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1351  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: After Obama's "last election" on: March 27, 2012, 01:06:44 PM
GM, I am responding to an exact point in a specific article, with a particular title.  Nothing more.  Don't get too excited. 
1352  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Blurred Lines on: March 27, 2012, 01:05:19 PM
http://www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2012/03/26/blurred_lines?page=full

When he was at the helm of the Central Intelligence Agency, Michael Hayden was fond of comparing the laws that limit agency operations to the white sidelines of a football field. CIA agents should operate so close to legal boundaries, he remarked, that they get "chalk on their cleats."

Unfortunately, those chalk lines today are too faint for either intelligence officers or the public to see. Although Congress instituted intelligence reform in 2004, and a hallmark of President Barack Obama's first term has been his aggressive approach to fighting terrorism, there has never been a real debate in Congress or in the public square about the intersection of our values and our requirements for gathering intelligence.

1353  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: After Obama's "last election" on: March 27, 2012, 12:57:14 PM
That's fine Doug, and I take your point.  My point, however, was taken from the title of the article I was responding to, which is "Op-Ed: Obama's Executive Order, business as usual?"  And the author claims that President Obama has moved beyond business as usual.  I disagreed.


"If this is power centralization by a president, it is business as usual."

True but business as usual is exactly what the Obama phenomenon opposed.  Now the bumper sticker has no meaning or a very different meaning if you even see one.  Being hip and aware and progressive and open to the public and power to the people populism with the sticker on your Prius in 2008 became business as usual in a Washington DC cynical sense.  Today the logo and mantra of hope only means that our czars are better than your czars, our mandates are better than your mandates, our guys in the revolving door of advisers and influence peddlers are smarter than your guys selling influence, our backroom cornhusker exemption deals to get healthcare done are better than your back room deals, and our national security back room negotiations are conducted better when we don't have to face the scrutiny of another election.  

Open microphone comments give a small window into what he is thinking, where the teleprompter and carefully crafted interviews do not.  He will govern better without the burdens of oversight and accountability and that is front and central on his mind - is my read.  Yes, Pres. Obama is not the first or only elected official to think that thought but this was in the context (my take) of him having more flexibility to negotiate more terms away to the perceived liking of the Russians - after giving up missile defense for them to the surprise of committed allies previously.  It brings to mind these other examples like the back room deals for one state here and another there on healthcare.  Of course we should not presume to know his meaning or context; he could have playing mind games to our advantage with the Russians.  But the question was opened, what will the policy shift across the board be when the electoral accountability ends?  Having independents ponder that question is to the conservatives' advantage and having conservatives ponder that question brings fire and passion to the campaign.
1354  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Can the Supreme Court Survive a Health-Care Decision? on: March 27, 2012, 08:31:42 AM
http://www.miller-mccune.com/legal-affairs/can-the-supreme-court-survive-a-health-care-decision-40598/?utm_source=Newsletter206&utm_medium=email&utm_content=0327&utm_campaign=newsletters



After it rules on the health-care debate and makes other momentous decisions this term, will the U.S. Supreme have sufficient stores of legitimacy to weather the inevitable backlash?

Legitimacy is for losers.

This spring, the U.S. Supreme Court will announce one of its most important decisions since its ruling in Bush v. Gore. The decision in the cases — all having to do with the constitutionality of President Obama’s Affordable Care Act — likely will have vast political consequences, perhaps well beyond health care itself. The court will also decide a number of other blockbuster cases in 2012, from the highly polarized Arizona immigration legislation (whether people can be stopped by the police and interrogated about their immigration status) to the question of whether 14-year-olds convicted of heinous crimes can be incarcerated for the rest of their lives without any possibility of parole.

If the smear of partisan decision-making tars the unelected U.S. Supreme Court after these decisions, the fundamental legitimacy of the institution may become precarious.

