

Rule by proclaimation? (3, Interesting)

mrmeval (662166) | more than 4 years ago | (#31638678)

Do we need a new revolution?

Re:Rule by proclaimation? (2, Insightful)

couchslug (175151) | more than 4 years ago | (#31638822)

"Do we need a new revolution?"

Things aren't difficult enough to drive revolt.

People don't revolt when there is no freedom (the odd exception of the American Revolution aside), they revolt when there is no feud.

Re:Rule by proclaimation? (1)

CrimsonAvenger (580665) | more than 4 years ago | (#31639620)

they revolt when there is no feud.

Two things:

1) There will always be a feud somewhere, so that condition would never apply.

2) I expect you meant "food", not "feud".

Change is Coming? (3, Insightful)

Ada_Rules (260218) | more than 4 years ago | (#31638726)

Not a surprise at all. Conservatives were more than willing to cheer as their rights "to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures" were destroyed by the Patriot act as long as the party in power had the right letter in parenthesis as they talked about it.

Liberals are dancing in joy about a law that confiscates wealth from all citizens to give to the insurance companies as long as we call them evil as will fill their pockets. I suspect no complaints from them about this attack on the Constitution because it is 'their guy' doing the attacking.

The answer is certainly not moderates who a are pretty much happy to give up any right as long as you do it slowly.

Enjoy the scenery on the road to serfdom because when we get there, I think we will find that the collectivist paradise promised by the political elite will leave us wishing were we are the promised land of the "South of the Border" tourist trap. Hopefully we will at least get a nice bumper sticker out of the deal.

Re:Change is Coming? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31639304)

Neo-conservatives were more than willing to cheer as their rights ...

There is a significant difference.

Re:Change is Coming? (1)

cpt kangarooski (3773) | more than 4 years ago | (#31639548)

And it was centrists and conservatives who liked the health care bill (although perhaps not the President in office at the time). Liberals tend to prefer universal, single payer health care systems, which were never even seriously considered by those in power.

Re:Change is Coming? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31639824)

And it was centrists and conservatives who liked the health care bill (although perhaps not the President in office at the time).

Big government convervatives are an oxymoron. Neo-conservatives (CINOs, (conservatives in name only)) differ from liberals only in how to expand government.

Real conservatives, almost universally, are for smaller government and less government interference at the Federal level.

You want a health care bill? Fine, implement it at a state level like we did in Massachusetts.

So,,, (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31638748)

Didn't stop him and his puppets from passing the unconstitutional HCR bill.

To paraphrase the Obamanator himself... (2, Insightful)

zarmanto (884704) | more than 4 years ago | (#31638760)

So what we're saying here is that this is above his paygrade... right?

It will be against many Constitutions (3, Interesting)

prefec2 (875483) | more than 4 years ago | (#31638782)

We really do not know what is really discussed in the ACTA context. But the few things which leaked are not compatible with the German and the French constitution. It is against rules in the European human rights agreement and the Lisbon-Treaty (which made the EU a little bit more democratic). The European Parliament has expressed their concern that ACTA is not discussed in the public, which is not very democratic, but big companies especially US-companies can have treaty documents. So a elected parliament is kept in the dark while the money jerks are directly involved. In short the parliament is pissed. And they will dismiss it, just they did with the SWIFT-spying treaty between the EU and the USA. When do executive politicians learn that we life in a democracy?

Re:It will be against many Constitutions (4, Insightful)

DoofusOfDeath (636671) | more than 4 years ago | (#31638902)

When do executive politicians learn that we life in a democracy?

When electorates stop voting in narcissistic psychopaths and megalomaniacs?

Re:It will be against many Constitutions (1)

insufflate10mg (1711356) | more than 4 years ago | (#31639280)

Amen. If only there were a way to sit every voter down in a room and just bullshit about politics for a few hours. Guaran-ass-tee you we would see some changes.

Re:It will be against many Constitutions (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31639080)

We don't live in a democracy; we live in a Republic.
Executive politicians will never learn their place as long as the masses are uninformed.

Re:It will be against many Constitutions (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31639692)

Republic is the latin word that correspond to the greek word democracy. In a modern context it just means a state with a president.

So, who did you vote for again? (2, Informative)

russotto (537200) | more than 4 years ago | (#31638808)

If one were to take a time machine back to October 2008 and show them an article dated 2010 labeled "President claims power to implement agreement by executive fiat" or some such thing, you'd think that obviously McCain won, right?

