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2051  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Big Government on: April 13, 2011, 04:45:14 PM
Well, that sounds rather scary  shocked

I know!
2052  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Big Government on: April 13, 2011, 11:52:33 AM

So to what sources do we look to define the "Executive Power"?

Locke (Two Treatises) and Blackstone (Commentaries on the Laws of England).  An example: the executive must have "the power to act according to discretion, for the publick good, without the prescription of the Law, and sometimes even against it." (Blackstone)

2053  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Big Government on: April 13, 2011, 08:36:33 AM
Article I vesting clause: "All legislative Powers herein granted shall be vested in a Congress of the United States, which shall consist of a Senate and House of Representatives." (my emphasis)

Article II vesting clause: "The executive Power shall be vested in a President of the United States of America." 

Note the key difference.  Article I expressly limits the legislative powers of Congress to those granted in the Constitution.  There is no such limit in the Article II vesting clause.  In other words, many presidents and presidential scholars have argued that the executive powers of a country, by virtue of being a sovereign state, are more extensive than those powers expressed in the Constitution.  It is also worth noting that the passage in Article II was altered between prior and final drafts.  I believe  Gouverneur Morris was primarily responsible for the shift. 

Does that clarify enough Guro? 
2054  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Big Government on: April 13, 2011, 06:46:40 AM
Scholars, and presidents, often point to the vesting clauses in Articles I and II as a source of the rise of presidential powers viz. those of Congress.  While it is true that the Constitution grants Congress many a power, the vesting clause in Article I also limits the powers of Congress to those enumerated in the document.  The vesting clause in Article II places no such limit on the president. 
2055  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Hmm . . . on: April 12, 2011, 08:21:59 AM
A Supreme Court justice cannot be forced to recuse him- or herself from a case. 

Two examples: Marbury v. Madison and from 2004 from then Chief Justice William Rehnquist:

"While a member of the court will often consult with colleagues as to whether to recuse in a case, there is no formal procedure for court review of a justice in an individual case,” Chief Justice Rehnquist wrote. “This is because it has long been settled that each justice must decide such a question for himself.”

Kagan’s Recusal Manuevers
Jonathan H. Adler • April 9, 2011 11:14 am

While serving as Solicitor General, Justice Elena Kagan allegedly began maneuvering to avoid having to recuse in any eventual challenges to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, months before her nomination was announced — indeed, even before she was told she was under consideration — according to a series of documents released in response to a Freedom of Information Act request. The National Law Journal reports on the disclosures here (registration required).

The documents, mainly in the form of printouts of internal email chains, show that now-Acting Solicitor General Neal Katyal – not Kagan herself — was the point person within the office on discussions of the new health care reform law and how to defend it in court. Released to, a conservative-oriented news outlet, the emails also reveal how Kagan was walled off from discussions of the law — possibly because she already knew she might be nominated to the high court, where a challenge to the statute would ultimately be decided.

The release has raised eyebrows among lawyers familiar with the long tradition of the solicitor general’s office resisting release of internal documents so as not to hamper deliberations on cases. . . .

In a March 15 letter releasing the documents, Valerie Hall, executive officer of the solicitor general’s office, said they could have been withheld under [a FOIA exemption for “inter-agency or intra-agency memorandums or letters”], but the department was releasing them anyway as “a matter of agency discretion.” published a story on the documents March 29

Another puzzle is that if these documents could be released under FOIA, why were they not disclosed to the Senate Judiciary Committee in preparation for Kagan’s confirmation hearing? Nothing reported to be in the documents would have prevented Kagan’s confirmation, nor does anything seem likely to force her recusal should the health care litigation reach the High Court, so the sudden disclosure is curious.

At NRO’s Bench Memos, Carrie Severino comments further on the disclosed documents here and here.
2056  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Issues in the American Creed (Constitutional Law and related matters) on: April 11, 2011, 10:00:29 AM
DougMacG: "I recall looking up that the despicable Phelps church celebrating fallen soldiers pays zero property taxes, a state/local tax credit of sorts?"  Churches of all sorts, even the ones you (or I) don't like have tax exempt status.  Although I do not agree with the message, or even Christianity of Westboro Baptist, the religious rights of parishioners are imperiled when the state gets to pick and choose between types of "legitimate" religious messages. 