Why exactly is legitimacy so important?

cont'd
1355  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: After Obama's "last election" on: March 27, 2012, 04:40:34 AM
1.  If this is power centralization by a president, it is business as usual.
2.  Would anyone really rather that the president wait until war or emergency to plan the reaction?  That seems like a recipe for disaster to me.
3.  The Defense Production Act, as amended, has been used, in peacetime.  As an example, "Presidents William J. Clinton and George W. Bush invoked DPA powers, in conjunction with those granted in the Natural Gas Policy Act of 1978 (P.L. 95-621, 92 Stat. 3350), to ensure that emergency supplies of electrical power and natural gas continued flowing to California utilities, deflecting threatened
electrical blackouts" (http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/natsec/RS20587.pdf, p. 2).  
1356  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Administration Staffers Head Out the Revolving Door on: March 26, 2012, 07:14:39 AM
http://www.rollcall.com/issues/57_115/Administration-Staffers-Head-Out-the-Revolving-Door-213388-1.html?ET=rollcall:e12587:80133681a:&st=email&pos=eam

"Just as President Barack Obama has intensified his anti-K Street rhetoric with the November elections in view, several of his administration’s senior aides have decamped for jobs along the influence corridor.
 
And many more are eyeing such a career move, sources say, despite Obama’s effort to curb the revolving door between government and advocacy."
1357  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Dems' Feathers Ruffled on: March 26, 2012, 07:13:12 AM
http://www.rollcall.com/issues/57_115/supreme-court-ruffles-democrats-feathers-213392-1.html?ET=rollcall:e12587:80133681a:&st=email&pos=eam

"When the Supreme Court begins to deliberate President Barack Obama’s signature health care law Monday, it will serve as a bitter reminder to Democrats of the blows leveled at their causes by the conservative Roberts court."
1358  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Waiting (and Sleeping) in Line, for View of Health Care History on: March 26, 2012, 07:11:08 AM
http://www.nytimes.com/2012/03/26/us/waiting-in-line-to-see-supreme-court-argue-health-law.html?_r=1

"Heading into the first of three days of Supreme Court arguments on Monday, the pavement occupied by the approximately 15 people in line Sunday morning was among the most coveted real estate in Washington. Tickets are scarce even for those connected to the case. And for everyone else, there’s the line.

It started with two people who were in line by 9:30 a.m. on Friday, waiting to score one of at least 60 seats made available to the general public for each day of arguments, said Kathy Arberg, a Supreme Court spokeswoman."
1359  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Thomas Symposium on: March 23, 2012, 08:34:43 AM
This is a link to a law review symposium on Justice Thomas.

http://www.law.udmercy.edu/index.php/print-edition
1360  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Maddow on Romney on: March 23, 2012, 08:32:55 AM


Is Mitt Romney a liar? 
1361  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Six Big Lies About How Jerusalem Runs Washington on: March 23, 2012, 07:03:41 AM
http://www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2012/03/21/big_lies_about_jerusalem_washington_jews_White_House?page=full
1362  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / AZ in 2012 on: March 22, 2012, 08:51:25 AM
http://www.rollcall.com/issues/57_114/Expect-a-Nasty-Arizona-Member-Vs-Member-Battle-213298-1.html?ET=rollcall:e12560:80133681a:&st=email&pos=eam

"When an Arizona Republican consultant was recently asked whether he was backing a candidate in the state's banner Member-vs.-Member race between Republican Reps. Ben Quayle and David Schweikert, the operative simply said, "We're not. Thank God."

That is because those who know Arizona politics well are prognosticating a nasty, costly race between two up-and-coming freshman Members."
1363  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / When the good do bad on: March 21, 2012, 07:58:15 PM
http://www.nytimes.com/2012/03/20/opinion/brooks-when-the-good-do-bad.html?_r=1&ref=davidbrooks


"According to this view, most people are naturally good, because nature is good. The monstrosities of the world are caused by the few people (like Hitler or Idi Amin) who are fundamentally warped and evil.

This worldview gives us an easy conscience, because we don’t have to contemplate the evil in ourselves. But when somebody who seems mostly good does something completely awful, we’re rendered mute or confused.