Just more evidence that Obama = Bush.

Re:So, who did you vote for again? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31638908)

It was pretty clear the media was backing Obama. Only the young would believe the media wouldn't want big favors in return.

Re:So, who did you vote for again? (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31639140)

If one were to take a time machine back to October 2008 and show them an article dated 2010 labeled "President claims power to implement agreement by executive fiat" or some such thing, you'd think that obviously McCain won, right?

Just more evidence that Obama = Bush.

With all due respect, and with as much restraint from trolling you as possible... I have a simple question for you:

Do you honestly believe that any of the presidential candidates (not counting the libertarian ones) would act in a significantly different manner on this issue? In other words, do you believe that members of the Republican or Democrat parties won't bow before the pressure of large, copyright-vested companies?

Waiting for your honest reply.

MOD PARENT UP (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31639222)

This needs to be modded up. I can't comment on libertarian candidates (they always seemed a little kooky to me, as a Canadian, though), but things would not be any better under any of the other viable choices you Americans had. I can understand being upset that Obama didn't quite 'keep his promises' in the ways you want (though there are some areas he is certainly making efforts, such as the healthcare bill -- even if it was watered down to its passed form...), but don't compare him to Bush.

With Bush, the Americans lost so much international respect and clout. You started two wars (only one of which may have had justification, the other of which was not even sanctioned by the UN). You tortured people. You instituted laws that make spying on your own citizens easier to do legally. Obama hasn't initiated anything that extreme, and has actually saved some face and respect internationally (though not recovering to pre-Bush levels). He's a better choice than Bush was. Does that mean he's the god-saint super-awesome president? No.

Just don't assume the Republicans are going to be the god-sent awesome saviours for your next election, either.

Re:MOD PARENT UP (4, Insightful)

russotto (537200) | more than 4 years ago | (#31639696)

This needs to be modded up. I can't comment on libertarian candidates (they always seemed a little kooky to me, as a Canadian, though), but things would not be any better under any of the other viable choices you Americans had. I can understand being upset that Obama didn't quite 'keep his promises' in the ways you want (though there are some areas he is certainly making efforts, such as the healthcare bill -- even if it was watered down to its passed form...), but don't compare him to Bush.

Why not? He's acting just like Bush in most of the areas the loudest complaints about Bush were made. Expansion of executive power beyond all reasonable bounds (remember Bush's assertion he needed no approval for wiretapping?) being one of them.

No, of course neither Clinton nor McCain would have done this differently. But with McCain, that's what McCain voters would have wanted. Obama campaigned on "change".

Re:So, who did you vote for again? (1)

insufflate10mg (1711356) | more than 4 years ago | (#31639310)

Arr1 = {a,b,c,d};
Arr2 = {e,f,g,h};
if (b==f) {printf "ZOMG MOAR EVDENSE ARR1 == ARR2!";}

Re:So, who did you vote for again? (3, Funny)

will_die (586523) | more than 4 years ago | (#31639494)

Can we just stop all of this!
There is no reason to keep insulting Bush by everyone doing this comparison.

..corruption... (1)

kirthn (64001) | more than 4 years ago | (#31638864)

it could be considered corruption if Obama would be signing this executive agreement just for the sake of business/dollars....

Re:..corruption... (1)

kirthn (64001) | more than 4 years ago | (#31638872)

with additionally a total undemocratic process/road...up to the executive siging of it....

Re:..corruption... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31638940)

lobbying=corruption

Now you guys care about the constitution? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31638870)

Where were you when Congress passed a law that requires you to buy a consumer product (insurance) just to live in this country?

Land of the free my ass.

And they're... (1)

got2liv4him (966133) | more than 4 years ago | (#31638878)

...supposed to vote on laws, too... they know what's best for us, we just need to submit and for get about those pesky laws...

Yeah, right (1)

smchris (464899) | more than 4 years ago | (#31638910)

Can NAFTA be next? And all the other IMF treaties? It's a little late in the game to start worrying about the rule of law now, isn't it?

Dubious ? (1)

Hymer (856453) | more than 4 years ago | (#31639008)

ACTA violates constitution in almost all free, democratic countries. ACTA would fit nicely in the former Soviet Union, German Democratic Republic, North Korea or Peoples Republic of China. Politicians accepting ACTA do not represent neither freedom nor democracy, they are totalitarians in need of control of the population.