Guro: There is a long line of SC case law that relates to funding/choice/aid to religious schools, which, of course, make up many (although not exclusively) private schools.  Perhaps this was Kagan's worry.  In particular, look to Everson v. Bd. of Ed. (1947); Lemon v. Kurtzman (1971); Agostini v. Felton (1997); and Zelman v. Simmons-Harris (2002) for frames of reference.  These are the "biggies."  There are many other cases that could add to the discussion. 
2057  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / brain development on: April 07, 2011, 10:32:57 AM
2058  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Is he out? on: April 06, 2011, 08:48:22 PM

NEW YORK—Glenn Beck later this year will end his Fox News Channel talk show, which has sunk in the ratings and has suffered from an advertiser boycott.
Fox and Beck's company, Mercury Radio Arts, said Wednesday they will stay in business creating other projects for Fox television and digital, starting with some documentaries Beck is preparing.

Beck was a quick burn on Fox News Channel. Almost immediately after joining the network in January 2009, he doubled the ratings at his afternoon time slot. Fans found his conservative populism entertaining, while Comedy Central's Stephen Colbert described Beck's "crank up the crazy and rip off the knob" moments.

He was popular with tea party activists and drew thousands of people to the National Mall in Washington last August for a "restoring honor" rally.

Yet some of his statements were getting him in trouble, and critics appealed to advertisers to boycott his show last summer after Beck said President Barack Obama had "a deep-seated hatred for white people."

Beck said that he went to Roger Ailes, Fox News chairman and CEO, in January to discuss ways they could continue to work together without the daily show.

"Half of the headlines say he's been canceled," Ailes said. "The other half say he quit. We're pretty happy with both of them."

Beck said he noted on his show Tuesday that "how many times can I tell the (George) Soros story," referring the liberal donor that Beck has made a target of attacks.

"We felt Glenn brought additional information, a unique perspective, a certain amount of passion and insight to the channel and he did," Ailes said. "But that story of what's going on and why America is in trouble today, I think he told that story as well as could be told. Whether you can just keep telling that story or not ... we're not so sure."

Beck, who outlined on Wednesday's show his reasons for believing that "we're heading into deep and treacherous waters," told his viewers at the end of the show that his Fox talk show would conclude.

"I will continue to tell the story and I will be showing other ways for us to connect," he said.

More than 400 Fox advertisers told the company they did not want their commercials on Beck's show. Beck's advertisers were dominated by financial services firms, many touting gold as an investment.

Ailes dismissed the financial impact of the boycott but expressed some frustration with it.

"Advertisers who get weak-kneed because some idiot on a blog site writes to them and says we need to stifle speech, I get a little frustrated by that," he said.

One of Beck's most prominent critics—David Brock, founder of the liberal watchdog Media Matters for America—said that "the only surprise is that it took Fox News months to reach this decision."

"Fox News Channel clearly understands that Beck's increasingly erratic behavior is a liability to their ratings and their bottom line, and we are glad to see them take this action," said James Rucker, executive director of, which organized the advertiser boycott.

Beck was a lightning rod for other critics, as well. The Jewish Funds for Justice organized a petition drive last fall to get Beck fired for what it called his misuse of Nazis and the Holocaust phrases against political opponents.

Viewers had begun turning away. Beck's 5 p.m. ET show averaged 2.7 million viewers during the first three months of 2010, and was at just under 2 million for the same period this year, the Nielsen Co. said. His decline was sharper among younger viewers sought by advertisers.

Increasingly, the show began to be dominated by Beck standing in front of a chalk board giving his theories about the world's troubles.

However, Beck has built a powerful brand for himself through a daily radio show, best-selling books and personal appearances. Mercury Radio Arts is expanding and a key Fox executive, Joel Cheatwood, is joining the company later this month.

Beck's company created and operates a news and opinion website, For $9.95 a month, he offers fans access to "Insider Extreme," a website that beams documentaries, Beck personal appearances and a video simulcast of Beck's daily radio show, with an extra hour featuring Beck cohorts.

Beck said ratings for his television show were not an issue, noting that "we have buried the competition in every sense." His supporters believe that the recent decline is more a reflection that ratings were abnormally high early last year.

"Call CNN and MSNBC and ask them if they'd like to have Glenn's ratings at 5 in the afternoon," Ailes said.

Ailes emphasized that Fox and Beck will continue to work together.

"We like each other," he said in a dual interview with Beck. "We're not drawing pictures of each other on the walls, having staff fights and stealing each other's food out of the refrigerator or any of that stuff."


2059  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Education/Parenting on: April 05, 2011, 09:26:32 AM
Another example of liberals ruining education:
2060  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / spear phishing on: April 04, 2011, 08:27:08 AM
With the news that millions of email addresses have been compromised, my employer sent out the following links for info on so-called "spear phishing.",,sid14_gci1134829,00.html
2061  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Re: The Straight Blast on: March 24, 2011, 09:11:30 AM
Quote from: Karsk link=topic=2176.msg47323#msg47323 date=1300831803


By golly, that clip looks familiar!!!!  