But of course it happens all the time. That’s because even people who contain reservoirs of compassion and neighborliness also possess a latent potential to commit murder."
1364  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / HLS Founding conference: Constitutional Convention on: March 21, 2012, 12:45:00 PM
http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL39308EF707CA1C46&feature=plcp

These videos may interest some of you.
1365  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Re: DBMA 2012 Summer Camp on: March 21, 2012, 11:09:45 AM
Thank you.  I am going to try to get there.
1366  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Goldsmith on use of drones on: March 21, 2012, 07:25:53 AM
Jack Goldsmith makes excellent points.

http://www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2012/03/19/fire_when_ready
1367  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Cato says "A re-elected Obama wouldn't be the end of liberty" on: March 20, 2012, 03:15:38 PM
http://washingtonexaminer.com/opinion/columnists/2012/03/re-elected-obama-wouldnt-be-end-liberty/387856

"I yield to nobody in my conviction that Barack Obama's presidency has been a disaster for the Republic. Last week, in this space, I even suggested that some of his offenses rose to the level of impeachable "high crimes and misdemeanors."

Yet, try as I might, I can't convince myself that the 2012 election is a "hinge of history," and it's "game over" for liberty unless he's defeated. If Obama wins, the fight goes on; if he loses, don't pop the champagne corks just yet.

Consider that, since FDR, few second-term presidents have been capable of great mischief. Obama may have done most of the real damage he's capable of already."

1368  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Robert Bales was no ‘lone gunman’ on: March 20, 2012, 03:12:14 PM
This article touchs on many themes, but strikes me as, at root, a plea to support the troops.  So it it here.

http://www.nydailynews.com/opinion/robert-bales-lone-gunman-article-1.1046802

"Our country today is in the enviable position of being able to fight a gritty multi-front counterinsurgency far away in unfriendly and inhospitable terrain. And we’ve been doing it for over 10 years now. The average American hasn’t felt so much as a bump in the road for it. There has been no draft, no fuel rations, no chocolate shortages. When I served in Iraq, we used to say “the military is at war: America is at the mall.”

Since the recent murders committed by U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Robert Bales in Afghanistan, the perpetrator as has been called “troubled,” “crazed” and other such adjectives. The military is probing for alcohol involvement. He received a medical exam prior to deployment but, no surprise, was given a clean bill of health by military doctors. He was injured twice and witnessed fellow soldiers maimed and killed on previous deployments. He was also reportedly having family troubles back home.

They’re looking for the reasons why Bales did it. Yet, none of these single things caused this incident on their own. All of these circumstances were caused by yet another circumstance: sending a man to Iraq three times and then to Afghanistan for a fourth tour."
1369  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Newt now and then on: March 20, 2012, 10:22:39 AM
http://thehill.com/homenews/campaign/216867-newt-wont-exit-thought-others-should

"Newt Gingrich is refusing to swallow his own medicine.

The former Speaker of the House (R-Ga.) rejects calls from Republicans to drop out of the presidential race, but he has a long history of telling other GOP White House hopefuls to do so."
1370  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Santorum in Illinois on: March 20, 2012, 10:17:11 AM
http://www.nationaljournal.com/2012-presidential-campaign/rick-santorum-stokes-gop-divisions-in-run-up-to-illinois-primary-20120320

"Santorum sees opportunity in the Southern and Western areas of this blue state, the regions far from the urban and suburban enclaves of Chicagoland. He has forfeited 10 delegates up front by failing to get his allies onto some ballots, and polls show him 4 to 15 percentage points behind Romney, but even a loss could help Santorum. If he outdraws Romney among fervent conservatives and rural voters, it will give him more fodder for his argument that Romney is out of touch with the base of his party and the heartland of the country.

