Non Sequitur by Wiley Miller for June 10, 2010

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    okzack  about 12 years ago

    I think this guy is a neighbor of mine. I didn’t sign his petition either.

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    Ermine Notyours  about 12 years ago

    So the government is good for something after all.

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    Coyoty Premium Member about 12 years ago

    So when we go back to the Iroquois League, how about we put the European descendants on reservations?

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    myming  about 12 years ago

    GREAT !!!

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    hildigunnurr Premium Member about 12 years ago


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    loudmouthbass  about 12 years ago

    please point out where in the original US Constitution that either slavery was permitted or women were not allowed to vote.

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    Commentator  about 12 years ago

    Not funny. Left wing sarcasm politics always kills the humor.

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    Copperdomebodhi  about 12 years ago

    Loudmouth - Please point out where in the original US Constitution that either slavery was forbidden or women were allowed to vote. We had to amend it to guarantee those freedoms. Going back to the original would mean taking them away.

    This is why Constitutional fundamentalism doesn’t hold up. The “Founding Fathers’ intent” was that the Constitution would change.

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  9. Avatar  about 12 years ago

    Regarding loudmouthbass’ question: Article 1, Section 3 reads: Representatives and direct Taxes shall be apportioned among the several States which may be included within this Union, according to their respective Numbers, which shall be determined by adding to the whole Number of free Persons, including those bound to Service for a Term of Years, and excluding Indians not taxed, three fifths of all other Persons.

    The 3/5 of other Persons is a reference to slaves.


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    Herb Thiel Premium Member about 12 years ago

    Copperdome is right about the original document, which is why there were methods installed into it to amend and change it. So if a person were to want to petition for the Constitution as duly amended, that IS something to defend. Actually, I didn’t think today’s comic was all that far left or right, just pretty funny.

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    Allison Nunn Premium Member about 12 years ago

    The constitution was written to change. The first amendments (and the second is especially dear to the radical right….) were essentially written at the same time. So if we go and take away all the amendments we lose free speech and the right to arm bears as well.

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    lewisbower  about 12 years ago

    WILEY Why the hell did I pick today to swear I would not make any political statements. Love the strip. What I want to say is——-

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    chaosed2  about 12 years ago

    Wait, it’s not magna carta day….

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    jsprat  about 12 years ago

    Marinedude, thank you for serving.

    Laws are not so much written as developed. Behind every legal pretext is history, hence the dependence on precedence. Your constitution was meant to be a living document; growing and maturing in step with the needs of a young nation. Each and every principle within your Constitution has a lineage that can be traced to a previous nation or even civilization.

    Stating that the constitution neither condones nor condemns a principles does not suffice. Clarity of specific language is a requirement. Lack of clarity allowed your forefathers to rely on the principles from which your constitution was extrapolated, to their advantage, that being servitude.

    The principle of checks and balances was authored by Polybius in about 186 BC. Charles-Louis de Secondat, baron de La Brède et de Montesquieu was the French thinker that developed the concept of separation of powers. Others were from the Magna Carta (due process), the English Bill of rights (jury of one’s peers, right to bear arms). From the Romans you gained the Senate. The list is lengthy however I am certain my point is clear.

    Very poignant Wiley!

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    mizcraig  about 12 years ago

    Some of the greatest comments and exchanges are here among Wiley’s fans. If this were a normal op-ed comment section people would be shooting each other by comment #5. Thank you one and all. Esp. Wiley.

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    GuntotingLiberal  about 12 years ago

    Interestingly enough, commentator, back in the day it was the left wing who was more for slavery. Abe was the first republican president.

    So nowadays, left… it’s really just the new conservative.

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    Potrzebie  about 12 years ago

    There was a cyberpunk novel where the Whiskey rebellion was succesful and in the future, the feds are a shadow of what they are now. Technology is a little more advanced (because of lack of oversight?) but of course, corporations rule.

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    jsprat  about 12 years ago

    Unfortunately our constitution in Canukistan was crafted by lawyers within my memory. Locked down and not subject to development or growth. Very narrow thinking on our part.

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    celeconecca Premium Member about 12 years ago

    Pardon me if I just enjoyed a small frisson of woo-hoo. Thanks, WIley.

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    wicky  about 12 years ago

    Don’t be silly.