"d) Recently I have developed what I call "the Rabid Blast".  Like the WC/JF and the JKD Straight Blasts it seeks to impose neurological overload by punching three strikes per step (well two strikes and a sector framing strike to be specific  ).  Like the JKD SB and the Boxing Blast it seeks to impose strong forward pressure, though the footwork prefers to zig zag ("sawtooth" in our terminology) unless the opponent is so on his heels that a straight line is required to keep up with him.  Like the Boxing Blast is seeks to keep the jaw protected; though in my opinion it does so to a greater degree.  Ideally weave and shoot counters are partially dealt with by using the angle created by the sawtooth footwork, often in conjunction with what we call a "silat gator roll".  Because of our concerns about striking the skull with our fists, the strikes are heel palm.  The nature of the strikes overlaps with old school boxing, but is neither vertical fist nor boxing.
The chambers from which they initiate are different (think the double stick chamber we call the Arf-arful Dodger) and rhythmically they are a bit different too;  I may be mistaken but at the moment I think the rhythm is in 6/8."

I look forward to seeing more of this in the future. 
2062  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Issues in the American Creed (Constitutional Law and related matters) on: March 24, 2011, 08:27:23 AM
I am disappointed in Linda Greenhouse here.  She knows better than to say some of the things that she wrote in this article.  She is almost always spot on, and if anything over-informed.  But here, she seems to forget information she used to know.

1.  "When I looked at voting patterns, I was surprised by what the numbers revealed: that in the divided cases, Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. has voted more often with Justices Stephen G. Breyer and Sonia Sotomayor than with Justices Thomas, Scalia or Samuel A. Alito Jr. The number of cases is small, only nine, and there was no particular ideological spin to most of the decisions, so this is not to suggest that the term will disprove characterizations of the Roberts court, or the chief justice himself, as conservative."  This means nothing.  While she admits that it might mean nothing, by including it she draws attention to nothing.  Here is why: if in the majority at the conference stage (when the justices meet post-oral argument to preliminarily hash out the votes), the CJ will assign the majority opinion.  It is entirely possible that Roberts is voting with the "liberal wing" more often simply because he wants to assign the opinion.  CJ Burger was known to do this same thing.

2.  "Justice Thomas... has yet to write for the majority in any case this term. ...  The court’s eventual opinion in a case called Connick v. Thompson, argued back on Oct. 6, may be revealing. It is the only undecided case left from among the 12 the justices heard during the first month of the term, so by deduction, the opinion assignment should have gone to Justice Thomas, the only justice without a majority opinion from that session (Justice Kennedy and Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg each have two.) "  There is NO SUCH THING AS "SHOULD" HAVE ASSIGNED AN OPINION.  Here is why: first of all, while balancing the workload is important, the Chief Justice (see above for why) can assign opinions for many reasons.  Who writes the fastest, who is closest ideologically, who can support the majority, who is an expert in the area of law being questioned, etc. etc.  Moreover, if Justice Thomas did not vote with the majority, he wouldn't be assigned the majority opinion.  Greenhouse has no way of knowing if he was in the majority or not, so she can't know that he "should" have been assigned the opinion.

3.  "Perhaps Justice Thomas, having received the initial assignment to write the majority opinion, has been unable to hold four other justices to his approach to this case. Or perhaps a dissenting opinion is taking a long time to incubate."  While all true reasons why an opinion announcement might be slow in coming, since she can't know that Justice Thomas was assigned the opinion, this is also meaningless. 

2063  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 2012 Presidential on: March 18, 2011, 07:08:32 PM
Clinton still never got more than 48% of the vote. I guess, despite Dems furious bribes to people with more and more taxpayer money this is a center right country.

A popular vote majority is a rather rare presidential election.  Don't read too much in Clinton's inabilty to get 50% or more. 
2064  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Men have become the weaker sex on: March 18, 2011, 04:24:00 AM
2065  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Iran admits cyber-attacks on: March 18, 2011, 03:57:29 AM
2066  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Rest in Peace on: March 17, 2011, 05:04:07 PM
Haven't read EAKAT, but did enjoy HT's HAs many years ago.

Also part of that crew was Ram Dass.  Is he still alive?
2067  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Rest in Peace on: March 17, 2011, 06:23:29 AM
I would recommend reading the "Electric Acid Kool-Aid Test" and Hunter S. Thompson's "Hell's Angels" together at some point.  Kesey and the HA were parts of a social circle and the differences of perspective on interactions is interesting (as are the interactions, all by themselves!). 
2068  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Radioactive Plume to SoCal on: March 17, 2011, 06:19:06 AM,0,4670867.story?track=rss&utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+Ktxl-Fox40NewsAtTen+%28KTXL+-+FOX40+News+at+Ten%29
2069  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Nuclear Power on: March 16, 2011, 02:54:00 PM
Guro and GM (in particular), I read a local newspaper account in which the local nuke plant manager says that the plant was built to withstand a 9.0 RS earthquake.  That surprises me given that those in California were not built to withstand such a shock.  I think that, like Guro, I am a bit sceptical. 
2070  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Nuclear Power on: March 14, 2011, 05:00:23 AM
Given the vast difference in gov't funding, it sure looks like the AWEA gets much more bang for it's lobbying buck, does it not? What's the overall size of the green industry vs. that of the oil/gas industry?