The former Pennsylvania senator constantly berates President Obama for trying to divide the country. But he seems to have no problem setting up an us-versus-them proposition within his own party."
1371  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Holly Petraeus on: March 20, 2012, 10:11:57 AM
http://www.usatoday.com/news/military/story/2012-03-19/holly-petraeus-wife-protect-military/53657242/1

"When 18,000 members of the Army's 101st Airborne Division flew back to Fort Campbell, Ky., in 2004 after a year in Iraq, Holly Petraeus was there to meet them, no matter the hour, the weather or her other duties.

As wife of the division commander, Maj. Gen. David Petraeus, she had to attend some of the scores of arrivals. But she was almost always there — often in hat, scarf, and boots, stamping her feet against the cold and hugging the soldiers like they were her children."

1372  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Science and libertarian ideals on: March 19, 2012, 09:55:59 PM
http://www.usatoday.com/news/opinion/forum/story/2012-03-18/ron-paul-libertarians-science/53617108/1

What is it about Ron Paul that so many people find intellectually appealing? Perhaps it is his frankness and candor, a rare trait in politicians. But I think it goes far beyond that. Paul — and libertarian philosophy in general — tackles government policy the same way a researcher tackles an experiment.
1373  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / empirical data and state judicial elections on: March 19, 2012, 01:11:05 PM
Chris W. Bonneau

http://www.fed-soc.org/publications/detail/a-survey-of-empirical-evidence-concerning-judicial-elections

"In this paper, I evaluate the arguments made by opponents of judicial elections. Focusing primarily on state supreme court elections (since that is the level of court where most studies have been conducted), though also discussing intermediate appellate courts and trial courts where appropriate, I evaluate the arguments of judicial reform advocates in light of empirical evidence. This paper presents a synthesis of the existing literature in this area, integrating the disparate findings by scholars into a single publication."

1374  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: SB county is kind of deserty, right? on: March 19, 2012, 04:57:04 AM
That was very, very cool.

1375  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / J. Thomas discussed at USC on: March 18, 2012, 12:45:29 PM
http://lawweb.usc.edu/news/article.cfm?newsID=3848

"One of the tenets of academia is the encouragement and cultivation of a variety of ideas and opinions for open discussion and debate.

 So imagine being shunned by academic institutions for writing a book on a figure unpopular with one political group, however large.  Now imagine that some of these institutions are law schools and the figure in question is a United States Supreme Court Justice.

 This is the quandary in which Scott Douglas Gerber has found himself over his entire academic career.
“For good and bad, I’m forever linked with Clarence Thomas,” Gerber told a classroom full of USC Law students recently...."
1376  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: NSF grants on: March 16, 2012, 08:20:10 PM
Did you see my post that said "[t]here is also the possibility that there will be discoveries that benefit the long term longevity of the species that are not prone to business interests, which tend to be more short term, nbottom line in orientation.  The astronomical discoveries, for example."

Which can only be gained through large gov't agencies?

And the road to demise can also be paved with limited knowledge. 

"I don't know, but there is good to come out of the NSF grants."

Sure there is, but at what cost? The road to crushing national debt is paved with good intentions.
1377  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 2012 Presidential on: March 16, 2012, 01:02:47 PM
An alteration was made to the post.  My apologies for the confusion/lack of information.

From a site that calls itself "News that's almost reliable"?

I'd like to see some confirmation of this before taking it seriously.

1378  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: NSF grants on: March 16, 2012, 01:00:18 PM
And the road to demise can also be paved with limited knowledge. 

"I don't know, but there is good to come out of the NSF grants."

Sure there is, but at what cost? The road to crushing national debt is paved with good intentions.
1379  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Mitt relates to the black community on: March 16, 2012, 10:58:49 AM
A satirical look at Romney's ability to connect with an audience.

http://www.freewoodpost.com/2012/03/13/mitt-romney-i-can-relate-to-black-people-my-ancestors-once-owned-slaves/
1380  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: NSF Grant Funding on: March 16, 2012, 10:25:07 AM
I don't know, but there is good to come out of the NSF grants.  There is also the possibility that there will be discoveries that benefit the long term longevity of the species that are not prone to business interests, which tend to be more short term, nbottom line in orientation.  The astronomical discoveries, for example.