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    LordFoppington  about 12 years ago

    Judging the past through the eyes of the present is misleading and ignorant. (Regarding the whole slavery issue)

    A constitution banning slavery would have never been ratified or the newly formed republic would have quickly disintegrated. Most likely slavery would have persisted for much longer. Nowhere in history has such a widespread institution been done away with so quickly and against the consensus of the rest of the world. The West is solely responsible for the end of that horrible institution and without things like the the Constitution and the principles it embodied slavery would probably still live in the West today. (Hell, it still does in some parts of Africa) It is well documented how the founding fathers felt about the issue but they also understood that pushing for abolition would have been counter productive.*

    But then again this is just a demagogic cheap shot to distract from the real issue which is the proven benefits of a limited government and a desire to return to one. Emotional slight of hands like this conveniently, and knowingly, turn the topic away from what people invoking the “original constitution” are talking about. Limited government.

    *If anyone’s truly interested in the the direction that the comic takes the topic I would suggest reading Thomas Sowell’s “Black Rednecks and White Liberals”. It addresses among other things the slights against the founders of our country and the atmosphere surrounding the issues of slavery and abolition from before the revolution to the present.

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    freeholder1  about 12 years ago

    I know. we go back to when the original was written, freeze time and then everything will be as it should. Let’s also go back to no indoor plumbing, leaded glass for dining, laying away enough to survive the winter months or starve, walking most places unless you can afford a horse which most couldn’t.

    Oh, wait, you want the 1950’s TV version of the old days. I guess we could freeze you back in a Robert Young show.

    Point being: if life didn’t change, the document wouldn’t have either. The only sure way things stay the same is if you die and then the worms make that idea a joke, too.

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    jsprat  about 12 years ago

    Great comic eh?

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    HabaneroBuck  about 12 years ago

    The Constitution was the foundation, and amendments are allowed for in the “original” Constitution. Nothing mind-blowing about that at all.

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    Varnes  about 12 years ago

    A strict interpretation of the constitution reveals there is only freedom of the printing press and speech. There is no freedom of TV. Liberal judges have expanded it! If free speech is transferable to other media, why did they include freedom of the press? You’d think that would be included in free speech. Judge Robert Bork, a conservative, believes free speech only applies when speaking to the government. (the constitution being a contract between the people and the government.) In other words we wouldn’t have the right to criticize BP, because it is not the government. You know what? I like the liberal interpretation better!

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    mistered27104  about 12 years ago

    OK, constitutional analysis aside, this strip pokes glorious fun at the paranoia of all who hold power and their past/present efforts to maintain it by legally (albeit immorally) excluding potential competitors. Whether you attribute it to racism, sexism, greed, fear. etc., it is still poignant and spot-on.

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    Varnes  about 12 years ago

    BTW, a small government for huge country is just silly. Like putting go cart wheels on a Hummer……

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    olwyn  about 12 years ago


    “Slavery is seen in the Constitution in a few key places. The first is in the Enumeration Clause, where representatives are apportioned. Each state is given a number of representatives based on its population - in that population, slaves, called “other persons,” are counted as three-fifths of a whole person. This compromise was hard-fought, with Northerners wishing that slaves, legally property, be uncounted, much as mules and horses are uncounted. Southerners, however, well aware of the high proportion of slaves to the total population in their states, wanted them counted as whole persons despite their legal status. The three-fifths number was a ratio used by the Congress in contemporary legislation and was agreed upon with little debate.

    In Article 1, Section 9, Congress is limited, expressly, from prohibiting the “Importation” of slaves, before 1808. The slave trade was a bone of contention for many, with some who supported slavery abhorring the slave trade. The 1808 date, a compromise of 20 years, allowed the slave trade to continue, but placed a date-certain on its survival. Congress eventually passed a law outlawing the slave trade that became effective on January 1, 1808.

    The Fugitive Slave Clause is the last mention. In it, a problem that slave states had with extradition of escaped slaves was resolved. The laws of one state, the clause says, cannot excuse a person from “Service or Labour” in another state. The clause expressly requires that the state in which an escapee is found deliver the slave to the state he escaped from “on Claim of the Party.”

    Prior to the establishment of the right to freedom in the abolition of slavery, slavery was approved by the constitution. Prior to the establishment of women’s right to vote in the bill of rights, women didn’t have that right.

    If you can’t understand these simple things, you need to go back to boot camp and have your Drill Sgt explain them in simple enough words for you to understand. (and don’t try the”She is against the military” argument just because I am saying you need educated–I am a carrier Army wife and I know this stuff is taught in boot camp.)