I would think that an industry that is smart with its money would appeal to you.  Also, I'm not sure the rest of subsidy information in the video is correct.  If he was wrong about the lobbying activities, I am not sure why I would trust him with the other half of that information.
2071  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Nuclear Power on: March 13, 2011, 09:07:42 PM
GM: According to the economist, Robert Michaels, in the video, the wind energy lobby American Wind Energy Association is "right up there" with lobbying efforts of the oil industry.  He was wrong:

AWEA gave less the $250,000 in 2009-2010.  This was the top contributor in the alternative energy industry (

The top 20 oil contributors ALL gave more than AWEA in the same time frame:

Also, I couldn't anything on the New Madrid plants' construction strength, except for one local broadcast assuring residents that a local plant was safe. 
2072  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Nuclear Power on: March 13, 2011, 08:04:29 PM

Note the magnitude of earthquake the reactors are built to withstand. 
2073  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Nuclear Power on: March 13, 2011, 08:00:58 PM
GM: "I think we can all agree that "areas of seismic activity" shouldn't have nuclear plant built there."  This was the point of my original post.  I was talking about my concern with a second power plant that has been considered in an area with a major fault line.

Also, I am about to listen to the YouTube video you posted.  Thanks for the link, and for the information on CO and TMI. 

Doug: You've not offended me.  I just wanted to be clear.  I was also a bit more curt than I intended.  I was trying to call your attention to the point not "call you out."  Incidentally, Heritage does lots of interesting things.  I've even sent a student there as intern.  She had a great summer, and met, among many others Laura Ingraham and Bob Barr. 

2074  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Nuclear Power on: March 13, 2011, 02:09:02 PM
According to this website,, which I selected because it was the first one I found (which makes it practically a scientific find  grin), the population density of the LA area ranks 90th in the world.  New York is 114. 

More over, I am not exactly sure why this came up.  I said something about walking to work.  I don't consider my legs public transportation.  Cars led to people moving away from where they work.  This is the reason why people needed more cars and drove farther each day.  I made a conscious choice (see that Doug?) to live close to work, rather than farther away. 

I did not, and would not, suggest coercive measures for this.  But for a country that wants to have energy independence from the rest of the world, this seems like a good way to go. 
2075  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Nuclear Power on: March 13, 2011, 11:18:02 AM

The majority of Americans don't live places where public transportation is economically viable. We need cars. I can tell you that as someone that has seen lots of MVAs, including fatals that smart cars aren't.

However, as people increasing move to urban centers, this becomes less true.
2076  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Nuclear Power on: March 13, 2011, 06:51:57 AM
Thanks for the replies on that.  BD in particular, I understand those concerns.  Of the other alternatives possible today to expand (including doing without), which way do you lean, may I ask?

Doug, I think that GM is right to point out that power has to come from somewhere and that a fully "green" energy "alternative" is largely a falsehood.  There are plusses and minuses with sources of energy.  I think that wind energy is probably my choice given the current state of technology and use.  Wind farms, many contend, are unsightly.  I never did like Senator Kennedy's view on this.  Given that I can see the nuclear power plant from at least 20 miles away, I think that is at least as unsightly.  And wind farms are a far cry from the impact on the view of coal mine operations or oil production. 

The biggest thing that I think we, as a country, need to work on is consumption.  I realize this is said all the time, but why the hell we all need separate cars, that are big, and we refuse to walk to work, or turn off a light at home, etc. etc. I just don't understand.     
2077  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Nuclear Power on: March 12, 2011, 07:50:47 PM
I also have fears based on wide spread use of nuclear power.  I was a kid when 3 Mile Island occured, and remember Chernobyl well.  I live close to a major fault line myself (although well outside of California), and my elected representatives have decided to explore the idea of having a second nuclear power plant in my county.  Egad!
2078  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Issues in the American Creed (Constitutional Law and related matters) on: March 11, 2011, 07:47:52 AM
I'm not sure what comments to add on the Scalia piece.  It seems about right to me.  There is a long literature related coalition formation on the Supreme Court (and many other multi-player institutions).  Supreme Court specific: perhaps the most famous example of an extremely smart, highly regarded, non-influential justice was Felix Frankfurter.  A former law professor, he lacked people skills, and had difficulty convincing others to join him.  The most famous counter example was William Brennen.  He was able to convince justices to join him, in large part, because he had abilities to compromise in mutually beneficial ways to him and the other justices on a coalition.