From the Newt Gingrich thread (Guro suggested the energy policy thread, but I think it fits better here; will move if necessary):

I can't say that I have a good grasp of the internal workings of the NSF's grant process and the degree of political graft that may or may not be involved in the awarding of said grants, however given the abuses well documented under this administration and our dire economic condition, I'm wanting the USG out of the grant business altogether.

This, admittedly, does not address the manner in which NSF grants are awarded.  Here is a list, of 577, of NSF funded findings.  I think some of them may be of interest.

http://www.nsf.gov/discoveries/

I wonder what the cost in government buildings/infrastructure/pay/benefits/pensions plus interest on the national debt breaks down to on a per discovery basis?
1381  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / USSC justices as book authors on: March 16, 2012, 05:58:24 AM
A list of 351 books by Supreme Court justices:

http://www.scotusblog.com/2012/03/351-books-by-supreme-court-justices/
1382  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / NSF Grant Funding on: March 16, 2012, 05:38:12 AM
From the Newt Gingrich thread (Guro suggested the energy policy thread, but I think it fits better here; will move if necessary):

I can't say that I have a good grasp of the internal workings of the NSF's grant process and the degree of political graft that may or may not be involved in the awarding of said grants, however given the abuses well documented under this administration and our dire economic condition, I'm wanting the USG out of the grant business altogether.

This, admittedly, does not address the manner in which NSF grants are awarded.  Here is a list, of 577, of NSF funded findings.  I think some of them may be of interest.

http://www.nsf.gov/discoveries/
1383  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Issues in the American Creed (Constitutional Law and related matters) on: March 16, 2012, 05:33:13 AM
Also from the Santorum thread:

Saintorum wants to ban hardcore porn.

http://news.yahoo.com/blogs/ticket/rick-santorum-wants-ban-hardcore-pornography-222833811.html

Silly me, I would have thought this to be a matter for the pursuit of happiness, the 9th Amendment (privacy), and the 10th Amendment (States Rights), not the Feds.

Oy fg vey.

This is interesting.  Do you not find the 1st amendment a suitable place for the necessary protections? 
1384  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Issues in the American Creed (Constitutional Law and related matters) on: March 16, 2012, 05:30:27 AM
From the Santorum thread:

Funny how many aging hippies are suddenly 10 amd. advocates when the feds raid their "medical" marijuana shops.

That is at least as funny as the conservatives who are states rights advocates until the issue is drugs. 
1385  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Re: DOG BROTHERS T-SHIRT DESIGN CONTEST on: March 15, 2012, 08:58:37 PM
Was a winner announced?  When will the new tees be in the store?
1386  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Re: DBMA 2012 Summer Camp on: March 15, 2012, 08:56:21 PM
Guro, are there more details (firm dates; location; cost)? 

With the Winter Camp coming up this weekend my focus is there.  More here next week.
1387  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Newt Gingrich on: March 15, 2012, 08:16:21 PM
What do you think of things like NSF grants for R&D?
1388  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 2012 Presidential on: March 15, 2012, 06:33:45 PM
Doug, my state will go for the GOP.  And I won't be voting for President Obama. 
1389  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Newt Gingrich on: March 15, 2012, 06:27:45 PM
GM, first of all, I never said or implied it was the same thing.  I noted that, and I quote me: "President Obama is hardly the only person to 'tout' algae as an alternative to oil."  Second, there are several things that are different about it.  Since you clearly view me as a simpleton, I couldn't possibly begin to imagine what more highly evolved mind is thinking.  When you explain it, please use small words.  I would note though, that when Gingrich says what he says about the algae he acts like Obama is retarded.  My point is that there is a possibilty that there is a viable use. 


"President Obama's response to soaring gasoline prices has been touting algae-powered cars...".

President Obama is hardly the only person to "tout" algae as an alternative to oil.