The Living Constitution (4, Insightful)

Coolhand2120 (1001761) | more than 4 years ago | (#31639050)

Didn't we just pass legislation that for the first time forces private citizens to buy a product from a select set of other private citizens. The constitution is no longer relevant to the party in control of our government. [wikipedia.org] They have deemed it something that can be reinterpreted to mean whatever they need it to mean at the time. All they need to do is redefine what words mean and suddenly the constitution means all sorts of things!

Here's a few examples:

1895: Wage is now the same as income! Democrats begin their long march towards socialism! [wikipedia.org] With the help of the Socialist Labor Party of the 1890's, they pass an amendment so they can now collect income tax from everyone! The sucking noise begins.

1935: Now retirement and health care are a RIGHT [wikipedia.org] and the government is required to provide for the "happiness" of the people by collecting money from one group of people and giving it to another. Democrats, unhappy with the difficulty of getting constitutional amendments, so they decide to craft laws that skirt the letter of the constitution, arguing that social security/medicare is an retirement benefit to the people, while arguing to the SCOTUS that it is a tax. When the SCOTUS rules the initial law unconstitutional, democrat FDR runs personal smear campaigns against SCOTUS justices and has them replaced with justices that are willing to interpret the constitution the way he needs it. And thus begins the largest ponzi scheme in world history! [wikipedia.org] .

begin rant:
The government then took from the ponzi err. social security fund as frequently as pleased to and for whatever reason it deemed important enough to do so. Which was of course any reason. Now, were this a REAL business, at this point the CFO would be thrown in jail, but this is the U.S. government! They buy the jails! Social security has been bankrupt for decades, the debt is around 17 trillion. But this week, for the first time, even on paper, the government is giving out more money in social security than it is taking in. [nytimes.com] .

I ask you, if the government can force you to buy something from someone, is there anything there anything the government can't force you to buy? And if the government can arbitrarily come in and tell me what I must buy, what I can buy, and what I can't buy, can we truly say we live in a free society?

And for you fools in control. What makes you think the next generation is going to pay any attention to the laws you so haphazardly pass when you completely ignore the laws of the previous generations? That's anarchy! :end rant

I would be remiss to point out that Thomas Jefferson was like a fricking Nostradamus in predicting what would happen in this country. And how can I possibly follow the words of Jefferson with my pathetic waxing? So adieu!

The democracy will cease to exist when you take away from those who are willing to work and give to those who would not.
-Thomas Jefferson

Sometimes it is said that man cannot be trusted with the government of himself. Can he, then be trusted with the government of others? Or have we found angels in the form of kings to govern him? Let history answer this question.
-Thomas Jefferson

Great innovations should not be forced on slender majorities.
-Thomas Jefferson

Experience hath shewn, that even under the best forms [of government] those entrusted with power have, in time, and by slow operations, perverted it into tyranny.
-Thomas Jefferson

I predict future happiness for Americans if they can prevent the government from wasting the labors of the people under the pretense of taking care of them.
-Thomas Jefferson


Our country is now taking so steady a course as to show by what road it will pass to destruction, to wit: by consolidation [of power] first, and then corruption, its necessary consequence.
-Thomas Jefferson

Re:The Living Constitution (0)

matt4077 (581118) | more than 4 years ago | (#31639326)

A witty saying proves nothing

-Voltair

Even founding fathers can be wrong

-me

Those who think less government is better should try out Somalia

-me

Re:The Living Constitution (2, Insightful)

NeutronCowboy (896098) | more than 4 years ago | (#31639348)

I sure hope you were bitching this much when the Patriot Act was instituted, Guantanamo was opened and the President was handing out Executive Orders like they were candy.

Any document is a living document, because the use of language changes. It is absolutely impossible to interpret any document in the same exact that a completely different group of people interpreted it 200 years ago. Heck, we can't even agree on what documents exactly say that were written 2 weeks ago.

-1, over lengthy rant (1)

u38cg (607297) | more than 4 years ago | (#31639392)

Chill out and have some orange juice. This is advice from someone who chose not to spend mod points on you :p

Re:The Living Constitution (5, Informative)

schmidt349 (690948) | more than 4 years ago | (#31639562)

To start, I checked into your Teddy J quotes and discovered the following:

#1 is a lie. Jefferson never said that and I challenge you to show me the original publication where he did.