I suspect that Scalia will be influential in the long run, though, not unlike Justice Brandeis.  Brandeis famously dissented in a case called Olmstead.  The dissent went on to form the legal understanding of wiretaps beginning in the 1960's.  I suspect that Scalia's dissents, which might be scathing, but are also well written and clear, may have an impact similar to that of Brandeis.
2079  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Re: U.S. Marshal Dies of Shooting Injuries on: March 10, 2011, 07:40:00 PM
U.S. Marshal Dies of Shooting Injuries

Wednesday, March 09 2011

(St. Louis, MO) -- A United States Marshal involved in a shoot-out in St. Louis Wednesday, died from his injuries last night.
Another marshal was wounded in the incident as was a St. Louis police officer.

The suspect also died after being shot by police during the standoff.

Tuesday morning, Marshals went to the door of a 36 year old man to serve a drug warrant.
Officers say the man opened fire.     

One marshal was shot and critically wounded.  He later died.  He is now identified as Deputy U.S. Marshal John Perry.

The other marshal, Theodore Abegg, is in fair condition. The police officer has minor injuries.

Three children inside the house were taken to a neighbor's home before the shooting started.
2080  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Politics on: March 10, 2011, 08:56:20 AM

March 10, 2011, although the "storyline" goes back a few days.
2081  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 2012 Presidential on: March 10, 2011, 08:54:33 AM

I think there are some posts about him earlier in this thread.  Apparently he has extensive successful big corporation executive experience.  In response to the argument of the article you posted, I would point out that this is QUITE a bit more experience than Obama had -- though allow me to make clear that I am not suggesting that it is enough.

Thank you, sir.  I did, indeed, find what I figured someone here knew eearlier in the thread.
2082  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: American History on: March 10, 2011, 08:53:10 AM
Nice find grin

Thank you, Freki.  And let me say that I thoroughly enjoy your contributions on the Founding Fathers/American Creed. 
2083  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: American History on: March 10, 2011, 05:10:52 AM
The presidential election of 1800:

2084  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Herman Cain??? on: March 08, 2011, 12:44:18 PM
Do any of you know more about Herman Cain than is present in this story?  Thanks.
2085  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / US/UK relations since the Iron Curtain Speech on: March 04, 2011, 08:14:26 PM

Sixty-five years ago, Winston Churchill gave a landmark speech here in Missouri about the Iron Curtain that had descended in Europe, and the long history and future of the strategic partnership between the United States and the United Kingdom. His speech at Westminster College in Fulton focused on an alliance that delivered jobs, security and economic growth - the very same issues that tie together our two nations today.

I'm coming to Missouri to mark the anniversary of Churchill's address on March 5, 1946, and to visit businesses and universities with strong links to Britain. Throughout my time here, I'll be making a modern version of the case Churchill made on the lasting importance of the U.K.-U.S. relationship.

2086  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Issues in the American Creed (Constitutional Law and related matters) on: March 02, 2011, 01:57:24 PM
From DougMacG: "Your point 3 (hypocrisy) has definite validity and DOMA is a pretty good example.  The criticism works just as well aimed at the other end of the political spectrum.  Privacy unenumerated is gospel when killing the unborn, but meaningless for other personal choices like two centuries of pay as you go healthcare."

Yes, yes.  And I thought I had made a similar point with free speech when I replied this morning.  I did not.  My apologies for the oversight.

"Point 4 'the elected branches often ignore decisions handed down by the judiciary' -  isn't that the central thesis of Fay's piece, a warning to readers that this President may press on with Obamacare even if struck down by the Supreme Court.  I don't agree with her on that but we may find out soon enough."

No.  The point of the article is that Obama is somehow single handedly causing the largest constitutional crisis since FDR's court packing scheme, or words to that general effect.  My point is that the hypothetical reaction by Obama does not portend a crisis, because presidents consistently ignore Supreme Court rulings, and have for years.  There is nothing about THIS policy or president's reaction that should constitute a crisis.

Now, if the article was talking about the gradual erosion of the separated powers, or some similar thesis, then there might be a worthy discussion.  
2087  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Issues in the American Creed (Constitutional Law and related matters) on: March 02, 2011, 10:36:12 AM
1st Amendment protects military funeral protesters
By MARK SHERMAN, Associated Press Mark Sherman, Associated Press
WASHINGTON – The Supreme Court ruled Wednesday that the First Amendment protects fundamentalist church members who mount anti-gay protests outside military funerals, despite the pain they cause grieving families.