Exxon Sinks $600M Into Algae-Based Biofuels in Major Strategy Shift: http://www.nytimes.com/gwire/2009/07/14/14greenwire-exxon-sinks-600m-into-algae-based-biofuels-in-33562.html

Algae Oil in China: http://www.algaeindustrymagazine.com/algae-business-algae-oil-in-china/


BD, there is an important distinction between the US Gov't funding algae as energy vs. Exxon. Can you tell me what it is?
1390  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Newt Gingrich on: March 15, 2012, 04:40:10 PM
"President Obama's response to soaring gasoline prices has been touting algae-powered cars...".

President Obama is hardly the only person to "tout" algae as an alternative to oil.

Exxon Sinks $600M Into Algae-Based Biofuels in Major Strategy Shift: http://www.nytimes.com/gwire/2009/07/14/14greenwire-exxon-sinks-600m-into-algae-based-biofuels-in-33562.html

Algae Oil in China: http://www.algaeindustrymagazine.com/algae-business-algae-oil-in-china/
1391  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Politics on: March 15, 2012, 01:55:04 PM
An interesting find, DMG.
1392  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 2012 Presidential on: March 15, 2012, 01:53:59 PM
I think you are right.

A better measure would be the poll numbers from the swing states.  A national poll doesn't tell you as much as much, since there are only a few states that are really up for grabs.  This may be another election, no matter the winner, where the electoral college faces some serious derision. 

True, and from memory there are multiple key states that went blue in 2008 that are now showing serious kool-aid hangovers.
1393  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 2012 Presidential on: March 15, 2012, 10:23:37 AM
A better measure would be the poll numbers from the swing states.  A national poll doesn't tell you as much as much, since there are only a few states that are really up for grabs.  This may be another election, no matter the winner, where the electoral college faces some serious derision. 
1394  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Entry Standards/Indiana "Castle Doctrine" rethought on: March 14, 2012, 09:00:32 PM
The source doesn't matter much, GM.  The fact that the state legislature is considering overturning the bill is the issue.  

But, if you prefer, here is the legislative history: http://e-lobbyist.com/gaits/IN/SB0001

Here is a story noting the involvement of Indiana GOP and the NRA: http://www.addictinginfo.org/2012/03/02/indiana-house-approves-bill-that-allows-homeowners-to-kill-police-officers/

Here is the bill information itself, from the Indiana legislture's website: http://www.in.gov/apps/lsa/session/billwatch/billinfo?year=2012&session=1&request=getBill&doctype=SB&docno=0001
1395  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Entry Standards on: March 14, 2012, 07:33:04 PM
"If you are a citizen, and using force against a LEO, the odds of this turning out well for you is slim and none."

With this I completely agree.  And court decisions that gut the 4th amendment protections offered in the Bill of Rights, a series of amendments made becuase of the fear of an over reaching government, don't help this.  


An update on a heated discussion from nearly a year ago: http://www.informationliberation.com/?id=38839

"The text of SB 1 states that its legislative purpose "is to protect citizens from unlawful entry into their homes by law enforcement officers or persons pretending to be law enforcement officers. Both citizens and law enforcement officers benefit from clear guidance about the parameters of lawful home entry, which will reduce the potential for violence and respect the privacy and property of citizens."

To that end, the bill recognizes that an individual 'may use force … to prevent or terminate a law enforcement officer’s unlawful entry.'" ...

"SB1 is not an innovation; it simply restores an explicit understanding of Indiana’s "castle doctrine," which was subverted last year in the Indiana State Supreme Court’s Barnes v. State ruling. As a wire service report observed at the time, that ruling effectively nullified the core protections contained in the Fourth Amendment and the equivalent provision in the Indiana constitution, as well as protections and immunities recognized by "common law dating back to the English Magna Carta of 1215." The 3–2 decision last May 12 held that Indiana residents have no right to obstruct unlawful police incursions into their homes."