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    lonecat  about 12 years ago

    A great cartoon.

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    grim509  about 12 years ago

    for thsoe who cry about the “original constitution:” (and I mean those on the left). You’re right. It was designed to change. The problem is, far too often, congress and presidential administrations impose laws on us that are circumvent the constitution. I have no problem with amendments to the constitution. If they want to change it, then change it, don’t circumvent the process.

    The constitution does not grant rights to the people (certain amendments do, but not the constitution itself). The Constitution was originally designed and written to put limits on the government and to spell out each branch of the gov’ts role.

    Therefore, by going back to the original constitution, slavery was NOT legal by the constitution nor was denying women the right to vote.

    The amendments added to the constitution whcih gave slaves their freedom and women the right to vote, merely overturned state laws.

    So this comic actually has no humor, nor correct information.

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    jsprat  about 12 years ago

    hey, there is no gravity in comics either. It is humour people!

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    bostonoski  about 12 years ago

    Wiley: BRILLIANT!!!!!

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    lonecat  about 12 years ago

    The original constitution certainly permitted states to have legal slavery. That is beyond question. In addition, the Supreme Court in the Dred Scott decision ruled that a slave who had escaped to a free state if caught had to be returned to slavery. The next stage of the argument was that a person owning slaves should have the right to take his slaves into any part of the country. That move would in effect have made slavery legal in the whole country, even in those states which did not have legal slavery. Moderate abolitionists believed that if confined to the South, slavery would wither. But they were afraid that slavery would be allowed into all new territories and would be forced upon the free states.

    I don’t understand the argument that the original constitution did not allow slavery. Certainly the general interpretation of the Constitution until the 13th amendment was that the Constitution allowed slavery. Lincoln did not believe that he had the constitutional authority to declare general emancipation. When he eventually did issue the Emancipation Proclamation, it was a specific war measure and it covered only those states in rebellion. So slavery continued to be legal in the District of Columbia and in Maryland until it was abolished by constitutional amendment.

    At least that’s the way I understand the process.

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    jimeguess  about 12 years ago

    Funny, but NOT in the original constitution. Abraham Lincoln finally corrected that problem.

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    grim509  about 12 years ago


    The Constitution did not specifically call out for the legality of slavery. Instead, it left it up to the states. Yes, it did allow it, but if you want to get technical, the Constitution also allows murder as it is not specifically banned in the Constitution.

    However, it did not also forbid women to vote. Nor did it specify that only whites could own slaves.

    An interesting link:

    Blacks owned slaves as well. Some slaves owned by blacks were white. Just not on the scale as whites owning black slaves.

    So yes, this cartoon has it all wrong. Nowhere in the constitution did it ever ban women from voting, nor did it ever state that only whites could own slaves.

    Gotta love revisionist history!

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    david5992  about 12 years ago

    For purposes of checking the Constitution as written I recommend checking the National Archives Records Administration at:

    Article One, Section Two previously stated (prior to amendments) in part “Representatives and direct Taxes shall be apportioned among the several States which may be included within this Union, according to their respective Numbers, which shall be determined by adding to the whole Number of free Persons, including those bound to Service for a Term of Years, and excluding Indians not taxed, three fifths of all other Persons.” This statement implicitly recognizes slavery and was amended by Section Two of the 14th Amendment.

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    david5992  about 12 years ago

    Further, a portion of Article Four, Section Two previously stated “No Person held to Service or Labour in one State, under the Laws thereof, escaping into another, shall, in Consequence of any Law or Regulation therein, be discharged from such Service or Labour, but shall be delivered up on Claim of the Party to whom such Service or Labour may be due.” This statement again implicitly recognizes slavery and was amended by Section One of the 13th Amendment.

    With regards to Universal Sufferage, the Constitution itself was silent. However, the right to vote was controlled by the States and in practice was limited to males only. This was changed in 1920 by the 19th Amendment.

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    RadioTom  about 12 years ago

    There are, unfortunately, MANY things that the Congress and the Courts over the years have “added” to the Constitution that are nowhere to be found therein. The petition is to get back to - “if it ain’t there, then it can’t happen”, not that the properly-ratified Amendments should be done away with. There’s a LOT of stuff the Federal government does that it lacks Constitutional authority to do, and several Supreme Court decisions that are likewise rather specious and tenuous in their connection to the Constitution.