#2 is found in his First Inaugural Address. It was probably a slap at John Adams' Alien and Sedition Act, a law that looked a lot more like the Patriot Act than the health care bill.

#3 is from another private letter. It's regularly trotted out during any controversial social legislation. Read Hirschfield (The Power of the presidency: concepts and controversy, 1982, p.311) on how this is a red herring.

#4 is from a political tract from 1779. You will note that it could just as easily be applied to the Patriot Act, the military-industrial complex, or just about any other Republican-built object of left-wing derision as it can be to social legislation.

#5 is a paraphrase of a section in a letter from 1802. The true quote reads "If we can prevent the government from wasting the labors of the people, under the pretence of taking care of them, they must become happy." Here is the following quote: "Their finances are now under such a course of application as nothing could derange but war or federalism. The gripe of the latter has shown itself as deadly as the jaws of the former." In other words, he would have winced had he seen the bill for Iraq War II, or read the justifications of the neocons.

#6 was in a letter shortly before his death about how the federal government was "consolidating power" by, get this, using the power granted to it by the Constitution (namely the commerce clause). The states are not individual republics. We tried that under the Articles of Confederation and it went over like a a lead balloon. Like it or lump it, they are subordinate in power in the regards enumerated in the Constitution to the power of the federal government. If the Fed chooses to wield that power in a heavy-handed way, it's probably stupid and possibly unethical but not unconstitutional.

The present deficit is a function of the fact that the Republicans by and large write the tax laws whereas the Democrats by and large write the social legislation. The Republicans refuse to raise taxes to pay for the social legislation, and the Democrats refuse to cut spending in the social legislation to match the current tax income. It's being caused by the present political climate of obstructionism, not by your insane theories about the gradual communization of the US. If FDR had wanted to make the US into a socialist state he would have done nothing, waited for the economic climate to bottom out, then blame all the Wall Street fat cats, order their imprisonment, seize their assets, and nationalize them. Poof. Now we're a socialist state, and it didn't take all that sneaking around!

Do you know why Roosevelt created the social safety net? It was partly to stabilize society so we didn't have happen here what happened in Germany and the Soviet Union, where agitators appealed to the people's suffering to gain their complicity in revolutionary policy. It was partly to expand the number of consumers to encourage a restart in the production economy. But mostly it was because it was the right thing to do, because a lot of average Americans were starving to death, working like slaves, and your beloved "free market" wasn't doing a goddamned thing to help them. FDR's problem was actually that he didn't spend enough -- it took the massive deficit spending associated with the war to finally terminate the crisis.

The present health care situation is a national crisis on the order of the food and work crisis provoked by the Great Depression. Thousands of people die every year because they can't afford basic medicines like penicillin and Nitrostat, or they can't afford to see a doctor to prescribe these medicines. Health care decisions are being made by bureaucrats whose only concern is protecting the value of the shareholders, and this excuse rubber-stamps their denial of benefits to thousands more Americans who then go bankrupt trying to pay for basic hospital services. It doesn't help that every doctor has to carry umpteen hojillions in malpractice insurance that sometimes costs more than their pay thanks to the ambulance chasers, and we ought to fix that too, but we have to keep our focus on doing the greatest good for the greatest number. That's not communism, but democracy.

It benefits the nation to guarantee health care to our citizens because it reduces costs related to preventable health emergencies and reducing the risk of disease epidemics. It benefits the nation by preventing extremist agitation that will cause civil strife. But mostly it's the right thing to do.

Re:The Living Constitution (0, Flamebait)

Coolhand2120 (1001761) | more than 4 years ago | (#31639792)

The states are not individual republics.

I actually started to rebut your comments one at a time then I found this one. I guess you don't have any clue what you're talking about so I'll just leave you to your own devices. California is governed as a republic. [wikipedia.org]

OH SNAPS! Guess what! Every state is it's own republic! And that would make you.


1. Ignorant
2. Stupid
3. A liar

I'll let you pick.

You voted for this guy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31639206)

What is scary is that this is the guy you put in power (I'm speaking to the majority of slashdotters who think conservatives are evil and democrats are the only sane choice - whether you were able to vote or not).

He has been proven to not care about the constitution if it gets in the way of what he wants.

Larry Lessig - live in the bed you made. You've chosen the party that is all about coercion and not freedom.

Bad idea (1)

Arancaytar (966377) | more than 4 years ago | (#31639520)

Mr. President, do you *want* to drive geeks to joining the teabagger Republicans?