1396  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Issues in the American Creed (Constitutional Law and related matters) on: March 14, 2012, 08:00:41 AM
1.  I meant to write "first portion," which is " Conservatives attack the courts." And I do doubt this is under contention.   

2.  I am not writing about my beliefs, Guro.  I am trying to divine what Judge Wilkinson says, based on the article you posted and the little I know about him.  I was guessing based on the article, primarily, because the little I do know about likely dwarfs what most others know.  SO, based on the context of a 750 word article.

3.  The original intent, as we have discussed before, is difficult to divine.  I do not know how Wilkinson views original intent, though I suspect his book which I would like to read, sheds some light on this.

4.  Why since Marbury?  And talk about judicial activism!

5.  "I gather he thinks the courts should let the Congress slip its constitutional leashes because he thinks it makes for international competitiveness and that those that disagree are conservative activists?!?  This makes little sense to me."  Then that is a weakness in his article, not my attempt to explain it. 

6.  "It is the substitution of your own opinion for the law."  OK, that is a fine definition by me, but it doesn't mean that conservative judges don't do that. 


BD:

You know I have high regard for you, especially in this area, but I confess I just don't find this particular post very persuasive.

a)  "Judge Wilkinson says: “Conservatives attack the courts on one hand and seek to have them advance their activist agenda on the other.”  The portion of this view is not in contention, I would guess."

Umm , , , I DO contest  grin

b)  "“activist [judges] believe that that the proper role of the [c]ourt is to assert independent positions in deciding cases, to review the actions of other branches vigorously, to be willing to strike down acts the [judge] believes are unconstitutional…”.  Taken together, these definitions make sense, of course.  This is where I suspect Judge Wilkinson is coming from, especially as he notes the “debate over the Affordable Care Act’s requirement that individuals buy health insurance” and the erosion of longstanding understanding (read precedent) of the Interstate Commerce Clause."

Ummm , , , ever since Marbury isn't it precisely the job of a judge to defend the Constitution?  How is doing so "activist"?!?  Of course stare decisis deserves some respect, but the original intent of the ICC deserves even more. 

“It is tempting to shout states’ rights when deeply flawed federal legislation is enacted, but the momentary satisfactions of that exercise carry long-term constitutional costs. Badly conceived bills die a thousand political deaths — in the appropriations process, in the states, through electoral retribution, in the executive appointments of a succeeding administration and ultimately in amendment and repeal. However, if courts read the Constitution in such a way that it enables them to make Congress ineffectual, and instead to promote 50 state regulatory regimes in an era of rapidly mounting global challenges, the risks should escape no one. Making our charter more parochial while other nations flex their economic muscle seems like poor timing.”

I find this paragraph to be the most specious of all.  How on earth is limiting the Congress to the powers set to it in the Constitution constitute making the Congress “ineffectual”?!?  This makes no sense to me at all.   There are matters pertaining to the jurisdiction of the States, and there are matters that are properly federal.  This is on purpose and it is a good thing to have the competition of fifty laboratories of democracy in action.


“He is arguing that activist decisions (overturning precedent and congressional actions) devolve the economic prowess of the country, but returning the economies to the states in an increasingly global environment.”

Again, it is NOT activist to insist upon the Constitution.  PERIOD.   Not sure of the meaning of the second half of the sentence (or even if it IS a sentence ) but I gather he thinks the courts should let the Congress slip its constitutional leashes because he thinks it makes for international competitiveness and that those that disagree are conservative activists?!?  This makes little sense to me.


I will close by giving a concise definition of judicial activism:  It is the substitution of your own opinion for the law.

1397  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / STFU kid, even if I am wrong on: March 13, 2012, 10:33:48 PM
http://school.failblog.org/2012/02/28/homework-class-test-why-couldnt-he-just-be-complacent-and-dumb-like-everyone-else/
1398  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Issues in the American Creed (Constitutional Law and related matters) on: March 13, 2012, 05:10:39 PM
As Guro has asked for a discussion of Judge Wilkinson's argument of conservatives undermining the Constitution, I will limit this reply to that area.  
First, it is important to recognize that Judge Wilkinson is highly regarded conservative judge.  He was a clerk for Justice Powell, was nominated for his position by President Reagan and was interviewed as a potential USSC nominee by President George W. Bush.