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    lonecat  about 12 years ago

    I find some of these arguments bizarre. You can split hairs all you want, but until the 16th amendment there was legal slavery in the US – at least in some parts – and there was a fear that there would be legal slavery throughout the country. The original constitution did not require states to allow slavery, but the court decisions were tending that direction. What is the point of this discussion? Is anyone trying to argue that there was no slavery in the US? Or that there was slavery but somehow it wasn’t really legal? Is anyone seriously suggesting that the question of slavery should once again be returned to the individual states? What is the argument here? What point are people trying to make?

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    carrollpol  about 12 years ago

    The problem with the humor is that no one – that’s NO ONE – suggests that we delete the amendments permitting women to vote or abolishing slavery, and advocacy for small, limited, inexpensive government does not imply a fondness for bondage or subjugation.

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    lonecat  about 12 years ago

    But there may be a kind of nostalgia for a time that never was.

    When I was a kid in 1950s Maryland, there were a lot of people who would have welcomed the return of slavery. Indeed, there was a kind of de facto slavery long after the 13th amendment – see Slavery by Another Name: The Re-Enslavement of Black Americans from the Civil War to World War II, by Douglas A. Blackmon, Anchor Books, 2008.

    I’m all in favor a government that does no more than necessary, but I believe that each point has to be argued individually.

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    Wallaby  about 12 years ago

    Bravo, Wiley!!

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    Lyons Group, Inc.  about 12 years ago

    This what happens when I miss reading this in the mornings!

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    ronaldmundy  about 12 years ago

    authur allen, WHAT! no i meant, what?

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    aerwalt  about 12 years ago

    I have no objection to amending the Constitution as it is done. I object to changes made by Supreme Court fiat, i.e. “Eminnent Domain.”

    I would like to see the income tax amendment repealed as well as the one that calls for the direct election of senators.

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    Justice22  about 12 years ago

    Good one. Changes are necessary as has been the growth of government as our population has grown. As for those who argue against taxes, If the Church/states had been continued and the church still provided the protection of the people, built the roads, provided for the poor and sickly we probably could do with less tax. Note that the church governments did not operate in the red either.

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    Wildmustang1262  about 12 years ago

    I absolutely agree with that black woman on the strip! LOLs! X-D

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    AKHenderson Premium Member about 12 years ago

    Straw man off the port bow!

    Nobody’s calling for a return to the Constitution as it was before it was lawfully amended.

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    kfaatz925  about 12 years ago

    Love it, Wiley! Thanks.

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    Varnes  about 12 years ago

    AKHenderson, some people, (believe it or not, they call themselves “conservatives”. Ha! Reactionary is a better word,) are arguing to eliminate all government processes that aren’t specifically stated in the constitution, (the amendments being as much a part of the constitution as every other part.) If it ain’t there, by name, it ain’t legal. Personally, I’m a liberal. I believe differently. If the Supreme Court says it, it is settled law. That is the way our system works. If I disagree with the decision, tough. It is, by nature of our constitution majority rule. But then again, I ain’t a whiner.

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    sleepeeg3  about 12 years ago

    The WashingtonPost is beginning to move on, why can’t Wiley? It will be a beautiful thing when people finally stop stooping to manipulate voters with gender and racial differences. I fear as long as people allow themselves to be manipulated, these manipulators will continue to use these people.

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    jsprat  about 12 years ago

    And are those that seed the manipulation not themselves subject to the whim of variables?

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    MatureCanadian  about 12 years ago

    Wiley, love it! Love the exploding head at the thought of women only being allowed to vote. Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, in fuedalism your count votes, in democracy your vote counts! So we obviously should be fuedal……

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    lin4869  about 12 years ago

    Wiley, LOL!

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    ccmills  about 12 years ago

    Wiley - you are ever able to generate comment and debate - no political or social views on it from my part - I just love the wit and the manner in which it is intended.


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    bmonk  about 12 years ago

    Another effect of the return to the original intent of the Constitution, even with the amendments included: Since the First Amendment only states that

    Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances,

    and the Tenth that

    The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people,

    that means that the states could each establish a religion, limit freedom of speech or the press, or the right to assemble for protests. Anyone still want it?

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    freeholder1  about 12 years ago

    well, now that the day is over, I think I’ll go out for my constitutional..

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    pistolero  about 12 years ago

    @Varnes. When you said ‘If the Supreme Court says it, it is settled law.’ I guess that means that you support the Dred Scott decision, furthering the scourge of slavery.