The court voted 8-1 in favor of the Westboro Baptist Church of Topeka, Kan. The decision upheld an appeals court ruling that threw out a $5 million judgment to the father of a dead Marine who sued church members after they picketed his son's funeral.

Chief Justice John Roberts wrote the opinion for the court. Justice Samuel Alito dissented.

Roberts said free speech rights in the First Amendment shield the funeral protesters, noting that they obeyed police directions and were 1,000 feet from the church.

"Speech is powerful. It can stir people to action, move them to tears of both joy and sorrow, and — as it did here — inflict great pain. On the facts before us, we cannot react to that pain by punishing the speaker," Roberts said. "As a nation we have chosen a different course — to protect even hurtful speech on public issues to ensure that we do not stifle public debate."

Alito strongly disagreed. "Our profound national commitment to free and open debate is not a license for the vicious verbal assault that occurred in this case," he said.

Matthew Snyder died in Iraq in 2006 and his body was returned to the United States for burial. Members of the Westboro Baptist Church, who have picketed military funerals for several years, decided to protest outside the Westminster, Md., church where his funeral was to be held.

The Rev. Fred Phelps and his family members who make up most of the Westboro Baptist Church have picketed many military funerals in their quest to draw attention to their incendiary view that U.S. deaths in Afghanistan and Iraq are God's punishment for the nation's tolerance of homosexuality.

They showed up with their usual signs, including "Thank God for dead soldiers," "You're Going to Hell," "God Hates the USA/Thank God for 9/11," and one that combined the U.S. Marine Corps motto, Semper Fi, with a slur against gay men.

The church members drew counter-demonstrators, as well as media coverage and a heavy police presence to maintain order. The result was a spectacle that led to altering the route of the funeral procession.

Several weeks later, Albert Snyder was surfing the Internet for tributes to his son from other soldiers and strangers when he came upon a poem on the church's website that attacked Matthew's parents for the way they brought up their son.

Soon after, Snyder filed a lawsuit accusing the Phelpses of intentionally inflicting emotional distress. He won $11 million at trial, later reduced by a judge to $5 million.

The federal appeals court in Richmond, Va., threw out the verdict and said the Constitution shielded the church members from liability.

Forty-eight states, 42 U.S. senators and veterans groups sided with Snyder, asking the court to shield funerals from the Phelps family's "psychological terrorism."

While distancing themselves from the church's message, media organizations, including The Associated Press, urged the court to side with the Phelps family because of concerns that a victory for Snyder could erode speech rights.

Roberts described the court's holding as narrow, and in a separate opinion, Justice Stephen Breyer suggested in other circumstances, governments would not be "powerless to provide private individuals with necessary protection."

But in this case, Breyer said, it would be wrong to "punish Westboro for seeking to communicate its views on matters of public concern."

Margie Phelps, a daughter of the minister and a lawyer who argued the case at the Supreme Court, said she expected the outcome. "The only surprise is that Justice Alito did not feel compelled to follow his oath," Phelps said. "We read the law. We follow the law. The only way for a different ruling is to shred the First Amendment."

She also offered her church's view of the decision. "I think it's pretty self-explanatory, but here's the core point: The wrath of God is pouring onto this land. Rather than trying to shut us up, use your platforms to tell this nation to mourn for your sins."

2088  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Issues in the American Creed (Constitutional Law and related matters) on: March 02, 2011, 05:57:20 AM
This article seems to be a non-starter for me.  Here are some reasons: 1, there is no real reason for the Obama administration to end the implementation of "Obamacare" based on the decision of a district court.  If you disagree, and that is fine, please recall that the Bush administration did not alter the course of the war on terror when district courts made constitutional decisions about issues such as prisoners' rights.  2, any auther who writes as though the Supreme Court/judicial branch has a monopoly on constitutional interpretation is either pretending or is ignorant.  The executive branch interprets the Constitution all the time (see, for example, "Office of Legal Counsel").  (Side note: additional proof of the auther not being the most informed court watcher comes early in the article when referring to "Justice" Vinson.)  3, it never ceases to amaze me when conservatives decry the role that the Supreme Court plays in the constitutional schema in one breath, and then, when convenient, want to uphold the rule of law (or however it is worded) when the Court (or a court) decides a case in a manner that they like.  You can't have it both ways.  4, the elected branches often ignore decisions handed down by the judiciary.  (Google INS v. Chandha legislative veto). 
2089  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Re: Guro Poi Dog on: February 25, 2011, 06:56:24 AM
Congratulations, Guro Poi Dog! 
2090  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / 10th Amendment and the individual on: February 25, 2011, 05:28:12 AM