Judge Wilkinson says: “Conservatives attack the courts on one hand and seek to have them advance their activist agenda on the other.”  The first portion of this view is not in contention, I would guess.  Several of the participants on the forum bemoan the role that judiciary plays or played in reproductive cases, eminent domain and elsewhere.  Here it is important to have a definition of what constitutes judicial “activism.”  However, a definition is difficult to find.  Having looked at about a dozen books on my shelf, here is a sampling of the “definitions” or descriptions, but it is key to note that none of them limit activism to liberal jurists.  Reporter Richard Willing described judicial activism as “what the other guy does that you don’t like.”  In an effort to find more, I found one offered by Lawrence Baum (a serious judicial scholar at the Ohio State University), who says that “when judges choose to increase their impact as policymakers, they can be said to engage in activism.”  Lee Epstein (a serious judicial scholar now at USC law school) and coauthor Thomas Walker state that “activist [judges] believe that that the proper role of the [c]ourt is to assert independent positions in deciding cases, to review the actions of other branches vigorously, to be willing to strike down acts the [judge] believes are unconstitutional…”.  Taken together, these definitions make sense, of course.  This is where I suspect Judge Wilkinson is coming from, especially as he notes the “debate over the Affordable Care Act’s requirement that individuals buy health insurance” and the erosion of longstanding understanding (read precedent) of the Interstate Commerce Clause.  

I find this paragraph to be of interest: “It is tempting to shout states’ rights when deeply flawed federal legislation is enacted, but the momentary satisfactions of that exercise carry long-term constitutional costs. Badly conceived bills die a thousand political deaths — in the appropriations process, in the states, through electoral retribution, in the executive appointments of a succeeding administration and ultimately in amendment and repeal. However, if courts read the Constitution in such a way that it enables them to make Congress ineffectual, and instead to promote 50 state regulatory regimes in an era of rapidly mounting global challenges, the risks should escape no one. Making our charter more parochial while other nations flex their economic muscle seems like poor timing.”

One the primary reasons why the presidency has expanded its power is because of the speed of the decision making, viz. Congress.  Most people, liberal or conservative who accept the increasingly unitary presidency do so because they feel that the president can act more decisively, more quickly that the plodding legislature.  For historic examples see: T. Jefferson and the Louisiana Purchase; A. Lincoln and the first few months of the Civil War; FDR and NIRA and others; etc. etc.  These are not without limitation, such as W. Wilson and forgetting the Senate’s role in treaty making and H. Truman and the seizure of the steel industry, but the march seems to be ever forward.  I think that Wilkinson is basically noting this, but in a different way.  He is arguing that activist decisions (overturning precedent and congressional actions) devolve the economic prowess of the country, but returning the economies to the states in an increasingly global environment.  
1399  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Girl forced to give access to her FB password on: March 13, 2012, 12:22:47 PM
http://redtape.msnbc.msn.com/_news/2012/03/13/10657012-up-against-the-wall-should-district-be-allowed-to-demand-middle-schoolers-facebook-password#.T19jBCz3f8g.facebook

A 12-year-old Minnesota girl was reduced to tears while school officials and a police officer rummaged through her private Facebook postings after forcing her to surrender her password, an ACLU lawsuit alleges.
1400  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / JFK's planned 11/22 speech on: March 12, 2012, 09:16:44 PM
http://www.jfklibrary.org/Research/Ready-Reference/JFK-Speeches/Remarks-Prepared-for-Delivery-at-the-Trade-Mart-in-Dallas-November-22-1963.aspx

"Above all, words alone are not enough. The United States is a peaceful nation. And where our strength and determination are clear, our words need merely to convey conviction, not belligerence. If we are strong, our strength will speak for itself. If we are weak, words will be of no help."
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