There's enough crap on the internet about your imaginary violations of the Constitution that you should probably avoid actually violating it.

Sign ACTA and I'll de-friend you on Facebook. No, really.

The more I see of Obama... (0, Offtopic)

l0ungeb0y (442022) | more than 4 years ago | (#31639638)

The more I see of Obama, the more I want him impeached.
I feel like I made a BIG MISTAKE voting for the guy.

Like many people, I laughed at the right wing hysterics as mindless wharrgarbl, but this guy seems to be taking it upon himself to trample the constitution even more than Bush did. And while the Bush administration might have lied and cheated their way through getting Congress and the UN to back the Iraq war, at least they followed protocol and used proper channels.

The fact that Obama's health care plan took his promise for single payer universal coverage and turned it into a socialized cash-cow for insurance corporations with a unique provision forcing us to buy coverage or pay a "tax-penalty" and seeing him now trying to claim some sort of dictatorial power to force ACTA down our throats is startling. This is the second time he's taken a decidedly pro-corporate and potentially anti-consumer stance.

What next? Declaring we will get lower media prices and be allowed to use P2P freely without persecution, but must buy x-amount of MP3s, CDs and DVDs a month or pay a "tax" penalty? While it remains to be seen, I think the HCR Bill will prove to be the first of many attempts to socialize industry while forcing citizens to buy from or otherwise subsidize those industries with their non-taxed dollars.

Frankly, I think this direction he's taken towards establishing a socialized corporate state is alarming and a serious threat to our civil liberties.
It could quite literally end up making US citizen's indentured servants to corporations by levying "mandates" to force us to spend our non-taxed dollars on corporate goods and services. And while this may sound unprecedented and extreme, so have been the actions of Obama in regards to the HCR BIll and ACTA.

At the minimum, I think Obama needs to stand up and make his intentions clear. Why is he so adamant about ACTA? How can he declare victory with the HCR when it seems all he did was take away the socialist system he promised the PEOPLE and gave it to the corporations who have an obvious conflict of interest and have been little more than foxes guarding the henhouse? Obama's been great when it comes to grandstanding with photo ops and buzzwords. But what about a truly informative statement about his intentions with these brazenly pro-corporate endeavors?

Short answer ... (3, Insightful)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 4 years ago | (#31639650)

Will ACTA Be Found Unconstitutional?

Yes.

Will Obama sign it anyway?

Yes.

Individualism died (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31639766)

The Civil War killed States rights (I agree completely that slavery needed to end, but the Civil War was not about slavery, read some history). Over the decades since, the federal government, through the IRS, SSA, Medicare, Medicaid, Land various subsidies and other Federal programs has quickly eroded the concept for individualism and personal responsibility. You have a right under the Constitution to Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of happiness. Your right to liberty and pursuit of happiness is being seized from you by the federal government. You have no right to Prosperity, it must be earned. They are undermining your economy and telling you that you need to be saved by them. THEY CANNOT SAVE YOU. THEY ARE NOT MAGIC. YOU DO NOT NEED TO BE SAVED BY THEM.

Your future, your life, your dreams have always been your responsibility and your gift to the world. Through taxes, subsidies, and federal programs, they are trying to control what you eat, where you live, the kind of car you drive, whether your spouse has a job, who cares for your child, whether you use a tanning booth, how much you drive your car, ad nauseum. They have do not have the right to manipulate our lives this way. They are NOT qualified to manipulate our lives this way. We do NOT need them to manipulate our lives this way.

Change the tax laws, take away their money and power! There was no personal income tax prior to the civil war and the country was better for it. They do not need that kind of power over you, that are not authorized that kind of power, and it is literally killing our country.

What else did you expect? (0, Troll)

fotbr (855184) | more than 4 years ago | (#31639826)

Seriously. What. Else. Did. You. Expect.

Obama has shown over and over than he has no concern for what the people want. In his mind, he was elected king, and will do anything he wants, the people and the constitution be damned. He may not be as stupid as Bush was to call the constitution "just a god-damned piece of paper" around cameras but he certainly doesn't have any more respect for it.

i say... (1)

hitmark (640295) | more than 4 years ago | (#31639850)

that USA is the nation with the least to worry about from ACTA. Mostly because its various "piracy" additions come from USA in the first place, and is mostly about exporting DMCA to other nations.

acta (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31639866)

Funny where were all these people when bush was using signing statements on all kind of shit.

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