The Supreme Court seemed ready Tuesday to hand criminal defendants a new weapon against federal prosecutors, allowing them to contend they were charged under laws that usurp authority the Constitution reserves for state governments.
2091  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / PsyOps used on US Senators? on: February 24, 2011, 07:13:09 PM
2092  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / McDonald's oatmeal on: February 24, 2011, 07:09:25 PM
2093  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Voting issues on: February 24, 2011, 07:02:12 PM
2094  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Re: VIDEO CLIPS OF INTEREST on: February 22, 2011, 04:46:26 AM
This is a very cool video of a college QB doing trick shots.  Check it out:

2095  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: American History on: February 22, 2011, 04:43:05 AM
Very much so.  An imperfect student in these things that I value so highly, I am grateful for your extensive knowledge and perspective in these matters and your integrity in how you present the various POVs.

Thank you, sir. 
2096  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: American History on: February 21, 2011, 05:22:52 PM
Thank you BD.

May I ask you please to expand upon the basis for thinking Lincoln's waging of the war unconstitutional?

Yes sir.

1.  President Lincoln did, in fact, wage a war without congressional approval for months.  Congress was in recess, back when that meant something, and despite the presidential power to recall it to Washington (U.S. Constitution Art II, section 3), he did not.  That said, the majority opinion in the USSC's The Prize Cases, penned by Justice Grier, makes a very fine statement (one which was used by the Bush (II) adminstration to defend its powers in the war on terror, with the caveat that civil war not present): "As a civil war is never publicly proclaimed... against insurgents, its actual existence is a fact in out domestic history which the Court is bound to notice and to know."  However, note that Congress is given the power to suppress insurrection (Art. I, section 8, clause 15).

2.  Lincoln did suspend the right of habeus corpus, which is allowable in a time of "rebellion or invasion."  However, as that power is present in Article I, section 9, the intention was that only Congress could suspend this right.  The power of the president to suspend habeus corpus was deemed unconstitutional by the Supreme Court in Ex parte Milligan (1866). 

Is this discussion the type of thing you desired, Guro? 
2097  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Re: R.I.P. C-Desert Dog on: February 21, 2011, 05:05:06 PM
I've struggled for a day to say what I want to in a manner worthy of C-Desert Dog.  I did not meet him, but I still have a sense of loss.  My heart goes out to his family and friends, and to those on this forum who were both.  When we lose a piece of the puzzle, we lose a piece of ourselves.  RIP warrior. 
2098  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Napolitano on: February 21, 2011, 01:17:33 PM
Is Napolitano correct that the C. was formed by the States?  Or was it formed by the American people?  Is the claim that slavery in The South was susceptible to withering away as it did elsewhere correct?  Was succession triggered by the entry of non-slave states into the Union, thus leading slave states to demand more slave states?  What of the federalism principles in light of the Dred Scott decision's imposition of requiring northern states to enforce southern slave claims within their (northern) territories?

Maybe BigDog will weigh in here , , ,
Judge Napolitano on Lincoln
by Thomas J. DiLorenzo