    The Supreme Court has overreached and ruled stupidly many times. I, for one, do not assign divine powers to a small group of flawed individuals and they certainly are NOT infallible.

    As for the strip, it is purposefully misleading and misrepresents those of us who wish to return to a Constitutional Republic. Not that this is atypical of the Statists, who wish to surrender their personal sovereignty to an all powerful central government.

    But, if you’re content with surrendering your personal liberties to an all powerful central government, one that delivers such successes as Obama and the BP fiasco, the Katrina debacle, the seizing of personal assets, seizing private companies, seizing of the student loan program, the desire to regulate speech, the list goes on and on….well that’s your privilege, I suppose.

    The stupid shall be punished.

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    weasel_monkey  about 12 years ago

    Wiley, kudos on the strip. Struck me as funny, even without knowing anything about the deeper political issue that appears to have inflamed most people here. As a comment on the debate raging here; as I’ve mentioned, I wasn’t aware of this issue prior to seeing it rear it’s head in this forum. After reading all the comments I gotta say that I’m swayed by all those that cited references, facts and quotes in their arguments rather than those that used personal opinion, rants against the “left” or the “right” and nebulus references of a “better time” that can be regained by wiping the slate clean to a certain time and starting again from there. As you can probably tell, I’ve been caught by those “leftists” with their purposefully misleading and misrepresentitive “quotes” and “citations” of “facts”. :-)

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    DarthSequitur  about 12 years ago

    I found the strip tp be very funny, and the comments here to be quite thought-provoking. Thanks to all.

    “Everything that is not forbidden is allowed. Everything that is not allowed is forbidden.” –to (probably mis-)quote The Master.

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    pbarnrob  about 12 years ago

    Oh, where was that quote? – “Everything not mandatory is forbidden; everything not forbidden is mandatory!”

    Pretty sure The Master (Dr. Who’s nemesis) was quoting something like 1984 by George Orwell…

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    geometer2  about 12 years ago

    Oh, so because the original document was flawed we should throw it out and just do whatever the hell is politically expedient and “feels right” at the moment. Folks just want to get back to a fountation to work with. They do not want to throw out all of the ammendments, just to stick to some modicum of sanity!

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  63. Cathy aack Premium Member about 12 years ago

    And freeholder – we could also go back to the medicine of the 1700’s or even the 1950’s.

    I too love it when the petitioner’s head explodes – better catch that flag before it hits the ground!!

    pistolero – the greatest “overreach” was stopping the Florida recount for fear it wouldn’t turn out the way they wanted it (and they were right about that).

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    Varnes  about 12 years ago

    pistolaro, the desire to regulate speech? Where do you guys get this stuff? IMHO, the right is embarrassing itself with crazy accusations, lies and paranoid statements. Why would anybody vote for people who lose there cool so easily? My blood pressure goes down when I see the calm, educated and reasoned president on TV. Obama sure beats the alternative. I’ve had enough of that republican hypocrisy for a life time.

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    cutiepie29  about 12 years ago

    I guess I read this strip in a very different light from many others. I saw it as the suggestion of “going back to the original Constitution” as being a grandiose dream that is lovely in thought but not exactly reasonable to expect. (Kind of like how Communism is in “vision” vs. reality.)

    Then, the woman’s response being that if we were going to imagine that it would be possible to “erase” all that has happened between the time that the “original” Constitution was drafted and now, we might as well imagine a bunch of other fanciful ideas happening as well.

    In other words, “good luck in that one, buddy, because it just isn’t going to happen.”

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    mizcraig  about 12 years ago

    stebon said, 1 day ago

    Geez, lady, I never owned a slave; my family who came to America after 1900 on both sides never owned a slave; get > over it. Slavery ended over 145 years ago. Lady, if there is anyone in your family at present being held as a slave, I would venture to say they do not live in the USA.

    Get over it. Why don’t you put as much energy into helping all > those downtrodden African blacks who to this day have no hope? Oh, sorry, you must look upon them the same way that > Barry looks upon his own half brother who survives on $20 a > month–tough, I’m too busy thinking of ways to destroy and degrade America.

    By the way, who sold their fellow Africans into slavery in the first place?

    Uh, stebon… It’s a comic strip!

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    shafferjb  about 12 years ago

    Wiley Where did you find this strawman? I know of people that want to defend the constitution but, I know of no one that wants to abolish all the admendments. Do you want to abolish our constitution? Jim Shaffer

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