The recent discussions in the media about Ron Paul's comments regarding Lincoln and his political legacy got me to thinking, wouldn't it be great if Judge Andrew Napolitano, the Fox News Senior Judicial Analyst, would weigh in on the subject. I had this thought because Judge Napolitano included a chapter entitled "Dishonest Abe" in his brilliant book, The Constitution in Exile. Judge Napolitano is a very busy man, hosting a radio show as well as appearing on television, making speeches all around the country, writing books, and practicing law — in addition to (hopefully) having a private family life. Since I am a big fan of his writing I thought I would try to pique our readers' interest in what the judge has to say on this subject.
The first two sentences of the "Dishonest Abe" chapter of The Constitution in Exile are hard hitting: "The Abraham Lincoln of legend is an honest man who freed the slaves and saved the Union. Few things could be more misleading." He then goes on to say exactly what Ron Paul told the Washington Post, and which seemed to mystify and confuse Tim Russert in his "Meet the Press" interview with Congressman Paul: "In order to increase his federalist vision of centralized power, ‘Honest' Abe misled the nation into an unnecessary war. He claimed that the war was about emancipating slaves, but he could have simply paid slave owners to free their slaves . . . . The bloodiest war in American history could have been avoided." And, as Ron Paul would likely add, all the other countries of the world that ended slavery in the nineteenth century, including Britain, Spain, France, Denmark, the Dutch, did so without a war. This, by the way, included the Northern states in the U.S. There were no "civil wars" to free the slaves in Massachusetts, New York (where slavery existed for over 200 years), or Illinois.
Lincoln's "actions were unconstitutional and he knew it," writes Napolitano, for "the rights of the states to secede from the Union . . . [are] clearly implicit in the Constitution, since it was the states that ratified the Constitution . . ." Lincoln's view "was a far departure from the approach of Thomas Jefferson, who recognized states' rights above those of the Union." Judge Napolitano also reminds his readers that the issue of using force to keep a state in the union was in fact debated — and rejected — at the Constitutional Convention as part of the "Virginia Plan."
He also discusses Lincoln's Confiscation Act of 1862, under which "any slaves behind the Union lines were captives of war who were to be freed and transported to countries in the tropics. This was in keeping with Dishonest Abe's lifelong position (his "White Dream," according to Ebony magazine managing editor Lerone Bennett, Jr, author of Forced into Glory: Abraham Lincoln's White Dream) of deporting all blacks from the U.S. "Colonization" was the euphemism that was used for this.
"The Confiscation Acts," writes Judge Napolitano, "show that Lincoln did not have much concern for the slaves. He did not suggest to Congress that freed slaves should be granted civil rights or citizenship in Northern states. Once the freed slaves were transported out of the United States, they would no longer be Lincoln's problem." This is also why Lincoln tinkered with proposals for compensated emancipation in the border states while they were under U.S. military occupation during the war. These proposals included immediate deportation of any freed slaves. He saw the occupation of the border states during the war as an opportunity to begin ridding the country of "The Africans," as he referred to black people, as though they were from another planet. Judge Napolitano quotes Lincoln in one of his debates with Stephen Douglas as saying what he repeatedly said throughout his adult life: "I will say then that I am not, nor ever have been in favor of bringing about in any way the social and political equality of the white and black races — that I am not nor ever have been in favor of making voters or jurors of Negroes." "Lincoln was more concerned about the failure of [the seceding] states to collect tariffs than he was about slavery, " says Napolitano.
Unlike all those hopelessly miseducated neocon pundits who sneered at Ron Paul's statements regarding how Lincoln did tremendous damage to the principles of the American founders, Judge Napolitano is well schooled in constitutional history. He writes of Lincoln's complete trashing of the Constitution by "murdering civilians, declaring martial law, suspending habeas corpus, seizing . . . private property without compensation (including railroads and telegraphs), conducting a war without the consent of Congress, imprisoning nearly thirty thousand Northern citizens without trial, shutting down . . . newspapers, and even deporting a congressman (Clement L. Vallandigham from Ohio) because he objected to the imposition of an income tax."
"Saying that Lincoln abolished slavery and calling him the ‘Great Emancipator' are grossly inadequate mischaracterizations," writes the judge. "Lincoln was interested in promoting his political agenda of centralizing government power, and freeing the slaves was only a means of advancement of that end."
Lincoln destroyed the union of the founding fathers. He "replaced a voluntary association of states with a strong centralized government. The president and his party eagerly lifted the floodgates to the modern thuggish style of ruling that the U.S. government now employs" (emphasis added). This "opened the door to more unconstitutional acts by the government in the 1900s through to today."
The next time you see Lincoln's portrait on a five-dollar bill, the judge concludes, "remember how many civil liberties he took away from you."

The first half is largely nonsensical.  Some sticking points: 1, South Carolina secceeded before Lincoln was sworn into the presidency, effectively limiting the possibility that President Lincoln could have freed the slaves by paying the owners.  2, Lincoln could not have paid the owners to free the slaves.  Congress is responsible for outlays, and the idea that the president would take a unilateral action of the type described here did not really occur until several decades later, even with the powers Lincoln used during the CW.  3, the states did not ratify the Constitution.  The people of the states did.

That said, much of the discussion is right on point.  Lincoln did, at the very least, wage a war of questionable constitutionality.  Judge Napolitano is right in saying that the actions of Lincoln did lay some groundwork for future presidential actions and national centralization.  This is not to say, as GM points out, that the holding of slaves was right, with or without the permission of the Constitution.   In the end, was the freeing of slaves, whether intentional or otherwaise, worth the cost of the war?  I think many, myself included, would say yes.  In much the same way, I would argue that WWII was worth the fight no matter what the consequences of, for example, the United Nations (even if you disagree with the organization its roles globally).   
2099  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Police officers and suicide on: February 21, 2011, 08:24:12 AM
This is the story of a particular police officer, William Vize.  There is a subtext of the article that deals with the difficulty of policing, and the impact on the officers' lives.  A story worth reading, in my opinion.
2100  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Education on: February 20, 2011, 08:22:04 AM

This is a talk on creativity killing schools.  For those of you who don't know, TED talks are consistently interesting and thought provoking, and the talks cover a wide range of material.  You might want to spend some time poking around.
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